Tag Archives: Aerobic exercise

15 Lifestyle Weight Loss, Health And Fitness Tips

3 Jul

1. In the beginning, your fitness plan should not be overly aggressive.
One of the biggest problems most people encounter when starting a fitness program is rapidly depleted motivation after only a few weeks due to an overly ambitious fitness plan. Two days per week of 20-minute low-intensity cardiovascular exercise (walking, jogging, biking, swimming); and two days per week of 30-minute light resistance training (using weights or resistance machines) and one day stretching ( yoga or Pilates) is adequate in the beginning. As you become acclimated to the lifestyle “shift” you can add more days and get improved results. But beware: if you try to do too much too fast, you may end up quitting altogether. If you’ve tried and failed doing it alone, then I suggest you get a training partner or personal trainer who will help you sustain your motivation.
You must have tangible, quantifiable, short-term and long-term goals for your fitness program so you can gauge your progress. It’s crucial to have a “baseline” before you begin, so you can measure success. Your health club or personal trainer can give you a complete fitness analysis that will aid you or your trainer in developing a personalized fitness program which addresses your particular needs. Having goals, particularly short-term goals, allows you to track your progress and keep you motivated when times are tough and you don’t feel like exercising. Keeping a journal of your cardio and resistance training workouts, as well as tracking what you eat is truly a fitness success “secret.” Just remember that your goals should be realistic and attainable. The best way for you to understand what is realistic and attainable for you is to talk to a fitness professional.

2. If your goal is fat-loss, then your cardiovascular exercise should be interval intensity.
Your heart rate during cardio exercise should not exceed 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate. The simple formula for calculating your 100% maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. If the intensity of your exercise increases your heart rate beyond 70% (which can occur very easily if you are in poor shape), you start shifting from using body fat as your energy source to relying on glucose metabolism. Your personal trainer can supply you with a simple heart rate monitor you can wear during exercise so you always stay in your peak fat-burning range.

3. Always, always, always stretch.
Stretching improves flexibility, blood flow, muscle recovery, low back pain and a host of other things. Additionally, stretching can prevent injury, make you sleep better and improve your performance in all sports. Always stretch, but be certain not to stretch cold muscles. You should always warm up before stretching. However, it is very important that you know how to stretch. Never bounce! Your personal trainer will show you the proper execution and timing of your stretches.

4. Set exercise appointments with yourself  and remember the benefits of exercise. Enjoy yourself.
Use your day-timer to set appointments for exercise – and then stick to them. You wouldn’t miss a business meeting or client appointment, would you? So don’t miss your exercise appointment with yourself. Nothing is more important than your health. Nothing. Everything else will crumble around you if your health goes south. So make your exercise appointments a priority. If you find it difficult to keep these appointments, then consider hiring a personal trainer who will hold you to your commitment. When you have money invested, and someone waiting for you to show up – you are much more likely to actually show up!

The most difficult thing is actually getting into your running shoes or going to the gym. But once you begin your work-out, relax and enjoy the process. Don’t fight it. Make exercise your personal time. When you are exercising you can focus completely on yourself. Yes, exercising can and should be somewhat rigorous (depending on your level of fitness), but it is just that investment which makes it supremely rewarding. As with anything, if you are in the moment, you can fully appreciate the experience and truly enjoy the proces

5. Exercise correctly.
So much time is wasted doing, at best, unproductive exercise, or at worst, dangerous exercise. Get educated on how to exercise correctly. And the absolute best way to do that is to hire a personal trainer to develop a program for you and then teach you what to do and how to do it right. Personal training does not have to be an ongoing process. You can hire a personal trainer for whatever length of time you need to learn the ropes. It could be five sessions, or it could be fifteen sessions. It’s completely up to you. But statistics prove that those who understand how to exercise correctly, get better, faster results. And that’s what you want, right? Results!
Never, ever do a traditional sit-up.
Unless you are super athlete with an incredibly well-developed midsection, sit-ups can lead to a strained lower back and possibly lumbar injuries. But it gets worse. Rather than hitting your abdominal section, sit-ups can shift exercise tension to your hip flexors – which defeats the purpose. There is so much misinformation about how to strengthen, tone and firm the midsection, it’s almost frightening. It is very difficult to learn proper abdominal exercise technique by reading about it or watching it demonstrated on a video. You need to do it with supervision and get feedback about your form from a knowledgeable source. And keep in mind that you use your abdominal muscles in almost every single movement you make. Strengthening your abdominal region is the single most effective way to prevent, or recover from, low back pain.

Don’t waste your time working small muscles with isolated movements.
If you don’t enjoy doing resistance training or are pressed for time, concentrate on working the largest muscle groups with compound resistance movements. When I see overweight people doing wrist curls or lateral raises, I wonder why. It’s generally just a lack of understanding of how their bodies work. Most people want to lose fat and tone and firm their bodies. The way to do that is to use resistance (weights or machines) to train the large muscle groups. Men should be concentrating on legs, chest and back. Women should concentrate more on their legs and back. The best exercises for legs are lunges or squats (your personal trainer will show you the proper form and then monitor you during the exercise) and leg press. The best chest exercise is bench press, and the best back exercise is the seated row. All of these are compound movements, which means they incorporate multiple muscle groups.

6. Deep-fried food and alcohol has no nutritional value – none!
Almost every food, whether it’s steak, chocolate or red wine, has some nutrients to contribute. But one thing is absolute: fried foods are garbage. Potato chips, French fries, onion rings, breaded chicken strips and all the rest of the deep-fried junk are pregnant with saturated fat and calories, and they contain almost zero nutritional value. If you’re trying to lose weight and/or reduce fat, simply eliminate fried foods completely from your diet. That stuff is scary. Alcohol is a same.
I’m not advocating the high protein, high saturated fat diet that you hear so much about (frankly, it’s dangerous). But I am advocating minimizing your intake of bread, pasta, rice, potato and of course, all sugary drinks. We are no longer an agrarian society participating in manual labor. Most of us are fairly sedentary throughout the day and therefore do not need the high levels of carbohydrates to sustain our energy. Additionally, carbohydrates are addictive. The more donuts you eat, the more you want. The bulk of your carbohydrates should come from vegetables and fruit. And those with high water content, such as cucumbers, grapefruit, tomatoes, cantaloupe, strawberries and even vegetable soups (watch out for high sodium), will fill you up nicely.

7. Never, ever skip breakfast.
If you want to maximize your fitness results or fat-loss efforts, you’ve got to eat breakfast. Even if you don’t exercise at all – breakfast remains the most important meal of the day. Your breakfast should contain complete proteins and complex carbohydrates (if you’re trying to lose weight, you should eat the bulk of your complex carbohydrates at breakfast and lunch and only have vegetable carbohydrates at dinner). A great breakfast is oatmeal drink from my FusemeAll diet menu with a little honey and banana and added protein . Or try scrambled egg whites with turkey sausage.

8. Eat fat to lose fat.
Healthy fats are necessary to your body for a bunch of reasons: regulating hormonal production, improving immune function, lowering total cholesterol, lubricating joints, and providing the basics for healthy hair, nails and skin. The singular distinction you must be aware of is the difference between healthy “good” fats, and dangerous “bad” fats. Good fats are monounsaturated fats like olive, peanut and canola oil, avocados, all natural peanut butter and nuts; and omega-3 fats like salmon and mackerel and soy-based foods. Bad fats are saturated fats, partially hydrogenated fats (killers!), and trans fats. Your personal trainer can provide you with a simple diet program that will complement your exercise to help you live longer, feel better and boost your immune system. The bottom line is that your body needs good fats – and will revolt if you attempt to abstain from them – and absolutely does not need bad fats.

9. Drink plenty of fresh, clean water.
Yes, I know that you’ve heard this over and over again. But there’s a reason for that – it’s the gospel truth! The recommended amount is approximately eight glasses, or 64 ounces, of water every day. When you are exercising, you need to drink even more. Over 75% of your body is water (even bone is more than 20% water). When you don’t drink enough water, and substitute diuretics like coffee, tea and caffeinated sodas, you dehydrate your body, your blood doesn’t flow properly and your digestive system doesn’t operate smoothly (among other problems). Even a small deficit of water can radically affect how your body performs. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you’re urine is a dark yellow and/or has a strong odor, you’re not drinking enough water. Drink up!

10. Eat small meals regularly throughout the day.
Fasting or overly restrictive diets will enable you to lose weight – in the short run. Because the weight you lose is primarily water weight and lean muscle mass. But in the long-run, it has exactly the opposite effect you want. When you restrict your diet, your body instinctively thinks it’s being starved and shifts into a protective mode by storing fat. Energy expenditures are fueled by your lean muscles. Therefore your body fat remains essentially the same and you lose vital fluids and muscle instead. The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism becomes, and the less fat you burn. You should be eating three nutritionally balanced meals each day, and you should have at least  two healthy snacks. This keeps your metabolic furnace stoked, so you burn more at a faster rate. I know, it’s counter-intuitive, but it’s the gospel truth!

I realize that starting (or re-starting) a productive and effective health and fitness program is not easy. .

If you’re sick, you go to the doctor. If you’ve got a tax problem, you see an accountant (or an attorney!). Have a toothache? You’re off to the dentist. Leaky pipes result in a call to the plumber. So why is it that so many people attempt to solve their health and fitness problems without consulting an expert? I don’t know exactly, but I encourage you to make the investment in yourself – in your quality of life – by hiring a qualified professional to educate you and help you get started…

…because the hardest part is just getting started and sustaining your motivation until fitness becomes habitual. Once you develop the habit, which can take as little as 30 days, your whole life will change for the better.

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What can I do to lose weight in my belly?

30 Apr

….if you ‘ve been doing lots of crunches but they don’t seem to help …

here is no way to target weight loss to a specific area of the body because your body decides where it wants to put on weight and where it wants to take it off. The midsection is a common “problem” area for many people. The best way to lose fat is through cardiovascular exercise and even better interval training. It is important to do a variety of abdominal exercises (including crunches) to keep your core strong, but until that excess fat is gone, you will not see the muscle definition. If you exercise only your abdominal region you build muscle around your abs region. This sounds good doesn’t it. This is what we want to achieve. There lies the problem. By exercising your abdominal region too much you end up building muscle under a layer of fat. Actually ending up with a BIGGER stomach then when we started. Not good. So if you’re not doing cardio, crunches are not going to help get the 6-pack you’ve been hoping for. Regular cardio exercise at a level that’s challenging for you is your best bet.

For the best and fast result try interval training.

The big problem with humans and almost all other animals is that we are designed to operate in short sporadic bursts. We however as humans try to defy this. Think Cycling (Tour De France), Marathon running and triathlons. We are not built and designed to operate like this. Our bodies are happier doing intensive exercise for about 1-2 minutes then resting for the same period and then intense exercise again. Keeping this up for around 20 minutes at a time.

Why is Interval Training the Best Cardio Exercise to Lose Belly Fat and More Effective Than Any Other Cardio Workout?

Because to burn stomach fat it’s not about time or distance, it’s about intensity and “intensity cycling.” Research has shown interval training – alternating between low-intensity and high-intensity-is unmatched for fat burning potential. When you workout at a higher intensity level, you burn actual body fat-not just the calories you’ve consumed that day.

Plus, by working at a higher intensity level you stimulate your body’s own natural growth hormones, which burns even more fat, boosts your metabolism, and builds muscle!

Repeat these 4 intervals 4 times for a very intensive 20 minute workout!

  • Warm-up for 3-4 minutes at a fast walk or light jog
  • Interval 1 – Run at 8.0 mil/hr for 1 minute
  • Interval 2 – Walk at 4.0 mil/hr for 1.5 minutes
  • Interval 3 – Run at 10.0 mil/hr for 1 minute
  • Interval 4 – Walk at 4.0 mil/hr fro 1.5 minutes

Best tips for Advanced ABs Workout

7 Mar

Overview

Conventional crunches and sit-ups are common ab exercises performed from a face-up position on the floor. If you do these exercises with proper form, they will make your abs scream with pain. This is the case with any ab exercise. If you are looking for a challenge, choose more advanced exercises that can give you this sensation in a short time frame.

Like every other muscle in your body, your abdominal muscles deserve a day of rest between each intense workout. As you build strength and endurance through regular workouts, your abs are able to handle increasingly more difficult exercises. In fact, you should challenge them with harder exercises if you want them to continue getting stronger.

Plank Variations

Plank poses are yoga exercises that work your abs without any range of motion.. You balance face-down on your forearms and the balls of your feet. Squeezing your abs to keep your body flat from head to heels in this position is harder than it looks. As you get stronger, you’ll be able to hold planks longer. Once you can consistently hold a plank for a minute or more, try more difficult variations. For one of the most extreme plank variations, lift your left arm and right leg slightly off the floor. Squeeze your abs to keep your body flat and level. Hold this position for as long as possible, then repeat on the other side.

Get Unstable

Adding instability to your ab workout dramatically increases the difficulty. A 2001 study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise showed that doing crunches on a stability ball is one of the all-around most effective ab exercises. You can also perform planks on stability balls, or do core exercises like bridges and planks with your feet hanging from webbing slings or gymnastics-style rings. Almost any exercise done on gymnastics rings, including face-down pullovers and push-ups, becomes an immediate hard-core ab workout because of the instability involved.

Weight Lifting Techniques

You can apply the same techniques you use to make strength training more difficult to your ab exercises, as well. Try holding a medicine ball, dumbbell or weight plate close to your body for extra resistance during crunches. Or vary your speed, alternating between sets of fast reps  (although not so fast that you lose control ) and super-slow repetitions. Plyometric abdominal exercises, like medicine ball throws, also place extreme stress on your abs.

Hanging Windshield Wipers

Rock climbers and other extreme athletes in search of a drastic ab workout head straight to the bar — the pull-up bar, that is. Gymnastics-inspired moves like curl-ups and windshield wipers provide an intense ab workout. To do windshield wipers, hang below the pull-up bar, arms straight at the elbow and flexed at the shoulder so your torso is parallel to the floor. Bend your hips so your legs point straight up. Squeeze your abs tight to support your torso, keeping your back flat, as you let both legs rotate down to your right. Then rotate your legs to the left. Continue alternating back and forth as if your legs were windshield wipers.

Be mindful of your stomach contractions with this exercise. As soon as you get into the staring position, you will have to tighten your abs and keep them tight throughout. If you do not do this, you run the risk of injuring your lower back.

Pendulums

Pendulums are exercises that target your obliques. They are also known as windshield wipers. To do them, lie flat on your back with your arms out to your sides so your upper body forms a T-shape. After raising your legs up to a point where they are just slightly less than perpendicular to your upper body, lower them down to your right side. Slowly lift them up and then down to your left side. Continue to move them back and forth in a slow and controlled motion. When you are lowering your legs, stop them as soon as your back starts to lift off the ground.

Pike

The pike is performed with the help of a stability ball and done in a face-down position. To begin, place your hands on the floor and tops of your feet on the ball. Your body should be in a push-up position at this point with your arms, back and legs straight and abs already contracted. Keeping your legs and arms straight, roll the ball inward toward your head as you raise your hips in the air. Do this in a steady motion and stop when your body forms an inverted angle. The tips of your toes should be on the top of the ball at this point. Hold for a second, slowly roll the ball back out and repeat. If this doesn’t make your abs scream, perform the exercise one leg at a time.

Dragon Flag

Dragon flags require a sturdy weight bench. To begin, lie face-up with your hands wrapped underneath the sides of the bench behind your head. Keeping your head and neck down on the bench, raise your legs and body in the air so that your toes point toward the ceiling. Slowly lower your body down and stop when you are at an angle to the bench. You will have to forcefully contract your abs at this point to maintain your position. Rise back up and repeat.

Wheel Roll out

An ab wheel is a small fitness tool that has a rubber wheel and handle going through the center. A rollout exercise requires balance and extreme core strength. To begin, hold the handle with one hand on each side of the wheel and stand with your feet together. Lower the wheel to the floor and maintain straight arms, legs and a straight back as you roll the wheel forward on the floor. Once your body is about parallel to the floor and your arms are fully extended, roll yourself back up and repeat..

Side Bends

Side bends are done with a dumbbell and they also work your obliques. To do these, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in your right hand. After placing your left hand on your hip or the side of your head, bend laterally to your right as you lower the dumbbell toward the floor. Once you have gone as far as possible, bend back up to a straight position and repeat. After doing a set of reps to your right, switch sides.

Soccer Throws

Soccer throws are performed with a medicine ball; you need an assistant to execute them. To do the exercise, stand about 8 feet away from your assistant while holding the ball above and slightly behind your head. After taking a step forward with your right foot, forcefully throw the ball in a downward motion. Once your assistant throws the ball back, step forward with your left foot and throw it again. Continue throwing the ball, alternating the leading foot.

Pre Workout Meals

11 Dec

Maintaining your strength and energy level is essential when training or competing on a highly intense level. The food you eat is a big factor on how you perform. During exercise athletes primarily rely on pre-existing glycogen stores and fat stores. If your pre-workout meal is eaten at the proper time then you will be assured that your glycogen stores are plenty full and this will optimize performance. Liquid meals can also be an advantage by digesting more rapidly than solid foods as well as provide hydration. Liquid meals can be eaten closer to workouts because they are emptied from the stomach quickly.  Pre-workout snacks within 1 hour of practice can be more beneficial to athletes that exercise longer than 60 minutes.  It is important to choose primarily carbohydrates before a workout because they are quickly digested, and readily available for fuel.  Drink adequate amounts of fluid (avoid dairy). The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 17 ounces of fluid two hours before exercise, as well as enough fluid during exercise to replace the water lost through perspiration. A rule of thumb is to drink enough water to urinate clear prior to a workout. For the first hour of aerobic exercise use water only. Use electro-light replacement drinks after the first hour of exercising. Use caution with foods that have a high sugar content (such as soft drinks and candy). Since athletes’ metabolism is higher than the average person they may experience a drop in blood sugar following consumption, which can result in light-headedness or fatigue and loss in performance. Here are some guidelines for when to fuel prior to a competition or event: Hours Before Event Meal Type Calories 3-5 hours Large meal 300-500 2-3 hours Small meal 200-300 1-2 hours Liquid meal 100-200 .5-1 hour Snack 50-100. With intense exercise your body shifts 80 percent of its blood supply to the muscles in use. This shift deprives the stomach of the blood needed to digest food. This slows digestion and may cause an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach because of undigested food that is still present. A meal that is high in calories will take longer to digest than a lighter snack. It is suggested a three to four hour delay between high calorie meals and intense exercise.

Some examples of meals and snacks are listed below:

Pre Workout Meals


BREAKFAST

Meal 1

1 1 hardboiled egg 1 slice whole grain toast 1 tsp butter 1 tbsp honey or jam 1 fruit 1 8 oz glass water

Meal  2

1 cup low fat yogurt 1 slice whole grain bread 1 tbsp honey or jam 1 cup fruit 1 8 oz glass water

Meal 3

1 Cup Oatmeal cooked in water 1 cup cottage cheese 1 fruit 1 8 oz glass water

LUNCH

Meal 1

Turkey Sandwich 4 oz turkey breast sliced 2 slices whole wheat bread 2 tsp mayonnaise 1/2 sliced tomato shredded lettuce 1 cup milk 1 8 oz glass water

Meal 2

1 cup canned split pea soup 5 wheat thin crackers 2 Cups Tossed Green Salad 2 Cups shredded Iceberg lettuce 1/2 Cup diced tomato 1/2 Cup diced cucumber 2 Tbsp Oil/Vinegar Dressing 1 8 oz glass water

Meal 3

Melon Salad 1 cup melon chunks 1/2 cup Strawberries 1/2 cup grapes 1 Tbsp Sunflower Seeds 1 Cup Low Fat Cottage Cheese 1 8 oz glass water

DINNER

Meal 1

Cajun Snapper 1/2 cup rice 1 cup broccoli (steamed) 1 tbsp olive oil & lemon marinade 1 8 oz glass water

Meal 2

Garlic Ginger Chicken 1 cup pasta 1 green salad tossed 1 tbsp oil/vinegar dressing 1 8 oz glass water

Meal 3

Grilled Tuna 1 Peach 1 8 oz glass water

SNACKS

Snack 1

1 scoop whey protein powder with 8 oz water 1/2 toasted bagel with Jam

Snack 2

1 hard boiled egg 1 cup strawberries

Snack 3

4 oz artificial crab meat or seafood sticks 1 apple

Metabolism

4 Sep

If you ask ten people what type of exercise they should be doing to burn fat and fire up their metabolism and they’ll all probably tell you the same thing. They’ll tell you that you need to do 30-40 minutes of moderately-paced aerobic exercise on a treadmill, elliptical machine, stair climber, etc. for 3-5 times per week. They’ll probably also tell you that more is better…4 times per week would be better than 3, and 5 times per week would be even better. People will tell you this because that’s been and continues to be the mainstream recommendation for fat burning by many fitness professionals. Get in a certain target heart rate and stay at that heart rate for 30 minutes or so, several times per week. I am here to tell you there is a better way. Sure, you’ll burn some calories while you’re running to nowhere on a treadmill, but you won’t make a complete physique transformation with this type of exercise alone. In fact this type of exercise can actually be counterproductive to burning fat.

Here are just a couple of reasons: Long duration, lower intensity aerobics calls upon your stored body fat for energy during the sessions. While this may sound good, this can actually cause your body to create more body fat in reserve after the workout is over to have ready for your next workout. Yikes! What’s worse, this type of exercise when done frequently as typically suggested, trains your cardiovascular system to be efficient.

Again, while this sounds good, your heart and lungs can actually reduce their capacity for work as they are getting more efficient at doing easy work (your long duration, low intensity aerobic workouts), which reduces their ability to handle stress. This can lead to a host of other problems including higher change of heart attack. You are only working within your current aerobic capacity because you’re never challenging it to go beyond what it’s capable of. And anything that is easy will not yield results even close to what’s challenging for the body to accomplish.

Instead, you should be challenging the body to increase its capacity, so that it is stronger and able to deal with stress more easily. How is this done? The fastest and most efficient way to rev up your metabolism, burn fat faster, and develop lifelong health and fitness is to add lean muscle to your body through resistance training – period.

You want life changing results in the quickest possible time? Get stronger and build some muscle. When you add lean muscle to your body you’ll be literally turning your body into a fat burning machine! Let’s say that you were eating the amount of calories that allow you to maintain your current bodyweight, but began to add lean muscle to your body through proper resistance training…you’ll need to use some of those calories you’re eating to feed the new muscle, creating a calorie deficit in your body. In addition, when you stimulate your body with proper resistance training, the repair and growth process will call upon your stored body fat for energy. This calorie deficit combined with the repair and growth process will allow you to burn fat all day long, every day. You’ll even get these fat burning effects when you’re sitting around doing nothing at all. Also, properly conducted resistance training actually increases your heart and lung’s capacity for work. By placing intense demands on your body, it is forced into being ready for anything you throw at it. This makes you more resistant to cardiovascular health problems that plague most people…even those that exercise with aerobics frequently.

And the beauty is that you don’t have to spend much time working out to get the fat loss effects, and strength and muscle gains that will create this environment…you can actually get it done with 2 or 3 weekly workouts that last between 20 and 30 minutes, and even less time at an advanced level.And it’s easy to make this type of exercise part of your life because of its efficiency…and it will help keep you lean and healthy for the rest of it…muscle is the stuff that fat burning furnaces are made of!

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