Broccoli

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The greener the vegetables, the better for your body. Broccoli is a great snack you can eat raw, or steamed. It lowers cholesterol, gets rid of toxins and is packed with vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin K. If you’re busy, you’re better off packing raw broccoli florets in a bag, and eating them on the go.

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Blueberries

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Blueberries are a superfood that you can enjoy anytime. They are one of the highest antioxidant-containing fruits in the world, and you can eat them raw, in smoothies or in yogurt. Studies have shown that eating blueberries after a workout can help your muscles recover much quicker because antioxidants help promote healing. Blueberries are also packed with vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber.

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Fitness Future

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Approximately 1.6 billion of the planet’s population are now overweight.

Australia (63.7 per cent overweight)

Royal Adelaide Hospital recently announced a refurbishment to help staff cope with an influx of obese patients: bigger rooms with ceiling-mounted lifting apparatus, reinforced wheelchairs and beds, and larger CAT scanning machines. Staff are 19 times more likely to strain themselves moving obese patients than others.

The number of overweight and obese people has skyrocketed over the past thirty years, jumping from 857 million in 1980 to more than 2 billion in 2013. That’s approximately a third of the world’s population.

In 2010 alone, between 3 and 4 million people died due to complications from obesity.

*2015*
“The fat country”: The rate of obesity in Australia has grown by more than 80 per cent over the past three decades.

Obesity rates in Australia and New Zealand have soared by more than 80 per cent in the past 33 years, the biggest increase in a groundbreaking survey of almost 200 countries.

The findings, which reveal almost one in three Australians is obese, intensifies pressure on the government to restrict junk food marketing, restore the healthy food-star rating system and force companies to cut sugar and fat in processed food and drink.

”Waiting for a cure is not possible,” says Rob Moodie, the professor of public health at the University of Melbourne. ”The public health system will be crushed by the obesity crisis and the rise in cancer, heart disease and diabetes.”

It found 29 per cent – or 5.2 million – Australian adults are now obese according to their body mass index, a measure of the relationship between height and weight, compared to 16 per cent in 1980. About one quarter of children and more than 60 per cent of adults are either overweight or obese. One third of women are obese, a 75 per cent increase since 1980.

Obesity, which is defined as having a body mass index of 30 or higher, is linked to higher risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and bowel, oesophageal and pancreatic cancer.

Saturating children and adults with junk food advertising, particularly through sport, means many parents are ”fighting a battle” against the junk food industry, Professor Moodie said. ”We have also failed to get anywhere with front of pack labelling, or with food reformulation, because of huge resistance from the industry to anything that might improve our health. Only now are people starting to realise there are 10 teaspoons of sugar in a can of coke.”

The nutrition program manager at the Cancer Council NSW, Clare Hughes, said a ”uniform guide” to making healthy choices, such as the star rating system, would encourage the food industry to reformulate products and set targets to limit sugar, salt and saturated fat. ”Even small changes in nutrient content to unhealthy food can bring significant change among the whole population,” she said.

But reversing the obesity trend could be even more difficult given recent budget cuts to programs that target prevention. ”Funding for the National Preventive Health Partnership, which financed school, worksite and community health programs around the states, has been abolished and the proposed co-payments scheme will discourage people worried about overweight from seeing their GPs,” said Mike Daube, professor of health policy at Curtin University.

”What is really scary is to see the way obesity has crept up on us over the past three decades. We have become the fat country.”

Globally, 2.1 billion people are now overweight or obese, a 28 per cent increase in adults and an almost 50 per cent increase for children since 1980. Not one country has reduced obesity rates in the past three decades and more than half of the world’s obese people now live in developing countries.

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Best ways to a Flat Stomach

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Create a caloric deficit to help flatten your bloated stomach if you are overweight.

Consume all-natural high-fiber foods, which aid in digestion and help decrease bloating in the stomach.

Decrease your sodium intake to help reduce belly bloat caused by water retention.

Drink more water to help hydrate your body and eliminate puffiness in your stomach caused by excess water weight.

Reduce your dairy consumption to decrease midsection bloating caused by the sugars in milk.

Stay physically active to burn more calories daily and shed excess water weight. Participate in 30 to 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five days per week.

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Lateral plyometric

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Lateral plyometric jumps are advanced exercises that can be used to develop power and agility. The vast majority of athletes perform workouts and exercises that focus on forward motion, but it’s also important for athletes to include exercises that target powerful, and stable, lateral motion exercises as well.

If you play a sport that incorporates any sort of side-to-side movements, practicing these moves during training is crucial.

Lateral movements not only improve strength, stability and coordination, they also help reduce the risk of injuries by enhancing balance and proprioception through the whole body.

They improve overall hip, knee and ankle joint stability. Lateral drills also help build more balanced strength in the muscles of the lower body, including the hip abductors and adductors.

These lateral drills will improve sports performance, and reduce the risk for sports injuries, particularly for athletes who frequently, or abruptly, change direction, cut or pivot. Athletes who benefit the most from side-to-side agility drills are those who play field and court sports (soccer, basketball, football, rugby and tennis), as well as skiers, skaters, gymnasts, and even rock climbers.

Athletes need to maintain power, control and balance during fast side-to-side lateral motion and transitions.

In general, an athlete can generate power in two ways: (1) using his own body weight, or (2) pushing or throwing something heavy.

Plyometric movements are one of the easiest and most effective ways for athletes to generate and increase power. The lateral plyometric jump is one exercise that primarily uses an athlete’s body weight to generate power.

Before doing the lateral plyometric jumps, a good place for athletes to begin building lower body power is by doing simple agility drills (such as ladder drills and dot drills) then slowly build up to tuck jumps. Other good additions to the plyometric routine include: all-out sprints, stair running/bounding, and burpees.

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Core

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In everyday activities and exercise, balance and stability matter. Core strength training improves both. Core strength training not only works the muscles in the hips, abdomen and back, it also trains them to all work and function together. It builds coordination between these muscles, and working together balances and stabilizes your body.

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Plyometrics

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Plyometrics were originally designed for power athletes like sprinters, football players and gymnasts. According to Brian Mac, professional sports coach, your muscles achieve maximum power during eccentric contractions, or muscle lengthening. When you immediately follow an eccentric contraction with a concentric — or muscle-shortening — contraction, your muscle produces a greater force. This is called the stretch-shortening cycle. Plyometric training decreases the time between your eccentric and concentric contractions and improves your muscular speed and power.

Plyometric exercises require a lot of energy, because they are highly intense. They utilize the whole body and activate most muscle groups, therefore burning many calories in a single session and aiding in weight loss. The repetitive landing causes your entire leg muscles to contract, helping to improve overall tone and definition. Plyometrics combine strength training and cardiovascular exercise, allowing you to “kill two birds with one stone.

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Muscle Soreness

The mild muscle strain injury creates microscopic damage to the muscle fibers. Scientists believe this damage, coupled with the inflammation that accompanies these tears, causes the pain.

“The aches and pains should be minor,” says Carol Torgan, an exercise physiologist and fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, “and are simply indications that muscles are adapting to your fitness regimen.”

No one is immune to muscle soreness. Exercise neophytes and body builders alike experience delayed onset muscle soreness.

“Anyone can get cramps or DOMS, from weekend warriors to elite athletes,” says Torgan. “The muscle discomfort is simply a symptom of using your muscles and placing stresses on them that are leading to adaptations to make them stronger and better able to perform the task the next time.”

But for the deconditioned person starting out, this can be intimidating. People starting an exercise program need guidance, Torgan says.

“The big problem is with people that aren’t very fit and go out and try these things; they get all excited to start a new class and the instructors don’t tell them that they might get sore,” she says.

“To them they might feel very sore, and because they aren’t familiar with it, they might worry that they’ve hurt themselves. Then they won’t want to do it again.”

Letting them know it’s OK to be sore may help them work through that first few days without being discouraged.

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Squats vs Leg Press

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The squat, known as the granddaddy of all bodybuilding exercises, simultaneously works more major muscles than any other resistance-training movement. The quadriceps (quads), hamstrings and gluteus maximus (glutes) are specifically targeted, while the hip and torso muscles are incorporated for stabilization and to assist the primary muscles. You can see why many experts in weight training consider the squat to be a whole-body exercise, even though you utilize it as a lower-body move.

Stabilizer muscles are smaller—and often less visible—muscles called upon during free-weight exercises to provide support and prevent unwanted movement. To perform the squat safely and effectively, the abdominal muscles (including the rectus abdominis, external and internal obliques and the transverse abdominis) and spinal erectors of the lower back contract isometrically to hold the torso in place as movement occurs at the hips and knees. Likewise, the hip muscles contract to hold the hip girdle stationary, allowing only the desired movement (hip flexion and extension).

The squat range of motion (ROM) about the knee and hip joints is relatively large. Increased ROM translates into greater muscle activation and ultimately into superior muscle development. In particular, the wide ROM at the hip is what notably differentiates the squat from the leg press.

LEG PRESS BENEFITS
Leg press apparatus provides proper positioning and safety.

Maximal weight can be used to overload the target muscle group (quads).

Minimal stabilizer and assistant muscle involvement increases emphasis on the quads.

Limited involvement of glutes and hamstrings leads to concentrated quad development.

Foot plate allows you to shift the emphasis on the leg muscles by changing foot position.

SQUAT BENEFITS
Greater hip range of motion (ROM) enhances hamstring and glute development.

Increased stabilizer and assistant muscle involvement improves overall strength and mass.

Hip adductor (inner thigh) involvement contributes to overall leg size.

No specialized equipment or apparatus required.

More bang for the buck: You target several leg and torso muscles with one exercise.

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