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The Importance of Cardiovascular Fitness: How to Boost Your Heart Health



Cardiovascular fitness is crucial for maintaining a healthy heart and overall well-being. The heart is a vital organ that pumps blood and oxygen throughout the body, providing nutrients and removing waste products from cells. In order to keep the heart strong and efficient, it is important to engage in regular cardiovascular exercise.

Cardiovascular fitness refers to the ability of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels to work together efficiently to supply the body with oxygen during physical activity. Improving cardiovascular fitness has numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions. It can also improve mental health, boost energy levels, and promote overall longevity.

There are several ways to boost your cardiovascular fitness and improve your heart health. One of the most effective ways is through aerobic exercise, which includes activities like running, cycling, swimming, and dancing. These activities elevate your heart rate and strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise.

In addition to aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility exercises can also benefit your cardiovascular health. Strength training helps build muscle mass, improve metabolism, and enhance overall physical performance. Flexibility exercises, such as yoga and stretching, help maintain joint mobility and reduce the risk of injury during physical activity.

Incorporating a variety of exercises into your routine can help keep your workouts interesting and challenging. It is important to listen to your body and choose activities that you enjoy and are comfortable with. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as your fitness level improves.

In addition to exercise, maintaining a healthy diet is also important for cardiovascular health. Choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limit your intake of processed foods, sugary beverages, and excessive amounts of salt and saturated fats. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Getting regular check-ups with your healthcare provider is also essential for monitoring your cardiovascular health. They can help assess your risk factors for heart disease, recommend lifestyle changes, and provide guidance on how to improve your heart health.

Overall, prioritizing cardiovascular fitness is key to maintaining a healthy heart and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. By incorporating regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and regular check-ups into your lifestyle, you can improve your heart health and overall well-being. Remember, a healthy heart means a longer and happier life.

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Adele Weight Loss 2020




Popular singer and songwriter Adele has apparently “Set Fire To (more than) The Rain” lately! 

Recent pics posted by Adele herself confirm that ‘Rumor Has It’ she’s lost close to 100 pounds. So, besides burning fat, she’s probably setting fire to her old clothes! 

Okay, I seriously have no idea if she set fire to her clothes, but if I’d just lost 100 pounds, that’s probably how I’d say goodbye to the old me and ‘Hello’ to my healthy self! 

But, enough with the not-so-subtle nods to her fabulous songs, let’s get down to how Adele achieved this great success! 

While the popular singer hasn’t directly commented on how she lost weight, most reports center around these aspects leading to her success: mindset, a plant-based diet, calorie restriction, and exercise.


Adele’s pervading attitude kept throughout her physical and nutritional efforts is said to be just as much a powerful part of her weight loss success as anything else. 

Besides a focus on confidence and self-esteem, Adele’s “why” was said to have had less to do with appearance and more to do with health and happiness. 

A desire to become healthy for herself and for her child is what prompted the talented singer to set specific goals, and this motive of health ultimately directed her path in how she would achieve those goals.

And, research suggests the popular singer was on point with her motivation, as most who lose weight solely for appearance, omitting the crucial element of health in their weight loss efforts, tend to gain back the lost weight within a few years. 

Nutrition (Plant Based Diet)

With health a primary focus in her weight loss efforts, reports indicate that ditching unhealthy foods and switching to a plant-based diet was the path Adele chose to follow. 

She is reported to have cut out processed foods and sugary drinks (specifically 2 spoonfuls of sugar in each of her daily 10 cups of tea), and eliminated caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes. 

So, what did she eat? 

She is thought to have followed a plant-based diet known as the sirtfood diet plan. 

This plan focuses on health benefits, disease-fighting, and fat loss by emphasizing the consumption of plant-based foods that are high in antioxidants and polyphenols, both of which are responsible for combating oxidative stress and preventing and lessening damage from free radicals.

The sirtfood diet plan is based on research surrounding 7 proteins (sirtuins) found within the body potentially responsible for metabolism, inflammation, and even lifespan regulation. 

The premise behind this plan is that certain polyphenol and antioxidant-rich plant compounds may be able to elevate the levels of those proteins within the body, thus aiding in how fats and sugars are processed, helping to increase (or even reset) metabolism, and suppressing appetite. 

Between the boost in polyphenols and antioxidants and the potential for these compounds to raise sirtuin levels, those following the plan expect to both boost their health and shed pounds. 

The following foods, dubbed “sirt foods,” were likely a part of Adele’s healthy eating habits contributing to her weight loss success:

  • Kale
  • Red wine
  • Celery 
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Buckwheat
  • Dark chocolate (85% cacao)
  • Arugula 
  • Turmeric
  • Walnuts
  • Matcha green tea
  • Parsley 
  • Green juices 

Calorie Restriction

Another hallmark of the diet is a restriction of calories. And, authors of the plan liken this restriction to methods incorporated in intermittent fasting. 

Though some reports indicate that Adele restricted her calories at times to around 1,000 a day, this is what is described as the beginning phase of the sirtfood diet plan, adhered to for approximately 3 days to jumpstart weight loss.

During the next 4 days, dieters may increase their intake to 1,500 calories, still incorporating green juice and meals specified within the bounds of the sirtfood diet plan. 

The phases of the plan progress with continual incorporation of sirtuin-rich plant-based foods, green juice, and other foods and recipes specific to the diet.

Authors of The Sirtfood Diet highlight the benefits of fasting while following the plan, such as:

  • The activation of energy stores within the body
  • Fat burning stimulation
  • Genes involved in cell repair can be “turned on”
  • Disease resistance
  • Weight loss

And, the addition of sirtfoods and restriction of calories are thought to have amplified effects when exercise is incorporated and increased. 


When health is at the forefront of your weight loss goals, then exercise is a must. 

And, it appears that Adele, too, found this as a crucial component to her success.  

She is reported to have incorporated various methods of exercise from high-intensity interval training to hiking, weight lifting, and reformer pilates.

In other words…she got moving! 

Depending on the terrain, hiking can even burn more calories than walking (while allowing you to take in some amazing scenery). 

Reformer pilates, reportedly another form of exercise preferred by the famous singer, focuses on your abs, lower back, hips, and glutes to promote weight loss and improve posture, balance, and flexibility. 

Adele reportedly does “like doing weights,” just not heavy lifting. 

Weight lifting can facilitate muscle growth, which can raise your metabolism, helping your body burn more calories even in normal daily activities. 

As for other ways she’s reportedly kept active, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) has made the list as well…and understandably so with its propensity for effectiveness in fat loss efforts. 

High-intensity interval training incorporates intense sessions of physical activity followed by short resting periods. 

It has been known to be effective at reducing visceral fat (fat surrounding your abdomen) and can be more effective than longer workouts done at a reduced intensity. 

So, with dedication, effort (physical and nutritional), and a healthy mindset, Adele set her body’s fat-burning capabilities on fire, and those efforts rained down a loss of 100 pounds, boosting her body’s health in the process! 

What an awesome, healthy achievement!

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Black seed oil weight loss




Weight loss doesn’t come easy. It can be a hard fought, frustrating battle.

If you have a large amount of weight to lose, you may feel defeated from the start.

When you feel like your results aren’t matching the level of effort you’re putting forth, you can easily get discouraged. 

If you’ve been there, or currently are there…don’t quit! 

What if something as simple as oil from the seeds of a plant could boost your weight loss efforts, both lowering your body mass index and shrinking your waistline? 

Nature has been healing wounds, treating diseases, and providing therapeutics for centuries. 

It’s plentiful benefits are there before we even discover them.

And, since those benefits were discovered with black seed oil…study after study has only concluded one thing: it’s a weight loss wonder! 

What Is Black Seed Oil?

Black seed oil is an oil extracted from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant, which generally is grown in the Middle East, Southern Europe, and Southwest Asia. 

You may have heard of this spicy oil in its seed form by the name of black seed, black cumin, fennel flower, or even Roman coriander. 

Black seed oil has long been used for its health benefits, including its uses for skin and hair care, asthma treatment, digestive disorders, even cancer and diabetes treatment.

It is high in antioxidants which powerfully aid your body by protecting against cellular damage from free radicals. 

Possibly its most notable benefits though surround weight loss. 

Research Shows Black Seed Oil Is Effective For Weight Loss

Black seed oil has gained interest due to multiple research findings concluding its success in promoting a decrease in body mass index (BMI) amongst those using the oil.

Also noteworthy, none of these studies have resulted in negative side effects from using black seed oil.

  • One study involved a group of 90 obsese women. In conjunction with a low calorie diet, the women were given black seed oil or a placebo. 

At the end of the study, significant weight loss amounts and reductions in waist circumference were measured in those women who were given the black seed oil as opposed to those who were only given the placebo.

  • At least eleven other studies involving more than 780 individuals all arrived at the same results, not just a reduction in body mass index, but a significant reduction in both body mass and waist circumference when taking black seed oil along with a healthy diet and regular exercise! 
  • A review of 13 studies involving the use of black seed oil vs a placebo in 875 participants, 64% of which were males, found that in time frames ranging between 6 and 13 weeks, those using the oil saw a 4 pound reduction in body weight.
  • A 2013 review of a study of plants with anti-obesity properties found black seed oil to be one of the most effective natural remedies available. 

How Is Black Seed Oil Effective For Weight Loss?


This natural oil’s touted benefits for weight loss are thought to result from its ability to help in controlling the body’s production of insulin and management of insulin levels. 

Low insulin and low blood glucose levels stimulate hunger. 

Black seed oil has been shown to properly control glucose, thus reducing cravings and aiding in weight loss. 


Black seed oil is very high in antioxidants, which are a powerful tool in the body’s fight against inflammation.

Antioxidants both prevent and lessen damage that occurs to the cells within your body by free radicals. The damage caused by free radicals leads to (chronic) inflammation.

Chronic inflammation causes leptin resistance, which interferes with your brain’s ability to signal when you’ve had enough to eat. 

The relationship between obesity and chronic inflammation is so interconnected that they can each be considered as a contributing factor to the other. 

The antioxidant properties of thymoquinone, which is prevalent in black seed oil, has been linked to lowering inflammation within the body.

Increased Metabolism

A high metabolism equates to burning more calories both during activity and when you are at rest. 

Higher metabolism can boost your energy levels making workouts more effective thus promoting better fat burn and leading to weight loss. 

Black seed oil has been shown to not only increase metabolism, but its inflammation reducing qualities also come into play here too. 

Chronic inflammation disrupts hormones that regulate metabolism, so as black seed oil reduces inflammation, it also keeps your metabolism in check. 


Black seed oil has been proven through numerous studies as an effective, natural way to aid in weight loss through:

  • Insulin regulation to reduce cravings
  • Inflammation reduction to facilitate appropriate responses to hunger 
  • Increased metabolism aiding in boosted calorie burn

Studies reveal that black seed oil, when used in conjunction with a low calorie diet, is highly effective at reducing body weight and can be linked to a reduction in waist circumference.

And if you’re interested in melting away belly fat without diet or exercise…

Recent studies from University of Maryland School of Medicine are now showing that this simple ingredient is highly effective at burning fat in the stubborn gut area. In fact, it’s even more effective for women over 35.

Why is losing tummy fat so HARD for women 35+? 

As we age our bodies do not maintain the optimal balance of hormones that promotes the activated fat-burning metabolism that we enjoyed in our youth. Consequently, your internal fat-burning switch is turned OFF. Scarlett ended up 47 lbs overweight because of this.

Thankfully, Scarlett learned how to outsmart her slowing metabolism by flipping a little-known “Bio Switch”… burning age-related weight gain right off her tummy, hips, thighs, and arms. Here’s how it works:

==> 2 drops of this in the morning turns OFF fat-storing hormones (don’t even leave the house!)

Remember, keep an open mind, do your own homework and try new things to see what works best for YOU.


Alternate end of article offer:

And if you’re into losing body fat while you sleep…

Recent studies are now showing how a simple tweak to your bedtime ritual can have dramatic effects in shrinking fat tissue while reversing the signs of premature biological aging every time you fall asleep.

In fact, Lisa used this 2 minute hack to finally rid herself of 62 lbs of baby weight, which not only resulted in a reversal of Type 2 Diabetes, but also forced her to buy a whole new wardrobe! And her brother John used this same daily ritual to drop 54 lbs of stubborn abdominal fat that had been making him miserable for years, all while sleeping much deeper too…

>> Here’s how (no plastic surgery needed)

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4 Ways to Improve Your VO2 Max (and 5 reasons you might want to)




True or false:

  • Aerobic fitness only matters for elite athletes. 
  • Those fancy numbers often displayed on fitness trackers surely don’t mean much to the average person.
  • You should only seek to improve your cardiovascular fitness for training purposes. 

If those statements were all on a test, you would’ve written the word “false” next to each one! 

Cardiorespiratory fitness levels, or your VO2 max levels, certainly aren’t just information vital to athletes. In fact, knowing these levels and improving them can be the key to a long and healthy life!

So, let’s look at what these levels are called, how to increase them, and how those increases can benefit you

What Is VO2 Max?

VO2 max refers to the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use while you exercise. 

Your VO2 max can tell you just how fit your body is and if you’ve improved your physical fitness over a length of time when measured throughout training. 

Your muscles require oxygen to keep your body going for extended periods of time during physical activity (endurance). And, your heart is tasked with pumping appropriate amounts of blood to carry the oxygen needed to meet this requirement. 

The greater the amount of oxygen that you can use during intense exercise, the greater the amount of energy your body can produce during that activity.

So, determining your VO2 max involves measuring the amount of oxygen (mL) you use in one minute per kilogram of body weight. The number derived from this measurement tells how much oxygen you’re using when exercising at your hardest. 

Many fitness trackers can assess your VO2 max level, as can testing done through your doctor. 

The average 40 year old male VO2 max scale ranges from under 30.2 (very poor) to over 48.0 (superior). 

The average 40 year old female VO2 max scale ranges from under 21.0 (very poor) to over 36.9 (superior). 

If you’re an avid runner seeking to improve your endurance, or a serious athlete looking to improve your cardiovascular fitness, knowing your VO2 max can be crucial in your efforts to improve your fitness abilities.

But, does this measurement only matter to athletes and their performance during their preferred physical activity? 

Absolutely not! 

Your VO2 max can tell you a lot about the overall health of your body. 

How Is VO2 Max Tied to Health And Wellness?

Healthy cardiorespiratory fitness capabilities can affect many areas of your body. 

While VO2 max levels have been considered the “gold standard for measuring cardiovascular fitness levels,” research suggests that these measurements can determine your risk factors for all causes of mortality. 

Cognitive Benefits

Cognitive decline, such as what is seen in conditions like vascular dementia, is caused by a narrowing or blockage of blood vessels leading to the brain. 

Cardiovascular exercise causes new cells and blood vessels in the brain to grow. 

Improvements in VO2 max levels have been associated with cognitive benefits like: 

  • improved thinking capabilities
  • performance improvements regarding memory
  • improved motor skills
  • improvement of time management skills
  • better organizational skills on tests
  • an improved ability to give attention to detail  

Studies have also shown that individuals with a high VO2 max show better connections throughout various regions of the brain. 

Live Longer

The American Heart Association states that a low VO2 max puts you at a greater risk for cardiovascular disease and some cancers (breast, lung, and gastrointestinal). 

Some consider your VO2 max, often referred to as your fitness age, as a better indicator of long term health and lifespan than your actual age. 

Research suggests that a 10% increase in your VO2 max can decrease your risk for all causes of death by 15%. 

And, a higher VO2 max may actually be a better predictor of health than traditional factors such as weight and cholesterol. 

Decrease Stress

Studies show that individuals with a higher VO2 max experience less physiological stress and can better handle stresses that do arise. 

Increasing cardiorespiratory fitness levels are also associated with decreases in anxiety and depression. 

And, regular physical activity (which can improve your VO2 max) is directly correlated with improved mental health and feelings of personal well-being.

Improved Quality Of Life

Your day to day quality of life improves when you increase your VO2 max. 

Simple tasks like going up and down stairs, bringing in your groceries, keeping up with energy-filled children, and keeping up with a busy schedule in general can all be done with greater ease when you improve your cardiovascular respiratory fitness. 

Each and every physical task that you do throughout your day requires energy. In the same way that we described the measurement of VO2 max in physical activity earlier, this process occurs within your body when you need energy to perform any physical daily task. 

Your muscles require oxygen to expend energy. Your heart pumps oxygen through your blood to supply it to your body as you do any physical activity…yes, even carrying laundry up and down stairs. 

Improves Immune And Respiratory Health

Increasing your VO2 max can make you less likely to get sick, and improve your overall health, by giving your immune system a boost. 

Studies have shown that improving cardiorespiratory fitness also improves the function of both the immune and respiratory systems. 

Increased aerobic capacity increases the levels and function of immune cells and can actually restore lung tissue and strength by acting as an antibiotic and an antioxidant! 

What Can You Do To Improve Your VO2 Max?

Now that we’ve seen the benefits to your overall health and well-being that come with improving your VO2 max, how exactly can you achieve such increases? 

1- Continuous Training

Many coaches and trainers believe exercising at 90-95% of your maximum heart rate is the best course for improving your VO2 max. 

This method improves the strength of your heart muscle thus increasing the amount of blood your heart can pump with each beat. 

2- HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

High intensity interval training is a type of exercise characterized by brief periods of intense activity followed by brief periods of rest within a given workout (like this 9-minute fat-burning workout I created). 

Some studies have shown that exercising in this manner provides slightly more consistent VO2 max improvements than exercising at a constant high intensity.

3- Ironman Training

You don’t have to actually be training for an Ironman race to incorporate this method of improving your VO2 max. The principle of ironman training is what we’re after here. 

Changing up the aerobic activities that you do in a single session can benefit your VO2 max levels. 

In an ironman, participants typically start with swimming, switch to cycling, and then switch again to running. 

You can incorporate this kind of variety in your exercise sessions to improve your cardiovascular respiratory fitness. 

4- Increase For Increase

If exercise is already a normal part of your daily routine, you may already be reaping the benefits of a healthy VO2 max rate. 

But, you can increase your aerobic fitness (and your VO2 max) by increasing the following in your exercise sessions:

  • increase the duration of your workouts
  • increase the intensity of your workouts
  • increase how often you workout

If you’re new to fitness, the good news is that increasing your VO2 max will happen easily as you get started. 

Consider starting with a walking regimen to begin, and then you can increase speed, intensity, and duration over time. 

Then, as mentioned above, add high intensity interval training exercise sessions, switch up your aerobic activities within a single session, or workout at your maximum heart rate to boost your VO2 max. 

(Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program if you are new to working out.)

And if you’re looking for a workout that incorporates all of the above (for FREE), follow this 3-movement full body toning workout.

It’s an easy way to tone your entire body in just 3 movements using the 3x Method (the workout i used to lose over 100 lbs). The good news is…

You can try this 3-movement workout (3 minutes each) for free through this link…

>> 3 Min Full Body Toning Workout

To your health,

Nate Hopkins


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