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5 supplements and superfoods that increase your focus and improve your training

October 1st, 2016 2:54 am

Food is our fuel for life. The energy our body produces all comes from what we eat each day. If you find yourself experiencing low levels of energy, or prolonged periods of moodiness, then the chances are that your diet could use a little work. Choosing the right foods can be a daunting experience to someone that is changing their lifestyle through their diet.

However, it is really not that challenging to select foods that are healthy and good for you. In our modern age of fast food, our bodies and minds have been programmed to seek three things when we are hungry, namely; salt, sugar and fat. To break these subconscious tethers requires a bit of willpower, but it can be done.

Shopping for and eating sources of protein, fats and carbohydrates is a must and it is vital to find meat and dairy products that are free-range and not filled with hormones. Quality carb sources include; Legumes, whole grain pasta, brown rice and lentils. Fat is not as bad for you as you may have been led to believe. Fat is a necessary part of our diets but once again, it’s all about the quality of the fats that make the difference between good and poor health.

Changing your diet will need you to exert some self-control in the near term as your body withdraws from the sugar, fat, salt addiction that you had and replaces it with good nutrients that provide you with great energy. After a few weeks of eating the right foods, your tummy and gut will feel lighter and more efficient, you will also find that your sleeping hours may become less as your body learns to manage its new energy supply.

Along with a diet and good food choices, comes a little surprise. Not all foods are created equal, some have high anti-oxidant properties, mood-elevating properties and energy enhancement properties that make them what we like to call ‘Superfoods’. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones that you can find at any grocery store and when incorporated into your diet, will yield positive results in your mood, skin, focus, energy and metabolic function.

 

8

Asparagus

High in folate, a B-vitamin that enhances mood and reduces fatigue, asparagus are spears of joy that help with the bodies synthesis of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. This great superfood assists you in your mood levels and is great if you are looking to enhance your willpower and stay focused on your new diet plan.

A single cup of freshly steamed asparagus spears will contain as much as 268 micrograms of of folate, which is two-thirds of the daily 400mcg allowance for adult women. Add a nice wholegrain pasta and a few strips of avocado and you have a power meal that will keep you focused and feeling good.

 

9

Eggs

These little shells of joy are probably the most mis-understood food ever. In the past, we have all heard the adage that eggs will cause a heart-attack or stroke from excess cholesterol they contain. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nutritional science has recently discovered that there is no link to dietary cholesterol and a build-up of cholesterol in the bloodstream. In other words, the cholesterol in eggs is not clogging up your arteries like we have all be told.

With 147mg of choline, just over a third of the daily allowance, choline is responsible for producing a chemical in the brain named acetylcholine, which is critical for storing memories and allowing the memory to function optimally. So make sure you get your eggs in, poach them or scrambled, they offer a meal that is high in good fats and has no carbs, add in a bit of kale or spinach and you have a quality meal that will keep your brain, memory and mind working at its peak, all day long.

 

10

Blueberries

These tiny dark-colored berries are rich in the anti-oxidant anthocyanins. These anti-oxidants push out the free-radicals roaming around in your bloodstream and help the brain produce better synapse function leading to enhanced cognitive function, keeping your mind sharp. A cup of these little bad boys once a day will be a welcome addition to your diet and they taste marvellous!

Blueberries help your brain make significant improvements in the area of memory and learning skills and helps prevent the onset of certain types of brain disease such as dementure and Alzheimer’s disease. So make sure you get a cup full in the morning, they taste great with a little high fat Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of granola.
7
Fish oil

It isn’t just food that keeps you going all day long. In this day and age our food sources, no matter how clean and fresh they are, are no longer enough to keep our bodies functioning at 100% efficiency. To enhance your diet and your life, consider taking a few supplements with your daily dietary intake.

The first place to start on the list is with fish-oil. Fish-oil is a form of highly concentrated EPA and DHA, long-chain fat triglycerides, that have a host of life enhancement features. EFA’s, or essential fatty acids, have recently been discovered as a an over-looked supplement that absolutely everyone should include in their nutrition.

EFA’s assist with cognitive function, reducing inflammation and they keep your skin looking great too!

Amino-acids

On the road with no time to eat? You are going to miss your lunch and there’s nothing you can do about it. We have all been in this situation before, no matter how good your diet plan is and how diligent you are in applying it, there will be those times when you are thrown of course, even when your will-power is strong.

In these moments, it’s great to have an amino acid supplement on hand. Amino acids prevent the body from sliding into catabolism, a phase of metabolic function that is undesirable for any athlete, or dedicated diet practitioner. Catabolism releases the hormone, cortisol, which runs riot on your body and throws it out of homeostasis.

By using Amino-acids, you are able to stave of the catabolic period for much longer than usual, even without eating any food. AA’s assist the body in exercise recovery as well, making them an ideal choice of supplement for athletes or anyone seriously involved in sports training.

So there you have our big 5 of superfoods and supplements. Don’t waste any time, get out to your grocery store and get them today! Along with your new diet, you will find that the initial change away from the fat, salt, sugar paradigm may result in some uncomfortable withdrawal as your diet improves. These cravings will subside after a time and you will wonder why you didn’t do this sooner. With a little will-power, exercise and self-control, your diet will help you change your life, you’ll be happy and healthy and you won’t look back! Good luck!

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Finding a Personal Trainer

August 25th, 2013 9:38 pm

Today, personal trainers are affordable, more abundant, and are an option for anyone who wants to achieve their fitness goals. Often, the most daunting task can be finding a qualified personal trainer in your area who best matches your workout style. This article is dedicated to providing you with the information and resources you need to learn how to find the right personal trainer for you. If you’re still not convinced that hiring a personal trainer is the best route for you, consider the benefits:

– Accountability. Setting an appointment for fitness with a personal trainer ensures you won’t just blow it off like a trip on your own to the gym.

– Reduce Injuries. A certified personal trainer has the qualifications to ensure you use correct form and reduce the likelihood for injuries.

– Motivation. A personal trainer will push you to your body’s limits, whereas on your own, you are likely to give up prior to when you should.

– Get Results. If you’ve been training on your own and not seeing results, a personal trainer can help you achieve them.

– Fight Boredom. A good personal trainer will mix up your workouts enough to keep it interesting.

So, you’ve decided that hiring a personal trainer is the route you want to go? Where to start? First, you should be willing to invest some time and effort in finding the best match for your fitness needs. Ask yourself a few questions:

What certification will my ideal personal trainer possess?

What rate am I willing to pay?

What qualities will my ideal personal trainer possess to ensure I meet my fitness goals?

How do I want to measure my success? Losing inches? Losing pounds?

What Should I Expect from a Personal Trainer?

When embarking on your search for a personal trainer, you’ll likely find trainers with various backgrounds, specialties, training locations, certifications, rates, and personalities. It’s important to set some parameters for yourself before you begin your search to ensure you narrow it down to those personal trainers who will best work for you.

You may find personal trainers who specialize in certain areas. For example, a personal trainer who specializes in weight loss, or one who specializes in helping athletes achieve their goals. Ask the candidates what their specialty is, if any, and evaluate how that fits with your own goals.

Most personal trainers offer hour-long sessions. Some also offer half-hour sessions, but you should consider whether you will be able to achieve results in half-hour sessions. The most common formula is two hour-long sessions per week. Hopefully the personal trainer you select will also keep you accountable for any exercise you do outside of those sessions.

Part of the service a personal trainer provides is ensuring you stay motivated. Ask candidates how they motivate their clients. Your first meeting should include a goal-setting discussion. Ideally, the trainer will conduct a fitness assessment and record your measurements prior to your first workout. Then, the personal trainer should measure periodically to compare results and assess progress toward meeting you goals. Benchmarking between 4- and 6-week intervals can help quantify your success and ensure you stay motivated to keep training.

Personal trainers may conduct their sessions at a gym, in their home, in your home, or a private studio. You may want to consider finding personal trainers who conduct their sessions in a preferred location. For example, if crowds intimidate you, you may want to avoid trainers who train at a gym. Also, don’t underestimate home gyms. A good personal trainer needs minimal equipment to provide you with a well-rounded workout. If you’re more comfortable training in a private environment, find a trainer who can accommodate you.

Most importantly, remember that just because a person calls themselves a personal trainer does not mean they are worthy of the title. Do your homework, and go with your gut instinct on making a decision.

How to Conduct an Interview with a Personal Trainer

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You can learn a lot about a personal trainer before ever going into a workout with them. Consider the following as part of your interview:

Do you have any certifications? If so, which ones? Is your certification current?

What is your educational background?

Do you specialize in any specific types of clients or clients with specific types of goals? i.e., weight loss, athletes, postpartum mothers, etc.

Do you have liability insurance?

What is the scope of the service you will provide? Will it be limited to exercise and fitness? Will it include discussions about nutrition?

How do you keep your clients motivated?

How will you measure my success?

Where will we train?

What should I expect from our sessions?

Will stretching be part of our workout?

How to Find a Personal Trainer in Your Area

If you belong to a gym or a fitness club, most have personal trainers on staff. Many gyms offer reasonably priced personal training packages. However, determine whether you will be assigned one trainer or whether the trainer will vary with each session. You are most likely to have the best results if a single personal trainer is tracking your progress. Also, gyms have different requirements for trainer certification, so ensure their personal trainers are certified through one of the more rigorous programs. Also, keep in mind that large gyms typically pay trainers less, and so they more likely to quit and go elsewhere. This may be disruptive to meeting your fitness goals.

Let your fingers do the walking through the local yellow pages. However, most self-employed personal trainers try to keep their expenses down and do not list with the yellow pages, so this should not be your only source.

Many of the personal training certification programs maintain online databases of participants. This is great place to start, since the question as to whether the candidate is certified is already answered.

Of course, if you can get a referral from someone who is already working with a personal trainer, this would be a great starting point. Your contact can give you first-hand experience as to what it is like to work with the trainer and clues as to their training style.