Browsing: Aerobics Cardio

Components of a Sensible Workout Program for Women

Regular exercise is essential for maintaining physical fitness among women. However, the appropriate type of exercise would greatly depend on each woman's personal fitness condition, weight, age, lifestyle, and fitness goals.

Cardio-vascular exercises are important in strengthening the heart and in reducing women's risk factors to diseases. This is the type of exercise that benefits all organs of the body, as it increases the pumping of blood through all of the organs. If your goal is to improve health and maintain your weight, you can opt for moderate-intensity cardio exercises such as hiking, dancing, cycling and engaging in sports. Around half an hour daily of these types of exercise for six days a week would give you adequate amounts of physical activity to meet your goal.

On the other hand, if you are aiming to burn fat and lose a significant amount of weight, you might want to try doing high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. This type of exercise burns the most calories in the least amount of time. The principle behind this type of exercise is to discourage the body from achieving a steady state. When you are performing exercises at a steady pace, the body tries to adjust to the energy demands of the body by preserving calories. Of course, this is counter-productive for you if your goal is to burn as much calories as you possibly can. To help you elude getting into a steady state, HIIT programs instruct you to frequently vary the pace of your workouts. For example, you can alternately perform medium-intensity cardio, and high-intensity cardio every two or three minutes until you complete your half-hour exercise session. If you're a runner, you can warm up with a five-minute jog, follow by 1 minute of full-speed running, around 2 minutes of brisk walking, another minute of high intensity running, and so on. HIIT is ideally performed around 3 to 4 times a week. One added benefit of HIIT is that your body would continue to have elevated metabolism for the next 4 to 8 hours, so that you continue to burn calories even after you are done exercising.

The other component of a good exercise plan for women is strength training. Strength training used to be associated exclusively with body builders and athletes. In more recent physical fitness researchers, however, strength training has been significantly adjusted to improved blood pressure management and reduced risks for diabetes. It has also been linked to back pain relief.

Strength training is an effective means for improving women's physical appearance. Increased muscle mass allows you to burn more calories by increasing your basal metabolic rate. It tones and sculpts your body, and helps you get rid of unwanted flab.

A good strength-training program should incorporate the principles of overload and progress, that is, you subject your muscles to greater resistance once you can comfortably perform more than eight repetitions on your current weight. Do not worry about getting too muscular. Women genetically do not have the hormones for developing the bulky muscles seen in male body builders.

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Choosing The Best Workout Videos

Trying to find the best workout video can be a difficult process.

That process does not have to be difficult when we focus positively on our goals. Apathy, usually a big obstacle, can play a big part in starting a workout routine. It is always easier to find an excuse not to exercise rather than focusing to get out there and start a program. How often have you said “I do not have the time,” or “the gym is not close enough to home,” or “the weather is bad today.” We have all used these excuses before, I'm sure. To overcome these obstacles a really good solution to get fit and healthy is to exercise at home, using a good workout video. By using a good DVD workout video you can exercise in your own surroundings, without the expense of gym membership and expensive equipment. There are many excellent workout videos out there today, but what is the best workout video? There seems to be a new workout video out in the market on a weekly basis. These include dance exercise videos, workouts for men and women. They all have one thing in common. They promise to get you fit, toned, muscular and healthy. Many of them use famous celebrities or have the latest and greatest fitness guru in their promotion. The purpose of this article is to help you make an informed choice when looking for the best workout videos for your home workout program.

What Goals Do You Have?

A vital part of the selection process is to set out what you are searching for. Is it an increased fitness level you are after? Are you trying to get toned abs for that holiday that is coming up? Have you just had a baby and are trying to shed that last few pounds of “preggy fat”? Various workout videos promise various fitness solutions and while they may state they have everything, you should make your choice after you decide what your goal is. The Right Atmosphere When choosing the best workout videos for you, the right atmosphere is important. You should always train in an environment that is comfortable and makes the workout fun. The type of trainer in the video can play a big part in this.

Do you enjoy the “party approach,” where the instructor creates a party involving people of various genders, ages and abilities? Or there is the “one on one” style of workout video. These are more focused on just you and the trainer and many of the “celebrity” workout videos are based on this format. This type of video is more like having your own personal trainer and is more serious and focused than the “party approach.”

There is another type of workout video where you can follow a serious, focused workout routine, while the trainer involves others while he or she shows you the moves. This type of routine is, in my opinion, one of the best workout videos you could choose.

The P90X2 program is just this type of workout program.

The P90X2 program is a combination of weight training and plyometrics. This includes doing weighted squats, and following that with some squat jumps. This technique had been used by many of the best athletes around the world to improve their fitness, with amazing results.

P90X2, the much awaited sequel to the hugely successful P90X program uses the same tested and tested philosophies that have proven to work to achieve better overall fitness and muscle tone. This series of videos will push you all the way but the trainer, Tony Horton, will keep you focused on getting the results you desire. By far this workout program is one of the best workout videos you can buy on the market today.

The P90X “muscle confusion” principle has been continued in the P90X2 program and will really help you to get on top of that undesired fat. The muscles are loaded up, rested and then loaded up again, which builds up lean muscles in a short time period. You will find that your body will alter in a positive way, with leaner muscles and much better fitness and overall body health. All your workout routines are easily customized to focus on the particular part of the body you are targeting.

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P90X2 Program – A Workout Routine to Lose Weight

Why do we need a workout routine to lose weight?

Because, in case you had not noticed, we are fat.

The western world contains too many people who are obese or even morbidly obese. We now have much busier lives and do not have the time for a workout routine to lose weight. We are not exercising as much as our parents and we are eating a diet consisting of highly processed foods. No wonder we are getting heavier and heavier. If you are ready for a change and want to transform your body then you are on the right page. With some good workout routines to lose weight incorporated into your daily schedule, you can become a fitter person.

Losing weight is actually very simple. Eat less food and burn more calories, it really is that easy. Unfortunately most people go about the weight loss process the wrong way. Often they will starve their bodies to achieve fast weight loss but this can have a bad effect on your total health and wellness. With starvation the body is deprived of essential minerals and nutrients and important muscle is lost. If you are serious about losing weight then you should restrict your weekly weight loss to no more than a kilo. This can easily be achieved by reducing your calorie intake by 400-500 a day.

Reducing your food consumption is all very good but a sound weight loss program will be helped by including a good workout routine to lose weight. Starting a daily workout routine such as the P90X program will make sure your weight loss goals are reached faster and in a safe way.

When you start looking for a workout routine to lose weight, it is so difficult to choose the right one for you. When trying to choose that perfect program it is vital to select one that has a good mix of both cardio and weight and strength exercises. P90X2 covers all these bases and provides the ideal system and is one of the best workout routines to lose weight on the market today. The P90X2 program provides an easy to follow, intense workout program that covers all areas of body exercise with the extreme intensity to transform your body in only 90 days. Following on from the massively successful P90X program, P90X2 is a “turbo charged” version of the original. The P90X2 program covers all the workout routines necessary to sculpt your body into the body you have always dreamed of. With some simple accessories you can follow a diverse, but easy to do set of workouts under the expert instruction of Tony Horton from the Beach Body team.

The P90X2 program concentrates on the philosophy of “muscle confusion”. The theory behind muscle confusion is that your body can adapt quickly to the stress it is put under. By altering the exercises the body becomes less accustomed to similar movements during each workout routine. This stops the body from adapting to repetitive routines and as a result muscle-building plateaus are avoided. If you are searching for a premier workout routine to lose weight, then look no further than P90X2.

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Does Aerobic Exercise Burn Off Muscle Mass?

Aerobic exercise is focused on recording body movements, which increases your pulse, and keeps it elevated for a time period. Aerobic exercise is not simply jogging. It can take form in several varieties including circuit training, interval training and also everyday activities like cleaning up.

Through aerobic exercise, there's an order in which the energy systems are employed.

1. Carbohydrates from the food you eat, in addition to glycogen, that is stored in your muscles as well as the liver, ready to be used as instant fuel.

2. Fats coming from food and also from your body already.

3. Proteins and amino acids from the muscle tissues.

By using this knowledge, it's crystal clear that yes aerobic exercise does burn up muscle eventually. Here your body goes into a catabolic state, as it has utilized the two primary energy fuels to maintain the cardiovascular activity. After this is done, proteins from the muscles are used to maintain the activity.

The next critical point to discuss is, fairly what point in the cardiovascular exercise will the body exhaust the 2 primary fuels and begin to start making use of amino acids? It is frequently acknowledged this takes place whenever you do cardio workouts above an hour or so. I never perform a cardio session for longer than 60 minutes anyway; so if you carry out one of my workout plans you've got no need to worry about losing muscle mass while doing cardio.

However suppose you perform a sport which goes on longer than an hour. Then yes, cardio exercise would burn muscle if you do not act tactically. Nonetheless you can stop this from taking place. First off, 2-3 hours before you begin performing, you will want to consume a well-balanced meal with carbs, fat as well as proteins. This is so when you pause playing, you are utilizing fuel directly from your meals.

Right before you start performing and also during the activity, you should take an isotonic sports drink that will fuel you with more glycogen in order to spare muscle loss. Furthermore, if executing your sport three or more occasions per week do not be worried about undertaking organized cardio exercise, you are burning enough calories with your sport for optimum health.

If you're set on body building, it is best to stay away from extended chronic cardio exercise sessions such as marathon running, since even utilizing the above ideas will not prevent you burning up muscle as the event is quite lengthy in duration.

Steering clear of cardio workouts at all costs to build lean muscle is really a bad idea. It's very clear that some of the best professional athletes possess the best physiques and they carry out aerobic exercise do not they? Aerobic exercise also improves your performance at building muscle. If you wish to develop big muscles, it's best to perform higher volume training with little rest in between sets.

For those who have an adequate cardiovascular system, you will not be able to carry out the muscle-building part of your workout properly. Regularly, I notice individuals at the gym performing resistance training, and they get out of breath because they're in poor condition.

You now know that aerobic exercise does burn muscle under certain conditions, and you also know how to prevent this. You also now know that aerobic exercise can actually help you build muscle instead of wasting calories for muscle growth.

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Tabata Training – Can 4 Minutes of Exercise Really Burn Fat?

The tabata protocol was made by the head trainer of the Japanese speed ice skating team. It was named after Dr. Izumi Tabata who carried out research using this work out to observe its usefulness.

Tabata training is a type of interval training workout which makes you work hard for a time period of 20 seconds, and then a ten second recovery period before repeating another 20 second intense bout again. This will be repeated for four minutes, so a total of 8 repetitions. You can repeat the tabata protocol again, but be sure to give yourself a little 2 minute rest.

Can a 4 minute routine really burn up fat?

This workout does not burn as much body fat during the workout like steady state cardio does, but elevates your metabolism for numerous hours following the exercise. Steady state aerobic exercise will burn more calories during the actual workout, but the tabata protocol will burn up more overall calories. By using up glycogen within the muscle tissue, it will force the body to use fat for metabolic processes, so do not be so fast to grab your post workout protein shake. Leave it for at least an hour or two.

This Seems Too Easy!

Do not ever believe this is gonna be easy; the truth is this would likely to end up a lot more like 4 minutes of torment to those not in great shape. Even those in great shape will find tabata training tough. When done with full high intensity this can be a very strenuous workout which will leave you gasping for breath and wishing it was over.

During Dr. Tabata's study, it was documented that a few of the skaters were forced to quit after just 6 rounds in their first couple of attempts.

Tabata training as mentioned earlier is a type of interval training so similar to a HIIT workout somewhat. Both are a kind of high intensity interval training. Tabata training is done using a much shorter rest break and a 2: 1 work to rest ratio and reduced duration all round. A HIIT workout is done utilizing similar work intervals however does have lengthier rest intervals and often will last around 10-20 minutes instead of 4 minutes.

The benefits of tabata training are that it greatly increases your aerobic as well as anaerobic conditioning developing you in to a more complete athlete. It is also short in duration, and really makes use of the after burn affect very well. Tabata training is really flexible, and you can almost use any exercise to perform it. My favorite is to do shadow boxing, but doing burpees works really well and makes it more challenging. The drawbacks are obvious, it is a very difficult exercise, it can be hard to motivate yourself to perform it and if used to often can leave you fatigued.

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5 Ways to Get Fit (and Stay Fit) for the New Year

Get Motivated! At times, we all need a little help getting started or sticking with our exercise routines. It is reasonable to enlist a friend to work out with you, or to hire a trainer to get you started or keep you going. For your own safety, make sure that the trainer is certified from a nationally recognized organization such as AFAA, ACE or ACSM.

First Things First! Most people have tremendous success with sticking to their exercise routines if they do it first thing in the morning. For people with small children, this time is usually before the kids are awake which makes for precious, uninterrupted time for parents. You are more likely to stick with it if it your time for exercise is at the same time everyday.

Have Fun! It is easy to get stuck in a rut, doing the same thing every time you decide to exercise. Try to get creative and have fun doing the things you like to do. If you like running or walking, then it makes sense to use a treadmill or walk / run outside. Perhaps swimming is your pleasure? Find a local pool and dive in! It is important that you change your routine and add new activities to keep it fresh.

Make it Convenient! Does your apartment complex have a fitness center that you've never seen? Is your treadmill collecting dust or being used as a coat hanger? If so, it's time to make a change and form a new habit! There's no excuse for not exercising regularly if it is convenient for you to do it. If necessary, join a gym nearby so that you can visit it on your way to or from work.

Make a Commitment! It is easier to stick with a commitment if the goal is written in a clear and precise format. For example “I will lose 5 pounds by the end of February” or “I will drop a dress size by March 1st”. With a combination of good nutritional habits and regular exercise, you can achieve consistent and healthy weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. It usually takes about 3 weeks to form a habit, so start now!

It is necessary to exercise and make wise eating choices consistently in order to reap the benefits. If you need motivation to get started, a personal trainer or gym memberships are wise investments in your health. Happy New Year and Happy Exercising!

Thanks for reading!

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Strength Training Vs Cardio – What Is Best for Weight Loss?

Many personal trainers are now using strength training as a primary method of fat burning for weight loss, while many professional bodybuilders mix cardio into their workout routines.

What is the truth? If you are confused on the issue, you are not alone. It seems complicated until you break it down to the basic truth: effective, long term weight loss requires a combination of cardio sessions and strength training sessions.

Cardiovascular training is effective for weight loss because it brings the heart rate up and keeps it there for an extended period of time. This places a higher than usual demand on the body for energy, which requires the body to burn a lot of calories to produce that energy. If you are watching what you eat and controlling your calorie consumption, the extra calories needed to produce this energy will be pulled from stored body fat. This is why those who do a lot of cardio work have an easier time losing weight. They simply have a higher demand for calories to burn.

How does training training fit into this? While dumbbells, barbells, and weight stacks used to be the domain of those looking for a super pumped, muscular frame, personal trainers are now using these tools for women and men who just want to lose some weight, tone up, and look their absolute best. Cardio still has to be a part of the weekly routine, but strength training is now considered essential for weight loss.

Strength training does strengthen and tone your muscle, but while doing that it places a huge demand for energy on your body. Modern research has shown that your metabolism stays elevated for hours after an intense strength training workout. This simply means you continue to burn calories at an elevated rate even after you have finished working out. Remember, the more calories you burn the more likely they are to be pulled from stored fat, so this is a great thing for weight loss.

Resistance training also keeps your muscle mass, and can help you build more muscle if needed. Women can do this without getting bulky like men. They simply become leaner and better toned, so they look smaller regardless of their weight. Men can get more bulk to them, but it takes considering effort to look like a professional bodybuilder.

The only problem with combining strength training and cardio for a well balanced weight loss program is that it takes a lot of time to put in three or more strength training sessions and many cardio sessions every week. The solution is often to do circuit training sessions that combine strength training movements with bursts of cardio. This keeps the heart rate high so the benefits of cardio are delivered, while still working the muscles for strength training benefits.

There are some people who benefit more from cardio and some who benefit more from strength training. If your goal is simply to lose weight, then a combination is your best plan.

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How To Choose Best Zumba Shoes for Women

Zumba craze is traveling all over the world, and it has become so popular nowdays … Zumba is the whole complex which combines several dance styles and aerobics. Zumba moves are taken from different dance styles, among them salsa, mambo, merengue, cha-cha, cambia, belly dance, samba, bhagra, tango, hip-hop, flamenco, and foxtrot. Aerobic activity is supported by specific rhythms of the music. Of course for such kind of activity you need proper shoes. So, if you are one of those who fell in love with Zumba fitness, and are looking for an advice on choosing Zumba shoes, keep reading.

Proper shoes are, may be, the most important part of your Zumba outfit. Not only would they help you do all the moves more correctly and burn those calories sooner, they also would protect you from the injuries during the workout. There are many points you should consider when choosing your Zumba fitness shoes, and here are the main advice while choosing shoes for Zumba:

– Try not to use your running or gyms shoes. The thing is that they are designed for other activities and because of that they have a great deal of grip. Zumba requires a lot of sliding and spinning. Running and gym shoes would not only be uncomfortable, but also dangerous. You risk getting ankle and knee injuries, and also blisters.

– Pay attention to shock absorption and weight. Zumba shoes should be lightweight and highly shock absorbent. While there are many models of dancing or aerobics shoes which fill the first requirement, very few of them have good shock absorption, which could result in injuries if using them for Zumba.

– Pay attention to the sole. It should be completely flat and smooth, once again, to avoid injuries.

– Pay attention to how your feet fell in the shoes. Comfort and cushioning is very important. Remember, you are going to perform very intense activity for almost an hour, so it's very important to feel comfortable.

– Do not save on Zumba shoes. Do not go for the cheapest option – it may not be what you need. Try the brands you trust, like Nike, Ryka, Bloch or Z-Sneakers.

– Choose mesh over synthetic leather – Zumba shoes should be highly breathable and able to trap the moisture for added comfort.

There are many proper shoes on the market, so do your research in different online stores.

Zumba is the largest and the most successful dance fitness program in the world. So join the party!

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How To Perform Cardio For Proper Heart Rate And Weight Loss

Cardio is well known for it's ability to help you lose weight, stay fit, and promote a healthy life. We all know this basic knowledge about cardio working to maximum heart rate. However, the problem is that many people do not understand the four basic reasons for performing cardio, in regards to targeting different fitness goals through maximum heart pulse.

You need to have an understanding of how to target maximum heart rate and how to get it up enough to hit certain fitness goals. So, let me give you the four main goals people have when dealing with cardio.

Here Are The Four Main Reasons:

-Maintaining overall general health consistently

-Reading certain weight loss (body fat loss) goals to become lean

-Get to a certain aerobic training point such as certain Fitness Goals

-Read a point of optimal health through maximum conditioning

Those are the four main reasons many individuals perform cardio and aim to increase their heart rate. Many people have attempted reaching these certain goals, however the problem is that many individuals do not know how to reach those goals and how to get their heart rate at the proper levels to hit those goals.

This is why I'd like to further explain how to reach each of these individual fitness goals through proper cardio and the exact method you need to implement and follow for maximum heart rate conditioning.

How To Calculate Your Maximum Heart Rate

Now the main problem is that many individuals do not know how to calculate their maximum heart pulse. This is where I want to explain how to do it properly and by which method you need to follow. Now for calculating your heart pace, there are two different specifications by which you'll calculate it.

Either you're a man, or you're a woman. So for men, you need to subtract your age from 220, and follow the steps I'll explain later in the article. For woman, you're going to subtract your age from 227 and follow the steps I'm going to explain.

Proper Heart Pulse For Good Overall Health

Many people struggle on a daily basis to even reach the daily minimum amount of exercises needed to maintain basic, overall health. Many of us are below the standard for basic health and need to get much higher if we want to live longer, healthier lives.

So, how do you maintain good overall health through cardio, and how do you calculate it so you know that you're doing it right? Well in order to maintain basic overall, good health, you need to perform enough cardio based off of your maximum heart rate.

It's recommended that you exercises for 40 minutes per day at 50% of your maximum heart pace if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle with little or no problems.

How To Calculate Heart Rate For Good Overall Health

So how do you calculate 50% of your maximum heart rate? Just do what I said initially and subtract your age from 220 if you're a man, and 227 if you're a woman, then you base 50% off of that number.

For example, I'm a 19 year old guy so I would subtract 19 from 220, which would be 201. I would then multiply 201 by 5., which for you non-mathematical individuals, would be equivalent of taking 50% of 201 I would then calculate it out and see that 100.5 would need to be my maximum heart pace that I exercises for 40 minutes a day.

Basically, if I want to maintain overall good health, I would perform cardio for 40 minutes a day with a maximum heart rate of 100.5. This is how I'd calculate to know if I'm getting the proper results of my cardio exercises for maintaining basic, overall health.

This is how you should be calculating your maximum heart pace every day not to lose weight, but just to maintain a healthy lifestyle that Promotes longer life. We'll jump into what it takes for weight loss in just a second.

Proper Heart Rate For Weight Loss

The main question with many individuals looking to lose weight is, “How do I lose weight effectively with cardio?” Many individuals perform cardio, but are not doing it right or are not performing the right exercises to target their maximum heart pace.

However, there is an easy way to calculate it out so you know if you really are doing enough cardio, hard enough to lose large quantities of body fat. The recommended amount of cardio you need to do in order to effectively lose as much fat as possible, is to perform cardio exercises 40 minutes for 5-6 days a week.

Although that may sound easy, there is another part to the maximum heart pace equation. You have to calculate how hard you need to work for that allotted time in order to destroy body fat fast. So, along with performing cardio for 40 minutes 5-6 days a week, you need to workout at 65% of your maximum heart rate. Simple right?

How To Calculate Heart Pulse For Effective Fat Loss

Now how do you calculate it so you know that you're working hard enough to really destroy body fat? All you have to do is subtract your age from 220 if you're a man, or subtract your age from 227 if you're a woman.

Once you do that, you then take 65% of that final number and that is the number your maximum heart pace needs to be. This is the number your heart rate needs to be during during the full cardio workout period, if you really desire to lose body fat extremely fast and naturally.

This is how you need to calculate your maximum heart pace everyday in order to lose that weight you so desire to lose.

Proper Heart Rate For Aerobic Training

Now for those looking to go past normal weight loss, and actually maximize their stamina and endurance dramatically, you can aim for maximum heart rate that promotes proper aerobic training. To perform proper cardio as hard and as long as you need to, you have to exercises 40 minutes 3-5 times a week at 75% of your maximum heart pulse.

This will not only help you lose massive amounts of weight, but it will push you past that “weight loss level” and take your stamina and endurance to an entirely new level.

This is basically for individuals who are pretty fit and healthy, who want to drop a little bit of extra weight. Or, this can be for individuals aiming for high goals, who want to reach those weight loss goals in the least amount of time.

How To Calculate Heart Pace For Aerobic Training

So, how do you know if you¡¯re past the average weight loss cardio and are pushing yourself for increased stamina and fitness? Well, all you do here is keep in mind that you're performing cardio for 40 minutes 3-5 times a week at 75% of your maximum heart pace.

The way you calculate this is to subtract your age from 200 if you're a man, or subtract your age from 227 if you're a woman. By doing this, you can calculate what your heart rate needs to be for the entire time that you perform cardio. Then, once you got it figured out and know what your heart rate needs to be, just keep it that way and you'll surpass your normal fitness levels.

Proper Heart Rate For Absolute Maximum Conditioning

Now this is for those individuals looking to aim superbly high and reach goals that they never thought possible. Basically you're aiming to get as fit and healthy as your body will probably allow for. These buildings maximum endurance and stamina for high intensity workouts and activities that involve short, powerful bursts of energy.

For these kind of cardio workouts, you'll be breathing as hard as you possibly can and you'll definitely be pushing your body to the limit. There's no limit to how much body fat you can destroy with just one of these cardio workouts.

How To Calculate Heart Rate For Absolute Maximum Conditioning

Now, based on the last three methods, the way to calculate maximum heart pace has stayed pretty much the same. So, since the calculation method has remained stable, what do you think we're going to do to calculate heart rates for maximum conditioning?

Yup, we're going to subtract our age from 220 if were men, and subtract our age from 227 if you're a woman. Then, the numbers change and you're going to take 85% of that final number, and that will be your heart pace.

Yes, for Ultimate Conditioning (for crazy fitness people) you need to perform cardio workouts at 85% of your maximum heart rate. That is dynamically significant. The reason for this high intensity is that you're training your body to be the absolute best it can be to maintain optimal health and vitality for you.

So, once again you take that final number after doing the math, and that should be your consistent heart rate throughout the entire cardio workouts. Remember this is for individuals looking to get insanely fit and push their bodies to their ultimate limits, but this does promote insane fat loss and will give you much faster results.

So, if you're determined, I suggest you go for this approach and start getting Ultimate Fat Loss results.

How To Determine What Your Heart Rate Is During Workouts

Now that you have an understanding of proper heart pace for different goals, you have to be able to determine what your heart rate is through exercises. So all you have to do is go out and find the best all-around heart rate monitor and learn to pay careful attention to what your heart rate meter tells you during workouts.

Take down information and learn how to take control of your weight loss and health today. This is huge for anyone looking to really lose fat naturally and easily, so now that you have the proper knowledge, get out there and use it.

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My Experience With Nike Zumba Shoes

Since Zumba is becoming more and more popular, many people start thinking about shoes and clothing that would compliment Zumba fitness workouts while also helping get the most from the training and avoid injuries. I would say that the most important part of Zumba outfit is the shoes. Zumba is highly intensive training which requires intensive legwork, and the more comfortable and suitable for such kind of activity your shoes are, the better.

I have been practicing Zumba for 2 years and tried many Zumba shoes – Z, Ryka, Bloch … you name it … All in all I like Nike the best. Their shoes are just more comfortable, as for me.

My first pair of Nike Zumba shoes were Musique III. That was a great shoe – it looked gorgeous (like suede), and felt very comfy. Nike Musique have sliding pads on the sole as well as cushioned heel, so it makes great shock absorption. Recently Nike released an updated version, Nike Musique IV which are even more comfortable, as they combine synthetic leather with mesh. That makes them not only highly breathable, but also makes the foot fit perfectly and cushions it.

The second Nike choice I would make is Nike Shox. These are very lightweight and comfortable, however I do not like how they look. The heel looks too fancy for me. But if you do not pay attention to the look (or like the way they look), they would be a great choice for your workout – they are very comfortable, cushion the feet and absorb the shock from jumping and other Zumba moves.

For those who would like to combine training and dancing sneakers all in one try Nike Zoom Sister. Although generally it's not recommended to wear training sneakers for Zumba class, these do not have excessive traction, so they do not interfere with sliding movements. These shoes combine multiple technologies from Nike – Flywire for light weight support, and Nike + to help track your progress. Nike Zoom Sister will suit any fitness activity, as they allow move front, back or side-to-side while keeping your feet stable in whatever position.

I would not say that other brands are much worse, but Nike is much popular and trustworthy, as for me. Nike Zumba shoes also do not cost very expensive comparing to other brands. You can buy them at Zappos or Shoes.com for as low as $ 60 (compare to $ 80 Ryka or $ 70 Capezio). All in all, my choice for Zumba is Nike. What's yours?

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The System Approach to Fitness

There is a truism we know intuitively but one that we rarely rely on when we start exercising, or when we continue and develop our exercise regimens. The body is a system. It is not a collection of interworking parts and processes. Specifically, if changes occur in one area, the entire body will be affected. Exercising to build muscle, for example, usually has a positive impact on bone density. The body just knows to do this because it is a system, not a collection of parts.

I have never found that building muscle made my athletic life better. I grew bigger but with the added weight or density I was slower. I have the muscle I need because I work out aerobically and my body system adjusts the muscle density to accommodate the activities that I am pursuing. Do not get me wrong. Muscle building has its place for certain activities, such as football, or other high-contact sports. It also has many positive consequences when you get older. But it has a limit. Ask any body builder what happens to their bodies if they start to back off weight lifting. Every one of them will tell you that they gain body fat like crazy. The body is a system and without the consistent calorie-burning of weight lifting, it adjusts itself to the added muscle tissue.

If you want to have a better surfer, or snow skier, or horseback rider, or something like this, then building your cardiovascular system will do you much more good than lifting weights. If you condition your body to operate at a high level of activity, then surfing, snow skiing, horseback riding, etc. will be much, much easier. You have allowed your body system to adjust and adapt.

If you want to know what kind of exercises to do in order to be a better skier, surfer, etc., look at the training methods of the professionals in that sport. Most of them incorporated a weight lifting regimen but in a limited fashion. They do aerobic exercise to refine their lung capacity, drive up their metabolism, and accustom their bodies to high-impact activity.

The body is a system and if you train it like a system you will find the best results. If you lift weights, then expect to drop some weight. Just do not focus too much on this aspect of exercise. If you run long distances, you can expect, over time, your legs to get stronger, your bones to get stronger, and most especially, your lung and metabolic ability to improve drastically.

While I was in the military, we never lived weights. That is, we never went to a gym and 'pumped iron.' We had the muscle tissue we needed because during a normal day we were lifting things, and pushing things, and otherwise using the muscles of our bodies in the way that we needed to use them. We exercised and focused on cardio, and raising the metabolism, and 'jacking up' our aerobic capacities.

So, do not be fooled by crazy exercise equipment. Do not be convinced that going to the gym and lifting weights will definitely make you a better surfer, or snow skier. It will not. You probably will not lose the weight you want to lose, either. You have to treat your body like a system in order for it to operate like a system, which is the only way it knows.

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50+ Fitness – Cardio Vs Strength Training

With all of the fitness and workout advice coming from virtually everywhere in our world, Bob and Ron tackle a common question, “Is cardio or strength training best?” The answer may surprise you but, read on as they make sense of this situation.

Bob's Experience:

Many people are confused or at least undecided about what a mix of cardio and strength training they should practice, particularly now that they're 50 plus. In my particular case I've generally leaned more towards some form of strength or resistance training – driven initially by my desire to look better. You see, I was told at the time that strength training was the primary form of exercise for changing the shape of your body – and it worked.

After lifting weights under the guidance of a personal trainer for 18 months, I had to have all my suits altered, taking in the pant waist and seat, taking in the coat at the waist and letting out the coat at the back seam and under the arm. I had effectively changed the shape of my body to something more of the “V” expected and desired by some. And this was at the age of 49. Wow, was I proud of my accomplishment.

Yes, I also did cardio, primarily treadmill walking and rowing machine to help burn more fat and help my heart, but to change the shape of your body I'd recommend weight training.

However, beyond the esthetic side, and more importantly for us over 50, I truly believe that we really need to keep all areas of our body strong as we age. We do not want to end up as one of those individuals with a reliably strong heart and lungs who can not get up from a chair by themselves. If you want to live a full 50 + / + Fit Quality of Life Style you have to keep your body strong, not just your legs, but all muscle groups.

But the question remains, how much of each for a good balanced workout? And is it “one size fits all?” Or does the ideal mix of the two forms of exercise depend on your individual goals and needs? I assume it's an individual case-by-case decision, so for thing for those wise words, I have to turn to Ron.

Ron's Expertise:

True words! In fact, some fitness experts suggest that if your goal is to add muscle mass, you might even abstain from cardio training until you are close to reaching your muscle-building goal. This is assuming that you have little or no fat to lose before adding muscle.

For most of us 50+, the multiple benefits of a good cardio routine can not be ignored. Stamina – that is the ability to continue to do whatever you'd like without wearing out “quickly is a key benefit to a consistent cardio workout. Additionally, cardiovascular health – or a “healthy heart” is a benefit derived from a cardio workout that is possibly the most powerful reason to hit the treadmill. And, like any form of working out – strength or cardio – the residual calorie burn for hours after finishing your workout will help burn excess calories, if weight loss is your goal.

Cardio workouts should be aggressive enough that while working out you can only speak in short sentences – this is referred to as the “talk test.” If you can carry on a lively conversation, step up your workout. If you are gasping for air, slow it down just a little.

Of course, as you add muscle mass, you're adding to your calorie burn – even at rest. So, for most of us 50+, a good combination of both is the ideal approach. Current industry trends suggest cardiovascular training 30-60 minutes, 4-6 times per week plus a full-body resistance / strength training session 4-5 days per week.

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Beginner’s Guide To Running For Fitness And Weight Loss

Running is one of my favorite ways to get fit. It can become quite addictive as you strive to improve your times and if you stick at it you'll find yourself looking forward to your jog. Its main benefit is to the heart and lungs which will do you the world of good but your lower body will get a tremendous work out as well. A good pair of trainers and some comfortable clothes is all you will need.

There are a number of reasons why you might want to take up running. For a start it burns up a lot of calories. About 600 calories an hour seems average but if your overweight then you may burn considerably more as your having to work harder. You will notice that you feel refreshed and positive after a run and less stressed.

You should seek expert advice before starting any strenuous exercise. The main thing is to start of slowly in order to give your body time to adapt and if you have not exercised in some time it is a good idea to do a few weeks of hiking or walking. See my article on walking for fitness and weight loss. Then you can try some short bursts of jogging in your walk such as 2 minutes running and 5 minutes of walking. Try to increase the duration of the running while reducing the walking time. You will experience rapid gains at this stage and it wont be long before you are able to run for multiple miles.

Its best to mix up your running routine by running different courses and different distances. This will keep things interesting mentally and offer you a different challenge. When running try to keep your neck and shoulders relaxed and keep your torso straight and upright while engaging your stomach muscles. Try to land the feet gracefully not stomping. Most people will land on the heel and roll onto the toe and push off. Other runners will land more on the middle of the foot which may allow you to run more efficiently. Remember to stay nice and relaxed as you will achieve greater speed with less effort.

Remember to stretch out thoroughly after every run or you will lose flexibility and suffer very saw stiff muscles. You will most likely suffer some form of injury when you start running especially if you rush in to quickly. You should seek expert advice on injuries and stop training. Some common problems are shin splints, bad knees or sore hips. Good trainers will help and you can go to a good sports shop for advice when buying trainers. You should not run with shin splints as you can develop a stress fracture and should wait for them to heal.

As with walking I recommend that you perform a couple of sessions a week of resistance training. This will give you a more round development and will help with your running as you will have more strength.

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Interval Training – Exploding Your Workout

The phrase 'interval training' should be synonymous with the word EXPLOSIVE. It can involve biking, climbing, squat thrusts, plyometrics, and many other things, but most famously sprinting.

It involves 3 things:

1. Many and large muscle groups,

2. maximum heart rate / cellular stress

3. periodic cool downs

Now flex your leg as hard as you can. Just do it!

Notice at first, it's easy and your leg feels strong, but as you're reading this and time passes, it becomes harder to maintain a powerful flex. This demonstrates the different sources of ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate), and how they wear out, forcing the muscles power to diminish.

Interval training is like fine tuning your exercise to the natural flow of cellular energy. The cell's most basic form of energy is ATP. There are 4 basic sources of ATP which are too complicated and boring to get into very much, but each successful source of ATP is a less immediate and lower source of energy. During the most intense activity, a cell's initial store of ATP can be exhausted in two second. The second source of ATP (the ATP-PCr system) may only last 10 seconds and the third (the glycolytic system), which starts at same time as the ATP-PCr system, lasts as little as 2 minutes. These first three sources of ATP is called the anaerobic system. The fourth (the oxidative system) is the primary supplier of APT during lower-intensity activity, when the anaerobic system is not needed much. It is slow and can sustain only moderate activity, but may last quite some time. Interval training targets the anaerobic sources of APT which are the fastest and most ready sources of energy for use.

In many ways, Interval training is superior to long-lasting cardio exercises of less intensity. Less intestine cardio uses more of the oxidative system; which does not reserve lean muscle mass very well during exercise. There are many benefits of interval training. Along with burning maximum calories relative to time, interval training preserves and Promotes more muscle growth. It also increases the resting metabolism which is crucial for burning fat and benefits cardiovascular strength. Interval training may only last 10 to 15 minutes, but you may feel like you're about to die. Interval training is about power and intensity not necessarily endurance. Types of interval training, rather than moderate cardio, can be ideal for all age groups and fitness levels.

Interval training should start with a warm-up. During the warm-up you should be able to have a conversation; otherwise you're using the anaerobic system too much too soon and should slow down. A warm-up should last 5 minutes, is meant to get the blood pumping and the body ready for the actual workout.

After the warm-up is finished, it's time to sprint. This should be highly intensive; as if you're trying to escape death from a crocodile, an aggressive water hippo, or a rapid land-tuna; yielding some sort of above-water breathing apparatus. If this part of the set is not enough sufficient, the cell's ATP source will default to the oxidative system rather than the anaerobic system. You should try and target the anaerobic systems during the heightened portion of the interval, so minimizing the time from 30 seconds to 3 minutes and maximizing the intensity is critical.

The next part of this set is recovery. A slow recovery is needed for the anaerobic systems to renew and prepare itself for the next set. Recovery should last 3 to 5 minutes until a slow breathing rate is comfortable; then it's time to sprint again. Do 3 to 5 sets to complete the workout. Also, remember that this principle of interval training can be applied to many forms of exercise.

With or without starting any exercise program nutrition is always 100% necessary. Malnutrition can lead to a loss of muscle mass, a reduced metabolism, and can have countless other negative effects. During interval training, malnutrition will also cause low energy, dizziness, poor exercise, and poor results. A proper balance of complete proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats should be utilized for any lifestyle or exercise program.

There are dangers to interval training. It may be wise to take interval training slowly at first; building up to higher intensity over days, weeks, or months. This of course, depends on your cardiovascular fitness levels and age. Consult your doctor before starting an exercise program to avoid any possible risks.

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Fun and Fitness With Aqua Aerobics

Water aerobic exercises, also known in other terms as water fitness, water exercise, water jogging or water aerobics, offer a low-impact and low-risk way of getting into shape that are effective for people who are dealing with joint problems or arthritis. Even those who have stayed sedentary for a long time will benefit from these workouts because they can be of great help in the process of slowly building a fitness routine.

Water workouts are also known for improving balance, strength, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility without training the muscles and joints. By using water as resistance and allowing athletes to engage in exercises that are normally performed on land, they can provide the benefits of aerobic workouts while decreasing the risk of injuries at the same time. You do not have to be a swimmer to participate in water aerobics, as many of the exercises are done in shallow water.

While no single exercise is perfect for everyone, water aerobics comes close by conforming to individual needs, abilities and restrictions. A study in the March 2002 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise came out declaring the pluses of workouts in water. Water aerobics is an excellent addition to any weight loss program since it will ensure an aerobic workout and burn calories without undo stress or strain on the joints. This can help with motivation to continue exercising.

Water aerobic exercises are available in different forms. While most forms can be performed without specialized equipment, others require the use of flippers, flotation devices, water weights, and aquatic shoes. Although aqua aerobics adds less pressure on your muscles and joints, it can still help you burn as many calories as you would when performing land aerobics. In fact, you can burn up to 300-500 calories per session of kicking, jumping, running, or squatting in water.

Aqua aerobics is not only ideal for injured people and the elderly; pregnant women and overweight individuals will also benefit from its low-impact yet high-resistance nature. Water aerobic exercises are also perfect for those who are suffering from back pain, arthritis, and other joint or muscle problems. The water can partially support your weight and slow down your movement so you can easily perform a wider range of movements without hurting yourself. This form of aerobic exercise is also an amazing stress buster because it will relax your body after a long and tiring day of work.

If you would like to have a fun alternative to land exercise then water aerobics might be your choice for fitness and weight loss.

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