Archive | May, 2017

Warm Ups – Don’t Do Them

Don’t be misled by the title warm ups are a key factor in any athletic or general fitness programme.

However that said a lot of people turn up to their session for PT or with their coach and get the bog standard, Go warm up on the treadmill for ten minutes” or “run five laps” each time they have a session.

Warm ups are a key factor in any programme as is a cool down, and should always be conducted despite time restraints. Do not neglect your warm up as it is probably as important as the outcome of your session.

Warm ups can take a few forms but general consensus is that they should be:

Task specific

Prepare the body for the upcoming workload

Prepare you psychologically

Increase the heart rate and blood flow.

So does the light treadmill warm up or cycle warm up fit into the basic criteria? The simple answer is no.

Your warm up should be about the following:

SMR- Foam Rolling (self myofascial release)

Activation – dynamic movement

ROM- range of motion

Using a ball, stick or roller activates the myofascial muscle fibres allowing feedback of tightened areas and possible problems arising in the muscles.

The dynamic activation further prepares the body by stimulating the CNS increasing, blood flow, and heart rate to name a few.

The dynamic activation leads into increased range of motion in the muscle groups preparing the body for the workload.

By conducting a detailed warm up using the method described above we start a sequence of events within the body, which allows us to:

Prepare the muscles

Prevent injury

Increase blood flow

Promote muscle plyobility

Increase muscle flexibility

Sample warm up

Foam rolling full body inclusive of vertical and X Sagittal rolling of the muscles.

1a rotational half squats

1b monster band walks

1c ninja band walks

1d walking lunges with rotation

2a diagonal wood chopper (mb) left

2b diagonal wood chopper (mb) right

2c wood chopper (mb)

2d round the world (mb)

3a glute picks

3b ankle picks

3c can opener

3d bent over windmill rotation

Repeat the above warm up twice more, do not include the foam rolling in the subsequent sets.

Each time you conduct the warm up apart from the foam rolling which should always be executed first, start at a different point in the routine, this ensures the body is always adapting to new stimulus thus helping promote the muscles to activate.

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Fun Volleyball Drills

One challenge that every sports coach eventually must face is making practices fun. While repetitive drills are necessary for building skill and muscle memory, when players become accustomed to certain drills they are more inclined to turn their minds off and go through the motions. Instead, coaches must continually rotate drills and add fun and exciting new ones to their practice line up to keep players focused and sharp. Feel free to use one of the following fun volleyball drills at your next practice to break up the routine and challenge your players in new ways.

Bingo Volleyball

For the first of these fun volleyball drills you will need a large sheet of white paper and a black marker. Begin by brainstorming a list of some of the crucial skills and moves that your players need help with such as perfect dig, block, spike, etc. Once you’ve come up with at least 25 draw a bingo card on the sheet of paper, filling each of the squares with one of the skills and post it next to the court.

Now divide your team into groups of six for scrimmage. The teams play against each other as if it were a regular match with one key difference: each time they successfully execute one of the aforementioned moves, they earn that spot on the bingo card. Players must call the move before the execute it to earn the spot on the card.

The goal is to make a line of 5, at which point all members of the team must yell “Bingo”. This game causes players to come up with a game plan that successfully incorporates the necessary moves to make a line of 5, which can often be radically different from their normal game plan.

Hit the Deck!

When searching for fun volleyball drills remember that the emphasis does not always have to be on hitting the ball. Volleyball requires many other skills that are often less recognized, such as the ability to drop and hit the floor without fear or hesitation. The following drill, which we call “Hit the Deck”, will help your players overcome that hesitation.

Begin by having your players jog on the spot. Either at the sound of your whistle or when you yell the words “Hit the Deck”, all players must drop to the floor instantly. If you’d like to up the competitive spirit of the drill, you can enforce a rule where the last player to hit the floor is out.

Building Defensive Toughness

The third of the fun volleyball drills I like to use to change up my practice routines is a simple variation on 2-on-6. For this drill, one team has 6 players and the other has only 2. To begin with, have the strongest players on your team as the outnumbered ones.

The 6-player team begins by serving the ball within two steps of a member of the 2-player team. The goal is not to try and humiliate the 2-player team; rather the goal is to have them get down and play defense. You’ll really begin to notice your players develop their defensive toughness after running the fun drill at a couple of your practices.

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Alternatives to Increase the Volume of Semen

Because sexual function has always been an important issue that has troubled men particularly those who are suffering from erectile dysfunction or other problems, medical science has gone up with several effective solutions that lift the whole experience of lovemaking. Currently, the volume of pills are among the drug blockbusters sex available on the market. While the other drugs aimed at treating erectile dysfunction or of the increase of a man a ‘sexual drive and energy of s, the volume of pills to try to raise the amount of a man ‘ s charge

Apart from erectile dysfunction and the small size of the penis, has a low sperm is another problem, which most people are worried quietly. While the amount of semen released by the materials of a man during lovemaking, have a sufficient account of sperm that is more on completing the maximum sexual pleasure. To the need to increase the volume of semen far exceeds a man ‘s desire to fully satisfy your partner with multiple shots, huge, and the load of explosives. An account of low sperm is a big issue and it becomes a matter of life and death especially when a man decides to have kids. Of course, having children is difficult if one is faced with the problem of infertility or inadequate volume of semen. Well, you can try your luck by providing your bedroom with statues of gods, Fertility and invoking a while to make love with his wife. Now, this may sound ridiculous, but serious discourse, some pairs secretly and desperately do these rituals, which obviously never worked. Since the account of semen is a vital health issue, there are many drug firms, who have devoted their research to develop the special pills for the increasing volume of semen as well as increase the life of men with sexual problems in his account of sperm.

Among the volume pills marketed today, Semenax is one of the most effective drugs and the majority recommended. To this pill combining chemicals and herbal ingredients, which have been proven years of direct insurance and effective way to study and experience. Semenax is composed of amino acids and herbal concentrates, which have occurred in South America, Europe and China. The drug was developed by a panel of medical experts and health who have devoted their time to study the male reproductive health. But the safety and efficacy of Semenax are tested by hundreds of people who attest to the good results provided by the volume pills. Semenax is effective for the increasing volume of semen and improve a man ‘s of virility in bed.

While most men might have been tempted to undertake and to buy the pills in volume due to its stunning effects during sex, might also consult their doctor or consider other alternatives to chemical treatments. Of course, the volume of pills have been developed especially to help men in increasing volume of semen. However dependence and abuse of drugs can also be dangerous. There are several tips that men can continue to keep the increase in the volume of semen or at least maintain their normal production of sperm. While the effectiveness of the pills in the volume is undisputed, having a healthy lifestyle remains the best solution for preserving male fertility. Men can be successful in increasing volume of semen with regular exercise and healthy eating. A regular training not only makes the body can be physically, but also escape the pressures and tensions that reduce sexual drive and energy. Then, a healthy diet provides the body all the food it needs to include substances necessary for the production of normal sperm and for maintaining a healthy sex life.

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Boost Your Testosterone Levels Naturally For Optimum Sex Drive

Testosterone is the principal hormone responsible for the development of male reproductive organs like testis and prostate. It enhances the growth of muscle mass and strength, increases borne density and strength and promotes maturity of the sex organs especially the Penis. Low testosterone levels reduce your sex drive and as well causes erection dysfunction and low sperm development. The use of artificial hormones, Drugs or Doctors to increase your testosterone will not only give you a temporal result but it also comes with a lot of side effects like hair loss, Acne, Bloating-water retention and Wild Mood Swings. But using the natural means is the surest way to boost your levels of testosterone for optimum sex drive.

To boost testosterone levels naturally for optimum sex drive requires the use of herbal supplements, natural foods, exercise and avoidance of the use of prescribed medications. These factors when used in adequate proportions will make your testicles to get fuller and heavier, increase your ejaculation volume and erection power and in general promote quality life.

The use of herbal supplements in boosting testosterone level for optimal sex drive is powerful and more result oriented both at the short and long run than the prescribed drugs. It only requires you to ensure that you choose the right herbs, Keep a minimum of seven different herbs for boosting levels of testosterone and take each for one day. This is because when you rely on just one testosterone booster, yes you can feel honey, juiced, motivated even high sex drive, but as you continue using the same herb the effect will continue to depreciate until it works no more. When you take different herbs each day, you keep your body guessing thereby avoiding the chances of your body building up tolerance.

Brief and intense exercises help your body to release testosterone and growth hormone as you surpasses the anaerobic threshold which is the burning sensation you some times feel in your legs during your heavy exercise routines. This article does not recommend endurance exercises for testosterone boosting because it lowers the testosterone levels. To boost your testosterone levels for optimum sex drive you need to perform intense exercises like jumping rope, weight training, squats, stair climbing and sprints three times in a week with maximum of 15 minutes for each of the exercises. Seek to observe when you feel that burning sensation in your legs then push harder for some minutes longer so that you can achieve big surge of anabolic hormones. Again, your training should focus more on your leg muscles because it is the biggest muscle in your body and the more you work on them the more you will be boosting your levels of testosterone.

Another way you can boost your testosterone levels is by eating natural and healthy diets for maximum testosterone production. There are lots of foods out there you must avoid because they cause a lot of harm on your hormone levels. Such foods include: grape and corn syrup, soy products, bleached white flour and excess refined carbohydrates. To maximize your testosterone levels, you need to consume more of the following foods: eggs, watermelon, wild Salmon, Avocados, Raw Oysters, Cruciferous Vegetables, Grass Fed Beef, Chicken and Tuna. Quality animal fats, nuts and unrefined carbohydrates, as these foods will help to increase your testosterone levels.

Low sexual desires in men are as a result of low testosterone levels. Therefore, to experience a high sex drive, you need to increase your testosterone levels. Thinking of using artificial hormones, drugs or doctors will be one of your biggest mistakes because they will not only succeed in giving you a temporary satisfaction and then worsen your situation later but they also come with several side effects, but with the use of natural therapy like the use of herbal supplements, exercise, healthy foods you are sure of boosting your testosterone levels for optimal sex drive.

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Anti-Stress Workouts

With free time in short supply, worries to shoulder and active family and social lives, far too many of us find ourselves caught in a non-stop whirl. The all-too-common result is stress burnout, a topic of major concern for leading psychological researchers and hundreds of thousands of victims each year.

Chances are you’ve felt the symptoms – knots in your neck, butterflies in the stomach, irritability. Stress can get a lot worse, though, and if it’s bottled up it can be a potent and disruptive force to the healthy body and mind.

So what do you do when you find yourself grinding your teeth? The cure might be a good workout. Recent research has once again affirmed common sense: getting the heart pumping and letting the sweat start to flow can tone your attitude as much as it forms your physique.

As a whole, people who exercise regularly and take athletic time out to blow off steam can manage stress better.

Besides, as a weapon against stress, exercise is healthier than having a drink and cheaper than visiting a psychiatrist. And it works.

WHY WORK OUT?

What we commonly know as “bad stress” – tension – is actually an instinctual, physiological reaction that enabled our prehistoric forefathers to survive the dangers of the wild.

When you perceive a danger or threat, your body assumes the well-known “fight or flight” mode that prepares you to defend yourself against attack. The hypothalamus region of the brain sends a message to the pituitary gland to secrete cortisol, “the stress hormone”, into your bloodstream. In the chain reaction that follows, signals begin rushing to all parts of your body. Adrenaline pours into your bloodstream, your heart beats faster, your blood pressure increases and your breathing gets heavy. You’re ready for action. Usually, though, the opportunity for physical release isn’t there; you merely sit and seethe. Though the stressful event may be over, the lack of reaction means that those chemicals remain in your bloodstream. Over a prolonged period, they can become overwhelming – even leading to high blood pressure, hypertension or a nervous breakdown.

Dr. Hans Selye, a pioneer in the study of stress and author of ‘Stress Without Distress’, explains that we have a three-step reaction to stress. First, we experience a stage of initial alarm. Followed by a stage of adaptation or resistance, and finally, we are exhausted. If we don’t move all the way through these stages, stress gets bottled up inside – a cumulative and insidious process.

Of course, exercise isn’t going to be any help at all if it only adds more stress to a tension-ridden life. So don’t create a situation where it means a rush-hour train journey to the gym, signing up for a class you won’t able to make, or spending more money than you can reasonably afford. But take heart, almost any regular muscle-moving activity, no matter how offbeat or humble, is stress-reducing. In fact, Selye goes so far as to call exercise “good stress.”

HOW TO WORK OUT?

Joining the local football team, playing tennis at the club, and going out dancing are all great ways to blow off steam. The reason is that they incorporate aerobic exercise.

When you hear the word aerobic, don’t think only of tummy-tightening calisthenics in leotards. Any exercise is classified as aerobic if it increases your breathing rate without leaving you out of breath, and makes your heart and lungs work to supply more oxygenated blood to the muscles in action.

The best aerobic sports are swimming, bicycling, jogging, tennis and racquet-ball. Team sports that involve running, throwing and agility are good too (however, you can be somewhat more prone to injury). All of them will prove physically beneficial if you do them consistently, and they can offer just the tension-busting release you need to unwind, breathe deep and put things in perspective.

Pick an activity you enjoy and not one that’s going to make you even more stressed. Depending upon your level of fitness when beginning an aerobic exercise, walking may be the right exercise to meet your stress reduction needs. Consult your doctor when designing any anti-stress exercise regimen.

Those who work out regularly have expressed amazement at how the addition of an exercise programme into their daily routines can make a difference in their attitudes, their health and even their sex lives.

The human body wasn’t designed to sit at a desk; we were built to be movers and shakers in the physical, not the corporate sense. When you give your body the outlet it’s begging for, symptoms from listlessness to reduced sex drive to tension headaches often mysteriously disappear.

And you’ll learn to deal with stress better over time. Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas observes: “Aerobically fit people actually have lower heart rates during stressful situations than people who aren’t fit.”

HOW TO START?

Follow these general stress reduction guidelines:

Work out hard enough but not too hard. When you perform aerobic exercises, your goal should be to get the heart pumping to 70 per cent of its maximum capacity. Once you’ve hit this point, you should maintain it for about 20 minutes. A good rule of thumb for determining how hard you should do an aerobic exercise is that you should be able to hold a conversation at the same time.

Also, pick a place to do it that makes you comfortable. Try to schedule your workout at a convenient time, and stick to it. Nothing will make you more tense than feeling obligated instead of inspired to get your body moving.

And don’t expect too much at once. Remember, as with all activities, you only get out as much as you put in.

CHEMICAL REACTION

As you get into the groove of stress-reducing exercise, you’re likely to discover yet another benefit – it can actually get you high.

When you work out, your body secretes endorphins, those morphine-like substances that are often responsible for the euphoric feeling called “runner’s high.” These same endorphins that make you feel good during a workout can be a powerful weapon in your war against stress.

When tension sets in, endorphins are released into your bloodstream along with the cortisol hormone, and the combination can go a long way toward offsetting bad feelings. You only reap this benefit once you’re in good physical condition.

Though research is ongoing, some scientists claim that endorphins have a stabilizing effect upon the hormones (like cortisol) released during stress, tempering the negative effects on the body. According to Dr. Daniel Landers, professor of Physical Education at Arizona State University, “If you block the effects of endorphins, the heart rate goes up to twice the normal level.”

The bottom line is that not only does exercise help offset the stress you’ve already endured, it goes a long way in preparing you to deal with those increasing tensions yet to come.

All this shouldn’t make you think aerobic exercise is the end-all and be-all of body and mind conditioning techniques. It still has its limitations. If you don’t work out on a regular basis, the best exercise will do little or nothing to improve your reaction to stress, and it may even make stress worse by increasing your heartbeat intermittently between periods of inactivity.

There are chemical disadvantages to working out sporadically as well. If it is unaccustomed to the exercise, your body will not increase its endorphin levels until after the workout is over, in which case they might act to dull pain of strained, out-of-shape muscles, but will be released much too late to counter the stress hormone in your system.

Once you’ve built up your heart and turned yourself into a super-efficient stress-busting machine, it’s time for the next step: learning how to relax.

For ultimate stress relief, consider those activities that take you into the great outdoors. Whether you work out in the open air every day or supplement an indoor-gym programme with occasional jaunts across mother earth, you’ll find that a little communing with nature can go a long way in melting away stress.

Most importantly – enjoy it. As the Simon & Garfunkle song says, “Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last… “

Make it last with some sports activity that makes you happy. And the next time you feel like blowing your top, you might just find you can cope a little bit better.

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How Quickly Can You Get Fit After Years of Inactivity?

Have you been inactive for years? Are you wondering how long it will take you to get fit?

The short answer is “It depends!” How fast you get into shape is directly related to your present physical condition, and how fast your body reacts to physical conditioning. For example, someone 10 pounds overweight, with no physical limitations, will get into shape a lot faster than someone 50 pounds overweight with Type II diabetes and bad knees.

Not only will it take the second person longer to get in shape, but he or she will probably need to use a different strategy. The second person may never get to the fitness level of the first one. But remember that it is not a competition. It is individual and doing anything is better than doing nothing.

Getting fit after years of inactivity is like taking a car out for a drive after it has been sitting for ten years. If you are a car aficionado, you know you wouldn’t get in, and see how fast you could max out the r.p.ms in every gear. You would baby it along and gradually get it up to speed. The body after years of “non-use” is similar.

You want to start slow and gradually work your way up the fitness ladder. The American Heart Association recommends that a good place to start is to exercise three to four times per week, 30 to 60 minutes each time, with a target heart rate of 50% to 60% of your maximum heart rate. To calculate your maximum heart rate take 220 – your age (for men) or 226 – your age (for women).

For example, the maximum heart rate for a 50 year-old man would be 170. Sixty percent of that figure would be 102 beats per minute. Increase your level of activity over a 6-week period eventually getting your target heart rate up to 70 to 80% (80% would be 136).

A good place to start is with a mix of cardio and strength training. Walking, running, playing tennis, biking and swimming are all good cardio activities that will get your heart rate up to your target range. Of course before starting your exercise routine, (and after getting the okay from your doctor), be sure to warm-up with stretching.

If you have bad knees, then substitute an elliptical trainer for walking or running. And don’t even think of playing tennis. With either cardio or strength training, adjust time/intensity and weight/repetitions to keep your heart rate in the appropriate range. With strength training, start out light on weight and repetitions and work up.

The other half of getting fit is eating right. While you are at the doctor getting checked out to see if you are fit enough to start an exercise program, ask about a nutrition plan. It will be different for you if you have to lose a lot of weight than if you are already at the proper weight for your height and age.

Getting fit is about setting a goal and then gradually working up to reach that goal. Focusing only on reaching your goal as quickly as possible is just asking for a debilitating injury which could set you back months.

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Six Ways Stairs Can Boost Your Health

Did you know that regularly using stairs could save your life? Studies show that climbing just eight flights of stairs a day can improve your health and lower your risk of early death by as much as a third. So popular has this form of exercise become that you can even get free smartphone apps to count the number of steps you climb and record how many calories have been burned off.

Here are six ways that climbing stairs on a regular basis can benefit you:

1. Builds bone and muscle strength

Stair climbing is basically a more strenuous form of walking. Because you have to pull against gravity, it demands greater effort, so you get more of a workout. The exercise is great for your body, increasing your bone density, strength and muscle tone – so the likelihood of developing osteoporosis is considerably reduced.

2. Helps your heart

By raising your heart rate, stair climbing helps prevent blocked arteries and high blood pressure. This boost to your cardiovascular system lowers the risk of succumbing to serious conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and vascular dementia.

3. Aids weight loss

This surprisingly vigorous form of exercise actually burns more calories per minute than jogging. And the good news is that the heavier you are, the more calories you will expend. Even when you go upstairs at a normal pace, you’ll use at least double the amount of energy than if you were walking briskly on level ground – so you may soon find your waistline shrinking if you use the stairs regularly.

4. Relieves stress

Going up stairs will also improve your mental state, as the physical exertion releases pain-killing endorphins – the feel-good hormones that release tension and give your spirits a lift. The regular exercise will raise your energy levels, making you generally feel better about the world.

5. Fits in with busy lifestyles

Unlike going to the gym, climbing stairs is convenient, flexible and time-efficient. You can begin with just one or two flights if you like, and increase gradually. Even if you’re a busy commuter, you can use staircases in public places such as train stations, office buildings and multi-storey car parks. Of course, unless you live in a bungalow or ground-floor flat you will also be able to practise in the comfort of your own home.

You don’t have to be a fresh-air fiend to enjoy climbing stairs. No special skills, sporting ability or training is required – and you won’t have to share a sweaty changing room with strangers.

Because stair climbing is relatively easy to build into your life, you should be able to incorporate it into your routine without too many problems. Regular exercise can make a real difference to people’s long-term health, so finding an activity that you are able to sustain over the years will be invaluable for your fitness levels.

6. Costs nothing

One of the best things about stair climbing is that it’s free. No sports club fees or gym subscription, no equipment or special clothing to buy… it’s just you, and as many steps as you feel able to tackle.

A few tips…

So, which types of stairs are best for climbing? Any long flight of stairs provides the opportunity for a good workout, although some are better than others. Wooden stairs are more comfortable than metal or concrete ones as their treads provide more shock absorption, and carpeted staircases are better still. Curved stairs are just as good as straight ones for providing exercise. Even loft stairs and space saver staircases have their uses, as long as you hold on to the handrail and don’t try to go too fast. If you have to use an escalator, walk all the way up it. As the steps are deeper than those in an average staircase, it will still do you good.

Aim for between three and five stair-climbing sessions a week to get the most from your new regime. If you’re not used to exercise you should start slowly, perhaps just climbing for five or 10 minutes at first. You can work up to 30 minutes or even an hour eventually, if you feel confident.

Can anyone exercise this way?

People with knee or hip problems are not advised to climb stairs unnecessarily as the stepping action can aggravate their condition. This is particularly true when going down, as the joints come under extra strain. Anyone concerned about their health should have a word with their doctor before going ahead.

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Anti-Stress Workouts

With free time in short supply, worries to shoulder and active family and social lives, far too many of us find ourselves caught in a non-stop whirl. The all-too-common result is stress burnout, a topic of major concern for leading psychological researchers and hundreds of thousands of victims each year.

Chances are you’ve felt the symptoms – knots in your neck, butterflies in the stomach, irritability. Stress can get a lot worse, though, and if it’s bottled up it can be a potent and disruptive force to the healthy body and mind.

So what do you do when you find yourself grinding your teeth? The cure might be a good workout. Recent research has once again affirmed common sense: getting the heart pumping and letting the sweat start to flow can tone your attitude as much as it forms your physique.

As a whole, people who exercise regularly and take athletic time out to blow off steam can manage stress better.

Besides, as a weapon against stress, exercise is healthier than having a drink and cheaper than visiting a psychiatrist. And it works.

WHY WORK OUT?

What we commonly know as “bad stress” – tension – is actually an instinctual, physiological reaction that enabled our prehistoric forefathers to survive the dangers of the wild.

When you perceive a danger or threat, your body assumes the well-known “fight or flight” mode that prepares you to defend yourself against attack. The hypothalamus region of the brain sends a message to the pituitary gland to secrete cortisol, “the stress hormone”, into your bloodstream. In the chain reaction that follows, signals begin rushing to all parts of your body. Adrenaline pours into your bloodstream, your heart beats faster, your blood pressure increases and your breathing gets heavy. You’re ready for action. Usually, though, the opportunity for physical release isn’t there; you merely sit and seethe. Though the stressful event may be over, the lack of reaction means that those chemicals remain in your bloodstream. Over a prolonged period, they can become overwhelming – even leading to high blood pressure, hypertension or a nervous breakdown.

Dr. Hans Selye, a pioneer in the study of stress and author of ‘Stress Without Distress’, explains that we have a three-step reaction to stress. First, we experience a stage of initial alarm. Followed by a stage of adaptation or resistance, and finally, we are exhausted. If we don’t move all the way through these stages, stress gets bottled up inside – a cumulative and insidious process.

Of course, exercise isn’t going to be any help at all if it only adds more stress to a tension-ridden life. So don’t create a situation where it means a rush-hour train journey to the gym, signing up for a class you won’t able to make, or spending more money than you can reasonably afford. But take heart, almost any regular muscle-moving activity, no matter how offbeat or humble, is stress-reducing. In fact, Selye goes so far as to call exercise “good stress.”

HOW TO WORK OUT?

Joining the local football team, playing tennis at the club, and going out dancing are all great ways to blow off steam. The reason is that they incorporate aerobic exercise.

When you hear the word aerobic, don’t think only of tummy-tightening calisthenics in leotards. Any exercise is classified as aerobic if it increases your breathing rate without leaving you out of breath, and makes your heart and lungs work to supply more oxygenated blood to the muscles in action.

The best aerobic sports are swimming, bicycling, jogging, tennis and racquet-ball. Team sports that involve running, throwing and agility are good too (however, you can be somewhat more prone to injury). All of them will prove physically beneficial if you do them consistently, and they can offer just the tension-busting release you need to unwind, breathe deep and put things in perspective.

Pick an activity you enjoy and not one that’s going to make you even more stressed. Depending upon your level of fitness when beginning an aerobic exercise, walking may be the right exercise to meet your stress reduction needs. Consult your doctor when designing any anti-stress exercise regimen.

Those who work out regularly have expressed amazement at how the addition of an exercise programme into their daily routines can make a difference in their attitudes, their health and even their sex lives.

The human body wasn’t designed to sit at a desk; we were built to be movers and shakers in the physical, not the corporate sense. When you give your body the outlet it’s begging for, symptoms from listlessness to reduced sex drive to tension headaches often mysteriously disappear.

And you’ll learn to deal with stress better over time. Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas observes: “Aerobically fit people actually have lower heart rates during stressful situations than people who aren’t fit.”

HOW TO START?

Follow these general stress reduction guidelines:

Work out hard enough but not too hard. When you perform aerobic exercises, your goal should be to get the heart pumping to 70 per cent of its maximum capacity. Once you’ve hit this point, you should maintain it for about 20 minutes. A good rule of thumb for determining how hard you should do an aerobic exercise is that you should be able to hold a conversation at the same time.

Also, pick a place to do it that makes you comfortable. Try to schedule your workout at a convenient time, and stick to it. Nothing will make you more tense than feeling obligated instead of inspired to get your body moving.

And don’t expect too much at once. Remember, as with all activities, you only get out as much as you put in.

CHEMICAL REACTION

As you get into the groove of stress-reducing exercise, you’re likely to discover yet another benefit – it can actually get you high.

When you work out, your body secretes endorphins, those morphine-like substances that are often responsible for the euphoric feeling called “runner’s high.” These same endorphins that make you feel good during a workout can be a powerful weapon in your war against stress.

When tension sets in, endorphins are released into your bloodstream along with the cortisol hormone, and the combination can go a long way toward offsetting bad feelings. You only reap this benefit once you’re in good physical condition.

Though research is ongoing, some scientists claim that endorphins have a stabilizing effect upon the hormones (like cortisol) released during stress, tempering the negative effects on the body. According to Dr. Daniel Landers, professor of Physical Education at Arizona State University, “If you block the effects of endorphins, the heart rate goes up to twice the normal level.”

The bottom line is that not only does exercise help offset the stress you’ve already endured, it goes a long way in preparing you to deal with those increasing tensions yet to come.

All this shouldn’t make you think aerobic exercise is the end-all and be-all of body and mind conditioning techniques. It still has its limitations. If you don’t work out on a regular basis, the best exercise will do little or nothing to improve your reaction to stress, and it may even make stress worse by increasing your heartbeat intermittently between periods of inactivity.

There are chemical disadvantages to working out sporadically as well. If it is unaccustomed to the exercise, your body will not increase its endorphin levels until after the workout is over, in which case they might act to dull pain of strained, out-of-shape muscles, but will be released much too late to counter the stress hormone in your system.

Once you’ve built up your heart and turned yourself into a super-efficient stress-busting machine, it’s time for the next step: learning how to relax.

For ultimate stress relief, consider those activities that take you into the great outdoors. Whether you work out in the open air every day or supplement an indoor-gym programme with occasional jaunts across mother earth, you’ll find that a little communing with nature can go a long way in melting away stress.

Most importantly – enjoy it. As the Simon & Garfunkle song says, “Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last… “

Make it last with some sports activity that makes you happy. And the next time you feel like blowing your top, you might just find you can cope a little bit better.

Posted in Building Muscle0 Comments

Group Fitness Classes for Weight Loss

Exercise should be about having fun moving your body in the way it was designed to move. It seems that exercise has become a negative word is today’s society. Too many times have I been lecturing to a group of students or adults and when I mention exercise they cringe. This should be exciting if I recall in grade school we couldn’t wait to go outside for recess it was our favorite part of the day. Now we work, work, work, go home and do more work, then sit down on the couch. We have taken the activity out of our day. Even in schools they are cutting back on physical education at a time when the country is at its worst in terms of disease and sickness related to sedentary lifestyles.

Group Exercise

Group exercise is a fantastic way to get together and have some grown up recess time. Make sure you do your research in your local newspaper, visit the parks and recreation website, or pop in at your local YMCA to get an idea of the classes and times they offer them. Make sure that you chose a class that meet two to three times a week. If you a beginner to fitness make sure the class is not too advanced you can work your way up. The last thing you want to do is take a class that is very difficult and get discouraged. Show up a few minutes before class or hang back a few minutes after class and introduce yourself to the instructor, many times the instructors are also fitness trainers that can give you some great advice one on one.

Be Consistent

The key is to not quit, one way to help when you feel like you are falling off the wagon is to have friends to hold you accountable for your goals. Make friends in the class and make a pact to stay in touch with each other to make sure no one gets left behind. Sometimes things come up; family, work, and sickness happen but don’t use these things as repeated excuses. If you do happen to miss a class, make it your business to do a makeup day using another class or going out and doing some exercise on your own. If you are consistent with your exercise and workout program you will get the results.

Con: Monotony

Some group fitness classes like cycling and step aerobics can get a little monotonous doing the same exercises and motions day in and day out won’t challenge your body after a long time. You need variety in your workout program, mix it up a little bit. If the instructor in your class isn’t changing the routine enough try another class or move onto something with more difficulty. At some point you may experience a plateau with your weight loss it may be that your workout program has gone stale. Get help from one of the personal trainers or switch up your classes to get your body recruiting different muscle groups by using different exercise modalities.

There are many options out there to choose from when we are looking for group exercise programs for weight loss. Make it your goal to try something out of your norm pick up a dance exercise class or a fitness boot camp to add some real fun to your overall wellness program. Don’t forget that you have to be conscious of your nutrition if you are serious about weight loss with group exercise programs.

Visit us at http://www.screenfitness.com to read more about how you can lose weight with proper exercise prescription and quality nutrition choices. After all being healthy should be fun; you should be happy making good lifestyle choices.

Posted in Workouts & Routines0 Comments

Healthy Eating – Four Reasons To Opt For Single Ingredient Foods In Your Diet Plan

When it comes to the foods you eat on a regular basis, there is no question you have your fair share of options. Walk into any grocery store and you will see a number of choices, all that look tantalizing to your taste buds. But as you put groceries into your cart, one thing you will want to be sure you are doing is opting for whole foods as often as possible.

Practicing the “single or one ingredient” rule or eating foods containing a single component is your best bet for optimal nutritional success. Why do this? Why not indulge in some of the more complex foods you enjoy?

Here are four great reasons…

1. Single Ingredient Foods Are Nutrient Dense. First, when you eat a food containing one component, you can rest assured you are getting a nutrient dense food. The more processed food is, the more it has been broken down from its original state, meaning the fewer nutrients it will contain.

Remember eating healthily is about more than just counting calories and the grams of macronutrients you consume. It is about taking in a vast array of micronutrients as well, meaning your vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

2. Single Ingredient Foods Rank Higher In Satiety. The next reason to opt for foods containing one component is they rank high on the satiety scale. These foods will satisfy your hunger head-on thanks to the high fiber content they usually contain.

While not all foods will be high in fiber: food such as a chicken breast for example; any foods carbohydrate based and single ingredient, usually will have more fiber in them.

3. Single Ingredient Foods Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels. Thanks to the fact these foods containing one component have more fiber, or else are a rich source of protein and dietary fats; this also means they will control your blood sugar levels better as well.

Controlling your blood sugar is important for those who are suffering from Type 2 diabetes or those people simply trying to prevent developing this form of diabetes. Likewise, if keeping your weight in check is a goal of yours, single ingredient foods can help with that as well.

4. Single Ingredient Foods Don’t Contain Artificial Ingredients. Finally, when you eat unprocessed foods made up of just one component this also means you will not take in a large dose of artificial sweeteners or other unhealthy ingredients. Instead, you get what Mother Nature put into those foods and what was naturally intended for your body to consume.

Food that does not contain artificial ingredients is a far better way to nourish your body and keep you feeling healthy.

Think twice before putting processed food in the shopping cart. As much as you can, put only single ingredient foods in your cart and use those to cook your meals from. Your body will thank you.

Posted in Diet & Nutrition0 Comments

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