Category Archives: Getting And Staying Fit

10 Fitness Tips For Beginners

If you’re thinking of starting a new fitness regime, use these 10 tips for beginners to make sure that you reach your goals.

1. Make Your Workout Worth It

If you want to get the most out of your workout, you need to remember that around 80% of the results that you get from your workout actually come from just 20% of your workout.

That means that in an hour’s session, only 12 minutes of the workout will contribute to the bulk of your results. You need to make those minutes really count. Use compound movements that work more than one muscle group at a time to really make the most of your time.

2. Remember To Eat Healthy

Any body shaping goals can only be achieved by eating a healthy diet. If you’re going to the gym so that you can go home and eat a double triple cheeseburger with a 2-person serving of French fries, you won’t do your body any favors.

You should make sure that you eat in moderation, and remember that if you’re burning off more calories, you will need to eat that little bit more so that you have enough energy. Balance your nutrition and avoid faddy diets.

3. Change Your Eating Habits

You need to make sure that you eat properly as well as eating healthily. Eating properly includes eating at the right times of the day. Skipping breakfast is a really bad idea and you shouldn’t eat too late in the evening either. Speak to a personal trainer about what would work for you so that you can achieve your goals.

4. Plan Out Your Routine

To make sure that you know just when you’re going to be working out and when you can look forward to some downtime, you really should come up with a plan. Remember to include rest days and be realistic about how much time you can make free.

Remember to stick to your schedule as much as possible so that you don’t slide into the habit of skipping the gym and make your targets achievable.

5. Make A 100% Commitment

You need to remember that your body transformation needs complete dedication from you. You can’t skip a day or two here and there, because you feel as though you deserve it. Plan when your rest day will be and stick to that. Even if you have a vacation planned, check out the local gym, and make sure to take an hour out of each day to continue to work out. Keep up with the healthy eating too.

6. Don’t Let Preconceptions Put You Off

It’s easy to look at a female bodybuilder and suddenly panic if you’re a woman who is trying to lose weight and develop a petite and slender figure.

The reality is that it is virtually impossible for women to bulk like that; it requires a particular plan and effort. If you stick to a plan that your personal trainer has given you, you won’t go wrong.

7. Keep It Simple

You should remember that you are only starting out with fitness. In order to avoid injury and to avoid putting yourself off continuing with your training, you should make sure that you familiarize yourself with the basics first.

Start off with some shorter sessions and then expand your workout as you become more confident and as your fitness, levels start to rise.

8. Prepare For Your New Routine

Make sure that you make yourself available to workout and have a rough plan of how you would like your workout to go. You need to come up with some realistic goals too, so if you want to have 6-pack abs, aim to achieve some muscle definition within 6 months or if you would like to lose 2 stone, make sure that the time-frame that you set yourself is achievable. If you don’t know what your targets are, no personal trainer will be able to help you.

9. Remember Cardio

So you want to get 6-pack abs, bulging biceps, and strong legs? You can’t get those things by just lifting weights. You must remember that while you’re working out, you should fit in a good amount of cardio.

If you’re already carrying excess weight, you need to make sure that you burn off the fat by doing frequent cardio and eventually the muscle will start to show through.

10. Use A Visual Inspiration

It is very helpful to have a visual inspiration to keep you motivated to lose weight. Try performing a Google image search to find photos of people who have a body shape and size similar to your own ideals.  Print out the image or images and display these where you will see them all the time, for example near your work desk, on your car dashboard or on the fridge. This will ensure that you have a visual goal that will keep you motivated every single day!

How Does Breakfast Affect Your Metabolism?

If you break down the word breakfast itself into break and fast, the answer is much clearer. You are breaking the fast you were on while sleeping (unless you are one of those munchers that get up during the night to eat something).

When you get up, your metabolism has already processed all the food you had in your system when you went to bed. Because there isn’t much work to do at the moment, it is kind of napping itself and not really working much at all beyond the bare minimums it needs to do to keep your body going.

Unless you give it a reason to wake up, it will keep more or less at its “vegetative” pace. That is where breakfast comes in. When you eat, all of a sudden you are flooding your digestive system with food and your metabolism jumps into action at a high rate in its endless pursuit to process the incoming food.

What does a good breakfast look like?

A healthy first meal of the day should include protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean meats are all good choices along with eggs.

A two-egg omelet with spinach is my favorite. Scrambled eggs with diced bacon is another favorite. Use a little olive oil to make the eggs; it is much better for you than using butter. Complement your omelet with a piece of whole grain toast topped with some peanut butter. You could even add in a meat, such as bacon or sausage, both made from turkey.

Other breakfast choices could include oatmeal with cinnamon and banana slices, yogurt with granola or a smoothie made with protein powder, almond milk and your favorite fruit. Stay away from the unhealthy saturated fats, simple carbohydrates and sugar.

If you need something on the go, choose a couple of hard-boiled eggs, or some trail mix or apple slices with some peanut butter. For a beverage, choose black coffee or tea; the caffeine in either will help speed up your metabolism.

As far as how fast your body processes food, about 75 percent of the calories processed is dependent on your age, gender, weight, body composition and genetics. The other 25% is processed by the physical activity you do during the day.

Speaking of physical activity, try to work in at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Cardio is good for burning calories and will keep your metabolism elevated long after you quit your workout. Mix in a couple days per week of strength training to build more muscle. The more muscle you have, the harder your metabolism has to work to keep feeding all that muscle mass.

10 Year-End Tips for Eating Healthier

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It’s been a great year, and we want to celebrate by sharing 10 year-end tips for eating healthier with you to ring in what promises to be an awesome 2016. I’ve begun training for a marathon on the 1st of May earlier this week, and my goal is to get there totally prepared without injury, and to do something about revealing my ab muscles this year. Do you have any resolutions? If you do scroll down to the bottom of this page and leave a comment.

1) Drink water

This is simple, effective, and more necessary for your body’s best functions than most people want to believe. If you drink at least two glasses of water before breakfast, one glass before every meal, and a total of eight a day you’ll not only be hydrating yourself properly, but the water you take in before food prepares your digestive tissues as well as helping you to feel full by eating less.

read entire article here…

4 Telltale Signs That You’re Working Out Too Hard

Healthy eating and exercising regularly are the two best things you can do to help you live a long and healthy life. Most of us concerned with our health closely watch what we eat but we don’t always recognize the less obvious signs that we are over-training.

We usually recognize these obvious signs of over-training:

• Dehydration
• Dizziness
• Trouble breathing or maintaining a conversation
• Disorientation, foggy mental processing
• Rapid heart beat

But what about the less obvious ones? Many dismiss these four as nothing when in fact they are your body telling you something:

1) Withdrawal Symptoms

Exercising can be as addictive as drugs. About every 8 weeks or so, exercisers should take a week off for their body to recuperate and heal. If you find you cannot go that long without exercising and you start to experience withdrawal symptoms, you may be suffering from exercise addiction. Get some professional help.

2) Hormonal Imbalances

Over-training in women can lead to hormone imbalances that manifest themselves in skipped periods. If you don’t have a period for six months in a row, see a doctor as you might be suffering from amenorrhea that can be caused by excessive exercising.

High intensity exercising over a long period of time can also cause excess levels of cortisol in both sexes. Elevated levels of the “stress hormone” can manifest itself in decreased testosterone and a weakened immune system.

3) Weakened Immune System

Our immune systems are slightly depressed right after exercising, but soon recover. However if you are over-training, your immune system stays depressed which increases your risk of getting sick more often than you should. If you often experience flu-like systems, but don’t develop the flu, it could be a sign you are over-training.

4) Chronic Fatigue

Are you always tired or getting progressively more tired as time goes on, even after your recovery period? It could be caused from over-training. That is why fitness professionals recommend taking one week off of training approximately every two months. If you are still chronically fatigued even after taking a week off, see your healthcare professional.

If you are training a lot, then you need to be especially vigilant for any of the above signs of over-training. Many can lead to serious health-related problems if not corrected quickly. Don’t be afraid to go to your healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment. Don’t be a victim of your own training.

Why Are Processed Foods Bad for You?

Do you love fast food burgers, baked goods and delivery pizza? If so, you are eating processed foods. When you take a bite out of an apple or eat banana, you are enjoying a food that is free of processing (as long as the apple is not dipped in caramel, and the banana is not found in banana cream pie). As far as your health is concerned, you should limit the amount of processed foods you eat.

What Is a Processed Food?

The International Food Information Council Foundation defines processed food as:

Any deliberate change in a food that occurs before it’s available for us to eat.”

In that definition, simply chopping up vegetables before you eat them qualifies for the processed definition. In most cases however, processed food means “any food other than a raw agricultural commodity and includes any raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing, such as canning, cooking, freezing, dehydration, or milling.”

That is the definition from the United States Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. So simply by cooking your food, you are technically processing it. The more processes your food goes through before it gets into your body, the less nutrition it provides.

What Makes Processed Food so Bad?

Looking at the above definitions, you can see that foods you eat at restaurants, baked goods, sodas and many of the “ready-to-eat” meals you purchase at your grocer are heavily processed. Food manufacturers use refined sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, preservatives, steroids, trans fats and other unhealthy additives to extend the shelf life of the products they sell.

Unfortunately, most heavily processed foods deliver little nutritional value.

The more things you do to a natural ingredient like a fruit or vegetable, the further you strip it of its nutrients, minerals and vitamins. When all the nutritionally poor ingredients mentioned above are added to that product, it becomes even unhealthier still.

This leads to what are called “empty calories”. That is why you can eat an overabundance of processed foods, and your brain will still send a hunger signal. It notices you have received little or no nutrition, so it tells you to eat more. Since processed food in many cases is extremely addictive, you reach out for the nutrient-poor food you just ate, and create an unhealthy eating cycle.

Chemicals like sugar and salt, found in extremely high quantities in processed foods, lead to heart conditions, overweight and obesity, diabetes and other health problems. This is the danger of addictive processed foods. They deliver next to no nutrition, and trade naturally healthy ingredients with unhealthy chemicals and compounds. Eat more raw foods, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables with little processing and you can avoid the unhealthy negative side effects of processed food.