Category Archives: Body and Mind

6 Tips to Protect Your Joints

When you’re working out, you should pay extra attention to your joints, especially weight-bearing joints such as knees and ankles, because they absorb most of the impact during strenuous bodybuilding training. Joint injuries are frequent in sports, and they ultimately lead to damage and disease, one of which is rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike back or hip problems that are characteristics of old age, joint problems plague people regardless of how old they are. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks that can help you stay injury free, and keep your joints healthy when you’re training.

Warm up and stretch

Joints connect two bones, and their surrounding smooth tissue, cartilage, as well as a lubricant, synovial, prevent friction between two bones. Warm-up exercises and stretching are essential for prevention of all kinds of injuries, including joint strains, dislocations, or sprains. Many people think that warming up is the same thing as stretching, which is a common misconception. These two procedures are complementary, and both are highly beneficial for improving joint flexibility and increasing mobility. A warm-up should start with joint rotations that will stimulate the production of synovial fluid. After warm-up exercises, comes stretching that will prevent joint stiffness, and ultimately injuries.

Watch your nutrition

Inflammations and excess fat are the greatest enemies of healthy joints. This means that you should eliminate sugar, processed foods, or carbonated drinks, from your diet as they stimulate inflammatory responses. Make sure to include foods rich in antioxidants, such as dark, leafy green vegetables, berries, or nuts as they can successfully fight inflammations. Orange vegetables are loaded with vitamin A and beta-carotene, essential for preventing rheumatoid arthritis and similar inflammation-related conditions. Fish like salmon, mackerel, or sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids, important for suppressing the production of enzymes that lead to cartilage erosion.

Do yoga or Pilates

Bodybuilding lifting and yoga are, practically, match made in heaven. A demanding and strenuous exercise regimen requires some kind of antidote, that can help the body to completely relax and recuperate. Although many weight lifters aren’t actually into Pilates, this low-impact training can actually help them improve their balance, as well as joint mobility and flexibility. Yoga is composed of various stretching exercises that can do wonders for sore and stiff joints, and improve the elasticity of the whole body.

Take supplements

Supplementation is one of the essential elements of any effective exercising regimen. Apart from regular supplements aiding muscle growth, there are those used for keeping your joints healthy. Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced in the human body and it’s a major ingredient of the synovial fluid and cartilage, and its role is to protect your joints from injuries and make them more elastic. There are supplements that increase and retain hyaluronic acid in your joints, and they’re used to prevent injuries and disorders, as well as to treat them. A study has found that this supplement can alleviate symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. People who train a lot should make sure to take high-purity glucosamine in order to replenish the stores of this chemical compound, whose responsibility is to reduce osteoarthritic pain and swelling, increase joint mobility, and help repair the cartilage. Its production is reduced due to a natural aging process and sustained traumas, and this ultimately results in cartilage destruction, so it’s important to boost it with a high-quality supplement.  

Reduce stress

Believe it or not, but stress also contributes to joint issues and aggravate them. Namely, when you’re stressed, levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, are soaring and wreaking havoc on your immune system. Apart from setting the fertile ground for various inflammations, cortisol has a negative impact on the production of collagen, a protein that makes connective tissues, by inhibiting its production and breaking it down. When you’re stressed focus on your breathing pattern and try to breathe deeply for 10 minutes.  Yoga is also beneficial for controlling cortisol levels, as this ancient practice incorporates meditation and diaphragmatic breathing.

Choose good shoes

As an athlete, you’re aware how important shoes are for your performance. When it comes to such high-impact activities such as bodybuilding, your joints are exposed to various loads that they have to absorb, meaning that they’re under a great deal of strain. That’s why it’s important that your shoes are comfortable, and that they provide support and stability. Unlike running shoes that should provide cushioning in order to absorb impact, shoes for strength training should have a thin sole in order to improve your balance.

Joints are extremely prone to injury, so it’s of vital importance to be careful and follow these tips in order to keep them healthy. Remember that joint injury can damage your cartilage beyond repair and ultimately result in various diseases, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Luke is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped-Science.com and Ripped.me and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.  https://twitter.com/mrlukeidouglas

5 Steps To Reduce Rage

It’s not rocket science to know that building muscle aids in boosting testosterone. One of the characteristics of high-T males that is most commonly documented is their drive toward dominance and reactive aggression.

Some people are prone to rage more than others, but anger is a feeling that many of us could use a bit of help in handling. The choices we make when angry can often come back to haunt us, but the cycle is hard to break. Anger has power – but there are healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with that power, from letting it control you, to wielding it in a way that spurs you on to something positive.

Here are 5 ways to tame your inner raging bull:

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1. Do the Opposite – Remember that Seinfeld episode when George turned his life around by doing the opposite of what he thought he should do? Well, think of this as the Seinfeld approach to anger management. Do the opposite of what you feel like doing when you’re mad. Instead of lashing out, develop empathy. The next time you feel like swearing at the guy who cut you off, just remind yourself that few people are jerks on purpose. You’ve probably been guilty of doing the same thing a time or two.

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2. Blow Off Steam Wisely – After you’ve acknowledged your physiological response to anger, trying to tell yourself to stay calm is one of the worst things you can do (second only to being told to calm down). As a human being, you’re programmed to act out when you feel threatened and angry. You need to release the rage in a healthy way so do what you already love: push-ups, bicep curls, squats…hit the gym and take it out on the weights.

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3. Choose Your Words Carefully – When anger’s talking, steer clear of using the words “never” and “always.” Such as “You’re always telling me what to do!” or “You never let me hang out with the guys!” Not only are you stating inaccurate accusations, you’re alienating people who might otherwise work to find a solution. Once you’ve cooled off (refer to #2), try expressing how you feel in a direct, non-confrontational way.

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4. Rest Your Body and Mind – Sleep helps you function at your mental and physical best. In fact, good sleep improves your mood, your immune system and even your metabolism. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more stress hormones. A lack of sleep significantly ups your chances of blowing up at someone.

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5. Drink Responsibly – When you’re thinking, “Damn. I need a drink,” think again. The trouble with alcohol is that it doesn’t relieve high anxiety or anger issues and could actually make them worse. In some people, drinking when super tense can underscore the dark side of whatever stressed them out and push them over the edge. If you’re stressed to the max and know alcohol can bite you back, grab your iPod and cool off (refer to #2).

In a nonstop world of challenges pushing you from annoyed to enraged, remember the toll anger takes on your health. If left unchecked, anger clamps down on your blood vessels and can even promote impotence. Not good. Plus, strong negative emotions mess with your blood pressure and hormone function and provoke inflammation. To make the change for a better mood, figure out what makes you happy and start doing it as often as possible.

Tristan "Lucky"Written by: Tristan “Lucky”