June 08th, 2015
Benefits of Exercise
What is exercise? Exercise is defined as planned, structured, and repetitive bodily movement
done to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness. How important is
exercise? Researchers have found that there is irrefutable evidence of the effectiveness of regular
physical activity in the primary and secondary prevention of several chronic diseases. Exercise
has been shown to reduce the onset of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension,
obesity, depression, osteoporosis, and premature death.
Undoubtedly it is most tedious to begin an exercise regimen. Here are some ways you can stay
motivated to complete your workout:
1. A lot of people would love to enjoy the benefits of a good workout but they fail to
because they are no motivated. Set goals. Start with simple goals and then progress to
longer range goals Pick an exercise and gradually increase workout frequency. If you
have been physically inactive for the past few months or longer, the frequency, intensity,
and time of your exercise sessions should be at the minimum. The body stores
carbohydrates as glycogen primarily in the muscles and liver and then uses this stored
glycogen for energy when you are physically active. Fats are also an important source of
energy, packing more than double the energy per gram of carbohydrates.
2. Be sure to vary your type of exercise. It's also important to reevaluate your overall goal
and plan to make sure it is actually achievable.
3. Make it fun. Find sports or activities that you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep you
your interest level up. Like dancing, a fun workout that burns just as much calories as
any other exercise.
4. Make physical activity part of your daily routine. If it's hard to find time for exercise,
don't fall back on excuses. Make everyday count as training. Going to the gym is not for everyone; not all of us can endure a tedious, boring and confusing workout in the gym. Some of us live for the spunk and there are countless other options that offer a fun interesting way to remain healthy. So don’t let that be your excuse for not exercising.
May 18th, 2015
Doing an actual warm-up and stretching are complete opposites, and often you may mistake the two for the same thing. But, truth is stretching before a workout or any physical activity at hand helps with flexibility, and improves your range of motion. Stretching should not be done alone as a warm-up. On the contrary, the goal of any warm up is to improve your performance and reduce the risk of injuries. An injury is the last thing you wish to occur right as you’re getting your body up to speed for a particular event, and by skipping the warm-up process and relying on stretching to do the job, your posing a threat to your body. Although you may overlook this many times, a good warm-up before any workout or sport, allows for the increase of body temperature and blood flow, and is key in getting your body prepared for the intense activity that you are about to do. Of course, most of us can attest to the fact that we should stretch before a workout to get loose, as there is value in stretching. This does not mean that we should focus on stretching alone, and forget the warm-up process, which is essential to the activity you are about to do. I’ve had many people tell me that they don’t need to warm-up, but in fact, studies have shown that stretching before an activity does nothing for the reduction of injuries. Injuries tend to occur during the normal range of motion and are not preventable through stretching. Take for example, during sprinting, an injury may occur when the muscle is stretched beyond its capacity or challenged with a certain load, and not because you have stretched before the workout makes it preventable. Warm-up exercises are a crucial aspect to any sport that you may indulge in, or fitness training program, as it has a number of important elements.
If injuries occur during the normal range of motion, then why increasing that range of motion ? So, it appears that stretching before an activity is not going to help prevent injuries.
What to do is simple. Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes.
Approach your warm up in a detailed form that is of must specifications to the activity you are about to indulge in. keep in mind that a warm up is to actually get you warm; to get your temperature slightly above average, enough to break a sweat. Here is an example of what to do. Let’s consider weight training. If your workout calls for squats, then a good warm up would be body weight squats. This would activate the muscles around the hip, knee, ankle and trunk. The goal is to warm up with the same movements or as close as you can get to the actual movements required by your workout or sport.
In order to get the most out of your training sessions, focus on warm-up movements that mirror the movements of the activity in which you plan on participating. Do as many reps as you need until you feel ready.
So when it comes to preparing for a workout, it makes sense to focus on warming up the body rather than stretching muscles.
A few our basic options you may consider for a warmup may be
Strength Training and its benefit
If your goal is to improve strength, lose fat or improve in a sport, well strength training is just what your body needs in order to succeed or perform well. Regardless of your gender no matter what activity you do or what type of sport you participate in, a specific level of fitness is required. Of course everyone wants to have the perfect body; however few of us don’t know how to reach our Fitness goals.
Why is this important you may ask? Strength training is just what your body needs to fight the loss of muscle, bone mass and strength that comes with aging. Strength training keeps the excess weight off. It aids in shedding pounds and it helps maintain weight loss. (Did you know that after puberty we begin to lose about 1 percent of our bone and muscle strength every year?) I can bet that you were a little surprise to hear that, however to prevent or reverse bone and muscle losses add strength training to your workout.
Everyone, no matter how young or old, should be doing some kind of regular strength training. At home, or at the gym using any equipment that gets the job done. Don’t limit yourself to thinking that lifting weights, expensive machines, or gym membership is the only way to do strength training; Pushups, jump squats, lunges, and mountain climbing are all examples of exercises that provide strength training.
· Getting Started
Since muscle growth is such a slow process, weight lifting should be broken down into three muscle developing stages and working with a fitness expert is a very safe and effective way to acquire the right amount of knowledge on this.
· Benefits of Strength Training
1. Keeps the excess weight off.
2. Protects bone health and muscle mass.
3. Makes you stronger and fitter.
4. Aids in developing better body mechanics.
5. Aids in disease prevention.
6. Boosts energy levels and improves your mood.
There is no surprise that Strength training makes you stronger and fitter. After all it involves strengthening and toning your muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. There are two types of resistance training they are Isometric resistance and Isotonic strength training. Isometric resistance involves contracting your muscles against a non-moving object, such as against the floor in a push-up. Isotonic strength training involves contracting your muscles through a range of motion.
Both make you stronger and can get you into better shape. Remember that with strength training your muscles need time to recover, so it should only be done on alternate days. Always take some time to warm up and cool down after strength training.
Strength training has benefits that go well beyond the appearance of nicely toned muscles. Your balance and coordination will improve, as will your posture. More importantly, if you have poor flexibility and balance, strength training can reduce your risk of falling by as much as 40 percent, a crucial benefit, especially as you get older.
If you have arthritis, strength training can be as effective as medication in decreasing arthritis pain. Strength training can help post-menopausal women increase their bone density and reduce the risk of bone fractures. As if that isn’t enough to convince you, strength training has also been shown to be a great antidepressant, to help you sleep better, and to improve your overall quality of life.
Who doesn't want to look better, feel better, and live a longer, healthier life? Get started now with a complete workout program that includes strength training and start your journey.
<!-- Place this tag where you want the su badge to render -->
<!-- Place this snippet wherever appropriate -->
li.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https:' : 'http:') + '//platform.stumbleupon.com/1/widgets.js';
var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script'); s.parentNode.insertBefore(li, s);
Muscle imbalance is when your muscles becomes weak, and the stronger muscles overcompensate for the weaker ones. This happens because the weak muscles can’t match the strength and endurance of the stronger ones, they fatigue more easily and force the stronger muscles to work harder. Still not clear visualize this example, if you do push-ups or bench presses daily, but never do rows, pull-ups, or other upper body pulling movements, there's a good chance your chest is far stronger than your back, and produces an end result of muscle imbalance.
Take it like this poor posture also causes muscle imbalance and though not intentionally, and most often not identified until one begins to feel pain they take this issue as a concern.
Muscular imbalances can result from many issues including the following:
· Postural stress
· Emotional stress
· Repetitive movement
Our jobs, lifestyle, hobbies and habits are all factors that contribute to muscular imbalance. Many of us are engaged in a routine lifestyle where we go to work every day doing the same thing. Example sitting in the office all day in a hunched position for more than three hours can cause unnatural posture which leads to muscular imbalance.
Although being physically active is being encouraged, if not done properly it can be of a disadvantage. Repetitive movements like pushing, pulling, lifting, moving and twisting can also lead to muscular imbalances because our core muscles are often neglected. And we also don’t condition our bodies to move in a side-to-side or rotating direction (lateral or transverse planes)
Here are some tips to correct and prevent muscle imbalance:
To prevent muscular imbalances, when you are sitting or standing for long periods focus on good posture. Try to take walking breaks every 2-3 hours at the very least.
When performing repetitive movements engage your core (contract your abdominal muscles), and try to change up your movements when you are able.
Start to correct imbalances by adding more unilateral exercises to your workout. Unilateral exercises allow you to isolate one side of your body from the other. Hammer Strength machines, resistance bands, dumbbells, and single side cables are all pieces of equipment that will help you focus your attention on your weaker side.
Start to correct imbalances by adding more unilateral exercises to your workout. Unilateral exercises allow you to isolate one side of your body from the other. Hammer Strength machines, resistance bands, dumbbells, and single side cables are all pieces of equipment that will help you
· Perform to the strength of your weak side
You will want to formulate your rep scheme according to the strength of your weak side. You do not want to work to that of your stronger side, as this will only exacerbate muscle imbalance.
Since you are going to adjust the amount of reps to suit your weak side, start with that side to get a feel for your rep count. If you can only do 10 reps on your left side, and 15 on your right, stop at 10. In theory, you want to under-train, or maintain the right side in hopes of allowing the left side to progress.
· Form and flexibility
Many people choose to fix muscle imbalances on their own, but I also advise in some cases working with a rehab specialist, or hiring a trainer to ensure proper form. If poor form is partly to blame for imbalance, you may need the help of a professional to recognize this and to help you train the right way.
Flexibility can also cause muscle imbalances, so make sure you are taking yourself through a proper dynamic warm up sequence to prepare you for a full range of motion when you train. Don’t forget to stretch at the end of a workout, giving special attention to your weaker side.
Watching someone perform a particular movement/exercise may not always be the best method to building your workout routine. Exercise/movement is more than point A point B, its point A point B and in between. This is to have the targeted muscle do all the work without help from momentum or other body parts and to keep you safe throughout that movement.
A Trainer once explained working out to me as angles, were you great at geometry because this could play a big part in your workout. Think of each movement as an angle, vertical pull and push, horizontal pull and push. Movements are not only done in 180° and 90° we also work in 45° angles.
So often we see someone in the gym performing a movement let’s say the shoulder for example press but the movement is not really done over the shoulder but it is just a few degree outside of being an incline chest press. This is where your great knowledge of geometry comes into play. It is a vertical press movement, that should be done over the shoulder this covers point A and point B now for the in between. Regardless if the movement is done standing up or seated you should bring the core into play, pulling your belly button to your back, activate your latts “this muscle runs from the front of your shoulder over your back to your lower spine “this muscle come into play in many various upper body movements, even the chest or something as simple as bicep curls. Also make sure the feet are firmly planted in the ground. At the top of the movement with the hands fully extended, when viewed from the side the upper body showed be a straight.
This is only one movement out of the hundreds that we perform each week in our workout. There is so much more movement to cover, but a shoulder press that we all viewed as point A point B is no longer so. The cat is now out of the bag there is more to each movement that you see, next time you are thinking about getting a new workout from Youtube, Instagram or any other social media please think twice because performing a movement without proper form may leave you not doing anything for months or even more.
Each year losing weight/getting in better shape is the number one New Year resolution. Armed with men’s/women’s health, millions of people enter the gym to accomplish their fitness goals only to give up a few months later. We lose the desire to continue with our fitness goals for one reason or another, it is much easier to not workout, regardless of all the quick fix ideas there is nothing easy about working out , lack of motivation, lack of plan and not seeing the results in the time you have set for yourself. These are the reasons why a Personal trainer can make a difference in your fitness goals.
Certified personal trainer Roy Hanson blogs about fitness tips, workout hacks, and healthy lifestyle advice
Photo used under Creative Commons from Strelka Institute photo