Boost your strength training: Take a fish oil supplement
The wonder capsules can maximize neuromuscular (aka muscle-building) responses to strength training, while also slowing and partially reversing some of the negative effects of aging, including loss of muscle mass, according to new research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers randomly assigned 45 women to either strength train for 90 days, strength train and take 2 grams of fish oil for 90 days, or to strength train and take fish oil for 150 days (they started taking fish oil 60 days prior to starting their strength training program).
Those who took the fish oil supplements saw the most improvement in muscle strength and functional capacity (how well you can perform tasks related to strength, endurance, speed and flexibility, such as how quickly you can get up from a chair). Interestingly, those who took the supplements for an extra 60 days prior to starting their training didn’t see any additional benefits over those who simply took the supplements for the 90 days during their training.
Researchers note that the fish oil supplement’s secret weapon is muscle-building omega-3 fatty acids, of which it packs plenty. Omega-3s aren’t just helpful when it comes to toning up. They have been shown to prevent diseases such as cancer, reduce inflammation, boost brain function, and even elevate mood.
If you’re not keen on fish oil, substitute it with krill oil or an algae-based omega-3 supplement for a muscle-building boost. Just make sure your supplement contains both DHA and EPA omega-3s. Try to get omega-3s from natural sources too! Salmon (go for the wild Alaskan stuff!), walnuts, tofu, and even some veggies like kale and winter squash all pack omega-3s.
Our staffers like to stay hydrated. (Taken with instagram)
What’s the only thing cuter than a baby? Baby-sized Nike running shoes. (on our editor’s desk) (Taken with instagram)
Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Foods for Weight Loss
By Hollis Templeton
I’m going to venture a guess that your resolution—or one of your resolutions—involves dropping a few pounds. If you’re like me, part of that resolution involves expanding your healthy recipe repertoire—stir fry gets old, fast—and eating more plant-based foods.
Conveniently, a vegetarian diet and successful weight loss go hand-in-hand. A roundup of 87 studies published in Nutrition Reviews shows that vegetarians and vegans tend to weigh 3 to 20% less than meat-eaters, and they experience lower rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension. The same study found that eating a vegetarian or vegan diet can help you lose 1 pound per week without serious exercise or calorie-counting. While we don’t recommend ditching the gym, these five meat-free recipes will help you cut calories and stay satisfied as you work toward your 2012 weight loss goal.
Green Tea and Blueberry Smoothie Not only does this liquid breakfast taste delicious, it’s also packed with fat-fighting ingredients. Gulping two to four cups of green tea each day can boost your metabolism and help you torch an extra 50 calories daily—that’s 5 pounds a year! Then there’s low-fat yogurt, which contains a hearty helping of calcium, which may promote weight loss. Finally, ground flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acids, which may help keep you feeling fuller, longer.
Spinach Omelet (Above) Research shows that egg eaters lose more weight than those who enjoy all-carb breakfast foods, like bagels. Nutrient-packed spinach delivers plenty of volume for very few calories—you’d have to eat 15 cups to top 100 calories.
Bean Salad Beans are one of the best sources of low-calorie fiber you can find, and this salad has six different varieties of ‘em! While it looks pretty on a picnic table, we have no problem enjoying this super-filing side year-round.
Tomato Soup This 80-calorie cup is waistline-friendly because it’s packed with lycopene-rich cooked tomatoes, which studies show can help blast belly fat.
Grilled Tofu You wouldn’t eat a chicken breast sans seasoning, so don’t expect your tofu to be tasty without giving it a little TLC. Enjoy this filling entree with a side of wild rice and steamed edamame for a meal that sets you back only 400 calories.
photo: Mitch Mandel
Want to lose 5 pounds? Here’s your 4-week plan!
It’s the cruelest of weight-loss conundrums: The closer you get to your ideal weight, the tougher it is to reach it, says L.A.-based celebrity trainer Holly Perkins.
A surefire solution: plyometrics. These explosive moves are great muscle builders, get your heart rate up, and work multiple muscles at a time—all of which leads to an extreme calorie burn.
Print the lose 5 pounds plan and your 4-week training schedule! We tell you when to do strength training, when to do cardio, and when to rest. (You can get this handy PDF by scrolling to the bottom and following the directions to print.)
WH WEEKEND CHALLENGE
Does this sound like you? Healthy and on track Monday through Friday, then the weekend hits and…bam! Temptation (cocktails and calorie bombs) takes over, and your workout is left behind.
To help keep you on track, we’re giving you a simple challenge: Pushups.
Before every meal or snack this weekend, you need to drop and give us 3 sets of 10 pushups. If you’re eating out, you can do them at home first :) Are you in?
Pow! Hit like a girl—a boxing workout on page 59 of our jan/feb issue, out now! (Taken with instagram)
Workout Music: New Year, New Playlist!
While it’s true that listening to music can improve workout performance, it’s also very easy to get tired of your workout playlist and lose motivation.
Freshen up your music library with these 15 pop, dance, and hip-hop tracks! We put slower or more mellow songs in the beginning and left super-high energy tunes for the second half—it’s like a musical warmup.
We dare you to play these tunes and NOT get pumped up.
1. Pumped Up Kicks, Foster the People
2. Tongue Tied, Grouplove (You might recognize this one from a recent iPod commercial)
3. The Dog Days Are Over, Florence + The Machine
4. Doo Wop (That Thing), Lauryn Hill
5. This Is The Remix, Girl Talk
6. We Found Love, Rihanna
7. Good Feeling, Flo Rida
8. Without You, David Guetta featuring Usher
9. Moves Like Jagger, Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera
10. Forget You, Cee Lo Green
11. You Make Me Feel, Cobra Starship featuring Sabi
12. Where Them Girls At, David Guetta featuring Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj
13. Give Me Everything, Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer
14. B.O.B., Outkast
15. Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Jet
Tell us: What are your favorite workout songs?
See all of our workout playlists!
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Photo: Digital Vision/Thinkstock