It’s summertime, and you want your family to eat healthy. You know you’ve been eating too much junk food and way too much sugar, but how can you turn things around so you’re eating what’s good for you? Here are a few tips to get your family started on the road to healthy eating.

Take Advantage of Fresh Vegetables

Produce is at its peak production time during the summer, so take advantage. Fruits and vegetables will be fresh, ripe and full of flavor and nutrition. Summer is also when local farmers markets are typically open. Farmers from around the community will bring their produce to one location so you can choose fruits and vegetables that were in the field just hours before.

Tomatoes are firm, large and red this time of year. Just one cup of sliced tomatoes will give you up to 40 percent of your recommended daily vitamin C intake. Bell peppers are bright and colorful, and they’re nutritious as well – they contain carotenoids, which have been linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Berries are especially good in summer, and they are all high in antioxidants, which bolster your immune system and protect against age-related diseases. Watermelon has the highest concentration of lycopene of any fruit or vegetable, so feel free to eat plenty, as lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that also fights against cancer.

Now that you know what to look for, here are a few tips on how to pick the best fruits and vegetables when you’re scanning the bins at the store or market.

Eat Lean Meats

Instead of eating lots of heavy, red meats during the summer, try some leaner, lower-fat alternatives. Use ground turkey instead of ground beef, and try boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Other protein-packed options include fish, such as salmon or tuna, and other seafood, like clams or calamari. Your grill is your friend here – it gives you an easy, delicious method for preparing your meat, and summer evenings are the perfect time to stand on your deck and grill with a cold iced tea or lemonade in hand.

Control Sweets

It’s summertime and it’s hot outside, so let’s be realistic – you’re probably going to have some ice cream at some point. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re going to eat healthy, though, you have to control the amount of sweets you take in. Think moderation, both in portion size and frequency. Or, you can try substitutes, such as low-fat and sugar-free ice cream or maybe a sugar-free sorbet, which contains fewer calories. Try different brands until you find one you like.

Mental Benefits

Summer is a great time to spend time outside and get good doses of vitamin D that will help you feel better. Along with your healthy diet, you’ll feel better physically, mentally and even spiritually. This isn’t just about food, but an entire way of life. Our mental health is affected by many factors, including depression and anxiety, the amount of stress we’re under, how we deal with sadness, happiness and love, and what we eat and drink. Why not take the time to eat and drink in a healthy way that will optimize both your mental and physical health?

Summer is a fantastic time to eat healthy. Fruits and vegetables are fresh and full of taste, and it’s much easier to get access to them. Your kids might even enjoy eating them more – who doesn’t love fresh corn on the cob? Build healthy eating habits now, and they can carry you and your family all year long.

Written by: Dylan Foster

Photo from Pixabay

Here’s how to keep the pace whatever your age.

Hitting the 40 mark and beyond is a sign to start accepting that you wont get the shape back you had in you’re 20’s and 30’s, right? Tell that to Dwain ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Matt Damon and Jason Stratham. Three men in the peak of physical condition in their 40’s who would disagree.

Below we’ll share a trove of training techniques and exercises every man can use to make any age their best.

Lift Big

Just because you’re older doesn’t mean the “big” heavy exercises like squats, pull-ups and deadlifts are all of a sudden too dangerous too include. Perform these exercise correctly and these movements will offer the biggest bang for your exercise buck.

However, performing these exercises correctly starts to become even more important with age. So if you want to start lifting safely and effectively you should do the following:

  1. Practice the technique – and don’t stop learning it. Think “I can lift that better and slowly progress with the load”, and you’ll continue to lift right the way through to your old age.
  2. Start with warm up sets. These can get started with light weights and even without any.
  3. Never train through pain.
  4. Work on your “required sets and reps” then take recovery break between. Max-rep or “ego lifting” can be a disaster waiting to happen.
  5. Never start with a heavy lift.
  6. Rotate variations of your exercises periodically. This will prevent overuse, prevent boredom and encourage a more balanced physical development.

 

The best weight training advice for men over 40

Isolation exercises

In fact, older lifters should do more isolation techniques – especially when trying to bring up a weaker body part. These exercises focus more on movement / muscle connection combinations and should help clean up your technique and get the most from the exercise.

Since isolation exercises for example, bicep curls and calve raises aren’t as taxing as bigger- move exercises, sets and repetitions can go right to failure, which is a powerful muscle growth tool.

Of course, quality of training time matters. If you only have 30 minutes to work out, prioritize big lifts after a short sharp warm up and not 30 minutes of cables curls.

Adding Variety

Exercise variety is commonly overlooked as a muscle growth tool. If you use a bigger exercise toolbox, the better your results.

As exercise scientist Brad Schoenfeld notes in a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, your muscles’ architecture supports variety during resistance training. If you want them to grow, you must work them in different planes of motion and at different angles.

Furthermore, if you’re older and bodies feeling a bit more ‘sensitive’ something as subtle as a change in grip width or hand position can be enough to mitigate pattern overload injuries.

Or you can just be stubborn and keep loading your beloved triceps extensions for another 25 years.

The best weight training advice for men over 40

 

Every “two days a week” gym man works out with a constant eye on the clock, while few recreational lifters will ever come close to overtraining their bodies.

So here’s a checklist of what to do.

  1. Perform shorter but more intense work outs more frequently. Around forty-five minutes, three-five days a week. A rule of thumb: a few hours after you complete your work out, you feel as if you could do it again.
  2. Use variations every three-six weeks.
  3. Manage and track volume. Volume is great for building muscle tissue, but it can drain you too. Instead, push volume in periods. You could do six weeks of more intensity then one-two weeks of de-loading volume.
  4. Low intensity cardio. Steady-low intensity cardio such as a long walk or swimming is an awesome recovery tool. It helps burn fat, improves mood and mental clarity, and boosts cardiovascular health – things all older guys need.

Lifestyle

Stress can’t be bargained with. Keep pushing it and it will burn you out. Here’s some practical stuff that works around a busy lifestyle.

  1. Sleep more. I know you know this. You’re surviving on five hours, not thriving.
  2. Slow down. When overwhelm hits, take some deep breathing and go for a 15-minute walk. Running through your mental to-do list won’t help. You need to re-set your brain.
  3. This part can be confusing for many people. You’re taught that in order to lose weight and get stronger you must exercise, exercise, exercise. The problem with some forms of exercise is that they actually put an increased demand on the body and an increase on cortisol levels. Here’s more on: Ways to manage stress and weight loss