September 19, 2013 | Filed Under Exercise | No Comments
Taking sleeping pills is one of the most common ways to battle insomnia, but there is a much safer and more effective way to promote a healthy sleep cycle: aerobic exercise.
Millions of adults suffer from sleep problems, but making aerobic exercise part of their regular schedule can improve their mood, vitality and quality of sleep.
Researchers at Northwestern University studied over 20 sedentary adults who reported impaired daytime functioning coupled with trouble falling asleep or maintaining sleep. Researchers split the group in two, one of which exercised four times each week for two 20-minute sessions. The other group exercised for 30 to 40 minutes four times each week.
Both groups maintained their workout schedules for four months, and participants walked, ran on a treadmill and rode stationary bikes until they reached 75 percent of their maximum heart rate.
A control group mentally exerted themselves for about 45 minutes up to five times a week by doing educational or recreational activities, but they did not exercise physically.
The participants who regularly exercised reported sleeping better and experienced less daytime sleepiness. With better sleep, the participants felt more vitality during the day and less depression overall.
This is great news for people who suffer from insomnia. If using fitness grips or weight training gloves can help them fall asleep, these people can avoid the side effects caused by many sleep medications.
This natural cure is part of an overall healthy lifestyle, and aerobic exercise is an easy strategy that may help people sleep better. When sleep improves, people feel better both physically and mentally. People who don’t sleep well are far more likely to develop depression, diabetes, hypertension and other health problems. Exercise is also beneficial for weight management, metabolism and heart health. These are just some of the reasons to use your workout grips every day!
Does exercise help you sleep better at night?
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August 26, 2013 | Filed Under Exercise, Workout Routines | No Comments
In a perfect world, everyone would have at an hour each day to devote to fitness. Unfortunately, in the real world, it seems like 24 hours a day is just not enough to fit in work, family, social obligations and fitness. If you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, follow this guide to sneak exercise into your busy schedule.
Set Your Alarm Early
Reset your sleep schedule so you can wake up earlier and use your gym grips or fitness gloves first thing in the morning. You’ll cross it off your list before anything else can get in the way. If you have trouble waking early, sleep in your workout clothes and leave your fitness gloves right next to the bed.
Workout on Your Commute
Take public transportation to the office, then stuff all your essentials, like your phone, keys, credit card and phone, into a fanny pack and jog, walk, run or bike home from work. If your commute is too long for one session, make it shorter by taking the bus halfway and sweating it out the rest.
Schedule a Lunch Break Workout
Bring your gym grips to work with you and keep a set of free weights under your desk. Working out during your mid-day break will keep your waistline slim and even boost your productivity in the afternoon!
Take the Kids Along
If you have a young brood, finding time to workout may seem impossible, but it is easy if you bring the kids with you! Play with the kids at the park, go for a family bike ride or strap them into a jogging stroller and hit the road.
How do you fit exercise into your busy schedule? Share your best tips for sneaking in a workout with our readers in the comments below!
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June 28, 2013 | Filed Under Exercise | No Comments
Stretching is one of the keys to increase spinal strength and flexibility. Including these exercises in your regular workout can reduce your chances of injury while preventing lower back pain, so grab your training gloves and start stretching!
Prone Press Ups
Lay on your stomach with your palms flat on the floor and elbows bent. Using your arms, lift your upper torso off the floor, but keep your pelvis and hips on the floor. Go as high up as you can while still feeling comfortable, then hold the pose for ten seconds. Do ten reps, working your way up to holding the pose for as long as 30 seconds.
Knee to Chest
Lay on your back and slowly bring one knee towards your chest. Place your hands on your knee to pull it in further. Hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds, then switch knees. Complete two to three reps on each knee.
Stretch your lower back muscles with this popular yoga pose. Rest your hands and knees on the floor, then sit back so your heels and buttocks are connected. Slowly stretch your hands out forward until you feel a stretching sensation in your middle back. To focus on either side of your spine, reach your hands to the opposite side. Hold this stretch for up to 30 seconds, and complete two to three reps.
Angry Cat Stretch
Although it has a silly name, this is a serious stretch. Put your fitness gloves on to prevent slipping, then place both your knees and hands on the floor. Allow your stomach to sag toward the floor to boost extension through the spine. Hold the stretch for up to 20 seconds and repeat five times.
What are your go-to spine stretches? Share your favorites in the comments below!
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June 6, 2013 | Filed Under Exercise | No Comments
A strong, well-developed back improves your posture and gives you the strength you need to perform everyday tasks that require pulling. If you want a ripped, strong back, grab your fitness grips and follow this two-day workout routine to get results.
This workout focuses on building strength and size, so don’t be afraid to use heavier weights. Complete three sets of the following exercises, resting for one minute in between sets.
Start by doing six to eight one-arm dumbbell rows per arm. This power move emphasizes the entire lat, the trap muscles and the upper back.
Next, do eight to ten one-arm straight-arm lat pull-downs per arm. This isolation exercise will give you that elusive V-taper and build up your lats.
After resting for one minute, do eight to ten reps of reverse wide-grip lat pull-downs. Use your core for support to really work your lats.
Finish with eight reps of seated wide-grip cable rows, taking caution not to bounce or pause at the bottom of the lift.
Give your muscles and your workout gloves a rest for two or three days, then move on to workout two.
You will do the same exercises during this workout as you did in workout one, but the increase in reps creates a focus on building endurance.
Start with 12 reps of reverse wide-grip lat pull-downs. Do three sets, resting for 45 seconds to one minute in between.
Next, complete 12 reps of alternating one-arm dumbbell rows per arm. Do two sets without resting in between.
Move onto 12 reps of seated wide-grip cable rows. Do three reps, then rest for up to one minute.
Finish the workout with 12 reps of alternative one-arm straight-arm lat pull-downs per arm. Do two sets, then pat yourself on the back. You deserve it!
What are your favorite back exercises? Share your most effective routine with our readers in the comments below!
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May 23, 2013 | Filed Under Exercise | No Comments
As you get older, you may notice some extra pounds that were not there a few years ago. Putting on excess weight with age is common, but it is not an inevitable part of the aging process. In your 50s and beyond, you burn fewer calories, your metabolism slows and your muscle mass decreases, but there is plenty you can do to prevent gaining weight.
Create Healthy Eating Habits
Eating healthy is important at any age, but it is especially essential for people in their 50s. To take control of your eating habits and lose weight, think in terms of moderation, not elimination. Occasionally indulge in your favorite foods, but make them a treat instead of a focal point of your diet.
- Listen to your body’s cues and eat balanced meals and snacks when you are hungry to avoid out-of-control eating later.
- Learn the proper portions for foods and measure it out until you can judge them accurately.
- Instead of focusing on counting calories, concentrate on making healthier food choices. Instead of sweets for dessert, switch to fresh fruits. Skip soda in favor of sipping on water or homemade flavored water, and choose whole-grain products instead of those made from refined flour.
You will need your fitness grips and workout gloves to get fit at any age. Physical activity is always a part of long-term weight loss.
- Get started slowly by sitting instead of standing, walking instead of driving or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. These small changes make movement a bigger part of your life, and every step you take adds up when it comes to weight loss.
- To reap the most health benefits, add variety to your workout routine. Do aerobic exercise to build your endurance, use your workout gloves for strength training and do exercises that improve your flexibility.
- Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Your 50s are a great time to start a new healthy activity, like swimming, walking or playing a team sport.
Share your best tips for staying fit in your 50s with our readers in the comments section below!
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April 15, 2013 | Filed Under Exercise | No Comments
Increasing your flexibility means reducing your risk of injury and boosting your performance. When we talk about flexibility, we talk about the range of motions your joints have and how far a muscle group can stretch. Improving both of these factors helps you work out more safely and effectively, and you can increase your flexibility with these simple exercises. Do them before and after you use your workout grips to stay safe and feel your best!
- Plié Reach
This move stretches your outer and inner thighs, back, arms and shoulders. Stand with your feet wider than your shoulders, turn your toes out and gently raise your arms above your head. Next, lower your arms in front of you as you squat deeply. Bring your elbows to your knees with your palms facing forward. Raise your right arm, then twist in the opposite direction as you raise your left arm. Return to the starting position, and do eight reps before you grab your fitness gloves.
- Low Lunge
Stretch your back, leg and butt muscles with this dynamic exercise. Lunge forward with your right leg until the floor and your thigh are parallel. Place both of your hands flat on the floor on either side of your right foot. Rotate your right shoulder back as you stretch your right arm up toward the ceiling. Slowly bring your hand back to the starting position, then repeat on the other side.
- Wrap Around
Great for the neck and shoulders, this exercise is particularly great for after a tough workout with your fitness gloves. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Reach your left arm behind your back, then clasp your hands as you pull your right elbow back. Gently draw your shoulder blades together, then circle your head slowly. Repeat this exercise eight times to increase flexibility and finish off your workout.
What are your favorite flexibility-boosting moves? Tell us your secrets for getting limber in the comments section below!
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March 21, 2013 | Filed Under Exercise | No Comments
Continuing a regular exercise routine during pregnancy can help you feel your best, stay healthy, improve your posture and reduce common discomforts, such as fatigue and backaches. Staying active even helps prevent gestational diabetes, builds the stamina needed for labor and delivery and relieves stress.
If you were using your fitness grips and working out regularly before your pregnancy, continue using your gym gloves in moderation. Stick with a routine that is comfortable for you instead of trying to work out at your former level. Go for low impact aerobics, for example, instead of high impact.
If exercise was not a regular part of your life before you became pregnant, now is a great time to start. Being fit is a major bonus when it comes to labor and delivery, and staying active will help you throughout your pregnancy. Before you start an exercise program, consult with your health care provider and avoid jumping into new strenuous activities.
What exercises are safe?
Most exercises are safe as long as you use caution and don’t overdo it. The best activities for pregnant women include low-impact aerobics, brisk walking, swimming, step or elliptical machines and indoor stationary cycling because these activities benefit the whole body and carry little risk of injury. Strength training is also safe during pregnancy, so don’t be afraid to grab your gym gloves and continue to tone your muscles.
What exercises should be avoided?
The following activities and exercises should be avoided while pregnant:
- Exercising in hot, humid weather
- Bouncing while stretching
- Heavy spurts of exercise followed by long periods of no activity
- Activities in which falling is likely, like horseback riding or skiing
- Activities that require extensive running, jumping, bouncing, hopping or skipping
- Exercises that require rapid changes in direction or jarring motions
- Contact sports, including volleyball, softball, basketball and football
How do you stay fit while pregnant? Share your best pre-baby workout advice in the comments below!
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March 18, 2013 | Filed Under Exercise | No Comments
Our bodies are designed for movement, not sitting at a desk for eight or twelve hours a day. Even if your desk or chair is ergonomically-designed, sitting for extended periods causes headaches, back pains, listlessness and even a drop in productivity. The lack of movement can also attribute to weight gain, but an office job does not have to lead to these pitfalls. Fight them by grabbing your fitness gloves and doing these simple exercises to shape up during the work day.
- One-Minute Aerobics
On your next break, spend a minute doing heart-pumping jumping jacks, running in place, simulating jumping rope, pumping your arms over your head or shadow boxing. You can even do walk-lunges in a vacant room or your office, or hit the stairs and take them two at a time.
Do these exercises five to seven times a day to improve your heart rate variability, decrease your risk of heart disease, and lengthen your life span.
- Build Strength
Pack your fitness gloves in your briefcase and build muscle while at work with these ideas.
- Work your chest and shoulders by placing both of your hands on the arms of your chair and slowly lifting your butt off the seat. Lower yourself back down slowly, stopping short of the seat. Hold the position for a few seconds, then repeat for 15 reps.
- If your desk is solid, do 15 push-ups off it when you have a break between meetings.
- While waiting for faxes to print or web pages to load, do one-legged squats.
- When a caller puts you on hold, do leg extensions while sitting in your chair. Lift one leg straight out, hold the position for 2 seconds then lower it to just above the floor. Repeat on each leg 15 times.
Do you bring your weightlifting gloves to the office? How do you stay in shape behind your desk? Share your favorite workplace workouts in the comments below!
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March 6, 2013 | Filed Under Exercise | No Comments
On the surface, belly fat does not seem so complicated. If your idea of working out is just thinking about using your gym gloves someday and stuffing yourself with fried mozzarella sticks and ice cream today, your belly will eventually start growing just like any part of your body. That’s simple, right?
Wrong. Scientists now know that belly fat is widely misunderstood and strangely complex. In fact, your overstretched shirt and the big belly that causes it can be strong warning signs for potential health problems, like diabetes and heart disease.
When to Worry About Belly Fat
Not all belly fat is created equal. The subcutaneous fat that lies directly under the skin may stretch out your jeans and weigh you down, but it is not particularly hazardous to your health.
The dangerous stuff is the fat that wraps around the internal organs. This visceral fat is especially risky because it may cause harmful inflammation and is linked to cardiovascular problems and diabetes.
What to Do About It
The only proven formula for getting rid of both subcutaneous fat and visceral fat is to get more exercise and cut calories. As you use exercise and diet to slim down, your visceral fat will actually disappear twice as fast as the subcutaneous fat.
Trim the fat through vigorous aerobic exercise for at least half an hour, four times a week. Use your weight lifting gloves to build strength, and try a fiber-rich, well-balanced diet to build up less visceral fat over time. Stay hydrated, get the right amount of shut eye and avoid stress as much as you can to flatten your belly and reduce your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
Are you worried about stubborn belly fat? What is your plan for blasting it away? Let us know in the comments below!
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February 27, 2013 | Filed Under Exercise | No Comments
You already know the basics of breathing for stress relief, but the second part in this series includes even more exercises to banish stress and relax both your mind and body. Read on to discover how you can breathe your stress away!
- Humming Exercise
Take deep breaths, then make a humming sound as you exhale slowly. Make the sound for as long as you can, then pull your stomach muscles in and eke out a few more seconds. Relax, then repeat for two to three minutes.
- Chinese Breath Exercise
This exercise reduces stress and opens up your body. Do it before grabbing your crossfit gloves to prep yourself for a workout. Take three short inhales through your nose, but don’t exhale. On the first inhale, lift your arms until they are straight out in front of your body at shoulder height. On the second breath, open your arms straight to your sides, keeping them at shoulder height. On the third and final inhalation, lift your arms straight over your head. Finally, exhale through your mouth and relax your arms back down at your sides.
- Concentration Breathing
To take your focus off whatever is stressing you out, try this exercise that increases concentration and focus. Sit in a comfortable position with your head slightly forward and your spine straight. Close your eyes, take a few quiet and slow deep breaths. As you exhale, count “one” to yourself. On the next exhalation, count “two.” Continue inhaling and exhaling until you reach “five,” then begin a new cycle again with “one.” When you find yourself counting up to eight, twenty or even forty, you will know your attention has wandered. Use this exercise for ten minutes after a tough workout with your training grips to decompress and de-stress.
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February 11, 2013 | Filed Under Exercise | No Comments
Many people relax at the end of a stressful day by zoning out in front of the television, but this actually does little to reduce the harmful effects of stress. To really combat stress, you need to trigger the body’s natural relaxation response. One of the best ways to do this is by practicing deep breathing. These exercises are easy to learn, can be done nearly anywhere and provide a fast way to reduce your stress levels. They are a great way to begin your day as soon as you wake to center yourself or to support you through a tough workout.
- Deep Breathing MeditationThe key to reducing stress is to breathe deeply from your abdomen, also called the diaphragm. Fill your lungs with as much fresh air as possible. Inhale more oxygen by breathing from your core instead of taking short breaths from your upper chest. The more oxygen you get, the less short of breath, tense, anxious and stressed you will feel.Deep breathing takes a little bit of practice to master. Start by sitting in a comfortable position with your back straight. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Breathe in slowly through your nose. As you inhale, the hand on your chest should only move a little, but the hand on your stomach should rise more.
Exhale through your mouth while contracting your abdominal muscles. Once again, the hand on your stomach should move more than the one on your chest. Keep inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth until you feel stress-free.
*If you find breathing from your core/diaphragm difficult, lay on your back and you will automatically breathe the correct way. Get the feel of it, and eventually work your way to sitting or standing while keeping the breath in the same place.
- Slow Breathing MeditationIf you cannot exercise your stress away, put aside your crossfit glovesfor another time and practice this breathing meditation.Using the same technique as above, breathe deeply. Close your eyes and focus only on your breathing. Forget all the stress in your life and just concentrate on inhaling and exhaling. To stay focused, count your breaths. Start by counting three seconds on the inhale, and three seconds on the exhale. Then count 4 seconds on the inhale and four on the exhale. Work your way up to more seconds with each breath. This not only strengthens the lungs, but helps you focus on breath alone.
Soon, you will be so relaxed you will have to remind yourself to grab your workout gloves and hit the gym!
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January 31, 2013 | Filed Under Exercise, Workouts | No Comments
You have been great about sticking to your exercise routine, rarely missing a day. Then, suddenly, you are thrown off by the flu or a cold. What should you do? Trade the treadmill for the couch or nap through your afternoon Pilates class? The answer depends on what ails you.
If you have a fever…
Stay home. Exercising raises your internal body temperature, and working out with a fever can make you feel even sicker. If the mercury reads over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, don’t even think about reaching for your gym gloves.
If it is just a little sniffle…
Go for it. Listen to your body and stop working out if you feel like you are getting worse, but don’t be afraid to grab your weightlifting gloves and sweat a little. Tune the intensity down a bit or do a lighter, regenerating workout like Pilates or yoga.
If your symptoms are above the neck…
It is fine to exercise. If you are suffering from nasal congestion, tearing eyes, a sore throat and sneezing, it should be ok to workout.
If your symptoms are below the neck…
Stay in bed. If you experience fatigue, body aches, coughing and aching around your body, rest and drink lots of water until you feel better. The cold should be completely gone in about a week.
If you do hit the gym…
Avoid spreading your germs to others by using your GRIPAD weightlifting gloves, and a towel to wipe down every surface you may have touched while not wearing them. Wash your hands before and after you touch any equipment and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer to keep extra clean.
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January 17, 2013 | Filed Under Exercise | No Comments
Strong shoulders are a key component of overall fitness. Developing your shoulder muscles helps with many other exercises, including pull ups and bench presses, and helps you prevent injuries when doing heavy lifting. These weightlifting exercises show you how to get strong, toned shoulders, so grab your weightlifting gloves and start lifting today.
- Hang Clean and Press
The ultimate shoulder exercise, the hang clean and press, combines standard and Olympic lifting while developing speed, power and strength. Load weight on a standard Olympic barbell, then deadlift the weight into a standing position, letting the bar rest against your thighs. Next, lower the bar to just above your knees, bending at the waist and knees for support. The hang clean comes next: extend your ankles, flex your traps and knees and bring the bar to a straight line in front of your body until it is level with your shoulders. Rotate your elbows under the bar, catching it on the front of your upward-facing palms, shoulders and chest. Bend your knees slightly and press the bar up to full extension. Lower the bar back to your shoulders, then complete the rep by dropping it back down to your thighs.
- Front Raises
This exercise targets the front deltoids but involves other parts of the shoulders as well. Hold light to medium weights with your arms straight down and palms facing the thighs. Keeping the elbows slightly bent, slowly lift your arms up to shoulder level. Exhale and slowly lower the weight back down. Repeat this move for one to three sets of 12 to 16 repetitions.
- Side Raises
The key to doing this exercise correctly is to bend the elbows slightly but keep them pointing toward the back of the room. Start by sitting or standing with light to medium weights at your sides. Lift your arms out to the sides until the weights are at shoulder level. Slowly lower the weights back down and repeat for one to three sets of 10 to 16 reps.
Don’t forget to use gym gloves when lifting to prevent injury and stay comfortable throughout your entire workout!
January 2, 2013 | Filed Under Exercise | No Comments
Everyone knows that physical exercise is one of the keys to getting a healthy body, but working out is also essential for good mental health. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression or just feeling extra stressed, exercise may be the last thing on your mind, but also the best thing for it. Once you get motivated, physical exercise can make a big difference on your mental health, so grab your GRIPAD workout gloves and get moving!
How does exercise improve mental health?
- When you work out, your brain releases endorphins and neurotransmitters, chemicals that make you feel good. These chemicals trigger positive feelings in the body, like that euphoric feeling you get after a long run or tough workout.
- Exercise also reduces chemicals released by the immune system that can worsen depression.
- Working out increases your body temperature, which can have a calming effect on the body.
- Getting in shape and meeting physical challenges boosts your self-confidence.
- Exercise is a great distraction from negative thoughts and stressors. Instead of feeding anxiety and depression, change your outlook by focusing on your workout.
- Working out also is a great opportunity for social interaction. To boost your mood, smile at your neighbors while you jog around your neighborhood, join a friendly softball league or make a new workout buddy at the gym. These social relationships can boost your mental health while you get fit.
Exercising is a positive way to manage stress, depression and anxiety. Instead of worsening your symptoms by drinking, dwelling on your problem or hoping they will just go away, grab your GRIPAD gym gloves and relieve stress in a healthier way.
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November 20, 2012 | Filed Under Exercise, Healthy Lifestyle, Stretching, Tips for Beginners, Workout Tips, Workouts | No Comments
Learn how to keep injuries at bay while working out.
While working out in the gym can help you get in better shape, doing the wrong things can inevitably lead to unwanted injuries. Since no one wants to get hurt while trying to tone their thighs, flatten their belly or build muscle, you need to know the most common ways you can injure yourself so that you can effectively prevent making these mistakes. So, what are the easiest ways to turn your healthy workout into a disaster? Here are some of them:
- Skipping your warm up. It may be tempting to skip the warm up part of your routine and dive head-on into your workout, especially when you’re pressed for time. Well, to tell you the truth, you are putting yourself in harm’s way if you choose to do this. Keep in mind that warm up exercises are there for a reason. They work by preparing your mind and body for the task ahead and by improving the elasticity of your muscles to prevent injuries. This is what a healthy workout is all about.
- Not using the proper form. Using bad form not only compromises your workout, it also puts you at a greater risk for injury. So, whether you are doing cardio workouts or weight training exercises, you need to use the proper form at all times. When lifting weights, keep your back straight when bending at the hips, don’t lock the joints or bend your knees excessively, and keep your head and neck as still as possible. Also, consider using proper fitness gloves since they provide additional comfort as you perform these muscle building exercises.
- Going past your limit. To get the most benefits from a healthy workout, you need to know your limits. Don’t try to make up for lost time by overexerting yourself. This won’t do you any good and may cause harmful strain to muscles and tendons that can lead to pulls, tears, or snaps, not to mention dehydration and nutrient deficiencies.
- Lifting excessively heavy weights. This can increase your risk of straining your muscles and/or injuring your back, shoulders and knees. Weight training is not a sprint, but rather a marathon. You need to work your way up to heavier weights in a gradual manner to build true strength and endurance.
- Doing the same routine. Doing the same exercises over and over again can lead to overuse injury so consider varying your workout. Try to modify your moves, or work only certain muscle on alternate days, or revamp your total workout routine. Not only will it prevent boredom, but also prevent overuse injuries.
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October 19, 2012 | Filed Under Exercise | No Comments
The body engages in different metabolic processes throughout the day, and with each shift, we convert energy into motion in different ways. For example, when we move from a state of calm rest to sudden intense activity that lasts only a few seconds, this activity is typically fueled by glucose in the blood or glycogen stored directly in our muscles. For longer, sustained activity at a moderate level, the body usually relies on glycogen stored in the liver.
So what kind of activity helps us draw energy from our stored deposits of body fat? If we’re looking for fat loss workouts that can attack fat reserves, break them down, and burn them away, what kinds of exercises should we be taking on?
The Heart Rate and Fat Loss Workouts
One muscle controls fat burning activity more than any other muscle in the body: the heart. As the heart rate rises and falls, we shift fuel sources from glucose, to glycogen, to fat (and eventually to other things like protein, but only under extreme conditions.) Fat is burned most efficiently when we enter a specific zone between 40 and 65 percent of our maximum heart rate. This is called the “fat burning zone”, and weight loss happens most efficiently when we enter this zone and stay here for as long as possible.
To measure your maximum heart rate, complete several minutes of intense activity, and then count your pulse beats for six seconds and multiply that number by ten. We can’t keep our hearts at the maximum rate for more than a minute or so at a time, but we can enter the 40 to 65 percent zone and stay there for sustained periods. Optimal weight loss happens when we keep our hearts at this level, dropping below only for quick rest periods.
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August 20, 2012 | Filed Under Exercise | No Comments
Personal trainers are often approached by clients asking a variant of this common question: “How can I get muscles that are both large and also strong, and how can I get them fast? I want quick muscle building exercises that will make me huge by next week!” The truth is effective muscle building doesn’t happen overnight. Strong, healthy muscle growth takes time and patience. And while shortcuts are available in the form of chemical supplements and dangerous lifting techniques, these approaches don’t usually lead to happy endings.
In addition, muscle growth can take different forms depending on your goals. Before you decide on a training regimen, or a program of muscle building exercises, stop for a moment and clarify your exact goals. Do you want large bulky muscles? Certain lifting methods can help you bulk up fast, but you won’t get the strength and pure power that result from other routes. Do you want strength, agility, and better sports performance? If so, your workouts will probably focus on reps rather than weight, and you won’t get the huge size that comes from bulkier burn-down or drop-set methods.
And if you want big muscles that are also strong, and you want them right now, this week, with no unpleasant medical consequences, you may be out of luck. The path to a healthy, sculpted body is long and requires focus, hard work, and determination, but is the most rewarding in the end.
The streamlined muscular body you’re looking for isn’t out of reach, but you may have to decide what you’re willing to sacrifice in order to get where you need to be. A personal trainer can help you draft a plan that will keep you on track. Meanwhile, join a gym and sign up for a few lifting classes. Or just strap on your sneakers and Gripads and pick up the nearest set of weights. Your long journey begins with a single lift!
April 2, 2012 | Filed Under Exercise, Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments
Plenty of anecdotal evidence exists to support the claim that exercise can help reduce anxiety and some forms of depression. Those of us who have been working out for years don’t need to be told that exercise feels great, and most of us have seen how a good workout can put the challenges of a difficult day into perspective.
But careful scientific studies (like this one: http://www.fitness.gov/mentalhealth.htm) provide more proof of what we already know about exercise and mental health. Here are a few key take-home messages:
- All forms of exercise offer a great way to reduce feelings of anxiety and gloom. The reasons are partly physical, since a workout stimulates blood flow and oxygen delivery to cells. But they’re also emotional, since working out offers a change of perspective, a chance to step out of our regular routine, and a healthy distraction as we shift gears from one set of challenges (mental or emotional) to another (physical).
- Weight training is great for mood and mental health, but aerobic activity may offer even more pronounced benefits. To get the most out your workout, make sure you blend cardio exercises with weight training and resistance moves.
- Exercise may have bigger mood boosting effects for those who face bigger challenges. In other words, the positive benefits increase among those with higher anxiety at the starting point.
- Sleep, exercise and mental health go hand in hand. You can get the benefits of any two, but you won’t fully get where you need to be without the third. To make the most of your workout, get plenty of sleep. To boost your mental health and feelings of well-being, get plenty of sleep and plenty of workout time. Don’t cut corners. Take care of yourself in all three of these areas so you can keep your life on track and take care of those who depend on you.
January 12, 2012 | Filed Under Exercise, Workout Tips | No Comments
Most bodybuilders avoid running like the plague. Running, some gurus point out, is a waste of time for serious bodybuilders. And if anyone does run, it is only done for a few weeks before a contest. You can see why lifters are wary of running – long-distance runners are usually quite thin. That is, you don’t see too many buff marathon runners. However, it is also true that the idea of notmixing running with weight training needs to be re-examined.
Running, it turns out, can be beneficial for bodybuilders and weight lifters, and there are a few good reasons why some running should be included in a training program.
Quicker recuperation is a vital element in building up muscles, and aerobic fitness produces this effective recovery better than anything else. The more efficient you can make your oxygen use process, the quicker your recovery. Running is a key aerobic exercise, an exercise that some consider the very best of all the aerobic exercises. Running really improves the efficiency of the body’s recovery process and it also has another superb benefit – burning off body fat.
Running is one of the most effective calorie burning exercises around. A bodybuilder that weighs 200-lbs. will burn about 1,229 calories for every 60 minutes he/she runs at a pace of 8 mph. This means that a 200-lb. lifter, as long as he consumes an appropriate number of calories per day, will create a 3,687 deficit and thus cut approximately 1 lb. of body fat every three 60-minute running sessions.
Running is a perfect tool for enhancing recovery, speeding up the metabolism, and all this without cutting into muscle size. Of course, it is important to remember that you are not trying to become a marathon runner. A session or two a week (with some middle-distance running and sprinting) will be enough to bring about the desired results.
December 28, 2011 | Filed Under Exercise, Workout Routines | No Comments
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No matter how great your results may be and how many benefits your workout provides for your health, your emotional outlook, your body and your social life, you may reach a point at which it’s time to make a change. Keep an eye out for some common signs. If you notice any of these things taking place, it may be time to take action before you start losing interest in your workout or compromising your results by phoning it in.
1. You don’t look forward to your workout like you used to. If you’re not looking forward to your gym time each day, and you’re starting to come up with a long list of valid reasons to skip it, stop and take a closer look. Working out shouldn’t be a passing interest or a temporary phase—It should be a regular, long term aspect of a healthy lifestyle. If the gym is starting to become a drag, ask yourself why. Is it too far away from where you work or live? Are your monthly fees too high? Is the social scene becoming a problem? Maybe it’s time to look for a new gym. Find a new venue. Don’t just stop.
2. You’re experiencing pain or inconvenience. Do you have an aching joint that’s subtly sapping your motivation? Are your hands getting blisters? Change your gear, or start working out with Gripads. Have any nagging pain, no matter how minor, looked at by a doctor. Do whatever you need to do to, but don’t give up your exercise routine altogether.
3. You’re bored. If you go through the same repetitive motions and use the same machines for the same number of reps during every session and you’ve been keeping this up for months or years, then it’s natural to start feeling like you have better things to do. Talk to a trainer, or sign yourself up for a fitness class. A class in yoga, spinning or martial arts can help you learn new skills, meet new people and maintain your interest.