How to Get Strong and Toned Arms for Spring

With the spring season here and summer just around the corner, everyone is hitting the gym to begin working out or get an additional set in during the day. One popular body part that people focus on improving is the arm muscle. For many, pushups or dumbbell curves are the most they will do during their gym workout, but to see a visible difference and improve your arm’s muscles and appearance, you should do more for your muscles each time you hit the gym. Here are some new tips and even workout equipment that has been designed to strengthen and tone your arms.

Mix it up with cross-training
Get strong and toned arms by selecting cardio workouts for your entire upper-body such as swimming and rowing. Swimming is a great sport to add to your fitness regime as it works every muscle in the body. After your gym workout, hit the pool to cool down and do a couple of laps of freestyle between 20 and 30 minutes. To row, you do not necessarily need a body of water nearby nor do you need to rent or purchase a row boat. Many gyms are now equipped with rowing machines so you can work your arms on land whenever you want.

Yoga and Pilates
Other great cross training workouts for arms that also stretch your muscles are yoga and Pilates. Because these two different workouts rely on you supporting your entire body with each position, you are essentially lifting weights. You do not need to reach an advanced level or yoga or Pilates either to see noticeable results. Even beginner poses such as Downward Dog and Warrior II work all of the muscles in your arms.

Vary between light and heavy weights
By now you have probably noticed a pattern: a variety of different workouts is the key to toned muscles. Besides cross-training with cardio and core strength exercises, change up your lifting routine as well. Focus on lifting heavy weights with a low number of repetitions one day and the next day, do lighter weights and a higher number of repetitions. Rather than purchasing or using multiple sets of weights at once, adjustable dumbbell sets let you change the amount of weight easily according to your day’s exercise routine.

Improve your diet
If you are looking to enhance your arm’s muscles, then most likely you are already eating healthy, but there is always room for improvement. Eat foods that include all of the necessary vitamins: C, E, A, B complex, and K along with good fatty acids and minerals such as zinc, selenium and copper. With a healthy diet and continued loss of body fat, not only will your arms become more toned, but so will the rest of your body in no time.

If you need any additional motivation, there are plenty of apps to guide you through arm workouts with free weights, yoga, or Pilates exercises. What are your favorite workouts for your arms or do you suggest any other tips to get in shape?

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How Music Therapy Helps to Improve Mental Health

Music is an important art form that has been passed down through different cultures for centuries. However, for each culture, music can have a different value and meaning from one to the next. For some cultures, music is for enjoyment, but for others, it has an even deeper meaning such as for religious purposes. Some cultures even believe that music can help improve a person’s health and it’s a common practice for someone to partake in music therapy for their mental health.

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Since when did people use music to help improve a person’s health?

Music has been a method of therapy since the era of the Ancient Greeks, but it did not become a profession until after both World War I and World War II. However, publications about the use of music therapy to treat patients have been published since the 1700s. Since then, formal classes and associations such as the The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) in 1998 have been leaders in the field.

Music therapy techniques

For each person, their music therapy session can be a different experience than it would for someone else. Music therapists are trained to instruct relaxation and deep breathing techniques, improvise music or lyrics, create choreography, and discuss with patients about their mental health to provide an individual experience. Sometimes art is combined with therapy and patients will paint or draw while listening to the music during the session.

Music therapy to improve mental health

Whether a person meets with a certified music therapist or practices an instrument on their own, music in general can help promote good mental health by managing stress, sharing feelings, and improve communication skills. Music therapy is common for children and teenagers who use music as a means of expressing their emotions and learning how to better communicate with others. If a person has suffered a loss of a loved one or has experienced a traumatic event, music therapy can help them cope with their emotions while helping them think positive thoughts.

For cases where people suffer from a mental health disorder such as schizophrenia, studies have shown that music therapy can significantly help patients more than just standard car that most patients receive. Those who have feelings of depression and other forms of negative thinking have also turned to listening or playing music to help their mental health. One method of treatment is listening to classical music for 30 minutes a day and five times a week helped patients see great improvement in their overall mental health.

Music therapy in the home

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Even without a certified music therapist, a person can improve their mental health with music at home. One suggestion is to consider purchasing one of the best acoustic guitars and learning how to play from a teacher. Guitar group classes are very common and some clinics even hold these classes for patients as a part of the treatment. Even if you have a busy schedule, a little practice with a guitar or other instrument in addition to listening to music on a daily basis can help improve anyone’s mental health and create positive thinking patterns.

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How Inversion Tables Can Heal Back Pain and Improve Overall Health

Lower back pain is one of the most common injuries and studies have shown that regular use of an inversion table may be the answer to those in needs. An inversion table allows a person to lie upside at an angle as part of physical therapy for that person. Other methods have included doing handstands or other methods of hanging upside to decompress the body. Continue to read on to find out more about how inversion tables are used to improve a person’s health and everything you should know about using the machine.
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What does an inversion table treat?

Not only does an inversion table help to heal lower back pain, but it can be beneficial for many other areas of the body. Inversion table treatments can also help to heal or reduce chronic back pain, spondylolisthesis, neck pain, bulging disc, herniated disc, and pulled muscles in the back.

How does an inversion table work?

Once again, to use an inversion table, a person basically hangs upside down except not directly and at a slight angle. An inversion table is able to help patients heal back problems because it helps decompress the spine and is also a form of spinal traction. More specifically, spinal decompression relieves pinched nerves and spinal traction helps to straighten bones or relieve pressure. Gravity helps to pull or decompress the joints to relieve pain. For those who want to avoid or are not suitable candidates for surgery, many turn to use inversion tables to help relieve their back pain.

Specific inversion table treatments

When you begin an inversion table treatment, start at an angle of only about 30 degrees. Most people are extremely comfortable at this angle and do not try to go any farther. For beginners, stay at this angle for about one to five minutes and return to a horizontal level for another one to two minutes so that your blood flow returns to normal and your equilibrium is back to normal before you are back at an upright, vertical position. Use an inversion table every day and if you wish to increase the number of degrees of hanging upside down on the inversion table, increase the degree by ten every one to two weeks in order to properly adjust to the change.
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Finding the right inversion table

For those who are new to using inversion tables or are looking to upgrade their current table, it is important that you pay attention to inversion table reviews to find the right one for your body and your health needs. There are many different models on the market and some lack what your treatment requires or you might just want to purchase a basic model.

Who should not use an inversion table?

Those who are pregnant, have a high blood pressure and heart or eye disease should not use an inversion table. Before purchasing one, make an appointment with your physician for a checkup and their approval of using an inversion table to help any back problems you main be currently experiencing on a daily basis.

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Everything You Need to Know about Creatine to Build Muscle

Have you heard of creatine before? This natural supplement is produced by the kidney, pancreas and liver, but traces of are found in the vertebrae of the human body as well. After being produced, creatine is transported through the blood system and helps to energize the body’s muscles. Most of the creatine that the body produces is because of what we eat or supplements that we intake on a daily basis. For example, meat is one of the best foods we can eat to build creatine levels and muscle. Even if a person is a vegetarian, they can still take daily supplements to ensure that they receive enough creatine to build muscle. Here’s a closer look at everything you need to know about creatine and why it is such an essential part of building and maintaining muscle.
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Why is a creatine supplement essential to build muscle?

You already know by now that creatine is able to help build muscle, but how does it compare to other supplements? Creatine is not only found in the muscle, but more importantly the skeletal muscle. Healthy skeletal muscle is extremely important because it is where high energy is needed the most including in brain tissue.

Who uses creatine supplements?

If you are an athlete, body builder, or just wish to gain more muscle with high-intensity training, then the best creatine supplement should be on your list. If you partake in long-distance training, then you might want to reconsider taking creatine because it’s most effective for explosive athletic sports such as track for sprint runners or football players.
People who take creatine don’t just want to bulk up, but to make sure that they keep their muscles strong and healthy for the future. In fact, many people who suffer from health problems such as congestive heart failure, depression, bipolar disease, and Parkinson’s disease may even rely on regular creatine supplements to improve their body’s health. However, creatine is not beneficial for everyone and you should always consult with a doctor before you begin to use it for sports performance or to benefit your current state of health. Especially if you have any liver, kidney, or other health concerns.
Some past famous athletes who have used creatine to build muscle include track stars such as Linford Christie and Sally Gunnell. For the Barcelona Games in 1992, British rowers took creatine supplements to train for the competition. Many Major League Baseball players including Mark McGwire and Gary Sheffiled have also been known to use supplements as part of their training.
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How often should you take creatine?

Multiple methods of taking creatine exist from capsules to flavored powder to mix with water to drink. The amount of creatine that you take may vary from one brand to the next and some manufacturers will recommend taking anywhere from 15-25 grams each day to load up on the supplement, but all you really need are 5 grams a day with food for continued usage for about a month. There’s no set time of the day that you should take a supplement either, but it is suggested that you take it after you work out. Also, you do not have to take it for months and months. With a 15-25 grams a day dosage for 1 week or 5 grams for 3-4 weeks, you have loaded up enough creatine to last for months.

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Effective Methods to Improve Your Leg Muscles Today

Your legs are made up of some of the strongest muscles in your body. After all, without them you would not be able to walk, stand, run, and other physical activities that we take for granted every day. Whether you are an athlete, you want to get back into shape, or you are recovering from an injury; there are many effective ways to improve the strength of your leg muscles.

Exercising with weights

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The first thing that may come in mind for improving your leg muscle is to hit the weight room. Doing intense weight workouts for your legs is a great way to become more toned and strong and one of the most effective exercises to try are leg squats. If you are new to lifting, begin by squatting solo and do 20 repetitions. Once you have a good balance and feel comfortable in this position, move on to hold a bar with both hands and place it behind and across your upper back. Facing a mirror and looking straight ahead, continue with at least 10 more squat repetitions for your first set. For future squat workouts, add five pounds onto the bar and do 2-3 sets of 10 squats. The stronger you become, the more weights you can add onto the bar.

Circuit for legs

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Many gyms will have circuit machines as alternatives to free weights. These machines are designed to target specific muscles throughout the legs from the calves, knees, to thighs. Changing the amount of weight you are using is easy as 1-2-3. Many machines for leg workouts include:

  • Leg extension and curl
  • Inside/outside thigh
  • Leg press
  • Calf raise

Cross-train like a triathlete

A great way to improve your leg muscles is to vary up your workout with different forms of cardio. Think like a triathlete in training and vary between running, swimming, and biking to work different leg muscles on different days. Not only will you gain more muscle everywhere in your legs, but different workouts make exercising more fun and you are less likely to experience an injury.
When you purchase sports gear, sometimes you have to find equipment that has been made to fit your body type such as running shoes or bikes. Everyone’s feet are different from the size to width and even how you plant your feet with each landing. Just like shoes, bikes are now being made with the customer’s body type in mind. For example, recumbent bikes are becoming more and more popular for daily use and for athletes in training. Unlike traditional bikes, recumbent bikes allow the rider to lie back in comfort which is perfect if you experience any neck or back pain. Because there are many different types including mountain bikes, lowracers, highracers and even semi-recumbant bikes, make sure you read recumbent bike reviews to find which one is right for your body.

Lifting weights safely and amount of fitness

One last bit of advice is to always lift safely and do not add on more weight than your body can handle. You want to keep pushing yourself to use more weights for leg exercises to see an improvement in your muscle, but there is no rush to add a huge amount to your workout. For your cardio workout, try to work out for at least 30-60 minutes each session and listen to your body. By working out too much, you can easily injure your legs.

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Do You Have a Good, Healthy Sitting Posture?

At some point during the day, all of us are guilty of bad posture. Whether we are walking, standing up or even sitting; we may find ourselves hunched over and with our necks pulled forwards as we look down. With the consistent need of using a computer to complete the simplest daily tasks, students and office workers find that they have horrible posture when sitting down to work. Here are a couple of tips to help you correct your posture and have the best sitting behavior each day.

The best posture for sitting

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Have you ever been told to stand a little taller? Will now you will have to sit a little taller as well. The right sitting behavior begins with you sitting up straight with your back comfortably against the entire chair. If you are at a desk, make sure that you sit close to it and allow for your forearms to feel relaxed as you rest them on top of the desk or before your keyboard. When resting your forearms or elbows on a table or desk, your chair should be adjusted so that you are sitting at a height where your shoulders, wrists, and hands can feel relaxed and supported. To ensure that you avoid slouching while sitting at your computer, make sure that the monitor has been adjusted to fit your height as well.
Something that you might not have considered before in relation to your sitting posture is the feet. Yes, feet play a part in your sitting posture. Always place your feet flat on the floor and never (or try not to do so often) cross your feet. If you tend to cross your feet, this posture cuts off the circulation in your legs and also encourages additional slouching or rolling the shoulders forward towards the table.

Tips for chair shopping

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When you begin to look for the best office chair for you, first make sure that it is adjustable. Even though a chair model is different than your last one, you should make sure that it can be adjusted to properly fit your body. Many chairs are designed for specific needs and cushioned to fit the curve of the back when in a natural sitting position. When you find the right chair, your weight should be distributed evenly so that when you sit tall, it should feel natural.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Sometimes you can adjust the tilt of your keyboard to sit at a higher degree for a more natural resting posture for your wrists. If not, consider purchasing a wrist rest from an office supply store in your area. If your hands and wrists are relaxed, then the rest of your body will follow. Try to keep your mouse in reach as well. If it is far away, you will tend to want to lean towards it and thus ruin your perfect sitting posture. Keeping that in mind, try to keep commonly used objects such as your telephone, pens, and extra paper within reach to avoiding leaning over to grab hold of them throughout the day. This is important because you should avoid twisting your body while sitting in a chair. Instead, you should try to move your entire body at once.

Hopefully these sitting tips will help you have a healthy posture and find your next favorite chair.

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Could an Elliptical Machine be the Best Alternative to Improve Leg Muscle?

An elliptical machine is a great piece of exercise equipment to add to your fitness routine at any point during a circuit workout. Whether you are a new member to a gym, looking for something new to try, or wanting to build muscle in your legs; there is no reason why you should not do a workout on an elliptical machine on a regular basis. Here’s why you should do your next workout on an elliptical and how it can help to improve your leg muscle.
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What muscles are used on an elliptical machine?

Elliptical machines work the same muscles that you use for running and biking which include the hamstring and calves. In fact, elliptical machines are able to target weak muscles that cannot be built by just sticking to running and biking for cardio exercise. Compared to other physical exercise, continuous use of the elliptical machine helps to build muscle in both the gluteus maximus (butt) and the vastus lateralis (external hip muscle).

Also, the elliptical machine is easy on the leg joints because you are simply striding with each movement compared to planting hard with each foot landing when you run or walk. Not only will you be building muscle, but the striding movement is a great way to reduce the chance of an injury and continue to work out if you currently have an injury from running or biking.
Elliptical workout tips
You will get the most out of your workout and build muscle if you take long versus short strides with each movement. Be sure to mix up your workout by moving your legs backwards instead of forwards for a couple of minutes. This will increase the amount of leg muscle you build in the calves, quadriceps and hamstrings.
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The best elliptical machines will not only help you build muscle throughout the entire leg, but will help you improve your balance, core, and overall cardiovascular activity. For each session, start out light and gradually build the resistance and speed. The higher the resistance, the more muscle you will build with each workout.

How to include an elliptical machine in a fitness routine

Combine your elliptical workout with strength training with resistance bands, weights, and core workouts such as yoga and Pilates. If you are cross-training, combine it with other sports such as running, swimming, and biking.
Now that you have started, you do not necessarily need to make an elliptical workout your number one machine or method for cardiovascular fitness, but it is good to focus on different forms of exercise every once in a while. If we focus on the same muscle group everyday with little to no variation, it wears down our muscles and joints pretty quickly without even realizing it. For example, if you all you do is run three times a week for cardio, you may notice that your external hip muscle will begin to hurt. This common running injury can be fixed by focusing on using the elliptical machine for a couple of weeks instead of your previous cardio routine on the running trails.

What has your experience with elliptical machines been like and do you have a favorite workout or extra tip?

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Everything You Need to Know about Klonopin and Clonazepam

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Clonazepam is a prescribed muscle relaxant and sedative for patients who experience medical conditions that cause spasms such as epilepsy, seizures, panic disorders (with or without agoraphobia), and restless leg syndrome. It is also sometimes prescribed to people who suffer from social, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Klonopin is a type of clonazepam and benzodiazepine medication by Roche from the United States.

Who is able to take clonazepam medication?

As long as a person is not allergic to the medication, most are able to take it if they experience the previous mentioned symptoms of spasms caused by epilepsy, seizures, and panic disorders. Elders should only take half of the recommended dosage because they are more prone to experience the side effects including drowsiness during the daytime. Clonazepam medication is not recommended for infants with spasms, but with a doctor’s recommendation, young children with infantile myoclonic should be able to follow a prescription.

How does clonazepam medication work?

Clonazepam or Klonopin is a type of benzodiazepine (psychoactive) medication that comes in the form of a tablet and is taken orally. Because it dissolves and is absorbed rapidly, it is very effective at helping to treat the patient in a timely manner. Depending on the age of the patient or weight of a child patient, doctors will prescribe the anti-anxiety medication accordingly.
The most common side effect of clonazepam is dizziness and affects about one-third of patients who take it on a regular, short-term basis. Patients may also experience headaches, allusions, sleep-disturbances, and even feelings of depression. Patients with feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts should be carefully observed and might need to discontinue usage of the prescription drug.

Warnings of use of the drug
Only short-term use of the drug is recommended by doctors. Studies have shown that if used for the long term, clonazepam may cause patients to have feelings of aggregation, increased anxiety or it can lead to a major depressive disorder and dependence on the drug. Clonazepam should not be mixed with other medications or substances such as alcohol because it could later to a deeper form of sedation. If a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding, she should refrain from use of the drug to ensure that her child is healthy. Again, clonazepam is normally not prescribed for infants.
Withdrawal syndromes
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An abrupt discontinue use of Klonopin may cause withdrawal symptoms and a person to once again experience seizures, tremors, muscle cramping, and panic disorders. Other physical withdrawal symptoms also include vomiting and/or sweating.

Deciding to use clonazepam

Whether you have asked your doctor about the drug or they have suggested that you begin a prescription of a clonazepam drug such as Klonopin, you should be able to experience immediate results to help aid your current state of health. If you think it is right for you, make an appointment today to begin discussing your options. This anti-anxiety drug has helped many people and may be what you need for the short-term to help with seizures, epilepsy, restless leg syndrome, or feelings of anxiety.

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