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5 Cutting-Edge Tech Gadgets for Cyclists in 2018

Looking to equip your bike properly? Aside from maintenance and tender loving care, there's nothing quite like sprucing up a reliable bike you know well with a device designed specifically to make your cycling experience smoother, safer and more enjoyable. In fact, some of the best enhancements to your next ride could come in the form of one of these unexpectedly handy gizmos you should already be using.

1. Scosche BoomBottle H20

While it won't be the flashiest entry on the list and it almost certainly won't save your life in an emergency, starting out the new year with an easygoing ride enhancer feels less intimidating than jumping right to the crash-detecting helmets.

With that said, the Boom Bottle takes the basic concept of a portable speaker and makes it much friendlier for outdoor enthusiasts by ensuring it can stand up to the rigors of extensive travel and being jostled across trails and back roads alike without missing a beat.

What really sets it apart is its waterproof nature that even goes so far as to tout its flotation ability should it wind up in a body of water, unlike many other speakers that would sink like a rock even if they were waterproof enough to stand up to a dip in a lake.

If you're interested in taking your music with you but find yourself worrying about breaking your phone while exposing it to the elements, go with a Bluetooth connected BoomBottle and skip the risk entirely.

The concept of installing a loudspeaker on your bike might appear too out of sorts for some of you but, the truth of the matter is, that it’s an interesting and handy gadget. As we’ve mentioned, you can use it to listen to your favorite tunes while cycling, avoid imminent danger, and, of course, set the mood of your ride.

Although it’s not exactly a must-have, it would be a good idea to at least consider buying one. You never know where the road might take you or how dull it can become for that matter. Of course, it’s the cheaper alternative to smart bike helmet but don’t think of it as a thing you can simply buy off at a flea market.

2. Bike Computers

Narrowing down this year's massive list of high-tech bike computers to just a single entry is a daunting task, so it may be better to evaluate what you need out of a biking computer before grabbing one.

At their core, most bike computers are GPS-enabled devices that run off of their own battery power to help you stay on course and offer backup navigation should you run out of phone battery or lose your wireless connection while also offering other assorted features like time spent riding, calories burned, average heart rate and other nifty pieces of info.

Some models even let you transfer that data to a phone app to track your fitness across multiple rides. Not only that, but bike computers are also capable of interfacing with other smart fitness devices. For instance, if you have a Fitbit or other types of smart fitness bands, you can connect them to your bike’s computer in order to compare results or to have a companion that shows you the ropes.

As for navigation, when you’re on the road, especially outside of your country, that little GPS is your sole connection to the world. We don’t want to scare you, but when you’re on your way to Rome, there’s a high chance you might lose your way.

3. Smart Bike Locks

You might get away with locking up your bike with a length of chain and a heavy padlock, but that's not exactly the easiest thing to pack into your kit nor does it offer much in the way of advanced features.

Various smart locks are available at price points to match most budgets and each one offers unique features ranging from wireless unlocking via proximity or even ride-sharing functionality between different users.

If you find them to be out of your price range, there's plenty to look forward to in the realm of traditional locks with lighter weights and improved anti-theft designs that give plain bike locks a run for their money.

Still, you will need to consider the extra muscle these smart bike locks bring. Most of them are made from robust materials like ultra-solid steel which ensure that no one can steal your bike. The smartphone-powered lock adds an extra layer of protection to everything.

Depending on the model and, of course, the price, you can get extra features such as two-step bike. In common terms, this means that the lock will require a physical key and access to the paired smartphone. Sounds like something right out of a science-fiction model, but they’re actually the future.

4. Lumos Smart Cycling Helmet

Bike safety is no laughing matter and often requires a fair few gadgets to really offer peace of mind. You'll be fine with a sturdy helmet and reflectors in most situations, but there's something inherently soothing about knowing you've gone above and beyond to ensure your next ride will end safely. That's where the Lumos helmet comes in, blending together a few common safety devices into one compact package.

For starters, it eliminates the need for a standalone set of turn indicators by building them right into the back of your helmet at a scale that is nearly impossible to miss while out on the road. Those indicators link up to a pair of buttons you strap to your handlebars which lets you keep both hands on the bike while signaling a turn, negating any potential falls due to taking your hands off to signal for a turn or a stop.

More impressive is the braking light that pairs up with an accelerometer in the buttons you use to signal for a turn, which can be adjusted via the helmet's partner app to ensure you're not always showing off a brake light. Seeing as proper turn and brake signals are a vital part of basic bike safety it's nice to see a device that takes some of the worry out of making sure you're seen on the road or trail.

As you can see, smart bike helmets are the epitome of road safety. More than that, it eliminates the need to buy other accessories for your bike such as turn signals. Moreover, because this is a smart gadget, it allows you to pair it with your smartphone.

Perhaps you are wondering what kind of information such a device can deliver. Well, apart from telling you the current speed, it can also ‘sense’ the proximity to other vehicles and even give you an early warning if there’s something obstructing the road.

As with most gadgets that are meant for biking, the smart helmet comes with an appropriate price tag. Our advice to you is to seek bargains. With any luck, you might walk out that shop with your helmet at half the price.

Smart bikes are best used while sharing the road with other motorists but, as we’ve mentioned, they can also come in handy when you’re on the trail.

5. Fumpa Battery-Powered Portable Bike Pump

Rounding out the list is a compact, self-powered tire pump perfect for checking up on your tire pressure before a ride to help you avoid a dreaded pinch flat at the worst possible moment. It's capable of being charged through USB and even hosts its own built-in tire pressure gauge touting an accuracy rating of within 3% accuracy.

Finding a pump that fits into light-weight carry is always a pain but finding one that powers itself and doesn't require a constant source of power to function is something of a lifesaver.

You probably know by now that a cyclist’s best friend is his pump. Without exaggeration, that little cylinder you keep carrying around in your backpack could very well save you a lot of trouble, especially when you don’t know what to expect from the road.

The so-called smart pump just takes things up a notch. With its own power source and full autonomy, you don’t need to invest too much effort into getting your bike road-ready.

Of course, belonging to the smart category, this kind of gadget comes with an appropriate price tag. But, hey, if you’re madly in love with your bike, no price is too great for cool gadgets.

Conclusion

Before you head out on your next cycling trip make sure you take a peek at some of the most useful and innovative bike gadgets you might be missing out on.

You never know when you might benefit from having a bike computer when you wind up on the wrong trail or a high-tech helmet that does your signaling for you. Also, remember that smart helmets are not the only upgrades your bike deserves. You might want to consider stuff like wireless speakers, bike computers, autonomous pumps, and smartphone-powered bike locks.

The post 5 Cutting-Edge Tech Gadgets for Cyclists in 2018 appeared first on GGP.

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6 Broader Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

For a holistic and well-rounded health, there is a need for you to engage yourself in physical activities that involve exercises. This is one way for you to maintain your physical health and also to strengthen your mental and emotional health. It is a common misconception that people exercise just because they want to be physically fit. There are other benefits that you will be able to get from physical activities.

People who are experiencing emotional health problems are relying on different therapeutic processes such as the use of online phentermine. Aside from this, you should also consider other physical activities such as jogging or biking. You can do this effectively if you are going to consider going out and spending time with nature. You can also join other people at the gym. This way, there will be time for you to interact and learn from those who are already exercising for a longer period of time. No matter what your reasons are, whether you want to be physically fit or you want to stabilize your emotions, you can always engage in physical activities.

To help you start, here are some of the broader benefits of regular physical exercise:

Enhances physical appearance

It is not a secret that regular exercise can be very beneficial to your look. It can help delay aging and it makes you feel stronger even in your later age. It is also a misconception to believe that exercise is only for the young ones. The older you get the more healthy activities you should keep yourself engaged with. This way, you will be able to strengthen your bones and muscles. For people who wish to have a sculpted and toned body, regular visits to the gym can also be very helpful. Not only does it give you a youthful glow but it also helps in toning the muscles.

Manage your weight better

One of the main health problems not only in the United States of America but also in different parts of the world is obesity. The number of people who have exceeded the normal weight is increasing as days pass by and this is becoming one of the causes of some diseases that lead to death. If you are experiencing weight gain, you should try to assess your eating habits and also the way you spend your day. If you found out that you have been inactive for many months, you should consider wearing those running shoes again and be active. This way, you will be able to manage your weight as you consider a more effective diet plan.

Prevent cognitive decline

There is a certain age when you find yourself forgetting some things that you deal with every day. This is something that happens as the body and the brain deteriorates. This can be caused by other factors other than aging. But most people who experience this are the ones who are already getting old. If you want to prevent this condition that have something to do with the cognitive function, you have to be physically active. Exercise and make it a habit to be physically active. Regular exercise has a way of boosting the chemicals in the brain. This way, deterioration will be prevented.

Reduce anxiety and manage stress better

Anxiety and stress are just two of the things that you can never get away from because of the responsibilities in life. However, you can always choose to reduce it by exercising regularly. This is one of the secrets that will help you feel happier every day. Exercise can help you release endorphin that makes you feel happier and more contented with the current situation you are in. If you have been experiencing a lot of stress lately because of your job or some family matters, you should try going to the gym and release the negative energies as you sweat up.

Prevent many chronic diseases

If you think about how people easily get sick and how diseases are becoming the cause of most deaths, you will realize that it is really important for you to do something for your health. Regular exercise is one of the most effective way for you to give yourself the shield that it needs to fight the toxins caused by a lot of outside factors. Aside from eating healthy food, you should exercise more. Firstly, people who maintain an active lifestyle through exercise are decreasing the possibility for them to have heart diseases and diabetes. It can also be a cure for asthma and it can help you stay away from back pain.

Helps you age gracefully by maintaining your looks and your agility

As you age, you will notice that your body also becomes weaker. You will also realize that you no longer move as fast as you do when you were younger. This is all part of the process of aging. However, you can always choose to age gracefully and delay all the effects of this inevitable life process. All you need to do is to be more active. Walk, run, bike and exercise. Do not mind your age. Get into an activity that makes you feel happy. There are different ways on how you can maintain your agility. Running is one. Do not just sit there and wait for your body to get weaker. Get out and enjoy the air as you jog. You will notice at the end of the day that you will be able to maintain your youthful glow and you will be able to delay the visibility of wrinkles in your face.

There are different ways on how you can make yourself physically active. You can start by choosing the exercise that you really love to do. After that, you can now choose the best part of the day for your daily workout. And finally, you should nourish yourself with the foods that can give you enough strength to endure the physical activities that you will be doing. This way, you will be able to achieve a holistic wellbeing. If you are not sure about the exercise that you need to do, you can always consult an expert. If you have any physical condition that hinders you from uneasy physical activities, you can also ask your physician to prescribe the right exercise that you can do.

The post 6 Broader Benefits of Regular Physical Activity appeared first on GGP.

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The Mega List of Snoring Remedies That Every Snorer Needs to Read

Snoring is your body’s way of telling you that it’s not getting enough oxygen. Unfortunately, it’s a message that alerts everyone else but the snorer. Gone are the days when you had to stuff your ears with cotton just to get some peace and quiet in the bedroom. Sure, snoring is not a serious problem, but it can get really irritating. You might want to go to a doctor if your snoring is unusually loud and disrupting your breathing. Don’t worry though, a few simple remedies and natural solutions can help reduce the frequency of your snores and help you sleep better. Check them out.

Over the Counter Devices

Over the counter devices and medications are generally the first things a doctor would recommend to chronic snorers. Sleeping aids and masks are not the permanent solution to snoring. Temporarily, these devices just open up the air passage and make breathing easier when you’re lying down. Here are a few devices and machines available in the market that might help you with those thunder-like snores.

Nasal Strips

You can wear a nasal strip over the bridge of your nose while sleeping. The underside of the thin strip has Velcro that sticks to your skin. Nasal strips widen the nostrils, removing any blockage caused by a deviated septum. The thin strips are but a temporary solution, they don’t change the jaw anatomy or affect the internal inflammation.

Nasal Sprays

If nasal congestion or a bad cold is the cause of your bed mate’s snoring, then a nasal spray may come in handy. Just squirt the medicated solution in your nostrils; it cleans out any phlegm or impurities that might have been clogging your nasal passage.

Medication

Some medicines like Ramelteon, Zaleplon, and Zolpidem are commonly found in pharmacies. However, the more powerful medications or pills aren’t always available over the counter, you need a doctor’s prescription for them. Consume only a minimum quantity of the drugs prescribed.

Anti-Snoring Mouthpiece

Mouthpieces might be a bit more discomforting as compared to strips and sprays but show far better results. An anti-snoring mouthpiece keeps your jaws apart, thereby preventing the throat muscles and tongue from collapsing on one another.

Home Remedies for Snoring

Breathing aids, sleeping pills, and other over-the-counter medication, though immensely effective, can have some side-effects. Some people might also develop allergies and infections if the meds don’t suit their body. We bring you a natural alternative that is just as effective if not more. We have compiled a list of the best natural remedies that you can prepare using the ingredients from your kitchen.

Peppermint

Peppermint is the number one home remedy for snoring. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent that clears the nose and assists in regular breathing at night. Mint oil is used in humidifiers and nasal sprays as well. Pop in a few mint candies when you have a sore throat. You can also drink peppermint tea (add honey and other herbs to improve the taste) every night for sound uninterrupted sleep. Even gargling with peppermint oil mixed with lukewarm water twice or thrice a day can clear out any mucus blocking your lungs.

Cardamom

Cardamom, known for its distinctive smell and flavor, is an integral spice in most Oriental cuisines. Add a teaspoon of cardamom in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it all in one go (the concoction has a strong flavor and can be unpleasant). The spice has natural decongestant properties that clear the mucus blocking the respiratory passages. It also reduces the swelling in the internal tissues and membranes of the lungs to provide instant relief.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a common kitchen ingredient that has natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It is not just a coloring and flavoring agent but is also used in herbal medicine. Turmeric paste is effective in curing skin rashes and relieves itchiness. For sore throats and sinuses, a tall glass of warm turmeric milk can work wonders. Drink the mixture every night before going to bed - it clears out your nasal passage, reduces inflammation of the tonsils, and boosts immunity.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a popular choice among fitness freaks. It is cholesterol free and prevents heart blockages and cardiac issues. Other than that, the oil also has anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces swelling around jaws, the throat, and inner tissues of the lungs. Massaging your chest with olive oil or consuming it with a spoonful of honey every night before bed cures snoring. Add olive oil to your daily diet; it increases your productivity and lifespan.

Garlic

Garlic has strong anti-inflammatory properties that clean out the excessive mucus and phlegm lining the inner walls of your nostrils. The flavoring agent also works wonders for treating sinus blockages and throat infections. Chew a few garlic cloves on an empty stomach every morning and wash them down with a glass of water. Another way to consume garlic would be to cook it with your food. Some people might find the smell and taste of raw garlic a bit too overwhelming. You can also use garlic with other ingredients like ginger and honey to create a medicated concoction.

Essential Oils

Essential oils like lavender, tea tree, chamomile, and clove aren’t just for soothing those frazzled nerves. These flavourful and sweet-smelling oils also have several anti-inflammatories, antiseptic and soothing properties that could help you sleep better. A concoction of essential oils can cure a number of ailments including indigestion, cuts, burns, muscle pains and even sleeping disorders. Rub a small quantity of the oil mixture on your chest, nose, and jaws before going to sleep. You can even consume these herbs in their raw form by brewing them in tea and other concoctions.

Ghee

Ghee or clarified butter is added not just for flavor but also make food more nutritious and healthy. Ghee strengthens your bones, boosts your immunity and clears up a nasal passage for good. It is a commonly found kitchen ingredient that is also used in several Ayurvedic medicines. Mix it with a few Brahmi leaves, warm up the mixture and massage it gently on your chest. You can even drink a few teaspoons of liquefied ghee to clear out the blockages of your trachea.

Steam Treatment

As discussed earlier, a blocked nose is a major reason for snoring and breathing problems. Steam treatment might be a slightly uncomfortable experience for many, but it shows the fastest results. It is one of the oldest and most effective treatments for cleaning out the phlegm and saliva lining the nostrils and respiratory passages.

Lifestyle Changes To Help You Sleep Better

Other than being a source of embarrassment, chronic snoring can be a warning sign that all is not well with your body. The next time you find yourself waking up to loud snores, ask yourself - “Am I treating my body right?” A few fundamental changes in your lifestyle can go a long way in ensuring a healthy and happy life.

  • Eat a light meal for your dinner
  • Avoid alcohol or a smoke before going to bed
  • Exercise regularly, burn those calories at the treadmill - it helps you sleep better at night
  • Also, try yoga and meditation - it calms your mind, breathing and works wonders in curbing stress and anxiety
  • Avoid bed lamps and nightlights – they hinder your REM sleep
  • Sleep on your back, straight, prop yourself with a few pillows to get a more comfortable position
  • Stay hydrated, keep a water bottle with you at night
When to Visit a Doctor?

Snoring is never considered a serious medical problem. And unfortunately, it’s too late by the time you realize that you do have a serious problem. Chronic snoring can lead to sleep apnoea, a life-threatening condition where your tongue and throat muscles close down on the air pipe. Usually, strapping up a breathing mask or using a simple home remedy can do the trick. But if you still find yourself frustrated, fatigued and cranky due to lack of sleep, maybe it’s time to see a doctor and get some medical help. Get a full-body examination done for internal swellings, infections or cholesterol blockages in the heart.

A visit to the doctor is usually the last resort that most people consider when nothing else works. The physician might recommend some breathing aids and medicines and in some severe cases even recommend surgeries to cure your snores permanently.

The Bottom Line

Studies prove that almost everyone snores once a while, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It is a very natural condition caused by the movement of your throat when the muscles are relaxed. The trouble starts when your snores get louder and more frequent. Severe snoring can disrupt your sleep, causing sleeping disorders like sleep apnoea, insomnia and in some cases even cardiac problems. Whether you’re the snorer or troubled by your partner’s snoring, these tips and tricks would help you both get a solid shut-eye.

The post The Mega List of Snoring Remedies That Every Snorer Needs to Read appeared first on GGP.

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8 Essential Stuff To Have In Your Gym Bag

You may have heard this famous quote by the great Mother Teresa, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies”.

That saying even applies to you when you are going to the gym. Many people often ignore the importance of the stuff that they carry in their gym bag.

Remember the day when you forgot to bring some important gym gear like a towel, or shoes resulting in you taking a day off at the gym? I am sure your whole day you felt annoying because it messed up your daily gym schedule.

Well, that was just one small example of why you should never overlook the stuff that you should carry in your gym bag. Your gym bag reflects your gym goals.

So, make sure you have all the essential stuff in your gym bag to hit your fitness goals.

Now, if you don’t know what that essential stuff would be that you need to carry before you hit the gym then no need to sweat out because we have got you covered!

1. Workout Wear

Although this one is quite obvious many people tend to overlook the obvious stuff. Your workout won’t be much effective if your gym wear isn’t exactly a ‘gym wear’.

You must avoid wearing your everyday casual clothes like cargo pants or jeans to the gym. You may think who would come to the gym dressed up like that.

But, trust me, lack of ignorance makes people do weird stuff.

It’s important to choose clothes that make you feel confident because that’s when you are going to perform much better.

But, don’t forget to put fitness over fashion. Gym wear that you choose must be flexible enough for you to move any part of your body easily or else it would hamper your workout.

The dressing tips for men and women are almost the same. Both need sweat-wicking shorts or pants, sweat-wicking tops or tees, sweatbands and sweatshirts.

In addition, women need to pay attention to the type of bra that they choose. The gym wear for women should include a comfortable sports bra too.

2. Shoes

Buying good quality shoes is extremely important. Most of the exercise that you are going to do in the gym, your feet are going to be the one that will absorb the most pressure.

Whether it’s running, skipping, jumping, stepping, or lifting your feet are taking a lot of impacts. They are also helping you to keep your balance all time while you are continuously putting the pressure on them.

So, don’t you think you should treat them nicely with a pair of good quality shoes? Today there are different shoes available for every kind of sports.

Whether it's basketball, running, cross-fit, aerobics there are specific shoes available for every activity.

If you are going to spend more time on the running exercises then running shoes would be fine for you. Running shoes comes with the additional cushion which absorbs the shock when your foot hits the ground.

This gives your feet extra comfort and saves your feet from blisters.

If you are more of a Crossfit person then running shoes would be of no use to you. They are designed for forwarding movement so they will not support you when you are doing multi-directional movements.

For cross training, go for Crossfit shoes.

This might be expensive but trust me for your feet it’s worth every penny. As 25 % of the total bones are in your feet, damage to any single one of them could impact your whole body.

You certainly wouldn’t want that so, don’t cheap out on them.

3. Shaker bottles

Shaker bottles are used to fulfill all of your refreshment needs. Your gym bag would be incomplete without it. Shaker bottle can hold your pre or post-workout supplements, antioxidants drink, and water as well.

Shaker bottles are used to shake the post-workout protein and cab combo.

You may wonder why to buy a shaker as we can store the supplements even in a single use bottle. So why spend some money on a quality shaker? Well, the reason behind that is your supplements.

Some of you may not know this that you can’t just take your supplements without any measurements.

For example, to gain muscles or weight you use protein powder. Now you don’t want to take it in the excess amount otherwise you could suffer from its side effects. You don’t even want to have it in low amount else, you won’t feel much difference. So, to utilize your protein powder up to its potential you should take it in the prescribed amount. Now that’s where shakers come in.

You can use the shaker bottle to measure your prescribed protein powder. It also comes in handy when you want to shake the protein mixture to make sure it dissolves easily and doesn’t leave the lumps.

If you shake it with normal water bottle it won’t dissolve easily. No matter how hard you stir the mixture with a spoon you will always find lumps sitting at the bottom of the bottle.

4. Weight Lifting gloves with wrist straps

Weightlifting gloves increase the capacity of the pressure of your hand by increasing the grip on weights. Your hands get sweaty during the workout due to which your hands can slip.

That could cause you slipping off the bar while doing pull-ups or while lifting weights. You won’t be able to give your 100 % when you can’t even hold the bar properly because of sweaty hands.

The problem doesn’t end here. Lifting weights with the bare hands over a long period of time could cause blisters and calluses on your hands.

Even a single blister will prevent you from lifting the weights. That would mess up your whole gym schedule.

That’s why weight lifting gloves are important while lifting weights. They will prevent your hands from suffering from these issues.

Straps on the gloves wrap around your wrists to provide more support allowing you to lift more weights. They also prevent wrist injuries.

5. Gym towel

A gym is a place where every single thing will be full of bacteria and germs. People here come to burn out calories and sweat out.

While doing so they spread a lot of bacteria. You will find sweat on every equipment in the gym. That means even more germs. But, you can’t use that as an excuse to stop going to the gym.

You can’t keep stopping those germs from spreading around but what you can do is to take some extra measurements to wipe off those germs. When you sit on the bench put down your towel on it first and then sit on it.

You don’t want other people to sit on your sweat, do you? So, whenever you are using shared equipment, try to use a towel.

That way you could stop germs and bacteria from prevailing.

6. Hand sanitizers

As discussed earlier, a gym is a disgusting place. Every equipment you touch in the gym you invite more bacteria in your body.

Most of the bacteria get accumulated on your hand. So, hand sanitizer is a must to prevent those bacteria from spreading out further.

Some people often eat eggs or bananas immediately after the workout as their post workout meal to boost the protein level and recover energy.

That’s actually a good thing but eating it without washing your hands first is certainly a bad thing.

Before you eat anything after your workout, always wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer. Otherwise, you might end up spreading those germs inside your body.

7. Moisturizer

It's really important to wash off your skin after working out as your skin will be accumulated with bacteria, oil, and sweat. When you exercise your skin gets dehydrated because your skin loses water due to evaporation.

Dehydrated skin increases surface lines on your skin and cause your skin's cells to die. This would increase the aging process of your skin prematurely.

So, always use the moisturizer post-workout. Moisturizer helps to retain water in your skin. If you workout at a place where sunlight is more then use the moisturizer along with a sunscreen.

You must first, remove your sweaty clothes, wash your face with face wash, apply toner, and then use a moisturizer to re-hydrate the skin.

8. Bluetooth headphones

Listening to music while working out is a great way to improve your performance. Music often causes distraction and that distraction could be your way to hit the more reps.

Don’t listen to any slow-paced music while working out. Instead of motivating you to hit more reps, it will lower your performance.

Listen to any upbeat music and I assure you will start hitting more reps than your usual reps.

Remember, music shouldn’t be too fast either. According to WebMD study, listening to music which has 120-140 beats per minute have the maximum effect.

The reason why people tend to perform much better when they are listening to music is the effect of music on the brain.

Music has a direct effect on your brain’s motor functions and it alleviates your mood.

Avoid using wired headphones as it will cause you trouble every few minutes and disrupt your workout.

Good quality pair of wireless sweat-free headphones is recommended.

Now that you know all the essential stuff for your gym bag, you are more than ready to hit the gym, burn those calories and smash those fitness goals.

The post 8 Essential Stuff To Have In Your Gym Bag appeared first on GGP.

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Split Squat VS. Bilgarian Split Squat: What's The Difference?

From time immemorial, man has developed ways of keeping fit and staying in shape. Whether you are an athlete or a bodybuilder, the need to stay fit and maintain a healthy physique cannot be overemphasized. Fitness enthusiasts will tell you that staying in shape is not just about running several meters or kilometers and sweating profusely. No, things have changed, and it is much more scientific than it used to be. These days, as a fitness enthusiast, everything counts. What you eat and what you do not eat matter a lot. What you do, the way you do them and what you do not do are also a critical factor.

For example, you will not get the desired result if you do pushups with the wrong technique. In fact, it will amount to self-punishment. Burning calories is important for healthy living. Your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is equally important, and it refers to the quantity of calories that you will burn if you were asleep whole day. To calculate BMR, the variables of age, weight, height and body mass are used.

Whether you desire to build your upper body or lower body, there are different programs for different parts of the body. As humans, we must continually engage our bodies and carry out anabolic activities for the sake of our health and general wellbeing. The importance of a good workout plan cannot be over flogged. Apart from your health, your self-confidence also benefits. Squatting is one of the numerous programs that help you stay in shape, and that is our major focus of this article.  It is a specific exercise performed by bending deeply at the knees and then rising, especially with a barbell resting across the shoulders. Squatting works the hamstrings, glutes, and quads. There are different types of squats. However, what we want to do is to dichotomize between the split squat and Bulgarian split squat. Although they both share a lot of similarities in their positioning, execution, and muscles they impact, there are still some differences between them.

What is a split squat?

This is a level higher than lunges and pushups. While a split squat does not engage the rear legs, a lunge does. Although, both exercises involve positioning one leg forward and the other leg behind, the plunge isn't as effective as the split squat. The split squat allows you to focus the load on one leg thereby developing the lower body muscles quicker, but the lunge distributes this load evenly across the two legs. The split squat is generally designed to work one leg at a time while the lunge engages both legs simultaneously. The scope of a split squat is such that your legs create a static axis for you to move weight (either your body weight or your body weight plus an added weight). After striking a balance between your two legs (working leg and resting leg), you go down and return to your starting position continuously. This must be done without moving your feet, and the effect is usually felt around the gluteal muscles, quadriceps, hamstring, and thighs. Your calf muscles are not exempted from the impact of this exercise.

If not properly executed, the split squat could pose a severe danger to your back and knees. You must ensure proper alignment between your knee and your second toe when doing the split squat. You also have to be careful not to overextend your knee. To avoid this, you have to move your front foot forward and watch the position of your shoulders and chest.

What is a Bulgarian split squat?

This single-leg strength exercise is very easy to learn. It also improves balance and stamina as well as building lower-body mass. When doing the Bulgarian split squat, you must ensure you go through the full range of motion otherwise you wouldn't feel any effect of the exercise. To make the most of this exercise and also to prevent injuries, your front foot mustn't be too far forward. If rightly done, your calves, hamstring, and quads will benefit immensely from this lower-body program. Some common variations of the Bulgarian split squat are

  • Dumbbell Bulgarian split squat: This involves holding a dumbbell in each hand as you perform the movement. Adding some weight is better than the unweighted version for people who are not beginners
  • Gym ball Bulgarian split squat with a twist: If you aren't keen on using the weight, this is another way of doing the Bulgarian split squat. This variation tests your coordination and balance
  • Gym ball Bulgarian split squat: Resting your back foot on a gym ball tasks your body balance. This variant of the Bulgarian split squat asks more questions about the stability of your front leg and how much pressure your leg muscles can withstand.
Execution of a split squat

You can either use a barbell or a squat rack. Regardless of the method you choose, you must ensure you position your body well enough to avoid injuries. When using barbells, you must begin from a split squat position with your front leg, back leg behind and weight on your heel. To start with, you have to position yourself on the squat rack. The bar is set on the squat rack, and you grip it while maintaining a stable stance when lifting it off the rack. After this, proceed to take a big step forward with a leg until you are in a split position. You must, however, ensure your chest is pushed forward, your back is straight, and the weight is evenly distributed across both legs to avoid injury and to improve comfort. You can then go down gradually until your knee is just off the floor forming an angle of 90 degrees between both legs. The next thing that is required is for you to push yourself up with an upward force. However, you must remember to keep your back straight and your chest forward. The process should be repeated for as many times as you are comfortable with.

Execution of a Bulgarian split squat

Here are a few tips on how to do the Bulgarian split squat

1. Look for a bench or step that measures up to your knee height. This is where you will rest your foot

2. Set your body up in a forward lunge position. The ideal positioning involves elevating your back foot on the bench, hips should be square to the body, and torso should be properly aligned and upright. The distance of your leading leg from the bench is also important and it shouldn't be more than half a meter.

3. Go down steadily until your front thigh is about 180 degrees from the floor. While doing this, the alignment between your knee and your foot mustn't be altered

4. Return to your starting position by lifting your bodyweight through your front heel.

5. Repeat the procedure eight to ten more times

Split squat vs. Bulgarian split squat

The Bulgarian split squat falls under the split squat type of lower-body exercise. Usually, the split squat and Bulgarian split squat work the same types of muscles. Hence, they can produce a similar effect on the same part of the body. In both exercises, the front leg is the working leg and the back leg provides balance. This implies that the front leg bears much of the load. The major difference between the split squat and Bulgarian split squat is in the way you position your body. The exercise technique is the same albeit the Bulgarian split squat seems to be a little bit more difficult because the exercise range of motion is increased due to the elevated leg position. The risks and chances of injuries are also higher with the Bulgarian split squat than the regular split squat. When you’re a beginner, do not begin with an extra weight. Start by pushing your body weight and build on from there.

Muscle groups worked

Both types of split squats work almost the same kind of muscles. The hamstring, thigh muscles, heel, quadriceps, glute, knee and calf muscles are well worked and become stronger, firmer and tougher.

Final Thoughts

The split squat and Bulgarian split squat each have their unique properties. However, they are very similar in the kind of effect they produce on the lower-body. Also, the method of execution is not different, and the exercise technique for both are the same. The major difference between the two is in how the body is positioned when the exercise is carried out. The Bulgarian version is a tad above the regular split squat because it depends more on your strength and energy to push weights due to increased range of motion and balance challenge. All in all, you must exercise caution when carrying out any of the two to prevent fracture and muscular injuries. You must ensure your back is aligned correctly and your chest is pointing forward. Also, try as hard as you can not to rest too much weight on your legs. 

The post Split Squat Vs. Bulgarian Split Squat: What’s the Difference? appeared first on GGP.

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How to Exercise When You Are in Ketosis

As a beginner starting off on ketosis, you will be faced with questions that need answers to such as what kind of food and drinks constitute the keto diet, and also how to exercise when you are ketosis. This article explains the best ways for you to exercise when on a keto diet. 

The truth about exercise and ketosis

There are a lot of speculations on whether or not it is safe to exercise as much when going keto. But the truth remains that exercise is beneficial to your body even when you are in ketosis. When you are on a keto diet, you basically reduce your carbs intake and consume more low-fat meals to help lose weight. Carbs remain the body's main source of energy and reducing carbs consumption may be one of the reasons people shy away from exercising on a keto diet. However, consuming high-fat meals can also help in providing the body with energy and also in improving your workout routines. 

What you need to know about exercise and ketosis?
  • It doesn’t really matter whether you choose to spend hours on end exercising if you don’t stick to a ketogenic diet meal plan, all the energy and time spent exercising won't yield the desired results. You need to take into consideration what you eat. It is advisable to source quality meat, seafood, and dairy products and be watchful of your caloric intake per meal. If you must consume snacks in between meals, you need to ensure that they also help keep you in ketosis. There are also other keto diet tips you can look out for to help you lose weight.
  • It doesn’t matter whether you are in ketosis or not, exercise works wonders for the body in a number of ways. It helps in building muscles which leads to a lean and toned physique, strengthens the bones and improves blood supply to parts of the body. 
  • You need to adopt an exercise routine in addition to your keto meal plan in order for you to get any meaningful result. It could be an hour or two daily or break it down into weekly routines. But whichever you choose, it is important that you find an exercise routine that works for you and stick to it. 
  • Finally, you need to stay dedicated to your keto exercise routines and follow your meal plan if you need positive results within the shortest possible time. It is easy to get discouraged when you feel like things aren’t working or you are not getting the desired results quickly, the truth is that exercise in combination with ketosis works and if you just try to stay dedicated for a few weeks, you will begin to notice changes. 
Type of Exercise you can perform when in ketosis

There are four type of exercise you can perform when in ketosis and they are 

1. Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercises are also known as cardio exercise, they basically last more than three minutes. They are generally long-lasting low-intensity exercise that burns fat which makes it a good form of exercise when you are in ketosis. Aerobic exercise involves pumping of oxygenated blood by the heart and sending oxygen to muscles that require it. It helps to stimulate the breathing rate and heart rate throughout the entire exercise session, improves physical fitness, and also improves emotional health. Examples of aerobic exercises include hiking, kickboxing, skiing, walking, spinning, running, swimming and cardio machines. 

2. Anaerobic Exercise

Anaerobic exercise includes a quick burst of energy like in the case of high-intensity interval routines such as weightlifting. You will need a carb diet to be able to sustain this form of exercise as a fat diet can’t provide you with the required energy to perform this type of exercise. When you perform exercise at a high-intensity level such as this, there is a lot of pressure on your cardiovascular system to deliver oxygen to muscles as fast as possible. You can only perform anaerobic exercises for a short period of time as muscles require a steady supply of oxygen to be able to maintain long-lasting exertion. You can simply define anaerobic exercise as a high-intensity exercise that is performed in short time duration usually not more than two minutes. Examples of anaerobic exercise include heavy weight lifting, jumping, running, cycling and other endurance activities such as a marathon. 

3. Stability Exercise 

Stability exercises help to improve your movement control, muscle strength, and alignment. General core training and balance exercise constitute stability exercise and they are beneficial in preventing back pain. Examples of such exercises include planking, squats, side plank, bird dog, bridge and stability ball exercises. Stability exercises help to tone your body, strengthens muscle and improve daily activities such as walking, leaning over and getting in and out of bed. Stability exercises target areas of the body such as back, glutes, core, arms, and legs. Stability exercises are a great form of exercise when you are in ketosis, they are perfect for beginners and can be performed at home or outdoors. 

4. Flexibility Exercises

Flexibility exercises basically help to improve muscle motion range, stretching of muscles and also help in supporting your joints. This exercise helps to relieve you of the feeling of fatigue and relax the stiff muscle and improves breathing and blood supply around the body. There are a number of flexibility exercises you can engage in even while you are in ketosis that can help take you closer to your weight loss goals.

Adjusting your keto diet to suit your exercise routine

If you are planning on going on an intense exercise routine, then you most likely need to plan or preferably adjust your keto diet to support your workouts all in the bid to get your desired results in the shortest possible time. If you engage in a high-intensity workout such as weightlifting or running more than three times weekly, then you will need to adjust your keto diet to allow for slightly more carbs so as to sustain your exercise level. Carbs provide the body with more energy for a workout than fat-rich foods and so you need to adjust your keto diet by including more carbs to provide you with maximum energy for exercises. You can achieve this by eating less than 30 grams of fruits before and after a workout. This helps in providing your muscles with an adequate supply of glycogen which is highly beneficial during your training and also for recovery after training. This way, the carbs are quickly utilized for your workout routine and does not affect your ketosis negatively.

Health benefits of exercising in ketosis

Exercises play a great role in the body while in ketosis and the benefits include

  • Exercising in ketosis burns fat faster since you are already on a low-carb diet. A low-carb diet reduces your calorie intake and helps prevent you from adding more weight, and by engaging in high-intensity exercise when you reduce your carbohydrate intake you can rest assured that you will shed weight a lot faster. 
  • Exercising in ketosis helps to prevent fatigue especially during a long aerobic exercise routine.
  • Exercising in ketosis helps to improve blood glucose level in obese individuals. 
How to get the best out of exercising in ketosis?

One of the challenges a lot of people face once they make the decision to combine exercise with ketosis, is how to get the best out of combining both. Exercise generally helps to tone the body and maintains normal body function while ketosis for a lot of individuals is all about losing weight. If you can strike a balance between exercise and ketosis, you can get your desired result in the shortest possible time. Here are some tips on how to get the best out of exercising in ketosis.

  • Find out what works for you: this involves, testing different exercises and routines and finding one that you can work with. Mind you, you shouldn’t opt for exercises that don’t yield results. High-intensity exercises are guaranteed to get you closer to weight loss goals faster while in ketosis. 
  • Longer workout time may be a bit stressful, but the longer the better when exercising on a low-carb diet. This way, you can be assured that you would get the best of the time invested in your workout routines since you aren’t consuming many calories per meal. 
  • Plan your meals daily: this is by far the surest way of being in control of what you eat. Since you will be spending energy exercising, it is only ideal that you already have something to eat when you are done with your exercises. 
  • Get enough rest: it is important that you try and fix a broken sleep schedule when looking to exercise in ketosis. I personally suggest a minimum of 6 hours of sleep daily to allow your body repair itself after a stressful day of exercising. 
Final Thoughts

Exercise and ketosis are both great ways by which you can realize your dreams of a perfect body and combining both of them guarantees that you get the job done quickly.

If you have further questions or would like to share any useful information, feel free to let us know in the comment section and if you find this information helpful, don’t hesitate to share it with your circle.

The post How to Exercise When You Are in Ketosis appeared first on GGP.

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