Sweat Together, Stay Together – Exercises To Do With Your Loved One

Sweat Together, Stay Together – Exercises To Do With Your Loved One

As the study of the effects of exercises grows, researchers have found that when you work out with your romantic partner, you can actually appear more attractive to him or her. I know that doesn’t sound very logical. My typical workout consists of sweat stains, messy hair and pained look on my flushed and make-up-less face. (Not exactly a prime date-catching appearance). But studies do prove that when you workout with your romantic partner, it induces the same symptoms as physiological arousal (sweaty hands, racing pulse, and shortness of breath), mirroring romantic attraction. These sensations can be misattributed to romantic attraction, and make you both fall even more in love with each other.

If that isn’t enough for you and your bae to throw on matching workout gear and run hand-in-hand to the gym, there are even more benefits. Studies show that after participating in an exciting physical challenge or activity, couples felt more satisfied with their relationships (Aron, Norman, Aron, & Heyman, 2000). Exercising with a partner also increases  the overall efficiency of your workouts, as a workout buddy’s presence can improve your speed and effort without you even being aware. Working out together also makes it easier for you and your partner to achieve your exercise goals because you can lean on each other for emotional support.

So here are some fun ideas for your next sweat session with that special someone in your heart…

Partner Planks. Planks are a great exercise to do with a partner because having that motivation can take away from the painful monotony that planking can sometimes lead to. A low-impact core exercise, planking helps to increase stability, balance and strength, and – when done correctly – protects your lower back from strain. If you are performing a proper plank, your weight will be evenly distributed throughout your arms, toes and body, and your back will be as flat as possible. You can also perform a modified plank on your knees if you have lower back issues, or are just getting used to the exercise.

 

Partner Facing Planks With Alternating High-Five. This is where you and your workout partner get into a plank position and face one another. You and your partner should mirror one another’s body position and be about 1 or 2 feet away from each other. Maintaining an even distribution of weight throughout the rest of your limbs, raise your right or left arm and high-five your partner. Lower your arm down and then repeat on the other side. You can do 3 sets of 10 per each arm, or 5 sets of 5 per each arm. I recommend that you play around with the rep scheme and find what works best for you and your workout buddy.

 

Partner Farmer Carry. I personally think that farmer carries are an underrated exercise. In this exercise, you carry one dumbbell, kettlebell, or even a heavy bag of books in each hand, and then you just walk. You could also do a Farmer Carry Lunge (where you lunge instead of walk, adding a serious amount of difficulty and core work to the exercise). This exercise works your grip, forearms, shoulders, triceps, and core. The faster you walk, the most you can make this exercise into a cardiovascular exercise as well as a strength routine.

 

 

Farmer’s Race. The hardest thing that I have found about including a Farmers Carry into my workout routine is that its long, painful and a little bit boring. A Farmer’s Race is a fun way for you and your workout partner to challenge one another to push harder, longer and faster in this exercise. (And to add some excitement to your routine). All that you have to do is decide on a distance to go. I recommend 50 to 200 meters depending on the weight that you are carrying and your goal for the exercise, pick up your weight and then walk! If there is too much of a difference between the speed of you and your workout partner, modify the race by giving one of you more distance to travel, or a heavier weight to carry. This is a fun way to challenge each other and to add a little friendly competition into your workout routine.

 

 

Partner Chipper. There is nothing worse than doing a hard workout alone. When I was training for a marathon last year, I did not have a running partner and I remember the stinging pain of boredom more vividly during those long runs that I remember the actual pain of exercise. That is why I think that if you are going to commit to a long workout, you might as well have a buddy to do it with. Here are a few ideas to get you started. You can mix and match as you would like.

 

Well, I hope that was helpful! Good luck and sweat on!

100 Series- The 100 Series is a pretty versatile exercise. You and your partner just need to pick out exercises that you like and can do, and then do 100 reps total. I have included some exercises below to give you some ideas, but it is really up to you on what movements you choose. You can also split up the reps however you would like. So you could both do 50 reps each, or you could split it up into smaller rep schemes (5 sets of 10 per person for example).  The only 2 requirements are that while one person is working, the other is resting, and you cannot move onto the next exercise until you finish the reps in the movement that you are working on. Here are some ideas to get you started:

100 Squats (learn proper form here)

100 Sit-ups (learn proper form here)

100 Push-ups (learn proper form here)

100 Pull-Ups (learn proper form here) 

100 Lunges (learn proper form here) 

100 Wall-Balls (learn proper form here)

100 Deadlifts (learn proper form here)

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Plastic Water Bottles Are Destroying Our Oceans

Plastic Water Bottles Are Destroying Our Oceans

That’s right. Plastic water bottles are literally destroying our environment, and the most heartbreaking part about it? There are so many other better, healthier, and environmentally-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic bottles.

Right now the average American throws away almost 185 pounds of plastic per year, and only a 5% of that is able to actually be recycled.

“There are billions of pounds of plastic floating around in oceans and other bodies of water, making up about 40% of the world’s surface.”

Plastic contributes to around 90% of all of the trash found in the ocean, and that floating plastic secretes harmful toxins into the soil and water, destroying animal habitats and killing one million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals per year.

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90% of the trash floating in the ocean is plastic waste

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44% of all seabirds have been found with plastic on them

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80% of all single-use plastic bottles become litter

Plastic is not biodegradable, and when you use plastic bottles, you are contributing the 35 billion plastic bottles that are being thrown away each year.  The further add to the problem, plastic takes anywhere from 500 to 1,000 years to degrade.

This means that the plastic water bottle that you bought before your track race will likely float in the ocean or sit in a landfill for around 800 years before it fully degrades.

 

So what exactly can you do about it?

The best thing you can do is avoid plastic bottles altogether. Instead, try a reusable glass growler bottle. It is better for the environment, saves you money, is better for your health (no chemicals) and looks genuinely cool.

Reusable growler bottles are made of glass and do not need to be thrown away after one use. If you do wish to dispose of your growler bottle, it is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity. Recycled glass can be substituted for 90% of raw materials, and can actually be used to make glass products again. Recycled glass containers are always needed because glass manufacturers require high-quality recycled container glass to meet market demands for new glass containers. When you used glass bottles, (even if you opt to recycle them after one or two uses), you are helping to save  more than a ton of natural resources for every ton of glass recycled.

“But no!” you say, “Growler bottles are so expensive! I don’t want to spend $20 on a glass bottle from a hipster boutique website!” And to that, my eco-conscious friend, I say “nay.”

Fresh Water Systems sells all different types of growler bottles in singles and in bulk for way cheaper than any specialty store. I’m talking less-thank-3-dollars-for-a-single-bottle-cheaper. And if you don’t want a glass growler bottle, FWS also has Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottles, and Neo Vas Stainless Steel Bottles, all for a great price and in various sizes. 

So there really is nothing stopping you for sparing your great-great-great-great grandchildren from having to deal with your single-use disposable plastic bottles.

 

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Organization Hacks You Will Actually Use

Organization Hacks You Will Actually Use

I don’t know about you, but the storage in the cabinet under my kitchen sink is the most dysfunctional and frustrating space in my house for me to organize. The under-sink cabinet is a pretty large area and has the potential to store a lot of my kitchen supplies, but I always had trouble fitting my filter in with the rest of the supplies that that I wanted to store.

To further add to the issue, most plumbing pipes don’t nicely tuck away in the back. Instead the elbow joints and different pipes jut out and make the space awkward and uneven. I live in an area that uses the city’s water source (and I am not fond of all of the chlorine and bacteria is the water), so it is important for me to keep my water filtration system and tank installed under my sink so that I can use filtered water for cooking and drinking. I can’t move or get rid of the filtration system, so I finally decided to make organizing my cabinet under the sink a priority.

Use Tension Rods To Hang Spray Bottles

I set up a tension rod along my under-sink cabinet so that I could hang my spray bottles, and any other cleaning supplies that could fit. This way, I can just grab them and go and they are not just cluttered together in a corner.

Use Containers To Hold Sponges

I put all of the sponges and other cleaning supplies that I had in stackable containers. I like this because when I am ready for a new sponge, I can just throw out the old one and grab a new one.

Use a Paper Organizer To Hold Foils And Wraps

I mounted a paper holder to the door of my under-sink cabinet and put all of my foils, plastic wraps, and wax paper containers in it. This way, I can just open the cabinet and grab what I need.

As for a water filter, I use Fresh Water System’s Watts Premier RO Water Filtration System. I use this filter because it doesn’t take up as much space as some other under-sink filters do. The filter itself lines up again the wall of my cabinet and the size of the tank (to store a few gallons of water so that it doesn’t just trickle out at the faucet when I turn it on) is manageable. I bought this filter also because it filters out a lot of the contaminates that are in my water supply like pesticides, herbicides, and lead.

Our water used to have a funny taste to it too, but the system filters out any bad taste or smell. There is also a 3-gallon filter that gets installed with the system. This is basically because the process of properly filtering the water takes a long time, so the storage system lets us just turn on the faucet and pour a glass of water, rather than having to wait a 10 or 20 minutes for a cup.

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How Ice Quality and Color are Affected

How Ice Quality and Color are Affected

Is your commercial ice machine producing low quality ice that is cloudy and discolored? Learn what factors affect smell and color of ice cubes along with how to use a water filtration system to improve it.

Prevent-bad-smell-and-cloudy-ice-cubes

Some people believe that when they get an ice machine all they have to do is plug it into the water line and let it go.  Some ice makers are designed to be plug-and-play like that, but is setting up an ice maker directly off of the municipal tap water lines the best idea? Will you get the clearest and best quality ice from that ice machine? The answer is no.

Truth is, while each municipality has measures in place to filter out the contaminants that you find in tap water, water can pick up additional contaminants, chemicals, and even bacteria as it travels through the pipes to get to your location. Some of these contaminants include minerals from pipes. Of course it’s not bad for you, since it is safe tap water, but there’s a really good chance that it needs to be filtered again before it gets made into ice.

Without a filtration device on your lines, the water that goes into your ice machine is going to be the same water that leaves your tap, filled with minerals from the travel and chemicals from the treatment plant.

Doesn’t the ice making process get rid of chemicals and minerals?

Yes, the process of making ice does get rid of some particulates that are in tap water. As ice freezes, some of the heavier particles fall out of the ice. A good quality ice machine will have a way to remove these so scale doesn’t build up.

However, there are other contaminants that stick around. These can give your ice a foul taste and an off-color. Furthermore, unfiltered water accelerates the development of scale and buildup in the lines outside of the machine, reducing the efficiency of the ice machine.

An Analogy

Think about the contaminants in the unfiltered tap water like debris in a hallway.  This debris is large enough to slow you down, but not large enough to completely stop the works.  By removing the debris from the hallway, you’re able to walk down it unencumbered.  The same process works for a commercial ice machine: with fewer particles to get in the lines, the more productive and efficient the machine becomes.

While there is some natural filtration with the condensing and evaporating process, filtering water is not the machine’s purpose.  It does not specifically focus on the elimination of contaminants like an ice filter will.  This means that the chlorine and other off-flavors have the potential of making it through to your ice.

The filtration of water before it enters the ice machine significantly increases the production of the ice machine, along with both the freshness and clarity of the cubes which are produced.  You should install a water filter on your lines to ensure you can get the best ice you can. Clear, tasty ice means a positive customer service experience, as well as less wear and tear on your ice machine.

 

Article provided by IceMachinesPlus.com

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Can Ice Be Contaminated with E.Coli?

Can Ice Be Contaminated with E.Coli?

Packaged ice can become contaminated with heterotrophs, coliforms, and E.Coli a recent study by the University of Georgia shows. Solution for commercial ice machines is the Ice Wand ice water filter.

Have you ever thought that bagged ice you buy at a convince store could be contaminated with heterotrophs, coliforms, and E.Coli? Most of us believe the freezing temperatures would prevent any bacteria and or sanitation issues from find its way into ice cubes. In a recent study by the University of Georgia found stores, fast food restaurants, gas stations, and self-serve vending machines. If you make and bag your own ice or if you own ice vending machines, your customers are at an increased risk of being exposed to contaminated or tainted ice and you may be liable for damages and/or recall expense.

 

Following a regular commercial ice machine cleaning schedule will prevent the build-up of bacterial and bio-film that causes ice to become contaminated but it can be very costly. A solution to keeping your ice machine clean, preventing ice from becoming contaminated, and reducing your yearly ice product cost is the Ice Wand. The Ice wand is a commercial ice machine water filter that can reduce, or even eliminate, machine cleanings reduce your operating cost all the while protecting the quality of ice being produced.

Ice Wand Ice Machine Water Filter Features

  • Dramatically reduced cleaning and maintenance requirements and costs
  • Improved overall beverage and ice quality
  • Reduces taste and odor concerns
  • Extends life of commercial ice cube machine
  • Compatible with almost all commercial ice cube machines including
  • Long shelf life
  • No chlorine additives, carcinogenic chemicals, or toxic by-products
  • Safe to handle; easy installation after a thorough cleaning
  • Oxidation resistant – safe for ice machine parts
  • Made in the USA

Ice Contamination Infographic

How an Ice Machine Water Filter can Prevent Packaged Ice Contamination

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4 New Year’s Resolutions that You Can Actually Keep

4 New Year’s Resolutions that You Can Actually Keep

Newyears-fws-banner13-blog

Today is New Year’s Day. 2013 has ended, and a new year has just begun. If you are like many other people, you are probably thinking about making some resolutions for this year. Maybe you want to loose weight, save money, or start a new job.

So why not start small? Here are four small resolutions that you can actually keep. Do these and you will be on your way to bigger, more substantial goals.

                    1. Drink more filtered water. Boston College released a study showing that 2/3 of American adults do not drink enough water. As a result, these thirsty people are more likely to suffer from headaches, fatigue, and other health problems. So, make a resolution to drink more filtered water. Carrying a water bottle is a great way to accomplish this goal. Have the watter bottle with you whereever you go so that it can easily be refilled and on hand when you need it.

                    2. Replace two sodas a week with filtered water. This is an easy and attainable resolution that will help you accomplish two bigger goals: drinking more water and saving money. Most sodas at restaurants or gas stations cost at least $1.50, if not more. By giving up two of these drinks a week, at the end of the year you will see a savings of at least $156. You will also be healthier by having consumed less calories (at least 14,000 less!).

3. Spend less time in front of electronic screens. Studies have shown that children who spend more time in front of electronic screens are more likely to become obese, lose sleep, and experience attention problems. This includes watching TV, playing video games, and spending time on the computer. If kiddos experience these problems, it stands to reason that adults will too. To help yourself avoid some of these effects, put down your iphone or tablet. Get up, look away from your screen and take a break. While you are taking a break, maybe you can do the next resolution:

                    4. Take a walk. This short video can show the tremendous benefits to taking a walk for thirty minutes a day. Taking the time to walk just thirty minutes a day can lower depression, boost energy, and help you sleep better!

 

 

 

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