At Utzy we are dedicated to providing truthful, honest information that helps you to live a healthier lifestyle
January is here. Planning to jump into a new workout routine?
Get ready to wait in line at the gym.
70% of U.S. residents intend to start exercising more this year. By February, most will be ready to quit.
We all know that exercise is essential for our health and wellness. So why is it so hard to make this habit stick?
With the right plan and mindset, your workout goals do not have to crash and burn.
Read on for our best tips on how to start working out and how to keep going all year long.
This sounds very obvious, but start with something you enjoy. If you are dreading your workout every time you lace your shoes up, you may not be on the right path.
There are many choices for working out including cardio, strength training, high intensity interval training, and more.
You can start on your own or join a group class. You can workout in a gym or even in your living room. You can take up outdoor hobbies like hiking, kayaking, or rock climbing.
If you’re still trying to decide what you like, many classes will let you try for free in the beginning.
For those of you who may have concerns about your ability to safely workout, consult your doctor. Then, get started.
So you’ve found an activity you like. Now it is time to start thinking about what your goals are.
Why do you want to work out?
The more specific you can get, the better.
Write your goals down and post them in a place where you can view them daily.
Goals are essential to remind you of what you hope to accomplish but they can also be daunting.
One simple way to start tackling them is to take the teeniest possible baby step. Every step gets you closer to making your workouts a lasting habit. Plus, as you achieve each little baby goal you will get more confident and motivated to continue.
You may have heard this idea of simple progression described as the tiny habits approach.
For others the Japanese principle of Kaizen comes to mind. However you think about it you can use this practice in your workouts.
Let’s say your goal is to run 30 minutes 3 times per week. Set a micro goal of running for 5 minutes once per week. Then work up to twice per week. Then add 1 minute to each workout, and so on.
As you grow stronger both physically and mentally, you will be much better prepared (and more likely to stick to it) by the time you reach 30 minutes.
Besides, even 5 minutes of activity has important health benefits.
Despite our best intentions, there are days where we feel very unenthusiastic about what we want to accomplish.
This is normal.
We go wrong when we blame ourselves for not reaching out goals because we lack willpower.
A lot of people who are successful with keeping their workout goals have learned not to rely on willpower.
In fact it is often our surroundings that help determine if we will continue to workout or stay inactive.
Building a supportive environment to hold you accountable to work out even when you don’t feel like it is essential.
You can do this by joining a weekly class or exercise group or finding a workout buddy who you know is all about their fitness (and yours!).
You can even recruit your partner, kids, or roommates to remind you to workout even if they won’t be joining you.
You might also hire a personal trainer to help you stay on track.
Have a system in place that will push you to work out when you don’t feel like. This transforms your workout from an activity to a habit.
Perhaps you are some who likes your workout and knows it needs to get done but you still don’t love it.
You will love temptation bundling. This simple approach combines something you really enjoy (think: guilty pleasure) with something you want to get done.
For example, get in the habit of listening to a good audiobook or podcast while you workout.
If you can, stream your favorite show on the treadmill instead of binge watching it on the couch.
Catch up with a friend by inviting them to walk with you or give them a call and chat on the go.
Social activities can be a great way to enjoy quality time with friends and stay active at the same time. Organize group runs or join a sports league. Walk around the field while you enjoy your child’s soccer game.
Get inspired, get creative, and get moving.
How can you do something you love and get your workout in at the same time?
Tracking how you are progressing with your workouts is essential to maintain motivation. Simple tracking adds another layer of motivation beyond viewing your written goals.
Think of a simple symbol you can use to show if you worked out or not.
It can be as basic as a check mark. Then in a planner you check daily or even on a sheet of paper, add a checkmark every time you work out.
When you look at all those check marks adding up over time, you will feel proud and more motivated to keep going.
It’s a simple hack that inspires you to keep going.
If visual tracking interests you, find more great ideas of how and what to track on Pinterest.
Last but not least, remember to treat yourself compassionately.
Sometimes we fall into a trap of working out to punish ourselves for eating too much or for looking a certain way.
Or we feel we need to workout more than we realistically can or should.
This is not the kind of mental space that fosters healthy exercise habits.
When you exercise in the ways you enjoy and in the ways your body is designed to move, you are giving yourself an invaluable gift.
Exercise can boost your mood, help increase your self-confidence, and do wonders for your health.
It is natural to feel guilty if you miss a workout here or there.
The key to being compassionate is to acknowledge that setbacks happen but they do not define you.
Also be realistic.
Some days you will not have the time or energy to work out.
If you miss a day, it doesn’t mean you have failed.
You can always start working out again tomorrow.
Our sole purpose at Utzy is to help you live a healthier lifestyle.
Our motto, “Supplement with Confidence” isn’t just a marketing quip; it's a promise to deliver the highest quality and most effective products possible.
Products that you can have confidence in.
At Utzy, we firmly believe that supplementing is a very important action towards overall wellness. Your body needs essential vitamins and minerals to function and flourish.
But supplements are just a piece of the health puzzle.
In addition to supplementation, there are other healthful habits and actions that you should do daily that will assist you on your journey to feeling better and having a more productive life.
Around here we refer to them as "The Seven Essentials to Healthy Living".
Read on below...
Hippocrates, known as the founder of medicine, was quoted as saying:
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food"
This idea is just as true today.
Your diet is the foundation of your health.
Live by a “pay the grocer – not the doctor” mentality. Try to consume only REAL FOODS – organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes; as well as natural, pasture raised, grass-fed meats. Make sure to get enough daily fiber.
An excellent way to get quality food is by supporting your local organic farmers as much as possible. Eat high quality foods. Eat until you're satisfied, and stop there.
A sedentary lifestyle is a proven killer.
Get to the gym – and get your heart rate up. Try to get some form of exercise every day; this could be as simple as going for a walk on your lunch break.
While there are many different approaches to exercise, the biggest step is to simply do something. Park further away, take the stairs, look for small ways every day to move it!
Almost daily, we see in the news that millions of Americans have problems with sleep.
If you are one of them, make a commitment to getting better sleep.
You can try following our article on 10 sleep tips for your best night of rest.
We all need adequate amounts of restful sleep – health professionals recommend 7-8 hours a day.
Turn electronics off before bed so that you can wind down. Look for ways to eliminate unnecessary stress in your life and live peacefully.
Use natural green medicine as a first choice.
Avoid using harmful household chemicals and cleaners.
Make sure that you use clean beauty products.
Water makes up 60% of your body weight. Drinking adequate amounts of purified water throughout the day is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do and helps to flush out harmful toxins.
We recommended the 8x8 Rule- eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
It turns out that the old saying - “as a man thinketh so is he” - is true! The gut-brain connection is a real thing, so work on having positive thoughts.
Science backs up the notion that laughter does a heart good. In fact, happiness and positivity are linked to a “wide variety of forms of well-being,” according to a recently published study (1).
A major key is to show gratitude toward the people who have benefited your life. Take thankfulness walks. Regularly count your blessings.
Build a community of family and friends that you can rely on, and they you.
Having a "Do Unto Others" focus goes a long way to relational wholeness.
Living by the Golden Rule is a must in building meaningful relationships and a more positive outlook on life.
Without a plan, chances are you will fail. Address your problems, create a strategy to change, and find people that can assist you on your journey.
Creating a plan is the first step on your path to feeling more vibrant, and becoming healthier.
First steps may include: seeing that doctor for that physical you’ve been putting off, hiring a trainer, finding a good nutritionist, and building a team to support you.
Start small and be consistent!
The 7 Essentials listed above are foundational to our core beliefs of what is necessary to build a healthy lifestyle and future of wellness. Think of ways to integrate them into your daily life.
Doing so will help you to live your life to the fullest!
Daniel Powers (co-founder of Utzy Naturals) is a health fanatic and writer. Obsessed with optimizing every aspect of life, he is passionate about teaching others how to live a healthier, happier life.
Taking a trip to the grocery store can feel like you need a PhD to figure out what to buy.
Which foods are the healthiest?
Organic? Gluten-free? Keto? Before long, a simple errand starts to feel like a pop quiz you aren’t prepared for.
The good news?
Shopping for healthy foods doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. We’ll share some simple tips to help you stock your cart like a champ.
This simple rule will steer you toward the healthiest foods in the store.
Have you ever seen a nutrition label on a sweet potato?
While there are some minor exceptions, you’ll find that most fresh produce and seafood, spices, tea and coffee do not contain labels.
This means these foods don’t have any additional artificial ingredients or additives. Most of the foods in this category are also plant based.
This matters because eating more phytochemicals, which are found only in plant based foods, dramatically up our odds of living longer, healthier lives.
Choosing more foods without labels is an easy hack to increase the amount of fresh, whole foods in your diet.
We can’t deny that some processing is essential for our sanity. Think of all that time we’re saving by not growing and milling our own flour!
The problem arises when foods are over processed and key nutrients are removed and replaced with extra sugar, salt, and other ingredients.
Eating a diet high in heavily processed foods can leave our bodies over-nourished calorie wise but otherwise starving for essential nutrients.
One simple way to tell if your food is highly processed is to check the ingredient label and see how long the list is.
Select products with fewer ingredients.
Next time you’re at the store, try getting real potatoes instead of instant. Or sneak whole wheat white flour into your baked goods instead of white flour. Choose fresh fruit and nuts instead of fruit snacks and chips.
The possibilities are limitless and each shift brings you closer to a more nourished and better functioning body.
For context, one small container of flavored yogurt contains about 7 grams (almost 2 teaspoons) added sugar!
Note: natural sugars found in unsweetened dairy products, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans are not harmful to our health. As mentioned above, many of these plant-based foods that also happen to be natural sources of sugars provide unique health benefits.
Regardless of which diet you follow, use this list to help you figure out which types of foods deserve more room in your cart. Don’t get so hung up on food rules that you neglect the basics.
Shopping for healthier foods does not need to be complicated or time consuming if you keep these simple principles in mind.
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients we know of.
It plays a key role in many different bodily processes, including: immune support, bone health, and muscle function (among many others).
Read on below to learn more about how vitamin D impacts your health, and how to ensure that you get enough through the winter months.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”, since our bodies make it when our skin comes into contact with sunlight. It plays a key role in bone and muscle health, and also supports our hormones, immune system and moods (1, 2, 3, 4).
Vitamin D is nutrient that many people are lacking in; especially in climates without a lot of sunlight. It’s suggested to get your Vitamin D level tested on a yearly basis, and opt for levels between 40-60 ng/mL for both adults and children.
Anything under 30 ng/mL is considered a deficiency (5).
Vitamin D can be obtained in several different ways including sunlight, foods, or supplements. We'll detail below how each of these methods can help to boost your vitamin D levels.
Exposure to sunlight provides the best quality Vitamin D, and you don’t have to be outside for very long to reap great benefits (6).
Just 10-15 minutes of sunlight can provide 10,000-25,000 IU of Vitamin D alone.
Of course there are many factors that can affect how well your body will absorb Vitamin D from the sun.
Another option would be to get a light therapy lamp to use during the winter months. This is a great option if you live in a location where sun exposure is limited (8).
Keep in mind that too much sun exposure can be dangerous, and it’s important to limit being outdoors for long periods of time without sunscreen. Too much unprotected skin exposure may lead to dehydration, pain, early aging, and skin cancer.
There are very few foods that contain natural sources of Vitamin D. That’s why Vitamin D is often fortified into foods such as milk or orange juice.
Even though fortified foods can be helpful, aim to consume the majority of your Vitamin D from foods that naturally contain it.
Another way to increase your Vitamin D intake is to take a high-quality Vitamin D supplement.
A supplement can be especially helpful for individuals who are not exposed to much sunlight during the winter months (such as in the Midwest), and for those who want to increase their Vitamin D levels more quickly.
Not all supplements are created equal, and there are many things to consider when choosing a Vitamin D supplement.
If you're interested in a high quality vitamin D supplement, Utzy offers a couple of different options.
Our product line includes:
Vitamin D plays a critical role in our health, so it is important to get your levels tested on a regular basis.
If you find that your levels are low, incorporate Vitamin D-rich foods, get some sunlight or use light therapy, or a take a Vitamin D supplement to help improve your levels.
When you feel the first signs of an immune system attack, what’s your first thought? If you’re like me, you probably think, “Oh no, I don’t have time for this right now!”
We live busy lives, and it can be difficult to make our health a priority.
When you take care of yourself first, you can continue to take care of your family and work on your biggest goals, without being derailed by immune challenges.
Today I’ll show you 10 ways to naturally boost your immune system.
By incorporating these simple lifestyle changes, you’ll take your health to the next level this winter.
Read on below...
Wash your hands frequently, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
Did you know a virus can spread to about 50% of surfaces in an office building (door knobs, phones, etc.) in just 4 hours (*)?
One sneeze can emit 40,000 droplets at 200mph, and those germs can live for days on steel or plastic.
The most common way germs are transferred is through your hands. Usually when you get sick it’s because you’ve touched something with cold or flu germs on it and then put your hands in your mouth.
One way to ensure you’re killing bacteria when you wash your hands is to sing the Happy Birthday song in your head (which takes about 20 seconds).
Here’s a photo of how clean our hands get at different intervals throughout the hand-washing process.
Aim to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
White blood cells are your body's main protective agents against attacks on your immune system. Sleepless nights diminish the number of white blood cells released when you are exposed to a virus (**).
Your body repairs itself as you sleep each night, and without adequate sleep you are more susceptible to immune system attacks.
If you’re having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, you may consider taking a sleep supplement to help your body relax into restorative sleep.
Aim to exercise for 20 minutes each day.
When you exercise, your body rids itself of toxins and germs through your sweat and urine. You also boost your mood and your immune system as you increase blood flow in your cardiovascular system.
You’ll receive these benefits from as little as 20 minutes of exercise.
You can can run on the treadmill, walk around your neighborhood, or put on a YouTube video with your favorite type of exercise.
What should you do if you’re feeling like your coming down with something?
It may be beneficial to exercise at a low-to-moderate level that makes you feel energized when you finish. The goal isn't to exhaust your body, the goal is to get your body moving and active.
If you’re really not feeling well, skip the workout and let your body recover.
At the first sign of immune compromise, take natural herbs to support your immune system.
Here at Utzy, we’ve developed U-Mune which is packed with powerful herbs to naturally support your immune system.
The three primary active ingredients in U-Mune are elderberry, echinacea and oregano.
Getting these powerful, immune-boosting herbs in your system is as easy as taking U-Mune daily.
Even though the holidays can be a hectic time, do your best to keep your stress levels low.
Releasing cortisol is your body’s natural response to help you get through a stressful situation. While periodic, short-term stress isn’t something to be concerned about, you’ll want to make sure you’re not continually stressed.
When our bodies are chronically stressed, we produce more cortisol, which works to lower inflammation. According to Dr. Leonard Calabrese, "your body can get used to having too much cortisol in your blood... this opens the door for more inflammation" (*).
Stress also works to decrease your body’s lymphocytes — white blood cells that help fight off immune attacks..
Exercising and spending time in daily prayer can help to reduce the stress hormones released in your body.
The holiday season can be stressful, but if you make a point to retain your sense of calm, your body will stay healthier this season.
Go outside every day and get some sunshine on your skin, this helps to align your circadian rhythm and provides vitamin D.
Get 30 minutes to 1 hour of sunlight daily. Going outside in the morning, in particular, will help your circadian rhythm be aligned with your body’s natural sleep cycle.
Researchers recently found that sunlight increase the movement of T cells. These T cells are associated with white blood cells and allow them to react faster, further boosting your immune system (*).
Make it a point to go outside at least once per day to maximize your sun exposure. An easy way to do this is to walk your dog in the morning or eat lunch outside in the afternoon.
If you live in a cold climate where getting daily sunlight in the winter isn't an option, you should take a Vitamin D3 supplement. Taking a daily vitamin D supplement is an inexpensive way to support your immune system and ensure adequate vitamin D levels.
At Utzy we offer a Vitamin D3 formula, if you live in a cold weather climate, you'll want to grab a bottle.
Eat poultry and drink bone broth weekly. There’s a good reason why your mom would serve chicken soup when you were sick as a child!
The high vitamin B-6 content in poultry forms red blood cells which fight against invading germs.
Bone broth contains gelatin and other nutrients which are beneficial to your gut lining, which is where most of our immune system is found.
The 19 different essential amino acids found in bone broth helps your body to fight against viruses and bacteria on a cellular level. The lipids released in bone marrow also help in producing white blood cells.
Put chicken or turkey on your weekly meal plan along with a broth-based soup. You can roast a chicken whole and freeze the bones. When you have enough bones, use your slow cooker or pressure cooker to make broth (here's a recipe), which you can add to soups or drink on its own.
Add 1 to 3 garlic cloves to your daily diet. Allicin is a compound found in garlic that activates white blood cells which fight some strains of the cold and flu (*).
Allicin is activated when garlic is sliced or crushed and can lose some of its disease-fighting properties when cooked. Keep this powerful ingredient preserved for longer by crushing it and leaving it alone for 10 minutes before cooking.
Add garlic to your stir fries, soups, chilis and and roasted vegetables. To receive the health benefits of allicin, consume at least one clove in each meal you prepare.
Add 2 to 3 cloves per day to your meals if you feel something coming on to reap the antimicrobial benefits of garlic.
Eat 1 to 2 servings of citrus and berries daily. These fruits are good sources of vitamin C, which activates our white blood cells’ function in fighting infections.
Vitamin C also makes antibodies, and its antioxidants protect our bodies from the harmful compounds that our white blood cells may produce as they fight infections.
Add berries to your smoothie or oatmeal for a nutrient-packed breakfast. Add the juice of a lemon or a lime to your water or tea daily, and you’ll be well on your way to meeting your daily vitamin C requirements.
Limit refined sugar to a few times per week.
When you consume sugar, whether it’s in a healthy fruit drink or a rich pastry, your white blood cell count goes down for several hours after eating.
The more sugar you eat, the more you crave it, and some researchers suggest that sugar is more addicting than cocaine (*).
Immune challenges always happen during the holidays when sugary treats are plentiful. If you’re already not feeling well, you may want to avoid sweets entirely. Be intentional about what you put in your body and know if it’s worth the lowered immune response.
Chances are, you’d probably rather eat your mom’s apple pie at Thanksgiving dinner than prepackaged cake at a work party.
Choose wisely and your immune system will thank you.
So many of these strategies work together to make our bodies healthier. When you go outside for a walk first thing in the morning, your body’s circadian rhythm is reset, and you clear out toxins while you prepare your body to get adequate sleep later on at night.
When you consume foods and herbs that help support your body on a cellular level, and you keep flu germs off your hands, your body will feel better overall.
Implement these immunity boosting tips and boost your health this winter!
I get it.
Bone health isn't the most exciting topic.
But it IS crucial for your overall health and wellness.
Without healthy bones you can't move around and live an active life.
And unfortunately, as we age, our body's naturally start to lose bone density.
You don't have to be a victim.
Thankfully there are many ways that you can naturally strengthen your bones.
You don't need some fancy exercise machine or a magical potion to build stronger bones.
Actually, building stronger bones is surprisingly simple.
So how are you supposed to build healthy bones?
Read on below...
Below are the top, researched-backed tips for building stronger bones.
It is quite easy to stay indoors and be inactive on a daily basis.
This inactivity not only effects our muscles (due to limited exercise), it also impacts our bone health.
When you're outside your skin is exposed to sunlight. This start a natural process whereby your body starts making Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is important for bone health because it helps your body to properly absorb calcium, a key nutrient in bone health.
So start getting more sunshine in your life.
Go for a walk in the morning (or on your lunch break). Jog outside instead of inside on the treadmill. Take your dog for a walk. Etc...
Now, if you live in a cold climate where it's difficult to get sunshine, or if you are afraid of getting too much sun (and potentially risking skin cancer), taking a Vitamin D supplement is a great option.
We'll go over this later on in the article.
Calcium is important for bone health.
We all know this.
But do you know why calcium is so good for you bones?
Calcium is the mineral that is laid down when your body builds new bone tissue.
And since old bone cells are constantly being broken down and replaced by new bone cells, eating enough calcium gives your body the "raw materials" that it needs to build up and repair your bones.
The amount of calcium that you need differs depending on your age.
In general, the older you are, the more calcium you need.
Here's a link to a helpful article that goes over how much calcium your body needs throughout different stages of life.
While you can supplement with calcium, you should aim to get the majority of your calcium needs via your diet.
The best source of dietary calcium is found in milk (you can also check out our article on the 10 best foods for bone health here)
Now, if you still can’t get enough calcium from drinking milk (or if you have an allergy), you can supplement with calcium.
Our Essentially-U multivitamin contains calcium as well as other vitamins and minerals that are important for bone health.
While calcium is important, there are other nutrients that are important.
You may be surprised to see protein on this list, but there's a good reason for it.
Protein is a key for good bone health.
We usually think of protein as being important for muscles, not bones. However, 50% of bone tissue is actually made of protein (1).
According to studies, protein intake has an impact on calcium absorption and can affect both bone formation and bone breakdown (2).
In order to maximize bone formation, make sure to get enough protein.
For protein-rich meals, you want to rely on foods such as chicken and eggs. Beans and nuts are also great protein options.
So how much protein is necessary for the body to have strong bones?
It depends on different factors; from your size to the activities that you do.
As a rule of thumb, a person with a larger frame requires higher amounts of protein per meal and vice versa.
We said earlier that there is no "magic potion" for building stronger bones.
While that is true, there are very important nutrients involved in building bone density.
In addition to calcium, the two most important nutrients for bone health are Vitamins K2 and D3.
Getting enough of these nutrients is vital for maintaining your bone health.
However, the majority of American are deficient in these two vitamins.
This is problematic.
Vitamin K2 is involved with guiding calcium from your bloodstream into your bones. This helps to support joint elasticity and overall bone health.
Vitamin D helps you to absorb calcium into the bones.
As you can see, these two nutrients are key for your bone health.
However, it can be difficult to get enough of these vitamins through diet alone.
This is where supplementation is a good idea.
We recently launched a Vitamin K2 + D3 supplement. Our formula contains highly absorbable vitamin forms, and will help to support your overall bone health.
If you think that you might not be getting enough K2 (or D3), definitely check out our K2 + D3 formula.
If you are interested in learning more aobut the role that K2 and D3 play, check out our in-depth article on the benefits of Vitamin K2 + D3
Want to learn more about supplementation?
Check out our blog post on the Best Bone Supplements. Complementing vitamin D3 and K2 with other supplements like Magnesium can be beneficial, as these nutrients all work together to build stronger bones.
The body is known for its ability to adjust to the stress that it is experiencing.
If you don't exercise, which is a "good stress" for your body, then your body will become weak.
And one thing that you have to understand is that your bones can also become weaker or stronger depending on the activities that you do.
One of the best ways to stimulate the bone growth is via exercise.
You need to lift heavy if you want your bones to stay strong.
Now, "heavy" is relative.
What's considered as being heavy for a grandma is different from that of a young male powerlifter.
The key is to find something that challenges your body.
While lifting heavy weights is awesome for bone health, it's not always a great option for everyone. Especially those with an injury history.
In that case, doing cardio, such as running, is a great option.
While running outdoors is best (get that sunshine!), you can also run on a treadmill. Getting a good treadmill is a great way to stay active daily, even during the winter months.
It should come as no surprise that having a healthy diet and exercising are keys for building stronger bones.
It seems that "diet and exercise" are the answers to most of our ailments.
However, simply knowing this doesn't do anything if you don't make changes.
Knowledge is power WHEN it's put into action.
So make sure you endeavor to live a healthy lifestyle. This is the key to naturally building stronger bones
I'm James Hood from FitnessAbout.com. I'm a vegan bodybuilder and a passionate blogger from Detroit. I believe in holistic development and likes to cut the BS promoted my media about health.
At Utzy we are proud to announce that two of our sleep aid formulas have won awards for being the best natural sleep aids in their categories.
Stay Asleep won the category as the "Editor's Choice" for best overall natural sleep aid. Our top selling sleep formula was recognized for having ingredients that are "tested for quality, purity, strength, and composition".
Micro-Melatonin won the category for being the "Best Low Dose Melatonin". Micro-Melatonin was recognized for it's small dosage of 250mcg that allows for "more precise dosing". It was also noted that Micro-Melatonin's innovative cherry flavoring helps to "promote your body's natural melatonin production".
We are honored to have receive these awards; we will continue to strive to create the cleanest, most effective natural supplements on the market.
-The Utzy Team
Physical fitness is the result of perseverance.
While many things in life are not in our control, there are many aspects of fitness that are completely in your control.
You can take control of your fitness by establishing healthy routines.
A well crafted routine can help you achieve your fitness goals on auto-pilot.
In this article we'll go over five fitness principles that are foundational to physical and mental wellbeing.
Making these principles part of your life will go a long way towards helping you lead the productive, vibrant life that you desire.
A diet rich in healthy foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of diseases including cardiovascular disease.
This should come as no surprise.
A whole-food diet emphasizes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, tubers, and legumes, and also includes other great sources of nutrients like seeds, beans, seafood, chicken, whole eggs, and liver.
Fresh food is key.
Fresh, organic food has been shown to be better for you, this is due to higher nutrient density.
So make sure to consume real food.
Here's a quick guide to help you get started with eating more REAL food.
a) Buy products with 100% whole grains
b) Replace white flour with whole wheat flour (or go without!)
c) Eat plenty of fruits and veggies
d) Eat fewer convenience and proceeded foods (if the product is stable on your shelf for more than a year - stay away!)
A simple rule of thumb to live by when it comes to eating a healthy diet is to:
"eat real food, not too much, mostly plants" (1).
This simple maxim boils down all of the complex dietary research that has been done in the past 100 years.
Keep it in mind next time you go to the grocery store.
Your body is designed to move.
If you spend long hours sitting on the couch or typing on the computer, there's a good chance your body is slowly falling apart (2).
Instead, make sure you stand up and move around every 30 minutes or so - it's a simple habit that will keep your muscles AND brain active.
It also helps to stimulate healthy bones.
Making this small change this will go a long way in boosting your health.
TIP: if you have a fitness tracker (like a Fitbit) you can program it to *beep* whenever you have been inactive for too long (every 30 minutes, etc..). Every time it beeps you can stand up and do some stretching (or air squats!).
Whenever you find an opportunity to walk, do it.
Even if it means parking your car farther away from where you're going, it still counts.
Take the stairs more often.
When you combine all of these small things together, they will help to keep your health in check.
Check out our Utzy Recovery Bundle
Not getting enough sleep will drain you of energy and kill your productivity.
If you're having trouble sleeping, it may help to wake up at the same time every day. A consistent sleep pattern will make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Make sure you get a minimum of 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night so that you're able to be productive the next day.
If you struggle with sleep, check out our award winning natural sleep aids.
We also have an awesome article (written by a sleep scientist) on the 10 Best Sleep Tips.
One of the keys to getting in better shape is to strive to get progressively better with each workout.
Add 5 extra pounds to the bar.
Do one more set.
This concept, called progressive overload, is what causes your body to get stronger and leaner over time.
If you focus on solely on body composition changes, it can be easy to get down on yourself.
It can take a long time to see changes in your body composition.
So instead, focus on increasing your work capacity.
Strive to get stronger with each workout.
This way you can make incremental progress every day.
This will keep you motivated in the long run and will help you to reach your fitness goals!
Here's are a few simple tips for increasing your work capacity:
If you've never been able to touch your toes, don't worry, you're not the only one.
Start with a workout that includes good nutrition and hydration, and with time you will be able to improve your flexibility - which is important for preventing workout injuries.
We have a few rules for improving your range of movement:
Fitness is a key part of life.
Whether your goal is to compete in a Crossfit competition, or simply to be able to keep up with your young kids, make exercise a part of your daily routine.
Whether it's weightlifting or walking, find an exercise type that you enjoy and stick with it.
Ryan is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer at fitnessgoals, with a passion for writing and a love for chocolate. He enjoys long walks with a breeze and finding ways to make dessert healthy.
No human is an island and the same is true of nutrients.
While there’s constantly clamor out there as to which nutrient will supposedly cure all your woes, your body actually needs a variety of nutrients, working together, to keep you in optimal health.
The symbiotic and synergistic relationship of vitamins K2 and D3 are a great example of that, if not one of the best examples.
Synergy is far more than a word your boss can’t stop overusing in board meetings. It means working together to create something better. In this case, vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 work synergistically to balance the scales of each other’s duties.
In fact, vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 are part of a nutrient powerhouse squad along with calcium, magnesium and zinc. All of these nutrients need to be present for you to live your best and healthiest life. Keeping optimal levels of all these nutrients is key for bone, cardiovascular, mental and neurological health; oh, and blood clotting.
Vitamins K2 and D3 individually and together are showing promise in clinical research in relation to helping with health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, depression, cardiovascular disease and fatigued immune systems.
Those are some substantial health benefits. Let’s dig deeper into the combine health benefits of vitamins K2 and D3 from dietary supplements and dietary intake.
Both vitamin D and vitamin K, in any form, are fat soluble vitamins. That means they need fat in order to be absorbed and utilized. There are 4 fat soluble vitamins - A, D, E and K. With the exception of D, there are a bevy of food sources of each of the fat soluble vitamins. Vitamin D is the outlier as the sunshine vitamin which is found in some amount in some mushrooms, which ironically grow in the dark.
Vitamin D is made when sunlight comes into contact with your skin. Inside your skin there is a compound made out of cholesterol that is provitamin D3. This compound is activated by UVB rays. Once made in your skin, the vitamin D is sent to the liver where it’s converted into a form that you can use for over 200 enzymatic functions that play a role in everything from bone health, hormone regulation, nutrient absorption and disease prevention.
When searching for vitamin D supplements you’ll notice that many say vitamin D3. Upon occasion, you’ll stumble across some supplements that say D2. Both are forms of vitamin D and nearly every bottle that exclusively says vitamin D on the front is vitamin D3. Double check the nutrition facts panel to be sure.
Vitamin D3 is cholecalciferol, the animal-derived version of vitamin D. Vitamin D2 is ergocalciferol, the plant based version of vitamin D. D3 is better absorbed and utilized by your body for one reason - you’re an human. Vitamin D2 is well and good for vegans to take, but know that it’s not absorbed as well, so a higher dosage may be required.
Vitamin K primarily has 2 forms - K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 is phylloquinone and is found in green produce items. Deriving the phyll from chlorophyll the pigment that makes green plants green. Vitamin K2 is menaquinone and is found in some animal-derived products, certain fermented foods and synthesized by bacteria. K2 derivatives depending on the length of the attached side chain compound. What vitamin K1 and K2 have in common is a base quinone ring.
MK-4 and MK-7 are the most common and effective types of vitamin K2 supplements. The number at the end refers to the length of the side compound. Recent research is finding that MK-7 is the form best absorbed and utilized by your body[*]. Great news for vegans and vegetarians, MK-7 can be made from fermented soybeans and chickpeas, with MenaQ7® being the best supplemental form of MK-7.
A frequently discussed sources of vitamin K2 is that found in a Japanese fermented soy product called natto. Natto has a very distinct appearance, smell, taste and texture that’s not for everyone. Although the health benefits of natto are amazing, it’s an acquired taste. So you’ll notice a lot of articles mentioning it, but not where to purchase and how to enjoy.
Vitamins K2 and D3 work in harmony to keep your blood vessels and supple while keeping your bones strong[*][*]. These 2 vitamins work to make sure that calcium is deposited in your bones, rather than your arteries.
In order for this to work, you must consistently have healthy amounts of vitamin K2, vitamin D3, and calcium. If any of these are out of balance than the exact opposite happens. That is why calcium supplementation without both vitamins K2 and D3 has been proven to be dangerous to your health.
When calcium is put in your bones, instead of in your arterial walls or as plaques in your arteries the results is strong, healthy bones and pliable arteries. Long-term that translates to reduced risk of bone and heart diseases.
Vitamins K and D are both associated with supporting healthy inflammation levels, the number 1 cause of all health woes, especially weight problems. Vitamin D is involved in all hormone synthesis and regulation, which in turn plays into your weight.
Multiple studies have shown that the lower your vitamin K and D levels are, the harder it is to lose weight.
These two vitamins work together to make sure you properly absorb and utilize each other. Additionally they work together to regulate your hormones and the absorption of calcium, magnesium and zinc. This dynamic duo keeps your pancreas, thyroid, cardiovascular system and everything in between in check to help you lose weight.
If you’ve been struggling to lose weight it could be that you need to take a closer look at your vitamin K and D levels. If you find that you have low levels, taking a Vitamin K2 + D3 supplement is a great way to boost your levels.
No one likes to take a lot of supplements. Vitamins K2 and D3 are clearly important, as is getting them in proper amounts along with calcium, magnesium and zinc. Our high stress society paired with indoor lifestyles and toxic food system make vitamin K2 deficiency and vitamin D deficiency common.
Look for formulas that contain both vitamin K2 + D3. Additionally, eat your green leafy vegetables and getting 5 to 10 minutes of sunshine a day, unless otherwise recommended by your doctor.
At Utzy we created a premium K2 + D3 formula, it contains the doctor recommended dosages of each vital nutrient. Made with MenaQ7, the most researched form of vitamin K2.
Take the daily dose recommended on the supplement or in accordance with your healthcare professional’s advice, which may vary significantly if you have a severe vitamin D deficiency.
Store per the supplement’s recommendations and in a place you’re likely to see the supplement daily so that you take it. Supplements only work if you take them.
There are a lot of misconceptions about the safety of supplementing with these vitamins. And they’re based on outdated research on the nutrients being used in large doses as rodent poison. It was hypothesized incredibly large doses could cause calcification in soft tissue. But the amounts of these nutrients it would take for this to occur is basically impossible for a human to consume.
Do look for supplements with a third party certification, take the recommended dosage and confirm with your healthcare provider that it’s not contraindicated for any existing health condition and/or medication you may have.
Mega high doses of calcium is definitely a bad idea and even worse if the supplement doesn’t have vitamins K and D. High doses of calcium supplementation are associated with kidney stones and calcium deposits in arteries. Always discuss calcium supplementation with your doctor and avoid supplements that don’t contain vitamins K and D.
As you can see both vitamins K and D are important for your optimal health and it’s important to have both present. Speak with your healthcare provider to see where your vitamin K and D levels are.
If they’re low, make sure to discuss both a dietary plan and supplementation options.
Sheila Amir is a health and nutrition writer in love with Durham, North Carolina and the Sheila of NutritionSheila.com. After spending several years as a nutritionist, she turned in her office keys for laptop life to research, write and present while on the go. When she puts the laptop down she's either on her yoga mat or out enjoying life in the Bull City.
September 05, 2018 | 0 comments
Many people find themselves asking the question, “how long does it take for supplements to work?”.
Though this question seems simple, it can actually be quite complex. The answer depends on the individual person and the supplements that you take.
Thankfully, we can dig into scientific research and get a better idea of how long it takes for specific vitamins and minerals to kick in.
One of the first things we have to do is to define what it means for a supplement to “work”. By “work”, we mean that a supplement has been readily digested and utilized by your body.
Your body has stores of nutrients that it maintains for different bodily processes. Think of these as your “nutrient pools”. If your nutrient pools are empty, your body doesn’t have enough raw materials that it needs for different functions and processes. When this happens you have what is called a “nutrient deficiency”.
For instance, if you have low amounts of Magnesium in your body (which can lead to muscle cramping and negative mood), if you start taking Magnesium and see those issues go away, then that would mean that the product is “working” for you.
The amount of time it takes for a supplement to start working depends on a few different factors. This includes supplement dosage, how extensive your nutrient deficiency is, how quickly your body is able to digest the supplement, and a few other factors (we'll go over them below).
Below are a number of different factors that play a role in how long it takes for a supplement to work. As was stated above, much of it comes down to the person, the product taken, and the health complaint.
The first question to ask is "what’s causing your nutrient deficiency?". Why are your nutrition pools empty in the first place? Is it genetic? Is it a side effect from something else? Is it the result of a poor diet?
If you don’t find out what’s draining your nutrient stores in the first place, you may never be able to fully re-fill them (let alone maintain healthy levels going forward).
This is one of the main factors in how long it takes to absorb a supplement. If you have a big deficiency in a particular nutrient, you’ll need a major surplus of that nutrient over a long time period to get back to normal levels.
A greater deficiency means that it will take a longer time to get back to ideal nutrient levels.
If you have a big deficiency, you’ll need a large dosage to fill up your pools. A supplement with a larger dosage will speed up the process.
If you take a micro-dose of a vitamin and you have a major deficiency, it will take a LONG time for you to even out your levels. So, if you have a major deficiency, make sure that you have an appropriately dosed supplement.
An example of this is with vitamin D. Many people are deficient in this crucial vitamin. Taking a supplement with 500 IU's or even 1,000 IU's is not enough to give you the surplus that you need. These dosages will cover your needed daily requirements, but won't allow for a surplus.
That's when you need a product like our Natural D3 5,000. This larger dose is ideal for helping normalize your body's vitamin D levels.
The quality of the product you buy is very important. If you buy a cheap supplement in a cheap form, you’ll end up being disappointed.
High quality supplement brands will formulate their products with easily-absorbed ingredients. At Utzy we source our ingredients from the finest natural suppliers in the US and Europe, we do this so that you can have confidence that our supplements will work.
Additionally, it’s very important that you purchase a product that has full testing, cheaply made products will skimp on testing. Without full testing backing a product, you can never really be sure what's in the product.
Below are some tips on what to look for in a supplement:
There are a lot of companies out there that cut corners. As with most things in life, with supplements, you get what you pay for. Buy high quality supplements otherwise you might be throwing your money away.
Each person’s body has a different absorption rate. This can be due to your own genetic makeup, environmental factors, or it can be due to other deficiencies.
For instance, if you are low in Vitamin K2, then you won’t be able to utilize Vitamin D properly (which is why we now offer a combination K2 +D3 formula).
So make sure that your baseline nutrition is covered. Taking a premium multivitamin is recommended, which is why we have a highly regarded formula called Essentially-U. It contains the vitamins and minerals that you need for optimal daily health.
Diet is key. People tend to forget that ‘supplement’ means “in addition to,” not “in place of”. We should get the majority of our nutrition through the food we eat.
That means eating a health, balanced diet. Eat lots of vegetables (and fruit). Look for high quality grass-fed beef, and natural chicken. Buy Organic when possible.
Eating a high quality diet is how you can prevent nutritional deficiencies from happening in the first place. Of course, we all don’t eat perfectly. We cheat a little, and that's ok. Just make sure to maintain a healthy diet at least 80% of the time.
And if you know you aren’t getting all the nutrition that you need on a daily basis, then make sure to take a daily multivitamin like our Essentially-U.
In general, a supplement is going to take 2 to 4 weeks to begin to work before you star to feel them 'kick in'. Keep in mind that since the process is slow, you'll gradually start to feel the supplement work in your body. It won't always be a night and day difference.
If it's a mineral, you're looking at about 90 days before your deficiency is fully amended because you're essentially asking your body to absorb a rock. You can speed up the mineral absorption process if you take high quality chelated minerals, but it will still take some time.
That said, if you pair your supplements with a healthy diet, you can speed up the process.
A great example of a common nutrient deficiency is magnesium. A large number of US citizens (over 40%) are deficient in this vital nutrient. Magnesium is involved in the proper functioning of every cell in your body - that’s over 37 trillion cells!
Don’t join the masses, you can help to boost your Magnesium levels by eating a healthy, organic diet and by supplementing regularly with a magnesium formula.
Realize though, that supplementation isn’t an instant fix. It never was and never will be. Supplements are meant to be taken in addition to eating well.
Supplements only work if you take them. Different types of supplements are best taken at different times. For instance, there is a best time to take fish oil (who would have though?).
That being said, the takeaway from this article is that when you supplement with a particular nutrient, the results aren't going to be over night.
There are a lot of different factors.
It's going to take some time, as well as consistency. So make sure to get high quality products to start with (such as our line of premium natural supplements), and to give them time to work!