Learning to Run

It is a popular comment that running is bad for the joints. This is not the case if your body is working efficiently. However, if your muscles are not activating as they should or you perform to much running for the health of your body it can indeed be detrimental for your joints and body.

To avoid the negative effects of running you need to ensure you have addressed your posture and muscle strengths across the body so you can handle running. To this you should use very gradual increases within your training program.

The key though is listening to your body. Joggers are perhaps the most stubborn of all sportsmen, up there with racket sports players for ignoring all their aches and pains and causing more significant damage as a result.

Many people want to run yet find this mode of exercise difficult to conquer. The key is to start off easy and slowly progress it:

E.g. to build to 3km jogging.

  • Week 1: 500m (Yes, just 500m)
  • Week 2: 750m
  • Week 3: 1000m
  • Week 4: 1500m
  • Week 5: 2000m
  • Week 6: 2500m
  • Week 7: 3000m
  • Week 8: 3000m

Please note the distance increases are examples and you should tune into your body to tell you whether you can increase the distance and by how much from week to week if at all. If you have any undue pain e.g. shin, calf, foot etc you will need to halt the increases in distance until the pain has passed

Another way to begin running is to introduce periods of slow jogging and walking. This method assumes you have the aerobic fitness to achieve your goal session time walking at a good speed and that your posture and muscles are in a state to support jogging injury free and without pain. If not focus on the other areas until your body can handle jogging.

The first goal is to set out a maximum time period or distance to cover you can realistically perform a few times per week, maybe in your lunch hour, before or after work etc. Then build towards it

e.g. to build to 30 minutes jogging.

  • Week 1: 26 minutes walking 4 minutes jogging
  • Week 2: 24 minutes walking 6 minutes jogging
  • Week 3: 20 minutes walking 10 minutes jogging
  • Week 4: 15 minutes walking 15 minutes jogging
  • Week 5: 10 minutes walking 20 minutes jogging
  • Week 6: 5 minutes walking 25 minutes jogging
  • Week 7: 0 minutes walking 30 minutes jogging
  • Week 8: 0 minutes walking 30 minutes jogging

Secrets of Stamina-Building

If you’re not a morning person, then you suddenly become one! Most people hate getting up in the morning because they feel exhausted, tired, and still want to remain in bed. Imagine yourself feeling great, the complete opposite of that, each and every morning your feet hit the floor… You have the stamina to last throughout the day without needing to take a quick nap. Your increased energy levels reflect on your productiveness at work and people start to see the difference in you. You get more attention from the opposite sex and/or your significant other. You feel great and the people around you start to take notice as you impress them with the new you.

Great image, huh? You bet! And the best part is, that mental picture that I just gave you can become your reality when you: 1) Change your mindset and 2) Increase your energy levels. And the way to do this is to start building your stamina.

Why you ask? Well two reasons:

  • When you start to see progress in your attempt to build your stamina, your belief system changes. Going from an out-of-shape person to a well-build, high energy being in only a matter of weeks can and will have a very positive effect on your mindset. To sum it all up: you’ll believe more is possible and you’ll start to achieve more. It doesn’t matter how impossible your goals may seem, anything that you want to achieve can be achieved with a simple change in your mindset.
  • Building your stamina by following a training regimen each day keeps you active. Here’s a fact: when your body is inactive for a long period of time, your body gets used to it and you become lethargic. Doing the complete opposite by constantly being active will allow you to become more energetic and your daily energy levels will start to increase.

So when you start to increase your stamina, you start to increase yourself as a person and get more quality out of life. You’ll have the energy to do more.

Facilitated Stretching

Facilitated stretching is also known as “active assisted stretching,” or “PNF” (Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation), and is similar to “active isolated-stretching.” Facilitated stretching utilizes active motion and measured bodywork to enhance motor skills and increase flexibility. Involving the work of one muscle at a time, facilitated stretching is administered by gentle stretches that release the muscle before it has a chance to protectively contract.

Originally developed for patients suffering from paralysis, facilitated stretching is more than just a typical exercise. With the stretcher’s aid, this therapy helps to lengthen and contract specific muscles, relaxing and allowing movement around joint areas. Improving the body’s potential to heal itself, this beneficial exercise enhances overall performance.

In a typical session, the limbs of the client are gently stretched by a partner, practitioner or trainer. Facilitated stretching is often administered by a certified personal fitness trainer, physical therapist or experienced massage therapist, and is known to improve flexibility, range of motion, and to relieve muscle stiffness. As a general rule, stretches should not be painful, so this is a relatively non-invasive and therapeutic exercise.

For the novice or the expert athlete, facilitated stretching is beneficial in improving strength, and can be learned through a continuing education class or PNF seminar/workshop. However, there are a number of educational programs that incorporate this discipline as part of the overall curriculum. For example, there are personal fitness training courses and advanced massage programs that integrate facilitated stretching as part of an extended training course.

Eight Pack Abs

The identical method that you would go about getting six pack abs, naturally. The only distinction here is that you are now aware of the prospect of getting eight pack abs, and that you can work your way towards this objective. Without this information of course you might never be able to define that added abs pack, but now that you know, well, the rest as they say, is history, true?

But if you’ve never had a six pack, let alone contemplated having eight pack abs, how would you go about getting them? Yes, the same way as for a six pack, but what can you do to first start the process then to make sure that you keep the momentum going and get to your aim without becoming excessively side tracked.

Well, first of all, you should preferably take a good long hard look at your diet and cut out those foods and things which are not only bad for you, but which you know are certainly harmful to you! Starting here, is the best idea and you could do no better than to go out and get yourself a healthy eating book to help you out in your activities aimed at getting eight pack abs.

After checking your diet, you can then progress onto the next step of discovering the right fitness program for yourself. You can do this on your own, or you can consult with a personal fitness trainer or some such professional to help you out. This is probably more efficient than trying to go it alone and you will find that you are getting a superior overall fitness plan than if you were to do it without professional help.

Lastly, when everything else is organized and you know that you have everything in place, and that you are physically fit and able to carry through with your plans, you have only to begin on your course of exercise to get eight pack abs. It’s as simple and as complex that.

Lose Chin Fat

Many experts say the only way to lose chin fat is through weight loss or through surgical or other medical procedures, because it’s nearly impossible to exercise the chin area. They’re right about losing chin fat via these methods, but wrong about exercising the chin and adjacent areas of the face. In fact, if you want to get both the chin fat and tighten up the sags left behind, you need to lose weight and exercise the muscles around your chin.

Odds are if you have a double chin, you have excess weight on the rest of your body that you need to take off. Start with a healthy diet low in calories and fat, and an aerobic exercise program designed to burn calories and fat. Getting down to your recommended weight will get rid of the fat that fills out your double chin, but, especially in middle-aged and older people, the double chin isn’t completely gone because the area under the chin is left “holding the bag,” so to speak. Short of having a chin lift, you may not be able to get rid of the sagging skin, but by toning the muscles in the area, you can tighten the area under your chin.

It’s not been medically or scientifically proven that chin and jaw exercises help eliminate fat from the targeted areas, but neither has it been disproved. If you go to almost any of the weight loss forums, you’ll find many posts about losing a double chin and tightening the area with simple exercises. All these testimonies of positive results must count for something.

Here are some simple exercises that you can use to dispose of chin fat and tone the muscles of your jaw and upper throat.

Open your mouth, gently tilt your head backwards and move your bottom lip over your top lip; hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times. Without moving your head backwards take your lower lip of and try to touch your nose with it, repeatedly sticking your tongue to the strengthen mouth and facial muscles. To tighten up a double chin: press your hand to your forehead while resisting with your head and neck. Hold for five seconds, relax and repeat 10 times.

It’s true that liposuction removes chin fat, but it is an invasive surgery. There is the risk of being left with physical damage or an uneven or lumpy appearance under the chin, because liposuction is not a precise art. Before undergoing liposuction, you should also consider the cost and the fact that although some of the fat is gone, without a weight loss or maintenance diet and sufficient exercise, your body will still store fat under your chin, and you’ll end up with a new double chin.

Treadmill or Elliptical Trainer

These are 2 of the most popular home fitness machines on the market right now. They’re both easy to use, flexible and you can burn a lot of calories on them.

So which is best? Well, the answer may surprise you: neither.

Let’s put this a different way:

  • It depends on how you’re planning to use these machines and
  • There are new hybrid types of treadmills and ellipticals that burn more calories than either (we’ll get to those at the end).

Let’s focus on the first part: Whether a treadmill or elliptical burns more calories really depends on you.

Both machines have the capability to burn around the same amount of calories in general. But if you’re planning on walking at a high incline on your treadmill for example – you’ll burn more calories than a regular workout on your elliptical.

Or if you’re planning on using the upper body arm bars and building high resistance intervals into your elliptical workout, you’ll burn more calories on your elliptical than walking on a non-incline treadmill.

If you buy a treadmill with a desk or TV – then you may lose track of time and end up burning more calories because you work out longer than on a standard crosstrainer.

Ellipticals do have a slight advantage with upper body arms bars. If you’re planning to use these, it can help you work your upper body at the same time as your lower body.

This gives what experts call a “lower perceived rate of exertion”, meaning it doesn’t feel like you worked out (and burned as many calories) as you actually did. So you may feel less tired and actually go longer on your elliptical workout than on a treadmill (thus burning more calories).

But again, this depends on if you’re actually planning to use your arm bars (as many people don’t).

The better option for which burns more calories – a treadmill or elliptical – might be to go with a machine that you actually enjoy using every day. Because if you enjoy using it, then you’ll end up working out more frequently and burning more calories.

There are actually new machines on the market that can help you burn more calories than a treadmill or elliptical. Here are some options:

  • Incline Trainer

This is basically a treadmill that has added on a super-high incline to it. Whereas a normal treadmill usually gives you inclines of up to 10 or 15%, an incline trainer comes with incline of up to 40%!

Incline walking incinerates calories because it recruits more muscles in the legs – and this requires a lot of calories. In fact, you can burn up to 5 times the calories on one of these babies as you can on a regular treadmill.

Plus, on those days you don’t feel like working out very hard, you can lower the incline and just use this as a regular treadmill.

  • Treadclimber

The Treadclimber is another take on the traditional treadmill that lets you burn more calories – up to 3.5 times more than a regular treadmill.

It has two smaller treadbelts that rise to meet your feet as you walk. This uses a similar calorie-burning mechanism as the incline trainer above. You’re basically walking on an incline – so you burn more calories.

Plus, because the treadbelts rise to meet your feet (instead of you pounding down on them like a treadmill), you have a much lower impact than a treadmill (which is healthier for people with joint or knee issues).

  • Max Trainer Elliptical

The Max Trainer is a hybrid elliptical trainer – stair stepper with upper body arm bars that can burn up to 2.5 times the calories as a treadmill or standard elliptical.

In fact, according to the manufacturer, trial users burned up to 600 calories in 30 minutes! The Max trainer also comes with a 14 minute high intensity interval program you can use to burn maximum calories in only 14 minutes.

And, because it’s high intensity interval program, you’ll be raising your metabolic rate and burning calories for hours AFTER your workout.

So those are some things you should consider when asking the question “Which burns more calories – a treadmill or elliptical trainer?” It really comes down to how you’re planning to use the machine (incline or no incline, resistance or no resistance, arm bars or no arm bars, etc.)

Recumbent Bike Workout Plan

Experts say that it is a bike, which places the rider in a laid back reclining position. The option is slowly but steadily gaining in popularity and there are good reasons for it. Here the weight of the rider gets distributed over a large area. Alongside this even distribution of the rider’s weight, the presence of backs and buttocks certainly make this bicycle a comfortable option.

These bikes, quite similar to any of its peers, have the basic features such as wheel base, wheel size, steering and seats. However, as an exercise freak you would certainly want to know what makes these bikes special. Hence, it is essential we discuss the benefits in brief.

People who have used these bikes say that there just cannot be a better alternative for someone who intends to do cardiovascular exercise. Cycling on these bikes helps one to strengthen the heart and lungs and the body can now use oxygen in a better manner.

Riding these bikes certainly put less stress on the hip and knee region. It means that the option is perfectly suited for arthritis patients. These bikes extend the angle of the knee joint so that the knee and hip are certainly not flexing with each and every rotation.

Recumbent cycling allows one to boost up the strength and one can certainly manage weight better. This form of cycling builds up strength in the lower extremities. In general the option allows one to burn calories and maintain weight better.

The presence of a larger seat certainly makes this alternative a lot safer than the upright cycling option. The presence of a back rest adds to the comfort of the rider.

Hence, there are some good reasons as to why a fitness freak will love to head for the store and come out with a bike. However, a buyer should know that at this moment there are about 200 models of the recumbent bike at the stores. Therefore, before actually picking up something, one certainly needs to check out on a few key factors. A key area of check can be your height. It should not be a concern for someone who is tall. He probably can ride any model of the recumbent bike.

However, people who are short need to go for a lower seat height. Somebody who is overweight and has circulatory problems will want to go with a bike, which has a long wheel base and a lower bottom bracket.

One should run into recumbent bikes mainly of two major categories. Some are designed with the sole intention of offering the rider more comfort, while there are recumbent bikes, which offer better performance. One will have to make the choice accordingly. If one intends to ride fast and in areas of low traffic then the low racer model is perhaps the ideal option.

Last but not the least the price is certainly a key factor to watch out for. These bikes are a bit costly and can start anywhere in the range of $500-$1,000. It is always better to identify personal financial requirements and then make the purchase accordingly.

This is a brief guide for someone who intends to buy a recumbent bike for workout purposes. With over 200 models to choose from, it can get a bit difficult, but this article certainly offers a comprehensive insight into such bikes.

Ways To Increase Vertical Jump

While some people believe vertical leaps are solely based upon leg strength and muscles, an assortment of additional body parts play an important role in vertical jumping. This means a training program focused on the legs, abdomen, and even the arms provides some of the best ways to increase vertical jump. Below you will find a few suggestions to consider when you are interested in enhancing your impressive leap into the air:

  • Leap-ups: Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, one should jump into the air while looking straight
    ahead. Once they come down about ¼ of the way, they should immediately soar into the air. The purpose of this exercise is to train the muscles to better respond to the movements associated with jumping into the air. In the end, an improved vertical leap is the result.
  • Stretching: One of the lesser-known ways to increase vertical jump is through stretching, which provides an athlete with the flexibility needed to gracefully leap into the air.
  • Calf Raises: To start, place your heels over an object that permits them from touching the ground, such as a step or book. The object of the exercise is to go all the way up into the air and then slowly come down. First, complete the exercise using one leg and then switch to work out the other.
  • Step-Ups: With the help of a sturdy chair or bench, place one leg on the chair, and then push yourself off with the help of the other. While in the air, you should switch legs, putting the leg that was once on the ground onto the bench, and place the leg that was once the bench onto the ground. This exercise should involve a specific number of reps assigned for each leg.
  • Thrust-Ups and Burnouts: While standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, you should lock your knees and then jump up with just the help of your calves. When completing this exercise, you should only bend at the ankles. Once you land, you should immediately return to the upward position. Some people also choose whether or not to use their arms during this exercise. To complete burnouts, start in the same starting position as a thrust-up, where the toes are used to propel an individual into the air. This particular exercise focuses on jumping up by relying only on the toes and sides of the thighs.
  • Sit-Ups: In order to strengthen the abdominal core, sit-ups are considered one of the best exercises for
    enhancing explosive energy and the stability necessary to increase vertical leap. While lying flat on your back, bend your knees and raise your torso to your knees (holding the position for a moment) before lowering the torso in a slow motion.
  • Additional Techniques: Athletes looking for more ways to increase vertical jump will find an assortment of
    intriguing and challenging exercises to consider.A couple of recommendations include toe curls, box squats
    with resistance bands, snatch grip deadlifts, reverse hyperextensions, weighted ab routine, and standing
    backward medicine ball tosses.

Total Body Workout

  • First, a dumbell workout. For muscle and strength building, a pair of dumbells are a convenient and simple solution. A vast assortment of muscle building exercises can be had with dumbells.

You’ll want to pick one dumbell exercise for each major muscle group. Do a few muscle groups on one day, while performing other muscle groups on another day (in other words you don’t have to do all the muscle groups in one 20 minute workout).

After you perform a set of dumbell exercise, immediately move on to the next activity, such as…

  • Fitness ball exercises. A fitness ball can add great benefit to a total body workout. In between your dumbell sets you can perform a number of exercises on the fitness ball, most notably you can do abdominal exercises to tighten your stomach, or lower back exercises to strengthen your back.

Pushups, sit ups, and even squats can be performed with a fitness ball, adding to the total body workout.

By going from dumbells to the fitness ball, one right after the other, you can finish up the bulk of your routine in 15 minutes. Then…

  • Finish up your last 5 minutes utilizing something like a punching bag, treadmill, or simply picking an exercise like jumping jacks to round out your total body workout. Here you can go all out and finish up strong by doing an intense 5 minute round on the punching bag, or walking or running strong for 5 minutes on the treadmill, or doing sets of jumping jacks for 5 minutes.

This is a great, intense and effective workout which you can knock out in 20 minutes. You’ll be working everything in and completing an a total body workout which is both super quick and packed with variety.

Physical Fitness For Child

Exercise regulates body fat and increases metabolism so your child will be less likely to be overweight. The risk of high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels will be reduced, along with a lesser risk of developing Type II diabetes or heart disease. Your kids will become leaner, with stronger muscles and bones. Physical activity will also improve your child’s sleep pattern and their mental activities on a daily basis.

Not all children have a positive attitude towards physical activities, some children are happy to be included and run around playing until they are exhausted. Others will shy away from getting involved in team sports and other activities. These children often need encouragement from family and friends before they will become interested. One way to encourage physical activity when not at school is to get the entire family involved. This will help your child to gain confidence in themselves by participating with people they are comfortable with. This may also allow them to be able to take that confidence with them to school.

Parents should make it a point to limit the inactivity as well as find motivational techniques to get your kids to exercise. Set limits on how long they can watch T.V. or play video games. There has been a dramatic increase in the time that children spend doing these types of activities. Instead of them just sitting around, try to get your child involved in playing that is physically challenging.

By including simple exercises such as walking to school, riding their bike to a friends, or playing catch in the back yard will be a simple and easy start. Parents can become a positive role model for your children and get the whole family involved in a new healthier lifestyle. Exercise for your child should be fun as well as appropriate for their age. You may want to set up a regular exercise schedule that will include as many family members as possible.

By taking time to learn the value of exercise in your child’s overall health, you can teach them healthy fitness habits that will stay with them throughout a long and healthy life. And if you are one of the luckier ones that reads this article, you may even see some of the benefits of having an active healthy child.