Don’t Get Hurt Trying to Improve your Health

Unfortunately, this happens more often than you might think. Someone decides they’re finally going to get in shape, take up a new sport or even kick their current activities up a notch. The next thing they know, they’re sidelined with an injury.

But that doesn’t mean you should stay away from exercise just because you haven’t been active recently. The health benefits from a daily workout routine far outweigh any risk of injury. In fact, many sport-related injuries can be avoided altogether, just by following a few simple steps.

Time to call your doctor

Most people don’t think about seeing their doctor until they’re sick or injured. But preventative medicine can be the best kind, and your doctor can make sure you don’t have any underlying illnesses or conditions that would restrict your activity in any way. This is an important step no matter what age you are, but it is especially important if you’re overweight or have been sedentary for some time.

Don’t stretch your warm up

Most people know that warming up before any kind of physical activity is a good way to prevent injury. But many mistakenly think that stretching is the way to go. Stretching may have some benefits on its own, but a dynamic warm up that prepares the muscles for your upcoming activity is more likely to prevent injuries. This would include moves such as standing straight-leg raises, jumping jacks, heel kicks and walking lunges.

Slow and steady always wins

Doing too much too soon is another common reason for sports-related injuries. Whether you’re wanting to prove that you’re in better shape than you seem or you’re looking for faster results, or you just get caught up in the excitement of being active again, nothing will sideline you faster than overusing muscles and ligaments that haven’t seen much action lately. Instead, start any new activity at a moderate intensity, don’t push yourself to the point of exhaustion and allow sufficient recovery time in between workouts.

Pain doesn’t always mean gain

Once you’ve settled into a bit of routine, you may feel like you’re ready to kick things up a notch. But you still need to proceed cautiously and learn to listen to your body. If you experience any type of new pain that doesn’t subside after a day or two of rest, you may need to dial back your activity. If it worsens or continues to linger, it’s probably best to see your doctor.

Get help before you give in

Some people get so overwhelmed trying to figure out where to begin or if they’re doing things the right way, they end up not even trying or giving up after only a few days. If worrying about a potential injury is keeping you from even starting a new activity, try working with a trainer. They can walk you through the basics to get you started and boost your confidence until you’ve established a routine.

Of course, no one wants to experience an injury. But many of the most common sports-related injuries can be avoided, so don’t let that keep you from starting an exercise program or trying a new sport. Just start out by checking in with your doctor and following a few common sense rules.

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Getting More Out of Your Workout

When Going to the Gym Just Isn’t Enough
Everyone knows that regular exercise is beneficial to your overall health. If you’re faithfully hitting the gym and logging a full 30 minutes on your favorite cardio machine, that’s great, but you could be getting a lot more out of your workout.

While any exercise is more beneficial than just sitting on your couch, mixing up your routine could have added benefits. If you’re like most people, there’s probably an exercise or two that you absolutely hate, but did you ever wonder if maybe you dislike them so much because they’re working a weaker area of your body?

To fix those weak spots, create a variable routine that targets each of your major muscle groups. You should also alternate between focusing on increasing flexibility, building muscle and improving cardio.

A dynamic stretch to increase your flex

No matter how much you work out, daily commutes and long hours of sitting at a desk can really hamper your flexibility. A dynamic stretch, such as the forearm-to-instep lunge, can increase flexibility in your hips, hamstrings and lower back.

Give it a shot: Starting with your left foot, step into a lunge and bend forward at the waist. Your left forearm should be on the ground with your elbow touching the inside of your left foot. Your right hand should also be on the ground. Next, keep your right hand on the ground and twist your torso while reaching upward with your left hand. Return your hand to the ground before straightening your left knee and resuming a standing position. Repeat using the right leg, and try to complete about 3 to 5 reps on each side.

Building muscle doesn’t always mean bulk

Some people skip strength training altogether because they don’t want large, bulging arms and legs. But the truth is, it takes significant effort and specific exercises to gain that type of muscle mass. However, incorporating a simple strength-training move, such as the opposite arm/leg lift, can help you retain bone strength and raise your metabolism.

Give it a shot: Start from a kneeling position and place both hands on the ground in front of you. Your arms should be straight and your back should be parallel to the ground. Raise one arm off of the ground, holding it straight out in front of you, while extending the opposite leg behind you. Stretch your arm and leg in opposite directions and hold this position for 5 seconds. Return to your original position and repeat the move, alternating sides for 10 sets.

Kick up your cardio with sprints

Whether you’re on the treadmill or logging a few mile outdoors, adding a few sprints to your regular run will improve your cardio and has many other benefits, such as burning fat and building muscle.

Give it a shot: After you’ve warmed up, try sprinting for 10 to 30 seconds and then slow it down for about 30 seconds. The point is to go a bit faster than you would normally be able to for a longer period, but there’s no need to overdo it. Try to complete at least 3 to 5 sets during the first few workouts, but add more sets or increase your speed as you feel able.

If you’re already making it to the gym on a regular basis, adding a few moves like these will help you get the most out of your workout. If you want to focus more on a specific area, check in with one of the trainers at your gym for some additional targeted moves. Whichever workout you choose, just mix it up and keep hitting the gym.

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Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

If you’re thinking about buying a home, it’s never too early to start planning. Whether you want to buy in about five years or you’re considering taking the leap this year, there are several steps you can, and should, take to be financially ready.

If you’re thinking 5 years

Know your numbers
Check your credit scores, and, if you have credit cards, do your best to keep your balances at least 25% below the actual limit. But don’t be tempted to close them, as that can impact your score. Even if you’re numbers are good, stay on top of your bills. Now isn’t the time to miss those due dates.

Stick to that budget
Not saving enough? Revisit your budget, make a plan and stick to it. You should be putting at least 20% of your income-or more-into your savings. The rest should be divided between necessities and luxuries.

Maybe next year?

Time to curb your spending
Once you’re about a year away from wanting to buy, you should attempt to stash away even more savings. Of course you’ll need to save enough for your down payment and closing costs, but you’ll likely need to purchase a few things, such as furniture or new appliance or two, after you buy your home.

Adding it up
While all this saving is good, make sure you know if it’s enough. Down payment requirements can vary depending on your credit rating and several other factors, and you’ll want to put down as much as you can afford to keep your monthly payments lower. You’ll also need to factor in closing costs and broker fees.

Take it to the bank
It’s important to get pre-approved once you’re within a year of buying. This means finding out from a mortgage lender how much you qualify for and what your monthly payments will be. You should always shop around, as some banks can do better than others and credit unions sometimes have lower fees.

Get shopping
Now that you know how much house you can afford, figure out what areas meet your criteria and your budget. There are some great online home buying tools to help you get a sense of how much homes cost in certain neighborhoods. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few key areas, a real estate agent can help you find the perfect home and will walk you through the rest of the buying process.

Ready to buy

Be smart about it
It’s usually a good idea to choose a mortgage with a fixed rate when possible. Although you’re monthly payment may be slightly higher, you won’t have to worry about interest rates rising in the future. Choosing the shortest terms you can comfortably afford also works well for some buyers. While most choose the 30-year option due to its lower payments, imagine the interest you’d save by going with a 15-year loan. Whichever you choose, make sure you’re able to set aside funds for costs of ownership, such as repairs and maintenance.

Take a closer look

Even once you think you’re ready, go over your budget and your reasons to buy before you sign those papers. Buying a home is a major investment that isn’t easily undone, so it’s smart to consider you plans for the near future. Factors such as a change in jobs or starting a family can have a huge impact on the type of home or the location that works best for you. Once you’ve tackled this list, you’ll be able to feel more confident that you’ll make the best choice when the time comes.

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Don’t Give in to Those Cravings

It happens to the best of us. No matter how healthy you eat or how much you exercise, every now and then you get hit with an insatiable craving for something you know you’ll regret eating. Whether it’s a cheesy pizza with all the toppings or triple fudge sundae, there are a few things that can help you fend off the temptation.

Walk it off

Of course, regular aerobic exercise can boost your metabolism, which is good for burning calories. But the next time you’re craving a less-than-nutritious treat, try taking a quick walk. Not only will it take your mind off of eating, you’ll feel invigorated afterwards. If you’re at work, try a fast loop around the parking lot-you’ll likely be more productive when you return to your desk.

Drink up

Staying hydrated is an important part of any weight loss program. But if you’re not get enough water, you can feel tired or sluggish. Making sure you have access to water throughout the day is a great way keep from reaching for a quick boost from an unhealthy snack. However, if you’re one of those people who just aren’t fond of water, try adding a few mint leaves or a slice of lemon to liven it up without adding calories.

Sleep matters

Just like when you’re dehydrated, if you’re not getting enough regular sleep you will likely feel tired and sluggish. If taking a nap during the day isn’t an option-which it isn’t for most-try working on getting to bed earlier and getting a full night’s sleep on a regular basis.

Keep healthy snacks on hand

So you’re well-hydrated and getting plenty of sleep-maybe you are just hungry. When hunger hits, if you’re not prepared with a healthy option on hand, you’re much more likely to head for the junk food. Keep cut fruits and vegetables ready to go, as these are high in fiber and will take longer to digest than sugary cookies or high-sodium pretzels.


Being under a lot of stress can also make you vulnerable to cravings. While exercise is one of the best ways to de-stress, if time is limited, even a few stretches can help. In addition, just taking a break from whatever you’re doing can make a big difference. Try gazing out of a window for a minute or two, flipping through a magazine you’ve been meaning to read, or calling a friend to catch up.

Give in?

As strange as it sounds, sometimes just having a small taste of whatever you’re craving will make it go away. The important thing here is to have a healthy snack as well. That will take care of the hunger and keep you from over doing it. But if you don’t think you have enough willpower for this one, it might be best to stick with some of the other options.

Whichever method you choose, the important thing is to stay aware of what your body is telling you and eliminate any outside factors that could be causing your cravings. Even if you slip up now and then, at least you’ll have an action plan to get you back on track.

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The body you want is not going to happen overnight

There is no question that we all wish we could look like the models on the magazines, or the toned and ripped athletes that we see on TV and the movies. The problem is that a lot of people seem to want everything to happen fast and they expect to get huge rewards from very little efforts. This is something that we can see happening in all areas of life. Individuals looking to become wealthy by working a few months on a new idea, or people hoping to achieve the body that Brad Pit had in Troy, by going to a gym for a couple of months and eating energy bars every night.

The real world works quite different from what we see on TV and the movies. The only way to be able to reach your goals in life, is to work hard to obtain them. If achieving a perfect body was something easy to do, we would not be seeing so many overweight people out there. Let’s get through some important information that you need to consider before you start to work on changing your appearance.

Educate yourself on proper nutrition
You could hit the gym every single day for many hours and you would never be able to achieve the kind of body that you want if your diet is not good. Eating junk food with soft drinks is not going to provide your body with the required nutrition that you need in order to burn fat and build muscle.

Get plenty of sleep
We know that you are probably wondering when we are going to start to talk about the best muscle building and fat burning exercises, but proper dieting and getting enough rest are more important than the kind of exercise that you do. The ideal amount of time for sleep is at least 8 hours a day, but some people claim that they can get more than enough rest from 6 to 7 hours of sleep per day. Just make sure that you feel rested when you wake up and that should be good enough. The reason why this is so important is because muscles don’t grow when you hit the gym, they grow when you rest after your workouts.

Include cardio and weight training in your workouts
If you want to have a toned body, you need to be able to get plenty of cardio, but you also need to lift weights to promote muscle growth while you burn fat. We recommend that you look for a professional trainer that will give you the best kind of workout routine for your needs.

Know your genetic limitations
Anyone can achieve a fit and toned body, but you cannot expect to look exactly like any guy that has a toned and muscular body. There are certain parts of your body that are never going to get bigger than their genetic makeup allows. This is the case with your ankles and your wrists. Find out if you are an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph and this will give you a good idea of the kind of body you can achieve.

Being consistent and understanding that it takes years to build a good body is essential for success. The reason why so many men fail to transform their bodies, is because they quit after a couple of months. They expected to get huge results in just a few months, but they only see very small gains. What they fail to realize is that it takes years to build a great body and those little gains will eventually lead to the body they always wanted.

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Surprising things that can make men insecure

Men in general are usually not affected by someone saying that their clothes don’t look good, or that their new hairstyle looks boring or outdated. This is the kind of issue that would normally be important to women and for the most part this is true, but there are actually many things that can make a man feel insecure and we are going to be listing some of the most relevant ones in this article.

1-Belly flab

Yes, while most men are able to hide behind their shirts all day long, there is a moment when they are going to have to expose their bodies and the belly flab is usually going to be a cause for concern. This is even more common when there are men who have fit bodies around. The problem is that most men will forget about this insecurity because they only have to deal with it sporadically.

2-Lack of culture

It might seem like men are not affected by how much they know about general culture, but this is usually not the case. Most men will rather pretend to be interesting rather than seem like they are uncultured. This is high on the list of things that make men feel insecure, but the good news is that reading more books and learning some general culture can fix this problem.

3-Back hair

This might have not been an issue back in the70’s and 80’s, but things have changed a lot in the last few decades and the hairy look for men is no longer appealing. When men have hairy backs, they tend to feel very conscious about it. This is a big issue when they go swimming or they are at the beach. Fortunately there are ways to fix this now with permanent hair removal. The days of the hairy sexy look are definitely long gone.

4-Embarrasing relatives

Believe it or not, there are many men who are tormented by having to bring their girlfriend to their home, because they are afraid of being embarrassed by a relative that is always doing or saying things that are inappropriate. This seems to be an issue that affects more men than women all over the world.

5-A crappy vehicle

Out of all the things that we have mentioned in this list, it seems like one of the situations that can make men seriously insecure is to drive a messed up car. According to many surveys, there are very few things that most men would dread more than having to drive to a party with a crappy car and seeing a lot of beautiful women staring at the car and laughing. This scenario is likely to never happen the way most men imagine it, but it’s definitely one of the few things that can make a man feel embarrassed and insecure to a level that even causes anxiety. Modern media has made it seem like success is closely related to the kind of car a man drives and this has put even more pressure on most guys who are driving crappy vehicles.


Men are more likely not to be too worried about their clothes and the accessories they wear, but there are definitely a lot of things that can make men feel insecure. The curious thing is that the kinds of issues that make men insecure, will usually cause no emotional distress in women and vice-versa. At least now we know that even when men are better at playing it cool, they are also hiding many insecurities that they deal with all the time.

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Protect your eyesight with proper dieting

When you think about the most precious thing you have, your first answer is most likely to say that it’s your health and this would be a good answer to give, but out of all the senses and out of all the things that our body can do, most people will probably say that their eyesight is the most valuable ability they have.

To say this, is quite natural because our eyes allow us to interact with the world in ways that would never be possible without them. If we had no ability to see, we would not be able to appreciate the many wonders that nature has to offer, but being completely blind is usually not something that most people will ever have to worry about. This does not mean that some serious visual conditions are not a possibility and we have to be very careful by taking proper care of our eyes to avoid this.

In this article we are going to give you some important tips on how you can improve your diet in order to protect your eyesight and provide your eyes with the right kind of nutrition to avoid any serious issue in the future.

There are recent studies that have shown how a diet that is rich on dark leafy greens, can be extremely beneficial for the general health of your eyes. Vegetables that have plenty of carotenoids are the most useful for this purpose. Lutein and zeaxanthin are both going to help absorb photon energy and they will help fight free radicals that damage your eyes day by day. Taking 10 mg per day of lutein and at least 2mg of zeaxanthin will be an ideal daily amount.

The following is a list of foods that are lutein-rich:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Green peas
  • Corn
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya
  • Eggs
  • Orange

We suggest a diet that has plenty of vegetables in general and foods with great astaxanthin content such as Salmon. Another benefit of Salmon is that it provides a very good source of Omega-3 fats and this is extremely helpful to avoid advanced macular degeneration. This is the main reason why we suggest you try to eat as healthy as possible all the time.

Junk food ruins your gains
If you eat junk food during the day and you eat vegetables at night, you will not be getting the full benefits of your heathy food consumption. The reason for this is that your body will be too busy trying to get rid of the artificial foods that you have ingested and many of the nutrients that came in the vegetables and lean meat are not going to be absorbed properly.

If you want to take advantage of a healthy diet, you need to keep it as clean as possible. Eating a healthy meal followed by junk food, is like people who order a pizza with a glass of water instead of a soft drink. The point is that healthy dieting should be frequent and junk food should be very sporadic in your life.


Very few things are as precious to us as our eyesight and we need to learn to eat foods that will benefit this precios sense and keep it strong. Most people have no idea of the many benefits and the large number of ailments that can be avoided when they decide to start a healthy diet. You are the only one who has the power of making that positive change in your life and we suggest that you start today in order to enjoy a good quality of life tomorrow.

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Eliminate soft drinks and processed foods from your diet to improve your heath

It’s funny how we live in a society that condemns the use of certain illegal drugs, but people seem to glorify the consumption of junk food and soft drinks. Fast food chains are popular and they make billions each year. This is something that is causing obesity and a large number of serious illnesses that lead to death.

There is no question that we are living in a very hectic world now and it can be easier for anyone to purchase fast food than cook a meal. It just seems like we don’t even have the time to prepare a nice healthy dish anymore and this is the reason why the consumption of junk food has become so common.

You need to take the time to analyze your situation and consider how dangerous it can be for you to continue to neglect your dietary habits. Would you rather invest an extra half hour a day preparing a heathy meal, or end up suffering from a serious disease down the line?

A disease that will force you to start taking all kinds of expensive medicine just to survive. Do you really think that the sacrifice of cutting back on junk food is not worth your time? Think again, because your life might depend on it.

If you feel like it will be hard for you to eliminate junk food completely, you should at least come up with a nutritional plan that will allow you to cut back on the processed food significantly. If you have no time to prepare good meals, at least start to look for healthier options to eat in your area. Replace the pizza and hamburgers with some healthier choices, like turkey sandwiches and tuna salads. They might be a bit more expensive, but this is an investment worth making and there are plenty of restaurants that provide that kind of service.

People don’t even realize how much they damage their bodies with products that are very high on sugars. A 20 ounce bottle of soft drink can contain up to 69 grams of sugar and that is terrible for the body. You are always going to exceed the amount of sugar consumption you need, as long as you continue to drink these kind of beverages on a daily basis.

Also remember that all those products that claim to help you with your dieting, are actually going to be doing more harm than good. All the artificial sweeteners are just as damaging and they can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This is the reason why we strongly recommend that you avoid those products completely. They are worthless when it comes to helping you lose weight and they are not a healthy replacement in any way.

There is a collapse happening in the processed food industry. It’s not happening fast, but people are waking up to the truth about the terrible effects that this kind of food has on their health. Maybe twenty to thirty years from now, there will be a law that will consider junk food to be too hazardous for consumption and this is going to change the way in which we eat forever, but until then, it’s up to you to make that change and save your own life.

Some people might think that this is an exaggeration, but processed foods and junk food in general are killing you. It might take one or two decades, but if you consume a lot of processed foods, you will suffer serious health consequences at some point and they will closely related to your diet.

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Easy methods to estimate your servings

There is no question that being able to watch your diet is going to be extremely helpful for your overall health. When you learn to estimate the serving sizes you get with each meal, you will have more control of your diet and you will be able to maintain an ideal weight. We are now going to give you some easy methods to estimate your serving sizes and this is going to prove to be very useful for your life in general. Remember that you need to consult with a nutritionist before you make any changes to your diet.

Here are some ideal guides to help you portion control your food. The foods listed below are to be consumed in moderation. One great way the strategies below could work is if you are going out for dinner. Use this portion control guide and take the rest home for later.

This is one of the most common things that people include in their diets. We put butter in many of the foods that we enjoy eating. One tablespoon contains about 34 calories, with a total of 4 grams of fat. The size of this serving is about the size of the tip of your thumb. That would be a good estimation for the amount of butter to consume per meal.

This is probably the most common and popular pasta in the world because it’s very easy to make. ½ cup of cooked spaghetti equals about 99 calories and 1 gram of fat. You should eat a serving that is about as big as your fist and this would be ideal. Remember to try and choose the whole grain spaghetti option to keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Chicken soup with noodles
When you eat chicken soup with noodles, you usually eat much more than you are supposed to, because you don’t really feel like you are getting full. The ideal portion is 1 cup to get 175 calories and about 6 grams of fat. This serving is about the size of a baseball.

This is another very common and nutritious pasta that is served in many tables all over the world. The ideal serving for Lasagna is about the size of two hockey pucks. This is the equivalent of 270 calories and 8 grams of fat. Just like spaghetti, try and opt for the whole grain version.

This is one of the top best meals to eat because it includes a lot of protein and it’s perfect for people who want to get lean muscles while losing fat. The ideal serving of steak is about the size of a deck of cards. This means you would be getting 3 oz. of beef and 219 calories with about 13 grams of fat.

Mashed potatoes
This is a great and healthy option to go with your meals. ½ cup of mashed potatoes equals 112 calories and 5 grams of fat. The best way to measure a good portion of mashed potatoes is to compare it with half a standard American Apple. Remember to always eat potatoes in moderation. And if you can, try out sweet potatoes. They taste great and are friendlier to the waste-line.

Cheese is a very delicious food to have, but you need to come up with an ideal amount of cheese to eat. Four standard dice that are used for gambling are the best way to estimate the perfect serving of Swiss cheese for example. This equals 107 calories and 8 grams of fat.

There is nothing more important than being able to keep your meal sizes under control. This is going to help you keep an ideal weight and it also leads to a much healthier lifestyle. Being able to estimate the size of each one of your servings is going to be a very useful method that can have a very positive impact in your life.

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Try More Weights for a Smaller Size

Many people shy away from weight training when they want to slim down. They’re usually afraid of getting large, bulky muscles. But the truth is, weight lifting will actually make your body leaner.

The confusion may come from the fact that lean muscle actually does weigh more than fat, and when most people start a diet or exercise program, they’re looking to see the number on the scale go down. However, the benefit to gaining muscle is that it burns more calories than fat, which is why it’s such a great workout for slimming down.

Another benefit is that you can target specific problem areas, such as your legs, core, chest and back, or shoulders and arms.

Working out 3-4 times per week is plenty for a basic weight training program, but always be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

For each exercise, try doing 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 8 reps using 5-pound to 10-pound weights.

Front Squat
Stand with feet slightly apart (but not wider than hips) and a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand. Bend elbows so the dumbbells are at your shoulders. First, bend at the knees but keep your back straight, and lower yourself as if sitting on a bench (hips should be slightly below your knees). Next, keeping the dumbbells on your shoulder, return to a standing position.

Plank and Rotate
Lie on the floor in a plank position with a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand. Your feet should be apart, but only slightly wider than your hips. First, grasp the dumbbell and raise your left hand toward the ceiling, twisting your torso and rotating your pelvis as you raise your arm. Next, lower your arm back to the starting position. Repeat these steps with your right arm to complete 1 set.

Chest and Back
Floor Press (chest)
Lie on your back with a dumbbell in each hand, and place both feet flat on the floor. Your arms should be bent with the dumbbells near your shoulders and your elbows resting on the floor. First, straighten your arms, pushing the dumbbells toward the ceiling. Next, bring your arms back down, returning to the starting position.

Bent Over Row (back)
Stand with feet slightly apart and two dumbbells on the floor just in front of your feet. First, bend at the waist (keeping your back flat) and grasp the dumbbells (one in each hand). Next, with your upper body remaining bent forward, lift the dumbbells upward until the upper arm is just beyond horizontal, and then lower them to the starting position.

Shoulders and Arms
Shoulder Press (shoulders)
Stand with your elbows bent and holding dumbbells at your shoulders. First, keeping your elbows tucked in and your shoulders relaxed, push weights upward, straightening your arms overhead. Next, lower your arms back to the starting position.

Incline Biceps Curls (arms)
Sit on a bench or sturdy chair with a dumbbell in each hand and your arms at your sides (keep palms facing inward). First, bend arms at the elbow, curling both dumbbells upward until they reach your bicep. Next, slowly return to the starting position.

Give it a try
If you’re ready to slim down for the summer months, it’s time to give weight training a try. Just remember to check with your doctor first, and always warm up before your workout and be sure to stay hydrated.

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