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Category Archives: Fitness

Some Elements of Exercise

Frequency and intensity

If you’re interested in the health benefits of exercise, you should aim to exercise at least three times per week at about half your maximum capacity.

The best way to judge your exercise intensity is by comparing your exercising heart rate with your maximum heart rate, which you can estimate by subtracting your age from 220 beats per minute and multiplying the resulting number by 65%. (Or just fill in the blanks: 220-age x .65 = half your maximum capacity, in beats per minute.)

When you’re exercising, check your pulse, count how many times your heart beats in 10 seconds and multiply that by six to get the number of times it beats in a minute. Compare that number to the one you worked out with the formula above.

Cool down

Just as it’s important to warm up and prepare yourself for physical exertion, it’s also important to cool down by gradually reducing your exercise intensity. When some people suddenly stop exercising, blood pools in their legs, leading to fainting and possibly heart problems. You should take about 10 minutes to cool down, or as long as it takes for your skin to return to its normal temperature.

Overload, specificity and progression

In order to improve your physical fitness, you must constantly place higher demands on the appropriate body parts. The principle of overload simply means that the body responds to increased demands by adapting, which can help you improve your aerobic fitness, muscular strength and flexibility.

Stretching and Warm up

Most of the studies I’ve reviewed attempt to determine the effects of stretching on injury prevention. This is a mistake in itself and shows a lack of understanding as to how stretching is used as part of an injury prevention program and the warm up.

Stretching and its effect on physical performance and injury prevention is something that just can’t be measured scientifically. Sure you can measure the effect of stretching on flexibility with simple tests like the “Sit and Reach” test, but then to determine how that affects athletic performance or injury susceptibility is near impossible.

One of the more recent studies on stretching supports this view by concluding;

“Due to the paucity, heterogeneity and poor quality of the available studies no definitive conclusions can be drawn as to the value of stretching for reducing the risk of exercise-related injury.” (The efficacy of stretching for prevention of exercise-related injury: a systematic review of the literature, 2003, Weldon)

The Greatest Misconception

Confusion about what stretching accomplishes, as part of the warm up, is causing many to abandon stretching altogether. The key to understanding the role stretching plays can be found in the previous sentence. But, you have to read it carefully.

Stretching, as part of the warm up!

Here’s the key: Stretching is a critical part of the warm up, but stretching is NOT the warm up.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that doing a few stretches constitutes a warm up. An effective warm up has a number of very important key elements, which work together to minimize the likelihood of sports injury and prepare the individual for physical activity.

Identifying the components of an effective and safe warm up, and executing them in the correct order is critical. Remember, stretching is only one part of an effective warm up and its’ place in the warm up routine is specific and dependent on the other components.

The four key elements that should be included to ensure an effective and complete warm up are:

1. The general warm up

This phase of the warm up consists of 5 to 15 minutes of light physical activity. The aim here is to elevate the heart rate and respiratory rate, increase blood flow and increase muscle temperature.

2. Static stretching

Next, 5 to 15 minutes of gentle static stretching should be used to gradually lengthen all the major muscle groups and associated tendons of the body.

3. The sports specific warm up

During this phase of the warm up, 10 to 15 minutes of sport specific drills and exercises should be used to prepare the athlete for the specific demands of their chosen sport.

4. Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching involves a controlled, soft bounce or swinging motion to force a particular body part past its usual range of movement. The force of the bounce or swing is gradually increased but should never become radical or uncontrolled.

Please note; dynamic stretching carries with it a high risk of injury if used incorrectly. Dynamic stretching is more for muscular conditioning than flexibility and is really only suited for professional, well trained, highly conditioned athletes. Dynamic stretching should only be used after a high level of general flexibility has been established.

All four parts are equally important and any one part should not be neglected or thought of as not necessary. All four elements work together to bring the body and mind to a physical peak, ensuring the athlete is prepared for the activity to come.

Stretching is beneficial, when used correctly. However, as with most activities there are rules and guidelines to ensure that they are safe, and stretching is no exception. Stretching can be extremely dangerous and harmful if used incorrectly.

Remember, stretching is just one very important component that assists to reduce the risk of injury and improve athletic performance. The best results are achieved when stretching is used in combination with other injury reduction techniques and conditioning exercises.

Home Gyms

Having a home gym with free weights and a machine for aerobic activity is the perfect combination for your home gym workout routine. Exercise and cardiovascular fitness are essential in a balanced fitness program.

It’s important to include stretching and resistance to help build and tone muscles, burn fat and help prevent injury. Variety is the key to enjoying and keeping you motivated for a successful exercise workout program.

Setting goals that are realistic can be a huge motivating factor in sticking to your home gym workout routine. These goals keep your mind focused on the rewards you will see and feel.

Once you start your exercise workout program and experience good results, you will become even more dedicated to achieving your goals. When beginning an exercise program here are a few important things to consider:

1. Decide how many times a week you are willing to dedicate yourself to this exercise workout program. For any real benefits to occur, your home gym workout routine should be done at least 3 to 4 times a week. It is also important to set aside a couple of days each week for complete rest.

2. How much time do you plan on dedicating to your exercise program each exercise day? It’s best to start slow and gradually work up as you get more fit. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes a day on the days you exercise depending on your fitness level.

3. Remember to change your exercise and cardiovascular fitness program every few weeks. That’s because your body will adjust to the same routine and your workout won’t be as effective without the change. Variety is a key element for keeping your motivation going and the boredom at a minimum.

Exercise and good aerobic workouts can provide you with a lifetime of good health. According to a study in 2004, more Americans are now participating in fitness activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Want a Flat Stomach

Start by doing cardio exercises to get your heart rate up and improve your metabolism. A good fast-paced walk three times per week is a great way to accomplish this. Not only does this burn calories, but it’s good for your heart.

Did you know that a good, consistent cardio workout can increase your metabolism by up to 24 hours? Yep, it’s true!

A Quick Exercise for Your Metabolism

Below is a sample workout that you can do to help give your metabolism a quick boost. It will help your body burn calories more efficiently if performed regularly.

1) Perform 30 seconds of hard exercise (i.e. run in place as fast as you can)

2) Perform one minute of moderate exercise (i.e. a casual jog or brisk walk).

3) Repeat this process 10 times.

4) Cool down for 3-5 minutes

Remember…

In addition to a healthy diet, walking and/or jogging is one of the best stomach exercises you can perform because it raises your metabolism enough to burn excess calories all over your body.

Total body fitness is the key to a flat stomach, not just spot toning one area. Why not kick-start your fitness program with a nice, fast-paced walk 3-4 times per week? Your stomach and the rest of your body will say, “Thank you.” 🙂

Bodybuilding Training

1. MORE THAN JUST LOOKS: Realize exercise is more than just having a great
physique. It is about strengthening the mind and heart and soul.

2. KEEP THE BIG PICTURE IN MIND: You will have good days and bad days. Keep a
one day at a time attitude.

3. BE SOLD OUT! No matter if you are a competitive bodybuilder or just one who
does it for a hobby, be sold out for life to exercise.

4. LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR. This one will be hard for most of you to do.
But to be a champion, you have to get rid of your ego. Your mind is your biggest
competitor. In order to improve on your health you need to not be self-serving.

5. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: If you think you know everything, forget, stop right
now. You never will know everything. Continue to learn all the time. Most
importantly, share your knowledge.

6. HAVE FUN: Most people in bodybuilding are wound way too tight. Loosen up a
little.

7. ASK FOR HELP: If you do not know something, ask someone who does.

8. MORE IS NOT BETTER: Put time limits on your workouts.

9. HAVE VARIETY: Never be afraid to change your exercise routine around.

10. HAVE SYNERGY: Incorporate all areas of fitness. Low body fat levels are more
important than the size of your biceps.

Toning Your Abs

Twenty-five good, quality crunches are much better than 250 half-done crunches. Many people just want to get it over with so they lie down and do as many fast crunches as they can while lacking in quality.

The best thing to do is perform 4 sets of 20-25 solid crunches while resting 90 seconds in between each set. That is a much more effective way of training your abs than 250 lackluster crunches in a row.

This is the one that frustrates me. I have always been very thin and recently started gaining weight in my hips and thigh area. I welcomed the added pounds because it gave me a curvier figure. Unfortunately it also left we with a slightly flabby stomach.

I wanted to keep the hips and thighs but lose the stomach so I started exercising my stomach and abs by doing pilates and crunches.

Well, I didn’t see any results. I discovered through reading that you can’t just spot tone because if you only focus on one area (ie. your tummy), you won’t raise your metabolism enough to burn that extra belly fat. So the key to flattening your stomach area is to increase your body’s metabolism so it can effectively get rid of those layers of excess tummy fat.

A total body exercise is the key to slimming your waistline.

Whether you’re a man or woman, we’d all love to have that solid six pack to show off when we’re at the pool right? Well, what most people don’t realize is that solid abs don’t start in the gym, they start in the kitchen. If your body contains a lot of fat, your abs won’t show no matter how much you exercise.

Your first goal should be to lose that fat, and it starts with your diet. Decrease the amount of fat and calories you consume and increase the amount of protein. Protein is an absolute necessity for ridding fat and building muscle.

Did you know that running does very little when it comes to toning your stomach? This is because it can cause your pelvis to pull forward and arching of your lower back.

Don’t get me wrong, running is good for you and can burn a lot of calories, but if you aren’t doing any other stomach toning exercises in conjunction with running you’ll see little if any results.

Great Ideas on Staying Fit

Exercise keeps your bones and joints in line and strong, so the benefits aren’t purely superficial. It also acts to strengthen your cardiovascular system, to help keep your heart healthy. A few great fitness exercises used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and healthy diet can help you live longer and better.

A general feeling of improved well-being can be found through light exercises, so there is no need to overdo things. Light walking is probably the easiest fitness exercise there is; yet this doesn’t mean it isn’t a great fitness exercise. It helps blow the cobwebs away and can improve the heart, lower blood pressure and improve physique. All of these things help keep you healthy, active and measurably improve your lifestyle.

Great fitness exercises can include the use of weights, a fitness ball, exercise machines or just you and your muscles.

Combining physical exercise with nutritional supplements can vastly improve all of your physical and mental attributes and decrease the possibility of illness and damage, especially related to muscles, bones, blood, and even the heart. Exercising also helps release hormones throughout your body and the adrenalin that physical exertion releases can improve mental health. So you see, great fitness exercises improve your general well-being in addition to your physique.

You must Walk

1) Endurance, or aerobic, activities increase your breathing, heart rate, muscle and joints. Brisk walking or jogging, dancing, swimming, and biking are examples.

2) Strength exercises make your muscles stronger. Lifting light weights 1 to 4 pounds and lifting them 3 to 5 times or using a resistance band that can build up your strength.

3) Balance exercises help prevent falls

4) Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and can help you stay limber.

The above list is from The NIH: National Institute on Aging.

Walking will relieve arthritis discomfort as well as it has many more benefits; the above are great programs for individuals who are recovering from many health conditions, and need an activity. These are great programs for you to do as an exercise, if you are a diabetic

or have any disabling condition and you may need to do a physical activity this is a great program for you.

It is great way for anyone to get fit. It is an excellent activity or sport for all.

Walking is one of them and is also a good way to control your weight (but remember you can’t over eat) and is a method for you to control your blood pressure too.

Walking gives you many benefits after you have recovered from a health condition and need an activity to keep you healthy.

I have spent my entire life studying and helping subjects in their walking activities.

In my practice I taught many patients the values of walking, and lectured to various walking groups about the benefits of walking. They all loved hearing them and they did walk as an exercise program.

The public is now walking a lot more than they have in the past. We should walk as an exercise even more, but we are improving this goal in our walks.

All about Sweating Vacation

Over the holidays I had fallen victim to the two-headed monster known as Sloth and Gluttony, so I put in plenty of effort to get back in shape. As a competitive open water swimmer, I was focusing more on getting prepared for the spring/summer race season than achieving the perfect beach body, but I won’t scoff at the aesthetic results. After months of training, respectable success in my races, and the loss of 15 pounds, I was a bit apprehensive about stepping aside for a week of hedonism.

Determined to take as few backwards steps as possible, I forged a plan for exercising and eating before departing the mainland. My training partner in California (shout out to Lisa) hooked me up with a friend of hers who lives in Kona-Kailua so I would have a motivating force on the island. We exchanged communications and planned a few swims, including a race the day after I arrived!

The 11th Annual King Swim took place at the Kailua Pier, which is the starting and finishing point of the Ironman World Championships Triathlon. Before you start to get impressed (just yet), the race was just 1.2 miles, instead of the 2.4 miles swum in the initial stage of the Ironman. I didn’t go through the ubiquitous pre-race nerves because I didn’t have any high expectations for this event. Since I was in the land of stud triathletes and had been in Kona for just 15 hours (not to mention the effect the time change had on me), I went into the race just wanting to have fun and to get some ocean swimming under my belt. Despite some crooked swimming, due to my limited attention span wondering off and looking at all the pretty fishes, I actually had a pretty good race. I finished first in my age group (got a sweet trophy), was the fifth male and the seventh overall finisher. Of the six people who came in before me, five were 18-years-old or younger, and the other was a 43-year-old woman who holds numerous world records in Masters Swimming (my island training partner). Not bad for an old man in the last day of his 35th year of life!

Aside from this race, I tried to swim daily in the ocean, which included another 1.2 miler on the same racecourse (for fun) and a completion of the whole 2.4-mile Ironman course (also for fun). Throw in a couple of pool workouts and a (mostly) daily trip to the resort workout room for weights and cardio, and I got in more than my fair share of vacation exercise. I found that the key to getting your sweat on while away from home is to do it first thing in the morning, getting it out of the way and leaving the rest of the day wide open for the real fun (or napping, if you prefer).

As for eating, the hardest part was resisting the temptation of the huge buffet breakfasts and lunches. I stuck to my goal of keeping on the blinders in front of the food spreads and throwing caution to the wind at dinner. Every day I was a good little boy and had eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt and berries for breakfast and a biggie salad for lunch (with a few French fries thrown in for good measure). Dinners were a different story, though I did not go completely overboard. There were plenty of four-course meals (with yummy lobster on most nights), but I knew I could shovel it in knowing I would be burning (most) of it off the next morning. As for desserts, I swore to myself that I would avoid them all unless cheesecake (my Kryptonite) was offered up. I succeeded in this mission until the last dinner of the trip when cheesecake finally popped up on the menu (woo hoo!).

Info of Stretching Exercises

Remember for optimal health and fitness always perform stretches, as we mature we become more and more less flexible, this is why it is good to stretch daily.

Stretching exercises for health and fitness are very easy to perform. The normal ones for legs such as touching the toes and hamstring stretches are your most common stretches. For arms you can do anything from arm twists. For your upper body a great stretching exercise is to perform twists side to side with a weightless barbell behind your neck.

If you are are pursuing martial arts or want excellent flexibility in the legs then you can perform the splits each day, take it very easy when doing this if you are new to exercise, pushing your self could result in severe pain, and in some cases, even damage.