Are you sure that you are getting everything you can out of your core routine? With all of the new developments in core training, it’s difficult to keep up with the latest and most effective tools and techniques. Though the core has become a mainstream concept, most exercisers have a clouded view of what exactly the core consists of, its importance and what the best ways are to activate it.
The core includes the following muscles: Transverse Abdominis, Rectus Abdominis, Multifidus, External Obliques, Internal Obliques, Quadratus Lumborum and Erector Spinae. It provides a stable platform which launches all of our movement by stabilizing the spine. The core generates the rotational forces needed for many athletic movements including throwing, swinging, striking and twisting. It acts to resist or neutralize external forces such as gravity, contact or momentum. We are only as strong as our core. A weak core limits our strength capacity.
Four Tools to add to your Core Training Routine
TRX Suspension Trainer
The TRX® is one of the most innovative additions to core training in recent years. It’s a non-elastic, adjustable harness constructed of industrial-strength, nylon webbing which uses bodyweight as the sole source of variable resistance. The TRX allows for hundreds of exercises that can accommodate all fitness levels. It integrates the core’s postural, stabilizer and neutralizer components in all of its exercises and the addition of the suspended planks, crunches and oblique capabilities make it one of the most effective tools on the market.
Ex Navy Seal, Randy Hetrick of Fitness Anywhere, in San Francisco’s Russian Hill developed his prototype for his TRX Suspension Trainer out of necessity. As a special ops squadron commander, he needed a way to keep his team in world-class shape without having access to world-class gyms. So he bought a $49 sewing machine & using some parachute webbing and began stitching away. The rest is history. Since hitting the market in 2005, the portable straps have recorded more than $20 million in sales. TRX training kit Fitness Anywhere has been ranked by Outside Magazine as one of the top 30 places to work in the United States this year.
The stability ball creates an unstable environment that requires more work from the core. Simple yet demanding, the stability ball can be used to add challenge to many exercises and modify others.
Most modern heavy balls are constructed of a textured rubber that is mad to bounce. Heavy balls are the perfect exercise tool when training the core to control external forces, to stabilize the body while applying internal forces, and when working at higher speeds.
Balance devices come in all shapes and sizes: wobble boards, balance discs, Bosu balls, Bongo boards and foam balance surfaces. They all destabilize the surface using a base of support in one way or another, making the core more responsive. A word of caution: Always evaluate possible danger versus potential benefit before attempting any exercise that destabilizes your base of support.
Most people get too many omega-6 fatty acids in their diet in the form of processed oils and fast foods and not enough omega-3s. Because of this, the majority of Americans suffer from an imbalance of omega-6s to omega-3s. The ideal balance of omega-3s to omega-6s is 1:1 to 1:4, the typical American ratios range from 1:11 to 1:30. That imbalance can lead to health concerns in your body.
Antarctic Pure Krill Oil is a marine oil of pure krill that uniquely and synergistically combines antioxidants and omega-3s.
Unlike standard fish oils, pure krill oil carries omega-3s in the form of phospholipids, that deliver the fatty acids directly to your body’s cells.
Unfortunately, standard fish oils (and inferior krill oil brands) lack this phospholipid complex. Instead they contain omega-3 fatty acids in the less-beneficial form of free triglycerides.
Why are Phospholipids Important?
Phospholipids are the building blocks for your cell membranes, regulating cellular transport by functioning as ‘gate-keepers.’ In this role, they protect cell membranes from free radical attack.
This unique relationship between the phospholipids and omega-3 fatty acids greatly facilitates the passage of the fatty acid molecules through your intestinal wall. Pure Krill oil makes the omega-3 fats significantly more bioavailable than those in standard fish oil by allowing EPA and DHA to directly enter your cells. These two fats, DHA and EPA found in omega-3 oils are crucial to your health. Plus this relationship improves your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio as well.
Your brain is a huge consumer of DHA. Antarctic Pure Krill Oil is made from Neptune krill with health-promoting DHA and choline, which are absolutely essential not only for adults, but also for normal fetal and infant brain development!
Choline is the precursor for the vital neurotransmitter acetylcholine (which sends nerve signals to the brain) and for trimethylglycine, a recognized liver protector. It also boasts a full complement of necessary antioxidants not seen in standard fish oil or cod liver oil.
* A healthy heart
* Support for concentration, memory & learning
* Blood sugar health
* Healthy joints, with an increase in joint comfort
* Fighting your signs of aging
* Healthy brain and nervous system function and development
* Protection for cell membranes
* Cholesterol and other blood lipid health
* Healthy liver function
* Relief of normal PMS symptoms
* Bolstering your immune system
* Healthy mood support
* Optimal skin health
* Improved quality of life when compared with fish oil
In order for your body to BURN FAT, you need to eliminate the toxins first with a Nutrient-Rich Whole Food Detox.
You may be burning fat but if you haven’t done a detox you are not getting rid of the toxins that have built up in your body.
The Secret to Eliminating Toxins
The secret is to make the toxins in your body water soluble so they can be sweated and peed off, so then you’re REALLY BURNING FAT. As long as you are taking in more toxins then you are eliminating your body is not going to let you burn fat, because burning the fat will just put more toxins into your body. You have to address the fact that you are being assaulted by toxins before your body will allow you to let go of any weight.
Doing a Detox is an opportunity to recharge, rebuild, cleanse and heal your body inside and out. This cleanse is meant to be a jump-start to your overall long-term health and fitness plan.
Benefits of Detoxing:
Having done this Detox Plan for the recommended 10 days I can attest to the fact that it helped me to:
1. Sleep and Dream Better
2. Improved my energy levels
3. Better digestion, less stomach issues
4. Gave me a sense of relaxation
5. Felt in control of my sugar cravings
Let the Body Heal Itself
The body only wants to heal, its crying out to heal, the body wants to detoxify, you just have to give it a chance to do the healing. So the best thing to do first in any WEIGHT LOSS Plan is to Detoxify the body. Most people have been overfed and undernourished for years so their digestion is all messed up, but it can heal itself.
The diet we ate over millions of years was predominantly one of meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, low-sugar fruits, which was rich in nutrient-rich whole foods and superfoods.
Today’s modern diet including starches, grains, pasta, legumes, and breads has only been consumed for a mere 10,000 years. In the last hundred years the increase in complex sugars and chemical additives in the diet has led to a huge increase in health problems ranging from severe bowel disorders to obesity and brain function disorders. We have not adapted well to eating this modern diet.
The Detox General Guidelines are:
• Eliminate Gluten grains & Flour–wheat, oat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, bulgar as well as corn, (but Continue to eat quinoa, rice, millet, amaranth and buckwheat)
• Eliminate Refine sugars – anything with added sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, or alcohol (cakes, cookies, candies, pastries, beer, wine, liquor, ice-cream)
• No processed, canned, packaged or preserved foods, no artificial sweeteners or flavorings or anything
• No Caffeinated drinks (sodas, coffee, caffeinated teas)
• No Dairy products and eggs, soy
Real food is whole, natural, and nutrient-dense.
Humanely raised (animals on pasture, not in factories)
Grown locally when possible
Whole and unrefined (real maple syrup instead of high-fructose corn syrup)
Processed as little as possible (raw milk instead of pasteurized and homogenized)
Nutrient-dense (enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics)
Free of additives and preservatives
Free of synthetic and chemical ingredients
Not genetically modified
Traditionally produced and prepared
For example, use real butter or lard instead of shortening or vegetable oil. Real milk from a cow instead of soy milk. Real sprouted flour instead of refined white flour. Real, natural sweeteners like honey or unrefined cane palm sugar instead of white sugar. Or try a super food variety of sugar like Yacon Sugar.
Live Superfoods Yacon Syrup. If it’s highly processed and doesn’t come from nature, it’s not real food!
Food allergies are very common
Food allergy or intolerance can produce every symptom under the sun, from migraines, fatigue, PMS, painful joints and itchy skin to depression, hyperactivity, hallucinations, obsessions and other psychiatric and neurological manifestations. However, the most immediate and common symptoms in the vast majority of patients are digestive problems: pain, diarrhea or constipation, urgency, bloating and indigestion.
So there is nothing wrong with the food. What is happening is that foods do not get a chance to be digested properly before they are absorbed through the damaged gut wall. Thus, in order to eliminate food allergies, it is not the foods we need to concentrate on, but the gut wall. When the gut wall is healed, many food intolerances disappear.
How To Restore Digestive Health
Eat the right foods.
Take the right supplements.
Remove the wrong toxins
Soups and Stocks
Soups and stocks made from animal bones and cartilage, have been almost eliminated from our diets, this has contributed to digestive problems as well as joint problems. Stock and soups made from the bones of chicken, turkey, duck, beef, lamb and fish are anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and contain nutrients which help build the integrity of the digestive tract. A soup based on bone stock can bring a person is suffering from a digestive disorder fast relief.
The Right Oils
Most individuals with digestive disorders have some inflammation which is exacerbated by an overabundance of omega-6 fatty acids. Avoid all Trans fatty acids & commercial liquid vegetable oils.
At the same time, you will need to increase your consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including salmon and other wild-caught cold water fish, eggs from pastured chickens, walnuts, organ meats and flax seeds and a small amount of flax oil.
Cod liver oil, is high in special anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids but also fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Both of these nutrients help fight inflammation and build the immune system, so critical to restoring digestive health. Icelanders are blessed with great health & longevity and they consume cod liver oil regularly. It is even served at breakfast in their hotels.
Buy the Garden of Life Oceans 3 Cod Liver Oil liquid
Whole food probiotic
Essential to digestive health is taking a whole food probiotic. Healthy bacteria found in healthy soil and plants are missing from our modern food supply. They protect the plants in the soil, and also protect humans who ingest them. A major discovery in the battle against digestive disorders is how beneficial bacteria can help people with “leaky gut syndrome,” as the use of beneficial bacteria can reduce the hyper-permeability of the gut. Before the days of modern hygiene and chemical farming, these bacteria were in the soil and hence on the surface of our vegetables; they thus helped colonize the gut with beneficial flora whenever people ate raw fruits and vegetables and whenever kids played in the dirt.
Try the Body Ecology Innergy Biotic Gluten-Free Probiotic
Try the Body Ecology Dong Quai Probiotic Beverage
Lacto-fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut also provided healthy bacteria in traditional diets and these should be part of the diet of any person suffering from digestive problems. But probiotic formulations can help “jump start” the system in those with serious digestive problems as they will quickly populate the gut with beneficial organisims.
There are many things you can do to recover, too many to put them all in this blog, but I will list a few of my favorites for you.
1] Go to Bed!
YOU NEED REST FOR YOUR BODY TO WIN! The sooner you give yourself what you need, the quicker you will heal. It’s really that simple.
Eat light broth, vegetable soups with a bit of meat (like fish or chicken, not red meat). Throw in scallions and lots of garlic; they are great for fighting colds and flus. You can also have room temperature fruit like apples, pears, melons, papayas. Please no fruit juices; it’s just a glass of sugar. Your body needs access to solid nutrition without having to work hard to get it. Do not eat dairy, fried foods, or wheat products – they are mucus factories.
3] Herbal Medicinal Teas:
Besides drinking a lot of room temperature water. Medicinal teas are your super cold and flu ass-kicking arsenal.
Rosehip Plus – This tea is my personal favorite that I will start drinking immediately if I feel anything coming on. You will be amazed at its effectiveness. Drink cup after cup, the more, the better. Here are the incredibly simple ingredients. Please use organic wherever possible, since pesticides do not help you beat a cold or flu. [ How to Dry & Store Rose Hips for Rose Hip Tea ]
4 Tbsp. dried rosehip pieces.
2-4 slices of ¼” fresh ginger.
Juice of ½ a fresh lemon.
A whopping big tablespoon of raw, organic honey. (Note: Not suitable for infants.)
Boil 6 cups water and add ingredients in a steeping teapot, steep for at least 10 minutes, more is even better. Drink one cup right away, then simply reheat the tea for additional cups.
I use the same batch of rosehips and ginger slices for two teapots, and I let the second pot steep longer. Just add more lemon and honey to the second batch and off you go again.
Custom Medicinal Blend – I will make a custom blend of ingredients to address different symptoms. There are too many herbs to list them all here, but I’ll give my favorites and their functions. You can pick and choose which ones you want and create your own healing blend of tea. It’s actually fun to make your own medicine! You can put together any of the ingredients listed below, and follow the same steps as described previously for Rosehip Plus Tea. Always sweeten your tea with raw, honey which has loads of antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic properties in it and a lot of nutrition besides. These teas are for older children 4+ and adults, do not give to infants, mother’s milk is best for their immune system.
Meadowsweet is used to reduce inflammations and fevers. Although meadowsweet contains salicylic acid, like aspirin, this herb modifies the action of salicylic acid and actually protects the digestive tract. Long use of aspirin can lead to gastric ulceration and bleeding, but meadowsweet does not show these side effects, and is actually a gently digestive remedy for acidity and some types of diarrhea.
If you have a fever add meadowsweet, it will also help to reduce the aches and pains associated with colds and flus.
I add chamomile to help reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with a cold or flu. It helps one relax and sleep, and it soothes the stomach and reduces nausea.
Dosage: 1 tablespoon.
These are just some of my favorite herbs that I keep stocked all the time, there are many more. I encourage you to do a bit of research and discover your own favorites to add to your herbal pharmacy. It’s a great feeling not to run to the pharmacy for drugs when you’re not feeling well, but instead to start a pot of a good medicinal herbal tea brewing! You can find these wonderful organic herbs offered in my cold and flu first aid kits on my website at www.inspirewellnesscenter.com.
4] Medicinal Herbal Formulas
If you do start to come down with a cold or flu, there are some fantastic herbal formulas you can use in addition to your medicinal teas. They are a MUST HAVE for your herbal medicine cabinet.
This is one of my two first line of defense formulas. It can be used as a cold or flu preventative when you’ve been around already sick people and don’t want to come down with anything. It may just stop a cold or flu dead in its tracks before anything happens. However, if you do start to feel any of the symptoms associated with a cold or flu such as fever with chills, headache, sore throat, red eyes, stiff neck and back, nasal discharge, cough, swollen lymph glands and general aching. Start taking Gan Mao Ling as directed on the bottle or package.
Gan Mao Ling is especially good to use when a cough or sinus congestion is present at the onset of a cold or flu. Gan Mao Ling is safe for children to use, but don’t use on children under four.
This formula is my other first line of defense formulas. It’s similar to Gan Mao Ling in that it can also be used as a preventative if you’ve been exposed to others who are already sick or you can even take it before you go on a plane trip as added protection from all those airborne germs.
If you come down with a cold or flu and feel any of the symptoms associated with a cold or flu as listed above in the Gan Mao Ling description you can use Yin Qiao Wan. The difference between this and Gan Mao Ling is that Yin Qiao is stronger for helping the sore throat. If you wake up and your throat is killing you, just run for the Yin Qiao Wan.
For added punch – Gan Mao Ling and Yin Qiao Wan are great to use together, no problem.
This formula is the big guns of the terrific trio. If you’re symptoms are advancing and now you’ve got a severe head cold or flu with headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches, fever and chills add Zhong Gan Ling to the group. You can use it alone or with Yin Qiao and/or Gan Mao Ling depending on whether the congestion or throat is bothering you more. All three are fine to use together, the herbs complement each other.
I keep all three formulas on hand, and they are a must to bring along whenever you travel. Again, for convenience, I do offer Gan Mao Ling, Yin Qiao, and Zhong Gan Ling on my website at www.inspirewellnesscenter.com.
5] Remove stress from your environment:
To give yourself the best fighting chance to recover. Relax, let go of your worries, it’s not helping. You’re stuck in bed for the moment, so take it like an adult, and relax. Listen to soothing music, watch a movie that leaves you feeling good, or just sleep. Please no brain work outs while you’re sick. That means NO working in bed either. This is a time to surround you with a pleasant, happy, healing environment. The more you do to help yourself recover, the faster it will happen.
Well, I hope this little cold and flu primer has been helpful for you, and gives you more tools in your wellness toolkit. One note of caution, however, is that if your symptoms persist for longer than two weeks or you feel you’re getting worse, not better, than by all means take your health care to the next level and consult an acupuncturist or western medical professional. As a special note, several of these herbs are not suitable to take if pregnant. Please consult myself, or another acupuncturist or herbalist for herbal remedies suitable for pregnancy. Written by: Holly Reese, MSOM, L.Ac. She is an acupuncturist, herbalist, wellness coach, food-healing expert, founder of the Inspire Wellness Center, which specializes in natural and holistic health alternatives for the recovery of chronic illness. Holly Reese is also author of Rising from the Abyss: My Journey into and out of Chronic Illness a gripping memoir that details Holly’s personal descent into and eventual rise from a nearly fatal auto-immune disorder using all the natural and holistic health methods that she espouses and uses for her wellness practice. Feel free to contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.