Benefits Bowflex Max Elliptical

Takes Up Less Space In Your Home

The Bowflex Max takes up less space in your home than a standard elliptical trainer. With a footprint of around 46.1″ L x 25″ W it’s about half the size of a regular elliptical or a treadmill.

This is great for smaller workout areas, condos or apartments. With a lower step on height than many ellipticals you also need less space above you (ceiling height) than a crosstrainer as well.

You need about your height plus 15 inches above you for the Max Trainer to fit comfortably in your room. So if you’re 6 feet tall you need a ceiling height of around 6 + 1 foot and 3 inches (15 inches) which gives you a ceiling height of 7 foot 3 inches.

Engages More Core Muscles

Tests in the Bowflex lab showed that the Max trainer engages more core and lower body muscles than a standard elliptical.

It also engages up to 80% more upper body muscles. So you’re getting a better whole body workout – which helps you tone up quickly.

You Don’t Need A Lot of Time To See Results

Bowflex designed special high intensity training workouts that are included with each Max Trainer model.

The most popular one is the 14 minute high intensity workout. You get all the cardio benefits of a much longer workout in just 14 minutes. If you’re too busy to workout or you don’t have a lot of time in your day this is a great way to make sure you still get fitness results.

Take Advantage of the Afterburn Effect

High Intensity training workouts like the ones you find on the Bowflex Max elliptical have been shown to keep your metabolism revved and burning calories for up to 48 hours post workout.

So again, this is another way you’re going to burn calories (even after your workout) on this trainer.

Online Tracking Now Available

Bowflex has added Bluetooth tracking on the M5 and M7 models. You can track your activity and calories burned using the free Bowflex App on your phone. This is a great way to stay motivated, set and reach new goals.

So is there a downside to the Max Trainer? Well, it does take some getting used to as this is more of a climbing, vertical motion vs a regular elliptical flat running motion that most people are used to.

So if you’re new to this kind of exercise, start slow and listen to your body. Only do what you can.

Another challenge Bowflex faces is that they’re not the only game in town anymore. There are similar machines coming out like the Proform Cardio HIIT Trainer with different options for people to choose from.

Energy and Exercise

Energy and Exercise go hand in hand. They cannot be separated. Since that is how it is, to put a qualification such as health or age on either is stopping short of the wonderful circle they form. Some consider it a vicious circle. Little energy therefore little physical exertion leads to even less energy therefore no physical exertion.

It should not be that way. Energy and exercise or physical exertion form a wonderful circle. A circle that enhances and improves health, mental alertness, physical stamina and sexual stamina. However to get energy one must exercise. In return exercise offers more energy. The key is where to begin. Age, overall health and physical condition and any physical disabilities must be taken into consideration.

The first thing to do when considering any exercise regimen is consult with any physicians whose care you are under. Once they have advised you medically start where you are. In other words, if you are having trouble walking to the mailbox and back, then walk halfway to the mailbox the first day. Take a few more steps each day till getting to the mailbox is no longer an over-exertion. The next day continue past your mailbox and pick up the mail on the way back… and so on.

If you want to do some kind of specific exercise regimen make certain you choose a workout that you will enjoy. Choosing a particular workout simply because you believe it will be the most beneficial to you physically may not work. If you hate doing it, you will burn out fast. Obviously, some exercise is better than a great exercise program you are not doing!

Make certain you stay hydrated. The formula for determining your daily water requirement is: your body weight divided by two. That number is the minimum number of ounces you need to consume to stay properly hydrated. Exercise helps cleanse your body of toxins through sweat so adequate water intake is even more important when you are exercising.

Eat foods that will fuel your body. These included nuts, seeds, whole-grain breads and animal proteins. Be certain to follow any dietary restrictions before including any of these foods into your diet. Stay away from refined sugar and caffeine. They may give you an energy boost, but it will be short-lived and leave you with less energy once the boost is over.

Wear comfortable clothing that moves with you and wicks moisture away from your body. You want to sweat when it is appropriate for your degree of workout. Remember sweating helps remove toxins from your body, but there is nothing comfortable about being in constricting, soaking wet clothing as a result.

Working out with a personal trainer is a wonderful option if your budget can handle it. Interview several before you choose one. You will want someone who gives you individualized instruction, is familiar with all of your health issues and is on the same page as you as it relates to physical fitness goals.

Fine Tune Breathing

These exercises should be enjoyable to you, so know your limits and don’t push so that it becomes a burden, You could begin and/or end your day with the following practice. A deep breath begins in he stomach, using the diaphragm like a bellows to draw the air deep in the bottom of the lungs. Imagine filling a glass with water as you breathe in slowly through your nose, pushing your stomach outward. When you feel you have stretched your stomach as much as you can, begin to expand your chest, filling the area with oxygen. Continue to breathe in and raise your shoulders. Hold for the count of five and exhale deeply through your mouth. This should calm your mind as well as your body.

Now, what is it about breathing that can help you take off the pounds? A few minutes of deep breathing can stimulate the body to take in more oxygen into your bloodstream, helping to clear away buildup in the arteries and other toxins. As a result, the blood gets pumps throughout the body more quickly making you more energized and feeling more like able to exercise.

Oxygen is necessary for 90% of metabolic processes or daily activities in the body. Food is only needed for 10% of those processes. Respiratory functions in many people are below average because of shallow breathing such as not allowing the lungs to expel the carbon dioxide, water and other wast products of respiration as well as the starving of our cells. It is a fact that cancer cells thrive in an oxygen deficient environment. Just some of the benefits of acquiring the habit of deep breathing in your life would be reduced blood pressure, increased feeling of calmness, better digestion, a tighter core, higher energy levels and increased awareness of your body functions.

Last but not least is this affective technique to flush toxins out of your lymph system. It is, “sniff breathes.” Simply, sniff quickly through your nose four short sniffs to fill your lungs as full as you can, hold just a bit, and then exhale slowly and deeply pushing all the air out of your body. For a pick me up, your breaths will be short and intense. To bring on calmness and reduce stress you would hold the breath longer. Breath, life and spirit are one when they are in harmony.

Treadclimber Model Comparison

First of all, Bowflex makes 3 different models: the TC5, TC10 and TC20 (note that these have replaced the old TC1000, TC3000 and TC5000 models which have been discontinued).

The TC5 is the most affordable model at around $999. However it’s also very basic with no frills. It is non-motorized, which means it works more like a manual treadmill in that you power the belt yourself with your feet.

However it still works like a standard Treadclimber with rising dual belts and can help you burn calories very quickly. The upside of having no motor is that it’s quieter than the other models. Plus you can also place it anywhere in the room – it doesn’t need to be near a plug outlet.

The console is also quite simple, with only one small console window that toggles back and forth showing your calories burned, speed, distance and time. There is no heart rate monitor and you are covered by a 1 year warranty.

The next model up is the TC10 at around $2199. It is the most affordable motorized Treadclimber and gives you a rear step platform that you don’t get with the TC5. This is a great safety feature and makes it easier to get on and off the machine.

The TC10 also comes with 4 different console windows so you can see all your stats at once and don’t have to toggle back and forth. It stores and tracks workout information for 1 user and adds a G.O. coach which shows the weekly progress of 1 user towards a 90 minute goal.

It comes with a 2 year warranty and is the top selling model in the Treadclimber series.

The next model up – the “luxury” treadclimber – is the TC20, coming in around $3299. This motorized Treadclimber gives you longer treadles that other units (great for taller users) and a much larger, backlit console showing all of your information at once.

It comes with 8 built-in workouts and integrated heart rate tracking – something else you don’t get with the other machines.

It also stores and track information for up to 2 different users, which makes it ideal for homes with multiple-users. It also carries the longest warranty – up to 3 years.

So those are the main differences between Treadclimber models. It’s basically up to you, your goals and your budget as to which machine is best for you.

Static Stretching

What to stretch

Which muscle to stretch is a difficult question. In general stretching all muscles can be beneficial but the focus must be to find the tight ones and relax them. This is because it is the tight muscles that will cause injury. Tightness is relative issue rather than absolute, for example, being able to touch your toes cannot be said to be a good or bad sign of flexibility unless it is compared to the flexibility of the opposing muscle groups. Differences from side to side of the body are also significant factors in injury, for example, having the left hamstring tighter than the right.

To find out which muscles are tight complete some stretch tests. Then focus on the muscles that are tight on your body. Frequently retest for changes in flexibility and focus for your stretching campaign.

When to stretch

Static stretching should be done after an exercise session or later in the day. E.g. before bed time. Do not do static stretching if you have not done your active stretching routine at some point during that day as your body is not loosened enough to make any progress.

Points to note

  • Pain inhibits stretching, do not ever feel pain when stretching, you have gone too far if you do.
    Do not try and push the stretches, e.g. I seen people try to break their back in an attempt to touch their toes. Just be patient and use the techniques described.
    Do not be too concerned with time to hold each stretch, gauge it by how the muscle releases tension. Remember also something is better than nothing

Stretching methods

The three types of stretching routine are called basic hold, hold relax, hold contract.

Basic hold

  • Take the stretch to the point of tightness and hold for between 20 – 30 seconds.

Hold – relax

  • Take to the comfortable point of tightness and hold.
    Continue holding until the muscles relax (20 – 60 seconds)
    Now take a deep breath in and out and move the stretch onto the next point of tightness.
    Repeat as necessary

Hold – contract

  • Take to the comfortable point of tightness.
    Now contract the muscle being stretched as hard as possible for 5 – 10 seconds.
    Relax, wait 3 seconds and take to the next comfortable point of tightness.
    Repeat by contracting the muscle once again for 5 -10 seconds.
    Do up to 5 contractions then change stretch before repeating as necessary

Static stretching exercises

Once you have discovered what muscles are tight and in need of stretching. The easiest way to do this is using some simple stretch test. Alternatively stretch the whole body and see which muscles feel really tight.

Then choose any stretch that targets your tight muscles. There are hundreds of different stretches but as long as your tight muscle is being stretched without hurting anywhere else on the body then do not worry about the merits of two similar exercises.

  • Perform 3 or 4 times per week after a workout or while at home.
    Do not force any stretch, just let the body take you to a comfortable point of tightness.
    Use the hold relax or hold contract on muscles deemed particularly tight.
    Be particularly vigilant about over stretching the muscles during a hold contract.
    Do not allow a partner to push/stretch your muscles, they do not know how tight your muscles are or how hard to push!

 

Kids to Work Out Made Easy

Make it a Group Activity

Children enjoy anything in the company of their friends and peers. Since this problem is common to all parents, it should not be hard to find other kids in your vicinity to take a walk together with your little ones. Alternatively, you can talk to other parents to sign up your kids in the same sports club or a fun activity class. If nothing else works, take your kids to the community park with foam padding for playground surface, where they can make friends and socialize with other children their age while you sit on the benches and keep an eye on them.

Make Your Backyard a Game Zone

Add some tapes on the sidewalk to make a board game where kids get to become the game pieces themselves. They jump and gallop trying to avoid touching the tape and get scores with how many boxes or lines they are able to jump. This would make the game fun and also add a healthy dose of physical activity to their play time.

Have Your Own Treasure Hunt

Almost every school going child has a phone these days, or at least parents do. All you have to do for this fun workout activity is to note down interesting things in your neighborhood. Ask your little ones to take a round around the area and take pictures of the things mentioned in the treasure map. The kid to spot most things gets the winning prize. Alternatively, you can hide trinkets and toys around your own house or garden and get the little ones on a treasure hunt. The finder gets to be the keeper. This will keep your kids busy and active for hours without making them bored.

Make Household Chores Into a Game

Ask your kids to clean up their rooms or pick up all the toys and put them in a basket. Use a stopwatch to time them and the one to do it in least amount of time gets to be the winner. In this way, the little ones will also learn to do chores around the house and have fun at the same time. Have a race on who finishes their milk first and who gets to change into night clothes fastest. This would make their whole day’s activities fun and give them frequent doses of physical exercise too.

Stop Isolating Abdominals

More work is not good work. While training the other day, I watched a girl exercising with her friend, and in the time it took me to do my full body workout, they spent the whole time working their abdominals.

Now, considering it takes me 30 minutes to complete a workout, that is a ridiculous amount of time to focus on such a small muscle group. They did floor crunches, leg raises, ball crunches, and some machine crunches for good measure.

Herein lies the problem…

Granted, these girls had flat stomachs, but everything around their abdomen was out of line.

Their posture was stooped, their shoulders were rounded and their upper backs were weak. They had obviously decided that their goal was a flat, toned stomach, at the expense of all else.

How many more people do I have to watch working their abdominals to obliteration, in the belief that they’re about to carve themselves a superior six pack, and therefore a more desirable body?

Listen. Use the body as it was designed. Work it as a unit, not a series of isolated muscles. Stick to squats, lunges, push ups, and weight training sitting or lying on the swiss ball.

Supplement these effective exercises with clean eating, less sugar and less alcohol.

THESE are the right ways to build yourself a healthy ‘six pack’ or a toned flat stomach – one that will actually work. If you have excess bodyfat in this area you will NEVER see your abdominal muscles, unless you get your cardio and your eating right first.

Doing endless abdominal exercise is NOT the path to a smoother, flatter stomach. I never isolate just my abdominals, yet I have a visibly toned stomach, thanks to weight training that challenges every muscle in my body, moving it as it was designed, and clean healthy eating that keeps my bodyfat low enough to see them.

I can guarantee that I burned more fat and worked more of my body in the time it took these girls to ‘hit’ their abs. What’s more, I guarantee that my abs got more of a workout in the process.

Yours will too if you simply focus on good quality total-body exercises. Stick to the best; squats, lunges, step ups, push ups, chest press, deadlifts and Plank exercises.

Benefits of Sauna

Sauna uses heat to make you sweat. It is commonly believed that sweating and perspiration is the body’s natural way to cleanse itself. Sweating cleanses the pores of our skin it purges unwanted pollutants. This will clean the skin resulting to a softer glow and clearer complexion. But more than a beauty enhancer, saunas can bring total health benefits for you.

Saunas are known to improve blood circulation. A good circulation can improve over all body functions especially the heart and other vital organs. Body metabolism will also improve if you will undergo sauna therapy. Sauna baths are also known to relieve pains. When the body becomes heated, the brain releases natural pain killers which can relieve and alleviate muscle pains, joint pains, headaches, and migraine. These pain killers are responsible for relaxing tensed muscles. Saunas are also effective if you want to have a less strenuous weight loss program. Heat can burn excess fats and bad cholesterol. You can sit back, sweat out your fats, and achieve weight loss using saunas. A therapeutic sauna bath can also effectively detoxify your body. Toxins and body impurities are accumulated because you are constantly exposed to pollution. When you sweat during a regular sauna session, these toxins and impurities are purged from your system.

The benefits you can get from sauna are numerous. That’s why it is still a popular health therapy for many people. The good thing about sauna is you can have this kind of therapy at the comforts of your home. There are many varieties of portable steam saunas which are generally available on the market. You can have it pre-fabricated you can assemble it at home and add luxury to your daily life. There are also mini saunas and portable steam rooms which you can use anywhere and wherever you go. You can bring it during vacations or when you have extended business trips. Some types of portable saunas are very small and can be folded you can include it in your luggage. The portability offered by modern mini saunas will allow you to have daily sauna sessions to really achieve maximum effect.