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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Effective Home Workouts

Regardless of what your fitness goals are, there are a plethora of equipment options to consider. For building muscles and/or toning-up you can choose from free weights, selectorized machines, resistance bands, benches and even no-equipment. For cardiovascular improvements (e.g. running, walking, etc), there are even more options. They range from treadmills, to elliptical trainers, to bikes and beyond. So, answering the previously mentioned questions is very important.

To help make your decision easier, below are several recommendations based on costs and needs, along with benefits of the exercise equipment.

If you want to create a gym that will provide you with a total body workout (cardio, strength and flexibility) and you have a budget of at least $1000, consider the following recommendations:

  • Treadmill – The best option for cardiovascular equipment because it can be used for running, walking, and even some leg strength training. Plus, workouts can continually be varied based on speed, incline, even direction. And, it easily progresses as fitness levels improve.
  • Full dumbbell set with weights ranging from 5 pounds to 50+ pounds. – Great for light toning, to intermediate strength training to building muscles. Less expensive than selectorized machines and usually provides more flexibility and variety in workouts.
  • Fitness Ball – Provides exercise options for toning, strengthening and stretching.
  • Resistance Band – Provides another option for strength training. Can alternate use with free weights for a great challenge that will help prevent plateaus.
  • Step Bench – Can be used for both cardio workouts and strength training workouts.

If you want a home gym specifically for building muscles (or just can’t afford cardio equipment), and can afford at least $100, consider the following recommendations:

  • Dumbbell set.
  • Fitness Ball
  • Resistance Band
  • Jump Rope – Offers very challenging cardiovascular fitness workouts at a very low price.

If you want a total body home gym but can only afford less than $100, consider the following recommendations:

  • Three dumbbells sizes (e.g. 5, 10 and 15 pounds)
  • Resistance Band
  • Jump Rope

If you are limited to purchasing just one very affordable piece of equipment, consider buying a Fitness Ball. As mentioned above, it provides many different exercise options. With the ball you can get an upper body workout, a lower body workout, very challenging abdominal workout and a stretching/flexibility workout. And, you can get all of this for around $35.

Also, don’t underestimate what you can do with things that are already in your house, like stairs, a chair, milk jugs and others. There are a lot of exercises that require no equipment at all. For example, push-ups, tricep dips, squats, calf raises, etc. You can even create your own “weights” through milk jugs filled with water or sand.

As you can see, there are a lot of options available for creating a home gym that will meet your individual needs and will provide a lot of workout variety. Even on a shoestring budget, you can still make a wise purchase that will be invaluable in helping you get more fit and healthy. And, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of working out at home.

Turn Walks into Workouts

Interval walking

Breaking up your walk into slow and fast segments is a great way to increase your stamina, build muscle and burn more calories. “Vary the pace of your walk so that you have a phase of working hard (up to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate) followed by a recovery phase where you stroll slowly bringing your heart rate down,” Head for the hills

Rough it!

If you normally walk circuit on sidewalks or paved road shoulders, it might be time to find a trail. “Walking on a rough but level track requires 50 percent more energy than walking on a paved road,” Find a local park that has hiking trails or maybe there is a hiking club in your area that you can join. Look in the phone book or on the internet under volksmarching.

Circuit walking

A combination of walking and strength training. This may seem a little foreign at first but give it a try and you’ll find that time go by quickly and you’ll become stronger for it. Walk for a while then stop and do an exercise like sit ups or push ups on a park bench or even jumping jacks, just some exercise other than walking. This will shock your body into a new level of fitness.

Enter an event

Sign up for a 5K or 10K walking event or even walk for a cause, Breast Cancer or pregnancy center. Set a goal and train for that goal like an athlete. This will keep you motivated and push you towards the next level of fitness walking.

Six Pack Starts In Kitchen

First I will start with the thought process that went into this decision. You were_ (watching t.v., playing a video game, reading, you fill in the blank) and you felt a little pain in your stomach and thought to yourself I am hungry. This is the first thing we will examine. Were you really hungry or did you simply think you were by associating the rumbling stomach pain with a way your body lets you know it is time to eat? This alone can cause many of us to eat simply for the sake of eating. The trick I use to see if I am really hungry is to ask myself am I hungry enough to eat broccoli? (This can be replaced with any foods you may not be exactly fond of.) Be honest with yourself and if the answer is no you are probably thinking yourself hungry instead of really being hungry. Moving on to the next action, you leave your room and head towards the kitchen. Once in the kitchen you begin to look for something to eat. During your search you may ignore the healthier choices for something that you think will satisfy you. If you say that you want to be in better shape make sure that your decisions are in line with that vision or you will only end up further and further from your goal. Taking a look at the food stats for the sandwich without even identifying what kind of sandwich it is, I can safely guess that it would be processed or at the very least the meat on the sandwich would be processed. For those trying to lose weight, processed foods are big bumps in the road. I would suggest cutting processed foods from your diet out right if it is realistically possible for you. If you cannot cut all processed foods I would suggest slowly replacing some of your favorite processed meals or snacks with healthier alternatives. I say slowly so not to force yourself into a new lifestyle you may not be able to maintain. Processed foods are known to cause inflammation when consumed in large amounts which hurts most efforts to lose weight. The stats of the sandwich consumed would pale in comparison to a veggie/fruit smoothie for a mid day snack. I will not go too deep into benefits of certain foods in this article but it is important to start becoming aware of what you are eating and how it is helping you achieve your goal or stopping you from reaching it.

Eating dense foods like fruits, veggies, fish, nuts and legumes will help you lose more weight and feel better. Foods such as these are packed with nutritional value that your body can and will utilize. The reason I said crunches will not solve all your problems is because if you are destroying all of your gains in the gym by your poor diet in the kitchen you are at best fighting an uphill battle in which YOU are making the trip steeper and steeper only to fall down when the hill looks to steep to climb. Going through my journey I learned I was building core muscles underneath the belly fat. Unless your goal is to become a sumo wrestler I will assume you want to be proud to show off your body and let you know that hitting the gym hard but having poor discipline in the kitchen will lead to you following in my footsteps. Diet and excise are like two sides of one coin. I will admit with a proper diet you may be able to skip out on some excises but your body needs movement. It is healthy for you to get some excise in whatever fashion you can.

A few more tips to help you craft those abs is focusing on more lean proteins like chicken, fish, nuts, soy foods, eggs and dairy just to list a few. This will help to build more muscle. This is a good idea for women as well since the more muscle you have the more energy you will need to maintain it and the muscle will take from your fat reserves for energy which will help you tone your body faster.

Information of Physical Fitness

Agility is what let my friend run rings around us, leaping from rock to rock along the Pedernales River in Texas. Agility is what you see in top athletes who make great skill look effortless. Agility is what helps a ballet dancer make it look effortless. Agility is how Jackie Chan can still do martial arts even while he is rolling over tables, bouncing off walls, leaping between the rungs of ladders.

I didn’t understand that until years after the hike along the Pedernales River. Now, after doing martial arts for almost 30 years, I understand. When you watch someone who moves with grace and skill, you’re seeing agility.

Have you ever had an experience where you felt clumsy?

Have you ever fumbled the ball, or tripped over your own two feet?

Or have you ever seen someone who is in great shape, but they just can’t coordinate, they can’t move?

The missing component of physical fitness is agility.

If you just do weights or cardio, you’re not going to develop agility. If you want agility, you have to move, and you have to adapt on the fly to changing (and often intense) situations.

Some sports and fitness activities promote agility more than others. For me, martial arts gave me agility. I’ve been dong WingTsun Kung Fu(TM) for 25 years, and martial arts in general for almost 30. I have to be able to adapt to what an opponent is doing quickly and perfectly. I have to seize the advantage, gain and maintain dynamic control. I have to stay balanced and graceful even while moving rapidly and adjusting to the changing dynamics of sparring.

Many other sports really develop agility as well. Basketball, tennis, soccer, hockey, skiing, snowboarding… they all develop and require agility.

If you’re not doing something to develop agility, today is a good day to start. You’ll be amazed at the difference increased agility will make in feeling physically fit. Before long you’ll move with the grace of a cat, you’ll bound like a gazelle.