Protein shakes are great for building muscles, but they are also healthy for your body! They can help keep you full, give you important nutrients and make you feel energetic. If you want to enjoy these but don’t know how to make them, then it’s time to experiment with recipes! There are a lot of different shakes you can make at home without that much effort on your part.

1. Banana Bread Protein Shake

  • 1 banana (you can slice and freeze this ahead of time if you want a creamier shake)
  • 2 scoops vanilla whey powder
  • 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal (cook the day before)
  • 3/4 cup bran flakes
  • 1 bottle of water
  • Sugar to taste

Blend all of these together until there are no more chunks left behind. Pour into a glass and enjoy right away so you can get all of the nutrients in your body! If you like this recipe, then make a batch of oatmeal ahead of time so you can just scoop it from the fridge when you want to make a shake.

2. Tropical Protein Shake

  • 1/2 frozen banana (slice before freezing)
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 4 oz water
  • 4 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tbsp low fat sour cream
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • Sugar to taste

Blend all of these together until you have no more chunks left. Taste and then add more sugar, if necessary.

3. Cinnamon Roll Protein Shake

  • Sugar to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp sugar-free instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 4 oz water
  • 4 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Ice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients until smooth, but taste before pouring into a glass to see if you need to add more sugar. You can also add a dash of butter flavored extract, if you have it available. The butter flavored extract will make it taste more like a cinnamon roll, so try it out if you want a sweet treat without any guilt.

4. Pineapple Protein Shake

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 5 strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop protein powder (any flavor you want)

Blend all ingredients until smooth and enjoy this great source of protein. You can use any flavor of protein powder that you have, and you can use flavored Greek yogurt as well. Another swap you can make is 1 tsp of cottage cheese instead of yogurt.

5. Strawberry Energy Protein Shake

  • 5 oz water
  • 5 oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 10 frozen strawberries
  • 1 tbsp strawberry Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp flax seed oil
  • 1/4 tsp imitation vanilla extract
  • Sugar to taste
  • Ice
  • 1 scoop protein powder

Blend all ingredients until smooth and then taste to determine if you need to add in more sugar. If you want to cut calories, then use a sugar substitute to sweeten the shake. You can also use fresh strawberries if you don’t have any frozen available.

These are just five of the protein shake recipes that you can easily make within a few minutes. The best part about them is that you can swap the ingredients if you don’t have something or don’t like something. For example, you could substitute chocolate protein for vanilla or any other flavor that you have.

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  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: Fotolia

Mary is an experienced fitness instructor and nutritional expert that writes for JackedGorilla.Com, a website where visitors can find health, fitness and bodybuilding information!

When it comes to weight loss, it is widely accepted that a combination of fat burning cardio and lean muscle building strength training is the best formula. The cardio burns calories and makes your metabolism work faster, but the strength training causes a greater calorie burn per resting hour and also gives you definition and tone.

Working out is hard work, so you want to get the optimal results in terms of both cardio and resistance work in every session so you can reap the fastest rewards from your efforts. For decades, the soundest approach to this was considered to be interval training and for good reason. However, new thinking on the way we use interval training to get the best fitness results is offering people new ways to get better effects from shorter workouts. Here is why:

What is Conventional Interval Training?

Conventional interval training is where you work out at a moderate level for several minutes and then push yourself at your hardest for a shorter burst. You may therefore work at a moderate pace on an elliptical trainer for three minutes and then do a hard grind at several difficulty levels higher for one minute. Repeat this cycle and you have traditional interval training.

Interval training is such a commonly accepted way to work out that it is part of the schedule in most spinning or aerobics classes and even an optional program on most “fat burning” sessions on machines like exercise bikes, treadmills, rowing machines and elliptical trainers. You can also do interval circuits based on common exercises like push ups, crunches and jumping jacks.

How to Get Even Better Results with Interval Training

The new thinking on interval training is that it is better to reverse the traditional method. This means working at your highest level for periods on the same movement, before then resting either by doing nothing but grabbing some water and breathing, or walking in place for about 30 seconds.

This is known as extreme interval training or max interval training and has been shown to burn up to 1000 calories per hour. It is hard work and will result in pools of sweat under your work out area, but it is actually a mode of working out that is suitable for people of every fitness level.

That Sounds Hard!

Max or extreme interval training is hard. However, because the idea is to work at your own maximum pace, rather than completing a certain number of reps, a certain distance or reaching a certain heart rate level within the period of time for each set, it is something everyone can do.

If you set your interval to three minutes, then you just have to do as many reps as you can of your exercise for that interval, as fast as you can without losing form. This could be three push ups or one hundred; it doesn’t matter as long as you are going at your maximum ability.

This is a very efficient workout. Think about it – say you set your max interval training session at three minutes with three sets of three exercises; you can be looking at doing three minutes of push ups, three minutes of crunches and three minutes of lunges with a thirty second break between each set. This amounts to 27 minutes of actual exercise, half an hour including your breaks. This is something just about anyone can fit into their day.

Many people are getting great results with this method. Channing Tatum is one of its many celebrity fans and there are few people who’d argue that his body doesn’t look fit! So there you have it – try it at home or work with your own personal trainer to devise your maximum interval circuit training plan!

Emily Starr is a blogger who believes that the new method research regarding interval training can really help you to improve your fitness. When looking for a personal trainer, Basingstoke experts recommend finding one who understands the benefits of interval training.

Almost everyone would love to have a lean and fit body. Sadly, most people don’t have the time to dedicate a proper daily workout to becoming fit. How does one reconcile their busy schedule with being healthy With memos to type, copies to make, kids to pick up, and houses to keep clean, staying fit has never been so hard. The following are some tips you can utilize to stay fit throughout the day.

Healthy Jogging

Ditch The Wheels And Use Your Feet

If you live in the middle of all your errands, then ditch your car and use your own feet to literally run your errands. Post offices, banks, and grocery stores can all be hit without your car in tow. Not only is it more financially sound and good for the environment, but using your body as a vehicle will build muscle and help burn fat every day.

Do Exercises At Your Desk

You can keep active even when you’re sitting at an office desk all day. Use dumbbells while reading memos, jog in place in front of your computer, and do stretches and other circulation exercises while sitting. Take multiple breaks to get up and walk around. If you work in your own office or in a cubicle, you can use bigger movements while exercising without distracting your coworkers. Otherwise you will have to look up small scale workouts to stay beneath the radar.

Fun tip: If you work at home, you can get a treadmill desk to do your work at all day. You can surf the web while getting in a great workout!

Eat Healthy To Keep Your Body Properly Powered

You can’t expect to stay fit all day with nothing to power it. Eat a healthy, well-balanced breakfast with lean protein and good carbs to stay energetic all day. Supplement your diet with fresh fruits and veggies. Remember that junk food, such as sugary snacks and deep fried goodies, do almost nothing to keep you fit and healthy throughout the day.

Practice Good Hygiene To Keep Your Systems Functioning Well

Eating well and exercising won’t help you much if you’re not brushing your teeth and bathing regularly. Oral health is important to keeping bacteria out of your body and your well-being in tip-top shape. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, or ideally after every meal. Also make sure you visit your doctors regularly and have any diseases or disorders treated.

Involve Your Friends And Family

The best way to stay accountable for your new daily fitness routine is to involve your friends and family. If they’re doing it with you  such as walking to and from school if it’s close enough then it’s much easier for you to stick with it.

Staying fit and healthy throughout your day can be a challenge, especially if it’s something you’ve never thought about before. But by following the simple tips above, you’ll be well on your way to seeing great improvements in your body and overall well-being.

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John Dyer is a fitness writer. He loves to workout and share his fitness experience in his writings. He is currently working for TrampolinePartsCenter.

The wise sage Buddha once advised, “To keep the body in good health is a duty; otherwise we shall not be able to keep our minds strong and clear.” It’s true. If I miss my morning workout then it shows for the rest of the day.

Mental Benefits of Working Out

It is no secret that exercise offers a plethora of mental health benefits. While you work out at the gym to improve your digestive system, cardiovascular health, or respiratory system, you are also improving your mental well-being! And this is true for humans of every size, shape, age, and race.

It does not matter if you are an older mom who walks the local shopping mall after getting the kids off to school or a young college student hitting the gym every evening, if you work out on a regular basis then it is likely that your mental health is better than your couch potato friends.

And if you are a couch potato, then keep reading for some benefits you could be enjoying by adding a 15 to 30 minute workout to your daily schedule. Here are some of the primary mental health benefits of working out, but they are only the tip of the iceberg.

  • LESS STRESS – Working up a sweat while working out takes real concentration. It helps give your mind a break from problems at work, school, or at home. After your workout you are more relaxed and ready to tackle whatever is bothering you.
  • MORE ENDORPHINS – Have you ever finished a physical activity and felt the euphoria that comes with having achieved that type of goal? Exercise releases endorphins that create happy feelings inside us. It’s nature’s antidepressant!
  • BETTER SELF-CONFIDENCE – Knowing that you are taking steps to become more physically fit can help you boost your self-confidence regardless if you have met your weight loss and other fitness goals or are still working towards, them.
  • FRESH AIR – Breathing in fresh air, especially with the added Vitamin-D of sunshine, provides such a great mental boost. Nature really is the best medicine for a sour mood. (Just don’t forget to wear sunscreen!)
  • ADDICTION RECOVERY – If you are trying to give up an addiction like cigarettes or alcohol, then exercise can help you do that. Indulging in your addiction releases a chemical in your brain called dopamine. However indulging in exercise releases it too!
  • BOOST BRAIN FUNCTION – People who work out increase a protein in their brain known as BDNF (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene/627) which is vital to keeping conditions like Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s at bay.

Many people limit their workouts to swimsuit season, or rely on a gym to keep their bodies fit and healthy. Working out should be a regular activity for daily life during every season, whether you have access to a gym or not!

This isn’t saying that you have to work out every day, but keeping up with some kind of exercise routine (even as short as 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week) makes a big difference. If the physical benefits of exercise don’t convince you, perhaps the mental ones can!

Using Protein to Re-Build After Workouts

It does not matter if you are working out three times per week or on a daily basis, your muscles need to rebuild protein between exercise sessions. I like helping my body do this by drinking protein shakes that I make at home.

Having the shake does more than just rebuild protein. It keeps me from caving in to late night cravings or overeating at lunch or dinner due to being famished post-workout. When I follow my morning workout by a shake or another healthy snack, then I am able to eat moderately the rest of the day.

When making the shakes I mix up a cup of soy milk, half a dozen ice cubes, a handful of blueberries, a small handful of baby spinach leaves, and a scoop of whey protein powder. Blend until smooth and enjoy – especially if your workout got you hot and sweaty.

The only thing I have to watch personally is making sure I include my pre-workout granola bar and post-workout shake in my daily calorie count.  Keeping track of calories helps hold me accountable to what I’m putting in my body regardless of when or where I exercise.

Freelance writer Mark Harris is an avid outdoorsman, and knows firsthand the importance of keeping fit before, during, and after a workout. Some of the sites he uses as research for his articles, like www.biogirlhealth.com, come in handy for everyday life as well! When he isn’t working or working out, he escapes with his wife to nearby Vancouver where they play tourist in their own city.

A lot of people are unsure whether they should try out the insanity workout because they aren’t sure if it actually works. Well, to start, you should know that there is no such thing as the perfect program that will work for everyone. Every person is different, so they will all have personal needs and goals to achieve. You simply need to find out what your goals are when it comes down to it.

The Insanity Workout

The insanity workout is especially designed to put the body through an extremely intense workout, no matter what the person’s fitness level might have been beforehand. It was basically created to make people work hard and give all that they’ve got to reap the best results possible. This maximum interval training program will make you sweat intensely and generally includes plyometric drills and high intensive training that target strength, power, resistance, core and abdominals. In other words, this workout will build up all of your muscles.

The Feedback

The feedback for the insanity workout has been pretty mixed. Some people say that they have started to feel much better about themselves after they started following the program, while others claim that their bodies aren’t as ripped as they would want to be three weeks in.

Then there are those who are extremely impressed by the program and those who experience intense muscle pain from it. Most of the time, though, the feedback is positive with incredibly results at the forefront. While it may take some time for the program to take effect in some people, you should find it extremely beneficial if you are following the workout and a nutritious diet at the same time.

The Price

The main product itself costs around $100 to $200, depending where you get it from, and includes a nutrition guide that will help you keep your energy levels up as needed, and a calendar that will help you track your overall progress as time goes by. Naturally, the workout DVDs will be part of the package, as well. You also have the option to upgrade your program for more intense workouts and to get a professional mat and a body fat tester in the mix. This upgrade costs an extra $100, though.

The Effectiveness

If you do a ton of research online, you will soon notice and realize that this product is very effective for different body types. Naturally, you will have to use your common sense before you start. If you are currently experiencing joint pain, then you might not want to try this out just yet. If you weigh a lot or are completely out of shape because you stopped working out for a while, then you might want to take things slow at first and just build up to it. Remember: the insanity workout was made to challenge people into working their bodies to the hardest, so you are sure to get great results if you put more effort into the process overall.

This article was written by One Polar – Manufacturers of Technical Rucksacks, built to last a lifetime. For more information, please visit; www.onepolar.co.uk 

So you have decided to get a gym membership to help you lose some extra pounds before the summer holiday. You have chosen the gym you want to use and paid the relatively expensive monthly subscription. Now that you’re releasing a chunk of your wage every month for a gym then you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting everything you can from that membership. We have some advice to ensure that you’re utilising the facilities at hand and getting the most out of your gym.

Exercise classes
If you’re new to the gym then exercising in front of people can be hard enough, never mind with them, but we urge that you try your gyms exercise classes. These classes can vary but generally offer a general work out that covers many different aspects and it’s much better than just heading straight for the treadmill. Because they’re instructor led you’ll have someone who can push you past your comfort zone and show you exercises that maybe you haven’t tried before. It’s also a great chance to meet your fellow gym goers and start to feel more comfortable there. You aren’t paying money to turn up and feel uncomfortable every week! Making friends at the gym can also act as a motivational tool. Think of it as a time in which you can socialise as well as work out.

Equipment
It’s easy to join a gym and just use the treadmill and weight machines because that’s the equipment you know. To really make the most out of your membership you should be trying every piece of equipment in the gym. Even if it’s just once! Who knows? You might find something that you really enjoy using that exercises the part of your body you want to get into shape. Regularly mixing in different exercise machines into your routine means that you’re going to get a much more comprehensive workout so don’t be shy about testing new stuff out. If you don’t know how to use the equipment, just ask. As part of your membership you should be entitled to training on all the equipment there.

Personal training
Most gyms offer a free one on one session with a professional trainer when you join the gym which will be your chance to get all the questions you can in. What kind of routines should I be doing to reach my goals? Is there a specific set of equipment I should be using? After your one on one the personal trainers will start to charge, but if you’re not willing to shell out the amount they’re asking then you could always ask for a bit of help. The trainers are always happy to assist in the hope that you’ll enlist their services in the future. You might be surprised at how much you can get for free!

Turn up!
Ben Goodyear, who has worked for a number of health clubs Bristol, told us that “before you join the gym, ask yourself if you have the time and willpower to use it”. You may think this an obvious piece of advice but you would be astonished at the amount of people who sign up to the gym only to never end up going.  We understand that you might not always be in the mood to head for a sweaty workout after a day in the office but you’re going to feel so much better for it! Plus, many gyms only offer contract subscriptions so if you have signed up for 6 months that’s how long you’re going to be paying for so you should endeavour to go at least once a week.

Your gym membership is going to be the key to losing those pounds, staying fit and lowering stress levels so make sure that you’re doing everything in your power to make the most out of your time there!