Fitness // Category

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15 Nov

Do you get easily out of breath after walking up a single flight of stairs? Do you experience pain in your knees and ankles after running only a couple hundred meters? Do you often get chest discomforts and feel lightheaded even if you are not doing anything strenuous?

If your answer is YES to all three questions, then you need to get off the couch, turn your TV off, close your laptop, put your phone down, and start moving! You need to start doing cardio exercises for a healthier mind, heart, and body.

Why should you do cardio exercise?

For our bodies to develop strong and healthy muscles, we have to constantly use and move them. If you do cardio exercise, you raise your heart rate, and work one of the most important muscles in the human body — the heart. The more you do cardio, the stronger your heart gets. Your cardiovascular system becomes better at regulating blood and oxygen to the different parts of the body.

How do you prepare for your cardio routine?

It is quite difficult to change habits. It will take a lot of time and effort. It will not happen in the blink of an eye. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, where the most exercise you get in a day is your walk from the couch to the fridge or the bathroom, starting an active and healthy lifestyle seems to be unattainable. How do you even push yourself? Where do you begin?

  1. Understand and accept the fact that there needs to be a lifestyle change.

If you are overweight and out-of-shape, you have to acknowledge that. You are not healthy because you are doing something that contributes to it. Do you eat fastfood multiple times a day? Does it only take you one sitting to finish a large bag of potato chips? How many cans of soda do you consume daily?

You have to make a total overhaul of your diet. You can start slow by doing away with the softdrinks, and drinking only water. In a few weeks, you will notice how removing even just one unhealthy food item from your meals and replacing it with a healthy option leads to a significant change already. If you eliminate fastfoods and junk foods too, and swap them with fruits and vegetables, you will be shedding those extra pounds off and feeling a lot healthier in a shorter period of time.

  1. Choose activities that you enjoy.

For a lot of people, exercising is not fun at all. The thought of going to the gym, being surrounded by workout machines and equipment, and being around sweaty people is so dull and boring. If you think this as well, then why not just do your own thing? You can exercise someplace else, you can workout with no gym equipment at all, and you can exercise on your own, with no one else around, at home.

If you have a pet dog, then walk him or her a couple of blocks a day. If you have a bike, use it to go to the supermarket or commute to work. If you do not mind stairs, then stop taking the elevators and walk up and down those steps as much as possible.

  1. Tell yourself that taking the first step is the hardest.

It is okay to have a tough time jumping into anything new. It can be scary and anxiety-inducing because even though you want it all to work out, you have no clue what will come your way or if you can handle them. You really have to give your all if you are serious about changing your lifestyle, losing weight, and starting a cardio routine.

Because you are a beginner, no one expects you to complete a three-hour cardio training on day 1. That is simply unsustainable and absurd. Do not be pressured and feel that you have to perform well right away. Doing 10 to 15 minutes of running or biking on your first week of exercising is totally fine. Just get off your butt!

  1. Reach out to people that you love and trust.

Embarking on a journey like this will introduce you to lots of obstacles. Along the way, there will be tears and laughter, ups and downs. You will feel like you can do everything and come out victorious one day, then feel like the most useless and pathetic human being the next. It will be a rollercoaster ride, so hold on tight.

With a support group made up of close friends and family that you know will always be there for you, you can take one step at a time, and receive encouragement and find motivation that should help keep you going.

What are the best cardio workouts?

Running is probably the most highly recommended cardio exercise to anyone who wants to start a cardio routine. It is free and does not require any workout equipment. All you need is a good quality pair of running shoes, and you are all set. If you are a beginner, you can start by running at a slow pace around your block for 15 to 30 minutes a day. Then, after every week or so, increase your pace and cover more distance. Doing so allows you to burn more calories, and takes your workout to the next level.

Cycling is another beginner-friendly cardio exercise that workout newbies should try. With a bicycle, you can work not only your heart, but also your legs and thighs, as you pedal. You can start by exploring your neighborhood, and then moving on to hills and other areas with incline for a more challenging course.

Swimming is also an excellent cardio workout that impacts the entire body. When you do laps, your arm, back, core, thigh, and leg muscles are used. You can try different strokes to get to as many muscle groups as possible. Over time, increase your pace to keep your heart and lungs working harder.

27 Sep

Sometimes it’s hard to find a running watch that’s right for you. Some people dislike the concept of the running watch; however, the running watch is known to be beneficial to your overall performance. In fact, depending on your outdoor activity a running watch can even enhance your ability to do a specific task.

While running watches can be expensive, it’s important to understand the different types of watches as well as the many features a watch can possess before you purchase one. But what are the different kinds of watches and the features they hold?

Here are the most popular watches and their functions:

What are the advantages to using a running watch?

Most people don’t realize that a running watch tracks more than time. In fact, most running watches are designed to monitor heart rate, step count, and mileage. Of course, some running watches are more advanced including features like multi-sport statistics and estimating on recovery rate.

However, any running watch that a person would buy would include two essential traits: improving fitness and customizing a person’s training. Therefore, running watches are the perfect accessory for anyone who is a beginner at their outdoor activity or sport.

Additionally, running watches are known for their lasting battery, and thus you don’t need to be charging it every second in order to receive updates on your latest run. In fact, you don’t need to be wearing your watch at all to see your data, since most watches sync with your smartphone you can view your data from anywhere in the world. You’ll even get notifications about your activity and how it compares to your other data. Although, running watches haven’t always been liked. In fact, many people believed they were breakable due to their response to harsh weather climates. Recently though different brands have advanced their technology and running watches are more suitable for broad climates now.

Fitness tracker

A fitness tracker is one of the most common running watches, and thanks to the Fitbit has been sold to teens, adults, and senior citizens around the world.  A fitness tracker provides the basic fundamentals of a running watch like step count, calorie count, and mileage. Some more advanced fitness trackers offer features that document your sleep patterns as well as your heart rate.

Also, fitness trackers are known to be simple and easy to use. In fact, a person of any age can use a fitness tracker not just for exercise but for improving your overall health. Since fitness trackers come in many colors and styles, you can wear one with every outfit. Unlike, other running watches fitness trackers are lightweight, so you’ll hardly notice it on your wrist.

GPS watches

People who participate in running or another outdoor sport usually have a GPS watch of some kind. GPS watches are designed to document the route you take so your speed, rhythm, and altitude can be examined. GPS watches are the perfect fitness accessory if you train on the high ground since it can detect vertical advantage. Due to the change from low to high ground, GPS watches can give you precise statistics about your training rather than an average fitness tracker.

However, GPS watches tend to be expensive averaging from one hundred to three hundred dollars. But for such an expense you’ll receive a product that will improve your training by calculating many statistics at once. While some people consider GPS watches to be too bulky others, find that GPS watches increase their chances of reaching their goals.

Heart rate watches

Not many people know that studying your heart rate during a workout allows you to customize your training properly. In fact, people who buy a heart rate watch see a boost in their performance due to their knowledge about their body. A heart rate watch utilizes heart rate to increase fat-burning potential, strength, as well as recovery statistics. Heart rate watches don’t necessarily examine the route you train on like GPS watches or rely on basic features like fitness trackers.

Heart rate watches analyze your body’s reaction to your training method and then access how to improve your body’s behavior. Depending on the brand you buy, heart rate watches are not more or less expensive than fitness trackers. However, make sure you look at the features before you buy. The features of the watch are what will allow you to customize and personalize your training schedule.

Multi-Sport watches

Multi-sport watches are precisely what they sound like, in fact, they document data even if your running, snowboarding, hiking, or even cycling. Multi-sport watches are ideal for people who love outdoor activities and people who are training for a triathlon. Also, multi-sport watches are entirely waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about the water ruining your watch.

Some people buy a multi-sport watch but only use one feature like running, for example; however, multi-sport watches are valuable due to their versatility to record data for many outdoor sports. If you only participate in one outdoor activity than it might be best to choose a heart rate watch or a GPS watch instead of multi-sport watch.

Additional features

All features on a running watch are to further enhance fitness as well as personalize a person’s training; thus, features should be important to the user. However, what a person considers essential will likely vary from customization options to band colors.

Some additional features on a watch include estimating a recovery rate, competitive racing, and smartphone notifications. These additional features can entice a hesitant buyer as well as persuade buyers to keep looking. Of course, the more additional features on a watch will likely mean that specific watch will cost more.

Although, sometimes you don’t need all those bells and whistles, especially if you’re a beginner. If you’re just starting out working with all those different statistics and data charts may be overwhelming. It’s well known that additional features can be fun, but is it worth the extra cost?

12 Sep

Why Even Do Cardio?

Besides the boost that aerobic exercise, also lovingly known as cardio, gives to your heart, cardio can help you lose weight by burning calories. It can also support and improve your level of fitness, increase your physical endurance, and give your metabolism a boost. The benefits of cardio don’t stop at weight loss, though. It can reduce stress, help you to sleep better, and even give you more energy.

Too much cardio can have negative impacts, like slowing your metabolism and overtraining. So, what kind and how much cardio should you do? If you’re wondering how long and how intense your cardio sessions should be, try comparing the pros and cons of two very popular types of cardio – LISS, and HIIT.

What Is LISS?

Low-intensity Steady State cardio is a prolonged type of aerobic activity that gets your heart rate to about 50-60% of its max. You can determine your max heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. So, if you are 40, your max heart rate is 180. If you are doing LISS cardio, your target heart rate will stay in the 90 – 108 bpm range. You can use any cardio machine in the gym (i.e., elliptical, stair climber, stationary bike, or treadmill), or you can simply go for a brisk walk to engage in LISS cardio. A LISS workout usually spans 30 to 60 minutes or more.

Pros of LISS:

LISS is great for getting your body into the “fat-burning zone,” which several research studies have determined is the optimal heart rate to burn body fat. During a low-intensity workout like LISS, your body is relying on its fat stores for energy, thereby helping you to lose body fat. LISS is also extremely safe and accessible to most people, especially those new to working out, because of the slower pace. There is no recovery time needed after doing this type of cardio, and you are much more likely to make LISS a daily habit. While LISS isn’t a calorie crusher like HIIT, you may be able to do it longer because it’s easier, and you could end up burning more calories in the long run.

Cons of LISS:

The downside to this low-intensity aerobic exercise is that your body can easily adapt, which will lead to a plateau in your endurance and weight loss achievements. You will have to increase the amount of time you do LISS each week to see the same amount of benefits. Also, LISS doesn’t have that “afterburn effect” that many other types of intense cardio seem to give your body, so you aren’t burning more calories after the cardio is over. LISS is also not geared toward improving your athleticism, and it may reduce your metabolism over the long-term.

What is HIIT?

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training, and the intensity level of this type of cardio is no joke. You will alternate between short bouts of incredibly intense, all-out effort and a less-intense recovery period of cardio. You would, for example, work at your max heart rate for 20 to 60 seconds then slow it down for 1 to 3 minutes. Your total HIIT workout time would only need to be about 20 minutes max, so you are definitely getting more bang for your cardio buck.

To determine if you are really at your peak level of output, you can use a wearable fitness tracker to check your heart rate, or you could use the “speak test.” Basically, if you have a hard time speaking or holding a conversation, you are going all-out. If you can hold a conversation without much effort, then you aren’t working hard enough to get into the peak zone that makes HIIT so beneficial.

Pros of HIIT:

The most significant benefit of HIIT is that you can burn more calories and gain more cardiac and endurance benefits in a shorter amount of time. HIIT is an extremely efficient way to burn calories, and who doesn’t want to spend less time in the gym? Not only will you burn more calories while you are doing your HIIT workout, but you will also benefit from the “afterburn effect” even after your workout is over, which means your metabolism will experience a temporary boost for several hours after your HIIT session. HIIT cardio also improves your overall athletic performance.

Cons of HIIT:

While HIIT sounds like a no-brainer, there are some drawbacks. For one thing, you have to be at a certain level of fitness to engage in this type of intense workout. Beginners might feel intimidated or less interested in starting at this higher level of aerobic exercise. One of the biggest downfalls of HIIT workouts is the risk of injury. When you are engaging in the very intense, all-out portion of the workout, it is hard to maintain proper form, and you will be more susceptible to missteps and injury.

Therefore, you should choose a type of cardio machine or movement that is less injury-prone when first starting out with integrating HIIT into your fitness routine. For example, it’s more advisable to do HIIT on an elliptical machine, where your feet are firmly planted on a footbed instead of doing HIIT on a stair climber, where a misstep could be disastrous.

So, Which One Should I Do?

Well, you really need a balance of both LISS and HIIT to receive the benefits that each type of cardio workout has to offer. Ideally, you should do a HIIT workout one to two times per week for no more than 20 minutes at a time. In addition, you can do a LISS cardio session every day, since there is no recovery time needed. So, going for a daily 30- or 60-minute walk is a great way to get the benefits of LISS cardio.

To make sure you are in the fat-burning zone, regarding your heart rate, a fitness tracker could help you track this. Ultimately, your workout and your body need a variety of exercise types to prevent adaptation and a weight loss or strength gain plateau.

13 Aug

Sometimes it can be challenging to find a post-workout activity that benefits you. Some people like to stretch while other people want to cool down and grab a smoothie.

Various post-workout activities can help you and your body, for example, using a sauna after your workout has many advantages. In fact, some gyms offer a sauna in their facilities at no extra charge or fee. While other gyms might not have a sauna included in their packages, however using one may be to your benefit. But what are the advantages of using a sauna after a workout?

Here are the top nine benefits of using a sauna as a post-workout activity:

  1. It will make you feel fantastic  

If you need a little relaxation after your workout, you should use a sauna. Due to the heat, your muscles will be able to relax and loosen from your workout. Moreover, the heat will increase the body’s skin temperature which will help heal the body’s aches and pains. In fact, due to the heat lactic acid cells will be eliminated from the muscles which will aid in a faster recovery. Using a sauna not only allows your muscles to recovery but you’ll feel good too. Since heat naturally promotes feel-good endorphins in the body, you’ll feel happy while using the sauna. Therefore, a sauna can make you both physically and mentally feel fantastic.

  1. Eliminates metabolic waste  

It’s commonly known that most people don’t sweat as much as they should. By not sweating regularly or intensely a person is leaving toxic minerals inside the body to wreak havoc on bodily systems. If you use a sauna, you’ll find that you’ll sweat profusely. The sweat you produce will be rich in minerals due to the increase in sweating the sauna causes. Minerals such as nickel, mercury, and copper can be toxic to your body, and therefore, they need to be sweated out.

  1. Improves endurance

Using a sauna after a workout can improve your performance at your next workout. Due to the heat, saunas can increase blood capacity which can boost endurance in sports performances. However, it may take several treatments before you see a difference in your performance. If you want to increase your endurance in fitness, there are various options you can choose from in addition to using a sauna as a post-workout activity. For example, you can choose hybrid exercises, eat meals rich in carbohydrates, and switch up your routines.

  1. Relieves stress

Not only does using a sauna have physical benefits, but it can also reduce stress. Most people who work out find exercising to have stress-relieving benefits. However, some people might find it tough to transfer over to busy life so fast. Some people need a little more time to themselves.  Unlike when you work out, there’s no noises machines or loud and obnoxious people in a sauna. When you use a sauna, you’ll be at ease with your mind and your body. Therefore, you’ll be able to reflect on events and situations that made you tense or stressed throughout the day.

  1. Restores skin

A person who has used a sauna before has probably noticed the soft texture of their skin afterward. The texture of skin changes due to the intense sweating caused by the heat of the sauna. When a person sweats, dead skin cells are removed which increases the natural phase of skin. In fact, even bacteria are chased out of the skin by the heat. Also, if you use the sauna, you may have a good complexion. Unlike other quick fixes, saunas can help clear your acne. Due to the heat, saunas can help flush out toxins and clean pores. Therefore, a sauna can restore skin to its naturally soft and clean state.

  1. Enhances heart health

The heat of the sauna will test your heart muscles. In fact, it’s likely your heart rate will steadily increase to 120-140 beats per minute. When you exit the sauna, your heart rate is probably going to drop below the resting heart rate. The fluctuating rates will increase your heart muscles and your cardiovascular regulatory system. Therefore, by using a sauna, you’ll improve your heart muscles strength.

  1. Burns calories

While saunas aren’t usually used for their calorie-burning benefits, they do allow you to burn calories through sweating. Saunas typically burn calories that are obtained from fat and carbohydrates.  However, you should only expect to see average weight loss if you are using a sauna as your only weight loss source. Since saunas burn calories through sweating it can take some time before weight loss is seen. Although, if you eat a well-balanced diet and maintain a daily exercise routine in addition to using a sauna you should see results in weeks.

  1. Helps you sleep

Saunas can help you sleep at night if you’ve used a sauna before you’ve probably noticed a difference in your sleeping habits. In fact, saunas can make you sleep longer as well as spend more time in REM sleep if you work out in the evening you’re more likely to experience these effects since the fluctuating heart rate can calm your body internally. Additionally, the hot steam from the sauna can relax your mind and soothe you too. Therefore, using the sauna in the evening can benefit your sleeping pattern and possibly improve it.

  1. Help you socialize

Sometimes talking to people in a gym setting can be a little intimidating at times. But in a sauna, everyone is relaxed and ready to talk all you must do is strike up a conversation. Who knows he or she might be your new best friend? Socializing at a sauna can be good not only for you mentally but also physically. If you become friendly with another person, they’re more likely to spot you or let you work with them since they know who you are. Therefore, saunas can be a great place to chat and meet people who go to the same gym as you.

Grabbing a smoothie might sound fun but now doesn’t a sauna sound even better?

06 Aug

Most people have been there: The workout is going well, or the process of carrying everything out to the moving van is progressing smoothly, until five minutes of strain go by, and suddenly a part of the body hurts for weeks, months, or even years. Young athletes often suffer from chronic injuries like shin splints, runner’s knee, jumper’s knee, and Achilles tendonitis, but overuse injuries can occur at any age, in a variety of situations. Keep reading for advice on preventing overuse injuries, and various ways in which it is incredibly important to listen to the body.

Prevention

Don’t overdo it– try not to engage in vigorous exercise more than sixteen hours per week and spread those hours out. Exercising eight hours in one day is exponentially more harmful than exercising for two hours on four days. Also remember to have rest days at least once or twice per week; these are days where you do not exercise at all whatsoever, and their importance in ensuring your continued physical health cannot be overstated.

If it hurts, stop

Those five extra minutes could keep you out of the game for far longer than they’re worth. If something feels funny, stop and let it heal. You might wish to try again in a few hours to see if the odd sensation is still there, and if that is the case, stop for the day. It’s always better to be out for the rest of the day than it is to be out for six weeks, with the added expense of physical therapy.

The Feet: Man’s Relationship to the Ground

When humans run, the force with which the feet hit the ground with every step makes it so that the leg must effectively support more than the normal weight of the body. This knowledge highlights the possible physical treachery of years of frequent jogs, runs, or even sprints, as well as the importance of proper footwear. A well-researched sneaker intended specifically for your favorite type of exercise is better than the generic sneaker, even if it is more expensive. Flat-footed individuals should also bear in mind that in addition to a general jolt to the leg, each step begins to torque the inside of the knee, so orthopedic arches are a worthwhile investment.

Form Over Flounder

It can be hard to know whether you are achieving proper technique, but honestly, a focus on proper technique reaps multiple benefits. For one, it can promote a more honest understanding of the strength of the relative muscle groups, and your progress in each area. Another significant benefit to this is that it prevents long-lasting injuries– Improperly considered deadlifts, for example, can cause long-term damage to the lower back, and poorly performed squats can harm the knees. If you are unsure about your execution of a particular exercise, consult a trainer, and complete these exercises in view of a mirror.

Warm Up

When exercising, to make sure blood is flowing to the skeletal muscles, never skip over a warm up. If possible, this should include dynamic stretches, which consist of moving muscle groups gradually through their range of motion, just barely stretching at the end of each repetition. Examples of this include walking lunges, bringing the knees to the chest, and butt kickers. Save the static stretches, or those that require that a particular position be held for a number of seconds, for the cooldown, because well-stretched muscles can often be more prone to injury during workouts.

Cool Down

Though the dominant compulsion after a severe workout may be to lie still on the floor, cooling down is more than nominally imperative. Not only does cooling down help the body transition more smoothly from higher to lower levels of cardiovascular turnover, it also helps prevent soreness. This means that even though the low-intensity activity typical of a cooldown may not feel productive to some people, the benefit it provides toward allowing people to safely push their bodies more during the week is significant. Take ten minutes to walk or to jog at a progressively slower clip at the end of workouts.

One Consideration

When performing exercises, especially side-dependent ones using weights, always make sure to start with your weaker side. Generally, this will be the side opposite your dominant hand and leg. Many people automatically start in the opposite order, but this can often reinforce strength imbalances between both sides of the body. This is because when choosing the amount of weight to lift for a particular exercise, most people make their selection with their stronger arm in mind. This means that either the other side will suffer from overstrain, or they will have to stop the exercise early on the weak side, saying that the strong side will perform more exercise, and grow even stronger while the other lags. In your workouts, make a conscious effort to more closely consider and start exercises with your non-dominant leg.

Work Out Different Muscle Groups

One common cause of overuse injury is a well-intentioned but poorly guided tendency to repeatedly work the same muscles. It is common knowledge that running and even walking engages the hip flexors and can cause pain. It is easy to forget, however, that even exercises like squats, which many use to target the glutes, can overtax the hip flexors. This is one of the reasons why it is essential not only to vary your exercises, but also to take breaks between repetitions, to avoid overtaxing routines, and most importantly, to listen to your body.

Though overuse injuries may be more readily associated with arms day and overzealous bench presses, the warnings that come with upper body workouts are equally crucial to the lower body. If you’re still very sore from yesterday’s workout, don’t cause unnecessary stress and inflammation by working those same muscles today. If your ankle hurts, or even feels funny, don’t ignore it. When working the inside of the leg, make sure to also address the outside of the leg, and to stretch both during a cool down. Over-developing one side of a body part and under-developing the other can lead to long-term structural complications.

30 Jul

If staying healthy was easy, everyone would always be in their best health. There wouldn’t be so many alternatives like weight loss pills and other supplements promising miracles. Doctors wouldn’t be in such high demands.

Staying healthy is the hard road. It’s so much easier to just stay in bed or on the couch. Fast foods are cheaper and taste better than many healthy options. Choosing ice cream makes us feel happier than a bowl of salad.

We often make up excuses to skip the gym like the lack of time or too tired. If we listen to those little voices, no one would ever meet their goals. It’s not impossible to stay healthy. The motivation is there, we just have to reach for it.

Being healthy is like any other goals. It takes work to get there. Along the way, we may find ourselves lacking in motivation. Here are some tips to keep the motivation up to reach the end game.

Know your why

To get to the end game, you have to know what it is in the first place. You can’t just workout because others tell you that you should. There’s always something you want. Figure out what your goal is. It’s the key to learn how to get there. If you have no goal, it will be harder to be motivated.

It’s not enough to simply have a broad goal like simply losing weight. How much weight do you want to lose? When do you want to finish losing all that weight? It’s all part of the goal. The clearer the end game is, the easier it is to make the ideal plan to get it.

Make working out a social activity

This is the age of social media. You already share almost everything else in your life, so why not your new lifestyle? Sharing your healthy activities online make you more likely to honor them because you are committing yourself to both you and others.

Start posting your healthy menu choices. Post some work out activities. You don’t have to do it alone. Many people will jump at the chance of joining you on your journey. Others may be facing a similar battle as you. They want to be healthy, too. Seeing your posts might motivate them to join you. Now, you’re both motivating each other and meeting your goals.

It’s important to know the other person’s goals. It’s better of both of your goals align with each other. This way you can make plans together and keep each other accountable for the entire journey.

Develop a habit

One of the toughest parts of the healthy lifestyle is the beginning where you have those pesky habits holding you back. You’ll have to fight with yourself to develop better ones. You’ll find it easier to go to the gym if it’s part of your daily routine. It’s all about rewiring your brain. Make some post-it notes, write up your goals and your plans. Make it easier on yourself to accept the new normal.

It won’t happen all at once, so prepare for a fight with your mind. The hard part is the starting  point, though. After about 21 days of the same routine, it’ll be the new normal. You’ll have better habits to help you reach your goals.

Track yourself

Tracking yourself is necessary if you don’t get lost. Once you get started on the journey, you’ll find new doors opening themselves for you. You can get too wrapped up in everything and lose your way.

To prevent that from happening, it’s best to track your progress. You must always know where you stand in your journey. It helps you to decide if you need to make some changes in your journey. You might find that the routines you develop are producing results slower than you desire. It’d be best to decide whether you need to adjust your routines or your goals.

Take small steps

Getting there as quickly as possible is tempting, but keep in mind it might not be the healthiest. Simply because they are healthy choices don’t mean that they won’t harm your body. Losing weight too fast can affect your health in drastic ways.

Physical changes happen slowly. The body needs time to adapt and change evenly. It may become frustrating if you don’t see any progress toward your big goal after a couple of days or weeks. It’s best to make your goal become more achievable. The way to do this is to break your ultimate goal. Make smaller goals that can be reached in shorter amount of time. That way, you can see the progress and stay motivated to make more.

Give yourself rewards

When you achieve those little goals, take time to reward yourself. It will make everything seem less of a chore. It also makes you want to keep going because the more goals you reach, the more rewards you can give yourself.

However, don’t make those rewards food related. Stay away from anything that may disrupt your progress. Even though rewards must be something you like, make it something that falls in line with your new lifestyle. Try buying new clothes or a day at the spa.

It’s helpful to have a list of rewards beforehand. Make them fun and unique. This way, you always have something to look forward to.

Make it enjoyable

People don’t like to do chores, so don’t make it a chore. Make the lifestyle enjoyable. You don’t have to force yourself to eat food you hate. There are plenty of healthy options available.

It’s all about the journey, so fill it up with things you like. Do activities you enjoy and eat food that you like. If you like everything you do and eat, it will eliminate the tendency to go back to your old ways. Staying healthy doesn’t stop once you’ve reached your goal. You have to keep it up for the rest of your life. Otherwise, it’s all pointless.

Staying healthy brings in changes in your life. Don’t rely on others too much to make it happen. It’s up to you to get there and maintain. The way to do that is to make it enjoyable and realistic.

04 Jun

Belly fat is some of the most stubborn fat to lose. Belly fat is also some of the easiest fat to gain back after it is lost. Think about it, where do most men hold their extra weight? Around the belly. This isn’t just coincidence either, it is an evolutionary trait that comes from us constantly eating processed foods and not exercising. You will need a solid fitness plan if you want to get rid of the fat around your belly. Here is the information, and an example that you will need to put together a solid fitness plan to lose your belly fat quickly.

What You Need to Know:

You need to be doing circuit workouts.

First, what are circuit workouts? It is when you do one exercise with as many reps as possible before you move onto the next one. There is also no rest time between these sets. The only time you rest is after each round, which I will give you an example of later. This type of workout is very successful because it does not give your body time to rest. It will keep your cardiovascular system and your muscles working hard. You will burn as many calories as possible every time you work out.

man doing circuit workout with battle ropes One especially helpful aspect of circuit workouts is the “super move” at the end of each circuit. This is when you do as many reps as possible in 60 seconds. This makes sure that you are putting in maximum effort for every circuit. You need to do about four circuit workouts a week if you want to see results quickly.

You have to beat the clock.

Circuit workouts are made so that you are getting the needed exercises with a time limit instead of a number of reps limit. This is helpful because you can keep track of how many reps you do in the time given and then try to beat that number each time. It is also helpful because this setup is for beginners and experts. If you are a beginner, you are not expected to do 50 reps in 60 seconds. This is helpful to keep people on track and on the program. No matter what your exercise level is, you will be able to lose weight on a program like this.

Things will progress weekly.

Most circuit workouts consist of the same exercises for four weeks. This does not mean that the plan will be easy. The last two weeks are more challenging than the first two. Usually, the time is the only thing increased in these workouts, but that will only add more reps to each exercise. This will up the ante without trying to kill you. As the weeks go on, you will be able to do more reps than before you began. Even though they are the same exercises for four weeks, the more reps you do, the more belly fat you will burn. Here is an example of what this layout would look like:

  • Week 1: Exercises 1-4 for 40 seconds. Then do your super move for 60 seconds. You should be recording these first numbers so that you can be sure that you have made progress by the end.
  • Week 2: Exercises 1-4 for 40 seconds. Then do your super move for 60 seconds. This is where you should check last week’s scores to see if you have made any progress. Doing only two more reps may not seem like much, but remember it is progress!
  • Week 3: Exercises 1-4 for 50 seconds. Then do your super move for 60 seconds. The time only increases by 10 seconds, but that is 10 more seconds to get in as many reps as you can.
  • Week 4: Exercises 1-4 for 50 seconds. Then do your super move for 60 seconds. You will notice, especially if you look back to your first week’s scores, you are doing better than ever, and have even lost some weight!

An Example of a Circuit Workout:

You should do each exercise in the circuit for 40 seconds. You will have two minutes of rest time between each round. You will do five rounds of these exercises.

Squat curl.

This is done with your feet shoulder length apart. You will bend at the hips and knees (do a squat), with your weight on your heels. As you stand, you will curl the dumbbells (up to your shoulders.)

This will work your entire lower body. By adding dumbbells to this exercise you will work on your grip strength and add more muscle to your arms. This exercise will also help to raise your heart rate, which will get your blood pumping making the next exercises slightly easier to perform.

Bent over row.

You will hold a dumbbell in each hand and slightly bend over. Your core will be braced so you will be bend at the hips not the stomach. Then you will bring the weights up and down as if you were rowing. Keep your elbows in.

This exercise will help to develop muscle on your back. You should be bringing your shoulder blades together as you bring the dumbbells up, to create maximum effort.

Deadlift.

man doing barbell deadlift You will be using dumbbells. Keep your legs straight and lean forwards, remember to lean at your hips not your gut. You will lean forward until you feel your hamstrings stretching and then you will stand up straight again.

This will help work your hamstrings and create a focus on equal weight being distributed to your arms.

Overhead press.

Stand up, your chest and core will be braced, holding dumbbells at shoulder height with your palms forwards. Bring the weights up until your arms are straight then bring them back down slowly.

This exercise will work your shoulders and help to keep up the intensity of the workout. It will help you to burn the most calories possible.

Super move.

You will do as many reps as possible in 60 seconds of this move, so choose wisely. An easy move for beginners is pushups.

21 May

If you are looking to build muscle you should perform a full body workout every day. All you need to do is spend about 35 minutes in the gym per day, and you will be able to build muscles quickly. Of course, you still need your rest days, so try to make it to the gym at least 3 times a week to do these full body exercises. Remember that to get the dream body that you want, your workouts need to be well-designed, not just consisting of heavy weights and lots of reps.

How Does a Full Body Workout Help Gain Muscle?

You should do a full body exercise every other day, for example, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This is because your muscles are stimulated for about 48 hours after a full body workout. This gives your body time to rest, and then get back to it once again. Performing full body workouts like this is the best way to build muscle. Think about it, if you only do arms on Tuesdays, then you won’t hit those muscles again until the following Tuesday, but with this type of workout, you will hit them three times a week. You will keep your muscles stimulated and help to build muscle in a shorter time frame than other, separated, workouts provide.

Is Doing This Many Full Body Workouts Safe?

ripped guy doing side bends full body workoutOf course it is! Basically, what you are doing is taking a week long workout and condensing it to three days. You need to only do about 3 to 5 workouts a week to stay healthy, so it only makes sense that full body workouts, three days a week, should be just about perfect. All that you are doing with this workout schedule is splitting your regular sets into three days.

This is safer than other workouts because you are controlling the amount of damage that is done to your muscles each week. By limiting the damage that is done to your muscles every week, you will be better able to build muscle quicker. You should know that overloading your muscles can just cause more soreness and can lead to you having to take longer rest periods. Remember that the last few reps of each set are ones that matter, not how many you are doing each week.

By working out this way, you will be better able to stay injury free. You shouldn’t be over stressing and pushing your muscles to get bigger. The best way to build muscle is to give your muscles enough rest between workouts and to push them when you are working out. This type of workout can help you to achieve that balance.

What Exercises Should You Do?

You should engage in exercises that include more than just one muscle group. Here are a few examples of workouts that you can try to help build your muscles.

Jump Squats.

These will help to work your quads. You should do at least three sets of 6 (ish) reps.

Deadlifts.

You should be using dumbbells while performing this one. It will help to work your hamstrings. You should be do 3 sets of about 10 (ish) reps.

Bench Press.

You can also do this bench press with dumbbells. This will help to work your chest specifically. You should do 3 sets with about 10 (ish) reps.

Bent Over Row.

These can help to work your back muscles overall. You should try to do about 3 sets with about 10 (ish) reps.

Incline Bench Press.

You can also perform this workout with dumbbells to help pack on the muscles. This will help to work your shoulders. You should set yourself up to do about 3 sets with, once again, 10 (ish) reps.

Rear Delt Flye.

This workout works your back and your shoulders. It can be very beneficial to help you get that strong back and broad shoulders. You should aim for 3 sets with 10 (ish) reps.

Shoulder Press.

This workout, obviously, works your shoulders. If you are going for a muscular look, your shoulders are something to work out. They will help to give that triangle shape that most men go for. You should aim for 3 sets of about 8 (ish) reps.

Dumbbell Shrug.

This should be done with dumbbells. It will help to work out your traps and upper back, which are often forgot about. You may work them, but you have to admit, you probably only do it once a week. To help build that muscular body you want, these muscles should be focused on more. You should prepare to do 3 sets of about 15-20 reps.

Curls.

ripped guy dooing dumbbell bicep curls If you did not already know, curls work your biceps. This is one of the most common workouts, especially done by men. That is a good thing because this workout really does help to build muscle. You should set a target for 3 sets of about 10 (ish) reps.

French Press.

A french press, especially when it is used with dumbbells, can help to work your triceps. All the focus tends to go to the biceps, but your tricep muscles are just as important for muscle building. You should aim for 3 sets of about 10 reps every time you are in the gym.

These are just some examples of what you can do in the gym for a full body workout. Between about every two workouts, you should also take a rest time. This will help you to keep up your stamina without your body wanting to give out too early. Your rest time should only be about 30 seconds to one minute at a time. If you take any longer you will lose your stamina, instead of your rest time helping your stamina. Make sure that you are spending just about 30 minutes in the gym, three times a week, using some of these workouts, or all of them, to help achieve your body goals.

07 May

Are you going to the gym, but not seeing the results you want? This is a common problem for many men when they begin lifting. Your best bet is to use a personal trainer that can help you develop healthy lifting habits, but if you aren’t ready for that step, here are few suggestions to help you out in the gym.

Are you eating healthy?

No matter what your goals are, eating healthy is all part of the process. You need to maintain a balanced diet if you want to get the results you want. Start meal prepping, eat clean, and control your portion sizes. Your diet is a large part of being healthy, and looking good too.

Do you know the basics of muscle building?

You can talk to anyone about muscle building and they will be able to give you advice, now whether it is right or not is a whole different story. No matter what, you should be increasing your calorie and protein intake, so that your body has extra building blocks to get bigger. You should be training about four times a week. Make sure that you have adequate rest days. Resting is part of getting the results you want.

You need to work your full range of motion.

You can’t take shortcuts when it comes to working out. You need to make sure that you are getting the full range of motion for every workout. This will make sure that your muscles are working as hard as possible every workout.

Make sure you aren’t going too heavy.

man lifting heavy weights has higher testosterone You should be able to lift the weight consistently for 30 to 40 seconds. That is how you will be able to tell if it is the right weight for you. If you are failing after 20 seconds of lifting for example, the weight is definitely too heavy for you.

Cardio is good for you.

We all hate cardio, but it can help you in your other workouts. Cardio can help with your endurance and help keep you from getting injured. If you are only looking to get huge, make sure that you do not do too much cardio. You will need your calories for muscle building, not to be burned off by cardio. You should be jogging for 15 to 20 minutes a couple days a week.

Do you need supplements?

Sometimes supplements can play a role in helping muscle gain. You should try to take some sort of protein supplement, but there are others you should try. Creatine can help to boost strength and can help you gain more bulk muscle. Peppermint can also help you in the gym. The scent can help to alter your perception of how hard you are working, which can help you complete your workout easier.

Have you tried endurance training?

Endurance training can be very demanding for your body, but it can also be very beneficial. When you are doing endurance training, you need to make sure that you are hydrated and eating well. You should be doing a mix of cardio and weight lifting during this time.

Monitor your heart rate.

You should invest in an activity tracker of some sort. This way you will be able to keep track of your progress. You will be able to see your progress in real time and see how hard your heart is working. This can help you keep up the intensity of your workout.

Try to reduce your rest time.

This is not saying that you shouldn’t take breaks, but by taking less breaks your body will keep up the intensity that it has. Your rest time should be about half a minute long. This will help to increase your endurance. No matter what type of exercise routine you have, reducing your rest time will help you overall

Do you know how to fight fatigue?

Fatigue can be the hardest thing to deal with when it comes to exercise. You can try drinking beet juice to help fight fatigue. Beet juice can help improve your cardiovascular system. When your cardiovascular system is healthy and running well, you will see a difference in your workouts, and overall health.

Do you understand strength training basics?

You have to be patient when it comes to strength training. You will not see results overnight, but you will see results. Make sure that you stick to your plan when you are in the gym. Also make sure that you are getting enough rest when you are not in the gym.

What is your motivation?

You need to find your motivation if you are trying to get in shape. When it comes to the gym, everyone needs motivation. You need to find yours to be successful at the gym.

Focus on your form.

man doing heavy dead lift with good formProper form goes a long way in the gym. The better your form is, the more likely it is that you will see the results you want. Your form will affect whether you are working the right muscle groups or not. Proper form can also help you from injuring yourself while working out.

Change it up.

Your body can get used to your workouts, even if you are adding more reps. It is important that you change up your workout every once in a while. By changing it up you will be better able to train your body and you will see more results.

Are you burning fat?

It is important to burn fat. Often times, what will define muscles is burning fat. You should be considering your calorie intake versus the calories burned. If you can get it to where you are burning as many calories, or more, you will begin to burn away the fat that you don’t need.

Stay hydrated.

The most important part of any workout regimen is staying hydrated. You should be drinking about a gallon of water a day. You will feel an obvious difference in your body and mood if you are drinking close to this much water a day.