Why You Need to Include Strength Training into Your Exercise Routine

Strength training.

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Do you run for miles on the treadmill every day? Do you suffer through those cardio classes at your gym? Are you seeing the results that you are looking for? If not, it may be because you aren’t including strength training into your exercise routine. Many people, especially women, don’t pick up those weights because they are afraid they’re going to end up looking like a body builder. Well, put away those fears, because that isn’t about to happen.  However, strength training can give you the tone and definition you are looking for. It can make you look fantastic in your favourite bikini, skinny jeans or little black dress.

Cardio alone will help you lose fat, yes; but it will not shape and redefine your body. Only strength training can do that. You will also increase your metabolism – Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) increases, meaning that your body can burn fat much more efficiently. Your core will become stronger and you’ll have improved posture, greater strength and your bones will have an increased density.

So, do you need to give up your cardio routine altogether? No, absolutely not! You just need to add strength training to the workout you’re already doing. This doesn’t mean you have to spend another hour in the gym. A good strength training program can take as little as 15-20 minutes. Kettlebell workouts are becoming quite popular, because they incorporate both strength training and cardio at the same time. There are several DVD’s on the market that are quite effective.

If you’re just starting out, it’s important to use lighter weights, no more than 5 pounds. If you prefer, you can use the machines at your local gym. The machines are great for reducing the risk of injury and they will give you a good idea on proper form and posture while you’re performing the exercises.

When you are designing a routine, make sure you work opposing muscle groups; don’t just do your biceps, do you triceps as well. Work your lower body along with your upper body. This will give you a balanced physique.

Reassess your workout every four weeks; chances are you’ll need to increase your weights a bit. It’s also important to change up your routine; your body is so efficient that it gets used to the exercises, and that’s one of the reasons you hit a plateau. Change your program so that your body is always challenged.

While it’s ok to do cardio every day, it’s best to limit your strength training sessions to every other day. This gives your muscles a chance to recover in between sessions.

Eating protein with every meal will help in your strength training efforts as well. Your muscles need protein in order to develop and stay healthy. Have some almonds, organic peanut butter or other protein source with each meal. Protein shakes also make good meal replacements or mid-afternoon snacks.

When you add strength training to your overall exercise routine, you will notice a big difference in how your body looks and feels. You’ll finally have the tone and definition you’ve been looking for.

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Push Yourself, Explore Your Boundaries and Intensify Your Exercise Routines

People always love challenges. They like to push their limits and experiment on boundaries. When it comes to exercising, people also like to continually challenge themselves. A lot of them explore their boundaries and intensify their exercise routines. It is great that people push their boundaries, but they must also know their limitations. There have been a lot of exercise injuries because people don’t know their limitations. Also before doing any exercises, its best that you do some stretching exercises. Pace yourself and know when to stop.

Wrist weights are an example of exercise equipment that people use to increase the intensity of their workout. Runners are the ones who often used wrist weights. It is ideal for those training for meets and marathons. Running is marvelous exercise for the body. When you run, you get to move your whole body. You also burn a lot of calories and sweat buckets of water. Running can also be used to relieve stress. After running, you usually feel lighter and definitely a lot better. Give running a try if your tired of the gym scene. It’s a great exercise plus it’s for free.

Weight benches are amazing exercise equipments because you can perform a lot of different exercises with them together with your dumbbells. The basic bench is what most people who exercise with barbells like to use. They can rest their barbells in between exercises on the barbell holder of the bench. The adjustable bench is great for those who want to do various strength and weight exercises. You can either sit or lie on it during exercise. The head and foot part is adjustable and you can place to an angle your desire. For those who have limited spaces, you can go for foldable weight benches and you can easily put them in the closet. There are many benches in the market and it’s up to you on what bench suits you best.

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Focus On The Abs Diet

The abs diet is a diet developed by the editor-in-chief of the magazine Men´s Health, David Zinczenko, and is completely focused on removing the fat in your stomach area. It is supposed to be the one single diet plan that makes achieving a six pack stomach easy, because of the foods you will eat and exercises you will do that target the body fat covering your abs.

Stomach fat can be a real problem and recent studies have shown that it can be a real killer to walk around with a few spare tires around your midsection. The author claims that his book will guarantee you a flat stomach in 6 weeks but that will highly depend on the physical state you are currently in. While outrageous statements like that should always be taken with a grain of salt, it is very likely that the way this diet is developed, will actually help you achieve the physique you want, apart from giving you more energy and make you look more attractive.

One thing is obvious though, David Zinzendorf is so convinced of the qualities and advantages of his abs diet, that he offers a lifetime guarantee on his book, meaning that if you ever decide to return it, you will get your money back. Of course somebody will only do that if they are on to something that works, and by examining the diet, it is easy to see where the strength lies.

First of all, the program is focused on fat loss instead of just weight loss, and apart from that, the foods that are included are all great for muscle maintenance and growth. One of the big pitfalls of many diets is that people end up losing their healthy muscle mass, which later down the road actually leads to weight gain again. Mr. Zinczenko might just be on to something with his abs diet and if you are motivated and dedicated to changing your life and body, it just might be worth checking out his program.

Read my article titled How to Lose Weight in Two Weeks for more information on shifting that extra fat you are carrying around.

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The Valeo Ab Wheel

There will always be a lot of talk about what type of exercise equipment is the best for working out your abs. Some people even forgo using any type of equipment at all since they prefer the traditional route of crunches or situps. The Valeo Ab Wheel presents an option that lies somewhere in between an all-natural method and the use of workout equipment. It’s a very basic device that allows you to work out your core, letting you exercise your ab muscles according to your own preference in terms of overall intensity. Make no mistake, there’s nothing fancy about this product and if you go into it with high expectations you might be disappointed. It’s important to point out that the Valeo Ab Wheel usually retails for around $20, so that should give you an indication as to the quality of this device.

When it comes to the Valeo Ab Wheel, there seems to be two sides of the camp. One that complains it is a complete waste of money that won’t do you any favors in the long run. Many people have been disappointed by its seemingly flimsy structure and lack of advanced workout features. The other side would argue that for $20 you get a good basic machine that provides an alternative to traditional ab exercises. When used properly, it can help you to achieve fat loss in your ab area while building up your muscle mass, thereby making it a great introductory piece of home exercise equipment. In the end, it’s really how you put a product like this in perspective that will determine whether or not you get full value.

Out-of-the-box you will see that the Valeo Ab Wheel is almost completely assembled already. Within a few short minutes you can get going with your workout routine which will basically evolve you getting on all fours while using the wheel to roll back in force. You can increase the comfort level and traction by wrapping the handlebars in tape. Aside from that, there’s not much variation you can add to this particular device, but it does its basic job quite well. It’s also lightweight and portable which makes it handy to bring along if you happen to be traveling. Overall, it’s not going to blow your mind or replace heavier pieces of equipment, but you really don’t have anything to lose with such an affordable price tag.

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The 4 Hour Body: Make Believe or Make it Happen?

If the idea of obliterating body fat with just four hours in the gym sounds too good to be true then the latest adventures of Timothy Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Body, might be worth investigation.

Ferriss claims he lost significant amounts of body fat and gained almost 35lb of muscle in just four weeks and with a mere four trips to the gym. This dramatic transformation involved eating four small meals every day focusing on a high protein, low carb combination.

Legal supplements were also used, from creatine to insulin stimulators, and Ferriss spent a paltry four hours in the gym where he focused on practicing a handful of weightlifting exercises which were carried out very slowly until the point of exhaustion.

It sounds like a dream but can work in reality for the vast majority of beach body seekers A recent article featured in British newspaper ‘The Telegraph’ deduces this approach may not work for everyone, with celebrity trainer Simon Waterson quoted as saying such a feat would be “virtually’ impossible” for 99% of the population.

If you are determined to achieve the perfect beach body, there are plenty of diets and regimes to try but you may often find that the basic principles are the same: increase exercise and decrease calorie consumption.

Exercising more is a sure-fire way of coming one step closer to the body you desire. The principle behind the four hour body does not promote regular exercise but truth be told, everyone knows that regular exercise equates to a healthy body so it’s best to try and integrate some form of exercise into your life, at least a few times every week.

Regular exercise doesn’t mean you have to spend hours slogging it out down the gym; short ‘mini’ workouts are just as effective at shedding fat and toning up and make it easier to inject a daily dose of fitness into your schedule.

A time friendly 10 to 15 minutes of moderate to high-intensity cardiovascular or aerobic exercise will increase your blood flow, thus improving circulation, will help to burn extra calories and will also raise your metabolic rate which is especially handy if you want to keep the weight off.

The best thing about ‘mini’ workouts is convenience; you don’t have to join a gym or even go outside if you don’t want to! A quick power walk can be slotted in during lunch break and simply running up and down some any staircases you may have at work, or at home,  will raise your heart rate and give you a kick-start. Your work colleagues might think you’re crazy but your metabolism will thank you for it.

As well as incorporating some exercise into your daily diary, making small adjustments to your diet can work wonders when it comes to getting that beach body, regardless of whether you will be donning Speedos or bikinis.

First and foremost, water is your best friend so make sure you stay hydrated. Not only will you feel better but you’re giving your body a helping hand as over 70% of bodily processes take place in water.   Your organs can’t function properly if your body is dehydrated and even fat metabolism is affected by how well hydrated your body is, so get drinking! Aim for 1.5 litres per day and you should feel the difference quickly.

When it comes to eating, you could take a tip from one of the principles behind the four hour body by eating little and often. Eating at frequent intervals keeps your metabolism ticking over and is believed to make your body less likely to store fat reserves.

Whether or not you want to follow the dietary advice of the four hour body author, it makes sense to cut down on saturated fat. Healthy fats, such as those found in olive oil, avocado and oily fish, should make up about one-third of your diet but ‘bad’ fats’, found in cakes and confectionary, should be avoided.

Carbohydrates don’t have to be avoided and can account for up to 33% of your diet. The same percentage applies to fruit and vegetables. It is traditionally believed that protein and dairy products should account for around 12% of your dietary intake.

Whatever tactic you follow in order to achieve a beach body to die for, striking a healthy balance is often the best method to follow so find out what works best for you and stick to it.

 

Jennifer is a part of the digital blogging team at alwritenow.com who work with brands like Debenhams. For more information about me, or to keep up to date with the latest in lifestyle news, check out my posts at alwritenow.com or visit my Twitter account, @awnow

 

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Sauna – Improving Your Health with Regular Treatments

Sauna treatments have been popular for centuries. Most people think of saunas related to people from northern Europe. However, the tradition of sweating in a community setting has been popular around the world. Health professionals love the benefits that people get from taking regular treatments. Studies show that the health benefits are much more than most people expect. Athletes have known about how powerful they are for many years. More and more people want to bring that benefit into their own homes through home kits. Let us look at a few of the benefits.

Regular sauna usage brings on many improvements in regards to health and beauty. Studies show that the body reacts to regular treatments with a strengthened immune system, deep skin cleaning, stress relief, improved blood circulation, and intense detoxification. Blood flow rises during a typical treatment. This pushes blood and nutrients deep into the tissues of the body. This can lead to toxins coming from the skin through sweat glands. All of it improves the appearance of the skin while flushing out the bad things from different areas of the body.

Blood vessels open up during sauna usage. This helps move blood quickly and efficiently throughout the body. This helps to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks in people that have diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels. People that have suffered heart problems in the past present vast improvements after just a couple of weeks of treatments. One treatment can impact the hearts significantly since it increases the heart rate by up to 75%. Studies show that one treatment gives many of the same benefits as taking a fast walk. Some people kick off their weight loss programs with regular treatments.

Regular sauna treatments also improve circulation in other areas of the body. It helps carry toxins out of the muscles and other body tissues. By getting rid of these toxins, kidney and liver functions improve along with the heart function. The skin is one of the largest organs for removing toxins from the body. A good sweat on a regular basis makes the skin look many years younger. One of the biggest benefits of regular treatments is the release of stress and tension from the body. The intense heat involved helps sooth sore muscles and aching joints. The sweat helps move out the toxic substances in the muscles and joints to improve healing and strength.

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