26Sep
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Keep the Course

There is a group of people rarely addressed in many articles. They are the group that have been in the journey for some time, but lost their way. I am one of those select few. I have struggled for what seems like many months. I have developed a few tips to get you back to losing weight again.

Water, Water, Water

I cannot stress enough. Water. I will not tell you to avoid diet soda, as I struggle with this daily but, I do try my best to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. As a whole, dehydration is a big problem in this country. Many of us, myself included, will eat instead of drinking. This results in overeating instead of remedying the original issue, dehydration. My advice is if you eel hungry; first try to drink a glass of water. Wait, a few minutes to see if you are still hungry, and you are then eat something light.

No Food After 8 PM

I struggle often with eating late. I am a writer, so my hours can be very irregular. If I am not able to write in the day, I will write in the evening or night. This leads to me eating at the computer. I noticed it the other day after eating 10 chewy cookies. Yes, no typo ten cookies before I even noticed I was eating them. So I have implemented a rule, no eating after 8 pm. I am on day three.

Live by the 80/20 Rules

This is a rule, I have based my whole weight loss journey on. I promise to myself to eat well, 80% of the time. I allow myself to mess up 20% of time. This not only helps the cravings but, helps the guilt when I slip and eat junk. I have noticed much of my failures are impractical ideals I placed on myself. I have come to a place, 2 years in my journey, I need a sense of realism. I have to be real with myself. I have to figure out how to eat for the rest of my life and be able to maintain it.

I am confident in these rules. They are the basics of all weight loss program. I believe that if you would live by these rules, while being active, you will see at least one pound loss per week. I will continue to work at my journey. I will attain my goals. My main goal to inspire myself by achieving things I never dreamed possible and inspire others to do the same. Reach within yourself. You are so much stronger than you ever dreamed of. To quote the famous Shaun T “Dig Deeper”.

23Sep
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The Truth About Cardio

Many women and men fall into this trap of killing yourself in the gym or outside doing heavy cardio. Many women admit to doing up to two hours of solid cardio yet always feeling fat. They claim to eat a balanced diet; however cardio alone was not enough to change their body. So what is the correct way to use cardio?

Everyone need some cardio.

Cardio is great for you. It works your heart and makes you feel great afterwords. Its no wonder that women get nearly addicted to cardio sessions. We all need cardiovascular exercise to help keep our bodies healthy and working well. Cardio helps release toxins from your skin and sweat glands. It is a great tool but, is almost useless without using strength training as well.

How often should you do cardio sessions?

The general recommendation is cardio sessions to be at the most of 20 minutes three times a day to get the most out of cardio sessions and weight training. There is a term in the fitness world for those who only participate in cardio sessions. It is skinny fat. This is because their muscles are not toned or enhanced by using weight resistance. When you weight train, you are able to sculpt your body to look toned, lean and firm.

High interval training is best

The two news cardio crazes are High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Cross-training. These allow you to get a workout, complete workout, in very little time. HIIT allows you to burn as high as 200 calories per 15 minutes depending on your weight. Most experts agree that short concentrated cardio sessions are best.

Cardio is great for you and is needed in order to stay healthy. However , too much of any exercise is not good for you. One must learn to balance their life evenly between a proper diet, cardio sessions, and strength training. When you get this figure out, the result is a toned, healthy, and fit body that you can be proud of.

19Sep
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I am Plateaued, WHY?

It happens to all losing weight. You are losing weight and suddenly, it stops. The scale may stay the same or even show a gain. You may be upset thinking, I am working hard, why would I gain? It is not time to panic, yet. It is however; time to look at your routines to see what you can change to start losing again.

Repeated Exercises

The body gets used to an exercise if you do it or longer than 6 weeks. This is why most of the exercises change ‘phases’ every few weeks. When your body gets used to the exercise, then you will no longer burn the same amount of calories. This applies to food as well. If you constantly eat the same foods, at some point, your body will not absorb the nutrients from the food. It is important to change your diet often.

Not eating enough or too much

This is dangerous zone. You must eat enough for to be able to feed your muscle growth. Not consuming enough is the number one cause for you to experience a plateau. Usually, it is enough to get out of the plateau to eat a few hundred more calories or not exercising as hard. This will get your body the signal to start burning fat again. At the time time, another reason for plateaus is eating too much. This is so easy to do. One reason this happens is because you don’t measure your foods. Studies have claimed people underestimate their calories by 500 and sometimes more. It is very important to measure, so the calories you log are accurate.

Over-Training

Overtraining is a big problem. Exercising to much puts unneeded stress on your body and signaling it to stop burning calories. It will also cause you to feel tired, lethargic, feel depressed, and maybe even injury yourself. The way to avoid over training is to exercise 5-6 times a week for one hour a time max. This will not put your body at risk for over training and will give you enough activity that you can burn enough calories to change your body.

Not Enough Sleep

Sleep is so important for all people from infants to elderly adults. It is especially important for those trying to lose weight. They need sleep to be able to build muscle and lose fat. In fact, studies have shown that those who have trouble with reoccurring plateaus may have the problem as a result of not getting enough rest. Experts’ advice all adults to aim to get from 7-10 hours of sleep each and every night.

Plateaus are very frustrating. Many times, you will feel like you don’t know why you are plateauing. Another reason it can be frustrating is you may be doing all the right things but still your weight does not change. If his happens the answer may be in the measuring tape. Measure your waist, arms, hips, and legs often so you know when there is a change. Plateaus do not last forever, if you experience one, hang in there, eat well, exercise and you will see a loss eventually.

Is Strength Training Right for You

Nowadays, you get to find people doing a lot of aerobics and cardio training just to keep them fit and equally maintain good health. Engaging in these activities for the sole purpose of staying fit and healthy is very good, but have you ever asked yourself if that is all it takes to stay healthy and still maintain a perfect body. Would these activities alone help you achieve that perfect body you are looking for? Do you think there could be something you are not doing? As an answer to these questions, results arrived from research conducted by health specialists have indicated that strength training is and should be a part of staying fit and staying healthy

Strength training helps you maintain your weight

This is one fact not too many people are aware of. When you engage in strength training, you gain muscles obviously, the muscle gain enables you have a much bigger body surface mass, which in turn makes you burn calories faster. In other words, you are able to lose more weight and control your added body mass when you do strength training.

Strength training increases your energy

Strength training helps you gain lean and toned muscles. The more your muscles are toned, the easier it will be for you to carry heavy loads and still maintain your balance. Your muscles are more compact after a normal workout, giving you a better stamina, which is always evident in your outward appearance.

It reduces the risk of sustaining injuries

When you engage in strength training coupled with other muscle toning exercises, your joints receive repetitive strain which helps them stay flexible. This way, you are more balanced, thereby reducing the risk of falling at the slightest push and sustaining unnecessary injuries.

Your bones get stronger

When you do a typical strength training workout or muscle building as the case may be, you give your bones the opportunity to increase in density. The continuous strain and stress laid upon the bones and muscles during strength training, helps to make the bones a lot stronger than normal. The more you do this, the more you reduce the possibility of increased dependence when you eventually become old.

The fact is strength training will compliment any exercise routine. It will help you attain your fitness goals faster and help you gain muscle tone. You will not appear to be just skinny or thin, you will look fit, toned, and let’s face it sexy.

29Aug
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What is Pilates?

Pilates is one of the most popular exercises in the World. Pilates was created by a man named Joseph Pilates. It seems like everywhere you turn, someone is doing it from seniors to teenagers. Many people have ideas what Pilates is but not many people know six Pilates principles.

Pilates is Adaptable

Pilates is great for beginners and advanced exercisers because it is fairly easy to modify the exercises. In fact, Pilate’s experts say all Pilate’s exercises were designed with a modification in mind. This makes Pilates a great one size fits all type exercise.

The Six Principles of Pilates

Concentration

You must concentrate on your movements at all times, making your movements smooth and fluid. The concentration aspect of Pilate is linked as a pain relief for those with back pain or Parkinson’s disease.

Control

Joseph Pilates referred to the control aspect of Pilates ‘Contrology”. Pilates works by controlling the smooth muscle movements. Pilates will teach you to work with your body not be at its mercy to be kind to you.

Centering

Centering is used very often in Pilates. In order to succeed in Pilates once must finding their center or powerhouse as many Pilates practicer refer to it as. The movements will then come from the center or powerhouse, out to the limbs. Many times the center will be the abdominal region.

Flow

Flow is the movement from the core to the extremities. The movements should be coordinated and smooth. Once the basic exercises are achieved, you would try an even more difficult exercise and master that one, and move to the next level.

Precision

Precision is the practice of doing Pilates correctly. In theory, if you would incorrectly do Pilates, it erases all the value of doing the exercise in the first place. For this reason, they recommend you complete the Pilates exercises slow, carefully watching your form.

Breathing

Breathing is the center component of Pilates. Pilate instructors teach their classes to breathe very deeply often using the terms ‘breathing from the back’. They will use breathing instruction with the exercises typical. Learning to breathe correctly will help improve the blood circulation.

Pilates is a well-rounded exercise that is fit for all, even pregnant women. If expecting, it is important to see the advice of your doctor and take a class from a professional who has experience with pregnant moms. Pilate can help you increase your flexibility, strength while increasing you’re your self- confidence in the process. Pilate will help your muscle feel stretched and relax your body. It is an amazing work out that is great for all to do either regularly or occasionally.

26Aug
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Cross Training

Cross training is the new in exercise. Everywhere you turn, it seems like someone is talking about going to a cross training class or developing their own routine. But, what is cross training exactly?
Cross training is very simple in principle and the exercise practice is not new. Cross training is essentially circuit training.

Circuit training, what’s that?

Circuit training is implementing different exercise routines in one exercise routine. One commonly will use martial arts, aerobics, or calisthenics in one routine. This method became very popular after the fitness gurus Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper developed the 3 2 1 method. They use three minutes of strength, two minutes of abdominal work, and one minute of cardiovascular exercise. One workout will consist of 4 to 8 circuits or rounds of this method.

Why it is popular

This method is so popular for a few reasons with the most common reason being it works. It creates muscle confusion. When it is no longer hard for you to complete, you can add heavier weight. This will create more resistance and stimulate more muscle growth. Another reason it is popular is it helps the exerciser not feel bored with the exercises. This is because it combines many different exercises in one short exercise. It will also allow you to have results much sooner than if you did not cross train or use circuit training.

How can I start

Starting is not difficult. The first step is to figure out which exercises you really like doing. If you are a big fan of martial arts then use kick boxing as part of your routine. Pushups, jumping jacks, and squats are a wonderful exercise to use as your cardio exercises. For the ab workout, you can complete crunches, bicycle crunches, or toe touches. Or if you do not wish to develop your own routine, you can buy a Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper DVD. They retail for around $10USD.

The fact is that it doesn’t matter what exercises you do, as long as you are active. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you take in. This can be done by using stairs instead of the elevator or walking instead of driving the car. Move your body more, and you will achieve your fitness goals. If strength training, it is also important not to use the scale as your only gauge. Since you will be add muscle to your body composition, experts advise you to use the tape measure to determine your body fat.

19Aug
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How to Develop a Circuit Training Workout

We’ve all wondered watching a exercise video, I could do that. You can and should develop your own routine. It will help you not be bored with your exercise and will help you develop exercises targeting the muscle groups you want to ficus on. So how do you do a circuit exercise?

Start with Warm up

First is the warm up. You probably should select 4 exercises to do in this routine and repeat them once. If following like Jillian Michaels warm up, she does each exercise for about 30 seconds repeating once. The point of the warm up is to warm up your muscles to avoid injury.

Exercises

The key points are to pick exercises you can do with ease even when tired. This workout will be from 20 to 60 minutes long so you will be tired and wanting it to be over in the end. So it must be simple yet effect exercises. Good exercises are crunches, bicycles crunches, reverse crunches, jumping rope, jumping jacks, push ups, and strength training.

Another tip is to go slow before going intense. What this means is to master the exercise in form before going at it hard and intense. Form is so important in exercise. If the form is not done correctly, you might as well not do it at all.

The last tip is keep it simple. If you keep things simple not just in exercise but in life you will have a better change at success. Circuit training does not need to be perform daily either. Doing it daily will increase the chance of being injured by not allowing yourself time to recover.

Circuit training is a great tool. It allows you to reduce the training time by cross training in strength and cardio at the same time in 30 to 60 minutes time. It can help define and sculpt your body in ways you never imagined. It is hard work. It is definitely a you reap what you sow type of work out routine.
Design your own exercises. Allow your self to work hard. Put your whole heart into the workout and see how your body will transform. The amazing part is when your body transforms, so will your emotional state. You will change from the inside, out.

Signs of Dehydration

The fact is according to most experts that most people are chronically dehydrated. In fact, they are so dehydrated that they do not realize how badly they need fluids until they are severely dehydrated. It is extremely helpful to know the symptoms so you can avoid a health crisis and hospital visit.

The First Signs( first 2% lost)

The most common first sign of dehydration is excessive thirst. Scientist claim that once you feel thirst, you have lost about two percent of your fluid. This is the reason they say once you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. You may also feel tired or fatigued, a head rush when standing, loss of appetite, chills and dry skin.

Moderate loss (5%)

if the person does not increase their fluid intake by water or other fluids, they will continue to go downhill. They will continue to have worsening symptoms. They will have a increased heart rate and respiration. They will sweat much less. They will be urinating much less if at all. They will have a increased body temperature. They will experience headaches and muscle cramps. They will be completely miserable.

Severe (10%)

This stage is often fatal. In this stage, one may lose consciousness. They will often hurt all over. They have loose skin from the loss of fluids. They will be confused when talking to you. Urination will be difficult and painful. Breathing will be painful and difficult. They may have vomiting with nausea.
Dehydration is preventable. Drink enough fluids outside if you need to be outside if it is hot. Stay inside if it is too hot. The signs of dehydration in a infant or elderly person will be much quicker than a young health person.

If a person exercises heavily, they can lose up to 100 ounces of water per hour. This usually is not a big deal as they will just drink water or other liquids after they exercise. People also lose up to 100 ounces per day through normal body functions throughout the day.

The recommendation for water needed per person is half their body weight or generally eight glasses of water a day. If someone is severely dehydrated, they should drink water slowly not to over load their body to quickly. If they drink to quickly, they can cause a electrolyte imbalance which is a emergency that needed to trip to the hospital.

22Jul
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Home workouts or Gym, Which is right for me?

Deciding whether to buy an at home workout or purchasing a gym membership will be dependent on your needs, personality, and fitness level. Some people need a gym to leave their home and the distractions to work out effectively. Others do better at home where they can feel comfortable in their own home without feeling like other people are looking at them. So what are your options?

Home workouts

There are so many home workouts. In fact, the exercise video industry is a multimillion dollar business. The most popular videos are P90x, Insanity, Tapout XT, Body Revolution, and the 30 Day Shred. These workouts will offer a  total body workout. P90x is a weight lifting and cardio based program that promises you can get in amazing shape in as little as 90 days. Most people who use these programs when combined with a low calories and natural whole foods diet will see great results.

Gym Workouts

Gym workouts are good for those who do not do as well on their own. They often have classes one can join or you can use the equipment.  The weights are very popular attraction to the gym. Some like to run on the treadmill. They also have experts to help you along the way in the form of a personal trainer or nutritionist. This is so helpful if you know what part of your body you would like to tone or if you run into problems with your nutrition.

Celebrity trainers agree that the best time and work out is the one you will end up completing. If all one can fit in their busy life is 20 minutes, complete 20 minutes. Life can get in the way of exercising and fitness goals but only if you allow it too. Make yourself a priority. Explain to your family, working out is your time and not to disturb you. The family and work can do without your attention for twenty to thirty minutes  a few times a week. The result will be you feeling refreshed and able to be a better friend, wife, mother, husband or father. You will be healthier in mind, body, and emotional state. If you continue to live by ignoring your needs for others, your health  and body will suffer the price. Bottom line is it doesn’t matter if you workout at home or at the gym, as long as you do the workout out. The best method for you, is the one you will complete.

18Jul
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Swimming

Swimming is a great exercise. It is often recommended to those who need to lose a lot of extra weight because the water is kind to the joints. It is virtually a zero impact sport. Even a person who is very obese can swim and even jog in the water. The bonus to swimming is that it burned a lot of calories even if you are just horsing around with friends or your kids.

Freestyle

Everyone loves to swim. Kids, adults, babies all love the water. A good exercise to start is freestyle swimming. This is one of the most common forms of swimming. They also refer to this method as front crawl. It is common in swimming long distance. The reason it is called freestyle is the swimmer has freedom to choose the style they swim.

Water Jogging

Water jogging is much easier to do than jogging on a treadmill or outside. It has no impact on your shins and legs. The bonus is this exercise will burn a bunch of calories. This exercise is great high intensity interval training (HIIT). To complete a HIIT exercise with water jogging, you would sprint for 30-45 seconds, then rest 30 seconds. Repeat the process 20 times to get a complete workout.

Leisurely Swimming

This is also a great exercise, without feeling tired or out of breath. This exercise is just playing in the water with the kids or doing back flips. It includes walking around the pool holding your baby. You may not realize how many calories you can burn just by throwing your kids in the water or diving off the diving board for an hour or so. It is an excellent form of exercise

The bonus to exercising outside is you receive vitamin D from the sun at the same time. Working out outside is also a great place to clear your head from all the distractions of daily life. It can be a great exercise to be able to be without your family as well. Swimmers are known for their muscular build, lean physique, and endurance. Swimming is also a great way to break up your normal workout routine while getting Cardio at the same time. It is a win win for exercise and getting a break from hard exercise.