The Tabata Cardio Workout Routine

More and more athletes and fitness trainers have come to discover the tremendous benefits of a tabata cardio workout. This cardio workout is considered by many as one of the most advanced interval workout, helping people who exercise to reach a higher level of fitness, enhancing their endurance and at the same time burning more calories.

Why Choosing Tabata Workouts?
This modern type of interval training is loved by both fitness professionals and researchers due to its simplicity and unmatchable fat-torching abilities. A Tabata workout is extremely easy to follow, because it consist of alternating short periods of rest with short but intestinal exercises. There are many exercises compatible with this new technique, from aerobic exercises such as rowing and running to strength exercises like lifting weights.

How to Use The Tabata Training Method
There are some steps you need to follow before going further with this method. First and foremost, make sure that you have picked the right exercises to include in your training session. Some of the most common Tabata workouts are:

– Bicycle Sprints. The truth is that this method is the perfect choice when you want to engage your lower body and in the same time to skyrocket your heart rate.

– Hindu Squats. Another famous method that is extremely useful when you want to engage a wide variety of muscles and to get your heart rate up.

– Jumping Lunges. This type of cardio exercise is extremely beneficial at toning your hip area.

– Box Jumps. Surely one of the best cardio tabata exercise, because it uses almost all your groups of muscles.

After choosing the right exercise for your needs, you have to ensure that you have the proper equipment for the work. Lastly, you need to decide upon the intervals between the exercises. A sample of a Tabata cardio exercises plan could be:

– 15 Barbell Squats (interval 1 and 3)
– 20 Pushups (2 and 5)
– 20 Chin Ups (4 and 7)
– 4 Minutes of Sprinting in Place (intervals 6 and 8)

For these exercises, you would need a chin up bar, surface mat and a barbell with weights. Each training lasts around 4 minutes and has 8 intervals. After each interval, make sure you rest for about 20 seconds. After the first 4 intervals, rest for a couple of minutes. These cardio and strength exercises should make you sweat a lot, which will inevitably lead to an improved metabolism and an enhanced weight loss process.

If you want to see some improvements in your fitness, you need to benefit from both a proper rest and a balanced diet. Since Tabata is a high intensity interval training, you will definitely feel exhausted the following day. This is why it is extremely important to make sure that you will get plenty of rest the following day. Moreover, make sure you eat plenty of fruits and meat, because you will need an extra amount of protein and energy. Lastly, do not forget to warm up and to stretch before and after each workout.

Benefits of Tabata Cardio Workout
There are several benefits of a Tabata workout. Some of the most renamed are:

1. Muscle Tissue Retention. While a diet which is not based on a professional diet plan could lead to a loss of muscle tissue, this breakthrough method from Japan places the stran right on the muscle tissue. Consequently, they send a signal to the brain that more muscle tissue is needed. As a direct result, the muscle tissue is increased and the total ratio of lean muscle mass goes up.

2. Both the Anaerobic and Aerobic are Increased. Our bodies' aerobic capacity (usually called the maximum oxygen uptake) represents the greatest amount of oxygen that can be consumed while exercising. On the other hand, the anaerobic capacity represents the maximum amount of energy our body can produce in the absence of oxygen. The study conducted by Dr. Tabata showed that those who practice tabata cardio workouts on a regular basis benefit of an increase of up to 14% in their aerobic capacity and 28% in the anaerobic capacity.

3. Fat Loss. Due to an increase of your metabolic rates, tabata workouts doubles the rate at which the fat is burned by your body. There are thousands of people out there who started to practice these exercises and only after one months they have lost over 10 pounds. The truth is that this method really works, and it is a 100% natural way to shed off the extra pounds you have. However, do not forget about getting enough sleep and having a proper diet.

4. Save Time. Lastly, a proper tabata cardio workout will not take more than 30-40 minutes every other day. Because of this, you will have plenty of time for other important tasks, so you can stay on top of your schedule.

A tabata cardio workout is an activity that specifically describes your interest.

{ Comments are closed }

Aerobics, Wellness and You

The term “aerobics” is a commonly misunderstood word. It is usually associated with low to moderate level intensity workouts for an extended period of time, usually half an hour to an hour. The term “aerobic” when describing exercise actually means “in the presence of, requires, or uses oxygen.” As opposed to “anaerobic” which means, “in the absence of oxygen.” High intensity aerobic exercise and a clean diet are what our bodies need to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Every exercise starts out as anaerobic, but as soon as our bodies pass the threshold for the need for oxygen we engage in aerobic activity. An aerobic exercise is most efficient at 65-85% intensity for at least 30 minutes a day. 65-85% intensity translates to a sustained elevated heart rate and respiration for the duration of the workout. For those of us that are just getting started on our fitness journeys, a routine of 30 minutes / day at 3days / week with a target intensity of 65% is all you need to start feeling better. Once you are a couple weeks into your routine you should slowly start to increase the duration, intensity, and frequency of your workouts appropriately.

With adaptation of a proper aerobic workout plan, a clean and healthy diet should be implemented into your lifestyle as well. To start, slowly eliminate meals high in sodium and starches. Buying and preparing your own means ensures that you are eating healthy. Be sure to include plenty of dark green vegetables and lean meats and fish. Try to limit drinking alcohol and only consume alcohol in small quantities because of the fact that cocktails are filled with sugar, empty calories, and bad decisions. A healthy diet paired with a consistent workout plan is the keys to fitness.

Our bodies are highly complex and impressive machines that run off of a main energy source called ATP. ATP is burned without our skeletal muscles during exercise which releases heat and energy. We get ATP from the food we eat, so therefore, the cleaner the food, the more efficient your energy source will be. Muscle cramps result from the lack of ATP in our bodies. So we must be sure to be adequately fueled by eating healthy foods in lower amounts but more often. This means that instead of eating three large meals in a day, we should eat less at the main meals, but have healthy snacks throughout the day.

One main diet component overlooked when we are trying to obtain a fit body and a healthy lifestyle is water consumption. If an individual of moderate fitness is working out three to five times a week for at least 30 minutes per day and is keeping a clean diet, then that individual should be drinking a gallon of water per day. Our amazing bodies are primarily made up of water, so it only makes sense that we should be putting more in than we need. The only downside to drinking a lot of water is the need to go to the bathroom more often. You will feel better and more energetic with every week that passes under this healthier lifestyle.

{ Comments are closed }

The Benefits Of Skipping Rope

The grown-up version of jumping rope is such a good cardiovascular exercise that other methods would find it hard to compete, especially when it comes to endurance. Jumping rope for a few minutes is as taxing on the system as several other cardiovascular activities including running. Running on average is estimated to burn around 600 calories an hour, while skipping rope burns around 700, on average.

Naturally, not many people perform a skipping rope workout for a straight hour, but that is just for comparison. One estimate states that the benefits of skipping rope for ten minutes is about the equivalent of running a mile in eight minutes.

In addition, jumping rope is not as hard on the knees as running because the ball of the foot is absorbing much of the shock rather than the heel having the heavy impact such as happens in running. This is the reason it is a good exercise for seniors. A skipping rope workout is also used as a method of conditioning by professional athletes.

The benefits of skipping rope can be realized with any kind of cord or rope and a bit of persistence, without expensive training or equipment. Once you get in the habit of a skipping rope workout, you will certainly find it an enjoyable part of your exercise routine that offers great value.

Jumping rope is excellent for working every muscle group in the body. Each muscle works extra hard just to keep you upright and tightens your muscles with each repetition. It works the upper body as you turn the rope over and over, and produces upper body burn. For the legs, your quads, hamstrings and calves are stressed with each jump, strengthening those muscles.

Beginners Workout

If you are a beginner, and just starting a jumping rope workout, try to jump for just one minute straight. It is not as easy as you would expect. Try to set next an area in your family room or garage where a clock is visible. Play your favorite music to help you get started. Skip rope while watching the clock until one minute has passed. If any part of the minute gets out of rhythm or does not go right, start over until you can do one minute. Do not become discouraged if you can not complete one minute in the beginning. Just do what you can and build up until you reach your goal.

Summary

The benefits of skipping rope to lose weight or get in good condition can not be overstressed. Most of us have not thought of jumping rope and the fun it was, since childhood.

Anyone who still has any doubts about the power of a skipping rope workout to change and transform the body, has only to obsess professional boxers. Take note of their physiques, with rippling muscles and practically no body fat. The one most prominent part of their training is using the jump rope. They train for hours at a time and jumping rope is a large part of their routine.

{ Comments are closed }

Aerobic Exercise: Benefits, Examples and How to Tell If You’re REALLY Exercising Aerobically

“Aerobics” is a term first coined by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, an exercise physiologist for the San Antonio Air Force Hospital. He developed the formula of subtracting your age from 220 and exercising with the heart rate at 60-80% of that number. Although he originally formulated “aerobics” to help astronauts, he soon realized that this type of exercise was useful for everyone. The benefits Dr. Cooper observed including weight loss and better heart health.

Since then there have been improvements to Dr. Cooper's original formula, and studies have demonstrated many benefits of regular aerobic exercise, including:

  • Weight loss & maintaining weight (aerobic exercise burns fat!)
  • More long-term, consistent energy & stamina
  • Improved mood
  • Pain relief (by natural endorphin production)
  • Stronger heart & better circulation (keeps arteries clear and helps prevent heart disease)
  • Better blood sugar control & adrenal health
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Stronger bones (weight bearing aerobic exercise helps prevent osteoporosis)
  • Stronger immune system
  • Longer life expectancy

If you're suffering from poor energy, if your endurance is not what it once was, if you are forward to aches and pains, if you have too much body fat or too much stress, or if you crave sugar or carbs, chances are you're not getting enough aerobic exercise!

The exercise intensity and duration determine whether you exercise aerobically or anaerobically. Aerobic exercise requires at a very specific level of intensity, and you must maintain that level of intensity for at least thirty minutes at a time. If your heart rate is too low or too high (or variable), your exercise will become anaerobic instead.

In anaerobic exercise, the body burns sugar (glucose) for energy. As the name “anaerobic” suggests, oxygen is not required for this type of energy production. Burning sugar is useful for providing short term speed and power. Muscles can not burn sugar for long, though, and so they fatigue quickly. Most people have no shortage of anaerobic exercise – even when you're sitting, your body is doing some tasks anaerobically. Plus virtually all sports are anaerobic in nature due to their alternating bursts of high intensity activity and rest.

During true aerobic exercise, the body burns fat for energy. Converting fat into energy requires oxygen, hence the name “aerobic.” Aerobic exercise is useful for providing muscle endurance (energy for hours or days at a time without fatigue). This is particularly important for muscles that support posture, joints, and arches of the feet. If there is not enough aerobic exercise for these types of muscles, the chances of joint problems, injuries, and low stamina go up.

Internally recognized researcher and author Dr. Phil Maffetone has greatly changed our understanding of aerobic exercise and endurance training. Dr. Maffetone studied many athletes pre- and post-workout for many indicators, including heart rate, gait, and muscle imbalance. He found that the athletes who used Dr. Cooper's original formula often hurt up over-training and suffered from injuries, distortions in body mechanisms and posture, pain, and joint problems. After much work, Dr. Maffetone developed a new and improved formula for calculating each individual's target heart rate for true aerobic exercise.

There are just four simple steps to proper aerobic exercise and all its benefits:

1. Invest in a heart rate monitor . It's just not a good idea to rely on the “feel” of a workout or to guess at either your heart rate is too low or too high. There are many brands and models to choose from. Polar â„¢ is an industry leader and is usually a safe bet. I recommend purchasing a model that has a chest strap as well as a wrist watch / display. If you work out in a gym rather than outdoors, invest in a model that is coded so that there is no electrical signal interference from other devices in the gym.

2. Calculate your maximum aerobic heart rate using Dr. Maffetone's formula.

Simply subtract your age from 180. For example, a 32 year old who wants to exercise aerobically would have a maximum heart rate of 148 beats per minute. Modifiers and exceptions to this formula include:

  • Subtract another 10 from the max heart rate if: recovering from major illness or surgery, or if on any regular medications
  • Subtract another 5 from the max heart rate if: injured, have regressed in training or competition, suffer from more than two bouts of cold / flu per year, have allergies or asthma, just starting to train, or if you've been training inconsistently (Dr. Maffetone defined consistency as at least 4 times per week for 2 years).
  • Add 5 to the max heart rate if: training consistently for more than 2 years without any injuries or problems and have made progress in competition
  • Add 10 to the max heart rate if: over the age of 65
  • This formula does not apply to athletes 16 years old or younger. Best bet for these athletes is 165 as the max heart rate.
  • If in doubt, choose the lower maximum heart rate.

3. Calculate your minimum aerobic heart rate. Simply subtract 10 points from the maximum aerobic heart rate. So our healthy 32 year old example would have a max of 148 and a minimum of 138.

4. Walk, jog, bike or swim while wearing your heart rate monitor. Stay within your aerobic heart rate zone for at least 30 minutes at a time, and do this at least three times per week. I do not advise exceeding 90 minutes without a doctor's supervision.

You'll find it's surprisingly easy to exercise aerobically. It does not take much to get your heart rate up to the target zone. That's good news for couch potatoes (Talk about exercising smarter, not harder!), But sometimes frustrating for athletes who do not want to slow down their training. Athletes need to do this, however, to protect their bodies. The good news for athletes here is that, as your heart becomes more aerobic fit, you'll soon be able to quicken the pace without surpassing your maximum aerobic heart rate. Once you start wearing a heart rate monitor, you'll probably also discover that any activity other than running, walking, cycling, or swimming at a steady pace is probably anaerobic.

As a chiropractor, acupuncturist, and athlete, I've noticed substantial benefits for both myself and my patients who invest a little bit of time each week to exercise aerobically. The immediate and long-term benefits are well worth the effort!

{ Comments are closed }

Circuit Training With Resistance Bands

WHAT IS CIRCUIT TRAINING?

Circuit training is a method in which a person will perform several different lifts in rapid succession, generally performed on numerous machines or simply with body weight exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups. This form of training is ideal for developing muscular endurance, improving cardiovascular health, and since it is a form of high intensity training, it has incredible implications on fat loss as well. Just about anyone can benefit from circuit training, but as always, I suggest consulting with your medical professional prior to beginning any high intensity training regimen. With that being said, I would like to discuss an incredible tool that can be utilized just about anywhere you work out – whether it be a gym, park, or even your own living room.

RESISTANCE BANDS

The options for circuit training are endless. Many gyms have entire circuit training rooms set up with machines, wall timers for interval tracking, and visual aids charting where to go next. However, just as any fitness program, your imagination is the limit with regards to circuit training. Whereas some may enjoy the structured feel of a gym, others may enjoy a more natural approach in a park utilizing their jungle gyms. Regardless of how you choose to train, I am confident resistance bands will find a place in your gym bag, and here's why:

  1. Versatility – Bands can be used alone, or in conjunction to free weights. Not only can they be used for adding tension to exercises, but also for assisting in exercises by acting as a springboard, or trampoline, to aid through a troublesome lift such as a pull-up. Not to mention that with several varying sized bands all packed in a duffel bag, you can literally throw them in your trunk and head to a friend's house for a group circuit training session. Bands are also great for all ages, skill levels, or fitness goals – from yoga to power lifting, resistance bands have their place!
  2. Variety – The spice of life. Maybe you do the same tiresome workout every day, or maybe you're tired of driving to your gym during rush hour traffic after a long day's work. Well why not mix it up with bands? Again, your imagination is the trainer – exercise bands are simply a tool that you can use to keep your fitness life interesting and progressing.
  3. Inexpensive – Consider what you'll spend over the next 6 months for your gym membership. Monthly rate plus tax, annual enhancement fees (bet they have one), and maybe even a yearly contract can add up in a heartbeat. Chances are you can equip your fitness arsenal with a quality set of resistance bands for cheaper than a 3-5 month gym membership.
  4. strength – From “toning” (which is basically some cushy word for building muscle you can see) to powerlifting, everyone wants a more muscular physique. Unless you're a marathon runner or some bean pole of a lingerie model, chances are you prefer a little “meat” on your bones. But let's be real – there is only one meat, and the other is just blubber. Resistance bands have also been described and strength bands for reasons several studies have proven. Adding resistance bands to your routine, in conjunction with a solid weight training regimen has been shown to increase muscle mass dramatically as opposed to free weights alone.

SHOPPING FOR RESISTANCE BANDS

Here are a few key points to consider once you decide whether resistance bands are right for you:

  • WARRANTY – Several manufacturers sport a lifetime warranty, and rightfully so. Most resistance bands are crafted out of surgical grade tubing, which is highly elastic and very strong, but in the off chance that one happens to snap, being able to replace it free of charge is awesome.
  • EFFICIENCY – Circuit trainers understand the necessity of being able to switch from one exercise to another quickly – because why most gyms with circuit rooms have everything set up in a circle for quick transitions. Look for resistance bands with carabiners or some sort of quick disconnect from attachments such as handles, door anchors, or ankle cuffs. This will allow the addition or subtraction of more and / or heavy bands depending on the exercises
  • ATTACHMENTS – As mentioned in “Efficiency”, attachments are crucial. bands a great, but a single tension band with an integrated handle has far fewer options than a handle with the ability to attach multiple sized bands at once. Also, detachable cuffs make leg and core exercises very comfortable and natural. Lastly, a simple door anchor can open up vast arrays of possible new exercises.

I hope the information found in this article has helped you in some way, and at the very least made you an educated buyer when shopping for fitness equipment. However, I encourage you to continue researching – the internet is full of videos, articles, etc. that can give very great insight as to what possibilities resistance bands offer.

{ Comments are closed }

Easy Ways to Exercise At Home

Nutrition and fitness are two important elements to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Putting the right food into your body and keeping your body in good shape will do wonders to your personal well-being. Exercising at home or at the gym are the most common ways people stay in shape. Gym machines are often used to workout on. The 3 machines folks tend to go to include treadmills, ellipticals and exercise bikes. Many of these machines come with a range of training programs created to help you achieve a specific fitness objective. They are simple to use and they're fun to use.

Building up a good sweat from exercising can be a challenging thing to do. Running or even jogging on a treadmill will quickly get your heart rate beating up fast. Sprints and even brisk walks can make you build up a good sweat. Load up a training app and you'll see how easy it is to begin. Professional and certified fitness trainers have created many of these workout regimens. Pick from the different workout apps and see what interests you. If you're interested in keeping an eye on the fitness progress made, check in with built-in heart rate monitors and calorie and distance counters. Modern treadmills have become quite advanced. Models can vary in specifications and feature sets. It can be a massive event when you're shopping for a treadmill for yourself. Treadmill reviews supply good suggestions about what's good and what's not. Use treadmill reviews as a way when concluding which systems are best suited for you.

Another solution is an elliptical. Workouts on an elliptical are low impact. Because of the smooth elliptical movement of the pedals, which mimics that which is found in walking, workouts on an elliptical trainer seem natural and comfortable. Bodily impact is averaged in the areas where you'd see when on a treadmill. There will be less bodily pains, if any, after an elliptical workout. You can exercise your whole body when you apply of the elliptical arms, which move along with the strides of your machine. Exercises apps come bundled on many ellipticals today. If you're not sure where to start, pick one of these fitness apps and let the program guide you through a session. Ellipticals are packaged with a range of feature sets. For example, there are rear-drive ellipticals and front-drive ellipticals. It would be most beneficial to check out a couple of elliptical critiques before deciding on a system for yourself.

A particular demographic of fitness buyers are catered to with exercise bikes. Cyclists typically enjoy working out on exercise bikes. You have generally have 3 options when you choose to workout on an exercise bike. The three types of exercise bikes use an upright, an indoor, or a recumbent design. They each are created for a specific function. Those looking for fun workout routines might find upright exercise bikes to their liking. Upright exercise bikes are modeled after traditional bikes. If you're training for a marathon or a race, the indoor cycle will provide you with a more strenuous workout. You'll be able to stand and drive your legs into the pedals and cycle. Those in rehab will find the recumbent exercise bike most suitable for their needs. The chair is large and wide, which gives good lumbar support.

It's not easy to stay healthy and fit. A serious and disciplined strategy to exercise can help. Try hopping on a treadmill, elliptical or exercise bike and you'll see how easy it is to get started. See for yourself and you'll be amazed. Hop on one of these and you'll see how fun your workout sessions can be. See your quality of life improve considerably when you start treating your body right.

{ Comments are closed }

The 4 Minute Workout – Tabata Intervals

Why is it hard to get in shape? Why is it even harder to stay in shape? Well, if you're a family man like me your day begins with getting the kids ready for kindergarten and yourself ready for work. Exercise is pretty much out of the question in the morning, at least during the weekdays, simply because there is no time. Of course, I could get out of bed an hour earlier at 4:40 am but I'm pretty sure that's a habit I will ever break.

The next opportunity for exercise occurs after having picked up the kids from kindergarten at about 5:30 pm There is of course the question of making dinner for the family but I guess my wife and me can alternate that so so at least one of us can get some exercise every other day. Then again, it's not so easy looking after the kids and at the same time cooking dinner. It would be great if my wife could do that while I am cooking. Oh, right.

After dinner there is a window of about 45 minutes before it's time to put the kids to bed. I believe this time is well spent playing with them. If it's my wife's turn to put them to bed I can do my exercise then. I'm done at roughly 9 pm That leaves about an hour of kid-free time with my wife to make the marriage blossom before it's time to go to sleep. At this time we're both pretty much exhausted and just want to wind down in front of the TV. Not ideal.

Under these circumstances it is actually quite hard both to form and to keep a good exercise habit. Is there a way around this? Yes! Let's look at the solution:

The marriage saving exercise is called Tabata intervals. It can be done with pretty much any exercise or combination there but but I will just show you what I do. After having done any warm-up you like for two minutes do the following:

  1. Do 20 seconds of maximum intensity high knee skips
  2. Rest for 10 seconds
  3. Do 20 seconds of maximum intensity burpees
  4. Rest for 10 seconds
  5. Do 20 seconds of maximum intensity mountain climbers
  6. Rest for 10 seconds
  7. Do 20 seconds of maximum intensity jumping lunges
  8. Rest for 10 seconds
  9. Repeat 1-8 one more time
  10. You're done. Go take a shower. Then spend some time with your significant other

This 4 minute workout is actually quite challenging and will definitely get your heart pumping and sweat flowing. Do not be fooled by the short amount of time you're working!

There is a scientific study backing up the effects of the Tabata protocol. It was conducted in 1997 by Dr. Izumi Tabata and his research collections at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. I'll skip the details of the study and head straight for the conclusion:

Four minutes of Tabata intervals can do more for boosting aerobic and anaerobic capacity than one hour of endurance training!

The tabata territory can be incorporated to your day no matter how busy you are. So what are you waiting for? Try it! Best of luck!

Remember to consult a doctor before starting any exercise or diet program.

{ Comments are closed }

Intro to Using a Trampoline to Get in Shape

Trampolines have long been family favorites. Children beg their parents for a trampoline as soon as they realize that exist and many are lucky enough to be able to enjoy one. But what many do not realize is just how great they can be for the grown ups as well. Adults can get a full body workout using a trampoline keeping them active or helping them lose weight. Let's take a look at a few ways one can use a trampoline with this purpose in mind.

Before you get started, take some time to do some basic stretches. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself before your workout even begins. You can use the trampoline as a prop or as a pseudo yoga mat for sit down stretches.

Alright, now that you're all stretched out, let's get down to business. Get on the trampoline and begin jumping. You're actually already burning calories before the joy of jumping has even worn off. Initially, just try to jump to the same height each bounce. Do this in sets with breaks in between. Twenty jumps is a good starting point and you can increase from there. It's deceiving the amount of work you're doing just jumping for a sustained amount of time. As your skills improve, increase the height you're reaching during each set. This can really get your legs burning, but make sure to stay within a height that you're comfortable with.

Once you're comfortable jumping, it's time to mix it up a little. The first and easiest thing to add to your sets is the use of your arms. Up to this point, you probably have not paid much attention to them but they can help give a full body workout and improve your balance and control. Arm exercises can be done by lifting them straight out in front of you or straight above your head. Really reach for the stars.

Next, you can incorporate more leg movement into your bounces. This can be done with touching a knee mid jump. Do this by bringing one knee up and reaching down with the opposite arm while at the apex of your jump. Landing back on both feet, alternate which knee you bring up on your subsequent jump and continue in another set. Just a little extra movement goes a long way.

After you master this technique, continue to expand your trampoline workout by touching your toes. This can be done one leg at a time or both. If you choose to lift both, you'll need to now be reaching a significant height with each bounce. As you go up into the air, bring your legs up and reach out toward your toes. Those of you flexible enough will be able to touch them. Repeat this multiple times or in a set before resting.

These trampoline exercise techniques should get you started on the right foot. Be consistent and get out there on a regular basis and you'll soon be seeing results in no time.

{ Comments are closed }

Getting Older and The Perfect 10Km

Like most runners, I started life as a sprinter and always believed that long distance was for those without any real pace. A few years and a complete Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction later, I find my natural speed starting to dwindle and having to settle for endurance; a hard lesson for anyone to learn but an avenue which everyone must vent down at some stage in their life.

It stands to reason that you do not have to possess as much pace to maintain a sub 6 minute mile over a long distance as it does to complete one 4 minute mile. It is this theory which I am trying to lean on as I try and turn my efforts to a slightly longer running event. The race I am now starting to focus on is over the course of 10Km and is an excellent compromise between speed and endurance.

The perfect 10Km race is all centred on consistency. If you want to run the entire race in 42 minutes the best method is to run 10 concurrent kilometers in 4.2 minutes. Everyone is different but from my experience, having a short dip in pace early on in the race because you are relying on a quick finish never sees to go to plan.

As an intermediate runner, I have always been one for hitting miles. I have run the 100m in less than 12 seconds and got very close to hitting the 4 minute mile (a few seconds out) so naturally wanted to achieve a 10km time which was broadly viewed as respectable. Not wanting to bite off more than I could chew and remembering that I had undergone major surgery on my knee, I decided to aim for 40 minutes. Now taking into consideration that the best way to run the race is to average out a specific split time and stick to it, I was going to have to maintain a speed of 6 minutes 26 seconds per mile or at least have a way to detect if I was ahead or behind my target.

The route I decided to go down was to purchase a GPS watch so that I could track my current pace and structure my training sessions accordingly. Since using a GPS watch, I have been able to reduce my 10Km time to sub 38 minutes and reignite my passion for racing.

The truth of the matter is that I would still like to have the pace I did when I was 21 but that is not about to happen anytime soon. Changing my priorities and realigning my goals has enabled me to continue to compete at an intermediate level and ensure that my competitive nature is adequately fueled.

If you would like to start taking running a bit more seriously then I firmly believe the first step is to set out some achievable targets. Doing so will allow you to structure your efforts track your progress as you will inevitably improve over time.

{ Comments are closed }

Making Exercise Fun

How to Make Exercise Fun

One of the top five reasons that people give to prevent themselves from exercising is that they say it is 'too boring'. But we would definitely disagree – there are so many things that you can do and also many activities that burn calories out there that will not only keep you fit, but will have you smiling too!

What confuses a lot of people that want nothing to do with exercise, is what exercise actually means – it's not just about lifting heavy weights over and over and working up a sweat – exercise is about getting involved in an activity that gets your heart racing and also burn lots of calories at the same time … and if you can have fun whilst doing that, even better.

Get Outdoors

Being outside has a good psychological effect on your brain – there are no walls, which means there are fewer confinements, less obstacles and because you are out of the house, there are fewer distractions such as the TV or the kitchen.

Take up gardening, go jogging, play football, walk the dog, cycle, or play games in the park with your kids – there are many ways of exercising outdoors that are fun as well as great for you.

Reward Yourself

Have something to look forward to after you have exercised. If you really can not find an activity you like, you may as well reward yourself with something nice after you have reached your targets. Complete your day's exercise and THEN watch TV, listen to music, read or watch a film. Just try to avoid rewarding yourself with food or this will defeat the object of working hard to lose or maintain your weight.

Make It Social

Exercise does not have to be a lonely activity – a lot of people prefer to have someone there to motivate them. Whether it is a friend, college or family member, getting someone to workout with you is a great way of staying motivated and supported. Even if you both have different goals such as losing or maintaining your weight, your support for one else could have the kind of lift you need to make the exercise much more enjoyable.

If you are quite competitive in nature, you might find that working out with a friend at a competitive sport such as racquetball might be the perfect way of boosting your workout routine and blasting that fat.

Dance

The great thing about dancing is that you do not need to be good at it to enjoy it. Whatever you are just putting on some energetic music at home and dancing around your bedroom or taking a class at a local venue, dancing is a great way of letting off steam, relaxing, exercising and above all having a good time.

For example, an hour long Zumba class, where the emphasis is on having a 'party' and not the exercise itself is fun for any ability and you can burn between 500 and 600 calories in a session.

{ Comments are closed }

Dance Your Way To Fitness?

I'll be the first to admit that I have two left feet and my dancing skills are about as good as a chocolate tea cup, but dancing is well and definitely on the up.

While some people may only think of fitness focused dance classes as something similar to the Jazzercise and Jane Fonda aerobics classes of the 1980s, the truth is that the range of offerings now is quite surprising, and has taken on a much more exciting flavor.

In fact, there are enough different styles of dance and music to suit just about every taste. Some of the most popular dance fitness styles include Zumba (which uses freestyle movements to salsa and merengue music), SoulSweat (based on Soul music), CardioFunk (using Funk music) and even Bollywood (using the high tempo music that's found in Indian ” Bollywood “movies). If there's a style of music that you hear on the radio that makes you want to get up and move to the beat, then chances are there's a fitness class built around it.

There are many different benefits of dancing for fitness. You'll get the aerobic and muscle strengthening benefits, of course. But the real benefit of dance fitness classes is that they can be a lot of fun. Keep in mind that many people who begin a new exercise program will end up giving up on their fitness goals because they get bored with treadmills and weightlifting machines. That's why I always recommend finding an activity you enjoy to participate in along your regular fitness routine. This way you're more likely to stick with it long term. Going to a dance class will also get you socializing with the other class members, which can make it much easier to motivate yourself for each future class.

Not all fitness dance classes are going to deliver head turning results, so just remember that your playing the long game with this. Although just because you're not lifting weights or sprinting up and down stairs does not mean that you will not get a good sweat on. Dance classes often get participants to move in ways that they're not used to; side to side or diagonally, sometimes, while moving their arms in different ways at the same time. If you're not familiar with the moves there's a good chance that you'll be a little sore (in a good way) after your first class!

Getting started with a dance fitness class is easy enough. It's likely that a local health club or community center offers at least one type of these classes. Call the facilities in your area to find out the various options that fit within your schedule. Dance fitness classes are even becoming so popular that fitness studios focusing on these types of classes are popping up all over the country. You've heard of Zumba, right?

Even though these classes almost always provide a positive and supportive environment, some people prefer to do their exercising at home on their own due to time constraints. It's certainly possible to do any of the dance fitness routines at home. The easiest and least expensive way to begin, or to see what style is best for you, is to go online and do a search on YouTube. You'll find numerous videos of the dance moves, and even some choreographed classes that you can follow along with.

Once you're more serious about working out, you can rent or buy professionally made DVDs. Check out Lovefilm or Amazon for dance workout DVDs that you can use at home. If you have a Wii or Xbox games console you can even buy fitness dance games!

If you like to dance or have tried out the odd Zumba class let us know below 🙂

{ Comments are closed }

The Best Types of Rowing Machine Workouts

Rowing machines offer a great way to train – all the benefits of a cardio workout in a small space, without the high risk of injury associated with other types of fitness equipment. Unfortunately, many users fail to get the most from their rower because they do not vary their workouts.

I've listed below the different types of sessions you can include in your training. Each can be used as part of a regime.

Steady Rowing is an easy-paced workout at around 18 to 24 strokes per minute (known as the rating). This is fine for a comfortable workout if you're a beginner, and can also be used as a warm-up at the lower stroke rate before a noisy session. Note – this is not so good for fitness and weight loss.

Interval Training involves rowing for a period of time (usually one to two minutes) at a high stroke rate of maybe 30, and then for the same period at a lower rate of say, 20. Research has shown alternating between high and low intensity, burns more calories than a steady workout of the same time. This type of training allows you to train for longer, as you're recovering in the low intensity periods, ready for the next high interval. It also keeps you heart rate in the fat-burning zone for longer – see below.

High Intensity is rowing as hard and fast as you can for a pre-determined period, which simulates racing conditions. Definitely NOT for the beginner, but very beneficial for intermediate and advanced rowers. Favorite by elite competition rowers for building stamina, both mental and physical. It's hard work and should be built specifically to avoid injury. Start by setting a timer and row until you feel you can not row any longer – check your time and repeat more at different sessions. Then aim to add five seconds every fourth high intensity session.

Pyramid training is popular with elite rowers and involves training for shorter periods at a higher stroke rate. For example, rowing for 4 minutes at 22 strokes per minute, 3 mins at 24, 2 at 26 and 1 at 28. Then the routine is reversed.

Time Trial workouts record your progress overtime, the most common time trial is completed over 2,000 meters. Once a week, record your time for a set distance. Row hard for the first half, and then try to maintain the same stroke rate for the second half. Alternately, you can row for a set period at your maximum stroke rate and record the distance covered at the end. This is usually carried out for two or three minutes.

Heart Rate Programs are great for weight loss and improving cardiovascular fitness. Many rowers have pre-set heart rate programs. You connect yourself up to the console via either an ear clip or a heart rate monitor strap, and set the rate. The console will prompt the stroke rate to keep your pulse within the limits you've selected (or some will alter the resistance to make you work harder). Excellent for building fitness or rapid weight loss.

Adding variation to your training will help you get the best results from your router – and keep you interested! You can find more workouts in his new book the Complete Rowing Machine Workout Program is available on the Kindle from Amazon.

{ Comments are closed }

Popular Home Workout Solutions

Healthy living starts with diet and exercise. When you eat right and when you exercise, you'll have more energy and your body will feel better. Exercising at home or at the gym are the most typical ways people stay in shape. Many utilize machines to assist them in their workouts. Those searching for a good workout usually hop on a treadmill, elliptical or exercise bike. Many of these machines come with a range of exercise applications created to help you achieve a targeted fitness goal. Check out one of these systems and see what people are chatting about.

Building up a good sweat from exercising can be a challenging thing to do. Running or even jogging on a treadmill will quickly get your heart rate beating up fast. Whether it be a light jog or an intense sprint, you're sure to work up a sweat. If you do not know where to start, try starting up a workout app. The exercise programs you see are designed by fitness professionals. There's a number of different fitness apps to choose from. If you're interested in keeping an eye on the fitness progress made, check in with built-in heart rate monitors and calorie and distance counters. Modern treadmills have become quite advanced. The specifications to each treadmill can be very different from one another. It can be an overwhelming experience when you're shopping for a treadmill for yourself. Try looking around a handful of treadmill reviews. Use treadmill reviews as a tool when deciding which machines are right for you.

Another favorite exercise product is the elliptical trainer. Ellipticals deliver a more low impact exercising experience. Smooth and natural can be used to describe the elliptical motion, which is designed to eliminate bodily impact otherwise during typical conditioning workouts. You will not see feet hitting any surface like you do on a treadmill. Your feet, joints and legs will experience little if any aches and pains after a workout. Exercise your entire body when you utilize elliptical arms, which move back and forth along with the elliptical strides you take. You'll see that many ellipticals are accompanied with workout apps. This means that if you do not know what you're doing, you can quickly load one of these up and follow step by step instructions on what to do. There are many types of ellipticals out on the marketplace. A lot of variables can determine the kind of elliptical you get. Help yourself by looking at what other users have to tell you about hot ellipticals in elliptical comments and online forums.

The last of the three products we'll discuss about is the exercise bike. Biking enthusiasts will really like workout routines on an exercise bike. You have traditionally have 3 options when you select to workout on an exercise bike. The three types of exercise bikes use an upright, an indoor, or a recumbent design. They each are intended for a specific function. Those looking for leisure workout sessions may find upright exercise bikes to their liking. Upright exercise bikes are modeled after traditional bikes. The indoor cycle is more suitable for those in training. You'll be able to stand and drive your legs into the pedals and cycle. Those in rehab will find the recumbent exercise bike most suitable for their needs. You'll find the post taken on these bikes to be very comfy.

Folks stay fit in various ways. Exercising definitely helps in that. If you do not know where to start or what to do, consider working out or purchasing a treadmill, elliptical, or an exercise bike. See for yourself and you'll be amazed. Take your fitness workouts up another level. See your quality of life improve considering when you begin treating your body right.

{ Comments are closed }

HIIT Training Workout

High intensity interval training workouts use the idea of ​​performing maximal cardiovascular effort for short periods of time. Typically when people run on a treadmill, ride a stationary bike, or workout on an elliptical they pick a time increment, typically 30-60 minutes and then exercise at one steady pace for the selected time.

In high intensity interval training, also called HIIT, individuals will exercise for only 20-30 minutes. Within that 20-30 minute HIIT training workout the routine is broken up into a 3 minute warm up followed by intervals last 30 seconds to 1 minute where you run, bike, or pedal the elliptical at your maximal physical effort. You then get a 1 minute recovery period before performing the next 30 second maximum effort interval of your HIIT training workout. You continue your exercise in this way allowing 3 minutes at the end for a cool down.

Why is this more effective than the traditional long duration steady pace cardiovascular program? First of all during the high intensity intervals you are using different muscle types that burn more energy than those of the muscles used during a steady pace cardio workout. With the constant change of pace your body does not get a chance to adapt to any one type of exercise and therefore burns more energy. One of the largest benefits of HIIT training is that during your recovery period after you leave the gym your body continues to burn calories as it repairs itself. You are there since essentially burning calories during times when you are not even exercising. This is what makes HIIT training workouts so effective for weight loss. You can see this training philosophy in action if you have ever watched the popular TV. show the biggest loser. You also hear about HIIT training workouts when celebrities reveal how they were able to lose a huge amount of weight for a movie role.

HIIT training workouts are also effective in helping to add lean muscle mass when the workouts are combined with a diet high in quality proteins. This is evident if you have ever seen the difference between the body compositions of a sprinter vs. that of a marathon runner. Sprinters have highly defined musculature because during workouts they are using a different type of muscle fiber called fast twitch muscle fibers. The body uses this type of muscle for activities that require short duration bursts of muscle contraction. Slow twitch muscles are the opposite. The body uses these types of muscle fibers for activities that are steady paced for long durations. Use this training method and you are sure to get results.

The bottom line is that unless you are training for a long distance race or a marathon you do not need to be doing low intensity long duration cardio. If your goals are the addition of lean muscle mass, improved cardiovascular health and weight loss HIIT training workouts are the way to go.

{ Comments are closed }

The Benefits of Strength Training and Cardio Exercises

There has always been a debate for decades over whether cardio training or strength training is better for you. The reality is you need both. Your body will not depend on just a single branch of exercise to work. Cardio and strength workouts come with their own set of benefits, and each supports the other and enhances your overall fitness performance. It is suggested that adults perform at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity daily, and engage in strength training at least twice per week. These recommendations from the American Heart Association suffice for 30 minutes per day, or 150 minutes per week, of physical related activity which can be easy as going for a run around the block and hitting the gym with some weights.

Benefits of strength training
Weight training builds big muscle and helps to strengthen the connective tissues in your body, and that goes far towards injury prevention. Not only will it help with everyday chores and aging bodies but you'll also improve your posture, balance, and stability. Weight training helps shape your body and metabolizes fat faster. Following strength training, your metabolism remains higher for an elongated period of time (unlike cardio which halts as soon as your heart rate drops), in return burning more calories after your workout. Furthermore muscle expends more energy to maintain than fat does, so in return you'll burn more calories while at rest by adding some muscle to your frame.

Benefits of cardio training
Cardio training improves your body's ability to process and use a higher content of oxygen, increases your lung capacity, and improves your overall fitness level to help you live longer and have a healthy heart. Even when the top body builders started to train they began to recognize the high level of importance of adding cardiovascular training into their workouts helping them in increased blood-flow to the muscles as well as speeding the muscle breakdown healing process and recovery through workouts. Cardio training elevates your heart rate in the short term, with benefits like lower blood pressure and a decreased resting heart rate, which results in less effort for the heart and any future diseases.

A properly designed and rounded workout routine comes with an abundance of mental and physical benefits. Exercise releases endorphin's under stress, which helps aid stress, tension and anxiety, as well as increasing blood flow to the brain, to help you function at higher levels. Risks of illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer can be reduced by performing healthy related activities. Exercise helps maintain muscle mass and strengthen bone density, both of which decline as we age. Staying active will not only give us a better way of life but a longer and healthier one.

{ Comments are closed }