The Importance of Exercise for a Healthy Heart


The Importance of Exercise for a Healthy Heart

September 29th is World Heart Day – a good reminder for all of us not to take the health of our heart for granted. Clear winning strategies for heart health include staying physically active and eating a heart-healthy diet.

Being physically active doesn’t always have to equate to running marathons or even vigorous workouts – exercise comes in all shapes, sizes and levels! The important thing is to get up and moving every day.

Work Exercise Into Your Daily Routine

It might not be top of our minds most days, but the places we live and work are often built for efficiency rather than health. One look at a typical rapid transit  system (Skytrain, El train, or subway) quickly reveals that not only do most people choose to use escalators and elevators, in some cases there aren’t even stairs available for the general public! These strategies certainly help get large numbers of people moving quickly, but they do nothing for building exercise into our daily routines.

Taking the stairs on your way to and from work offers a simple way to offset some of the risk of being sedentary for the bulk of the working day. Or, even better, skip the car or transit and cycle to work instead. Just 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week (which can be split into small chunks of just ten or so minutes) supports healthy heart function. Aim for 75 minutes of vigorous activity if you’re pushed for time!

I confess, I’ve never had a gym membership in my life, and the idea of running on a treadmill bores me to tears. Still, I rack up at least 15 hours of exercise a week simply by walking my dog, running almost all my errands by foot, hiking with friends and eschewing the use of elevators and escalators wherever possible. None of it feels like exercise, and yet it all helps keep my heart healthy, not to mention happy!

Find A Form of Exercise you Enjoy

If it’s been a while since you’ve been active, it’s understandable that you might feel anxious about starting to exercise more. Rest assured, exercise is great for helping you improve your energy levels, mood and overall health and well being. Some caution is certainly warranted, as is common sense, so if it’s been a few months or years avoid jumping straight into training for a marathon or lifting heavy weights.

Find forms of exercise that you enjoy, such as walking, jogging, playing soccer with the kids, skipping rope, swimming or even playing dodgeball – and go out and have fun! That way, it won’t feel like a chore and you’re more likely to stay motivated to achieve your health goals.

Exercise is a great way to:

  • Support your heart
  • Manage blood pressure already within the normal range
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Support mood and self-esteem
  • Keep everyday stress at bay
  • Promote great sleep!

Be sure to talk to your health care practitioner to work out the best way to build more exercise into your day.

Exercise with Friends

If you’re struggling to find fun ways to exercise, try asking friends how they stay active and ask if you can tag along on a hike, bike ride, freshwater swimming excursion, or if you can borrow their dog a couple of times a week to go for a long leisurely walk. Or, check out your local community center and sign up for salsa, Zumba, Pilates or other class where you can learn new skills, get fit and make new friends.

Let us know in the comments what creative ways you’ve found to meet your weekly exercise goals!

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The Pro’s of Fiber

The Pro’s of Fiber

Fiber doesn’t sound especially appetizing, but it sure is good for you – and your weight loss goals. Dietary fiber has many wonderful health benefits. Sugar, on the other hand, is as tasty as they come. And while you need carbohydrates (glucose is the main fuel for your cells, after all), your diet should definitely favor fiber over sugar. US FDA recommends 25 g of fiber for women and men based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet a day. Here’s why:

Healthy Plumbing

Fiber is best known for keeping you regular and making sure everything is moving smoothly! It does this by adding bulk to your stool and absorbing water (staying hydrated is also key to staying regular).

Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Fiber helps you maintain healthy glucose levels already within the normal range by slowing the absorption of sugars into your bloodstream. It’s also a clue that too much sugar, too quickly, isn’t good for you! Balanced blood sugar means a more balanced you, with steady energy levels.

Healthy Microbiome

One of the lesser-known things fiber does for you– especially the soluble kind – is feed the good bacteria in your gut. Even microbes need to eat, after all. While we don’t have the enzymes to digest fiber, our friendly gut bacteria do, and they make good use of it! As a very pleasant side effect of this process, bacteria make certain vital nutrients for us. The types of fiber that feed our good bacteria are known as prebiotics.

Healthy Weight Loss

A nice effect of consuming fiber – again, the soluble kind – is that it absorbs water and expands in the digestive tract. This helps you feel fuller longer, and can help reduce food cravings. Fiber supplements such as PGX are a great way to ensure you’re getting the fiber you need as part of a healthy weight loss program.

How to Increase Your Fiber Intake

Don’t worry – increasing your fiber intake doesn’t mean bran muffins, bran flakes, or even bran anything. Adding fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your plate will help you get the fiber you need.

Try these delicious ways to up your fiber intake:

Black Beans: Take taco night to the next level with the addition of these fiber and protein-packed legumes! Black beans offer 15 g of fiber per cup.

Avocado: The rich creaminess of an avocado belies the whopping 6.7 g of fiber that is found in just one half of this fruit. Plus, they’re packed with plenty of protein and healthy unsaturated fats.

Raspberries: 1 cup of nature’s candy offers up 8 g of fiber. Not a tough sell, right?

Almonds: Nuts might not seem like a natural source of fiber, but a quarter cup of almonds has 4 g of the good stuff.

Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are packed with protein, healthy fats, and – you guessed it – fiber! With 6 g in just 1 tbsp, chia seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soak them in your favorite nut milk for a delicious snack.

Apples: Each of these lunchbox classics has about 4 g of fiber. Add apples to smoothies, oatmeal, or eat them raw – just be sure to include the skin!

Oats: Speaking of oatmeal, a cup of the stuff offers about 4 g of fiber. Top with some of the other items on this list – raspberries and almonds come to mind – for a tasty breakfast.

Potatoes: We often think of potatoes as a refined carbohydrate with not a lot of nutritional value, but would you guess that a medium potato has just about 4.5 g of fiber?

Onions: Surprised? A medium sized onion offers about 2 g of fiber. The soluble fiber in onions is called inulin, and its an especially beneficial prebiotic that will have your microbiome singing a happy tune.

PGX: PGX is a unique blend of super fiber complex made up of highly viscous polysaccharides. When taken with meals, PGX expands in the stomach to create a feeling of fullness by absorbing water and filling the stomach while slowing digestion. This keeps blood sugar from rising too high after meals, thereby curbing the body’s hunger cravings throughout the day.

Enjoy your new high fiber diet – and the health benefits that come with it! Check out our recipe page for yummy ways to add PGX and other fiber to your meals!

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Tips for Beginning Runners


Tips for Beginning Runners

You’re a runner – you just don’t know it yet!

Soon you’ll be enjoying the endorphins, leaner muscles mass, stronger lungs, and the physical power that result from regular runs. Follow these tips to get started:

Start Small

Building endurance takes time. No matter what your ultimate goal is, begin by running a few kilometers per session and gradually increase your distance every second week.

Run / Walk

Add walk breaks into your run to help save energy and minimize muscle fatigue. As your fitness improves, schedule your walk breaks less frequently. For example:

Week 1: run 1 minute / walk 1 minute (repeat 15X)
Week 5: run 5 minutes / walk 1 minute (repeat 5X)
Week 10: run 10 minutes / walk 1 minute (repeat 3X)


An excellent pair of shoes can make all the difference in how you enjoy your run and avoid injury. Staff at your local running store can help you find the right fit and support for your feet.

Prioritize Nutrition

Running burns a lot of calories, but that’s no excuse for overindulging or loading up on refined carbs. Your diet fuels your run and recovery, so eat wholesome, nutrient dense foods to stay strong and energized.

Set Goals

Goals provide focus and a way to measure your progress. Set long and short term goals that are realistic. If your long-term end goal is to run this year’s 5 Km Terry Fox Run, make it your short term goal to complete three to four 30 minute runs per week.

Run With a Group

When your motivation dips, a running group can help keep you going.  Not only will you be accountable for showing up, but you’ll have other runners to chat with to help distract you from your efforts and offer encouragement and support.

Believe in Yourself

Running takes physical and mental strength. Believe that you will reach your goals and you will.

Are you running the Terry Fox Run this September 20th? If so, let us know how you do.

*Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX®.

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Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Routine


Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Routine

Sticking to your resolutions can be hard work, but if you started out the year with a commitment to eat healthily, and you’ve maintained that commitment until now, you’re going great guns! The onset of fall can trip people up though, given the cold weather and the craving for comfort foods. So, if you find yourself wavering on the promises you made, don’t cheat! You’ve come this far, and there are many ways to boost your willpower and stay on track for good health.

Here are some tips to help ensure you’re maintaining a healthy routine:


First and foremost, make sure to get enough sleep. According to psychologist Kelly McGonigal, people who get a solid eight hours of sleep a night are better able to distinguish long-term goals from short-term rewards, compared to people who get just seven hours of sleep. Researchers have also found that too little sleep, or occasional disrupted sleep patterns, can lead to unwanted weight gain.

In order to maintain willpower and support a healthy  living style, it makes sense to establish a healthy sleep routine. When you wake feeling refreshed, you’re likely to be better able to resist the temptation of sugary snacks and caffeine, and stay focused on achieving and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation can also help maintain your focus so you are better able to resist cravings. Start by meditating for just a minute a day, and gradually increase the time so as to enhance your ability to control your thoughts and feelings and reduce impulsivity. The act of meditation can also help teach us to quieten negative self-talk that may otherwise undermine even the best of intentions.
Another way to reduce the risk of self-sabotage is to become your own best friend. Just as you would support a friend who is trying to stick to a healthy diet, give yourself the same level of support. Be sure to celebrate your successes (non-food rewards are best!) and, if you do slip up, offer yourself a little pep talk to get back on track.
It is also helpful to try to avoid thinking about healthy eating as a diet of denial. Instead of obsessing over a list of banned foods, focus on the fact that you are making specific food choices so as to feel more energized, healthy and happy. Pick foods that will nourish you, rather than those that lead you on a sugary rollercoaster of short-term gratification.

Have a Battle-Plan

On a more practical level, if fall comfort foods are your undoing in terms of healthy eating, prepare a plan of attack. This might mean taking a little extra time to make something delicious and healthy, like grilled veggies and a protein-packed chickpea salad, with a cashew cream Caesar-style dressing. Whole foods and healthy plant-proteins and fats can lower the glycaemic index of a meal and slow down digestion, helping you feel fuller for longer, meaning that you eat fewer calories overall.
To further support appetite control, try sprinkling some PGX  (available in single-serving sachets!) on top of food, or mix PGX® with iced water flavoured with slices of cucumber, mint, basil, lemon or lime*. Having refreshing, delicious, non-alcoholic beverages on hand for socializing can also help you avoid making unhealthy beverage choices.

Kelly McGonigal, PhD. The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It (Penguin 2012)
Spiegel, K., Leproult, R., L’hermite-Balériaux, M., Copinschi, G., Penev, P.D., Van Cauter, E. (2004). Leptin levels are dependent on sleep duration: relationships with sympathovagal balance, carbohydrate regulation, cortisol, and thyrotropin. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, Nov;89(11):5762-71.

* Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX®

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Could Probiotics Help With Weight Loss?


Could Probiotics Help With Weight Loss?

In the headlines, probiotics are everywhere these days! While they may not be the answer for all, they can play a vital role in healthy living.

We’ve all got colonies of bacteria in our gut, known as the microbiome. They help us digest food,  support overall health, and make certain nutrients. Taking probiotics can boost levels of the beneficial bacteria in our bellies, with positive results for health and well-being. But what role do probiotics play in weight loss?

Probiotics and Weight Loss

Of hundreds of types of bacteria living in our digestive tract, it turns out some of them might make or break your weight loss goals. Researchers are increasingly finding that overweight people have different compositions of gut bacteria than those who can stay at a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy gut flora might just be the key to reaching your optimal size.

Here’s how probiotics may influence weight loss:

  • Food is absorbed in the digestive tract, and probiotics may help maintain healthy intestinal inflammation, thus improving digestion. Healthy digestion is good news for your weight loss goals.
  • Certain nutrients that are needed for a healthy metabolism (turning calories from carbs, fat, and protein into energy) are produced by beneficial gut bugs.
  • Probiotics can keep your intestines from absorbing too much excess fat. However, eating small amounts of healthy fats in moderation is preferable to overeating and relying on probiotics!
  • Sugary, fatty foods – the same foods that lead to weight gain – promote the growth of bad bacteria. Researchers can’t conclusively say whether bad bacteria promote weight gain, but there’s a correlation between unhealthy eating, bad bacteria, and weight gain.

Tips for a Healthy Weight Loss Program

How does this info help you?

Supplementing with probiotics can help you shift the bacteria living in your digestive tract from the unhealthy ones connected with occasional weight gain to more beneficial strains. One study showed that the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus helped women double their  weight loss compared to women who took a placebo, and they were able to sustain the weight loss.

  • Work a probiotic formula that contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus into your weight loss program.
  • Add probiotic-rich foods to your diet, such as unpasteurized sauerkraut, kefir, or yogurt. If you’re choosing yogurt, make sure the package tells you how many live cells are in the yogurt.
  • Be sure to eat lots of veggies to up your intake of healthy nutrients
  • Include prebiotics in your diet. Prebiotics such as PGX* feed the good bacteria so that your microbiome will flourish.
  • Avoid excessive intake of alcohol, sugars, saturated and trans fats, and processed foods.
  • Get moving! Exercise can promote a healthy microbiome just as much as diet, research shows [1]

Probiotics are a great tool to support your healthy weight loss program!

*Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX®


[1] Kang, S.S., Jeraldo, P.R., Kurti, A., Miller, M.E., Cook, M.D., et al. (2014). Diet and exercise orthogonally alter the gut microbiome and reveal independent associations with anxiety and cognition. Mol Neurodegener, 13;9:36.

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Healthy Fats and Weight Loss


Healthy Fats and Weight Loss

Once upon a time, if you wanted to lose weight, you would cut out fatty foods. For decades, we indulged in low-fat yogurt, low-fat cookies, low-fat everything, thinking we’d solved our weight problems. The only trouble? We didn’t lose weight.

The Skinny on Healthy Fats

On the surface, avoiding fat makes sense – what else would make you fat, besides fat? But now that we’ve dug a little deeper into nutrition science, we see the error of our ways. It’s not fat itself that causes us to gain weight; it’s an excess of the wrong kinds of fat (and sugar – but that’s another article). Healthy fats, including monounsaturated fats (or MUFAs), and omega fatty acids, are a vital part of maintaining optimal health and weight. You should aim to get 25-30% of your daily calories from fats – but be sure to opt for the good-for-you fats as much as possible!

6 Healthy Fat-Filled Foods to Support Weight Loss

The following 6 foods contain wholesome fats that can promote a healthy metabolism and, as part of a weight loss program, help you reach your desired weight:

1. Avocados

Ladies who lunch once avoided this rich, creamy fruit in salads, thinking the extra calories would mean extra pounds on the scale. However, the MUFAs found in avocado are a key component in the Mediterranean diet, known for its positive impact on cardiovascular health. Plus, avocados are full of protein, fiber, and an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants! Also, they go great with pretty much any meal!

2. Olive Oil

Another source of MUFAs, olive oil is heart healthy and delicious. Most of the fats you eat should be unsaturated, and MUFAs are widely available. Research suggests that MUFAs can even help fight belly fat.

Rather than buying packaged salad dressings, create your own creamy dressings with olive oil, avocado, lemon juice, and a touch of salt.

3. Salmon

This cold water fish is widely cited as the best dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, likely because it’s more appetizing to the average eater than herring, mackerel, and sardines, also sources of omega-3s. Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that promote cardiovascular health and cognitive function. They’re vital to optimal health, and unfortunately, the typical western diet is sadly lacking in them – so make salmon a main course a few times a week!

4. Nuts

Another group of foods vilified by the fat-free movement, nuts are nutritional powerhouses that yes, contain fat, but healthy fat – MUFAs and PUFAs alike. Try walnuts for your fix of omega-6 fatty acids, another type of PUFA that helps promote the body’s natural healthy inflammatory processes. If you’re worried about consuming too many omega-6 fatty acids, make sure you’re complementing with omega-3s from salmon or a supplement. Omega-6s are indeed healthy – when they come from whole food rather than processed sources.

5. Butter

Surprised to see a saturated fat on this list? Saturated fat isn’t all bad – the key is moderation. You’ll be much better off with grass-fed organic butter than hydrogenated margarine, which offers plenty of trans fats, the worst fats out there when it comes to your health. As well, butter is much more stable than vegetable oils when heated, so it’s ideal for anything sautéed or roasted.

6. Seeds

Flax, chia, and hemp seeds provide Vegetarians with a source of omega-3s, which is rare. Just be sure to prep them properly – flaxseeds need to be ground to access the omegas, and chia seeds need to be soaked for a few minutes.

Now that you’ve got the skinny on fat, how will you be switching up your diet to make sure you get more of the fats you need – MUFAs and PUFAs – and less of the ones you don’t?

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A Healthy Vacation: Tips for Staying on Track


A Healthy Vacation: Tips for Staying on Track

It’s tempting to just disappear while you’re on vacation, and leave your healthy lifestyle back at home with your worries. The great thing is, it’s possible – and relatively easy! – to have an amazing vacation while keeping your overall health on track. Here’s how:

Plan an Active Vacation

Walk, run, or cycle around your destination! You’ll burn calories, be more likely to meet people, and get up close and personal with local sights, smells, and sounds.

If you’re going to be spending time at the beach, schedule activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and surfing to keep your fitness in check while having oodles of fun.

Eat Consciously

Eating out and trying local cuisine is all part of being on vacation. Here are some tips to keep your diet on track while enjoying your meals:

  • Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables from local markets
  • Order salads and other menu items with dressing and sauce on the side
  • Stop eating when you’re full – no matter how large the serving is
  • Share desserts and other high calorie items
  • Add PGX®* Daily Singles to your meals to reduce cravings and maintain  healthy blood sugar levels already within the normal range.

Drink Carefully

Go ahead and celebrate your vacation with a cocktail or juice.  The key is to not get carried away. Drinking too much alcohol or sugary beverages can sneak unwanted calories into your diet. Instead, keep yourself hydrated with good-for-you liquids such as lemon water, unsweetened tea, sparkling mineral water, and low-fat milk.

Treat Yourself

The whole point of vacation is to have an enjoyable experience, and part of that is not feeling like you’re missing out. So go ahead  – treat yourself! –  just remember that moderation is key to not over-indulging.

How do you stay on track while on vacation? Let us know in the comments section below.

*Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX®.

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A 5 step Routine for a Great Beach Workout


A 5 Step Routine for a Great Beach Workout

If the warm summer days mean you’re spending more time at the beach than at the gym, don’t worry, exercise and fun at the beach are not mutually exclusive! Lazing around in the sand with a cool beer is certainly tempting, but how about squeezing in a quick workout before you enjoy that R&R.

First things first, whenever you’re exercising in the sun remember these rules: use adequate sun protection, stay hydrated, stick to beach rules and stay in sight of lifeguards. The latter is especially important if you’re working out at the beach as you can quickly become tired in the water when you’ve already been pushing your body.

Without further ado, here is a 5 step routine for a great beach workout:

1. Sand Lunges

Aim to cover a 40-yard stretch of sand by doing basic lunges but with the added difficulty of balancing on and pushing against the sand.

Start by standing with your hands on your hips, feet shoulder-width apart, then take a normal stride and bend your forward leg at a 90-degree angle. This should cause your back leg to also end up at a 90-degree angle. Make sure to keep your core muscles (canister) engaged and your hips in line with your shoulders as you then step forward with your back leg. Repeat for 40-yards then turn and repeat until back to base.

2. Water Jog

After working up a sweat by doing sand lunges, wade into the water until you’re waist-deep. Jog parallel to the shore for 40 yards, the jog back out of the water and sprint back to base.

3. Shoulder Push-Ups

Now that your legs are burning from all that water jogging, give them a brief break while you work your upper body.

To do a shoulder push-up simply bend down as if you’re picking something up from the sand and spread your hands hip-width apart with your feet together so you form a tripod. Do a push-up and try to touch your nose to the sand. Do two sets of 5 reps to start and try to build to three sets of 10 reps over the summer.

4. Dune Treadmill

Sand running offers a great workout, without the expensive gym membership fee! Running on sand is also easier on the joints, but is harder work, so it burns more calories and is a great way to tone the lower body. Moist, firm sand is best –  and don’t forget to wear good running shoes! Find a decent sized sand dune and run up and down it for 5 minutes, alternating between a sprint and a jog every other ascent to help improve your anaerobic fitness.

5. Swim!

OK, so this one is pretty obvious, but you’ll be thankful for it after all that jogging and running up the sand dunes. Pick a couple of shoreline markers that are about 40 yards apart and head into the water until you’re at a good swimming depth. Swim back and forth between your markers, doing a breaststroke, butterfly or backstroke – whatever works for you!  Just 5-10 minutes of swimming is excellent cardio that works all your major muscle groups while keeping you cool.

If you find it hard to motivate yourself to work out alone, it should be pretty easy to convince a friend to head to the beach (just make sure to tell them you’ll be exercising!).

Bonus Idea: Beach Volleyball

Consider signing up for beach volleyball. This a fantastic way to stay active in summer while making new friends and getting your fill of vitamin D. Head down to your nearest beach on the weekend and see if there’s a tournament or game going on and ask someone how you can get involved. Or, check online for local groups that have a regular indoor volleyball practice and see if they’re inclined to turn the beach into their gym for the summer!

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Body Weight Training: Getting Started


Body Weight Training: Getting Started

There are plenty of barriers and obstacles we can encounter when trying to get fit, but a lack of equipment shouldn’t be one of them. All you really need to start working on improving your health and fitness, is your own body and a bit of imagination.*

Body weight training is perfect if you’re looking to exercise on a budget or maintain your strength and fitness when traveling. The basic principle of body weight training is that you put your muscles to work against gravity and your own body mass – think lifts, squats, push-ups, etc –  for a quick, challenging workout you can do anywhere.

*Always consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program, particularly when you have a medical condition.

The following are a few moves to get you started with body weight training:

Power Burpee

Let’s start with a power burpee – a great way to get your heart rate up, work your core, and activate those hamstrings.

Begin in a standing position, arms by your sides and feet shoulder width apart. As with a traditional burpee, you want to drop quickly into a push-up position, then jump into a squat position, and follow that with a vertical leap into the air before dropping back to a squat.

To make this a power burpee, after dropping back into a squat, go for an explosive tuck-jump, pulling in your knees and jumping as high as you can. Do two sets of five to start out.


Now that you’ve got your circulation moving a little faster, switch your focus to your upper body to give your legs a bit of a break.

Go for a simple push-up and do as many as you can without stopping. Take the number of push-ups you managed and cut that in half, then do three sets of that number next time. Push-ups work the pectorals, deltoids, and triceps and really help tone the chest and arms, but good form is essential.

For a proper push-up, lie face down with your shoulders bent and hands flat to the floor about shoulder width apart. Keeping your body straight, push against the floor with your hands to extend your arms and lift your body. Imagine a line running from the top of your head to your ankles and try to keep this line as straight as possible.

Break-Out Push-Ups

The next body weight training exercise works your arms, legs, and core. It’s also a great excuse to bust out your breakdancing moves! A break-out push-up stretches out your chest and activates your oblique muscles.

Begin in a traditional push-up position, raise your body as usual and then, when your arms are fully extended, rotate your body to look to your right while kicking out your left leg to the right underneath your body. Drop back into a push-up and on the next lift, kick out your right leg to the left underneath your body. Do two sets of five reps to start.

Caterpillar (Prone) Walkout

Now that your arms and legs are feeling the burn, take things down a notch by doing your best impression of a caterpillar. The prone walkout helps with pelvic stability, and total body dynamic flexibility, and it’s pretty fun to do.

Start by standing on your tip toes with your feet hip width apart, then bend at the waist to touch your hands to the floor directly in front of your feet. Keeping your core muscles engaged, walk your hands forward until you’re in a push-up position, then walk your feet in towards your hands (while still on tip toes). Repeat this until you bump into a wall, or for about five walkouts.


Next up, dips. You’ll need a chair for this, although you could also use a bench in the park or the edge of a bed, depending on its height. This exercise works some of the same muscles as a push-up, but also works the rhomboid muscles in the back.

To get into position, stand with your back to the chair, bend your legs as if you’re going to sit down, and place the palms of your hands on the front edge of the seat. Walk your feet slowly out in front of you so that your arms are supporting most of your body weight.

Now you’re in position, inhale and slowly bend your arms, keeping your elbows tucked in, and lower your body until your arms are parallel to the floor. Hold that position for a half second, exhale and push slowly back up into your starting position. Do two sets of five to begin and increase as you get stronger.

Benefits of Body Weight Training

These are just a few great resistance exercises you can do in a small amount of time, in a small amount of space, using (almost) nothing but your own body. Adding these into your exercise regimen, alongside regular cardio, is an excellent  way to build strength gradually without needing to buy expensive equipment.

Try adding a PGX protein shake* and some of these body weight training exercise to your workout schedule and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals!

* Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PG

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4 Physical Benefits of Swimming


4 Physical Benefits of Swimming

Swimming is great for your body – no matter what age, weight, or fitness level you are. Like no other activity, it provides an excellent workout while bearing only a fraction of your body’s weight. Make swimming a part of your routine for these 4 physical benefits:

1. Supports Cardio

There’s no doubt that swimming gets your heart rate up and lungs working hard. Participating in a high intensity swimming regime for 15 weeks supports overall cardiovascular health.

2. Burns Calories

Because swimming burns serious calories, it supports healthy weight loss. In 30 minutes, a 154 lbs person burns 294 calories doing the front crawl at a slow pace and  404 calories at a fast pace. As a comparison, this expends the same amount of energy as playing tennis or cycling at approximately 21km per hour for 30 minutes [1].

3. Tones Muscles

There’s more resistance moving in water than in air, which makes swimming an excellent way for you to tone and strengthen the muscles in your arms, legs, shoulders, and core.

4. Easy on Joints

Unlike high impact exercises, swimming is one of the few aerobic activities that is easy on your joints. It’s commonly recommended for people with who cannot withstand the trauma of other athletic activities, as well as injured athletes who need to keep their aerobic fitness up while healing.

Whether you swim solo, with friends, or with family, you’re sure to benefit. What’s your motivation for swimming? Let us know in the comments section below.

[1]  The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA). “Swimming: Taking the Plunge for a Fitter Lifestyle.” 2014. Web. 1 July 2015.

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