Reasons to start strength training


The Pick-Me-Ups — Your Action Plan

1. Rev metabolism. After a few dates with some dumbbells, both guys and gals will notice an increase in resting metabolic rate  . And with the right diet, routine lifting may even help shed a few pesky pounds more effectively than cardio alone.

2. Tone up. Whether the goal is bulking up or leaning out, there’s a lifting regimen that will deliver optimal results. Remember that muscle mass also declines as we age, and while weight training can be effective for virtually all ages, consider picking up those dumbbells in your body’s prime.

3. Bulletproof the body. Lifting weights is key to staying injury-free. A little weighted action works out the tendons and ligaments that support our muscles— making sports and other daily movin’ and groovin’ worry-free!

4. Fight the blues. Need a new happy pill? Research suggests resistance training can release happiness-helping endorphins and help keep anxiety at bay .

5. Get better in bed. An all-around stronger bod can boost the stamina needed to keep on keepin’ on. (Panting isn’t always sexy. Just sayin’.)

6. Beat out boredom. Muscles need time to recover, so switching up that strength training routine is a must. Give the legs some love on one day, and follow with upper-body action the next. Working out will never get repetitive!

7. Boost self-esteem. Exercise the ego: Lifting can help improve a person’s body image . Plus, it feels great to track progress and see gains in weight and reps.

8. Up that I.Q. Hitting the books isn’t the only way to pass that exam— strength training can also sharpen the mind (no pencil sharpener necessary).

9. Strengthen bones. Grab some weights to avoid getting stuck in a sling. Those bones will toughen up, which will lower the risk for fractures . After all, not everyone’s up for chugging three glasses of milk a day.

10. Lose the limitations. Drop down and give me 20— anywhere. Resistance training doesn’t require a gym membership, let alone a set of dumbbells or fancy machines. There are plenty of ways to strength train right at home with little to no equipment.

11. Perk up that ‘tude. Unhappy at work? Studies show lifting can have psychological benefits, including feeling more positive at the office . No need to call in “sick” ever again!

12. Increase flexibility. There are other ways to get limber besides yoga (although we do love a little downward dog). Over time, resistance training can help improve flexibility; ladies, lifting every other day for eight weeks is all it takes. .

13. Cut down cancer risk. One study found strength training three times a week for six months led to reduced oxidative stress, which can lessen our cancer risk. So get lifting and fuel up with antioxidants to double-team disease.

14. Amp up productivity. Losing focus at work? Squeezing in some desk-side reps can help make deadlines a breeze while fine-tuning those time management skills.

15. Protect the heart. A healthy diet isn’t the only path to a happy heart. Lifting also has cardiovascular powers that could help protect us from heart disease.

16. Catch those zzz’s with ease. There are many well-known remedies to help us fall asleep— like sipping herbal tea and taking a hot shower. And while exercise in general has been shown to help make snoozing a breeze, studies suggest weight lifting in particular can lead to a better night’s sleep .

17. Build trust. We often need spotters, especially at the bench press (a bar to the face or neck is never good). Naturally, relying on others for our own safety in the gym can instill trust in a kick-butt kind of way.

18. Jump-start power. Eager to improve performance in the gym and on the track? An extra dose of dumbbells can really work fast-twitch muscles, the speedy muscle fibers responsible for generating power.

19. Sneak in some cardio. Hate the dreadmill? A fast-paced resistance workout can keep the heart rate up and can even count as cardio (provided those sets move along at a quick enough clip).

20. See results… fast. Need one final incentive to hit the weights? Strength training can offer speedy results. It takes two to three weekly sessions (for less than a month!) to see muscles shape up. Can’t bench press 200 lbs? Not to worry: Lifting lighter weights can also be effective at building muscle, as long as those lifts are tough enough to cause muscle fatigue.


Wild is even Better than Organic


Wild is even Better than Organic

Why wild is better than organic:

Wild edibles give us a wonderful opportunity to expand our food resources and bring incredible variety to our diet. Wheat grass, weeds and other wild edibles are actually better than organically grown vegetables in many ways.

A lot of organic farms are near roads and other farms that use pesticides. Whereas wild edibles growing in the middle of forests, or other secluded locations are not as close to common pollutants like traffic.

Some other reasons why wild is better than organic are: they are free; they have longer roots, they are healthier, heartier crops that require very little water; you are eating locally; and opening up the choice the foods exponentially.

People have been safely eating wild edibles for centuries.

Native American cultures, and other perceived “primitive” cultures have been safely consuming wild edibles for centuries. However, it might surprise you to learn that General George Washington issued a directive to all of his soldiers in 1777 to go and pick wild edibles to “prevent scurvy and all putrid disorders” (Food in American History Part 10 – Greens).

Since then many books have been written about the healthy benefits of wild edibles.

Wild edibles also level the healthy playing field. Being healthy is a birthright. You can be healthy even if you are not wealthy! Buying large amounts of organic green vegetables can get really expensive! Being wild sets a whole new standard for fresh healthy food, and it is available to anyone! Forget the notion that “you are not allowed to be healthy unless you are wealthy”.

I was inspired by Sergei’s fantastic presentation and bought some of his recommended books on wild edibles. I am now a convert, and am reaping the wild rewards! I encourage you to do the same – with caution.

Always arm yourself with knowledge. Research the poisonous wild edibles in your local area, and do some research before picking and eating anything. Introduce new wild edibles slowly, in small amounts.

Adopt the look, listen and learn approach. Look for signs of intolerance, listen to your body’s reactions, and learn what works for you. Then teach your body. Everyone is different – be mindful of bio-individuality and experiment to find your perfect wild blend!

Top Wild Edibles to Get you Started!

grass – There are over 400 varieties of grass. Grass is rich in chlorophyll, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes. If you use organic fertilizer and do not spray chemicals on your grass, Sergei recommends mowing your lawn and pouring it straight into the blender. He told some hilarious stories of doing that with friends. Now that’s what I call “eating from your backyard”!

dandelions – is rich in Vitamins A, B C and D, as well as copper, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium. Dandelions are great for lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol; and are very beneficial for the health of internal organs. They are extremely alkalizing. Dandelions contain a substance similar to insulin, so they can be beneficial to diabetics. The best thing about dandelions, is that there are over three hundred varieties, and none of them are poisonous. These would be one of the most “socially acceptable” wild edibles. Search for Sergei Boutenko’s “dandelion pesto” on You Tube. YUM!

pigweed – is one of the few plant foods that contains omega 3. It tastes like lemon and has a beneficial effect on the heart – being linked to preventing heart disease and improving the immune system. Pigweed is rich in Vitamins A, B6 and C; as well as minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron. The great thing about pigweed is that it grows prolifically on organic farms where they don’t spray. A lot of health food stores are selling it now, so you don’t have to trek to find it!

lambsquarter or Fat Hen – like pigweed, this grows in abundance on organic farms that don’t spray and is available at some health food stores and co-ops. Lambsquarters taste like wild spinach and are perfect for green smoothies. They are rich in calcium, niacin, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and Vitamin K.

stinging nettles – the interesting thing about these are that they sting, but the juice counteracts the sting. Stinging nettles are rich in protein, chlorophyll, calcium, iron and potassium. They provide arthritic relief, and are good for joint, back and knee pain. They can also assist in alleviating the symptoms of allergies; and are great for getting rid of dandruff!

plantain – is where psyllium husks come from. There are about  seeds all coated with husks, which are really great for digestion. Plantain is fantastic for drawing toxins out of the skin. If you are stung by a bee, use some plantain and it will draw the sting out. It is also great for cuts and bites. Plantain is a fantastic natural anti-wrinkle treatment, and wonderful for other skin disorders such as acne and ecxema. It is rich in calcium, as well as protein and calcium.

hibiscus – rich in Vitamins A, B and C, as well as minerals such as calcium, sodium, chromium, selenium.

nasturtiams – are of particular interest to me as they are great for candida, intestinal worms, stomach aches and constipation. They can also help with lung infections, colds and flus. Nasturtiams also promote the growth of new blood cells. The flowers taste beautiful, but the leaves can be very spicy.

gota cola – is a miracle plant for arthritis. It is also great for nervous disorders and skin impurities.It strengthens the adrenal glands and the libido; It is rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D and K; as well as iodine, calcium, zinc and cobalt.

chickweed – is rich in calcium, iron, and vitamins A, B and C. They also contain powerful flavanoids and triterpenoids.

clover – turns out that a three leaf clover can be lucky for your health! You can eat every clover except for yellow clover. Clovers are great blood purifiers; and fantastic for fighting cancer, hepatitis, mononucleosis, and many eruptive skin disorders.