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Jan 27 2013

Pull Ups Vs. Chin Ups

category: Fitness author: gh

Going to the gym for some serious strength training is something that people enjoy doing to get physically fit. However, one need not have access to the latest and most advanced gym equipment to build muscle and gain strength. Take the case of pull ups and chin ups. A doorway pull up bar or any solid structure where you can hang from at arm’s length is all that is needed for this exercise.

What Are These?

Any beginner will have a hard time with these physical fitness routines, but these are nevertheless important in building one’s strength and developing the muscles in your back and arms. It is also a great help if you are into sports that involves a lot of pulling and grappling such as mountain and rock climbing.

Such routines do not benefit just men but these are also great for womens fitness. In fact, more and more women are discovering the wonders of these exercises, which include a well-toned back and shoulder muscles. An added bonus is a well proportioned physique which comes with toned lats and back muscles.

What Are The Differences Between These Two Exercises?

The most obvious difference would be in the grip. Pull-ups use an overhand grip with palms facing away from you while chin-ups use an underhand grip with palms facing you. Another significant difference is the movement since pull-ups use shoulder abduction as opposed to chin-ups which use shoulder extension where the elbows come down and back from the front.

Beginners will normally find chin-ups easier to execute compared to pull-ups although you can always ask for assistance from your personal trainer in doing these routines. Always remember to exhale during the pulling portion and make sure to keep your butt and abs tight all throughout the exercises.

To get the best results, most trainers recommend that one should try a combination of grips to master these routines. It is also best to do these on a few weeks interval especially for beginners.

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May 15 2011

Benefits and Advantages of Circuit Training

category: Fitness author: gh

Circuit training refers to a combination of high-impact workouts and the use of weights. It is the type of fitness regimen used by athletes and individuals who want to improve their strength and endurance. Fitness tips support circuit training as an exceptional method to achieve total fitness.

Aspects of Circuit Training

Most circuit training sessions concentrate on 9 to 12 stations or exercises, in an effort to develop strength, tone muscles, improve endurance and in particular, burn the fat. Some repetitions need to be done with reduced weights to prevent too much pressure on the tendons and joints. Each station is completed, with little or no rest in between.

Versatile Regimen

What makes circuit training appealing to most fitness-conscious people is that it does not have to be done inside a gym. You can do it any place you prefer, where it is convenient. Womens fitness experts recognize circuit training as appropriate for all fitness levels, whether beginner or advanced. Both men and women find satisfaction in the versatility of circuit training that works towards their fitness goals.

Health Benefits

There are yet more advantages from following a circuit training program. It promotes maximum health benefits in less time, due to the timed repetitions and the rigorous requirements of jumping from one session to another.

Work Out With a Group

The versatility of circuit training also makes it practical as a group activity. The sessions can be done with family and friends, putting the fun back into a goal-oriented fitness training program. Whether done by a pair or a group, circuit training sets off fatigue and is far from a boring exercise routine. You can do many exercises and variations of repetitions that should keep boredom away. Each minute counts in an easily implemented circuit training, allowing no room for wasted time.

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May 15 2011

Causes and Effects of Obesity

category: Fitness author: gh

The problem of obesity has been present in society since the beginning of time. It is alarming to note, however, that more and more people now have an obesity problem. In fact, the figures are increasing not only across America, but in the United Kingdom and other countries as well. Defined as a medical condition and an accumulation of excess body fat, obesity has been globally recognized as a major cause in the rise of morbidity rates.

Why Obesity Happens

Most health experts tell us that obesity happens due to one’s eating habits, lack of physical fitness, and may even be hereditary. Among these, the biggest factor is poor eating habits since most people are not schooled in good nutrition.

Eating habits refer to how and why we eat as well as our food choices. There are many external factors that influence it social, religious and economic. It can be corrected though with the right mentorship, the right diet, and a conscious decision and willingness on the part of the obese person. In fact, facilitation of physical activities may be done with the help of a body trainer to address one’s weight problems.

The Sordid Consequences of Obesity

Obesity can literally destroy you. Having obesity means having increased risks to a handful of deadly diseases including diabetes, hypertension, and coronary heart ailment. Other ill-effects include osteoarthritis and sleep apnea syndrome. Obese persons also develop emotional and psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. This is mainly due to the fact that obesity is something that is comparable to a social disorder and overweight people are usually being laughed at in public.

Considered as a universal problem, obesity should be addressed immediately to avoid complications and even death. In a world of sugary treat and fast food, obesity can be hard to avoid. The good news is that it is highly treatable.  With the right mindset, the battle of the bulge can certainly be won.

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May 15 2011

The Truth about Abdominal Muscles

category: Fitness author: gh

Millions of overweight Americans believe they can have the flat or “six pack” abdominals they see on fitness magazines with just the right abs exercise routine. It’s for this reason that an entire exercise industry devoted to abs is booming. You have abs trimming devices and diet supplements that promise flat abs in no time. Unfortunately, none of them really works as promised.

Live with the Facts—Not the Myths

To claim that a pot belly can be firmed up to look flat with these exercises is just physiologically impossible. Ask any veteran body trainer and he will tell you it’s a myth that you can localize your exercise routine to convert belly fat to muscle. So if you’re starting out a workout and just targeting your pot belly, you’re setting yourself up for a good dose of frustration.

Your body fat can only be reduced but in equal measure around the body with the right diet and workout.  There’s no way you can spot reduce your waistline other than undergoing a tummy liposuction.  In fact, your belly fat is the last to go in any slimming regimen.  So don’t bother with those abdominal reducing exercisers and gym gears advertised to reduce fat around the waistline.   For sure, abs routine done right tones your belly muscle, but you will retain the same fat layer on those muscles without the right diet.

The best way to trim your belly fat is to have the right diet and exercise and the patience to continuously do the routines. The fact is that in order not to store fat and lose fat, you need to burn more calories than you consume.  There are no shortcuts to it.

Improving the Abs Muscles

While abs exercises won’t reduce your waist fat, it can improve your abdominal muscles which react with and develop under the right resistance routines just like any muscle group in the body.  But you can achieve the results you need without any special training equipment. So keep your money for more sensible things and start following the fitness tips your body trainer tells you.

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May 15 2011

How to Spot Fitness Frauds

category: Fitness author: gh

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions physical fitness buffs against fraudulent claims by many diet supplements, whether for weight loss, muscle gain or plain fitness maintenance. Their savvy marketers often take advantage of supposed scientific discoveries even before enough clinical tests confirm these claims. As a consumer, it is really your responsibility to conduct some of your own research on these claims and not be duped into accepting them lock, stock, and barrel. Here are some things to consider.

Beware of Products backed by Too Many Testimonials

It’s easy to solicit consumer and medical testimonials that a product does what it says, singing it praises in varying degrees. This often happens with supplements targeting weight loss and womens fitness where a “before and after” photo set can be quite convincing. Never mind that those photos may not have anything to do with the product.

Most testimonials are paid endorsements while many are plainly fabricated with bogus names. It’s the Internet, and it’s hard to verify. If a product is being marketed on simply just testimonials to the exclusion of clinical tests or scientific evidence, you may be better off checking other products.

Medical Jargon and “Secret Formulas” Can Be Impressive

Few people will bother to do some research on self-proclaimed “secret” pharmacological formulas often marketed as having “proprietary” ingredients. Unless you are a medical expert yourself, it’s easy to get impressed by medical jargon. While some products may help you get healthy, hyping up their qualities with medical claims, whether true or not, are meant to drum up more sales.  And really, to say that the product has secret ingredients is a nice way to say you don’t need to know about it.

When in Doubt, Check with the Experts

If you want to hear a real testimonial, go to your doctor or physical fitness expert. Ask them about the product you have in mind or let them visit the product’s website and get their opinion. If you don’t have the time or patience to research the brands, this is the least you can do for yourself.

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May 15 2011

How Do You Know If You’ve Been Exercising Too Hard?

category: Personal Trainer author: gh

If you have your own personal body trainer, he’ll tell you that exercising too much is definitely damaging. You could suffer from many physical problems such as injury, muscle or bone loss, and even heart failure. While you have to exert yourself in order to reap the benefits of exercise, overdoing it is just going to cause you harm.

Are You Exercising Too Much?

Do you…
…feel the need to exercise when you think you’ve overeaten?
…feel compelled to work out even when you don’t feel like it?
…feel uneasy or guilty when you miss just one training session?
…make up for a missed session by doubling your routine the next time?
…force yourself to exercise even if you’re not feeling well?

If you find yourself relating to some, or all, of these situations, then you’re definitely overdoing it.

Actual Effects of Too Much Exercise
One of the most notable effects of too much exercise is body injuries. Training too much puts a lot of strain on your tendons and ligaments, thereby causing them to rip and tear. You could also risk getting stress fractures. Another is loss of muscle mass, especially if you’re not eating the right foods to sustain your body with nutrients. Overtraining also causes your immune system to weaken, making you susceptible to common ailments such as flus and colds. Keep in mind that your body needs time to rest and recover after training; otherwise, your general state of health will just worsen.

How Can You Prevent Over-exercising?
It’s easy. Just follow these common-sense fitness tips: Change your general outlook and specific expectations when it comes to exercise. Work out for the right reasons — for health and overall well-being, and not for vanity reasons. Exercise in moderation — 3-4 times per week, 45-60 minutes per session, is enough. Most importantly, listen to your body, and when it tells you that it’s exhausted, give it rest.

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May 15 2011

Should You Eat Breakfast Before Exercise?

category: Fitness author: gh

It’s generally known that eating should be done after a physical fitness workout, when you’ve already cooled down. Eating places stress on your cardiovascular system, and exercising after a meal is inadvisable, if not actually dangerous for some women. This is accepted as one of the fundamental dietary principles in womens fitness.

When You Work Out…

…you are basically tightening up your muscles, and burning fat that’s been stored in your body. Everyone has a certain amount of stored fat, and when you exercise, that fat gets burned. But remember that a pound of excess weight is equivalent to about 3,500 calories, so you have to do a lot of exercise before you can even lose a pound!

So Why Eat After?

After a workout (and especially if you’ve been weight-lifting), you should eat something rich in protein but light in carbs. If you don’t, your body will be shocked into sudden hunger, and you’ll be even more tempted than usual to gobble the entire contents of your fridge, or binge on the next meal. The good thing is that after a bout of exercise, your metabolic rate increases and your body will use up all the calories (energy) and fats from your food almost immediately.

But Why Eat Before?

Diet and fitness experts have now realized that you should also eat BEFORE training. What you’re doing is giving your body energy to use during the training. However, this is not to say that you should have a six-course breakfast meal before a morning workout. Something light, like a whole-wheat bagel with a slice of chicken (white meat with no skin), will suffice. If you don’t eat anything for breakfast, your body will take fat from your internal organs instead of that flabby midsection. Also, after you’ve had breakfast, wait an hour or so before you start working out; this gives your body time to digest what you’ve eaten properly.

In Conclusion…

…eat a spare breakfast before your morning workout, and eat a full brunch or lunch after your workout. And as for drinks, well — take in only water, as much as possible!

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May 15 2011

How to Exercise in Cold Weather

category: Personal Trainer author: gh

If the cold weather is preventing you from fulfilling your daily exercise routine, don’t fret. You can easily fight off extreme weather conditions and do your workout if you follow these sensible tips.

Layer Up

It’s important to conserve heat when you’re performing your winter workouts, so that you can avoid chilling. Layering is the key to warming yourself up, as your clothes act as insulation for the body. Remember to look for labels that are water-resistant and lightweight, to enable you to move about freely. Ideally, your innerwear should be made of propylene since it draws the sweat off the body. Don’t wear cotton because it stays wet after absorbing your sweat. Then, wear a wool or fleece shirt, followed by a waterproof outer layer.  Don’t forget to protect your head, hands, ears, and feet with appropriate thermal wear.

Sun Protection in Winter

The sun’s rays can still wreak havoc on your skin, despite the winter climate. Sunscreen is highly recommended for people who work out in high altitudes, as it is nearer to the sun. Look for a product that blocks UVA and UVB rays and with an SPF of 30. The lips and eyes need to be protected as well with lip balm and goggles.

Avoid Dehydration

Before heading out, make sure to drink plenty of fluids, just like you would for a rigorous summer workout. Your body trainer would even suggest consuming 15 to 20 ounces of water per hour even if you’re not really thirsty. It’s because during winter, the environment is usually dry and it can be harder to notice that you are becoming dehydrated.

Risks from Exposure to Cold Weather

When you go for a jog outdoors without following the measures mentioned above, you are running the risk for hypothermia or frostbite. Symptoms of frostbite include numbness and tingling sensation in the toes, fingers and ears.  Meanwhile, the foremost sign of hypothermia is shivering, which can then lead to loss of motor skills.

Physical fitness starts by making sure you are fit to perform exercises even when temperatures drop to freezing levels. So make sure to observe these tips, and you can have an enjoyable workout without running into any problems.

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May 15 2011

3 Great Treadmill Exercises

category: Fitness author: gh

Some people find treadmills tedious and boring. But, with a little imagination, you can jazz up your treadmill workout session and make them more enjoyable, while still achieving an optimal level of womens fitness. Here are three exercise suggestions, along with some brief fitness tips, that will make you a faster and stronger runner.

Indoor Hills
Jog easy for 10 minutes to warm up, then set the treadmill speed at your marathon pace. (If you haven’t run a marathon yet, make a rough estimate by multiplying 4.65 with your usual 10-K time.) Then, set the elevation to at least 1 degree, and run for about 2 minutes at your marathon pace. Afterward, increase the incline to 2 degrees and continue running for another 2 minutes. Go back to the 1-degree elevation for the next 2 minutes, then amp it up to 3 degrees for another 2 minutes.

High Intensity Treadmill Workout
For your warm-up, engage in a low-intensity jog for 10 minutes. Then, sprint as fast as you can for 8 seconds to increase your heart rate to the 75%-85% range. Gradually slow down your pace for the next 12 seconds – this will make your heart rate drop quickly and allow you to recover. Repeat the steps for about 5 to 15 minutes, depending on your fitness level. Afterward, cool down with a slow-paced jog.

Six/Sevens
This workout is devised by longtime fitness coach Gary Silver. To perform one set of the six/sevens, you first run at marathon pace for 90 seconds at 6% grade. Then, allow yourself to recover by doing a 1-minute flat jog. Increase the grade to 7% and run at marathon pace for one minute. Switch to flat jog again for 2 minutes to recover. Gary Silver recommends performing 4-6 sets at first, then, gradually increase it to 8-10 sets.

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Apr 21 2011

3 Great Treadmill Exercises

category: Fitness author: gh

Some people find treadmills tedious and boring. But, with a little imagination, you can jazz up your treadmill workout session and make them more enjoyable, while still achieving an optimal level of womens fitness. Here are three exercise suggestions, along with some brief fitness tips, that will make you a faster and stronger runner.

Indoor Hills
Jog easy for 10 minutes to warm up, then set the treadmill speed at your marathon pace. (If you haven’t run a marathon yet, make a rough estimate by multiplying 4.65 with your usual 10-K time.) Then, set the elevation to at least 1 degree, and run for about 2 minutes at your marathon pace. Afterward, increase the incline to 2 degrees and continue running for another 2 minutes. Go back to the 1-degree elevation for the next 2 minutes, then amp it up to 3 degrees for another 2 minutes.

High Intensity Treadmill Workout
For your warm-up, engage in a low-intensity jog for 10 minutes. Then, sprint as fast as you can for 8 seconds to increase your heart rate to the 75%-85% range. Gradually slow down your pace for the next 12 seconds – this will make your heart rate drop quickly and allow you to recover. Repeat the steps for about 5 to 15 minutes, depending on your fitness level. Afterward, cool down with a slow-paced jog.

Six/Sevens
This workout is devised by longtime fitness coach Gary Silver. To perform one set of the six/sevens, you first run at marathon pace for 90 seconds at 6% grade. Then, allow yourself to recover by doing a 1-minute flat jog. Increase the grade to 7% and run at marathon pace for one minute. Switch to flat jog again for 2 minutes to recover. Gary Silver recommends performing 4-6 sets at first, then, gradually increase it to 8-10 sets.

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