Browsing: Aerobics Cardio

Why Swimming Is a Good Cardiovascular Exercise

Swimming could be done as a cardio vascular exercise to increase cardiovascular fitness, the value of which shall be explained later. First you need to know what cardiovascular fitness is and why we need to do cardiovascular exercises in order to improve our cardiovascular health to the maximum.

  • Cardiovascular fitness

Cardiovascular fitness is the ability of your body to efficiently transport and use oxygen, these means having healthy organs that function properly for example your heart and lungs. If you are fit and healthy your heart functions properly and pumps blood and oxygen as is needed by your body but if you are not as fit as you should be then your heart is not efficient in doing its functions and health problems to build up. One of the best ways to improve cardiovascular fitness and efficiency is to exercise regularly. There are many cardiovascular exercises but for this article we are only going to focus on the benefits of swimming for maintaining or improving cardiovascular fitness.

  • How swimming improves cardiovascular fitness

Swimming can be an excellent form of cardio provided we swim with the intention of getting a proper workout during our time in the pool, if you are swimming for cardiovascular fitness, you are hitting those laps hard and going as fast as possible in order to raise your heart rate. If you get used to swimming regularly, you could end up being able to do many laps in the pool which would be more beneficial. You see with swimming you will get out of breath and there is a lot of holding your breath and controlling your breathing rate going on, these trains your lungs and over time your lung capacity increases. That means your lungs can now take in more oxygen which will then be transferred into your bloodstream. Your heart will improve and be able to pump more oxygen and blood per heart beat.

Going to swim as your cardiovascular exercise will help you increase your muscular and cardiovascular endurance, this improvement in your fitness levels will in turn make daily activities easier to do because you will have more energy and you will feel like a million bucks. Plus there is an advantage to swimming instead of doing other cardio exercises is that because your body is fully supported by the water there is less negative impact on your body because you do not have to support your body weight and the extra force that is present when you do other cardiovascular exercises such as jogging.

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How to Get Ready for Interval Training

Intense training reiterates to pushing your body and muscles to their maximum potential level in order to reduce body fat. You will find that doing the hardest training exercises first is the best way to lose that ugly belly fat. For an example take a look at a sponge, squeeze it tightly then put it in water when you let it go it actually absorbs much more water than when it is slightly squeezed, that is exactly how we are going to kill that body fat.

On the other hand, this should not be thought of as a fight, it has to be enjoyed. In most cases if you think that a challenge is a fight then it will be a fight but if you take it as a positive challenge it turns out to be fun and enjoyable in the process. So you have to deal with your mind, fine tune it in such a way that you will not ever think of the negative limiting factors, you have live energy in you which can help you get perfect abs, just like everyone else who got their 6 pack abs.

I always start my training on a treadmill and it has worked wonders on my abs. Set a 20 minutes timer, start walking at about 5 km per hour for 2 minutes then increase it to 6 km per hour and start jogging, gradually increase it to 10 km per hour, at that point you must increase the gradient or slope of the treadmill to not more than 5 percent, keep the pace for no longer than 3 minutes, then return to walking at 5 km per hour and repeat the exercise till the time is up.

Once you are done with the treadmill you can start with the abs exercises, abs are also muscles, so in order for them to grow they need to rest. So train your abs as you would train your other parts of the body. Do not forget to drink water frequently to prevent dehydration.

If you want your abs to be toned and have a ripped six-pack, you must learn the powerful strategy of drinking water repeatedly. A lot of people do not drink water when it is cold or whilst training and some just avoid drinking it at all, from when you wake up in the morning drink a glass of water per hour for eight hours or more, this strategy will ensure a healthy diet, digestion and protein take for your muscles.

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Two Groups Of Aerobic Fitness Factors

Health associated fitness factors. These factors define how well the systems of your body operate.

1. Physical Structure – the quantity of lean mass compared to the amount of body fat typically is declared in terms of percent body fat.

2. Cardiovascular and Respiratory Endurance – ability of the heart, lungs and muscles to carry out activity over a sustained period of time. The usual fitness test for this component is the one mile run.

3. Musculature Strength – ability of a muscle group or a specific muscle to exert maximum force against a resistance one time through a full range of motion. The common fitness test for this component is pull-us or flexed arm hang.

4. Musical Endurance – ability of a muscle group or a specific muscle to exert a sub maximal force repeatedly over time. The usual fitness test for this component is curl-ups.

5. Flexibility – ability to stretch, twist and bend the body with ease through an entire range of motion. The common fitness test for this factor is the site and reach test.

Skill associated fitness factors. These factors define the physical capacity of a person to become an athlete.

1. Balance – ability to keep the control of the body while fixed or moving.

2. Agility – ability to alter direction of the body promptly and easily. The usual Fitness- Test for this element is the shuttle Run.

3. Coordination – ability to synchronize the senses, such as auditory sense and sight, with body parts in the process of executing motor tasks smoothly and precisely.

4. Power – ability to merge force and speed in one movement

5. Speed ​​- ability to quickly make a motion with your body from one point to another.

6. Response Time – the time between a signal and the beginning of a movement.

Health benefits of aerobic fitness

With regular aerobic exercise your heart becomes stronger and you need less resting while doing work. Regular exercise makes you have more energy. Aerobic exercise is also the best cure for weight problems. Your blood pressure will be decreed, muscles and bones strengthened. One of the biggest problems in today's way of life is stress. Aerobic exercise scales down tension and stress. Other benefits which you can expect include: higher quality of life, increased capability of your brain to learn, improved body composition and much better sleep.

Before doing any aerobic exercise do not forget to warm up.

Warmed muscle tissue is less likely to be stretched or damaged. Warming up before doing exercise will also make your body ready for more vigorous training.

At the end of your aerobic training do not forget to cool off.

Cooling off periods minimize the chances of you passing out after exercise has been completed. If your running comes to an abrupt end, blood will pour into your legs in large quantities and there will be less blood available for your brain.

Cooling off periods assist the return of blood to the heart. Cooling off periods also scale down muscle irritation.

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Look Good, Feel Better! With Cardiovascular Exercise

While home cardiovascular exercise training devices are not nearly as good as the equipment accessible at the health club, the product quality is generally adequate to assist normal exercises. Be certain to take proper care of them. Taking care of home gym machines is the obvious way to make sure you will get your money's worth from them.

What is wonderful about possessing cardiovascular exercise devices in your residence is that you do not have to be concerned about getting dressed for freezing weather last months to go work out. You can also exercise for several minutes or even hours devoid of having to be concerned about someone else seeking a turn on the cardiovascular exercise apparatus.

If you are uneasy about the expense of acquiring your personal cardio exercise devices, you should pay a visit to your nearby fitness center then you can evaluate the expense. Bear in mind after you include your initiative expenses, regular membership charges, and fuel to get to and from, you could have invested in the equipment for your own use.

When choosing cardio exercise devices, stay away from equipment that positions excess weight or level of resistance on the hip-joint. Although it is not a piece of equipment, swimming pools provide a safe and sound device equally for muscle-strengthening and cardio.

The elliptical exercise machine and fitness bike, placed to percentage incline, offer you low-impact alternatives for cardiovascular exercise. Going for walks using a home treadmill, fixed to per cent slope, generates minimum effect on the hip-joint.

Jogging or speed-walking on the fitness treadmill machine may possibly position an excess amount of excess weight to the joint. Neverheless, you need to talk about even light jogging or speedy jogging together with your medical professional prior to taking part in this exercise.

Regrettably, most cardiovascular workout devices could cost a couple of hundred to thousands of dollars. The great news is that we now have vendors that offer inexpensive cardio exercise work out devices. Therefore, it's actually dependent on looking for the ideal merchandise as well as the supplier.

The internet marketers should provide an outstanding supply of this since there are a large number of dealers on the internet. Make sure you look into the trustworthiness of the vendor prior to adding any purchases. Inquiries would additionally be essential along with studying client comments regarding the supplier per se.

Gym memberships, fitness treadmills and other cardio exercise training devices are normally not advisable for small children simply because their physiques are not prepared for that form of activity. As an alternative, promote enjoyable routines like jump rope, hopscotch, four square and bike rides. If there are other children in the household or community, recommend a game of tag or conceal and go look for. These are exciting methods for youngsters to be active.

Versa climbers are about the most effective and demanding cardiovascular exercise work out apparatus. This device is the very least democratic with cardiovascular devices in virtually any fitness center. Do not be shocked if it is not used and just accumulates airborne dirt and dust. However it is really a beneficial cardiovascular device. It makes a move like your mounting vertically. They would be pushed to go in opposition to the normal force of gravitational forces. The use of the device could very easily and efficiently increase your cardiovascular rate.

The Twister becomes a very good unwanted fat burning aerobic exercise workout apparatus. It enables you to have an effective toning resistance that provides exercise routines for the upper body. The Twister is a stimulating and pleasant way of firming and toning your body, buttocks, and upper thighs, while burning unwelcome fat. It has been found that twister functions as excellent physical fitness apparatus that assists a person to keep healthy and in condition.

Cardiovascular exercise has been proven to help with weight loss and enhance your physical condition. Now the decision to buy equipment for your home or join a health and fitness club is the big question.

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Can You Attain Success With Insanity Weight Loss DVD’s?

Like many other weight loss programs, the Insanity program started its venture in the market with great hype. The product is commonly known as Insanity has been praised by millions of users around the world and now is listed among the very best ever weight loss solution that has ever launched. This product is a 60 day workout program. It has already outdone many similar products with outstanding effects on the user. But it takes you to another world of living with efforts and eating habits. Reading this Insanity weight loss DVD review will get you to the core strength, information and unavoidable limitations of this program.

Core design of the Insanity DVD's

The product talks about a slightly different approach. However, your comfort will certainly get you through this journey and lose weight successfully in a short time. This product can only help if you have the spirit of competition and sportsmanship. If you are strict about personal issues and have a definite goal, you will find this product is a great one to be on. The recommended way to get the most of this program involves dedication, honesty and target-orientation from inside. Before you choose this program to be your coach, try to follow the insanity weight loss program DVD reviews and find out what suits you and what does not.

Insanity Weight Loss DVD's may not be the right pick for lazy people!

If you do not like sports, if you do not want to be on an exciting journey of extreme physical aptitudes, the program might not be a good pick for you. The users that have been successful with the 60 day program were proactive through and through being physically fit and aggressive. Let me be honest, if you prefer passive and low-key forms of sports and physical activities do not go for this program.

Insanity Weight Loss DVD's recommendations

Once you have followed through the program, you should have lost 7 lbs at least. You will also be able to decrease your vital structure (approximately 2 inches in diameter). The creator of this program recommends being focused and continuous. Changing your approaches to life can help you motivate yourself and change the scenario in the shortest hours. If you repeat the course, you will be able to reduce 20 lbs in a year, so the bait is all yours. You should also try to find someone who will accompany you through this journey, talk to people around you about the program and your improvements (blogs, forums can help a lot). Above all, keep up with the chart inside the box to stay focused, result-oriented and success-potent.

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P90X Weight Loss DVD Review: A Step-By-Step Dissection

Infomercials have influenced the outlook of many people around the world, as some digital products have been changing the lives in these recent few years. Many users have been following some popular digital products and reported to accomplish better living. Well, the product that has changed the perceptions in the weight loss industry today is better known as the P90X weight loss DVD program. This is certainly the most popular weight loss program across the globe at this moment. This product comes with a well-equipped guidance system that can help anyone to accomplish the goal of losing weight successfully without exerting dangerous effects to the body.

Insider secrets of the P90X DVD program

As the users have reported, the product has been successful in implementing discipline that helps. There are specific descriptions of the procedures that you will need to follow during the course. The comprehensiveness and easy-to-follow modules make this product an ultimate success in this field. But as a new user or a potential consumer, you may have a few questions in your mind, such as how much weight will you lose, what type of diet this product suggests etc. Let's discover the insider secrets and learn about the product thoroughly.

I assume that you have already ordered the product from Amazon.com and your mail has hit your mailbox. Once you unpack, you will get 13 P90X weight loss DVDs in a small little case that you will need to follow through next 90 days. Try to keep them together and in an arranged way to get things organized and smoother.

What's inside the box: P90X DVD program?

Then you will come across the overview book explaining everything of the program. You will have the practicing methods; nutrition plan and everything you might need for the program in that book. This should be your companion while you are following the P90X weight loss DVD through these 90 days.

There are also a few add-ons inside the box. You will get a food guide and a tracking chart to provide administrative support while implementing the method. The product is comprehensive and equipped very well for anyone interested in losing weight in a systematic way. For the starters, the creator of the product has suggested a pull up bar or resistance bands to get the initiative. Dumbbells and traditional exercising equipments can also help. Once you have prepared yourself for an active 90 days, you can start and follow watching the P90X weight loss DVD from day 1.

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Does Zumba Work To Burn Calories?

If you have not already heard calories can drop off while you enjoy your workout. But whats all the fuss about? The idea first raised itself in the mid 1990's but it was not until 2001 that the movement really started. Combining Latin based infused music with easy to learn steps, this really is a fun way to improve your fitness, tone up and of course lose some weight. Most fitness plans involve lengthy gym sessions and harsh diet requirements which can easily lead to you giving up or becoming very bored of the time you've given yourself. Zumba offers results in your fitness by encouraging you to have fun while you're doing it.

With over 12 million users and a multitude of countries participating, Zumba is now the most successful dance fitness program out there. If you review the numbers you will realize that Zumba applies right across the board, all ages and all levels of fitness. There are different variations to how you can use Zumba as you can train in water or bring sticks into the workout for different results. The use of music while working out is not that unique but what puts Zumba apart is the choice of music with Latin based dance already being a natural core toner.

Zumba calories are burned by sweating, dancing and most of all having fun. Now we have all heard of high numbers being floated around as far as how many calories are burnt during any one session. I would ask your own instructor for a number as not only does he / she work closely with you but more importantly they know how hard you work. I can say that anything from 400 to 800 calories burned each session is achievable, again depending on how hard you push yourself. Also your diet is very important while your training because eating correctly will give you good energy levels during sessions helping you gain the best results possible.

Once you have a good eating habit established you can see how your daily energy levels increase which can only be a good thing. The purchase of a heart monitor will give you extra control over your Zumba calories burned during your sessions and if monitored correctly it will tell you when you have dropped off or increased your intensity levels. It is important for you to know that knowledge in Latin dance is not part of the Zumba criteria as your instructor will have a multitude of step routines that will cater to all levels. Do not forget this is not a dance competition, you are there to improve your fitness levels and burn those calories, meeting friends and enjoying your self along the way.

Another thing I love about Zumba is that if you feel this is something you could run yourself there are steps in place so that becoming a Zumba instructor can become a reality giving you something to strive towards. Zumba really does tick all the boxes so I say get involved for yourself see those calories drop off as you dance yourself to a better way of living.

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Why Water Aerobics Is a Great Exercise Option

Looking for a new alternative to your daily walk, or trip to the gym? Why not try water aerobics! This is a is a low impact exercise that will still make you sweat!

You may think that swimming in a pool is all it takes for water exercises. But this is not true! Water aerobics is a full body workout, using every muscle from your legs to your shoulders. After an hour doing this aerobic exercise you are sure to feel the burn!

So how can one get started?

Surprisingly, many local pools offer classes in this sport, and usually for a very low cost. Check your local pool, or local gym to see if they are offering classes. These classes are fairly popular, so be sure to sign up early to ensure you have a spot.

If your local pool or gym does not offer the class, make your own class. There are many shops and online stores which offer great sports equipment, and for affordable cost. You'll be able to build up your own water aerobics kit, and many of these items you can take with you, so even when you travel you can stick to your workout.

What does water aerobics consist of?

This exercise uses cardio and strength training, as well as resistance training. You will be doing a good bit of cardio as you jog in the pool, or do laps. The strength training comes in the form of building your shoulder muscles, leg muscles, and core muscles as you go through the routine. Resistance training is a big part of water aerobics. Many professional swimmers complete a vicious workout daily involving water aerobics for resistance training and to improve their performance.

The use of outside of equipment is a benefit to your routine, although not mandatory. Water aerobics equipment helps the swimmer maintain body alignment and improve performance; additionally the use of equipment can make for an overall more productive workout. The use of exercise equipment is a perfect way to increase leg and core strength during your workout.

What type of equipment is available to improve your workout?

There is a wide variety of equipment options available to improve your workout. Resistance bands and kick boards are the most common items that are used during a water aerobics workout. An Aquajogger belt is a great option to help increase weight loss during a workout. Use the Aquajogger belt to tone the abdominal muscles and maintain correct posture. A great alternative to the common sit-up!

If you're ready to get started with a water aerobics exercise routine, check out some local sports store or online store to start your water aerobics kit today!

Copyright (c) 2012 SwimShopUSA

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Running: Pro or Con?

Running has always been a part of many cardio workouts and early morning races. Whether training for a marathon, interval sprints or a casual jog, running is how we complete or start our workout. However, did we ever take a minute to stop and justify if this form of exercise was the best for maintaining a healthy body weight, increasing aerobic fitness and decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease?

Well, running does achieve all of those healthy goals but the injuries and effect of the consistent impact greatly increases chronic pain and muscle overuse. Many runners have issues relating to their knees, ankles, hips and joints from consistently running. A study conducted by Young-Hoo Kwon, Lori R. Bolt and Jaekun Shim from the Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA, showcased the Mechanics of Pole Running in subjects with chronic knee problems.

After conducting a focus group, the data revealed that using Nordic Walking poles significantly reduced the knee stress during the swing phase and significantly increased the maximum hypertension of the hip. The force of your foot hitting the pavement is what causes muscle, joint and bone strain. Using poles to propel yourself forward decreases the foot to ground interaction which not only allows you to move faster than the push off but treat the impact.

Whether you are an athlete or just a casual exerciser, it is important to be safe and decrease your risk of injury. Utilizing poles in your walking routine allows not only more calories burned in a shorter time, but also the stress on your body to be greatly reduced.

Now that we have convinced you to switch in your running routine for a new Nordic Walking workout, learn the WHY behind exercise warm up.

When we finally feel that sense of motivation to exercise, we usually jump right into a workout before that feeling is gone. However, holding back our eagerness to walk, jog, dance and anything else you can think of, until after you warm up will prove much more beneficial.

Exercising affects your muscles and cardiovascular system. Stated in the Nordic Walking Magazine, the skeletal muscles at rest only receive around fifteen percent of the total blood flow. This is unlike the major organs such as your intestines, liver and brain, which receive the rest of the blood flow. When you exercise your body switches and provides around eighty percent of the total blood flow to the muscles.

According to Nordic Walking Magazine, participating in a warm up prior to strenuous exercise is an important precautionary step that can prevent potentially dangerous cardiac abnormalities. Warming up for five minutes is plenty of time for the body to switch blood flow from the major organs to the skeletal muscles, lungs, skin and heart. In addition to allowing your body time to work out you are also drastically decreasing the risk of injury because your skeletal muscles become more pliable.

Stated in Nordic Walking magazine is a great example of a Nordic Walking warm up which begins with a five minute walk without using the Nordic walking poles, which can just be held horizontally behind you. The benefit of warming up without poles is the ability to focus on how your foot is rolling off the pavement, straightening your post and perfecting your walking technique. Once you feel your body is ready to begin, gradually increase your walking pace and incorporate the poles into the routine.

I'm Done, I'm Exhausted- Why Do I Need to Cool Down?

As your workout comes to an end your mind is most likely filled with the thought of a cold shower, clean clothes, happiness and collapsing on the living room floor. Although those are all great ideas, they may not be the most beneficial to your body after vivid activity.

Just as warm up prior to exercising is important, so is the cool down. According to the Nordic Walking Magazine, your legs act as “partner-pumps” during Nordic Walking which keep your blood flowing efficiently between your upper and lower body. When you stop exercise suddenly your muscles have no need to pump this way there before the blood is slowing its way to the heart.

If you have ever sprinted to the finish line and then stopped to bend over to catch your breath you may feel light headed or even faint. If you simply gradually decrease your speed after the finish line you are able to cool your body down and allow the blood and muscles to adjust to your new speed.

Unlike warm up, your body after cool down is ready to be stretched. Stretching prior to the exercise is not as beneficial because your muscles are not warmed up. Gently holding stretches or doing light Pilates with and without the Nordic Poles will help your body cool down and relax into the stretch.

Try incorporating a Nordic Walking workout with a warm up and cool down.

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A Personal View of Getting and Staying in Shape

I learned a few years ago that playing team sports would not last forever. If I wanted to get in shape and stay there, I had to find other fitness activities.

I grow up playing softball, touch football and basketball in the streets, parks and backyards of my neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. I could do this all day, every day without any residual effects. I never felt much need to warm up or stretch. I was never worried about wearing the right shoes or clothing. I just went out there and started playing. A good night's sleep and I was ready to go again the next day.

Once I got into my 30's, I was still playing team sports, but only a couple of times a week. I no longer had the time or the energy to do this every day. The risk of getting hurt was increasing and it became more difficult to find enough people my age playing team sports.

It was a point that I realized I needed to find some other form of exercise to keep me in shape. What I also realized is that I really was not in shape. Yes, I could play basketball for a couple of hours, no sweat. I had always been a fast runner and was never overweight. But I had never done anything to strengthen and tone my body. Whatever muscle tone I had, had come naturally.

So at first I turned to running to get in shape. I had always liked running and I could do this whenever I could fit it in to my busy schedule. I read a couple of books on the subject, bought the proper shoes and clothing and off I went. I signed up for a few 5K races to give me motivation to get better, stronger. After several years, I had greatly improved my endurance and strengthened my lower body.

But I needed to work on the rest of my body. I needed to get into a health club where I could use machines and weights, exercises to vary my workouts. Running was still part of my routine, but the pounding on the pavement 5 or 6 times a week was taking a toll on my knees.

So I have been visiting a health club a couple of times a week and running a couple of times a week.

Now in the last few months, I've found something else that I can do at home that will give me a great workout: hitting the heavy bag. I purchased a heavy punching bag, a pair of boxing gloves and hand wraps. As Muhammad Ali used to say, I'm starting to “float like butterfly, sting like a bee.” I'm getting a great cardio workout, improving my hand-eye coordination and my balance. I've still got a long way to go, but I'm having lots of fun.

The bottom line is, you are never too old to get in shape of stay in shape. Find something you like and stick with it. Yes, there will be a little pain and sacrifice, but the gain will be worth it.

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Snowshoeing – Fun Fitness for 50s Plus

When thinking about winter activities that can bring satisfaction and provide aerobic health benefits, a simple yet entertaining form of recreation is often overlooked … snowshoeing! Many people use winter as a perfect excuse to enjoy the 'home comforts' of good food, warm beverages and indoor pleasures due to a lack of safe, affordable, and enjoyable activities to pursue. Snowmobiling, skiing, and snowboarding are three of the most common forms of winter activity that come to mind when one thinks of winter sports … unfortunately, for people in the age category of fifty + these may not be easiest to get into due to the required time investment, relatively weaker health, and lower fitness levels involved. Well, with the advent of snowshoeing as a form of recreational enjoyment the time for enjoying warm hot chocolate and rich foods can be balanced with positive activity!

Modern snowshoeing does not require a costly start up instructor class like its counterparts (skiing and snowboarding) and has a smaller chance of minor and major sports-related injuries. To get started, all you need is a modest pair of snowshoes (prices range from $ 70-200) and the desire to get out there! There's a common saying among those who love snowshoeing: “If you can walk … You can snowshoe.” If you just want to enjoy some scenic nature trails or look to continue the hobby of recreational running and / or walking well into the winter months, snowshoes are your first step towards being fit and active. For the cost of renting a pair of beginner's skis for 5 days, you can purchase an excellent pair of snowshoes that you will enjoy for many seasons to come, and the novelty of walking along the top of snow will make even your usual hiking places seem new and improved.

Getting started with snowshoes is as simple as choosing how strenuous you would like to make your newfound hobby. There are three different types of snowshoes one can purchase: An athletic pair, a recreational pair, and a mountaineering set … and while the athletic and recreational can be used by starters of any fitness level, the mountaineering pair would probably only be chosen by those with experience in both snowshoeing as a sport and hobby as well as experience with outdoor wilderness hikes into high hills and mountains.

Athletic snowshoes are the smallest and lightest and are very adept at allowing users to run with a very high degree of mobility. They're also not intended for backcountry use. Athletic snowshoes are commonly referred to as 'bearclaw' snowshoes, as they form a smaller circle rather than the teardrop form of the recreation and mountaineering snowshoes.

The recreational types tend to be a bit larger and are meant for use in gentle-to moderate walks of 3-5 miles, while mountaineering shoes are the largest and are meant for serious hill-climbing, long-distance trips, and off-trail use. A general rule of thumb for purchasing snowshoes is that for every pound of bodyweight, there should be one square inch of surface (14.5 cm [squared] / kg) per snowshoe to adequately support the wearer (it's always good to consider the weight of any gear you will be packing, especially if you expect to break trail). Many manufacturers now include weight-based flotation ratings for their shoes to help simplify picking the proper snowshoe.

The health benefits of snowshoeing are as appropriate as any other form of aerobic activity, and of course being able to continue previous aerobic activity into the winter months is an excellent way to maintain an active lifestyle. Some of the benefits of aerobic activity include lowering blood pressure and helping your arteries to maintain their elasticity; your arms expand and contract two to three times more while exercising, thus reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. This means you are not only looking better, but also feeling better by keeping active through the winter months as well as the spring and summer. These forms of exercise are also beneficial for slowing down aging, as you are less likely to experience bone and muscle loss. Bones grow and become stronger by responding to physical demands, while those who do not put this type of demand on their bodies allow a sedentary state that makes them more susceptible to osteoporosis as they age. Snowshoeing warm-ups and cool-downs are the same as any degree of summer cardio activity that you may enjoy. This includes running, power walking, or simply enjoying a peaceful hike.

Preparations and precautions taken while snowshoeing vary a little depending on the intensity and distance of your snow hike. Dressing in layers is crucial to maintaining the proper body temperature through the length of your adventure. Having layers that you can easily slip into and out of is as serious as having a proper way to store them once removed; remember: you can have as easy a hike as one taken through a snow-covered city park to deep snowy trails outside your family cabin or ski resort. Hats are also very important, as a great deal of body temperature can be lost through the head. Having light layered headwear or headgear you can switch out from a small bag is also recommended.

Never forget light snacks and proper hydration again depending on the length of your planned hike! A light snack might be appropriate to keep energy levels up for a quick afternoon out or even for a short jaunt through the park. You might want to consider bringing along a water bottle too. People tend to forget they sweat while out in the cold due to their sweat being drawn away from the skin and evaporating. A small percentage of water is also lost from the simple act of breathing too, so always stay hydrated while keeping fit.

A final tip for trekking in the wintertime is to plan on heading into the wind for the start of your journey and returning with the wind at your back, as your exertion will be greatest during the final half of your hike. You also do not want to become chilled due to sweat freezing on your body as your move into the wind … plus the best part of any journey is when the wind is at your back pushing you along. There's no better time for this than the last leg of your journey.

In conclusion, I hope this has intrigued you enough to consider being active during the snow season instead of simply enjoying the creature comforts of home!

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Aerobics and Cardio for Beginners

Aerobics and Cardio

Unfortunately, many people cringe at the mention of the phrase “cardio exercise”. To achieve all round fitness aerobic, or cardio fitness exercises need to included along with weight training.

Benefits of a cardio / aerobic fitness exercise program are:

  • Lose excess body fat,
  • Increase stamina,
  • Reduce risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke,
  • Increased immune system,

Cardio or aerobic exercise is cheap and can be done anywhere. Cardio can be made more interesting, even fun, by employing a few simple ideas listed in this article.

OK, let's get going!

How many times should I do my cardio workout?

In the beginning three days a week is enough as part of you exercise program. If you are following the weight lifting program we've outlined in this series, it is a good idea to do cardio on the same day as you perform your weight training.

It is advisable to finish your weight lifting first then do your aerobic / cardio fitness workout.

Alternately, if you, like many people, have a piece of cardio equipment gathering dust (or being being used as a coat rack) in your home, then you have other options. If your main goal is fat loss, it is recommended that you perform your cardio first thing in the morning.

If this is an option for you, give it a try – you may find that it wakes you up more effectively than your morning shower.

How long should I do cardio?

As with anything new it is best to start slowly and build up as you strengthen.

Just 15 minutes of cardio is enough to start with.

Which type of aerobics should I do?

When you start it is easier to work out on a machine where you can set your own pace rather than being in classes. When do you cardio workout by yourself on a machine you do not have to worry about keeping up with the others in a aerobics class.

There are three main types of cardio equipment to choose from.

  • Riding the bike, which eliminates impact on joints. This is very good for people with sore joints or back problems.
  • Elliptical Walker, this is a more intensive workout but is very easy on joints like the bike. On the Elliptical machine the user remains standing the entire time (more effective at toning the glutes, aka the butt) and has the option of using their arms (as well as their legs) during the workout.
  • Stair climber or step machine, this gives an even more strenuous workout than the elliptical walker. It's very hard to perform the stair climber at a fast pace, unlike the stationary bike or elliptical machine, so longer workouts are required to reap the full benefits. This machine is recommended for more advanced trainers.
  • The treadmill, is the most widely used in the gym. The speed is adjustable in almost all machines and can vary from a slow walk to flat out running and the intensity of the workout on the treadmill can be adjusted by setting the incline. The problem with working out on the treadmill is the high impact on joints, so it is not recommended for people with joint or back problems.

Example Cardio Program for Beginners

The first two weeks of your cardio exercise program should be ….. Choose which ever method of aerobic exercise suits you best, and simply follow the guidelines below:

  • Week 1

  1. Monday 15 minutes
  2. Wednesday 15 minutes
  3. Friday 15 minutes

  • Week 2

  1. Monday 20 minutes
  2. Wednesday 20 minutes
  3. Friday 20 minutes

Watch for my next article and get the most out of your cardio!

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Getting Creative With Your Cardio at Home or at the Gym

Cardio exercises are a must when it comes to being fit or shedding fat, but that does not mean you do not have options. Cardio does a lot for your health in general, it increases your metabolism, burns fat, makes your heart and blood vessels healthier, decreases your blood pressure, increases your stamina, improves your sex life and the list goes on.

With all that I have stated doing the same thing day in day out might mean you so much that you could forget the benefits of cardio, so I'm going to give you other alternative ways to do your cardio that are not the traditional, steady pace jogging or cycling that everyone associates with cardio.

What most people think is that the longer you do an activity such as jogging the more you will get out of the workout, which is not true but may be true if you are talking about steady pace cardio. Doing something like jogging for a long distance is also time consuming and if you do too much cardio or too long of a distance you might find that it holds you back in terms of muscle gain, if that is what you are after.

How to get creative with your cardio:

First thing you can try is to change your traditional cardio workouts into more fast paced, interval sessions. What I mean is you can train in short intestinal intervals by timing yourself on a bike or treadmill and increasing the intensity in each interval. This would not require a lot of time and you would have one hell of a workout. In fact you will be burning calories long after you have worked out, but your time spent working out would be less than if you did the traditional steady pace stuff.

You could try doing sprints which is another form of interval training, running between cones. Taking short breaks and doing it again and increasing the distance and trying to run as fast as possible, short break again increasing the distance a little and go at it hard again, you get the idea. This would be a short intense and fun workout, obviously its short because it takes more effort and we can not sprint for long distances or long periods of time. The cool thing with sprints is that you get the benefits of traditional cardio and you built lean muscular legs, you have noticed that sprinters are jacked compared to long distance runners.

Other cardio exercises you could try includes martial art such as MMA, Kick boxing, karate etc. You could also play sports if you have time such as soccer, tennis, hockey or any other high activity sport. You could try swimming if you love the water; swimming is one of the better forms of cardio since it has less impact on your body and joints because the water supports your body weight.

There are a lot of alternatives to traditional cardio, it's up to you to find the ones that you like best, most of them are just fun and most people do not even know they are doing a cardio exercise. Just think of dancers they do cardio and have fun the same time. So go out there and find what works for you, no more excuses and no more cycling cardio sessions.

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The Physical Benefits of Cardiovascular Training

The physical benefits of cardiovascular training, is exercise of relatively low intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy generating process. The physical benefits of cardiovascular training, literally means living in air, and refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise through aerobic metabolism. Generally, light to moderate intensity activities, that are adequately supported by metabolism can be performed for extended periods of time. The physical benefits of cardiovascular training, which can be contrasted with anaerobic exercise, of which strength training and short-distance running are the most salient examples. The two types of exercise different by the duration and intensity of muscular contractions involved, as well as by how energy is generated within the muscle. In most conditions, the physical benefits of cardiovascular training, occurs simultanously with exercises because the less efficient anaerobic metabolism must supplement the aerobic system due to energy demands that exceeded the cardiovascular system's capacity.

The physical benefits of cardiovascular training, because it is designed to be low-intensity enough, so that all carbohydrates are aerobically turned into energy. Cardiovascular exercise enterprises innumerable forms. The physical benefits of cardiovascular training, is performed at a moderate level of intensity over a relatively long period of time. For example, running a long distance at a moderate pace is an cardiovascular exercise, but sprinting is not. Playing singles tennis, with near continuous motion, is generally considered cardiovascular activity. While golf or two person team tennis, with brief bursts of activity punctuated by more frequent breaks, may not be predominately cardiovascular. The physical benefits of cardiovascular training also involve the leg muscles, primarily or exclusively. There are some exceptions.

For example, the physical benefits of cardiovascular training also includes rowing to distances of two thousand meters or more. It exercises several major muscle groups, including those of the legs, abdominal muscles, chest, and arms. Among the recognized benefits of doing regular cardiovascular exercise are. Strengthening and enlarging the heart muscle, to improve its pumping efficiency and reduce the resting. Strengthening the muscles involved in respiration, to facilitate the flow of air in and out of the lungs. Strengthening muscles throughout the body.

Improving circulation efficiency and reducing blood pressure. Increasing the total number of red blood cells in the body, facilitating transport of oxygen. Improved mental health, including reducing stress and lowering the incidence of depression. Reducing the risk for diabetes.

Burns body fat, while building leaner muscle. The physical benefits of cardiovascular training , describing the functional capacity of the cardiovascular system, the heart, lungs and blood vessels. Cardiovascular capacity, is defined as the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use during a specified period, usually during intestinal exercise. It is a function both of cardiovascular performance and the maximum ability to remove and utilize oxygen from circulating blood. To measure maximal cardiovascular capacity, an exercise physiologist or physician will perform a test, in which a subject will progressively progress more strenuous exercise on a treadmill, from an easy walk through to exhaustion.

The individual is typically connected to a device to measure oxygen consumption, and the speed is increased incrementally over a fixed duration of time. The higher the measured endurance level, the more oxygen has been transported to and used by exercising muscles, and the higher the level of intensity at which the individual can exercise. More simply stated, the higher the cardiovascular capacity, the higher the level of fitness. The fitness test can also be used to assess functional cardiovascular capacity for particular jobs or activities.

The physical benefits of cardiovascular training improves the individual variations broadly in the human population, while the average response to training is approximately approximately seventeen increase in endurance, in any population there are high responders who may as much as double their capacity, and low responders who will see little or no benefit from training.

Studies indicate that approximately ten percent of otherwise healthy individuals can not improve their cardiovascular capacity with exercise at all. The degree of an individual's responsiveness is inherited, suggesting that this trait is genetically determined. When overall fitness is an occupational requirement, as it is for athletes, soldiers, and police and fire personnel, cardiovascular exercise alone may not provide a well balanced exercise program. The physical benefits of cardiovascular training in particular, muscular strength, especially upper body muscle strength, may be neglected. Also, the metabolic pathways involved in generating energy during high intensity, low duration tasks, such as sprinting, are not exercised at peak cardiovascular exercise levels. The physical benefits of cardiovascular training, remains despite a valuable component of a balanced exercise program and is good for cardiovascular health. Some people suffer repetitive stress injuries with some forms of cardiovascular exercises, and then must choose less invasive, low-impact forms of exercise, or lengthen the gap between bouts of exercise to allow for greater recovery.

Higher intensity exercise, such as interval training, extremely burns more calories than lower intensity exercise. Low intensity exercise burns more calories during the exercise, due to the increased duration, but fewer afterwards. The physical benefits of cardiovascular training, is also used by individuals with anorexia as a means of suppressing appetite since cardiovascular exercise increases sugar and fatty acid transport in the blood by stimulating tissues to release their energy stores. The physical benefits of cardiovascular training main benefit is to strengthen the heart.

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Run Your First 5k!

Even if you have not exercised in years, you can run your first 5k by May with a little dedication and hard work. It is a good goal to have, especially if you have thought about running and just have not taken the time or given the energy to the task. Where do you start? Assuming your doctor is OK with your new goal, follow these steps:

1. Get a pair of running shoes
Having proper running shoes will help prevent injury and injury muscle soreness versus running in regular tennis shoes or shoes that are not built for running. Some stores can even fit you to a shoe based on your running style! Make sure to do your research.

2. Find a place to train for your 5K
There are many options: Head to your local gym or rec center, use your own treadmill, or provided the weather is nice, you can head outside. Bear in mind that training for a 5k when you are deconditioned can be a daunting task and that if you decide to train on a treadmill know that you will have to work up to running outside before you run your 5k. When you run outside you do not have the momentum of the belt to help you. You can help negate this by running on the treadmill with a 1% incline.

3. The most effective way to train from no experience is with interval training
Interval training consists of walking, jogging, or running at a moderate pace and then after a set period of time you switch to walking, jogging, or running at a fast pace and repeat for 20-30 minutes including a five minute warm-up and cool-down is recommended. During your cool-down make sure to take the time to stretch while your body is warm and limber. Stretching helps you to retain the range of motion in your joints; This in turn can help you with your running form.

Since you're just getting started you'll want to start out slowly with a moderate and fast walking pace for your intervals . Start out with small intervals; example: 60 seconds of moderate walking followed by 90 seconds of fast walking and repeat. As you find these intervals getting easier, increase the time of each stage slightly to make them more challenging; example 90 seconds of moderate walking followed by 2 minutes of fast walking.

Continue to increase the time of each stage to you are walking faster more often than you are walking slowly. If you find this too easy, you can make fast walking your slow phase and start jogging for you fast phase and then once these are easy you can switch to jogging for your slow phase and running for your fast phase.

Regardless of if you are fast walking or running during your fast phase make sure that you are pushing yourself hard . You should be breathing harder and have difficulty speaking more than a few words.
With time, effort, and dedication you will go from having short intervals, to long intervals, to running the whole time.

Wanting to run is a wonderful goal that can be reached if you put your mind to it and dedicate the time to it and before you know it you'll be running in your first 5k! Stick with it, you can do it!

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