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What Is the Best Exercise Routine to Follow? | Top Organic Tips

We're all looking for that miracle diet or workout that will magically make us look like a celebrity. Health experts now know what the best exercise routine to follow is. The answer may shock you.
Regular exercise is a key component to maintaining a healthy weight and leading a well-balanced lifestyle. Even if you're serious about establishing an effective exercise routine to better meet your health and fitness goals, it can be hard to come up with an exercise regimen or a good workout schedule that works for you. You want to challenge yourself, but at the same time if you overdo it in the beginning you'll get burnt out faster and abandon it right off the bat. We all want to know what the best exercise routine or workout is, but when it comes right down to it, different exercise routines work for different people.  Ultimately, nearly all workout routines and fitness regimens are beneficial if you decide to regularly put in the time and effort.  Here is a basic guide to help get you started towards achieving a fitter physical shape!

Before You Get Started

  • Before beginning any type of exercise routine, you need to jot down realistic goals of what you want to establish with the regimen.


  • If you have any known medical concerns, we recommend that you talk to your doctor or primary care physician before beginning any type of serious exercise routine to make sure you are not putting yourself at any type of heath risk.  This is especially important if you are very overweight or suffer from a chronic medical condition.


  • Schedule your daily exercise in advance, finding the time that you are least likely to be interrupted by other responsibilities and obligations.


  • Estimate your maximum heart rate for exercise by deducting your age from 220, multiplying that result by .6 to get the first number. To get the second and last number, multiply the next result by .8.  Keep in mind that the range between the two numbers should always be 60 to 80% of your maximum heart rate. If you go above this number, you could put yourself in danger of a number of health risks.

3 Best Workout Routines:

Beginner's Morning Full-Body Workout

In the beginning, sometimes working in more basic exercise routines will get you focused on increasing your overall activity without burning you out before you really get into a new and improved fitness regimen. A true full-body workout includes strength, aerobics, and flexibility.  Start with a brief warm-up of active stretching and light cardiovascular work, like a jog or marching in place. After that, integrate basic exercises that target each major muscle group, including your arms, legs, back, chest, hips, and mid section.  Choose specific exercises for each group and complete 6 to 12 repetitions of each exercise. Repeat the exercises and then cool down with some stationary stretching.
As you'll see, adding this full-body workout to your morning routine won't take too much time, but you'll definitely get your heart pumping, which in turn will increase the amount of calories you burn throughout the day. You can either stick with a simple exercise routine like this or slowly add in more difficult workouts as your skill level improves.

If your number one goal is to get your heart pumping and burn calories, then an aerobic exercise routine is the perfect fit for you. Over anaerobic exercise routines like weight lifting or sprinting that require short bursts of energy, doctors agree that vigorous aerobic exercise burns more calories and is less likely to make you overdo it and put you in the danger zone.  So how do you integrate aerobic exercise into your day? All you have to do is choose an aerobic activity--running on a treadmill, swimming, biking, speed walking, etc.--and devote anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour each day to improving your overall health. If you really want to push yourself to the next fitness level, then spend between 10 and 20 minutes completing aerobic activities for the upper body, like jumping jacks or situps.

Strength Training
Regular strength training exercises improve strength and power while at the same time strengthening muscles and bones.  Weight lifting also enhances stamina, helps control weight, and in some cases can even alleviate ongoing pain.  For maximum effect, run through a short aerobic warm-up first and then move on to the strength training, completing two sets of rows, arm curls, lateral raises, push-ups, lunges, squats, dead lifts, crunches, and chest presses.  Be sure to finish with a cool-down!

More Exercise Tips and Suggestions

Make sure to warm-up before any routine, to increase your blood flow and get oxygen to your muscles.  This prepares your body for exercise and decreases the change of tiring out easily
Perform cardio exercises a minimum of three times a week for 30 minutes in duration.  If you want to lose weight, increase the time gradually to 60 to 90 minutes per day. 
Engage in strength-training exercises at least two times a week to maintain muscle mass. 
As you will see, the hardest part of getting into shape is finding  your best exercise routine and nobody can tell you what that is but you--well, except maybe for a personal trainer! If you want to lose weight and get in shape the cheap way, start slowly adding in exercise over time and build yourself up. Pretty soon, people will be asking you what the best exercise routine to follow is!

Why Buy Organic Food? | Top Organic Tips

Why buy organic food? A few years ago, it seemed like only health nuts and hippies knew what the term "certified organic" means. Due to a number of news stories and health scares, we know what organic means and are starting to wonder if we should buy organic food, too.
Everyday, we see more and more news stories popping up about the amount of toxic chemicals found in foods we eat everyday. Whether it's arsenic in rice,  salmonella in tomatoes, or E. coli in spinach, some of the healthiest foods out there are now turning us away because we're not sure if we should take the health risk. Obviously, we're not steering clear of rice and spinach because these foods naturally bad for us: we don't know what potentially harmful chemicals and toxins have slipped in while these health foods were planted, grown and harvested. While organic farming obviously doesn't cut out the risk of contamination completely, there's more than one reason why you should buy organic food.                         


Natural, Organic Food Tastes Great.

It might sound silly, but the main reason why you should buy organic is because food tastes better when it's made out of a limited recipe of natural ingredients. If you've ever tried raw honey, cage-free eggs, pure maple syrup or peanut butter with natural oil separation, then you know that these foods all taste great, way better than the stuff made in factories. Organic food tastes better because it is grown in well-balanced, naturally fertile soils with no added chemicals or fertilizers. Any food certified "Organic" also will not contain any artificial flavors, so you always get the true taste of the food, the way nature intended. Countless taste tests have concluded that organic food tastes better and fresher than mass-produced foods.

Organic Food Meets Strict Health and Sanitation Requirements.
When fruits and vegetables are certified organic by Quality Assurance International, you can rest assured that the farm or plant where the food was grown or made first underwent a thorough investigation ensuring that the crops were grown and handled organically, free from the influence of added chemicals. As any farmer will tell you, it's not easy to become certified organic.

Organic Farming Decreases Health Risks.

Organically grown fruits and vegetables contain less chemical byproducts because they're grown without the use of fertilizers and harmful pesticides. A lot of common pesticides approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were registered a long time before extensive research was conducted that actually linked the chemicals to serious medical conditions like cancer and Alzheimer's disease. The EPA will admit that 90 percent of mold killers (fungicides), 60 percent of all weed killers (herbicides), and 30 percent of insect killers (insecticides) have the potential to cause cancer and other potentially fatal health concerns. Organic farming eliminates the use of harmful pesticides and other chemicals on your fruits and vegetables, so you don't have to worry as much about unknown substances contaminating your food.  Organic farmers also do not add antibiotics to their animal feed, so you're not buying meat that's pumped full of hormones.

Organic Farming is Sustainable and Respects our Natural Resources

Organic farming not only uses less water, but also keeps our water supply clean by not adding toxic chemical runoff to our lakes, rivers, and reservoirs.  Not using harmful chemicals to beef up their crops each year, organic farmers actually decrease the amount of toxic runoff and pollutants contaminating our water and soil, thus promoting sustainable food production.  Research shows that organic farming steadily and actively improves overall soil quality and also does its part to decrease soil erosion through the use of sustainable agricultural methods.

Organic Farming Protect Animals
As we know, animals living wild in nature depend on healthy plants and water sources for survival. Since organic farming does not use harmful chemicals that damage the environment, more natural wildlife is protected. Additionally, grass-fed and free-range livestock are similarly treated more humanely, never subject to hormone injections, and processed with stronger sanitation requirements.

Organic Farmers Promote Ground-Breaking Research
While all farmers and food producers do want to make a profit, organic farmers are a little different because they wholeheartedly believe that organic, sustainable farming will benefit not only our health, but also the health of generations to come. Organic farmers are leading the way in finding new ways to produce healthier food options for consumers, always looking for way to reduce the amount of pesticides used and minimize the impact agriculture has on our environment.

Organic Food is Growing More Popular and Affordable
When asked if they buy organic food, many people will use the argument that even if it's healthier, organic food is just too expensive to buy. While this is an understandable and valid point, the higher price of organic food will drop as more and more people opt for organic food options and producers try to meet consumer demand with better, competitive prices. If you look around, most cities and towns now put on a weekly local farmer's market, where you can often can save money on locally grown organic fruits and vegetables that are in-season. Thanks to grass roots efforts like these, now nearly every category of food has organic alternatives, with more and more organic food available on grocery shelves every day.  Due to this widespread movement for healthier, more natural foods, it's getting harder for people to come up with reasons why not to buy organic food.


Is Too Much Salt Bad for You? | Top Organic Tips

For many years now, we have been told that salt is bad for our health, causing everything from high blood pressure and strokes to even heart attacks. Now we're starting to hear the opposite, so we want to know: is too much salt bad for you?

Good question. This salt debate has been going on for a long time. In fact, the beginning of our nation's so-called "salt scare" dates all the way back to 1972. That year, two prominent research studies reported that populations who used little or no salt had much lower blood pressure than salt-dependent nations like the United States. These "medical" findings caused everyone to panic and start cutting salt out of their diet as quickly as possible, but when we look closer at the way the study was actually conducted, it's hard to see how conclusive and well-founded the results really were.

For example, one study depended heavily on animal testing and involved feeding lab rats astronomically high doses of table salt. Americans may consume a lot of salt, but these lab rats were fed 60 times what the average American uses relative to their size. If taken to absolute extremes like this, we can probably declare many vitamins and minerals as harmful to our health! But the damage to salt's reputation was already done.

Salt: Good or Bad?
Even though many other researchers afterward concluded that the data found in the salt lab rat study was inconsistent, the medical establishment began an anti-salt campaign and everybody started shunning this naturally-occurring mineral in the human body. Thanks to many heavy-handed medical campaigns, anti-salt sentiments are still deeply embedded in the American mindset and almost impossible to change. Now take a look at statistics. Have heart attacks or strokes decreased since salt was declared a poison decades ago? Of course not! Did these medical professionals make a mistake?

Despite what researchers found decades ago, strong evidence now concludes that cutting salt out of your diet DOES NOT reduce risks of cardiovascular disease (American Journal of Hypertension, August 2011). After conducting a study on 6,250 people--not lab rats--new research has found that cutting salt intake can actually increase chances of heart disease by 56%. Cutting salt out of your diet is bad for you? This new research contradicts everything we have heard year after year from doctors, nurses, and even the FDA.
Still not convinced that salt isn't a health risk? The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for sodium (salt) is 2.400 mg daily. If you need more convincing, check out the article "It's time to end the war on salt," in the July 8, 2011 issue of Scientific American. The article describes the 1988 "Intersalt" study, wherein 52 international research centers could find no conclusive relationship between high salt intake and development of heart disease. As a matter of fact, those who took in more than 4,000 mg daily had lower median blood pressure than the controlled subjects who took in 7,2 mg. Surprised?

What Happens If You Eat too Much Salt?
So what happens if you consume too much salt? You get thirsty and you may urinate more. That's it! On the other hand, not getting enough salt has devastating health effects. The fact of the matter is, all living creatures on this beautiful planet could not exist without salt. Just remember how farmers put out salt blocks for the animals!

Salt used to be a very important international trade export, even during Columbus' travels around the world. Back then, people sure did not know anything about cardiovascular diseases, but they didn't mess with Mother Nature as much, either. Please be aware that there are different kinds of salt available. Non iodized organic sea salt definitely provides more health benefits than regular old chemically-treated table salt, so for the most health benefits choose all-natural brands like Celtic Sea Salt for your everyday at-home seasoning and flavoring. Take out your Celtic Sea Salt shaker, put it on your kitchen table where it belongs and use it generously. It may be your little secret, but it is actually good for your health!


Is Sunscreen Bad for You? Sunscreen Dangers & Cancer

Asking, "Is sunscreen bad for you?" might seem like a stupid question, but you are actually right to wonder about all of the lotions and substances you and your family absorb into your skin on a regular basis. As it turns out, some sunscreen may actually be bad for you. There are a few bad ingredients used in some sunscreen that you should avoid if you are truly concerned about your health and avoiding cancer.

Sunscreen Dangers, Concerns & Risks
Besides avoiding a sunburn or wanting to cut down on the aging effects of the sun, one of the most common reasons we use sunscreen is to avoid skin cancer. Health experts and doctors urge us to get more natural Vitamin D by spending time in the sun, but if we get too much sun we run the risk of developing melanoma. Wearing sunscreen seems to be a safe way to get some sun and avoid the dangers of harmful UV rays, but recent toxicology reports indicate that using some sunscreens may actually increase your chances for cancer.

Bad Sunscreen Ingredients: Can Sunscreen Cause Cancer?
Sunscreen causes cancer? It kind of seems like you're in danger with or without sunscreen, right? Not exactly. Is some sunscreen bad for you? Maybe health researchers at Reading University have found a trend between the use of skin care products that use as an ingredient and the development of breast cancer in women. Studies show that some types of paraben can imitate properties of estrogen, a hormone associated with the development of certain kinds of breast cancer.

Parabens in Sunscreen
Obviously, health experts across the board are not in full agreement with the dangers and cancer causing characteristics of parabens yet, so paraben is still used as a common ingredient in many shampoos, lotions, and yes, even sunscreen. As long as paraben is approved by the FDA as a legal ingredient in skin care products, it will be up to you to decide whether you want to buy organic paraben free sunscreen and .

Oxybenzone in Sunscreen
Unfortunately, there are other bad sunscreen ingredients than just paraben. Some sunscreen ingredients will protect you from UV rays, but those same chemicals used for protection may cause other health dangers. Oxybenzone and benzophenone are two commonly used UV blockers that have been sparking controversy in the "is sunscreen bad for you" debate for quite a while now and has been covered by official news sources like CNN and the New York Times. Like paraben, oxybenzone is also a "synthetic estrogen" that unfortunately poses some of the same dangers as paraben when used in skin care products and sunscreen.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, research performed on rodents showed that oxybenzone can not only cause allergic reactions and hormone disruption, but also in some cases produces the harmful free radicals that lead to the development of skin cancer. Like paraben, oxybenzone is also still FDA approved, but you can buy organic oxybenzone free sunscreen with no chemicals or paraben added. Organic sunblocks usually use minerals like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as a natural alternative to UV blockers like oxybenzone, benzophenone, and PABA.

Is Sunscreen Bad for You or Good for You?
So is all sunscreen bad for you? No, and not all sunscreen is "good" for you, either. Do some popular sunscreen ingredients pose potential dangers and health risks? Yes. Like so many things, you might have to pay a little bit higher price for organic sunscreen made from high quality natural ingredients rather than all the cheap chemicals. Find out when to wear sunscreen to get more protection and less danger of cancer.

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