All Posts by Jamie D. Custer

1 picture of knee braces

A Look At The Best Knee Braces For Runners and Athlete’s

What knee brace is best for running? Brace Access has an excellent article on this question. These days just getting out of our “couch potato” states to be active deserves a gold medal. The motivation and drive to be fit and healthy through exercise tend to be branded in a select few individuals who give it they’re all. A popular form of staying fit tends to be running as it can be calming to the senses.

However, a common drawback known as knee pain arises commonly as a concern to fellow runners. To tackle the issue of knee pain, knee braces have been a popular solution. However, with a vast array of braces found in the market, it can be hard to find the right one in terms of the type of brace and the best knee braces in the market today for running.

Type of Braces

There are instrumental differences found in different types of braces that are tailored to suit each runner differently. So, determining the best type in detrimental.

Knee Bands: This form of compression is best for the runner who has a stressed patellar tendon, runner’s knee, and tendonitis. It can also be used to decrease the chances of sprains. It is only recommended to be used for mild pains in the knee.

Knee Tape: This tape reduces soreness and mild aches and is best for runners looking to take pre-preventive measures to decrease chances of wounding themselves. A major plus is that it lacks the bulky weight other knee braces tend to carry.

Hinged brace: This tends to be an extremely bulky brace that’s the main function is to avoid the individual to extend their leg. It is only used for individuals who have recently gotten surgery or are trying to recover from a more severe form of injury. Ideally, runners who require this brace shouldn’t even be running.

Neoprene brace: This brace warms and compresses joints and muscles through the method of insulation. It is ok for runners as it is not as bulky as a hinged brace, but still can be a bit uncomfortable when trying to run in it. It is mainly used to avoid bruising or reducing the intensity of an already bruised knee.

Patella stabilizing brace: Like the knee bends, the patella stabilizing brace tends to help protect the patella and prevent tendonitis. It is known to offer more protection than a knee band and still be comfortable for running. Therefore, it is used for more severe rigor in comparison to the knee bands.

Arthritic knee brace: This brace tackles arthritis by reducing the number of bones rubbing together. Naturally, it reduces pain while runners with arthritis are in motion.


The Top Knee Braces

Neo G Medical Grade VCS Advanced Hinged Open Patella Knee Brace: This brace was designed to tackle multi-faceted issues including pain from a sore patella, arthritis, and runner’s knee. It even helps avoid sprains while running as it is a joint combination of the neoprene and hinged braces mad into one brace.

Tuff Brace Athletics Knee Brace and Support: This Velcro based brace is mainly designed to deliver the optimum compression needs tailored to everyone. However, it is also multifaceted in its features as it offers stable padding for those with a weak patella and helps reduce swelling that is associated with arthritis and runner’s knee.

1 picture of gastric sleeve diet foods

What You Need To Know About The Gastric Sleeve Diet

What is the Gastric Sleeve Diet? Well with inconsistent meal times, busy lifestyles and the availability of junk food, it has become hard to lose weight. To make matters worse, most people do not realize that they are gaining weight, until later, during the weight gaining cycle.

It is at this stage, when all your clothes are no longer fitting you, and panic sets in. Therefore, you will develop the need of reducing excess weight, and to mitigate the harmful effects of obesity. Well, one of the best ways of reducing excess weight is through gastric sleeve surgery procedure.

Does It Affect Your Diet?

Not that, after passing through gastric sleeve surgery, there is a need of changing your eating habits. For instance, after the surgical process, your diet will change from a liquid to a pureed diet, then, to a soft diet and finally, a modified diet. It is this kind of a diet that is called gastric sleeve diet, and the aim is to help in maximizing the healing process, and reduce any complications associated with the gastric sleeve surgical procedure.

Here is the nutritional information about the gastric sleeve diet

  • Between two to six weeks, take low calorie diet which should be about < 800kcal per day.
  • The diet should involve about three meals a day.
  • The diet should be nutritionally complete, i.e. it has to have minerals, vitamins and protein.

The reason for taking food with low calories is to help in reducing the size of your liver. A large liver will negatively affect the surgical procedure because it will make it difficult for the gastric surgeon to have an access to your “fatty” liver. Moreover, an enlarged liver increases the possibility of developing complications after surgery.

Gastric Sleeve Diet after the Surgery

In days and months after the gastric sleeve surgery, you must be careful on your eating routines. In general, here is the gastric sleeve diet for patients who have just come out of the gastric sleeve surgery -but, you should not ignore the suggestions or advice of your surgeon regarding your diet and health needs.

Week One: Liquid Food Substance

· Take liquids such as water and fresh juice.

· Coffee is another excellent liquid you can take during the first few days after surgery.

· Avoid any drink that is carbonated and has sugar.

Week Two: Pureed Food Substances

· Take foods in their pureed form.

· Examples are mashed potatoes, sugar free yoghurt, hot watery oatmeal, etc.

· Do not over eat, since, you may be vulnerable to after surgery complications. Just take enough pureed food substances.

Week Three: Soft Foods

· You may take soft foods during this week.

· Examples are soft cereals, boiled vegetables, mashed fruits, etc.

· You need to avoid food rich in starch such as rice and bread.

· Food substances that are fibrous in nature such a broccoli, asparagus, must also be avoided at all cost. This is because they are difficult to digest.

Week Four: Certain Solid Meals

· During this week, you may be allowed to take some solid meals.

· You can eat baked potatoes, chicken, fish, cereals, etc.

· Do not take fried food substances, whole meals or desserts since they are difficult to digest.

· You can always take some healthy snacks between your meals: healthy options are bananas, or boiled eggs.

Note that, whichever diet you are taking, you must ensure that it has some nutritional value. On an average, you will begin noticing weight changes a few weeks after passing through gastric surgery. With nutritious diet, you should not worry of any complications after the surgery.

3 picture of fitness app

What Is The Best Home Workout App?

Regarding physical fitness, who wants to go it alone or wing it? Of course, you probably already understand what you should be doing, but the difference between knowing and doing is often an ongoing battle for folks new to a healthy lifestyle. Luckily for us, technology is staying up to date! What is the best home workout app?

For iPod Touch and iPhone owners, there is are plenty of apps to reinvigorate a ho-hum workout routine. In fact, you won’t even need to sweat about finding the best apps for your workout because I have already made a list of the top fitness apps in the App Store. All that’s left for you to do is download and press play on your new fitness regime.


Beat Burn Treadmill/Outdoor Trainer


The interval workouts are all the rage and for a good reason. They are an efficient format of exercise to achieve fat loss, muscle gain, and cardiovascular fitness. This unique app makes interval work fun and exciting. Beat Burn uses the cadence of music to initiate changes in pace. There’s even an on-screen coach for direction and is a display of the interval, speed, calories burned, and incline if applicable.


IPump Pilates

You can bring a top Pilates trainer with you wherever you go. This application features instructor Kristin McGee and gives you access to over 60 Pilates images in a progression of levels, from beginning to advance. This inspirational app allows you to target specific areas with simple yet challenging exercises, and also lets you log and track your progress.


Pump & Fitness Builder


Here is an exercise database that will keep your heart pumping and muscles burning. This app features an extensive selection of fitness building exercise videos which can be searched using various criteria. You can search work out by location (where the activity will be performed such as home or gym), by a targeted goal (abs, cardio, legs), or by keyword. And it allows you to edit workouts, or create your own.


Run Mate


This personal trainer is designed for beginning runners who are looking for a training schedule to prepare them for their first 5K, and also for more seasoned runners who would prefer to create their format of speed work, tempo runs, and hill training. This application sets you on the right course and helps you create the right training plan for you. With your entire workout program established, it is much easier to stay the course.


MotionTraxx Radio

To push you to the next level and to add variety, this app allows you to stream various workouts to your Smartphone. Choose from interval work, constant exercise, running, walking, even boot camps. This is all set to dance music, and you can choose the appropriate tempo.


When technology converges with personal health, the resulting apps make it difficult to put forward a convincing excuse to wiggle out of your fitness routine.

There are just too many fun and creative ways to stick to your health goals! Let these apps take the pain out of working out and prove the adage wrong. Make “no pain, more gain” your new mantra.


Easy At Home Fitness Programs That Will Get You In Shape

Workout training is intended to create a healthy body. You have to decide what kind of training exercise you will use in order to reach your goal. You will also determine your workout schedule in contrast to your available time.

If you are a beginner, you might not know the right workout routine that fit your needs. Because of that, here are sample workout routines that you can do at home.


10 Week Mass Building Program


This workout routine is intended for building muscle that will span for 10 weeks at 4 days each week. This workout is created in order to increase your muscle mass as much as possible. This workout will train 4 different muscle groups each day, achieving a whole body muscle exercise by the end of the week. This workout will use heavy and compound exercises in order to produce maximum results.


This workout is a split 4-day routine, meaning you will workout on two consecutive days then rest. The next day after rest, you can continue the two days left for the week. It is recommended to do this on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. The whole workout routine will last 52 minutes per day.


Since this is a heavy workout exercise, this may become overwhelming for beginners. This is a good muscle building workout for experienced male and female.


15 Minute Burner: 4 Day Fat Loss Program


This workout program is intended for people who want to lose fat that have a tight schedule. Using circuits and barbells, you can achieve a slimmer body in just 4 days. This is perfect for people who have a very tight schedule but want to stay in shape.


This workout program is designed to achieve results in a short amount of time. Because of that, the program is compressed and is composed of heavy liftings. There will be no rest in between exercises so be ready for a heavy and strenuous workout routine.

This workout requires barbells and dumbells so it is not possible if you don’t have the equipment.


This is available for both men and women. However, this is also quite overwhelming for beginners because of the compressed workout exercises even if it only takes 15 minutes. The most important factor in this workout program is your motivation for 4 days.


10 Minute At Home Body Workout

This workout is intended for those who don’t have the leisure to go to the gym. If there is no gym within your vicinity, it is not a hindrance to your own fitness routine. This type of workout can be done at home using only a pull-up bar, and your own body weight.


The workout is doing chin-ups and push-ups for 10 minutes. This is very easy even for beginners. You will do each work out alternately. A good start is doing 6 chin ups, after that, you can get down and do 10 push-ups. Repeat this routine for 10 minutes. You can increase this by doing 12 chin ups then 20 push-ups.


This workout program may seem easy, but this program will test your own strength and dedication. This program is hard to execute at first but will get the hang of it easily.

two men running

How lifestyle affects health and fitness

Most everyone knows that to stay healthy you have to eat healthy. Diet is only half of the equation, however. Regular physical activity has marked health benefits. Besides reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers, exercise builds a strong body that you can be proud of. Below we’ve compiled some information on workout routines for people of various skill levels and commitments. There’s something here for everyone, from a newbie trying to stay healthy to those wishing to start bodybuilding.


Beginner Bodyweight Training Routine

This is a routine designed for the complete beginner, and it can be adjusted and modified as you gain strength as you continue to push your body to new limits. Many people starting out training are filled with excuses. They don’t have the time, or maybe they don’t have access to any fancy equipment. The truth is, you can gain lean muscle and stay in tip-top-shape just using your body by itself.


You build muscle by tearing down and rebuilding muscle fibers, and this routine does just that by putting your body through various positions – without the need for weights!


If you can’t manage to do this entire routine, just do as much as you can and you’ll start building strength. Also, make sure you do some basic cardiovascular exercise to warm up so that you avoid injuring yourself during this workout routine.



● 20 body-weight squats

● 10 pushups

● 20 walking lunges

● 10 dumbbell rows (Just use something heavy, like a milk jug!)

● 15 second plank

● 30 jumping jacks


If you’re unfamiliar with how exactly to perform these movements, there are plenty of resources and videos online that show you the correct form for each exercise. Check out YouTube for detailed videos of each action.


Work through this routine 2-3 times a week, but never two days in a row. Your body needs time to rest – that’s when the muscle growth happens!


Weight Training Using Machines

If you’re intimidated by free weights or are worried about injury, you can look into doing the circuit on the weight machines featured in most gyms. Many machines nowadays give you directions on how exactly to use them for optimal results, so it’s as simple as paying attention to the instructions and working your way around the gym.


Machines are not the best option for those looking to build a big physique with balanced, practical strength. While it’s true that you build strength any way that puts stress on your muscle, the limited movement of the machine neglects the stabilizer muscles that support and enhance your newfound strength. Those serious about bodybuilding should opt for free weights, but weight machines are a reliable and safe option for those just looking to get in shape.


Free Weight Routine


For those wanting to maximize their muscle growth in a short amount of time and who have access to barbells, you can build a great physique with just a few different exercises. These exercises are called compound movements, and they engage many muscle groups at once. This is the most efficient way to build muscle, and takes the least amount of time out of your day.


Follow a program such as StartingStrength, which is great for beginners.

● Squats – 5 reps, 3 sets

● Bench Press – 5 reps, 3 sets

● Deadlift – 5 reps, 3 sets


And that’s it for phase one of the routine. The program changes things up a bit as you begin to gain strength, and you can view the full routine for free here. YouTube, again, is a great resource to learn proper form and avoid industry.


We hope that you’ve found what you’re looking for in one of these three routines. Any sort of strength training is better than nothing, so make the decision to improve your health and fitness with these new tools. Why not start tomorrow?






Why Exercise is Important To Promotes Health And Fitness

We all know that a regular exercise and balanced diet helps us stay fit and healthy. Do you know that regular exercise is so important to women as compared to men? With regular exercise, you can keep multiple health problems at bay such as weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cardiac ailments, and hormonal imbalances.

If you didn’t already know this exercise is important for everyone. In most circumstances, the more you exercise, the healthier you are. Regular physical activity provides the body with several amazing health benefits, and it is recommended that healthy individuals exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. However, this number can be different for everyone depending on age, health status, and a few other factors. Let’s explore “why exercise promotes health and fitness?”.

1) Promotes weight loss

You can control your weight gain if your exercise regularly. Not only you will look better, but also feel more confident, and avoid various health problems too.

2) Keeps you busy and occupied

Yes, that’s true! There are many silly things that you can avoid in life if you manage to exercise regularly. No need to sit at home and go insane with routine life. You have lots of energy to handle day to day challenges and lead an exciting life by meeting new people around.

3) Keeps your heart healthy, and stress-free

If heart problems run in your family, exercise can safely add few more years in your life. With regular exercise, your heart rate improves; you start building muscles and lead a stress-free life! Do you know exercise helps you let go of unnecessary stresses from your life? Exercise assists prevent stroke and heart disease by decreasing blood pressure, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.

It strengthens the heart muscle and improves pumping capacity and blood flow. Exercise helps prevent and control type 2 diabetes through controlling glucose levels. Weight bearing exercise promotes bone formation and prevents bone loss associated with osteoporosis. By improving muscle strength, endurance and flexibility, exercise reduces back and arthritis pain.

4) Encourages your children become more self-disciplined

A recent health survey indicates that mothers, who exercise regularly, set a perfect example for their children. Their children become more successful, healthy, and self-disciplined. Many of them even join their mothers and indulge in physical activity at a young age.

5) Removes toxins from the body, cleanses energy channels

Chinese believe that sweating and hard exercise help people clean out the internal energy channels. Many studies indicate that people could successfully come out of various health problems by performing hard exercises regularly.The more muscle we have, the more energy we have. Therefore working out can help us to go about our daily activities more easily. Exercise delivers nutrients and oxygen to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.

The bottom line is that exercise provides the body with more benefits than downfalls. People who exercise regularly tend to have a better quality of life and health status. If you engage in physical activity, you will notice the benefits almost immediately. It is important to incorporate several types of exercise into your routine, so you don’t get bored. For example, run one day outdoors, use an elliptical the next, or do a workout video.

woman doing kettlebell cardio

Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout For Women

The Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout Guide For Women

From my previous post you know how important I think fitness is. That is why I am always on the lookout for great fitness equipment for woman. The best cardio workout for women must include kettlebell swings!

That’s right ladies; I said kettlebell swings. Forget about the treadmill and elliptical trainers. Those are a huge waste of time next to the ancient kettlebell. By now you may have heard of or at least seen the kettlebell and understand that this device is the real deal! Well, I’m here to tell you that it is.

The base strength endurance lift that you can perform with the kettlebell is known as the swing, and this single exercise utilizes hundreds of your working muscles and about 80% of your body’s total effort to pull it off. Read on if I have your attention.

All you need is movement

You see ladies kettlebell training is a movement-oriented style of training instead of a workout that focuses in isolating specific body parts. This is what makes it so effective. Because you are moving your body up against a constant resistance (the bell) you stand to achieve a tremendous amount of cardiovascular fitness and lean muscle mass. This is a cardio workout exercise that annihilates the fat.

The double arm swing is the base strength endurance lift of the kettlebell that is performed by you swinging it from between your legs up to chest level.

This single lift is highly exerting and will certainly get your attention the first time you try even 10 to 20 repetitions. To perform the lift, you must utilize the muscles of your hips and core to perform a technique that is known as the hip snap.

The hip snap is performed by you always flexing and extending at both your hip and knee joints to generate the necessary force to swing the bell. You must forcefully breathe with every set to maintain the tension and stability of your core throughout every swing.

You must also keep the arc of the ball tight to your body by keeping your shoulders retracted. This involves a total effort from both your mind and body. Kettlebell training is about a lot more than just “going through the motions.”

Here’s a great, fat burning kettlebell cardio workout for women you can do with a Kettlebell. The workout only involves three basic movements: Row, Clean and Press, and Swing.

Kettlebell Cardio Workout Superset

1. Kettlebell Row 2×10


2. Clean and Press 2×10

3. Rest 60 seconds

Rest 2 minutes

Swing, 4×20, rest 60 seconds

So for this workout, you’re going to start off with a superset. A superset is where you perform two exercises back to back with little to no rest in between. So complete 20 Kettlebell rows, and immediately move on to 10 Kettlebell clean and presses.

Rest 60 seconds, and repeat the superset. In the beginning, only perform two sets. As you progress, you can do up to 5 sets of each movement. Rest 2 minutes before performing the swings. For swings, show the 2-hand version.

Go all out for 20 repetitions, followed by a 60-second break. Repeat three more times for a total of 4 sets. Start off lighter, and build up as you progress.

What Kettlebells to buy?

I usually purchase a new kettlebell every few months. However, make sure the weight your purchase is slightly more than you think you can do.

For example. If you currently own a 16kg kettlebell, don’t go for a 20kg. Go for a 24kg. So for movements that you usually did ten repetitions for, you may only be able to perform 4-5 repetitions.

Build yourself up steadily to performing 10-20 repetitions with the new weight. This is how you build both strength and endurance with Kettlebells.

If you are interested in learning more about the kettlebell swing and other extreme kettlebell cardio workout ladies, then feel free to access the rest of my stuff on the subject for free. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart!

Guide For Successful Preparing For A Fitness Competition

As the owner of a successful gym, I work with a lot of people trying to reach high levels in the fitness world and check their capacity at various fitness competitions.

All of these people are working hard and passionately, taking care of their diet, keeping their figure slim and staying regularly updated regarding all sorts of news in the fitness world. However, fitness competition is probably the hardest routine they will ever experience and the extreme challenge to the mental and physical state, so usual working out probably won’t suffice.

Thus I have decided to run down the list of directions and instructions useful to anyone getting ready to jump into this adventurous and highly rewarding journey.

Be real when choosing fitness competition

Aside from many international huge fitness contests, there are many local and regional competitions you may take part in. After choosing the adequate division and the organization, do the thorough research.

Attend some local competitions to get to know the way fitness competitions work, read about current result and winner in your league and study about their preparation methods. Explore their results and estimate yourself realistically. Once you select few competitions of interest, contact the organization and get familiar with criteria and requirements. Be prepared for various registration fees, testing, pre-judging and several months of tough working out.

The period of intensive preparations

Fitness CompetitionDepending on the level of contest you choose to aim to, the required period of working out and preparations varies a big time. Most competitions require at least three months of organized, disciplined and systematized training based upon a steady plan and solid strategy. The best if lead by the professional fitness trainer with previous competition experience. You might need to change your usual fitness trainer and work with someone more skilled or more specialized in the fitness fields you have chosen to take part in.

Also, it is recommended to include a nutritionist and focus onto specific diet designed to boost you the right kind of nutrients and energy to go through all of this. The overall training should be divided into stages so that you can invest into every important element of your appearance. Combine cardio exercising with working on your shape and strength, but keep the elegance in mind. Also, consult the expert to include adequate supplements into your diet so that you can get the maximum out of your body.

Styling also matters

Fitness Competition

Yes, in the world of fitness competitors, appearance is also important. Some experts can help you choose the right suit and all other features, or you can analyze the current trends in previous competitions. Also, practice your posing and body language. Thus it can help you dominate on the stage and add a note of powerful to your performance.

Purchase Cheap Fitness Events Tickets

Tickets for local and regional fitness competitions are usually available, easy to purchase and the prices are more or less affordable. However, tickets for some bigger, international fitness competitions might be quite of a challenge to purchase. They are not so available, the prices are enormous, and the trick is to catch those with good seats. The last is really important in the fitness world because you’ll be watching one performer at the time most of the competition.

If you’re not experienced and fail to do the research, you might end up paying big money for lousy spot and miss the true quality of the contest. There are many ways to purchase sports tickets nowadays, including tickets for fitness events, from the money-ticket exchange in person to online buying. Here are just some of the trusted places for buying cheap tickets, while you should keep price, seats, and availability of tickets in mind every time you go shopping fitness events tickets.

Basic choice

Fitness Events Tickets

Visiting Box office in person is usually a safe and lucrative option. First of all, you will skip several fees and charges inevitable in other places. You can use the advantage of talking in person with ticket seller and get few inside tips about seat locations. The box office is a good way to take advantage of various discounts, especially if you are buying tickets for several people at once. The box office is the confident source, so you don’t have to worry if the tickets are valid.

Reputable Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster is reputable and trusted company name for several decades, and they are providing tickets for all fitness competitions and events from global to local level. Ticketmaster is available online, so you can book the tickets without extra charges, visit them in person and also skip some fees or contact the local seller over the phone. Ticketmaster offers quite affordable prices, but the trick is to work fast because tickets tend to be sold within few hours.

Younger version of Ticketmaster

Fitness Events TicketsTicketsNow is relatively young company that emerged and designed its business according to the Ticketmaster’s model. However, there is one great advantage when purchasing tickets via TicketsNow. They work with the secondary market. It will provide you valid tickets for fitness events for rather affordable prices and their services is always timely. TicketsNow sometimes charges shipping to some distances, but on the other hand, they offer many quite attractive discounts.


Upcoming Fitness Shows You Shouldn’t Miss

If you’re a novice to the fitness industry, you might be impressed and confused at the same time with the number of fitness shows, events, and competitions going on around. This industry profits huge money and often organizes spectacular performances, trying to promote fitness itself, fitness products and equipment, increase brand awareness and finally – to give competitors chances to perform and show their impressive abilities and results.

So, if you are interested in health and fitness or already being a part of this world, here are some suggestions for upcoming shows you should visit, explore and experience in person. Aside from the biggest names among fitness shows and events that you are certainly familiar with, we’ve created this list of comprehensive events that might not be the greatest globally, but also provide a chance to see relevant exhibitions.

ASF – fitness powerhouse

Upcoming Fitness ShowsThe Arnold Sports Festival is nation’s largest sports, health and fitness exhibition that takes place every year and gathers various big names and entities in the sporting world in general, fitness, wellness and bodybuilding included. The Arnold Fitness Exposition promotes everything you need once you enter the world of fitness. It refers to fitness equipment, nutrients, supplements and many other features coming from this industry. The show includes performances of many relevant fitness names and clubs too.

Weekend for fitness

Whether you are interested in basic aerobic training, weightlifting, CrossFit, kick boxing, fitness dancing or any other form of fitness for men and women, Olympia Fitness Performance Weekend is the “most visit” show. This exhibition hosts several thousand guests and competitors, with almost thousands of performers in all divisions and it also provides an exposition of myriad fitness products and equipment.

“Candy shop” for fitness consumers

Upcoming Fitness Shows

FitExpo is probably the largest fitness experience expanding its events to more and more locations nationwide and worldwide. The show hosts almost 100 000 visitors per year, provides dozens of performances and fitness routines exposed by some of the greatest names in the fitness world, but it also offers an enormous choice of fitness products and impressive educational and recreative material regarding fitness and wellness. The show usually includes several celebrities helping promote fitness and raise awareness of health and sport.