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Category Archives: Health and Fitness

I Am Getting Ready for the Season

I am going to try to get a scholarship obviously, because that would beat the devil out of paying for it and in theory would make my life a lot easier. Of course it is not a simple thing and the first thing is that I need to get a lot better. I can not afford a personal trainer in Denver it turns out, although I looked at this to see if it would be an investment that would make a lot of sense to me. If you could do it cheaply enough and it got you to where you need to be, then it would make all sorts of sense. Instead I have been training all summer on my own. It seems obvious that the best position for me is probably as a tight end. I am a good blocker, but not big enough for the line.

Increase Metabolic Rate

MUST MUST MUST….. Do Exercise. Doing regular Exercise uses up the extra calories and in turn increases the Metabolic Rate. Most important of all. Muscle Building and Aerobics is one way to increase Metabolic Rate.

Diet also plays a major role. Right food do increase your metabolism. Taking proper meals at proper time with proper nutrition increases the Metabolic Rate. Makes sure you have your breakfast as it sets up the momentum for the day. Other wise you are starving yourself which is decreasing your Metabolic Rate. Least number of calories per day for a good Metabolism is 1200 calories.

Don’t get duped by false pills. Keep patience and follow normal workout.

Try to eat more carbohydrates. It shoots up your Metabolic Rate.

Avoid alcohol.

Park further away and walk. Use the stairs instead of the elevator when possible. Walk to the post office instead of getting into the car. Take your dog on a daily walk. Do more activities around the house to burn energy instead of wasting money on pills and potions that don’t work.

Incorporate a walking routine to increase metabolism at least three to four times a week. Walk 30 to 40 minutes each time. This is the best way to increase your metabolism. The magic key lies with the walking or running on treadmill as per your body need. YOU CANT GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS.

Be committed to eating smaller meals at regular intervals. Prepare food in advance and bring it with you. Never eat sporadically and plan each meal. The common mistake is to skip meals and eat too little during the day. This makes you vulnerable for eating junk food later in the day. Eating to lose weight takes planning.

Speed Training With Intensity

You should include different types of bounding for greatest results in your speed training. Try these variations to crank up your speed workouts:

o Regular bounding – drive your knees up to 90 degrees and your elbows back

o Straight leg bounding

o Single leg bounding – remember to do both right and left footed

o Single leg pattern bounding – Right Right Left Left Right Right Left Left Right…

o Combination bounding – straight leg bound for 20 meters then regular bounding for 20 meters

o Bound/Run – bound for 20 meters then sprint for 20 meters

o Double leg bounding – moving forward

o Double leg bounding – moving backward

o Power skips – drive your knee up to 90 degrees to try for maximum height.

o Bound up stairs or bleachers

Bounding should be done for done for 10 to 40 meters or a certain number of foot contacts. Start slowly and build up to the longer distances and number of contacts. Be sure to rest and recover fully between reps. This is not endurance work. Keep your workouts short and intense. Your goal should be to include between 4 and 8 sets in your speed workouts.

Bounding is highly intense exercise. Make sure that you are on a good, forgiving surface and that you don’t bound too often, 2 – 3 times per week is plenty. Also, do not bound on consecutive days, your nervous system will be fried from bounding and will take time to recover, probably even more time than the muscles themselves.

Workout Plateaus

A plateau typically is the direct consequence of a fitness rut – when an exerciser performs the same workout over and over. The human body is very efficient and quickly adapts to work. Once the body practices the same activity repeatedly, it grows more proficient at performing those moves. So that means it requires less energy and therefore also burns less calories.

Instead of celebrating their body’s improved fitness capabilities, exercisers often abandon their workouts. And who can blame them? After all, they no longer are seeing the results they desire and become increasingly bored with their workouts. Plus, hitting a plateau not only can halt fitness gains, but it can even reverse previous successes. But, with just a few simple steps exercisers can easily break-through that brick wall and continue to reap all the rewards of regular physical activity.

Dodging the dreaded plateau is actually very easy. Variety is the key ingredient to continual fitness success. To avoid hitting a workout plateau, follow these recommendations.

To begin with, every workout routine should be changed about every 4-6 weeks. The modification doesn’t have to be dramatic. A totally new exercise is a possible option, but alteration of a current exercise can be just as effective.

A simple way to determine how to transform your current workout is using the F.I.T.T principle. F.I.T.T. stands for frequency, intensity, time and type. This strategy can be adopted for both cardio and resistance training.

Frequency – increase or decrease how often you workout

Intensity – increase or decrease the difficulty or level at which you workout.

Time – increase or decrease how long your workout sessions last.

Type – change the type of exercises you perform.

Frequency and Time are limited by an individual’s schedule as well as appropriate rest time to ensure maximum efficiency and safety. But Intensity and Type are really only limited by creativity and planning.

Cardio exercise intensity can easily be varied through speed, incline, distance, height, etc. And of course the types of exercises are practically endless, so exercisers should never have the excuse that they’ve exhausted their exercise options. Good cardio examples include: walking, jogging, swimming, biking, hiking, and more. In addition, combining several of these exercises into one workout session can be very effective. Try 10 minutes each of 3-4 unique exercises.

Lose Abdominal Fat

First thing is diet. Cut off all the fat food. This is very important, because the pounds you gain go through your mouth. Without a healthy diet you’ll never lose fat and see the abs beneath it.

Second: cardio exercising. Cardio exercises are actually the most important step. With cardio you raise your heart beat and burn fat fast this way. For more intensity you can add intervals in your training. Cardio exercises also help you start your metabolism so you’ll be burning fat the whole day.

Third: weight exercises. You must train at least two big muscles of your body. This is important because this way your body will need a lot of energy for the effort that it makes, the easiest way to get that energy is from the stored bally fat.

Follow these tips and you’ll lose abdominal fat fast and get ripped abs!

 

Muscle Cramps

A muscle cramp is defined as a painful, involuntary, spasmodic contraction of a muscle. The muscle remains contracted and may last for a few seconds to several minutes. The muscles most prone to EAMCs are those that cross two joints – for example the calf muscle called the gastocnemius (crosses the ankle and knee joint) and the hamstrings (cross the knee and hip joint).

There are many theories surrounding the cause of muscle cramps. Some proposed causes are fluid loss and dehydration, electrolyte imbalances (sodium, potassium, magnesium), heat and congenital/inherited conditions. Recent evidence collected by Professor Martin Schwellnus at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa indicates no strong relationship between these causes and exercise cramps. After completing several studies and studying the results of other experiments using electromyography or EMG (measures muscle nerve electric activity), Schwellnus has proposed a novel model of the cause of EAMCs.

Dr. Schwellnus identifies two possible factors that may affect nerve activity – causing excessive muscle stimulation to contract and resulting in a cramp. The first suspected factor is fatigue; since motor nerve firing patterns have been demonstrated to be irregular during conditions of fatigue. The second factor is proposed as resulting from the muscle working too much on its “inner range” or “on slack”.

To explain this concept it must first be understood that a muscle cannot work efficiently if it is not at its optimal length – a muscle works progressively less efficiently when overly stretched or overly loose/on slack. The protein filaments (actin and myosin) that make up muscle fibers require an optimal “overlap” to be able to generate force.

The position of the body’s joints determine muscle length, so it follows that muscles that cross two joints like the gastroc and hamstrings might be more likely to operate in the slackened position and experience a cramp. For example, consider a free-style, swimmer who performs flutter kicks at the ankle with a slight knee bend. The flutter kick involves the ankle flexing and extending in a small range very near the plantarflexed (toes pointed) position. Couple this with a slight knee bend, and it makes the gastrocnemius muscle even more “passively insufficient”.

Muscle physiology plays crucial role in the understanding of EAMC’s. Most significantly, the small cellular bodies of the muscle spindle and the Golgi Tendon Organ (GTO). The muscle spindle is a tiny cellular structure usually located in the middle portion of each muscle fiber. Very basically its role is to “switch on” a muscle and determine the amount of activation and the strength and speed of the contraction. The GTO is a small structure located in the tendon that joins the muscle to a bone. This structure senses muscle tension and performs the opposite role of “switching off ” the muscle in order to protect it from generating so much force as to rip right off the bone.

Dr. Schwellnus suggests that when a muscle works within its inner range and/or when fatigued, muscle nerve activity shifts progressively toward muscle spindle activity (contraction) and less toward GTO activity (relaxation). More specifically, the nerves that control the muscle spindle (Type IA and type II nerves) becomes overly active while the nerves that controls the GTO (Type Ib nerves) become under active or inhibited. The result of this nerve activity imbalance is an uncontrolled, painful cramp.

Salsa Dancing

Salsa’s popularity began to percolate beyond the borders of the Latin neighborhoods in the early Seventies, spreading into New York’s ballrooms and dance halls. Although somewhat formulized when practiced by those who favor profession competitions, salsa dancing in its most traditional form is typically spontaneous and extremely energetic. Dance movements alternate between the very slow and the furious, an embodiment of its lively musical style.

From a strictly athletic point of view, a night of dancing is a superb workout. It merges aerobic and anaerobic training, working your stamina and leg strength. Any kind of dancing is a great way to build the perfect body shape. The continual movements build up aerobic stamina while steadily burning calories over the course of the evening. This helps to strengthen and tone your legs at the same time you lose weight. But salsa excels at this.

Experts say that dancing salsa can burn up to 10 calories a minute, without the negative side effects of high impact exercises such as running. You can learn salsa dancing in the privacy of your home or in a studio, with or without a partner and it’s a fitness program that can easily be integrated into your social life. By using salsa dancing to get fit, you will not only look great, but you’ll have no excuse not to get out more and improve your social life.

The sudden bursts of frenzied dancing in Salsa also can help to improve the anaerobic fitness essential to sports like sprinting, swimming and basketball. Equally important to the aerobic paybacks are the improvements in flexibility and dexterity, a commonly overlooked facet of fitness. Elasticity from dancing will help your swiftness, power and co-ordination by growing your overall range of motion.

Rid of Belly Fat

One of the major reasons for fat accumulating around stomach is processed carbohydrates. However you can counter this with some fat burning foods. These are foods which will actually help you lose stomach fat when coupled with exercise. These are foods with a high protein content which use up for fat while being processed. Another good thing is drinking the right quantity of water because water helps you in removing the harmful things from your body and some toxins. This refreshing effect the water has on your body is very useful during exercise if you are trying to lose stomach fat.

Also, again, keep in mind that doing abs exercises does not mean the fat around your belly will go away faster. Since the weight is lost from a body from all parts at once all exercise will help if they lessen your weight. Your body burns the fat as a whole, not from specific areas. Belly fat hides your abs so if you are doing abdomen exercises you will not see your abs until you have lost the fat which has accumulated over them.

If you are doing exercises one thing you should keep in mind is that your posture is good during the exercise. If you keep your body in the right posture while exercising you will see better results because setting your posture straight will also use many muscles. It will also help your body seem leaner and fitter if you manage to keep you posture straight all the time.

Precision Abdominal

Everyone has performed the crunch at some time, many have not only performed the crunch, but have performed hundreds of thousands or more of them. Through emg studies it has been proven that this exercise directly targets the rectus abdominus or the front of the abdominal wall. However, in lab studies, the most reliable way to injure disks was to expose them to repetitive end range flexion in a cyclic manner. This means that the thousands of crunches you do in any strange variety of directions, with the feet fixed or not, holding weights or body weight, places a serious and very dangerous damaging force on the disks of the spine. A review of the literature reveals that it is likely that the disk must be bent to full end range of motion to be herniated,[7] and that the risk is higher with repeated loading.[8,9] Maybe the crunch is not as good as most would have you believe.

Another dinosaur that will not die is the leg raise, be it lying on your back, seated on a bench or suspended from the roman chair. Data indicates that the main muscle activated in this exercise is the psoas, not the muscles of the abdominal wall. The psoas muscles main role in this motion is as a hip flexor, not an abdominal or trunk flexor. Almost all of us suffer from tight hip flexors and weak lower abs, all this exercise will accomplish is further tightening the psoas and weakening the lower abdominal wall. So why would anyone select the straight leg raise to improve core stability when this exercise mostly challenges psoas ( hip flexor) which appears to play no role in the stability process of the spine / core and at the same time applies extremely high loads to the spine?.
So what are the best safest exercises for the abs that also strengthen the core and build spine stability? Believe me when I tell you that to perform these safe and efficient exercises that activate the core, abdominal and spinal muscles no equipment is required, all you need is your body and the floor.
The first place to start is the Plank aka. Prone bridge. Perform this exercise like a push up only on your forearms.

Preparation

o Position yourself face down (prone) on your toes and forearms.

Movement

o Brace your abdominals, and retract the cervical spine.

o Maintain the plank 2 position for as long as you can squeeze
your glutes.

Tips

o Keep the glute muscles engaged and legs straight throughout
the exercise.

o When you can no longer fire the glutes, rest and repeat.

The second exercise is the lateral plank or Side Bridge.

Preparation

o Position yourself laying on your side, propped on the foot and elbow. (frontal plane)

o Maintain a ridged body alignment with proper head position.

Movement

o Brace your abdominals, and maintain spinal alignment.

o Raise your torso up off the floor, hold and repeat. Continue on
the opposite side.

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.