Dearborn Boot Camp, Dearborn Personal Trainer, Dearborn Weight Loss

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(Get in Shape and Help Dearborn’s Homeless Animals!)

shelter image

Dearborn, MI – January 9, 2013 Nick Lopez, CEO/Founder of Dearborn based Weapons 4 Weight Loss, a Dearborn fitness boot camp/personal training program, is going to donate $1000 to Friends For The Dearborn Animal Shelter in order to help local homeless animals. Lopez will accomplish this by donating $50 for every new client that joins his fun, high-energy boot camp program from January 15 to Febuary 15.

Claim your FREE week of boot camp ===> CLICK HERE

“I’m finally in a position to donate back to the community. The shelter does so many great things, with their help, I’m now able to help more people lose weight AND help all these animals find a loving home.”  Lopez said.

The Weapons 4 Weight Loss program is perfect for any fitness level and incorporates fun, fat-burning exercises in an addictive sweat-inducing workout. A full nutrition guide and personalized meal plans are also included to ensure maximum fat loss.

The mission of the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter is to provide loving care and sanctuary to animals, encourage adoptions and reunions, and promote respect, responsibility, and compassion for all animals.

The indoor fitness camp meets Mondays through Friday at 6:30am and Tuesdays through Fridays at 8pm at Sokol Cultural Gymnastic Center in Deaborn Heights. New times and locations will be added in the coming weeks.

Sessions include muscle strengthening and toning, cardiovascular conditioning, core stabilization, balance and flexibility training. Lopez guarantees twice the calorie burn in half the time of traditional health club workouts.

To get started with the Weapons 4 Weight Loss Bootcamp Program please contact Nick Lopez at (313) 686-1989

Claim your FREE week of boot camp ===> CLICK HERE


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Following a head injury, there are many things of which to be concerned. Top on the list is often a concussion. An injury to your brain that affects the way your brain works, a concussion can be scary business and should be treated seriously. So if a concussion is suspected, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Whether a person is severely shaken or has a blow to the head while playing contact sports, suffers from a bad car accident, or takes a hard fall, how can you know if he or she has suffered a concussion? Here’s what to look for following a head injury and what you can do to reduce the risk for long-term injury.

Altered Consciousness

It’s often difficult to tell if someone has suffered a concussion because symptoms may not appear immediately but may take several days or weeks to present themselves. In fact, a concussion can result with an injury that seems relatively minor. There may be no outward sign of trauma or cuts, bruises, or a bump where the head was impacted, but a concussion may be lurking.

Since a concussion is a brain injury, it will temporarily alter a person’s feelings of consciousness, thoughts, and normal brain function. Dizziness, unusual tiredness, ringing in the ears, and confusion are common. Most concussions do not result in loss of consciousness.

What to Watch For

Perhaps your son plays football and sustains a blow to the head. Maybe your toddler fell off the top bunk. If you’re worried a concussion is possible, look for the following symptoms:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • seizures
  • confusion
  • difficulty walking, loss of balance, or decreased coordination
  • weakness or numbness
  • slurred speech
  • trouble sleeping or being overly tired
  • loss of short-term memory
  • headache
  • sensitivity to light
  • unable to taste or smell
  • unusual irritability or crankiness
  • fuzzy vision or unevenly sized pupils

If you notice any of these symptoms following a head injury, seek medical attention. There’s no such thing as a “minor” brain injury, so all concussions should be evaluated by a professional. If you’re unsure if there’s a concussion, play it safe by calling a physician anyway.

Diagnosis and Treatment

To determine if someone has a concussion, the doctor will perform a neurological exam and brain imaging tests (usually a CT scan). It may take time, but most people experience a full recovery following a concussion. Unfortunately, severe cases may lead to long-term memory and problem-solving impairments. The more concussions a person experiences in life, the greater the risk of long term damage. (So football, rugby, and other contact sport players beware!)

With a concussion, the most important treatment is rest. Taking it easy and avoiding activities that require focused attention (playing video games, watching TV, or using the computer) will help your brain heal. Tylenol can be taken to relieve headaches.

The most dangerous type of concussion is one that happens soon after a previous concussion before the first one has had time to heal. In such a case, a concussion may cause permanent brain damage or even death. This is why rest is so important following a concussion. Recognize when you’ve suffered a concussion and avoid activities that put you at risk for subsequent blows to the head until you are sure a concussion is fully healed.


While you can’t avoid all concussions, there are steps you can take to lessen the likelihood of head injuries. A good first step is to always wear a helmet while participating in any kind of contact or dangerous sport or when riding a bike.
Additionally, never dive in a pool that’s less than 9 feet deep, wear a seat belt whenever you’re in a moving vehicle, and never drive intoxicated. Inside your house, take steps to ensure your home is as accident proof as possible. Keep the floor clear of toys, secure area rugs, install safety gates and handrails on stairways, and pad sharp corners.

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Ever suffer from back pain? A long day at work, heavy lifting, a new workout, an uncomfortable mattress, or even chores around the house can cause an aching back. You may feel like taking it easy, but staying active with back exercises will help relieve back pain and bring healing faster than rest.

If you’re prone to back aches and pains, these stretches are for you. Just 10 to 15 minutes a day of these simple exercises will stretch and strengthen your back muscles as well as surrounding support muscles. And lucky for you, most of these exercises are done on the floor with little to no equipment needed. Repeat each exercise three times at least once a day.

Do note that if you’ve suffered a back injury or have osteoporosis, consult with your physician prior to doing these stretches.

Lower Back Rotation

Get on the floor and lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. While keeping your shoulders against the floor, roll your knees over to the left side. Hold this position for 10 seconds, and then bring your knees back up. Now roll your knees over to the right side and hold.

Knee to Chest

In the same position on the floor as the lower back rotation (on your back with knees bent), take both hands and reach down and grab your left knee. Pull it up toward your chest and hold it there for 20–30 seconds. Return to the starting position. Now pull the right knee up toward your chest and hold. Lastly, pull both knees at the same time and hold.

As a variation, work another back muscle by crossing your right knee over your left knee and raising your left knee toward your chest. Switch legs and repeat.

The Bridge

Another back exercise is the bridge. Again, start by lying on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Keep your head and shoulders on the ground and contract your abs and glute muscles. Raise your hips up toward the ceiling and hold this position for about 30 seconds and lower. Repeat.

Arch Like a Cat

On the floor, get on your hands and knees. Let your back and belly lower toward the floor. Slowly raise your abs toward the ceiling, making an arch with your back. You’ll look like a scared cat. Lower your abs down, and repeat several times.

Seated Lower Back Rotation

To do this exercise, get off the floor. Sit up straight in a chair with your right leg crossed over your left leg. With your left elbow against the outside of your right thigh, twist your torso and stretch toward the right side. Hold for 10 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.

This is a good back exercise to do several times during the day if you’re sitting at a desk for long periods of time.

Hamstring Stretches

Lower back pain is often caused by a tight hamstring muscle. Lie on your back with your legs straight. Bring your left knee up to your chest, then straighten your left leg and lift your foot towards the ceiling. Lower your leg back down, and repeat with your right leg.

Another exercise you can do while sitting in a chair is a hamstring stretch. Sit on the edge of the chair, straighten one leg and lift your foot as high as you can.

Bird Dog

Stretch and strengthen your back muscles as well as your core and abdominals with the bird dog exercise. Get on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Point your fingers forward, and keep you back straight. Lift your left arm straight in front of you at the same time you lift and straighten your right leg behind you. Lower, and then raise your right arm and your left leg. Continue alternating sides.

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Working out but not losing weight? You may be doing too much cardio.

You’re determined to lose weight. You want your body and your health back. So you’re running on the treadmill three days a week and taking a spin class two days a week, but you’ve stopped seeing the results you want. Rather than seeing the scale go down, it’s staying put or even going up. What is the hold up? Are you doing something wrong?

Unfortunately, many people have this frustrating experience. They know they’ve got to burn calories and they hear high intensity exercise will get the job done so they hit the gym. Learn the possible set backs of too much cardio and the most effective way to shed those extra pounds.

An Urban Legend

If you’ve been busting your buns trying to lose weight and the scale’s barely budging, you may want to listen up. A common exercise myth is the more cardio you do, the more weight you’ll lose; that the longer and harder you run, cycle, or swim, the faster you’ll lose. Many people believe this urban legend, and when their weight loss expectations aren’t met, they often give up.
Yes, you need cardio. As you think, it’s an important part of any exercise routine and will help burn calories, improve your health, and get you in shape. But it may not work like you expect.

Burns Muscle

When you push your body to perform high-intensity cardio exercise for long periods of time (45 minutes or more), there are negative effects. You will burn calories, but your body may turn to the energy stores in your muscles to make it through such a long workout. This means instead of burning that bulging fat, you’ll wind up burning muscle. Since you need your muscle to keep your metabolism working at its best, getting rid of any amount of muscle is not a good idea.

Stressful on Your Body

Long, strenuous workouts are stressful to your body. This stress may lead to increased production of the stress hormone cortisol. Granted, your body needs some level of cortisol for proper metabolism, blood pressure regulation, and a healthy immune system. Small bursts of the hormone give you energy, improve your memory, and decrease your sensitivity to pain. However, prolonged exposure to cortisol leads to negative health effects, including high blood pressure, decreased muscle mass, lowered immune response, and increased fat around your waist. Excess cardio places stress on your body and will lead to fatigue. What do many people turn to when they’re stressed or tired? Food. Especially carbohydrates.

Increase in Appetite

Keep in mind, when you add exercise to your lifestyle you’ll be hungrier than usual. Your body needs to replenish the energy it used while working out. On the mornings you exercise, expect to be hungrier than normal when lunch rolls around. This can be dangerous. It’s easy to overestimate how many calories you burn as well as underestimate how many calories you’re eating. Watch what you eat to make sure you’re still creating a calorie deficit.

Water Retention

Regardless of how much water you typically drink, you’ll want to increase the amount of water you drink on the days you exercise. When your body becomes dehydrated, it may start to retain water to hoard it for later. The weight you thought you should have lost may actually be water weight. Get rid of water weight by drinking more water before, during, and after exercise.

Create a Balance

Cardio exercise is a good thing, but you can have too much of it. An effective weight loss routine should include a balance of cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises. Aim to do 20 or 30 minutes three days a week of interval training to get your cardio. Then do 20–30 minutes of strength trainings two days a week with flexibility exercises added in.

Get Personal

Wondering how to create a nutrition and exercise plan that is just what you need to meet your weight loss or muscle gain goals? Ask your personal trainer. After all, that’s what he or she is there for!


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How long should you workout each day to see results?

If you had to guess, do you think an overweight adult would lose more weight by exercising 30 minutes a day or an hour a day?

Common sense would tell you that the longer you workout, the more weight you lose. A new study, however, has shown that this may not be the case. The study’s results show that just half an hour of exercise a day may be just as effective—if not more so than a whole hour of exercise each day.

If you’re overweight and are seeking to lose weight through diet and exercise, keep reading. You might just save yourself a lot of time and lose yourself a lot of weight.

Study Results

When 60 overweight men were followed for three months as they sought to lose weight, researchers were surprised at their findings. During the study, 20 of the men performed moderate aerobic exercise each day for half an hour, 20 underwent a high-intensity exercise routine that included activities such as cycling or running for an entire hour each day, and another 20 men remained sedentary. The men all wore calorie counters and heart rate monitors.

What did this study show? After 13 weeks, the overweight men who did 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day lost, on average, 8 pounds.

Those men who did high-intensity exercised for an hour only lost an average of 6 pounds.

Baffling results to say the least. Somehow those who exercised for less time burned more calories than would be expected for the type and amount of exercise they performed. The men who exercised longer and more vigorously lost less weight than expected for the number of calories they burned.

Why would this be the case? There are two theories. One possible explanation may be that the men who only exercised for half an hour had more desire and energy to do more physical activity throughout the rest of the day.

A second possible explanation could be that the men who exercised for longer periods of time were hungrier during the day since their bodies required more energy. They may have compensated by eating calories that countered the calories they burned.

Can You Trust It?

Interesting as this research may be, these are the findings of just one study. Other studies show different results. Obviously, more research is needed in this area, and you may not want to change your routine just yet.

But remember that each person loses weight at a different rate. To stay healthy and maintain your weight, aim to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week. Then remain active during the rest of the day.

The best exercise to help you lose weight is whatever exercise you’ll actually do on a regular basis. If your main method of exercise is running and you hate to run, then you probably won’t have much luck sticking with it. Your best bet is to find a few cardio exercises that you enjoy and then rotating them and varying the intensity.

If strength training is your exercise of choice, know that you burn more calories during cardio exercise, but they are both part of a well-balanced exercise routine. Also take comfort knowing that by adding extra muscle, you’ll be burning more calories when you’re not working out.

You my need to experiment to find what weight loss strategy gives you the results you desire. A personal trainer can help you determine how much exercise you need and what types of exercises are best for you to reach and maintain your weight loss goal.

Always remember that your goal is attainable! Whether you exercise 30 minutes, an hour, or two hours a day, you can reach your goal.

Time Matters

There are 24 hours in a day, 168 in a week, and 61,320 in a year. How many are you spending to work out?

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Knowing what type of headache you have is the first step in treating it properly.

With more than 100 types of headache categories out there, can you ever know what type you have? Yes, you can. And fortunately for you, most types of headache are rare. In fact, chances are, if you’ve got a headache, it’s one of the five most common types of headaches.

Treatment for finding relief often depends on what type of headache you’re suffering from, so correct diagnosis is important.

To help determine what variety of headache you’re prone to, you may want to keep a diary of your headache symptoms. Write down the time of day and date you get headaches, recent foods you ate before the headache, emotions you experience when the headache comes on, type of pain, and length of pain. Then use this to figure out what type of headache you experienced and how to treat it.

Here’s a brief description of the most common types of headaches and the best treatment for each.


By far the most common type of headache among adults and teens, tension headaches result in a dull and achy pain that ranges from mild to moderate.

You’ll feel pain on both sides of your head and may feel like something is squeezing your head. Tension headaches are often brought on by stress, hunger, irregular sleep patterns, neck strain (staring at computer screen all day), poor posture, alcohol use, or depression. You may experience these headaches only occasionally or they may be chronic, and they can last anywhere from half an hour to a week.

Most tension headaches are successfully treated with over-the-counter pain medications. Relaxation therapies such as meditation or regular exercise to reduce stress may also be beneficial.


A painful variety of headache, migraines affect women more than men and brings on pain that is throbbing and often intense. Pain may only be on one side of the head and may worsen with activity. Migraines may also cause sensitivity to sound, odor, or light and cause visual disturbances, nausea, and vomiting.

When suffering a migraine, all you’ll want to do is lie in a quiet, dark room. Migraines can last anywhere from several hours to three days. The cause is unknown but triggers include hormones (when it’s that time of the month), dehydration, alcohol, hunger, odors, chocolate, cheese, or vitamin deficiencies.

If you suffer migraines, do your best to avoid triggers. Use over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription drugs, get plenty of rest, place cold or hot compresses on your head, and drink small amounts of caffeine for relief.


Worst of all headaches is a cluster headache. These headaches are fairly rare, affect more men than women, and smokers are more susceptible to them. Pain is an intense burning or piercing that either throbs in your head or is a constant. It is usually felt around one eye and can last 15 minutes to several hours. Many people feel a sense of restless agitation while the pain lasts. You may have a cluster headache several times a day for several weeks or months. Then they go away for a few months only to come back again.

Since pain comes on suddenly and may go away quickly, over-the-counter meds often don’t help. Injections, nasal sprays, or inhalation medications may provide fast relief.


When your sinuses, the area around your eyes, nose, and cheeks, are inflamed or swollen due to infection, a sinus headache ensues. You’ll feel a deep, constant pain in your forehead and cheekbones that may worsen with movement. A sinus headache often occurs along with additional symptoms including a runny nose, stuffy feeling in the ears, facial swelling, and a fever.
Treat the infection appropriately, and your sinus headache will go away.

Medication Over-Use

Taking pain medication to relieve a headache more than two or three days a week can lead to rebound headaches. This happens when the frequent use of medication causes the brain to overreact, triggering a headache. Or the brain may go into state of withdrawal when medication wears off, resulting in a dull, throbbing headache that last all day.

Stop a rebound headache by weaning yourself off of pain medication slowly. Then limit the number of days you use pain medication to less than 10 days each month.

Half Way There.

It is estimated by the World Health Organization that approximately 47 percent of adults across the world have experienced at least one headache within the last year.

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The bone-building benefits of exercise…coming to a skeleton near you!

When you think of the benefits of exercise, you probably think first of weight loss or heart health.

But exercise is good for alleviating any number of health conditions you may be facing, including back pain, anxiety, low libido, and insomnia, to name a few. Before you head to the doctor for medicine, try adding exercise to your daily routine and see if you notice any improvements. You may be surprised.

Learn how exercise can help treat your condition as well as what type of exercise is most effective.

Medicate Pain

Your body has natural painkillers called endorphins. Exercise causes your body to increase the production of endorphins, which raises your pain threshold. Not only will exercise help you cope with pain, but also it will lessen pain by improving your joint, nerve, and muscle function.

Many people suffer with an aching back from sitting hunched over at a desk or standing on their feet all day. Perhaps your back hurts when you perform certain movements or maybe there’s a dull pain at all times. As you age, the muscles in your back that support your spine weaken and this contributes to an aching back. Back pain can wear you down, but is rest really what you need?

Try strength training to strengthen your lower back, oblique, and abdominal muscles. Strong core muscles go a long way in taking pressure off your spine and improving your range of motion.

Medicate Anxiety

Stressed out? Anxious thoughts keeping you from falling asleep? Relieve stress naturally with cardio exercise. When your heart rate increases, your body produces more mood-enhancing brain chemicals such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and GABA to help you relax for hours to come. Have a stressful day ahead? Start your day with exercise.

Medicate Hormonal Imbalance

Suffering from hot flashes, low libido, PMS, or polycystic ovary syndrome? Rather than drugs, exercise may be your answer. Getting 150 minutes a week of moderate cardio exercise will help balance your hormones, increase your stamina, improve circulation, and release the endorphins that fight fatigue, pain, and stress.

As an added perk, overweight women have a higher rate of severe symptoms related to their hormones. As exercise is an effective tool for weight loss, it’s certainly worth a try.

Medicate Sleep Disorders

Can’t fall asleep at night? Wake up and can’t go back to sleep? There’s little in life more frustrating than insomnia. What you need may be regular moderate cardio exercise early in the day. Vigorous strength training or high intensity cardio exercise may have a negative effect on sleep—especially when done right before bedtime.

Following exercise, your body temperature drops, promoting sleep. Exercise also relaxes you and lessens symptoms of anxiety and depression, which often keep people awake at night. In addition, exercise helps regulate your body’s natural circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle).

Maybe you sleep fine at night, but feel sleepy during the day. Rather than relying on caffeine, try getting off the couch and taking a walk. People who exercise report less daytime sleepiness and more daytime energy.
Overall, exercise will help you fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer, and feel energized during the day.

Medicate Sickness and Disease

Who doesn’t want to live a long, healthy life? Exercise can help you toward that end. Regular exercise not only helps you manage health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, but it also helps prevent them. Reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by 33 percent, colon cancer by 60 percent, heart disease by 40 percent, and diabetes by 50 percent. All with a little bit of exercise.

Mandatory Medication

Exercise shouldn’t be an option. Your body was made to move and functions best when it gets regular movement. Take advantage of the enormous benefits of exercise by moving your body!

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Understanding what triglycerides have to do with your heart.

When you hear talk about triglycerides, you may cringe.

After all, it’s not the prettiest word around, and hearing it may make you think of something bad for you. However, triglycerides are a necessary part of good health, as it’s a type of fat that circulates in your blood and is used by your body for energy. However, when your triglycerides are too high, it can put you at risk for heart disease.

What causes high triglycerides and how can they harm your health? What steps can you take to lower them? You’re about to find out.

You Gotta Get Tested

A routine blood test called a lipid panel test measures your triglyceride level along with your total, HDL (high-density lipoprotein), and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels. Get a baseline measurement around age 20, and then have your levels checked every five years until age 40, when you’ll need your levels checked yearly. If you or a family member has a history of heart disease, stroke, or diabetes, have a lipid panel test every two to three years until age 40. If you already have heart disease, you’ll probably need your levels checked every couple months.

Once you undergo your test, compare your results to what’s normal and what’s not.

Optimal: less than 100 mg/dL
Normal: less than 150 mg/dL
Borderline-high: 150–199 mg/dL
High: 200–499 mg/dL
Very high: 500+

Reasons for High Triglycerides

If your test results reveal a higher than normal level of triglycerides, it may be attributed to obesity, uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, a regular consumption of too many calories (especially calories from carbs and fat), kidney disease, hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid), or excessive alcohol consumption.

Certain prescription drugs can also affect your triglyceride levels. These medications include steroids, beta-blockers, Tamoxifen (a breast cancer drug), diuretics, birth control pills, and estrogen. Though rare, high triglycerides can be genetic. In this case, you may be suffering from fatty deposits located under the skin, a condition known as xanthomas.

Dangers of High Triglycerides

Unless results from a lipid panel test indicate high triglycerides, you probably wouldn’t know your levels are high. With that in mind, you may wonder what the big deal is when it comes to triglycerides. Think of it this way: A measure of your triglycerides is a good measure of the health of your heart. If you have high triglycerides, you may have other issues that put your heart at risk.

For some reason, too many triglycerides lead to the thickening or the hardening of the arteries. When this happens, your likelihood of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease increase dramatically.

High triglycerides are also an indication of other health conditions that contribute to heart disease and stroke such as obesity and metabolic syndrome (a combination of health conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels, high triglycerides, and excess fat around the waist). So paying attention to your triglycerides is vital to your most vital organ!

Lower Your Triglycerides

Have high triglycerides? Don’t ignore the issue or hope it resolves on its own. Instead, take the time to be proactive for the sake of your heart. The good news is that triglycerides respond very well to diet and lifestyle changes, so if you make changes now, you probably won’t have to be on medications the rest of your life.

To effectively lower your levels, lose weight. Shedding even 5 or 10 pounds can make a big difference. Once you’ve lost weight, strive to maintain a healthy weight. Since excess calories are converted into triglycerides and then stored as fat, reduce your calorie intake by limiting fats, sugars, and simple carbohydrates. Eliminate foods with trans fats and avoid the saturated fats found in meats by eating more fatty fish high in omega-3s. For cooking, use olive oil or canola oil. Eating fewer calories will lower your levels and boost your heart health!

No Eating, Please.

Interested in having your triglycerides measured? You’ll have to avoid eating for a bit. For the best test results, your physician will ask you to fast overnight before testing. Eat right before the test and expect to be sent home without undergoing the test. Yes, it’s that important.

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Is muscle soreness inevitable following a workout…or can you prevent it?

You know the feeling. You’ve not worked out for a few weeks and you finally head to the gym. Or maybe you change things up and try a new workout or have an extra strenuous workout. You may even attempt a chore around the house you haven’t performed in some time.

Whatever it is, you work muscles that haven’t been used in a while or use them in new ways. The next morning you have trouble getting out of bed and walking across the room because your muscles are sore and stiff. While this soreness is normal, it can be uncomfortable and slow you down for a day or two.

Known as delayed onset muscle soreness, (a.k.a. DOMS), this reaction to new movements is a serious pain. It happens when you increase your muscle exertion and tiny tears occur in your muscle fibers and connective tissues. As these heal, your muscles will become stronger and larger. By continuing the same movements, your muscles will get used to the exertion and in the future you won’t experience soreness.

Don’t let DOMS keep you from exercising or from enjoying exercise. Keep reading to find out how to prevent soreness and what to do if your best efforts fail.

Stop It First

Nothing seems to be 100-percent effective in preventing muscle soreness following new or intense exercise. But there are ways to lessen your chances and lessen the pain. If you’re new to exercise, the best way to avoid DOMS is by starting off slowly and then gradually increasing your intensity each subsequent time you exercise. By doing this, your muscles won’t tear as easily and will have time to adapt to their new requirements. Don’t go more than a few days between exercising or your muscles will have to readapt each time.

Another way to lessen the impact on your muscles is to start each exercise session with a short warm-up period. This could mean walking before you jog or cycling at a slow pace before you increase your speed. Despite what was once thought, stretching before your workout doesn’t prevent injury or soreness. Instead, stretch after your workout, when your muscles are warm and loose.

If you’re worried about sore muscles, you may be tempted to take a nonsteroidal drug prior to your workout. This, however, doesn’t protect your muscles from soreness. Quite the contrary. It may actually be harmful to your intestines.

A final method to fend off soreness is to eat well. Doing this ensures your muscles have the energy they need for exercise. Fuel your muscles with a high-carb snack or meal prior to your workout, and then replenish your muscles with protein following your workout. For an added DOMS-preventing boost, some believe a diet high in vitamin C does the trick, so give it a try.

Stopping Not Work?

On those days you do experience sore muscles, you’ll need a good way to relieve your pain. A hot bath or heating pad may feel nice, but they won’t do anything to heal your damaged muscles. If your muscles feel tight, try soaking in a warm bath sprinkled with two cups of Epsom salts.

Indirectly icing your sore muscles for 10 to 15 minutes every hour with an ice pack covered in a thin towel may reduce inflammation and provide some relief. Taking acetaminophen or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug may also be helpful. A gentle massage may also feel great on tight, sore muscles.

Some have found relief from drinking tart cherry juice. The antioxidants in this fruit may lessen muscle aches and speed recovery.

But if your muscle pain comes on suddenly or is unbearable, you may have injured yourself and need a doctor’s attention. Call your doctor if your pain is severe or if it lasts more than a couple days.

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What you can do to get the sleep your body needs.

There’s nothing better than waking up in the morning feeling refreshed after a good night’s rest. Since the quality of your day often depends on the quality of your sleep, getting good sleep regular is essential to performing well at work, home, and play.

You probably already know that lack of sleep for a night or two makes you feel groggy or grumpy. But did you know that frequent sleep loss contributes to car accidents and injuries on the job; impairs your judgment and concentration; increases your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes; magnifies depression; hampers your sex drive; ages your skin; and contributes to weight gain?

With so much depending on your ability to sleep, it’s important that you do what you can to increase your chances of deep, quality sleep. Try these tips to see what strategies work for you.

1. Stick to a Sleep Schedule

Your body is made with a natural sleep-wake cycle, also called your circadian rhythm. Ever notice how you start to feel sleepy around the same time each night or naturally wake up around the same time each morning? This is your circadian rhythm. Keeping a regular sleep-wake schedule is one of the best ways to ensure a good night’s rest.

This means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. This doesn’t just include workdays. It includes the weekend as well. If you aren’t able to stick with your schedule for a night or two, make up missed sleep with an early afternoon nap rather than sleeping in late.

2. Regulate Your Melatonin

Melatonin is the hormone produced naturally by your body that works to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. It functions based on light exposure. When it’s dark in the evenings, your body should secrete melatonin to make you drowsy. When you’re exposed to sunlight, your body knows to slow down production.

Unfortunately, your lifestyle may not lend itself well to the production of melatonin. If you’re indoors, away from natural sunlight all day, or if you’re exposed to bright lights from the TV or computer late in the evening, your melatonin schedule may get off kilter. To regulate your melatonin, expose yourself to as much daylight as possible during the day. Then, limit light at night by avoiding the TV, computer, and bright lights.

I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake. – Ernest Hemingway

3. Watch What You Put in Your Body

What you do during the day and what you eat in the hours before bed affect how well you sleep at night. Avoid a big meal, as well as rich, fatty, acidic, or spicy foods within two hours of bed. Alcohol may make you feel sleepy, but will wake you up later and disrupt your sleep. Also, it is best to avoid caffeine completely after lunch. This stimulating drug can stay in your system for up to 12 hours. And when it comes to drinks, limit all beverages in the evening or you may be awoken in the night to use the restroom.

If you need a bedtime snack, try eating a little turkey or a glass of warm milk with crackers. Poultry and dairy are two types of food that contain tryptophan, a chemical that promotes sleep.

Quit smoking if you want better sleep. Nicotine is another stimulant that will keep you awake. While trying to sleep, smokers may suffer withdrawal symptoms in the night that make quality sleep almost impossible.

4. Exercise

At some point during the day, get physical activity. Exercise has been proven to help you get the deep, restorative sleep your body and mind need for optimal functioning. If you find that exercise late in the day stimulates your body, try an earlier time.

5. When to See a Doctor

If you’ve tried every sleep trick you can think of and still can’t seem to get a good night’s rest, it may be time to schedule an appointment with a sleep doctor. Make an appointment if you persistently feel fatigued, snore loudly and catch your breath during sleep, have headaches in the morning, fall asleep at random times, can’t fall asleep or stay asleep, or have crawling feelings in your arms or legs at night.

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