Monday, March 25, 2013

Get That Six Pack By Reducing Your Calorie Intake

To get ripped abs and a flat washboard stomach, you need to control your portion size, Men traditionally eat big portions which is not what you should be doing if you want those abs to die for.
So here are some of the things start addressing to obtain that washboard abs:-

1.      Make sure your carbohydrates are at a moderate level and cut out white, refined or processed carbohydrates
2.      Sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, and beans are great to be eating - Potatoes, pasta, rice and chips are not so good, so watch your intake of these types of foods.
3.      The right proteins are important as well in getting that six-pack – Guys IF YOU WANT A SIX PACK THEN AVOID FRIED FAST FOODS. You need to consume lean proteins such as boneless and skinless chicken, white fish, Greek yoghurt and egg whites.
4.      Avoid ready meal, as these have large amounts of hidden calories, sugars. These include breakfast bars, juices and cereals
5.      Eat around 5 small meals a day in and if you want a snack in between then try a handful of almonds.
6.      Make breakfast your biggest meal, it increases your metabolism and decreases your chances of overeating.
7.      Start exercising for 30 minutes in the morning before you have eating and this should include cardio-vascular, running, jumping rope for example.
      8 . You should have a full workout every day When you're working your arms,  
            Chest, back, shoulders, and legs. Circuit training with machines or free     
            Weights are best for this ( see my post on Dumbbells for smart weight training).
      9. You also need to fold in crunches and core-building exercises  either in the morning     with your cardio or with your full body workout later in the day.
You should aim to complete 20 to 50 reps of each of the following: hanging leg raises, V-upsbicycles,  planks, push-ups, and side oblique crunches.

Join your local boxing gym, boxing is a great way to stay in shape and to get nice cut abs, as You're using your core and you're constantly twisting and turning.

How long Will it take to get the desired results? 

If you are 20 pounds overweight, then it would take approximately 6 months working out 3 times a week. However, that time could be cut in half by working out everyday.

So come on, make that start today to get those abs that you always wanted

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Twenty Ways to Make $100/Day Online and Afford Your Gym Fees

Are you finding it difficult to afford those gym fees?

The economic crisis has put pressure on household budgets. When it comes to paying the mortgage or the gym fees - There is only going to be one winner!!!

A friend of mine recently asked what I would do if I needed to start making cash fast, without a list or established website.

I gave it some thought and remembered a great little ebook called "20 Ways to Make $100/day Online".

This 247-page resource is packed with great ideas that anyone can use to get started on the path to $100/day.

I purchased a copy myself as a refresher and I am recommending it to you today. If you don't get your money's worth out of this ebook, you might check to see if you still have a pulse.

Let me know which of the 20 ways you try out. And even better, let me know when you are making $100/day!

20 Ways to Make $100/day Online

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Experts says Not Stretching Gives a Better Workout

The latest Research from some experts in London is to not carry our stretching exercises prior to a workout.

We all take it for granted that we should do some stretching to loosen our muscles prior to working out. However, many fitness experts are increasing stating that such routines can end up being very harmful.

Stretching exercises such as bending over to touch your toes more often causes your muscles to tighten which is the opposite of what we need to happen. This is because when we stretch, our bodies may think that it is being overstretched and react by contracting the muscle which makes it more likely that you could have an injury while exercising.

Instead of stretching, many experts recommend warming up with a light jog or sport-specific exercise, like kicking for football or a few serves for tennis. That type of light movement increases the heart rate and blood flow to the muscles, warming up the body temperature.

Maximizing the benefits of stretching may simply boil down to a matter of when you do it and how, according to Jonny Booth, a health and fitness manager at a north London branch of gym chain Fitness First.

"If you are going to stretch your muscles and then do some intense training, you're not going to get fantastic results," he said.

Instead, Booth recommends active stretches that mimic the movement of your intended activity, like some deep knee lunges while walking for runners.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Use Simple Body Weight Exercises to Get in Shape

Lean muscle mass in turn will speed the body's metabolism and help burn calories. So if you cannot get to the gym it appears that the ability to get in shape is elusive. The key word here is "appear". You see, there is an alternative to the traditional weightlifting program most associated with going to the gym. It comes in the form of bodyweight exercises.

As the name implies, bodyweight exercises are resistance exercises that are performed without any weights whatsoever. You simply use your body's own natural weight to create the resistance that develops lean muscle mass. These exercises have been popular for hundreds of years and for a very good reason - they work!

What are the most popular bodyweight exercises? Let's have a look at them...

The pushup is probably the most well known of all the bodyweight exercises. It is an excellent exercise that primarily works the chest and the biceps. However, other parts of the upper body can be stressed depending on your hand placement. Performing multiple variations of the push up will yield a total body workout.

Lower body development can be achieved with a simple squat. Most assume that squats are useless without adding free weights to the movement. One can develop sold muscle development in the lower body with only squats. However, working up to high repetitions may be necessary. The abdominal region is the core of the body. If you work the core, the rest of the body will develop a harmonious balance of symmetrical strength. The abdominals are the epicentre of the "x" your body forms with your legs and arms. I the epicentre is weak, the body as a whole will be weak.

Now some may assume that there is a need to perform hundreds of reps. All you need to do is perform the amount you are capable of doing without discomfort. Simply do the number of reps you can and then increase them as your strength increases.

Best of all, these exercises can be performed at any time of the day or night and at any location. So, no matter what your own personal exercise schedule may be, it is not difficult to maintain a decent body weight exercise program that will help you develop functional strength, build muscle and get in decent shape.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

How to Get Those Muscles to Die For

Exercise is definitely the most productive means to preserving muscle. It’s a shame that most people just don't know which muscle groups to focus and work on to achieve the goal of building muscles that they crave.

People will often get mistaken by the terms such as "re-building muscle mass" because they will tend to think that this is only done by working out in the gym to build muscles in the arms, chest and shoulders. Although working out in the gym can build muscles, what they will never be able to understand is the association of muscle building and the age-related sarcopenia ( The loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength with ageing) .

The upper extremities contain only 15% of the body's total muscle mass and you can increase their size by 200% without any obvious difference in the measurement of body's total muscle mass. If any significant breakthrough is to be made, then the major muscle groups are to be targeted.

What most "Fitness fanatics" don't realize is, the biggest muscles in the body are the quadriceps on the front of the thighs. Next to them are the gluteus muscles in the buttocks. Third in place are the hamstrings on the back of the thighs. Therefore, the key to activating the "anti-aging" factor in exercising is focus on exercises that work on flexing and extending the hip joint.

Another key to building muscle successfully is to focus on performing compound exercises that move more than one joint with the heaviest weights right from the start of exercises. By working on the major muscle groups first, faster results are made possible because that's how our body runs itself.

Exercises can also be performed with movements that extend over a wide range of motion for the major muscle groups such as the legs and the back. But for most men, one of the fastest ways to build muscle is with a "Split Routines."

By "Split Routines" it is meant that exercises are not performed in the same manner every time workout is done. Instead, exercises are split into 2 groups and each is performed on different days.

Aerobic exercises also must be added to every workout regime. They support peak cardiopulmonary function. Bear in mind though, that long duration cardiovascular exercises will cause the body to strip muscles by itself. Cardio endurance activities such as jogging will burn off our body's hard-earned muscle.

Therefore, knowing which exercises to perform that can produce results fast and efficiently is one of the most important things any "workout nuts" must know.

Always work on the major muscle groups to produce massive and evident result first because not only do these exercises produce fast results, but also they re-adjust the metabolism of the body in such a way that those with fast metabolism - people who can't

Saturday, January 19, 2008

5 Life Changing Reasons To Get Fit

Will you be physically and mentally able to enjoy time with your loved ones?

You're aware of the importance of a healthful diet including lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You've heard it stressed before about getting regular, vigorous exercise.

There are plenty of reasons to get fit. Yet, maintaining motivation for weight loss over a long period of time can be very hard. Knowing the facts will boost your weight loss motivation every day. Remember these 5 weight loss motivation tips:

Weight Loss Motivation Tip #1 - Live Longer

The truth is revealed. Fit people live longer. This is great news, especially if you're having a hard time shedding every ounce of your unwanted weight.

Whether you're fit, or not, start with even small changes. Just by adding healthier food choices and more exercise to your goals, you can save your life.

Weight Loss Motivation Tip #2 - Maintain a Sharp Mind

Physical activity may be the key to keeping your brain young. In fact, how mentally sharp you remain in old age is linked to your fitness level.

In the Scottish Mental Survey of 1932, 460 men and women were given mental and physical tests at age 11, then 79. Those with the highest fitness scores were more likely to score similarly on the mental skills test at both ages. So, the more fit they were in old age, the more mentally sharp they remained.

Fitness is an important part of your mental growth at any age.

Weight Loss Motivation Tip #3 - Fight Depression

Ever wondered why depression is considered a medical issue? Depression results from an imbalance in brain chemicals that carry signals between nerve cells.

Physicians also realize the link between depression and obesity.

The best way to fight those "sad" chemicals is by staying active.

Getting fit is a great way to chase away the blues naturally.

Weight Loss Motivation Tip #4 - Relieve Stress

Stress is your body's natural response to tough situations. When you feel stressed, your body produces chemicals that prepare you to fight or run.

A little stress is necessary. But if you never allow your body to get rid of those chemicals, stress can cause harm over long periods of time.

Your body responds to stress by slowing down digestion, releasing sugars and fats into your blood stream to provide fuel, releasing chemicals to help your blood clot, raising your heart beat, perspiring, increasing your breathing, and tensing your muscles.

Working out is one of the best ways to help your body relax and recover from that adrenaline rush.

Weight Loss Motivation Tip #5 - Boost Energy

If you bought a new car, and the seller told you to use only premium gas to keep it functioning properly for years to come, would you do it?

Food and exercise are your body's fuel. If you're taking your health for granted today, and praying you'll be fine tomorrow, your body may be running on unleaded fuel.

Start reaching for the premium fuel! Yes, there is a higher cost.

Living a long, healthy life with your loved ones is priceless. You're definitely worth it!

These are 5 life-changing reasons to get fit. Remember, fitness is a life-long commitment.

Consider adding some weight loss motivation books and tapes to your personal library to fuel your determination. Change your thinking, and accomplish your goals.

Motivation and weight loss can work hand-in-hand to save a life - Yours!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

How to Get That Flat Stomach

Most people want to look their best, especially during the warmer spring/summer months where most people dress on the lighter side. To look your best, many people focus on strengthening and tightening up their stomach muscles. If you look even a little bit, you can find many stomach muscle exercises to consider for your exercise program. So which exercises would be best for you?

There are a couple of things to consider before choosing the actual exercise program to strengthen and shape your midsection. The first thing is you need to do is pick a program you are really willing to complete and stick with, since no exercise program will have any benefit long term of you don't keep it up. The second thing to consider is to choose a set of exercises that work all the various muscles groups that form the abdomen from the obliques to the upper and lower abdominal muscles.

Stomach crunches have always been a popular and effective stomach exercise. Regular crunches work the front stomach muscles while side crunches work the obliques. Crunches are not perfect though, and for some can cause back and neck strain.

A crunchless crunch exercise is a lower abdominal core exercise where the intent is pull the lower abdominal muscles at the belly button inward toward your spine and hold for 10 seconds. This really works those lower muscles that you probably did not even know where there. This type of exercise is done while kneeling or when lying on your stomach. This exercise also eliminates the back and neck strain you may get with a normal crunch.

A long arm crunch involves lying on your back and with knees bent and feet flat. Put your arms straight back as if to reach over your head and then contract your stomach muscles slowly and lift your arms head and shoulders off the floor to about a 30 degree angle. Hold this position for a few seconds and then slowly go back to your original position. Rinse and repeat for a set.

The hip lift involves lying on your back with arms at your sides and palms up. Then lift your legs straight to about a 90 degree angle to your torso and hold. Now contract your lower abdominal muscles at your belly button to your spine. At the same time, lift your hips off the floor to a height of 2-3 inches and hold there, your legs still being held straight upward. after a few seconds lower your hips back to the floor and then repeat the cycle for a set.

Another good stomach muscle exercise involves laying flat on your stomach with legs straight and arms extended above your head. Now, raise your body up with hands clasped together as if you were doing a push up. Hold this position for as long as you can stand it and repeat as desired. This exercise strengthens your whole stomach.

The Pilate's workout offers a good stomach muscles exercise because each Pilate exercise focuses on strengthening the core of the body otherwise know as your stomach muscles. Almost every movement in Pilate's will work the stomach muscles directly or indirectly so Pilate's is a good choice to consider.

There are other stomach muscle exercises out there not mentioned here that are good as well like the vertical leg crunch and the torso twist. If you are serious about working and strengthening your abdominal muscles you will find it advantageous to try several different stomach muscle exercises to find which ones work best for you.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Use Fat Burning Foods For Effective Weight Loss

Nobody likes to diet. But what if you could make tasty meals yourself that would speed up the process of losing weight? By combining 'negative calorie' fruits and vegetables into salads and other dishes at mealtime, you can accelerate your weight loss in a delicious way.

Negative calorie foods are not new and have been discussed in weight loss circles for years. They are essentially fruits and vegetables that make your body use more calories to digest than they contain themselves. When you eat them as part of your diet, the net result is a negative calorie balance. This will help you lose weight faster.

Here is a short list of popular negative calorie fat burning foods:

* Asparagus
* Apples
* Beets
* Broccoli
* Cabbage
* Carrots
* Cauliflower
* Celery
* Cucumbers
* Garlic
* Grapefruit
* Lettuce
* Oranges
* Papaya
* Pineapples
* Raspberries
* Spinach
* Strawberries
* Turnips
* Zucchini

As you can see there are many fat burning foods to choose from. The way to achieve faster weight loss with these foods is to eat more of them more often. Let's explore your options for the many ways to include them in your diet. First pick out the vegetables from the list that you like to eat. Write them down on a piece of paper. Then list your favorite fruits below them on the same piece of paper.

Your objective is to use as many of your favorite fat burning foods incorporated with the other foods you prepare. For example, when you eat your daily salad incorporate as many fat burning foods as you can to make a tasty salad for yourself. You can start with lettuce, add shredded carrots, a few cucumber slices, sliced or diced apples and maybe a little pineapple. On the side you might add a few strawberries and a couple pieces of celery.

For a snack you can make sugarless Jell-O with shredded carrots included. Another good snack is your own special fruit salad prepared ahead of time. You can top it with a sugarless whipped cream. Be creative. Find ways to use garlic in your cooking instead of salt. Use fat burning vegetables as the complementary ingredients when you cook your meals. You will soon become accustomed to using these foods first in your meals.

By their very nature, you can eat as many of them in your diet as you wish. The more of these foods you eat on a daily basis, the more weight you can lose and keep off. Remember to also eat other sensible low fat foods and protein to stay healthy. Never go on a crash negative food diet only. The idea is to increase your use of these foods, not to replace your total diet with them.

A well-rounded lifestyle that includes the right foods and exercise will result in you reaching your goal weight faster. Fat burning foods can be your secret weapon in the battle of the bulge. It's a tasty way to lose those unwanted pounds.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

How To Lose That body Fat

Here are five tips to help you keep the weight off. If you don't think you are in the right frame of mind to implement all five right away then pick one today, right now, and just get started. No matter how you go about your weight loss journey, you have to remember to HAVE FUN or you will just continue to pile on the pounds.

1. Attitude IS Everything

If you went into last year's holiday season thinking you could eat like a wolverine and worry about it in January, well, how's that working out? Swimsuit season is right around the corner.

2. Eat exactly what you need

You should aim for a comfortable feeling of satisfaction at every meal. Besides, you can enjoy your meal and feel great afterwards too. This tip alone can save you hundreds of calories per meal. If you want to try all the courses, have smaller portions of everything you really want.

Give up the couch this summer and get out the spandex. If you really can't get to the gym, do a few exercises at home or go for a walk. It won't just burn calories; it will keep you in touch with your desire to get skinny and healthy. You know the routine; use the steps, park farther away. No matter what you chose remember that a journey of thousand miles begins with the first step!

4. Trash Day

You just had to buy the Doublestuff Oreos because you had a coupon right? Time to clean out the cabinets. This is the single best tip you can put into place today. Why? Let's say you are watching reruns and you get the craving to eat the entire pint of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia, if you don't have it in the house then you are less likely to get in the car and go get it.

5. Relax!

Stress makes us do crazy things to our bodies like smoking, drinking, and oh yes, eating. You have many reasons to reduce your stress levels as you do drinking your thousand-calorie Starbucks Frap.

If this describes your pattern of eating you are not alone. This is the single highest response given when asked why people eat the way they do, the nervous eater. If you can recognize it and at least alter the foods you are taking in, you can save yourself thousands of calories a week.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Why Do I Need To Exercise

"I am not overweight, so why should I be exercising?" If you asked yourself this question, like so many of us did at the beginning of the year, here are a few really good reasons to start exercising:

- Exercise can be a great mood enhancer, depression buster, and stress manager: do your workouts in nature, and enjoy the benefits of fresh air and sunlight.

- Sleep well after a good workout: of course, don’t exercise too late in the evening, as that can backfire on your, giving you extra energy.

- Exercise lowers the bad cholesterol, as well as your blood pressure, helping prevent heart conditions.

- Reduce back pain when you strengthen your back muscles, by improving flexibility with regular exercising.

- Systematic exercise enhances your immune system.

- Exercise also helps slow the aging process, because of increased blood flow to all the organs, as well as muscles.

Of course, exercise has a lot more benefits, and YOU can definitely benefit from regular exercising activities.

Now you may ask: but how do I exercise? I don’t like the thought of having to work out all the time. Well, you can actually enjoy your work out routine.

If you like swimming, go a couple of times a week. If you like company, invite a friend for a nice stroll in the park, and if you find yourself wanting more, go ahead and sign up for a gym, where you can use their professional equipment. You can also go bike riding a few times a month, and why not sign up for a dance class?

Of course, vary your routine, so you don’t get bored, and also for then benefit that you get from exercising different areas of your body. Also, many times you can get in a little bit of exercise without even trying. If you mow your lawn with a push mower, if you are weeding, or gardening, you are in fact exercising.

When you go shopping or are out on errands, make sure you don’t look for the closest parking spot. And if you have a two-story house, find reason to go up and down the stairs several times a day (checking on your kids, getting a load of laundry to the lower floor, taking back the folded laundry, or any other reason to move your muscles).

Remember to warm up and cool down before and after your exercising time, and make sure you don’t forget to drink plenty of water to flush out toxins.

Enjoy your new found flexibility, strength, and increased self esteem!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

What It REALLY Takes To Get into Great Shape

You have all seen the advertisements for products that promise to get you into great shape. They may be diet pills or exercise equipment, maybe some new fad that guarantees fast results. It's time to find out the truth about what it really takes to get into fantastic shape.

With so much information available at their fingertips, it's amazing that people continue to search for even more tips and secrets on how to get that shape they have always dreamed of. They will search for it in their favorite search engine, or look for it in a magazine at the grocery checkout counter.

Perhaps even ask the next-door neighbor. Everyone wants to know the inside secrets to obtaining a fantastic body without doing any work or changing how they eat.

Guess what? There aren't any secrets.

Perhaps liposuction comes closest to a shortcut, but even liposuction may not be a permanent solution if there is no lifestyle change.

The truth is that it will take work and it may be a long-term process if the person starts out with lots of body fat to lose.

Think of this logically. If it took 5, 10, 20, or more years of physical neglect to get into horrible shape, is it plausible to think that some 10 minute a day, 3 times per week stomach exercise will remedy the situation? If you are honest in your answer to that question, then it will be a resounding no.

The answer to achieving great visual shape has always been and will always be summed up in your physical and diet lifestyle habits.

There are little tricks and methods to slightly speed up the results, but it will always come down to how dedicated you are to the basics of exercise and activity coupled with a proper nutrition and dietary regiment.

Almost everyone knows this, but very few are willing to follow and continue following this timeless solution. It truly is time to wake up and exit the fantasy world painted by those who will capitalize on the average person and their wallets.

Every day there is some new exercise gadget or some secret potion that advertises as the Holy Grail to solving your body transformation goals. These so-called miracle products usually end up collecting dust in a basement or sitting in a corner of a cupboard. For most, the only thing that lost any weight was the bank account.

If you really want to get into shape, then do what those who are in great shape do. They have a good exercise and diet program. They don't fall prey to some advertising nonsense that preys on an individual’s insecurity. Above all, these people are dedicated, committed and take massive action in the pursuit of their goals.

Think of a friend or a family member who is good at what they do. Maybe this person is a good golfer or a talented artist. Whatever the specialty, you will find that they have spent a long time perfecting their craft.

In order to succeed in your body shaping goal, you will have to spend a good deal of time focused on the results you desire and actually put in the work required.

Barring any genetic or physical abnormalities, anyone with a dedicated, keen desire and who takes action towards their goal, will achieve success. That is what it really takes to get into great shape.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Jump Start Your Aerobic Training

Aerobic training is very important for your heart and your overall fitness. Health experts recommend you train aerobically twenty to thirty minutes a day, four to five times a week.

The activities most used are running, walking at a brisk pace, biking, and doing basic aerobics in the house to fitness tapes. Dancing and boxing to the music are the most popular of the programs. These are all very good exercises to help you build your aerobic capacity.

You might want to consider jumping rope. We have all done this when we were kids, but rope jumping is not included in many workout programs.

It should be. It is one of the best aerobic exercises available and involves your entire body. Boxers have used rope jumping since way back when.

Add a little variety to your rope jumping routine and you may find it fun and challenging.

To begin, start with your basic rope jumping. Hold the rope in both hands with the rope behind your back. Start by swinging the rope over your head and under your feet, jumping up and down with both feet as the rope goes under your feet. This is a great way to loosen up and you should do this for a couple minutes.

Next, begin alternating your feet touching the ground, like you are running. One foot jumps over the rope at a time.

For a little more of a challenge, swing the rope backwards. Do both the basic jump and the feet-alternating jump. This works your muscles out in a different manner and really helps with your coordination.

Now it gets tougher. Jump higher and swing the rope faster so you rotate it twice before your feet touch the ground. This gives your legs additional muscle toning and, for any athletes out there, it helps develop your jumping ability.

Once again return to basic jumping but this time, as you swing the rope, cross your arms in front of you. You are going to find this tough to do at first, but you'll get the hang of it. It adds a little fun to your workout as you try to master this technique.

Now you're ready for single leg jumping. Jump rope with the same foot for five repetitions, then switch legs and jump with the other leg for five repetitions. Repeat with each leg.

This is only a few of the variations you can try. Experiment and see if you can come up with any more techniques. Search the Internet for jump rope techniques. The more different variations you come up with, the more enjoyable your exercise will be.

Adding the jump rope to your exercise routine will definitely help you increase your fitness level. We did it as kids. Now do it as adults.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Enhancing Your Athletic Ability

Are you one of those individuals interested in enhancing your athletic ability? If you are, then you will be pleased to know that your goal is fairly easy to obtain. The key to enhancing your athletic capacity is not rocket science. In fact, if you incorporate a number of exercises into your daily workout, you will be able to improve the overall quality to perform vigorous activity in no time.

To improve your athletic performance you will most certainly want to focus on endurance, speed, and agility and strength exercises.

Endurance related exercises can be bicycling, running, walking, jogging, and swimming. These activities improve cardiovascular endurance. There are collateral benefits to these activities. Running, walking and jogging helps burn those calories and improves well being. Bicycling or pedal pushing helps in improving one's mental outlook. Swimming improves stamina and is one of the better techniques to increase lung capacity so that your body can get more oxygen. Stronger muscles equate to better athletic ability, therefore a prudent athlete will utilize endurance exercises often.

To improve your athletic performance you would also focus on speed and agility exercises. A popular speed training exercise is plyometrics. Plyometrics consists of converting strength to speed in short bursts. Agility exercises center on the ability to change directions with optimal speed.

Other methods for improving your athletic energy are lifting weights. You can definitely benefit by incorporating weight lifting into your exercise regimen. A progressive lifting of heavier weights will help increase muscle mass. You focus on a particular part of your body depending on the sport you play. However, a diverse weight lifting program that looks on an entire body work out is highly recommended. This helps you succeed in any athletic event and your entire body functions like a nicely maintained machine. Do not mar the lens in which you view your workout; be sure to balance your weight lifting exercises accordingly.

An alternative route to improving athletic performance is the practice of martial arts. Most common amongst these methods are karate, kung fu and judo. These activities require and help you maintain mental alertness. Taking on martial arts also helps develop dexterity and flexibility.

Practicing your regimen of activities on a regular basis will help you improve your chances of enhancing your athletic ability. Just like any other endeavor, practicing techniques again and again will not only improve your methods, but it will also help you train your body to exceed its prior limitations and keep your athletic ability at an optimum level.

Tips for Gym Newbies

Beginning a workout regime at the gym can be overwhelming in many different ways. If you haven't been before (or haven't been for a long time) it can seem as though everyone knows what they're doing but you. You worry about looking stupid, or about what people will think about your body, or about whether you'll remember everything you've been told.

The first day is usually okay (because most gyms provide an introductory session on how to operate the machines) - but the second day can be confusing and even embarrassing, unless you've signed up with a personal trainer. You're quite likely to find that you can't remember which machines you're supposed to use, or even how they work.

Relax. Everyone goes through it. You'll find it easier on the third day, and by the fourth you'll be feeling quite confident. Within weeks you'll be powering through your exercises as though you were born in the gym!

Here are a few tips that might ease the way in the first few weeks:

1. If you're a complete beginner, it might be worth your while to sign up with a personal trainer for at least a couple of sessions, until you're feeling more confident. Otherwise, go with a friend. If you're both new, you can muddle through together. If your friend is experienced, he or she will help you out.

2. Take a notepad and pen with you for your introductory session. Write down the name of the machine and its position in the gym as well as a few words that will remind you what you're supposed to do on it. (Some machines can be used in several different ways.)

3. Don't hesitate to ask a staff member for help if you can't adjust the machine for your weight and height, or if you can't remember exactly how it works. They won't mind showing you again. They want their customers to keep coming back!

4. Don't push yourself too hard to begin with. If you work out so hard that you can barely walk, you'll be tempted to miss a day while you recover. One day doesn't matter much, but if you continually skip days because you're too sore, you're likely to drop out altogether. What's the hurry? After a few weeks, when your body is getting used to the extra exercise, you can increase the intensity.

5. If your knees and ankles react badly to increasing the speed on the treadmill, try increasing the grade instead. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that a slower speed, with the treadmill on an incline, burns more calories than jogging.

6. Smile and nod to the other gym users, but don't hold up their workout programs by chatting. As you become recognized as a regular, you will find that you gravitate to your own little group - probably people who have the same goals and needs as you do.

7. Wear comfortable clothing - either loose or with plenty of stretch. Avoid the temptation to buy workout gear that's two sizes too small in the hope that you'll lose weight quickly. (You might well shed those pounds fast - but if it takes longer that you'd anticipated, you'll always be conscious of those too-tight clothes.)

8. Don't worry about being overweight. In a way, it's good to start off with quite a few excess pounds to lose - your success is much more noticeable than it is on slimmer gym users, and you'll find the positive comments really motivating. Make sure you get a 'before' photo of yourself at the gym when you start out. After a few months, you'll be amazed at the difference.

9. If you're considerably overweight, you are likely to find that your stomach gets in the way on some machines. Just do what you can. You might feel better just increasing your fitness and losing some weight on the treadmill for the first month or so, then moving on to the machines when moving and stretching is more comfortable. Consider doing a few laps in the pool (either walking or swimming) as well as your other gym work. The water will help to support your weight and provide variety.

10. Try to find a happy medium between challenging yourself and resting on your laurels. If you can easily manage three sets at the current weight, try increasing it for the first set. If you can do twenty minutes on the treadmill without sweating, then increase either the speed or the grade (or both!) Remember... "if nothing changes, then nothing changes!"

One final tip: once you have decided on your regular gym days, resolve that nothing but an emergency will stop you going. Make your gym attendance a habit - and before too long, the exciting results will have you trying to convert all your friends to becoming exercise lovers too!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Dumbbells for Smart Weight Training

Lifting weights to develop muscle and strength is at an all time high in popularity.

The reason? It works!

However, there are some factors you should keep in mind. When using a barbell with weights, you should workout with a partner. When you are lying down on a weight bench pushing hard to get that last repetition and you hit a sticking point, you could be in serious trouble.

When the weights get stuck in this position, even lifting it above your neck, past your head and dropping it to the floor can become an impossible task.

In addition, when cheating to get some extra repetitions in doing a bicep curl using a barbell, for example, you need to swing your body to get momentum to lift the weights. This can cause a strain or result in a pulled muscle.

That doesn't mean you should abandon weights. If you have a training partner, great. If not, consider going to a gym. There are generally plenty of people around who can come to your rescue.

A better alternative for you just might be a set of dumbbells.

Using the example just given, do the bench press with dumbbells. You get a better stretch at the bottom of the repetition and, if you do get stuck and can't get that last repetition in, drop them to your side and allow them to hit the floor.

When doing that bicep curl, do one arm at a time. When you have done all the repetitions you can do correctly, use your free hand to apply enough pressure to help do another repetition, and then slowly lower the dumbbell. Do a couple more if you like.

This will definitely pump your arms like nothing you've done before, and is much safer than using a barbell. You also get a full range of motion, getting a full stretch and giving your muscles a more beneficial workout.

If you want more of a challenge, use dumbbells on an exercise ball. The ball creates instability which causes your body's core muscles to work hard to keep you on the ball. If you do lose balance, it is much easier to toss aside the dumbbells than it is to toss aside the barbell.

There are numerous exercises you can do using dumbbells and you can do them at home; with or without a training partner.

Dumbbells are not very expensive and may just be one of the best pieces of exercise equipment you own.

Exercise - Interval Training

When it comes to exercise, the word “intervals” puts fear in many people’s minds. Intervals are sometimes misunderstood but adding them to your exercise program can help you burn fat and get in shape quicker.

Intervals are not for everyone. To begin performing intervals, you should be in good condition and a physical from your doctor is highly recommended.

What are intervals?

The easiest definition would be periods of high intensity exercise followed by recovery periods of low intensity exercise.

Here's an example. You are following a walking program and have been walking briskly for thirty minutes a day, four days a week. You feel pretty good but would like to lose weight a little quicker.

Intervals might be perfect for you. Begin your regular walking program and, after five minutes, jog for ten, twenty, thirty seconds or more. Your heart rate will begin to increase and your breathing will pick up after this period, return to walking briskly until you have completely recovered. You then begin to jog again.

In the beginning you may only want to perform two or three of these short jogs. That's fine. Do what's comfortable for you. Later, as you become more accustomed to this routine, you can add more jogs or increase the length of time you jog or both.

During each period of jogging, your heart rate has increased. When you stop jogging and continue walking, your heart rate will be at an increased rate for a minute or so. This is an added benefit. During aerobic exercise you want your heart rate to increase, which makes it stronger and makes you healthier.

Intervals work great on a treadmill. You can increase the speed for however long you want, or you can increase the height, so you are walking at the same pace only going uphill.

This is interval training at a low level but you still get benefits from it. You can follow a similar routine in your other aerobic exercise as well.

For instance, if you are riding a bike for exercise, every so often pedal faster until you begin breathing heavier, and then return to riding as before.

You can see that interval training is not only for athletes. It's one of the fastest and most effective means of reaching a top level of fitness and decreasing body fat.

Do these three or four days a week and watch your fitness level go up while your pounds begin to disappear.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Why Can’t I Get the Abs That I Crave?

Are you one of the many of people that desire the body that you have always wanted? You’re filled with enthusiasm, being committed to making the life changes and sticking to the exercise regimes to achieve your goal.

But let’s fast forward six weeks and suddenly all the enthusiasm has all but dissipated and you’re overwhelmed with guilt because you have not stuck to your plan – does this sound like you?

If yes, then the first thing that you have to realize is that old habits really do die hard!!!! One can, however, make changes that last.

1. Accept that you will have set backs, for example, you will wake up in the morning after having a late night and not feel like doing your abdominal crunches. When you feel that way, affirm the following to yourself:-

“I enjoy doing my exercise routines in the morning and by doing them, I am assured of having the body that I desire which will in turn boost my confidence”.

But now your back on track with your exercise routines, another problem arises – You are still not eating healthily. You’re at work and under pressure to me deadlines, so you ask your colleague to buy your favourite hamburger meal from McDonald’s. In addition to this - you work such long hours that at home you tend to live on ready made meals from the local supermarket. STOP DOING THAT!!!!!!

Why not prepare your lunch the night before, and make sure that you incorporate healthy items such as wholemeal bread with your sandwiches. Be sure to include some fruit and vegetables to snack on for when you feel peckish during the day. Whatever happens, Please cut out the fizzy drinks- Remember Fizzy drinks make you put on weight, rot your teeth and one can end up developing diabetes.

Always try to prepare an evening meal rather than living on ready meals that are high in fat, salt, calories. There is no point putting your body through that exercise routine everyday only to undo it by not watching what you put into your body. Remember your goal is that you’re body is something that you will be proud to show off - Not to hide in overgrown T-shirts and jogging pants.

Remember to drink lots of water during the day to keep your body hydrated and if you can get around with out using your car than please do. The fact is that in this modern age, people are not active enough.

If the above thoughts do not motivate you enough to make those life changes permanent, then consider this, obesity is linked to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. If you are developing a ‘pot belly’, then you are mortgaging your future health as you get older. Take control of your life and stay in control.

Before you know it, you will have the abs that you desire, and the big bonus is that you will also become more attractive to the opposite sex – That must be a reason to stick to your exercise and life changing regimes don’t you agree?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Get Motivated to Exercise!

Why exercise? Most of us do it because we want to reap the benefits that tag along such as weight management, muscle tone, fat-loss, strength gain, etc. Nothing compares to exercise and everyone should be doing it. This is where a motive must come in. It may be health related or it may include a big event such as a wedding, reunion, or even a friendly competition. Whatever your motive is, think about it long and hard, and think about the feeling you will have once you achieve whatever it is you want to accomplish.

Set Goals

It is hard to hit a goal when you do not know where the target is! That is why goal setting is crucial in achieving victory. You want to set short term and long term goals. Setting a long term goal by itself is not smart. This is like driving to a foreign destination with no map or guidelines to help you along the way. Try setting a short term goal to be reached every three to six weeks. By doing so, you are allowing necessary adjustments to be made if needed. This will keep you on the track to success. The long term goal is your motive that you have already visualized, it is your climax, it is not however the end. Once you have achieved it you will re-evaluate and set new goals.

How Do We Get There?

Which way is fast and most efficient? This is the most important question we ask ourselves in the beginning, however this question should be asked each time a short term goal is reached to prepare for the next. We all have different goals, physical capabilities and lifestyles. There is no "one size fits all" workout program!

Once we manage to begin an exercise program, we must then keep in mind that our bodies will adapt to that program within four to six weeks time. When this happens our bodies will then become stagnant in producing results. It is extremely important that we cover many avenues in fitness so that hitting plateaus can be prevented. This includes changing the number of sets, repetitions, the amount of intensity (resistance), the amount of rest time among sets and workouts. Changing the types of exercises performed must also be done over time.

This is not only the most productive way of exercising but, it also helps to keep things fresh so that boredom is not a problem. Remember, workout time is supposed to be fun, which can make reaching goals very exciting!

Learning About Body Core Conditioning

You rely on your body to get get out of bed, to lift your children, to perform your job and to take you places everyday. If you appreciate what your body does for you, you will provide it with nutritious food, hydrate with water and be sure to add some activity into your day.

While our limbs provide mobility, reach and strength it is our body core that provides the basis of each movement. Sedentary lives can cause our body core muscles to weaken and become subject to strain or injury. Even if you workout or participate in sports you may not be working the body core muscles you rely on to perform.


Your body core is the midsection of your body, from your groin to your shoulders. The core includes the pelvis, abs, back and chest muscles. It is this core that offers stability, balance and flexibility. Every movement you make originates in the core - whether you are reaching for your toothbrush or running a marathon. If the core is not properly conditioned it will limit your physical abilities.

Working the muscles in your body core will improve the effectiveness of movements in your limbs. Most exercise routines focus on building muscle. By creating a stable, strong base for those muscles you can optimize the strength and flexibility of each limb.


There are many exercise routines and products that work the muscles of the body core. Professional trainers create customized routines to enhance an athlete's abilities by developing the proper core muscles. However, there are also many programs developed for individuals who wish to incorporate it into their fitness routine or to begin one.

The exercises and products developed to strengthen your body core do so by creating resistance or instability so that the core muscles must respond to maintain balance. The exercises are gentle on the body but are intense and beginners will quickly 'feel' the muscles being used. Proper alignment is key so having a trainer to check your position will help identify the safest and most effective way to perform an exercise.

Body core exercises often imitate moves that we employ in daily life or sports and thus train the body to rely on the core and reduce the strain we put on our limbs. Two popular forms of exercise that develop core body strength are Pilates and the Swiss ball.

Pilates uses the body as its own form of resistance. Learning to breath properly and perform slow, controlled movements allows a person to isolate and strengthen core muscles.

The Swiss ball (also known as a Fitness ball) is an easy and fun way to strengthen the body core. While there are many exercises that can be performed with the Swiss ball, simply sitting on it will create the instability needed to engage the core muscles to maintain balance.

Good core strength is important at every age and fitness level. Whatever your goals, find a way to incorporate body core conditioning into your routine to reduce fatigue, avoid muscle strain and improve your strength and mobility.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

How To Power Walk Yourself to Health & Fitness

Do you have a spring in your step? Does life feel so good that you cannot wait to get out of bed in the morning?

With the sedentary lifestyle so many of us lead nowadays, the chances of feeling like this are a little on the minus side. Hours of sitting at computers, driving to work and then watching TV at home, all lead to being overweight, having posture-related aches and pains and a general feeling of sluggishness.

These physical symptoms lead to mental sluggishness too. So we are trapped in this cycle of lethargy, draining us of our vital energy.

In order to lignite that vital spark, we need to break this cycle and the way to do it is...exercise. Exercise should not an optional extra that we fit into our lives when we feel like it, it needs to be an essential part.

Body and spirit are inextricably linked, so to achieve a healthy mind, you must firstly have a healthy body.

In order to make exercise an ingredient of our everyday lives, something that we will stick at, it needs to be fun. It needs to be enjoyable, challenging, motivational, have variety, achieve the desired results and suit your body and lifestyle.

One of the most natural forms of exercise is walking. Walking is an aerobic exercise that will not only increase your cardiovascular strength, but improve your posture as well.

Whereas any form of walking is beneficial, the most powerful is...Power Walking.

There are numerous benefits to be gained from power walking and some of them are:

Cardiovascular fitness is improved and thus the risk of coronary disease and strokes is reduced.

Mental well-being is improved resulting in a reduction in anxiety, stress and tension.

Muscles are toned and strengthened.

Helps to reduce body fat and manage your body weight.

Boosts energy and improves your self esteem.

The above are just a few of the physical and mental benefits to be gained from power walking. One benefit that deserves special mention and is often overlooked, is that if you walk with friends, it is socially enjoyable. This ensures that your power walking exercise is fun and not an activity that has to be endured.

Power walking is a low cost form of exercise. No special clothes or equipment are necessary to be able to participate.

However, there is one item that I would strongly recommend and that is a good pair of walking shoes. Each time your foot hits the ground, it is subjected to two and a quarter times your body weight, so the purchase of walking shoes is a wise investment.

So, muster your friends, grab your walking shoes and power walk yourself to new levels of physical and mental well-being.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Diet That will Give You Great Looking Abs

Good nutrition is vital to a strong and healthy mind and body. It's true what they say - you are what you eat.

This statement points out very effectively that if you feed your body with low nutritional and sugary garbage, your body has nothing to work with and you'll end up eventually feeling like garbage.

On the other hand, if you nourish your body with food that is packed with nutrients such as vitamins, fiber, healthy fats, whole grains and omega-3's, you'll notice a huge difference in how you look and feel...especially if you make this type of food a dietary habit.

Right now we're at a crossroad - we know we should be eating better, but there are so many restaurants available offering "bad" food and it's making the obesity rate skyrocket. Even restaurants that offer fish platters and other health-conscious meals end up not so well because of the amount of calories you ingest between the bread, large portions and dessert.

You have two options:

1. Stay away from fast rood restaurants - and when you eat out at restaurants, be strict about what you eat. Stay away from the bread and don't finish everything on your plate...bring the rest home for a meal you can eat the next day.

2. Make a meal at home yourself using ingredients you buy at the grocery store, not frozen entrees.

The focus of this article is on number two because by making your own meal, you can control exactly what goes into it. The end result is a meal that you know is nutritious and NOT packed with health-deteriorating ingredients.

Here's an example of the perfect meal you can make at home. It has everything you need for better health.

What you'll need is:

1 9-10 ounce bag of baby spinach
1 can of wild Alaskan pink salmon
1-2 teaspoons of olive oil
1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
1/2-3/4 cup of brown rice

Here's a breakdown of each food's health benefits:

Spinach - this green leaf is packed with phytonutrients, vitamins and fiber - and it's low in calories.

Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon - yes, canned! It tastes better than you think. The reason this is recommended is because the food is a powerhouse of good fats, protein and omega-3's and is low in calories and carbohydrates. The salmon you would normally buy is potentially high in mercury, which is bad. This Wild Alaskan form is free of mercury...and it's inexpensive.

In case you're wondering, Omega-3's are vital for healthy weight loss, brain health and a healthy cardiovascular system.

Olive Oil - full of good fat which your body does need. When you buy olive oil, make sure it's 100% authentic. Some brands are now mixing olive oil with refined oils...the end result is olive oil, but not really.

Balsamic Vinegar - vinegar reportedly controls your blood sugar level when eating which is important for overall health. Furthermore, it gives the meal more taste.

Brown Rice - whole grains are full of vitamins and fiber. Check out Uncle Ben's instant brown's pretty good and quick to make.

Making the meal is easy. You simply lay the spinach out on a platter- you can more or less use however much you want- and drizzle 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the spinach.

Let this sit for 10 minutes or so- this gives the spinach a chance to soak up the oil and vinegar. While this is sitting, cook the brown rice and open up the can of salmon.

When ready, simply spread the salmon over the spinach and put the brown rice either on the side or in a separate bowl.

And now the best part of all - ENJOY!

This meal will take you 15 minutes max to make and each bite will nourish your body from the inside out. And once you get used to eating healthy, you'll find yourself experimenting with all types of different meals.

This article shared with you one example of a perfect meal, but there are many many more!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Make those Abs look Great

Everybody wants a tight, firm midsection. You can tone your abs and get rid of that pot belly but there is one important point you first need to understand.

You cannot spot reduce anywhere on your body. You can spot tone your muscles in the area you are targeting, but you cannot spot reduce.

Here's an example. Look at your belly in a relaxed mode. Now suck in your stomach muscles.

Your pot belly is pretty much gone. Did you suddenly lose weight in that area?

Of course not! The same thing happens when you begin to properly exercise your ab muscles. The muscles become stronger and pull in the unsightly girth. Your abs look tighter and you look better, but unless you have actually lost weight overall, you have not actually lost any fat in that area.

To lose fat in the abs, you must lose weight overall. To make your abs look slimmer and sexier, you must develop the ab muscles.

One of the best pieces of exercise equipment you can purchase is an exercise ball, also called a swiss ball. Every time you do exercises on this ball, your ab muscles come into play. The abs are working to keep the ball steady and to keep you from falling off.

You can easily do two of the following exercises on the ball and increase the effectiveness.

1. The Bicycle

This has been proven to be one of the most effective ab exercises you can do. You cannot do this one on the ball.

Lie on your back with your hands behind your head. Lift your legs off the ground and raise your shoulders a couple inches off the floor.

Do not pull your neck with your hands. Push your lower back tight to the floor. Bring your left leg towards your chest while rotating your right elbow to touch your left knee.

Don't strain. As you return to the starting position, begin bringing your right knee in and rotate your left elbow to touch your right knee.

Work up to twenty repetitions each leg. Do them slowly.

2. Crunch

You are probably familiar with this one. Lay on your back with either your hands behind your head or on your chest. Legs are in a V-shape with your feet flat on the floor.

Once again push your lower back tight to the floor. Begin to raise your head and shoulders off the floor, tightening your ab muscles. Do not pull on your neck. You are only raising your shoulders a few inches off the ground.

At the top of the movement, hold for about one second, then return and repeat. Work to twenty repetitions. This is excellent on the exercise ball!

3. The Plank

Lie on your stomach. Feet are straight and close together. Push off the floor, raising up on your toes and your elbows. Keep your back straight and tighten your ab muscles. Hold for thirty seconds. Return and repeat for three to five repetitions.

Again, this exercise is excellent on the exercise ball.

Do these three exercises at least five days a week and the ab muscles will tighten up and you will look and feel great.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Are You Learning The Lessons from TV's 'The Biggest Loser'

All over the world, night after night, millions of people are riveted to their TV sets - but not to watch the latest soap, or CSI. Not to watch Jay Leno or Sex in the City. Not to see who outwits, outlasts and outplays others in Survivor. No - they are spellbound by the efforts of a small band of obese people trying to overcome the effects of years of overeating.

It's not surprising that for so many people this is compulsive viewing. Obesity is the new epidemic. Fat children lumber around school playgrounds while their overweight mothers fill shopping carts with wrong choices. Then... they sit down at night to watch The Biggest Loser. They see dramatic weight loss and startling new body shapes beginning to emerge. They want the same results - and they begin to think it might be possible.

But who has four or five hours a day to work out? Who can afford a personal trainer several times a week? And who has the luxury of their own personal adviser on calorie content and smart food choices? The answer is: not many people. But you have to remember that this is television: it's a false situation. As the players keep reminding themselves and the viewers: "This is a GAME. You have to make the most of your time here - it's going to be so much harder out in the real world."

IS it harder in the real world? Probably. But you can take lessons away from watching this reality show. You can make it work for you, as well as for the contestants. Here are three practical and useful lessons you can put to use immediately.

1. Put Weight Loss First.

In the Biggest Loser household WEIGHT LOSS COMES FIRST. Make it come first in your household, too. Sounds simple, doesn't it? It is. In fact, so simple that many people just overlook it. They try to fit exercise and meal planning around everything else in their lives, instead of making it a priority.

Think: what is most important: getting the weight off, and becoming fit enough to put years on your life - or watching another TV show? Sit down with a pen and paper and allot at least one hour a day to planning meals, recording what you eat, and doing some form of exercise. You've still got 23 hours left to do everything else!

2. E is for Exercise - and Enjoy!

What else do you notice in the Biggest Loser household? The more they exercise, the more they seem to enjoy it. Oh sure, they grunt and they groan; they sweat and they complain. But as the weeks go on, you'll hear them say things like: "I never thought I'd say that I look forward to working out - but now don't feel right if a day goes past without exercise!"

The secret to enjoying exercise is finding what's right for YOU. If you don't really enjoy the gym, look for other forms of exercise. You need a mix of cardio and resistance training - but it doesn't have to be on machines. Walk, swim, dance, climb hills, push a wheelbarrow in the garden... there are endless choices that can be fun for you. Research what happens to various muscle groups - and to your heart - when you exercise, and pick activities that you will enjoy.

3. Identify the Triggers.

Emotions run high when the contestants have to face their demons. Weight gain is rarely from just a physical cause. If you keep a food diary, and faithfully record not only what you eat but when (and why) you eat it, you'll soon see a pattern of emotional eating. What are YOUR triggers? Boredom? Tiredness? Family arguments?

Once you have identified these triggers, you can start working on strategies to defeat them. This can be as simple as challenging yourself every time you want food. ("Am I hungry - yes or no? If I'm not hungry, then why do I want to eat? Am I really just thirsty? If I'm running to the fridge because I'm upset, is there something else I can do to feel better? Is there a long-term solution that will fix this forever?" and so on.) If you're not yet ready to deal with the root cause, then be prepared with food that won't add to your problems with the resulting rolls of fat. Make sure that you have 'good' food at hand - but also food that you LIKE.

These are just three of the lessons that anyone can take away from watching The Biggest Loser. And you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you did it all by yourself.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

How to Lose Weight Whilst Completing The Household Chores

You are a busy mom, juggling numerous responsibilities such as housework, child-care, cooking, laundry and more. There is not a moment to spare. How on earth can you still squeeze a workout into your hectic day? Do not despair! Fortunately there is a way to make ordinary household chores count in the battle against the bulge.

Here are some fantastic ways to get lean as you clean:

1. If you live in a split-level house, take the stairs two at a time. This is a great way to get your heart pumping.

2. Divide the laundry into smaller piles when you are putting it away. In this way you will increase the number of trips you have to make to and fro and this will help to burn more calories.

3. Intersperse chores with some spot toning exercises. For example, iron for ten minutes, then do 20 abdominal crunches, iron for another ten minutes then do 20 lunges and so on.

4. Vacuum/mop/sweep to music that has a lively beat. Do the task vigorously and work up a sweat.

5. Walk as fast as you can to take out the garbage, clean the yard or bring in the groceries.

6. Use the shopping bags filled with heavy groceries as weights. Do bicep curls with them as you bring them into the house.

7. Use cans as light weights and do a few strength training exercises as you pack them away.

8. Wear a pedometer and make it your goal to take 10,000 steps daily.

9. Try to make the bed as fast as possible. Time yourself and try to get faster each time.

10. If a store is within walking distance walk there daily to purchase your essential daily items.

Let us take a look at just how many calories you can burn doing your routine housework. Listed below is the approximate number of calories burned per minute by middle-aged women who perform these activities. Calculate how long you do each task to determine the total number of calories you burn. If you want to pump up the intensity, throw in some jumping jacks, squats, lunges and abdominal crunches. Before you know it you will be getting lean as your house is getting clean.

Changing bed sheets: 4 calories a minute

Mop floor: 3.5-4 calories a minute

Wash floor on hands and knees: 4-4.5 calories a minute

Sweep floor: 3.5-4 calories a minute

Vacuum Carpet: 3.5-4 calories a minute

Ironing: 2.4 calories a minute

Carrying laundry basket up a flight of stairs: 3.7 calories a minute

Washing dishes: 2.3 calories a minute

Unpacking groceries: 3-3.5 calories a minute

You do not have any excuse for staying unfit a moment longer. Start getting lean as you clean!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Setting Up a Basic Exercise Program

There are two basic things you need to know when you are setting up an exercise program . . .

1. You need twenty to forty minutes of aerobic exercise three to four times a week.

2. You need to include strength training at least twice a week, but preferably three times a week.

If you absolutely, positively are going to choose only aerobic exercise or strength exercise - choose aerobic exercise. You are exercising your heart muscle and aside from the obvious advantage to that, aerobic exercise will help you maintain your weight.

You need to keep in mind, however, that muscle burns fat, so if you can toss in about fifty push-ups before your aerobic exercise, you will reap the benefits....

Why strength exercise before aerobic exercise?

Actually, for the first twenty minutes of your aerobic exercise, you are burning about eighty per cent carbohydrates and twenty per cent fat. If your goal is to lose weight, you want to burn more fat and less carbs, right?

Well, the next twenty minutes will get you into about a fifty/fifty mode. You're burning a lot more fat than you were and that's a good thing.

If you go beyond forty minutes, you will be burning about eighty per cent fat. Realistically though, most people are not going to exercise for that long. Twenty to thirty minutes of aerobic exercise is about average.

If you start out doing pushups, you actually start the aerobic activity...not much, but it's a start. So, when you begin your aerobic exercise, you may begin burning that fat a little quicker.

OK - Now to start! First, find an aerobic exercise you enjoy. More than one type of exercise is best as you can keep your workouts interesting and it will help keep your routine from getting stale.

Let's say running is an exercise you enjoy and you also like aerobics, like using some of the exercise tapes from Richard Simmons.

Now, plan your schedule by selecting the days and times you can do the exercise. Make it at least three days a week and do not take more than two days off in a row. The most popular routine is Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Most fitness experts highly recommend trying to exercise at the same time on those days; not a necessity but it helps get you into a routine and you're more likely to continue.

If you're not going to do strength training, as mentioned earlier, at least do some push-ups.

Be sure to start your routine with a warmup, and gradually increase the tempo. If you're following an exercise tape, it's fairly simple to know what intensity you should be doing. If you are running, try throwing in periods of faster running along the way, followed by slower running. This will really get you in shape.

Do the aerobic tape routine on some days and on the days you feel like going on a run, go run.

If you decide to strength train as well, do this two to three times a week! A good routine should include:

-Biceps Curl
-Triceps Curl
-Shoulder Press
-Bench Press
-Calf Raises

Work up to two to three sets of eight repetitions for each exercise. This will give you a full body workout.

Do this for a month and see if you don't feel a difference.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

5 Proven Ways To Lose More Fat In Less Time

If you're looking to lose some unwanted body fat, this article will show you 5 simple, proven ways to shed more fat in less time.

1. Drink more water throughout the day

Water is used in every physiological process your body undergoes, including vitamin absorption, digestion, and waste removal. In order to make sure these important processes are not disrupted, you want to drink enough clean water.

Drinking water will also help you feel more full throughout the day, so you're less likely to be hungry and less likely to snack.

One trick to help you eat less during your meals is to drink a tall glass of clean, cold water before you eat. This will help you feel less hungry, so you'll eat less during your meal.

Try to drink at least a gallon of water each day. Keep a bottle of water at your work desk, in your car, and one handy at home. The importance of water for good health cannot be overstated. You can live weeks without food, but only days without water.

2. Eat five to six smaller meals each day

This will keep your metabolism running smoothly and efficiently. Eating a smaller meal every 3 to 4 hours will help speed up your metabolism so that it burns through food quicker.

Eating one or two larger meals each day will cause your metabolism to slow down. If it's not presented with food more often, it doesn't burn through it as fast.

Skipping meals altogether will cause your body to hold onto stored fat as a defense mechanism. Your body isn't sure when it's going to get its next meal, so it conserves stored fat to use in case of future calorie needs.

Each meal should consist of high protein (builds muscle), moderate carbohydrates (fuel for the body), and low fat (used for energy and organ protection).

Foods like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and milk are good sources of protein. For quality carbohydrates, eat complex sources like whole grains, cereals, breads, vegetables, and beans. Fats should be kept to a minimum and they should come from sources like fish oil, olive oil, flax seed, and whole fish.

3. Do three to four cardiovascular workouts each week

This is how you'll burn the majority of your daily calories. Cardio increases your metabolic rate, so that you'll burn more calories throughout the day, even while resting.

30 minutes of cardio, three to four times a week, is enough to raise your metabolism and help burn calories. Any more than that could lead to overtraining.

Choose cardio machines that get more of your body moving. the more you move your body, the more calories you burn. The Stairmaster, biking, and running on the treadmill are all good examples of intense cardio that will move more of your body.

4. Weight train three to four times a week

Weight training will not burn a sufficient amount of fat while you're doing it. Weight training will help you burn more calories and fat in the future.

When you add more lean muscle tissue to your body, you have to expend more energy (burn more calories) just to maintain that lean muscle tissue. So when you're at rest, even sleeping, you'll burn off more calories with this additional lean muscle. The more calories you burn, the more body fat you will lose.

That's why weight training is an important part of the weight loss equation. The more lean muscle tissue you have on your body, the more calories you will burn off as a result.

5. Begin to slowly reduce your calorie intake

In order to lose body fat, you need to expend more calories than you consume. Or simply put, burn off more calories than you eat.

Begin by reducing your daily calorie intake by 150 to 300 calories. Start cutting out extras like butter, cream, mayo, sugar, and any high-calorie dressings or condiments.

Instead, use spices or low-calories sauces to add flavor to your food.

As you reduce your daily calories, begin to observe in the mirror what effect it's having on your body composition. This will help you decide whether or not you should reduce your calories again or if you're making progress where you are.

If you don't see results after a couple weeks of reducing your daily calories, reduce them again by 150 to 300 calories.

This slow, methodical drop in calories will allow you to find the number you need to keep losing fat, without sacrificing lean muscle tissue. If you eat too few calories, your metabolism will slow down and you'll also stop adding lean muscle tissue.

Over time, you'll find the number of daily calories you need to keep losing body fat, without losing lean muscle tissue.

There you have five simple, proven ways you can lose more fat in less time. The more of these tips you use, the quicker you'll begin to see positive changes in the mirror.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Starting a Lifelong Running Program

I don't think you'll find too many fitness experts who don't feel running is one of the best exercises you can do to keep in shape.

The criticism is the stress on the body. The knees and leg muscles do take a beating. But . . . there are plenty of runners in their 60's and 70's who have been running for years and continue to do so.

Running is simply too great of an exercise to dismiss. Here's a way to make running a lifelong exercise with minimal injuries.

First, warm up is very important. Ideally you should walk at a brisk pace for 5 minutes of more. After the body starts to get warmed up, some stretching exercises will help loosen the muscles and prepare them for the workout to come.

A continuous steady stretch should be used. Do not bounce!!

Forget distance - think time. We want to work up to a nice 30 minute workout.

Before you try to progress, the first goal will be walking at a brisk pace comfortably for 30 minutes. If you can do this now, you can move to the next step. If not, work towards that goal.

Once you reach the 30 minutes of brisk walking, you can move to the next step. Warm up as stated for no less than 5 minutes. Now you're going to begin to walk briskly and then run at a slow pace until you become winded. Then walk briskly until you recover. Begin running again.

If it's 15 seconds, fine. 30 seconds - go for it. The idea is to gradually build up your running time.

Start out doing this 3 - 5 times during your exercise. You can do more if you have been exercising regularly.

Here's the good news. Just doing that will be a good exercise routine. Even walking for 30 minutes but getting to the point where you throw in 5 - 1 minute runs is great! You get your heart beat to climb and when you drop back to walking, the rate stays elevated for awhile.

Now, if you're up to it and are so inclined, start increasing the running. Again, a little at a time. If you injure yourself, not only do you have to stop the exercise for a time, but you also might be less likely to pick it up again.

So walk and then begin running for a couple minutes at a time. Or jog at a slow pace for as long as you feel comfortable.

Here's another tip to remember if your routine works up to running the entire time. If you run at a steady pace, then throw in faster runs of 30 seconds or more, and return to running at a steady pace to recover, you will actually get more benefit in your running routine.

The sprints (not all out but we'll call them sprints to make it easy) will force your body out of it's comfort zone. You will become much fitter than you would by running at a slow and steady pace for your entire routine.

Now, if you want to break the boredom, run some hills. You'll feel it in your shins and the front of your thighs as you run up the hill but, and this is good news, it's actually less strain on your knees.

However, be careful and slow it down while running down the hill. Here's where your knees can really take a beating. There's a tendency to pick it up while running downhill as you have great momentum.

Ignore that tendency.

Obviously if you are training for a racing event or such, this type of routine will not apply to you; unless you are just starting to run. But this running routine is something you can do to keep yourself fit while minimizing the risk of injury.

You will have less chance of injury and you're more likely to do it for a lifetime!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Losing The Pounds - Every Little Bit Helps

The world is overweight, especially in the United States. Every year we seem to get lazier and fatter.

People who have put on a few extra pounds typically fall into one of two categories. They are either obsessed with dieting and losing weight or they just do not seem to care. They are both doomed to fail.

The former group will likely fail because of their unreasonable expectations, while the latter group thinks that weight loss and fitness are just too difficult, so they give up without even trying.

If you belong to either group, you need to put things into perspective. You will probably never develop a supermodel figure or bodybuilder physique. But the good is that you do not need to.

Fitness is not about hourglass figures or washboard abs. Just losing a few pounds can add years to your life and make those years much more enjoyable.

Excess weight can reduce your stamina, put stress on your joints, and even cause illnesses, such as heart disease or diabetes.

So start each day with the intention of eating better and getting just a little exercise. Do this one day at a time and you will find it to be much easier than you expected.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Start your day with a tall glass of cold water. Not only is it a great way to start the day, but you feel less hungry, so you will eat less.

2. Try to eat breakfast within an hour of getting up in the morning. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but you should not wait until you get really hungry or you may be inclined to eat too much.

3. Eat a lot of fresh fruit. They are an excellent source of nutrition and many contain the extra fiber that your body needs. You probably know what a lack of fiber can do to you.

4. Do not forget the vegetables. Try to eat at least one salad every day. When you feel the urge to snack, try some celery or carrot sticks. Some people seem to have a phobia about veggies, but they really are good when you give them a chance.

5. Control your sweet tooth. Sweet usually means sugar, which translates into calories. Too much sugar can harm you in many other ways, as well.

6. Keep a food diary. Write down everything that you eat. At the end of the day, you may be surprised, even shocked by what you have written down.

7. Stay away from fried foods. Even if the oil is drained away, there is still a lot of hidden oil, which adds fat and calories.

8. Do not be a couch potato. There are several little things that you can do for exercise. Walking instead of driving. Bike riding. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you just stop for a moment and think about it, you can come up with dozens of ideas.

So start with small goals and find how much easier it gets every day.

And let's face it, is that not that what you are looking for? Easy?