Posts Tagged ‘Exercise’

Walk Off that Easter Candy

Feeling a little guilty after learning how many calories are in your favorite Easter treats? (See “Food for Thought section of this newsletter.)

Don’t worry!  Just use this handy guide to determine how much walking you need to do to work those calories off!

Editor’s Note:  Mileage is based upon eating only one serving of each of the following candies.  Should you eat more than one serving (according to package) or a combination of any of the following then your mileage will need adjusted.

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Jelly Beans: 1.4 miles

Peeps: 1.6 miles

Robin Eggs: 1.7 miles

Small Chocolate Bunny: 1.4 miles

Medium Hollow Bunny: 2.6 miles

Large Chocolate Bunny: 10.5 miles (!!!!!!)

Chocolate-covered Marshmallow Bunny: .6 miles

Chocolate-covered Marshmallow Egg: 1 mile

Cadbury Crème Egg: 1.7 miles

Cadbury Caramel Egg: 1.9 miles

Lindt Chocolate Carrots: 2.1 miles

Prefer real eggs over chocolate eggs?  You may need to do some walking, too.  One hardboiled egg requires .76 of a mile to walk it off and a half of a deviled egg takes .73 of a mile to burn!

Getting More Out of Your Elliptical Workout

Its winter and more and more people are choosing to move their workout to the gym.  If the one machine that is your go-to machine when you are at your public or home gym is the elliptical, then you need to make sure that you are getting the most out of your workout at all times.

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While the elliptical is a great cardio machine, if you keep your routine at a slow, steady pace every single time, then you are not getting the most effective workout that you can.

One of the major things that you can do is practice interval training on the elliptical.  Interval training focuses on constantly changing the speed and intensity of the exercise.

Most experts suggest coming up with an exercise plan before you start on the elliptical.  For example, you can start out by going at your normal, slow and steady pace for a solid minute.

Then switch it up and go at a faster, more intense pace for 30 seconds.  You can continue switching between your slow and steady pace and your faster pace for the entire length of your workout.

Some other suggestions to get the most out of your elliptical routine include:

  • Choose an adequate resistance.  Instead of allowing momentum to do all of the work for you, change the resistance to a higher number and make sure that you are actually using your legs to propel the blades.
  • Lean back on your heels.  Make sure that you aren’t putting all of your weight on your toes while you are on the elliptical.  By being up on your toes, your legs will go numb and will shorten your workout prematurely.

Burning Calories in the Snow

Let’s face it.  Most of us don’t have the luxury of living in a climate where it is warm and sunny 12 months out of the year.  Instead we must learn to deal with all four seasons …including the dreaded winter.

But, thinking positively, there are plenty of things to do outdoors in the winter where you can burn calories – lots of them!  So, try one of these high-intensity, fun winter activities today:

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  • Cross country skiing
  • Downhill skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Hiking
  • Dog-sledding
  • Zip lining
  • Sled riding – especially if you find a really steep hill!
  • Snow tubing

It’s important to keep in mind that whatever winter outdoor activity you decide to take part in, it’s necessary to dress in layers, remain hydrated and watch for signs of hypothermia.

Remember to warm up first.  Just like you were working out indoors, warming up first before you get started working out outdoors is definitely important.  Colder temperatures can cause your muscles to tighten up, so a proper warm up session will help prevent injury.

When you come in from out of the cold, it’s also important to NOT strip down and remove all of your layers.  Give your body time to adjust from your outdoor workout.  Post-exercise hypothermia is possible, so be sure to let your body adjust before taking off all of those layers.

Staying hydrated is also a big one, so be sure to have plenty of water on hand for whatever outdoor activity you choose.

The Spring Clean Burn, How to Lose Weight Cleaning

Fitness for All

Spring Clean

It’s finally time to skip the gym and dust off those mops and brooms! Spring cleaning is here – along with an easy way for you to not only clean up your house but also burns those extra calories.

In just 30 minutes of household cleaning, you can burn nearly 200 calories.  So, say goodbye to the gym and hello to the scrubbing brush!

Your actual amount of calories burned will depend on your weight, gender and age, but the following calorie burners are based on a 155 pound woman cleaning for one hour.   (You can locate calculators online to determine the exact amount of your calories burned.)

Gardening: 226 calories

Window washing: 226 calories

Scrubbing floors (on hands and knees): 291 calories

Laundry, ironing: 84 calories

Sewing repairs: 36 calories

Dusting: 97 calories

Scrubbing toilets, tub: 246 calories

Vacuuming: 317 calories

Cleaning gutters: 258 calories

Moving furniture, household items: 387 calories

Painting, papering, plastering: 317 calories

Sweeping: 194 calories

Mopping: 153 calories

Mowing the lawn: 148 calories

Washing dishes: 77 calories

Fast and Easy Fat Busters

Fitness for All

Fast and Easy Fat Busters

Sure there are lots of people out there that want to lose weight and everyone knows that diet and exercise are the key components to achieve this goal.  But while the dieting can be done at any hour of the day, many people find that it is the exercise part that they have a hard time finding time to accomplish.

But what if you could burn fat, burn calories, and lose weight with easy, fast exercises?  Sounds like a no-brainer, right?

The next time you are short on time and need to get a quick exercise or two in, consult this list of easy fat burners to kick start your regimen and get you on your way to achieving your goal as soon as possible.

Some fast and easy fat busters to try include:

Jump rope as fast as you can – burns 68 calories.

Do walking lunges down a hallway – burns 45 calories.

Run around the block – burns 62 calories.

Do some Wii Zumba – burns 45 calories.

Vacuum the biggest room of your house – burns 20 calories.

Walk up and down the stairs – burns 36 calories.

Bounce on a stability ball during the commercials of your favorite show – burns 58 calories.

Recovering After a Workout

Feel exhausted after a grueling day at the gym? This would not come as a surprise since a serious workout requires huge amounts of energy. Your level of exhaustion may depend on the intensity and length of your workout. Just like a machine, you should load up on fuel to run the entire length of your workout. Deciding to take better care of your health by working out is a big step. But before deciding on this new path it would be a good idea to consult your doctor.

Fitness woman happy smiling

Fuel up your Body

Exercising a good way to loose excess body fat. And most people make the mistake of skipping meals to enhance their weight loss efforts. This way, they’re burning fats while preventing additional fats from entering the body. This looks good in paper and it surely is a quick way of shedding unwanted pounds.  This might work for the first few days but depriving your body from its natural source of energy would lead to serious health concerns in the long run.

Eating before and after workouts provides the body with much needed energy not only during workouts. It also allows your body to repair itself and prepare for the next day at the gym. A healthy diet does not involve skipping meals but one that tells you to eat the right type and recommended amounts. If you plan to use exercise as part of a weight loss program, consult your doctor or a dietician for proper food intake and schedule.

Hydrate

More than half of our body is composed of water and when we exercise, we lose some of these as sweat. Water is essential in our body’s everyday processes. And without adequate water levels our body is unable to function optimally.

Dehydration is a serious threat to our health. And we should keep ourselves hydrated by drinking adequate amounts of water. Dehydration can cause dizziness and weakness. And when you’re working with weights at the gym, this could lead to a serious accident.

Get some sleep

Sleep is not overrated. Sleeping gives our time to recover and get much needed energy for the next day. Spending a few hours at the gym is an excellent way to get a healthy body but we should also give our body much needed time for rest. Without sleep, going to the gym the following day would not be possible or even be dangerous. Seven to eight hours of sleep is all that’s needed for our body to repair and get itself ready for the next day.

Gradually increase the intensity of your workout

Aside from performing warm-up exercises before working out, gradually increase the intensity of your workout. Build your cardio and strength before progressing into heavier weights. Workout injuries are often caused by overdoing your exercises. Having a healthy and slimmer body can’t be achieved in a day.

Listen to your body

When you’re tired get some rest. To keep workouts healthy and free from injuries, simply listen to your body. Pain is our body’s way of telling something is wrong. Listen to your body for any signals such as pain or tiredness.

How to Keep our Joints Healthy

Senior Couple Exercising In Park
Joints connect everything and every bone in our body. They glide and roll and bend to keep you walking, running and moving. It even comes in different sizes and varieties, but they need the same thing, the right care.

To keep bones and joints healthy, you may have to do some change in lifestyle and to take in some necessary nutrients needed for it. And since it can be susceptible for wear and tear after some time, damage may occur in form of arthritis and other condition. So what should you do?

Joint Stats

According to statistics, ¾ of people have joint age that is older than their actual age. And once you are overweight, your joint health might be that much better compared to those who have the right weight.

And joint health may also vary depending on the career path you are having. Those who are in the field of education are more likely to have aging bones than their actual age compared to those who are in the media, legal and finance careers.

In Most countries in the world, arthritis ranks 1 in the doctor visits followed by joint pain. And women are more likely to have joints problem than men due to the estrogen in their bodies that starts to decline as they age. And before the age of 85, more or less 50% of population will acquire osteoarthritis.

Now, how will you combat these statistics? What will you do?

Limiting Sugar

Sugar from soda, sports drinks is associated with the decrease in bone density. And more often, it can lead to weight gain and loss of calcium in the body. The reduction of sugar in diet will help. Substituting sugar craving with healthy sweets can be the next easy step you can give your body.

Ingest Calcium

You might be on diet that is low on calcium. Remember that calcium is essential for bone health. Good strong bones can resist breakage even during falls which helps protect joints as well. You can have your calcium from dairy products (milk, yogurt, and cheese), kale, broccoli and fish.

Pile on some Omega-3 Fatty Acids in your Diet

Omega-3 fatty acids are rich in anti-inflammatory properties. These can help you resists joint swelling and even help you reduce arthritis problem. It can help your bone to be strong as well addressing the bone breakage problems which estrogen may cause during the menopausal stage among women. Omega-3 fatty acids can be source from fish such as tuna, mackerel, salmon and sardines.

It can also be taken from other marine sources such as krill and calamari. If eating fish seems not a viable option, supplements such as marine oils (fish oil, calamari oil, krill oil) can be options.

Vitamin D

The intake of Vitamin D in your diet may help in better absorption of calcium. Vitamin D is mostly found in food such as eggs, salmon, Vitamin D enriched milk products and in cod liver oil.

Lose Weight

Your weight can squish your joints, your bones and everything that keeps it standing. So better lose some flabs before your knees give out on you.

Exercise

So you may have oiled your joints from above recommended foods. But still, if it goes unmoved, your joints and bones may still suffer from problems. So better be exercising everyday. And practice good posture.

Visit Your Doctor regularly

Your doctor can provide you evolution and the right insights to what you are experiencing. So try to see him regularly and have some medications right away or get more to tips to prevent joint demise.

Alternative Weight Training Exercises

personal trainer
There a number of popular weight training exercises that most people know about. The most common of these are the bicep curl, the shoulder press and the lunge lift – the ones that are usually seen in movie montages where the main character is getting “buff” and the ones performed in a gym by people seeking to gain a little muscle mass.

While these will help you reach your goal of increasing your strength and toning your muscles, there are other, alternative weight training exercises that can accomplish the same thing.

Upper Body Strengthening Exercises

If you want to gain arm strength, consider doing some shoulder and triceps exercises along with the usual bicep curls. Some of these do not even require extra weights – they use the weight of your body as the resistance that the weights provide. To gain strength and definition in your shoulder area, do an exercise that works the deltoid muscles in your upper back and shoulders.

Sit in a chair with a resistance band around your feet. Hold the ends of the band in your hands. Lift your arms straight up, while keeping your back straight. Do several reps of this each time that you work out.

Another great exercise for arm strength is the triceps lift. To do this exercise, place two chairs next to each other and stand between them with the backs of each chair facing you. Put your hands on the top of the backs and do a push up like maneuver so that you are leaning on the chairs with your toes on the floor behind you. Hold the position for as long as you can before relaxing and completing it again.

Body Weight Training Exercises

To work out other parts of your body, try some calf raises and deep knee bends – without the weights in your hands – simply use your body as the weight. To do calf raises, stand near the wall with your hands on the windowsill for balance. Point your toe to the floor and, one leg at a time, lift your heel in the air while contracting your calf muscle. Repeat several times before moving on to the other leg. A few repetitions of this will add definition and strength to your leg muscles, most specifically, your calf muscle.

A deep knee bend should be completed while standing near the wall as well, as it will help you keep your balance. Stand perpendicular to the wall with one hand touching it. Keep your feet should length apart, and bend at the knees while keeping your upper body straight. When your upper legs are parallel to the floor, you have bent down far enough.

Slowly lift yourself back up, using only your legs muscles to do so. Repeat several times. This exercise works multiple muscle grounds, including the hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles, hip flexors and gluteal muscles.

In order to gain both muscle strength and definition, consider doing alternative exercises like these along with the standard weight lifting movements. You will find yourself getting stronger and more flexible more quickly, and you will not be stuck working the same muscles over and over again each time.

Eating Schedule – Before and After Workouts

personal trainer
Dedicating yourself to a healthy lifestyle by eating the right diet and living a more actively seems simple. But it entails a lot of discipline and a little know how. This is true especially for those who are planning to spend a couple of hours at the gym.

The body needs a steady source of energy and nutrients. This holds true for those planning to lose weight or adding muscles. Energy is needed to power your various workout exercises and getting enough energy is essential to proper functioning in the gym. What happens after workouts is also essential. It determines the most safest and opportune time to eat and help your body in the recovery process.

Before Workouts

If you’re planning to go on a workout it is important for you to adjust eating times accordingly. Working out with a full stomach could have a negative effect on your workout. The body spends energy digesting, energy which is needed during a workout. This only makes you tire easily as your body divides itself between digesting and providing you with energy during workouts.

Working out in the gym entails focus both mentally and physically. And a full stomach could make you feel lethargic or overly relaxed. Lifting weights especially free weights can be taxing mentally and needs full focus. Hard to do when your body is still busy digesting a meal.

Eating after Workouts

Your body’s natural reaction after a workout is to replace lost energy stores. Strenuous workouts may have caused minor muscle tear which require immediate repair. Feelings of hunger is triggered, signaling you that your body is in need of instant nourishment.

If you’re about to go through a long workout, one or two hours for example. Be sure to have something handy to provide you with a quick energy source. Eat snacks rich in protein and carbohydrates. Bring snacks in the gym to immediately replenish energy and jumpstart the repairing process. Water is also essential. This is needed to prevent dehydration after a grueling workout.

A 15 minute minimum is required after exercising before you eat.

For those not hungry

For some especially for those whose goal is losing weight, eating after your workout could be detrimental to your weight loss efforts. Eating after a workout actually helps the body restock lost fats which might have been lost during the workout. If you feel hungry, only consume that which is enough to keep you going through the day.

Drink water, pure fruit juices or an energy drink to prevent dehydration and replace lost electrolytes. Even when you’re not feeling hungry or trying to lose weight, replacing lost electrolytes is essential for maintaining proper energy levels.

Eating habits before and after workouts

Working out in the gym is one of the best and fastest way to a healthier body. But it entails an extra sense of discipline. This includes proper eating habits to maximize every second you spend in the gym. So the next time you plan on going to the gym, take note of this simple guide on eating before and after workouts.

Yoga, Natural Stress Reliever

Fitness girl D
Yoga as a movement has dated back in the ancient times of India. Today, 15 million Americans practice it while its fans are mostly women and those in the age brackets of 18-34.

Yoga has been known as one of the oldest practice of self-development and has evolved from its classic beauty to its modern charms today. It included discipline, medication, breathing and physical postures. Now a major physical fitness staple and movement in the West, it has come a long way since its establishment and practice from the East.

Understanding Yoga

Yoga is composed of stretching exercises, relaxation and controlled breathing. Its major focus though has been on its Asanas or the poses. It is an excellent activity to reduce stress.

Yoga poses are composed of different movements that are designed to increase flexibility as well as the strength. These poses are either done at home or in a yoga room. Yoga poses can be brought outdoors too and may be done even in offices and workplace. Poses also varies from simple floor stretching to complicated postures that make use of some yoga equipment.

Yoga has become a fitness phenomenon as well as a meditation option. It helps improve range, motion, strength and balance. Keeps you from injuring yourself from some physical endeavors and makes you healthy due to its capability to improve blood circulation and its flushing out f toxins benefits.

It has been known to help manage heart conditions, high blood and alleviate pain, anxiety and sleeping problems.

Lately though yoga has been emphasized as a stress buster. So how does it benefit stress?

Yoga in Fighting Stress

There are many stressors in everyone’s everyday life. Say you got an inconsiderate boss, an exam tomorrow, or a deadline to meet. Work and personal life are often the two major fields in one’s life that can cause stress. Physical and emotional stress once adds up can be tasking and may affect ones normal day to day living.

Yoga on the other hand can help remedy it and even reduce it. You can start saying goodbye to emotional tension and even to physical stress.6

Yoga poses helps better blood circulation which may prep up the body to function better and be stronger to fight against tasking mental stress and over thinking. Plus, yoga may help reduce the cortisone hormones as well as the adrenaline, two of the things that are known as chemical stressors.

Plus, consistent yoga practice may prevent depression and moods swings, one major result of long time stress. It helps increase the body’s serotonin level which regulates sleep, appetite and mood.

Different Yoga Moves to Battle Stress

Here are some different yoga poses you may try to help combat stress.

  1. Child’s Pose. You may need a pillow for this pose. Lower on your knees and fold your upper body over the support or the pillow. Rest forearms in the floor and turn to one side.
  2. Half Pigeon. Half pigeon pose asks you to go on all fours, move your right knee forward toward your right hand as you lower your right hip into the pillow. Let your hands support you.
  3. Supported bridge pose. Lie on your back, bend your knees and plant your feet on the floor apart. Extend your arms by your side on the floor and lift your hips while sliding the yoga block under the base of the spine. Always do the pose first before putting the block support under you.
  4. Reclining bound angle pose. This one’s a bit easy. Lie on your back putting your feet soles together. Slide it up close to the groin as possible and put a cushion under your legs. Place your arms at your side in 45 degree angle while palm is up.

These yoga poses doesn’t just need to be executed, you have to do the breathing exercises with it. It will calm you down, help you think better and keep you perked up for the day.