Browsing: Aerobics Cardio

Fat Loss, Exercise, and Glycemic Index: Woman

In a past article, I explained that carbohydrate ingestion limits fat oxidation during exercise. Although I'm a big fan of lowed carbohydrates diets and fast exercise, this advice will not work for everyone, so as a coach I need to provide many options to help my clients towards their goals.

So what are your options when you are not on a carbohydrate restricted diet and can not perform exercise in a fasted state? There are many, and today I will discuss one such option. Let's say for example that you exercise at mid-day or in the evening after work. By the time mid-day rolls around you may have eaten once or twice, and by the evening possibly three to five meals if you were not careful about your carbohydrate selection and amount, your blood sugar may be high enough to inhibit fat oxidation during your exercise session later in the day.

A study using 8 healthy females examined the effects of pre-exercise mixed meals providing either a high glycemic (78) versus low glycemic (44) meal on substrate utilization during exercise. The woman was provided with a test breakfast 3 hours before performing a 60-min run at 65% VO2max on a treadmill. Both meals provided 2 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of bodyweight (way too much carbs for fat loss goals. The only difference between the meals was the glycemic index (78 versus 44).

The results of the study demonstrated that the rate of fat oxidation during exercise was higher in the low glycemic group than the high glycemic group (18.7 grams per hour versus 8.3 grams per hour). That's twice as much fat oxidized for the low glycemic group! The amount of carbohydrates oxidized during the 60-minute run was 101.5 grams per hour in the high glycemic group and 70.5 grams per hour in the low glycemic group. The amount of carbohydrates you eat and its glycemic value will determine how much fat and carbohydrates you burn during exercise. Are you exercising to burn fat or carbs? If your goal is fat loss, then manipulating your macronutrient ratios (fat, protein, and carbs) is essential, and as this study shows, choosing low glycemic carbs over high glycemic carbs will also favor fat oxidation.

The researchers conclude “despite exercise in the fasted state promises optimal fat oxidation, many find it difficult or impractical to exercise while fasted. I agree. One more finding in this study was that the low glycemic group had a higher rate of feeling full post breakfast. Being hungry can destroy your fat loss efforts.

TIP: regardless of whether you're training in a fasted state or not, being familiar with the glycemic and glycemic load index will serve you well. If you're not training in a fast state, incorporating a lower glycemic index / load becomes even more important if you're trying to lose fat.

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Why Walking Still Works

Whether you stroll, walk yourself to work, or do errands and walk through the closest store. Walking is still good for you. From a health perspective, walking is the key to managing weight, controlling blood pressure, and reducing the risk of a stroke, breast cancer, diabetes and other ailments. A brisk daily walk lengthens your life, decrees the risk of depression and elevates your mood and sense of well being. Walking lowers cholesterol and increases high density lipoproteins (the good cholesterol).

From a psychological standpoint, walking offers an opportunity to clarify thoughts, to solve problems and to reduce stress. When in the office, pressure and stress starts to set in, a stroll in the park or a brief walk to any street corner will be very helpful in getting back your focus. Walking could also become a form of medication, try to establish a rhythm that is peaceful and relaxing while walking.

Walking regularly with someone else else enables a friendship to prosper as both of you exercise at the same time. You could use that time to discuss dates, issues that needs to be resolved without distractions. Also, the best way to explore some of the best scenery around you is by foot. Walking stimulates the senses and enables you to enjoy and absorb better the life around you. Walking is one of the easiest, most prescribed cardiovascular exercises you can do. You can add more steps into daily activities by parking farther away, taking groceries in one bag at a time, plan a walking meeting or walk on your lunch hour, take the stairs, pace around while you talk on the phone, or involve your family in an after dinner walk.

Walking is an effective but less expensive exercise plan to incorporate with your program, rather it is for weight loss, stress loss, cardio or mental wellness. You need to be always on the move to lose weight. Walking daily for 30 minutes to an hour at a moderate speed can burn fat and build muscles to improve your body metabolism. If you do this regularly you also reduce the risk of getting breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and diabetes.

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How To Run Your First Mile

Running a mile is a daunting task, and It requires a lot From your body. If you are currently setting a goal for yourself, to run a mile without stopping to rest, i suggest you follow these simple steps to reach your goal as fast as possible. If you begin your journey with your eyes on the prize and begin with running a mile, you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed.

Instead of that approach, take baby steps towards your goal. Your first visit to the track, run for a total of 15 to 20 minutes with the following approach:

Walk for 1 minute, Run for 30 seconds, Walk for 1 minute, Run for 30 seconds, Repeat.

As you can see, with this first approach you are giving your body and respiratory system a break between each run. You're working hard for 30 seconds and cooling down for 1 minute. As your body becomes more accredited to this style of running, you will throw it a curveball.

Walk for 1 minute, Run for 1 minute, Walk for 1 minute, Run for 1 minute, Repeat.

Sometimes your body will also become accredited to this style of running, and you will again need to change up your running routine.

Walk for 30 seconds, Run for 1 minute, Walk for 30 seconds, Run for 1 minute, Repeat.

As you can see your running time has gradually increased as your rest time has gradually decreased. This is called a progression. Sometimes the goal of this progress is to completely eliminate the walk / rest period. Follow those simple steps and the formula will eventually lead to you running your first mile without resting.

Now take this knowledge, get to the track, and enjoy!

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Shoulder Pain And Running – 5 Ways to Prevent And Treat Shoulder Strains For Runners

Many runners complain about experiencing shoulder pain when running or walking; although you are mainly using your legs while running, feeling pain in the upper body-especially the shoulders and neck is normal part of the exercise.

In fact, running is a core body exercise per excellence; your upper body is not just along for the ride. The arm swing and shoulder position are critical components to good running mechanics.

Here are a few tips and strategies that can help you to alleviate and avoid shoulder strain when running.

Develop good running form

The proper running form is the cornerstone of good running practice. If you push your head forward and tense your shoulder, you will always experience discomfort and pain in your upper body-the neck and the shoulders. So, you should keep your head straight and balanced over your spell; your eyes are gently staring 10 to 25 feet ahead of you.

Arms and fists

Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle and let your arms to swing side to side and from your shoulders in a relaxed way. When you sense your fist clening and tightening, plunge your arms down to your side and release off the tension. Then move them back at the 90-degree angle.

Remember to relax your hands and wrists; you can so this keeping your hand in a free and loose fist, almost as if you are holding a butterfly and you do not want to crush it.


Shoulder strains are mainly caused by excess tension and stress in the upper body; thus relaxing when running can lessen tremendously this tension and allow for appropriate flow of energy in the area, preventing strains and discomfort in the process.

You can relax your upper body by lowering your shoulder and rotating gently your neck through the running session. You could also breathe deeply into any tension in the area and letting go of the tension gently. Deep breathing also promotes a sense of relaxation and calmness throughout the training session.


If you work on increasing your shoulders range of motion regularly, you will lessen significantly the risk of strain. As a result, make time to do some gentle shoulder stretches before and after the workout. Do some research on “shoulder stretching exercises” and learn how to increase your shoulder range of motion properly.

Listen to your body

Body awareness is the best preventive plan against shoulder strain. Any pain or mild distress should be used as an indicator that something is going wrong. Do not push yourself if you feel any tenderness; instead slow down and do some of the above interventions to release the discomfort.

Pay Close Attention To This:

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Rebounding for Seniors Using the Needak Rebounder

Using a needak rebounder is a great form of exercise for seniors. This exercise is commonly referred to as rebounding. Most seniors are encouraged to walk in order to keep active, but sometimes walking can be difficult to do. Offering two major benefits, rebounding is the safest and most effective way for seniors to exercise.

Rebounding with a needak rebounder is more efficient and easier than regular exercise .

It is suitable for seniors as it does not place any impact on their joints or muscles. This eliminates any uncomfortable experiences that seniors typically encounter with other forms of exercise. By not placing pressure on the joints, it actually increases the blood flow to these areas, like the hip and knees. While bouncing, they are actually able to build muscle strength over time.

Using a rebounder benefits many areas of the body.

It benefits the muscles, organs, lymphatic system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system and immune system.

People of all ages enjoy rebounding.

Not only are there health benefits to rebounding, but it is also fun. Bouncing on a rebounder is more like playing than exercising, which leads to it being done more. For seniors, this can actually be invigorating and make them feel young again.

Rebounding on a needak rebounder is the perfect solution for seniors who want to exercise more.

This can be done at home, while watching television. Many seniors can not get out of the house anymore to walk and this gives them an option to keep themselves active. Not only is rebounding fun, it allows seniors a gentle form of exercising that is easy to accomplish.

The Needak mini trampoline has actually won rave reviews as being the best mini trampoline to use for rebounding. With its great quality and ergonomics, it is a great choice for seniors. Equipped with a nicely padded mat and sturdy frame, you can trust its quality. It is easy to set up, just unfold the legs and you are ready to use it. It also folds in half for easy storage. The Needak mini trampoline is built to last, providing you many years of safe, fun rebounding.

Where can you find a Needak Soft Bounce Rebounder for a Great Low Price?

These rebounders are sold in stores and on several online websites. The prices and deals can vary quite a bit. It could take a long time to sort through all of these sites and offers. This is why you need to know how to find the one which will offer you the best prices.

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Running Hills For Shaping Your Thighs – How to Lose Thigh Fat Quickly With Hill Running

Getting rid of fatty thighs can be hard and daunting; This is because of the stubbornness of inner fat thigh. But nothing is impossible if you are up to the challenge. The best way to eliminate the fat deposit in your thighs can be achieved by adding muscle mass to your legs, and my favorite method of doing so is hill running training.

Why hill running?

Uphill running is one of the most powerful types of exercises ever. If you run hills regularly, you will develop massive muscle leg tissues in a record timing; this will give your body the toned and sexy look you always wanted. Stronger muscles will not only grant you a better look, muscles tend to burn fat more than fat does, thus speeding up the fat burning process.

Uphill running can be very intense and taxing on the body, therefore you will be burning more calories in less time. Running only on flat surfaces can not offer the same results.

How to do it?

This type of running is not recommended for beginners, so in if you are new into running, you should not do any hill running; otherwise you will not be able to keep up and may even get injured in the process. As a result, a beginner runner should start running on flat surface and build the intensity up gradually.

When you feel that you are up to the challenge, then you can attack the hills. Find an uphill about 50 to 300 meters in distance and no more than 6% gradient. Start at the bottom of the hill slowly and increase the intensity as you approach the top; down hill running is the time for recovery and preparation for the next repetition.

Remember that hill running is very intense, so you should not jump in on the hill face on without a proper warm-up. Run slowly for at least 10 minutes then start your hill training workout gradually; otherwise you will run out of gas very soon and tire quickly.

Hill running form

This type of training requires good running mechanics, developing the proper hill running form will allow you to get the most of your training session without having to sacrifice time and effort. Here are some useful tips:

– Lean slowly forward into the hill while keeping your body straight and aligned from head to toe.

– You running stride should be quick and short, this makes climbing the hill easier and cultivates speed and steadiness when running on flat surface.

– Use your arms in a straight back and forward action. Make sure that legs are working in accordance with the arms and upper body; This gains balance and decrees the chance of injury.

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Top Cardio Workouts to Lose Leg Fat – The Best Cardio Routines For Burning Leg Fat Quickly

Leg fat is one the most stubborn fat deposit on the body; it can be very embarrassing and uncomfortable, especially when you can no longer fit into your old jeans, so it can affect greatly your self esteem.

But do not worry; there are some exercises that can target the lower body in such a way that will result in you being capable to get rid of leg fat and enjoy the toned and sexy look you always wanted.

Here are the top cardio exercises to help you lose leg fat fast:

1- Walking:

Walking is the best option for anyone who is new to doing cardio. Low impact activities such as running, can less the amount of wear and tear on the body when exercising, thus reducing the risk of injury.

2. Jogging:

this my favorite cardio exercise ever! Running is the most convenient workout in the world; you can run either outside or on a treadmill, outside running is always better, because it can be more intense, challenging, and enjoyable. The recurring movement of the legs helps to burn fat and develops strong leg muscles, thus speeding up the weight loss process.

3. Cycling:

Cycling is a good form of cardio exercise, especially for those who are not into running, out of the fear of injury or joints problems. This type of exercise can target with efficiency you leg muscles and burn fat effectively; it's been estimated that cycling burns up to 600 calories per hour, if done in the appropriate manner.

4- Stair climbing:

Get in the habit of climbing the stairs instead of using elevators. Stairs are all around us and we can use them on a daily basis, but many people love instant gratification and avoid any discomfort or physical effort, so they are away from the stairs. That's a big mistake.

Interval or hill running:

Once you feel you have built a solid aerobic condition, and then you can increase the intensity of your training by doing interval training or hill running. These exercises are well known for their intensity, and their efficiency at burning fat and building up leg muscle mass.

Do not forget your diet!

The other face of the weight loss coin is proper nutrition. In fact, weight loss is a function of calories in and calories out; and if you take in more energy than you burn, do not be surprised to gain some extra pounds.

This can easily happen because cardio training increases appetite, so you start to indulge yourself and consume more energy than your body requires.

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How to Increase Your Running Speed

How to Increase Your Running Speed ​​is about different distances and pace efforts that will get you out of your comfort zone and force your body to make adaptations. Running the same pace week after week makes you very efficient at that one pace, but not unnecessarily at running faster. Increasing your running speed requires weekly speed work so that your body is forced to deal with the new demands.

You run faster because your heart gets stronger, your cardiovascular system becomes more efficient, and your muscles are better able to function full out. Net, net, you learn to run fast and enjoy yourself even more.

Below are four types of track workouts that will increase your speed. Make sure you run at a pace that is uncomfortably and keep your recovery short. Theses interviews will quickly improve your leg strength and will make you speedy in on time.

Strides Strides are a great way to start each speed workout. Run intervals of 15 seconds fast and then 45 seconds easy. You can run down the straightaway at your track, walk back and repeat. You are not sprinting, you are running at a controlled high-speed. They are very effective getting your body used to fast running so your muscles and nervous system are forced to adjust and strengthen.

12 x 400m Repeats These are great when you first start speed play because they are not too far. Running mile repeats is very taxing so it's best to start with a shorter distance like 400M (1 lap). Warm up and then run 12 x 400 meters with a 30 second recovery. Just as with strides, you will progress to only 15 seconds recovery. Your target speed is a steady 5-K pace.

6 x 800m Repeats 800's are legendary; Many runners start with 6 and add a few each week. The thinking is that you can predict your marathon time based on your 800 time. If you run your 8700 in 4 minutes, your marathon time will be 4 hours. After you warm up, run 6 x 800 meter repeats with a 1 minute recovery. You can decrease your recovery time as you feel stronger. 800's will be at your 5-K pace.

3 x 1 Mile Repeats Mile repeats are hard so you only need three. After you warm up, run 3 x 1600 meter repeats at a 5-K pace. Gradually decrease recovery time between intervals starting at 2 minutes.

To increase your running speed, you need to go to the track once or twice a week and perform speed intervals.

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Effective Methods For Using A Step-Bench!

One thing to focus on before beginning any step-bench related exercise, is to decide, if its secure to let a client perform any program. One may be too heavy, another one may be too weak. Its hard for your body, especially the leg-muscles of course, and especially if you have not done anything exercise related for years, or maybe never.

Remember that you're lifting the total body weight up and down for a given number of seconds or minutes. It's hard on your body, but luckily the body is quick to adapt to physical stress by getting stronger, but only if you give it significant reason to. Don't forget the need for quality sleep and nutrition, though. Without making sleep and nutrition key-components and priorities, you will have a hard time getting to your fitness-goals.

What I will do, if I find that a client needs some conditioning first, she or he will spend more time on the stationary bike, and outside on the football field beginning some light phases of power-walking in intervals.

One example, is that I Use it to do push-ups without hurting my wrist, because of an old injury. I simply place my hands on the edge of the bench, so that my hands are making a soft angle. Doing so I can avoid making a L-like positioning of the arm and hand, when the hands are on the ground / floor. When I position my hands like mentioned above, it will take a lot of stress off the wrists. Before my wrist injury I did push-ups as a part of my training program, but I was unlucky during a football-match. I fell awkwardly, resulting in wrist pain.

In late January 2010, I decided to bring back the push up on a regular basis. The move had been absent from my programs for about 2 years. Since implementing my above mentioned variation, I've experienced solid gains over the last months in my chest-exercises. Im almost ready to proceed and do my push-up routine holding my hands on a barbell.

Now back to other types of training using the step bench.

Many of my clients, simply fall in love with this exercise-tool after only a few sessions. I use it primarily for interval cardio training / metabolic resistance training, and it is highly effective. I actually still use it myself with extra weight, either dumb-bells in my hands or supporting a barbell on my shoulders. 15-20 minutes per session is enough, if you train hard and focused, with a strict count of resting-seconds.

Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) is high, meaning you will continue to spend calories, for a long time after training. EPOC is an elevated consumption of fuel. In response to exercise, fat stores are broken down and free fatty acids (FFA) are released into the blood. In recovery, the direct oxidation of free fatty acids as fuel and the energy consuming re-conversion of FFA's back into fat stores (both futile cycle) both take place. The EPOC effect is greatest soon after the exercise is completed and decays to a lower level over time. One experiment found EPOC increasing metabolic rate to an excess level that decays to 13% three hours after exercise, and 4% after 16 hours. Another study, specifically designed to test wherever the effect implemented for more than 16 hours, conducted tests for 48 hours after the conclusion of the exercise and found measurable effects experienced up to the 38 hour post-exercise measurement. (Schuenke 2002).

I highly recommend trying some of the above methods, it will certainly have an immediate impact on your over-all physical development.

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Benefits of Regular Exercise – What More You Need To Know

Nowadays, people have become busy and preoccupied by work that we all tend to want things to be done immediately and the easy way. Eating fast food has been common to people who seem to be running after time. Instead of climbing up the stairs, we take the elevator. Instead of walking to a nearby grocery shop, we go by car. Our late nights are spacious sitting on the couch and being holed up in front of the television until we fall sleep. We forgot about the significance of regular exercise and its benefits.

We need to work our way to physical fitness by using our muscle groups. Aerobic exercise is an activity which uses oxygen in our body in a way more than we usually use. These exercises are continuously and rhythmically done. Walking, jogging, running, dancing, bicycling, swimming, and jumping rope are some examples of aerobic exercise. Activities which can be done in our homes so we need not go too far.

Exercise has significance in strengthening the heart muscle contraction which improves the blood supply to the heart and muscles. It also improves ventilation or the movement of air in and out of our lungs. It also prevails accumulation of secretions in our lungs which allows us to breathe easily. It improves our appetite and aids peristalsis or the contracting and relaxation of the muscles in our digestive system which facilitates the movement of the food that we take in. During exercise, our metabolic rate increases therefore are calories being being used up.

It has been found to reduce the level of triglyceride or fatty acids and cholesterol in our body. It also lowers our blood sugar by improving the efficiency of insulin, a hormone responsible for lowering our blood glucose level. Since it Promotes blood flow, waste products of our body are excreted more effectively which is beneficial to our urinary system. It also maintains the tone and strength of our muscles and improvements flexibility. But the most important benefit of all is that it improves our body image and self-concept. It promotes a sense of well-being and helps perk up our tolerance with regards to stress.

These activities are easy and most of us have probably done almost all of this while we were kids. It is recommended to people of all ages. Even people over 60 years can benefit from regular exercise and it does not mean wearing ourselves off inside the gym with all those weights and strenuous activities. Ideally, it is best to choose an activity which we enjoy so we do not feel forced and pressured and end up regretting and being pessimistic towards these. We also need to be sure that our body is capable of doing these things by having a thorough check-up with a physician first. Regular exercise is an activity which one can enjoy and reap health benefits from. With all these benefits listed, who would not want to do it now?

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The Truth About Aerobics and Six Pack Abs

Aerobics … good or bad?

Well …

Depends on what your purpose is.

If you're looking to lower your body fat percentage to the point where your six pack can not help but show through, you may be surprised to learn aerobics are not as optimal as they seem.


Truth is, aerobics will help you burn calories. Yet, many trainees fail to realize aerobics come with many pitfalls. Many do not realize this until it's too late.

Before I get into that, let me clarify what I mean when I say “aerobics.”

I'm referring to “low-intensity” activities such as: walking, running, cycling, swimming, stair master, etc. These are all activities I personally enjoy very much. They make you feel good when you do them and there are some benefits associated with them.

However, when it comes to fat loss (which equals a sexy six pack), there's a few pitfalls associated with them.

First, your body adapts quickly to aerobic exercise. For instance, two years ago when you started running, you may have burned 500 calories on a 60 minute run. Yet over time because your body adapted, you're now at 400 calories.

Secondly, aerobic exercise does not have what is called the “after-burn effect.” You probably already know the number of calories you burn through the day is more important than the amount you burn during your workout. This is what the after-burn effect is all about – burning as many calories as possible “after” your workout.

Studies have shown you can burn calories for as long as 24 hours after you workout.

This is where some cardio falls short.

Let me give you a hypothetical situation:

Take someone who uses cardio as their primary source of exercise, with no weight training at all: The person does three, 60 minute jogs per week. We'll be generous and say this person will burn 500 calories per workout (definitely a stretch as jogging typically burns 250-300 calories in 60 minutes). Because the intensity is low, there's no after burn effect – Resulting in about 1500 calories burned per week.

There are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat.

Put on your math hat for a second and figure out how long would it take the above person to burn one pound of fat?

If you guess approximately two and half weeks you're right on the money.

Pretty slow right?

Do not get me wrong. I enjoy a good run just as much as the next guy. Yet, it's important we stay focused on our purpose – lower our body fat percentage low enough so our two, four, and six pack begin to show through.

It's obvious from the above example, aerobics is not the optimal way to do so. Low intensity cardio does not have it place and can be used in certain situations, just keep in mind there are typically “smarter” methods to start out with when it comes to getting your six pack abs fast.

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Aerobic Classes Offer More!

Aerobic classes have so much to offer you! You work your body in more ways than if you walk, run, or bike. You build coordination, work various muscle groups, improve fast twitch muscle development and improve your balance if you have a well-designed routine.

Finding a good instructor is key. You want to make sure they are certified or have a college degree in exercise physiology. Knowing how the human body works is key to creating a good aerobic routine.

Having fun during your classes is important. Being the best in the crowd is not necessary. Having good form and listening to your own body is where your focus should be. It is difficult to have fun in a class if you believe that you have to compete with the other participants. We all have our gifts. Some people are naturally coordinated while others have to work at it. I am not a natural. I have to work hard at learning new routines.

If the class uses a lot of jumping and leaping moves, known as high impact; a good instructor will demonstrate low impact examples for those who are not able to do the high impact moves. Older people and those with injuries should limit the amount of high impact they do.

Many gyms and studios label their classes as to the difficulty so you will know if the class is your level. That is extremely helpful. If they do not label the difficulty of their classes be sure to ask what type of classes the facility has so you will be able to take the appropriate level of class. You do not want to find yourself in a class that is meant only for the “super fit” unless you are very fit. In the advanced classes no examples of low impact are generally shown and the instructor usually actually pushes her students.

There are lots of different types of aerobic classes here are a few:

Step classes are very popular. If you are coordinated and have healthy knees step classes are great. Step classes can be tough on your knees and if you are not coordinated you can get hurt falling off the step.

Dance classes like “Zumba” and “Hip Hop” are packing women in! They are fun and get your heart pumping while you wiggle your hips which gives you great abs. They are generally low impact as well which makes them doable by most people.

Boot Camp classes are very effective. Know that when you enter a boot camp class you will not be babied. They are no-nonsense get the job done classes. You will be doing a lot of basic moves like push ups and jumping rope. The instructor may play the “tough guy” role for effect. Take that with a grain of salt and go at your own pace.

Spin classes generally require a pre sign up do to limited equipment. You may need special shoes. Some facilities provide them other require you to bring your own. A good instructor will have you huffing and puffing in no time. She will work your coordination by having you up and down in your seat, swinging your arms and lots of other fun moves.

Water aerobic classes are great for those who are not able to do regular “land aerobics” as well as those who just love to be in the water. The instructor will have you using the water's resistance to challenge your muscles and lungs. All you need is your bathing suit, a towel, the willingness to work and you are ready!

Kickboxing is my favorite type of aerobic class. The moves utilize your upper and lower body very effectively. You will have lots of oxygen in your body which allows you to burn lots of fat and to keep going longer due to having so much oxygen in your system. Fat requires oxygen to become used as a fuel source. The more oxygen you have in your system the more fat you can burn. It is a large fuel source so you can keep working out for a long time and it's by-product is water so you will be more comfortable through your workout session.

Most gyms and community centers offer aerobic classes. You also have the option of using workout DVDs at home or doing the DVDS with a group of people at a common location. Workout DVDS are wonderful for those days you are not able to get to the gym as well.

If you have not tried aerobic classes I highly suggest that you do. They challenge your muscles, coordination, balance and are really fun to do! They offer more than most other forms of aerobic activities.

By Lynn Hahn

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Understanding the Benefits of Cardiovascular Training

Many of us do not really understand how well-designed our human body is. We take what we have for granted and expect things to always work properly. We go for a run to “get exercise” but never stop to think about how it all works. Why do we need to exercise? What happens to our bodies when we start to run? What are the benefits of cardiovascular training?

Here's a quick explanation of your cardiovascular system.

Your heart is an incredible machine. It beats up to 75bpm while you're resting, forcing blood through your arms and into the active tissues of your body. This is how nutrients and oxygen get delivered.

We need to define two terms:

Stroke Volume (SV) – the amount of blood that your heart ejects each beat.

Cardiac Output (Q) – the amount of blood that your heart ejects in one minute.

A simple calculation is used to determine cardiac output:

Q = SV * HR (where HR is your heart rate in bpm)

So how does this all come into play when understanding the benefits of cardiovascular training ?

As you continue to train and improve your cardio fitness, ventricles in your heart grow in size which allows them to hold more blood and deliver stronger contractions. As you get fitter, your stroke volume will increase allowing you to deliver more blood each heart beat. This means that you will be able to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to your working muscles.

In effect, you are turning your body into an efficient system. Your heart does not have to work as hard at rest, allowing it to work harder during exercise. It's important to learn how different systems of your body work as you now understand the benefits of cardiovascular training.

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Running Breathing Secrets – How To Breathe Properly When Running And Exercising

Proper breathing is an essential part of any training program, especially when running. Being out of breath can have devastating effects on runners, it is usually very discouraging and can put an early end to the training session. Therefore, if you want to get the most out of your workout and achieve your running goals, you need to learn how to breathe properly, especially when you feel that your lungs can not go any longer. Here are a few tips and strategies to help get on the right path.

Beginner runner

If you are new to running, then you need to run at a pace at which you can breathe easily and effortlessly. One way to make sure of that is by passing the talk test, this means that you can run and talk at the same time without much huffing and puffing.

Breathe in through the nose

The best way to get your blood flow and muscle well oxygenated is by inhaling through the nose. Nose breathing allows allows more control on your breathing cadence and rhythm.

Breathe out of the mouth

Exhale fully through the mouth, this removals Carbon Dioxide from your body, releases tension and gives a sense of relaxation and calmness throughout the workout. It also allows for deeper inhalations.

Deep breathing

Take as much deep breaths as possible. Deep breathing ensures constant oxygen delivery to the working muscles, thus enhancing your running performance.

Involve your diaphragm

Do not just breathe from your chest, instead get you whole diaphragm involved in the process. Most runners are chest breathers, no wonder how much of them complain about being incapable to keep breathing intact on hard runs.

Breathing cadence

Rhythmic breathing is the best technique for ensuring constant delivery of oxygen into the body. Also known as breathing cadence, you can learn this by synchronizing your breaths to your running stride; for example you could use the 3: 2 cadence ratio, you can do this by taking 3 steps for each inhale and 2 steps for each exhale. This ratio usually depends on your fitness level and the intensity of the training.

Do not get out of breath

As we saw earlier, getting out of breath interrupts the delivery of oxygen into your working muscles, then you have to slow down and walk to catch a breath. For that, you should make breathing a priority when running; do not get caught or it is too late.

Have fun

One last word of advice is to just have fun and let nature take its course. As you practice more and more, you will find it easier to sustain your berth rhythm, even under intense physical activity.

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How to Meet Your Fitness Goals With A Personal Trainer

If you've established some new goals for your health and fitness, they might seem a long way off right now. But with the assistance of a good personal trainer, you could make great strides (literally) in no time at all. Here are 10 steps for finding the right personal trainer and meeting your objectives.

1. First of all, you need to find out where your nearest gyms are. Having the motivation to get to the gym may be the first hurdle in your challenge, so knowing you only have to travel a short distance will undutely help.

2. You may have friends that use local gyms, so ask them what their facility is like. Do they feel it represents food value for money? Are the personal trainers helpful and friendly? Is the equipment up to scratch? On many occasions, people will be tied into a 12 month contract, so it's not saying all the responses will be positive.

3. Your next step is to call in for a visit. Some gyms may give you the hard sell, but providing you remain firm and treat this as a scouting mission, I'm sure you'll escape without putting pen to paper just yet. Do not be afraid to tell them you're looking at other gyms in the area. They may be able to offer good reasons why their facility is better.

4. Providing you like the place, it's a good idea to find out how much it will cost to join and what the terms of their membership is. Most gyms will have a monthly fee over a 12-month contract, while others may have special three-month offers available at a slightly more expensive rate. You also want to check what they charge for personal training sessions. You may get some thrown in as part of your joining fee, but ongoing sessions could also be useful.

5. Make sure that you get to pick the personal trainer. You do not want to get assigned to someone you do not like. If that does happen, make sure they allow you to swap trainers after that first session.

6. If you're satisfied that you've found the right gym, you'll be inducted into the gym and shown its facilities and equipment. Then, for your first personal training session, you'll want to clearly and concisely spell out your targets. If there's a body you want, take a photo, if it's about being able to run a certain distance over a set time, make sure your trainer knows.

7. Although your trainer is not a nutritionist, it's not a bad idea to ask them for food suggestions. If you're bulking up, your diet will be very different to someone who wants to slim down. Your diet will play a massive part in how successful you will be. It can slow progress or it can accelerate it, so do your best to get it right.

8. Your trainer will work with you to develop a program for you to complete. In most cases this will be fairly generic based on your goals, so it's a good idea to have a follow-up session and discuss how things are going. If you do not feel you're getting any benefit from one exercise, ask if there's an alternative way of working that muscle group.

9. Your personal trainer will make sure you are using the equipment or performing an exercise correctly. One of the largest stumbling blocks in achieving your goals will be how well you carry out your program unsupervised, so get as much input as you can when with your trainer.

10. While a personal trainer will help, the most important person in you succeeding is you. Be prepared to work hard and put the time in. Missing sessions or cutting them short by skipping exercises will only serve to stall your progress and destroy your enthusiasm.

So, all you need to do now is start by finding a good gym and personal trainer located nearby.

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