Green tea has emerged as a healthy route to improve the metabolism and also has provided a way to bring about reduction of weight. The constituents of green tea have the ability to maintain a healthy metabolic rate providing the necessary amount of vigor and vitality day after day.Consuming green tea has helped many a person improve their metabolic rate and maintain a healthy living style. But, certain tips need to be borne in mind while purchasing “green tea” as every brand that is available in the market may not be completely natural in terms of its ingredients.

A doubt that frequently comes to many a person’s mind when reading up on diet and consulting diet charts is to understand the proportion of a ‘serving’. More information and advice about servings and their proportions can be found by conducting an online search on Google and accessing the National Institutes of Health ( 1998 ) and the American Diabetic Association Exchange Lists.

For this reason, it is best to go with a brand that is renowned and time-tested. Also, it is best to check the constituents before purchasing it. You can even have a look at where the tea is coming from to give an idea about whether the ingredients are totally natural. The ingredients have to be looked at because there are many brands available that claim to be green tea but are actually not.

“Organic green tea” is one such ingredient to look out for. If a brand is organic it will be mentioned so on the packing as many people prefer this ingredient while buying green tea.

One vital point to bear in mind before you rush off to including green tea within your daily schedule is that one ingredient of any green tea is caffeine. If you are one who is very conscious about the amount of caffeine intake daily, then green tea is not your cup of tea. But, one good thing is that the amount of caffeine is significantly lesser in comparison to the amounts found in coffee or in the energy drinks that have now swarmed the markets. There are of late some products that claim to be free of caffeine. So, if you are caffeine conscious, you can try one of these.

Green tea has demonstrated the ability to improve the metabolic rate and improve the oxidation of fats. These two important properties have helped many an individual keep their weight in check and for many to help in losing excess weight. So, green tea is an excellent way to not only improve the metabolic rate but also to perk up the way you look.

Advanced trials have now made it known that along with these properties of green tea, it is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants are a great way to keep your heart healthy and to avoid life threatening conditions like cancer or stroke.

So, green tea is a great way to go to improve metabolism, keep your weight in check and to give your body a regular dose of antioxidants to keep you healthy for a long time to come. Make it a habit to drink a cup or two of green tea starting today. After all, it pays to go the Green way.

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When you are physically active, your body will become more fit and will look fantastic. Exercise is extremely important to keep your body healthy. It becomes even more important as we get older. Physical activity promotes health and helps reduce your risk of disease. It lowers your risk of heart disease and obesity; helps your bones stay healthy and strengthens muscles and joints. Exercise is also important for your mental health by improving memory and concentration.Physical activity reduces the risk of diabetes and colon cancer, and helps to lower high blood pressure. It helps to improve mood swings and instills confidence. And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Already, you can see how important it is to keep your body moving.

More and more people are becoming more active. This lifestyle choice is keeping mortality rates at a lower level. Estimates show that 40% of women in the United States are now engaged in some type of regular exercise. If you’re one of them, keep up the good work! If not…get moving!

How much exercise is needed?

You don’t have to be an all-star athlete to get healthy benefits from exercise. It takes a smaller amount of activity that you’d think to keep your body healthy. So, if you’re not exercising because you don’t have enough time for long workouts, find another excuse! You only need to exercise for 30 minutes three times a week. And, it doesn’t have to be all at one time. You can break it down to 10 minute workouts several times a day.

You also don’t need to go to a gym or have fancy equipment for exercise to be effective. Go for a walk or ride your bicycle. Play tag with the kids. Just start moving. I don’t believe a “formal” exercise program is necessary as long as you’re active. Gardening, walking, climbing stairs, swimming and jogging can all improve your health. For beginners, 5 to 10 minutes of exercise a few times a week is a good place to start.

There are three types of exercise.

A complete fitness program includes three different types of exercise according to the American Council of Exercise.

1. Aerobic exercise uses large muscle groups in a continuous, rhythmic fashion for sustained periods of time. The exercise has to be for a long enough period to get the heart and lungs pumping blood and oxygen throughout the body. Dancing, swimming and running are all aerobic activities.

2. Muscular strength and endurance conditioning includes the use of weights or weight lifting. All major muscle groups (arms, chest, back, stomach, hips and legs) are used. These types of weight-bearing exercises are especially important for strengthening bones and preventing the development of osteoporosis. Walking is considered a weight-bearing exercise as well as an aerobic exercise, so you get “two for one” just by taking a walk!

3. Flexibility means stretching that involves all major muscle groups. You should stretch your muscles before and after each aerobic activity to warm up (and cool down) your muscles. This helps prevent painful cramping.

If you haven’t been physically active for a while, start out slow and work your way up to more vigorous exercises. You can prevent injuries by taking this precaution. But, DO start moving! The sooner you start, the sooner you will see results.

: article by Jude Wright

Copyright (c) 2008 Anderson Training Systems
This Part 2 of a 2 part article series covering the top 10 reasons kettlebells are relevant fitness tool for almost any fitness program.

6. Athletic Conditioning :

a. Kettlebells are incredibly mobile, much easier to have available while conditioning or even at skills practice.

b. Kettlebells provide valuable variety in conjunction with speed, agility, endurance, and quickness work.

c. Additionally, what athlete couldn’t use a little development of hip drive along with learning to accelerate and decelerate load?

These are some of my favorite athletic conditioning drill and kettlbell combinations:

-Two-handed Swing + Hill Sprint

-Snatch + Suicides/Ladders

-Horn Squat and Press + Squat Thrust with Jump

-Cleans + Box Agility Drill

7. Strength Development – One of the knocks on kettlebells has always been that “they are good for conditioning but poor for strength development.” This argument becomes pretty much a moot point when you run into the likes of Steve Cotter and Mike Mahler, both of whom are pretty damn strong guys. Of course, then the argument becomes that it doesn’t transfer. Again, the answer is that it does transfer. Coach Ken Black was recently here in Phoenix and did some strongman training. He was easily able to lap a 300 lb stone and flip a 900 lb tire for several reps. Not too bad for the first time on both implements. By the way, Ken does the majority of his training with kettlebells. Are kettlebells going to make you a 600 lb bench presser or a 1000 lb squatter? Probably not. However, for the majority of people out there who want to look good “nekkid” and have a good amount of strength to boot, there is definitely merit in using kettlebells for strength training. Given that kettlebells are available for a good price up to and beyond 105 lbs, most guys will be able find a bell that provides more than adequate load stimulus.

8. Unilateral Lifting – The traditional programming for the kettlebell is unilateral. One-arm cleans and snatches are the basis of a lot of kettlebell work, but that is just the start. Two of the most compelling reasons for performing unilateral kettlebell lifts are:

a. The carrying position of the load while performing press drills allows the shoulder girdle to open up which is very beneficial in this day and age of shit posture. Anything you can do to work against a kyphotic upper back posture is huge.

b. The height at which the kettlebell hand is held when performing drills such as the single deadlift is perfect for quick and smooth transitions through a workout. When performed in a traditional manner, single leg squats or pistols place a massive demand on the trunk to provide stability throughout the entire movement.

Want more unilateral movement and trunk stabilization?

Perform some one-arm cleans and snatches using a kettlebell. You’ll have it figured out after just a few reps. Sure, all these drills can be performed with dumbbells, but they are definitely enhanced when performed with kettlebells, enough to warrant their consideration.

9. Easy Grip Strengthening – About 90% of the people who walk through the door to my facility have the grip strength of a nine year old girl. The kettlebell is a very appropriate tool for improving grip strength because the handle gets incrementally thicker as the weight gets heavier. This works perfectly. As clients get progressively stronger, they are challenged with thicker handles. One of my favorite introductory drills that kills two birds with one stone is the kettlebell farmer’s walk; simple yet very effective at accomplishing several training goals at once.

10. Only One Priority – Whether you are a coach or someone training hard for a particular goal, there is only one thing that matters – Getting Results. The majority of trainees with whom I have contact are very novice and the mere sight of a barbell could send them running out the door and leave me with an empty pocketbook. In contrast, I can have clients deadlifting, squatting, pressing, and sometimes even cleaning or snatching a kettlebell within one or two sessions. To me the sacrifice of the barbell is well worth it, not only from the business aspect, but also because my clients lay down a solid base of good technique due to the aforementioned benefits of using kettlebells. Does this mean I have thrown out my barbell? Hell no! It does mean, however, I have learned a new way to skin a cat. A faster tool to teach = faster results. And that’s what really matters to me, and to my clients. (Note: Most women do well starting with a 12 kg/26 lb bell and a somewhat experienced male could start with a 24 kg/53 lb bell).

Could you and I argue the pros and cons of kettlebell training until we were both blue in the face? Yes, and we probably wouldn’t come close to a consensus. Do you need to own as many kettlebells as I do? Probably not. But you would be ignoring a very valuable training tool if you didn’t at least consider having kettlebells in your training toolbox. In addition to everything that I have discussed here, it’s a well-documented fact that kettlebells can help you become bigger, faster, stronger, and more athletic. I am pretty sure each and every one of us is looking to develop at least one of those aspects with our various training programs.

: article by Troy Anderson

Copyright (c) 2008 Anderson Training Systems

They say first impressions last the longest. In the case of kettlebells, my first impression was way off. I was formally introduced to kettlebells about three years ago by my colleague Josh Henkin during one of our weekend training sessions. My wife got hooked on them and almost immediately started looking for them on eBay. To say I was a little hesitant about kettlebells would be an understatement. As a matter of fact, when I learned that she had purchased a pair of 12 kg kettlebells, I believe my comment was something like, “You can do the exact same thing with dumbbells.”

My how things have changed. I now have at least 10 kettlebells in my facility and will probably add a few more in the relatively near future. I also drag around another six or so in my truck for my outdoor fitness camps. I’m sure some of you are thinking that I have gone and drunk the proverbial kool-aid.

No, what actually happened was I realized two things.

1. All of the best coaches that I know use them for many different types of clients. Whether they’re coaching for athletic development, fat-loss, powerlifting or hypertrophy, you will likely see kettlebells being used during some portion of a training day. There must be some merit to the implement if all those guys use them with their clients.

2. As a coach and businessman, I can’t afford to ignore such a versatile implement. I have a limited amount of square footage and a limited budget so it is important for me to invest in equipment that I can get a lot out of in a small amount of space.

In other words, kettlebells are just too big a deal and too good a tool to ignore. Whether you are a fitness competitor or a powerlifter, there are many reasons you should at least consider kettlebells. These are my top 10:

1. Pound for pound they are the best piece of home equipment you can purchase. Not nearly as expensive, and they take up a helluva a lot less space than the “clothes hanger” err… treadmill many of you have. For a modest investment, you can get a kettlebell, an instructional DVD, and probably one or two sessions with a local instructor – a much more effective start to a fitness program than “some assembly required.”

2. Price Point – They say duplication is the highest form of flattery. Well, that must be true in the case of kettlebells. It used to be that you could only get kettlebells at Dragon Door. Now there are no fewer than a half-dozen other distributors out there. Are they all the same quality bell? No, but if you do a little research and ask around, you can find out who is selling the best bell at the best price.

3. Instant Feedback Loop – One of the keys to coaching is having the client/athlete understand the difference between proper and improper technique. With the kettlebell, drills such as cleans and snatches provide clients/athletes with instant feedback. The way the kettlebell falls gives them a not so subtle reminder of their improper technique, and after a workout or two, they won’t have any trouble with the technique at all.

4. Teach Olympic Lifts Fast – The bane of teaching Olympic lifting has always been that the lifts are difficult to teach. Kettlebells make an excellent segue. Not only can you teach variants of the Olympic lifts but things can be taken back a notch farther. One of the first things you learn, even in the most basic kettlebell drills, is hip drive.

5. Great for Fat-Loss – I don’t know if there is a better, more easily learned drill than a two-handed kettlebell swing. There are so many different complexes available that the opportunities for ass-kicking fat-loss work are endless. If you could do only one drill, this is it because what you need for fat-loss is to move a load for as long as possible. That’s exactly what kettlebells allow you to do and you can add some speed as well.

: article by Troy Anderson

It seems most people today are uninformed when it comes to exercising and still seem to be slogging it out at gyms and getting little back in return. Exercising correctly for fat loss isn’t difficult and certainly doesn’t require hours at a gym or elaborate and expensive equipment. In fact, you can achieve much quicker results using no equipment at all and just exercising at home using just your own bodyweight. Here’s why you should change you thinking when it comes to reaching for the nearest piece of exercise equipment:

Bodyweight exercises get quicker results

Training using just your bodyweight is more demanding than you may think and forces your body to naturally stabilise itself utilising more muscles. Using more muscles means that you burn more calories as each individual muscle requires energy to work. Why spend time exercising just a few muscles when you can hit over 600 of them at a time?

Moreover, if bodyweight exercises are performed at the correct intensity you can create lots of EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumpion) leading to fat burning for up to 48 hours after exercise. With only so many hours in the day and limited amounts of workout time the more calories you can burn after exercise the better. If performed at the correct times it is possible to raise your metabolism and be burning calories constantly throughout the week whilst only training 3 times for 20 minutes.

Bodyweight exercises are natural & safe

From the first few months that we are born we start learning how to control and use our own bodyweight, this includes rolling over, moving around on all fours standing up, balancing on one leg, walking, running, climbing etc. During all these times of evolution we never once use external resistance to get stronger; it is only in later life that we look for alternatives or short cuts to improving our health.

Development through pure bodyweight exercise is the most natural form of exercise that you can do and your body will reward you for it. You will improve your balance, strength, burn unwanted fat and energise yourself all without risk of injury because it is natural. Being able to control, balance, and move your own bodyweight is the most natural thing that you can do. Anybody that cannot take control of their own bodyweight has no right even considering lifting a weight, whether that’s a dumbbell, barbell, ankle weight, medicine ball or kettlebell !

Bodyweight workouts are less time consuming

Let’s be honest who wants to be make their way to a gym, find parking, get changed, deal with all the distractions, sort out lockers etc. Bodyweight training requires no equipment and can be done at home or during your lunch break or whilst on holiday in only 20 minutes. This not only means that it is less time consuming but also you are less likely to make up excuses as to why you can’t workout that day. With bodyweight training there are no excuses, no matter where you are!! You have a training program for life!!

: article by Greg Brookes

Psychological Benefits of JoggingFor the most part, jogging can be viewed as a type of running pursued primarily for fun and, maybe, exercise. The pace is slower and there is little emphasis on time or goals. Those who wish to get a bit of exercise but don’t want to push themselves to the speed or competition stage can realize health benefits from the relatively low-key pastime of jogging.

Stress relief is also a key benefit of jogging, along with the release of tension. Being tired after a jog helps clear the mind of all the frustration and ideas that build up during the day. In fact, people who are new to jogging are often surprised at the attitude improvement that a simple, short jog can bring. In addition, jogging through rural areas can be quite relaxing. The results are quite different from those achieved with an activity such as cycling training or training to run in competition.

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

Jogging can help an individual build determination and learn to be consistent, especially when it is tempting to miss a day of jogging. As the body begins to feel more energetic because of the regular activity, the mind usually becomes more clear. Confidence can grow, even as the muscles and bones benefit from increased activity.

It has long been known that regular exercise helps keep the body free of illness. Joggers find that their blood pressure my be lower and they have less risk of heart attack, due to better circulation of blood and elimination of toxins through sweat and respiration. Some studies have also found that the levels of “good” cholesterol increase with activity as well.

While jogging may have less impact on the body than more intense programs such as training for competition running or cycling training, it is still important that each individual consult with a family doctor before beginning to jog. Setting a schedule for jogging times and distances is a good idea, especially with the advice and support from a trusted medical person.

Those who start to jog on a regular basis, after long periods of little or no exercise, often do so with the goal of losing weight. While this is an admirable undertaking, it is very important that each individual follows an exercise or weight loss program that is medically safe. Jogging is, however, one of the best activities for using up those excess calories and getting fit.

: article by Adam Peters

Every one of us knows that they should exercise. The problem when kickstarting your own weight loss program is not what to do, so much as how to do it. Throughout the process of losing weight, I have discovered five important aspects of exercising that are a crucial part of weight loss, and when used together, can lead to a great workout that will knock the pounds off of anybody.

Intense Cardio

When it comes to shedding pounds and keeping up a healthy heart, nothing can be said for cardio exercise. If you are the type of person that measures how well your weight loss is going by how much you sweat, then make sure to include this type of workout into your program. This includes walking, running, bicycling, swimming, etc. Anything that’s gets the heart pumping and makes your lungs work harder, is definitely something to include. Thirty minutes a day is said to be plenty to get your body going, and when you begin to lose weight you will be able to add on to this time. In fact I recommend an hour to an hour and a half for a really great workout, but it is best to start slowly so as not to overload the body.

Muscle Toning

Even though cardio is something you can’t exercise without, it is also very necessary to include some muscle toning. Muscle is better at burning calories than fat, so the faster you convert that fat into muscle, the closer you will be to your ideal weight. There are multiple ways to tone your muscles, including leg lifts for your thighs, bicep curls, pull ups, push ups, etc., and they can be used in many different ways to maximize fat burn.

Crunches vs. Sit-ups

It was said years ago that sit-ups tend to make your back ache and give you muscle cramps without necessarily toning your stomach. Then the world discovered crunches. A similar maneuver to sit-ups, crunches tend to burn fat better and lessen any back aches that may be associated with toning your stomach. (If done correctly) Even if you encounter mild back pain, the benefits of crunches far outweigh the pain that might come up. You can do crunches from all sides of your stomach to get that belly in shape, all the while decreasing your appetite because of a smaller stomach. So essentially you kill two birds with one stone.

Music Will Set You Free

No one ever said you had to be in complete silence when you exercise. A good beat can liven up any activity, and by listening to some tunes, you almost forget that you are exercising. Now I know that some people like to listen to the sounds around them when they exercise, but not everybody can clear their mind enough to help with the pain. Yes, exercise will start out painful, but it will get easier the more that you do it. Music is a great tool to use in overcoming the pain and the doubts because it helps you ignore your body, which will be putting up a fight against the exercise. Remember your body isn’t use to this yet, and it will try to stop any change that you are trying to make even if it is for your benefit. Music is your best friend in this battle, so put on those head phones and shake it until you sweat.

Exercise Can Make You Gain

In closing, I just want to remind you that exercise is the key if you want to maximize your weight loss effort. However, there will come a time when exercise will cause you to gain weight, but when this happens it is actually a good thing. Muscle weighs more than fat, so when you gain it means that you are successfully converting fat into muscle, which will then lead to more significant weight loss. So if you do see yourself gaining, remind yourself that your fat is becoming muscle and you are on your way to faster, more efficient weight loss.

: article by Erica Gentner