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FITin56® is a revolutionary fitness program that helps anyone get fit in 56 days — and stay fit! Members get online access to workout videos, exercise videos, and a nutrition plan. Lose weight, tone, or build muscle — follow the plan that best meets your goals. Get fit and healthy in only 30 minutes per day!

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High Cholesterol – What to Eat to Avoid It

Changing what foods you eat can help prevent high cholesterol levels and improve overall health. Eating foods that lower LDL (the harmful cholesterol carrying particle that contributes to atherosclerosis), is the best way to a low cholesterol diet. Here, we will enumerate 10 foods that you can eat to help prevent high cholesterol.

What is Cholesterol?

The body needs some cholesterol to work properly. But when you have very high cholesterol levels in the blood, it can stick to the walls of the arteries, narrowing or even blocking them. That will put you at risk for coronary artery disease and heart disease.

Cholesterol is carried in the bloodstream as spherical particles called lipoproteins. One type, LDL (low-density lipoprotein), is known as “bad” cholesterol. A high LDL level results in a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. Another type, HDL (high-density lipoprotein), is known as “good” cholesterol. It carries cholesterol from other areas in the body back to the liver. The liver then removes the cholesterol from the body.

What Should You Eat to Avoid High Cholesterol?

Foods can lower cholesterol in different ways. Some have soluble fiber that binds cholesterol in the digestive system and drags it out before it can circulate in the body. Some have polyunsaturated fats that directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols that block the body from absorbing cholesterol. Here are some foods that can help lower cholesterol:

1. Oats

Oats Can Help Prevent High CholesterolAn easy step to lower your cholesterol is having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. It contains 1-2 grams of soluble fiber. Nutrition guidelines recommend getting 20-35 grams of fiber a day, with 5-10 grams coming from soluble fiber.

2. Soy

Eating soybeans, tofu, and soy milk was considered a good way to help lower cholesterol, but recent research shows that the effect is more modest. Consuming 25 grams of soy protein per day (2 1/2 cups of soy milk or 10 ounces of tofu) can still help lower LDL by up to 5% to 6%.

3. Nuts

Nuts Can Help Prevent High CholesterolEating almonds, walnuts, and other nuts is good for the heart. Two ounces of nuts per day can help lower LDL slightly. Also, nuts have additional nutrients which protect the heart in other ways.

4. Avocados

Avocados are rich in nutrients and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Adding avocado to your diet can help improve LDL cholesterol levels, especially if you are overweight or obese. Try adding avocado to salads and sandwiches. You can also eat this fruit as a side dish. MUFAs are what make a Mediterranean diet heart-healthy.

5. Apples, strawberries, grapes, and citrus fruits

Apple, Grapes, Strawberries, and Citrus FruitsThese fruits contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber that lowers LDL. Soluble dietary fiber may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.

6. Barley and other whole grains

Like oats, barley and other whole grains can help reduce the risk of heart disease, mainly because of the soluble fiber they contain. Also, it encourages the body to get rid of cholesterol and stop the liver from producing this compound.

7. Vegetable oils

Using liquid vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower, and others in place of butter or lard when cooking can help lower LDL.

8. Fatty fish

Eating fish can lower LDL in two ways: by replacing meat, which has LDL boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega 3 fats. Omega 3s reduce triglycerides and protect the heart by helping prevent abnormal heart rhythms.

9. Foods fortified with sterols and stanols

Plant sterols and stanols are substances which help block cholesterol from being absorbed in the small intestine. They are sometimes added to foods such as granola bars, orange juice, and chocolate. They are also available as supplements. Getting two grams of plant sterols or stanols per day can lower LDL cholesterol by around 10%.

10. Beans

BeansBeans Can Help Prevent High Cholesterol are rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while to digest, meaning you’ll feel full for longer. That’s why beans are useful for people who are trying to lose weight. Beans are a very versatile food. There are different types of beans (navy beans, lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, etc.), and so many ways to prepare them.

Conclusion

A largely vegetarian diet consisting of cholesterol-lowering foods can lower LDL, triglycerides, and blood pressure. Eating more fruits and vegetables, plant proteins, and whole grains will not just help lower cholesterol, but also improve your overall health.

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What are the Major Muscle Groups?

Being familiar with all the muscles in the body will help you plan your daily workouts to help tone problem areas, build muscle, or lose weight. Each muscle group has a specific function. In this article, we will describe the major muscle groups in the body.

Major Muscle Groups

1. Rhomboids

Rhomboids are small back muscles that run from the upper back to the base of the neck on each side of the spine. These muscles help support posture and prevent back and neck pain.

2. Trapezius Muscles

The trapezius muscles are a group of triangularly shaped muscles that are located in the center of your upper back. Strong trapezius muscles help prevent back and neck pain, and boost muscle definition in the back.

3. Deltoid Muscles

Deltoids are your shoulder muscles. Strengthening this muscle group will give your upper body the perfect physique. To build and strengthen your deltoids, it’s best to use dumbbell weights or resistance bands.

4. Pectoral Muscles

Pectoral MusclesThe pectoral muscles are the muscles that connect the front of the chest with the bones of the upper arm and shoulder. These muscles are the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, serratus anterior, and subclavius. Strong pectoral muscles mean better muscle definition, increased strength, and a stronger upper body.

5. Latissimus Dorsi

The latissimus dorsi (also known as lats) are large back muscles that are located on each side of the spine. Your lats make up a large muscle group. Work out these muscles on a regular basis for a stronger, more defined upper body.

6. Arm Muscles (Biceps and Triceps)

Biceps and TricepsThe biceps are the muscle group in the upper arms that make your arms flex or contract. Your biceps lie on the front of your upper arm and are located between your shoulder and elbow. The biceps make up about 1/3 of the upper arm.

Meanwhile, the triceps are a large muscle group on the back of the upper arms that make your arms extend. The triceps make up about 2/3 of the upper arm.

7. Forearm Muscles

The various muscles in the forearms help you grip things and lift heavy objects. Flexor muscles help you grip tightly, while extensor muscles help release grips. Properly-trained forearm muscles enhance physical performance and make the upper body stronger.

8. Abdominal Muscles

AbsThe body is made up of various abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and abdominal obliques. Having strong abdominal muscles (abs) reduces your risk of getting injured when lifting heavy objects. Cardiovascular workouts help trim problem areas near the midsection, while abdominal exercises boost abdominal muscle and body strength. Many people have nice abs under layers of body fat. When body fat is low enough to see the abs, then you will see that six pack.

9. Glutes

The gluteal muscles (glutes) are a group of muscles which make up the buttocks. The glutes are the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, and gluteus medius. Work these muscles regularly to have a tight and toned rear end.

10. Hamstring Muscles

The hamstrings are the muscles on the back of the thighs. The three main hamstring muscles in the body are biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus. Working out your hamstring muscles maximizes leg muscle definition and will make it easier for you to do a variety of day-to-day activities.

11. Quadriceps Muscles

There are four huge muscles that comprise the front of the thigh, and that is why this muscle group is called the “quads” or quadriceps. The quadriceps muscles include the vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and rectus femoris.

12. Calf Muscles

The back parts of the lower legs contain powerful muscles known as the calf muscles. Strengthening this muscle group will increase muscle definition in your legs. The calf muscles are comprised of the gastrocnemius (upper calf) and the soleus (lower calf). Doing calf-strengthening exercises on a regular basis can also aid in injury prevention.

Conclusion

Knowing about the major muscle groups (muscle anatomy) is important. The more knowledgeable you are about which muscle group to work, the better your physique will be. Want to know how to do the best exercises for each muscle group? Sign up to FITin56!

Exercise and Weight Loss – Is There a Connection?

To lose weight, the calories burned need to be greater than what are consumed. Exercise can help you shed excess pounds by burning off extra calories. It’s important to find an activity that you will enjoy and fits easily into your lifestyle, so you can sustain it over the long term. In this article, we will take a closer look at the connection between exercise and weight loss.

Cardio Helps You Burn Calories and Fat

Woman JoggingAerobic exercise or cardio is one of the best types of exercise for weight loss. Examples include running, brisk walking, cycling, and swimming. Cardio doesn’t have a major impact on muscle mass, but it’s very effective at burning calories.

Studies show aerobic exercise can help people burn fat, especially belly fat that increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Adding cardio to your lifestyle is great for weight management and improving metabolic health.

Lifting Weights Helps You Burn Calories Around the Clock

DumbbellsAll types of physical activity can burn calories. However, resistance training (such as lifting weights) has benefits that go beyond that. It increases strength, tone, and the amount of muscle you have.

Higher amounts of muscle increase metabolism, helping you burn calories around the clock – even at rest. Doing some form of resistance training is a crucial addition to an effective weight loss plan. It will make it easier to keep the weight off.

Think Fat Loss, Not Weight Loss

Fat LossExercise is often recommended for weight loss, but to be more accurate, what you should really aim for is fat loss. If you’ll just reduce calorie intake to lose weight without exercising, you’ll probably lose fat, but you might lose muscle as well.

When a person cuts back on calories, the body will be forced to find other sources of fuel. This means burning fat stores as well as muscle protein. Including an exercise routine alongside your diet can reduce the amount of muscle you lose. Also, most of the benefits of exercise come from improvements in body composition, metabolic health, and overall fitness (not just weight loss).

Exercise Has Powerful Health Benefits

Exercise is great for your health. It can lower the risk of many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and some cancers. People who exercise regularly are believed to have a 50% lower risk of dying from these illnesses.

Another benefit of exercise is that it’s good for your mental health. It can help you unwind and manage stress. As you can see, exercise has other benefits beyond weight loss that are just as important.

What Kind of Exercise Should You Do?

Now that you know the connection between exercise and weight loss, the next question is, “What kind of exercise should you do?” You can do any activity that makes the heart and lungs work harder, such as brisk walking, jogging, biking, or swimming. Gardening, dancing, or playing with your kids also count, as long as it revs your heart.

At least two times a week, do strength training. You can lift weights or use resistance bands. After exercising, stretch your muscles to keep them flexible and also to prevent injury. If you haven’t exercised for a long time, you’re over 45, or have a medical condition, ask a doctor if you should avoid any type of activities.

Conclusion

The connection between exercise and weight loss is that you have to burn more calories than what you eat and drink in order to lose weight. You can start with a few minutes at a time. That will help your body slowly get used to being active. But the ultimate goal is to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week. If you prefer, you can exercise in short spurts – 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Once you’re in better shape, you can go for longer periods and do more strenuous activities.

Remember, exercise can help you lose weight, but a healthy diet is also important. For optimum results, you can follow the workouts and nutrition plan in the FITin56 program.

About Us

FITin56® is a revolutionary fitness program that helps anyone get fit in 56 days — and stay fit! Members get online access to workout videos, exercise videos, and a nutrition plan. Lose weight, tone, or build muscle — follow the plan that best meets your goals. Get fit and healthy in only 30 minutes per day!

FITin56® is a registered trademark of CREATIVE PRODUCTS, LLC.

Founded in 1989, CREATIVE PRODUCTS was built with the vision of providing hard to find, innovative, useful, and creative products to customers worldwide. We strive to bring our customers only the best products and services available.