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Saturday, March 17, 2012

John Is Fit

John Is Fit


What Can Interval Training Do For You?

Posted: 17 Mar 2012 04:50 AM PDT

This is a guest post by Rose McLellan.

During my years of interest in fitness, I've not found many ideas that generate quite the same divisive opinion as interval training. For those unsure as to what this is all about, interval training is simply a case of alternating between periods (usually a minute or so) of training at a very high intensity, and moving at a more moderate pace. Adaptable to most forms of cardio work, it can be adapted into pretty much any routine.

Interval Training

If you've not used intervals before, you might be a bit puzzled as to how this is better than just going at the same moderate pace. That's why I've put together this little article on exactly how intervals can benefit you:

Intervals burn more calories. Yup: if you're a calorie counter, you'll be pleased to hear that interval training has been proven to burn off more calories than standard cardio within the same time period. In that sense, it's the perfect workout if you're rather constrained by time!

It's great for increasing aerobic fitness. Whilst I'm not knocking traditional cardio (can't beat a good run in the morning!), interval training has been proven to increase aerobic fitness at a faster rate. It's used by everyone from Premier League football players to UFC fighters for that very reason. Whilst I'm not suggesting that you follow their routine to the letter (I certainly wouldn't), adopting a shorter interval routine will whip you into shape quickl

It can kill boredom. If you're like me, you've found that one of the biggest problems with a longer cardio session isn't the fitness or the motivation, but the boredom. Let's face it; staring at a mirror whilst on the treadmill isn't exactly a thrilling experience, is it? Not only is interval training quicker, it's far more intense: trust me, I have NEVER been bored during an interval session!

It burns more fat. A fact about interval training: it means you can work out for less time, and still lose more of the blubber! High intensity interval training has been proven to burn off more fat and substantially improve insulin action than standard cardio work can in the same time period. Whilst it's not magic (no magic is that knackering), it really is the perfect way to lose fat without becoming a gym rat.

I hope that the above reasons will give you guys a reason to try and drop some interval training into your routine. Good luck!

Post from: John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog

What Can Interval Training Do For You?

Are Those Late Night Infomercials Really Onto Something When It Comes to Building Solid Abs?

Posted: 17 Mar 2012 04:35 AM PDT

This is a guest post by Hasic M.

The Total Gym. The Ab Circle. The Ab Rocket — and let’s not forget its new younger brother, the Ab Rocket Twister. The Ab Circle Pro.

Getting caught up by all of the glittery advertisements and commercials for these machines that all seem to know what you want?

So were we. Indeed, the allure of ripped abs is such that it can feel tempting to do whatever you have to do to get there, even if it’s putting don hard earned cash to get these specialized machines.

Is it worth getting? Perhaps it can be, but there are bigger questions afoot.

Solid Abs

Targeting the Moby Dick of Myths about Ripped Abs

The fitness and diet industries are twin titans that carry a multi-billion dollar value for a reason — they target core desires that we all have.

Who doesn’t want to lose weight, feel great, and have tight abs that you could wash laundry on? That’s what we thought.

The great white whale of myths surrounding building abs is that focusing on the abs only is going to make sure that you get a nice set.

That’s not the case at all. The truth is that he body is a very dynamic system.

So yes, when you pick up one of these abs machines, you’re naturally going to be burning some calories.

However, the body tends to reset itself quickly, preferring to stay in balance.

Thus, you will need to vary workouts and keep the body guessing in order to push forward to the abs that you want most.

Spot reducing any part of the body is impossible — but if you focus on a comprehensive program to get your abs in line, you’ll find that the rest of the body is more than willing to comply.

Save Money, Develop Your Body as a Whole

Stop here and think about how you want to really look. Get in front of a mirror and imagine that you are an artist with a paintbrush that can sculpt and shape the way you ultimately want to look.

Despite what the diet industry will tell you, you need to have the complete plan in place if you really want to lose the weight and feel healthy for a change.

That’s going to be hard for some to accept, because there’s so many different ways to build a program, but this is an important step.

If you look at people that have worked for years to not only gain rock hard abs, but keep them, you’ll find that they got really scientific with the process.

Embracing Your Inner Scientist For Rock Hard Abs

Tracking, testing, refining, and re-implementing are going to be the tools of the trade. Know who that gives you common ground with? Scientists.

We can’t just say “eat this amount of calories and work out 30 minutes a day and you’ll have abs.”

Clinical studies that you won’t look up and scientists that you’ll just tune out aren’t the answer here.

It’s going to be time for you to take responsibility for the abs that you want.

Most programs will tell you that diet is important, but do you really know what you eat?

It’s been proven time and time again that humans over or underestimate how much they actually eat.

You might want a tight physique, but if you aren’t feeding yourself the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and even fats, you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle — if you ever win the battle to begin with.

Diet is important because you will need to ensure that you are working on fat loss as well as muscle gain and definition. If you have a high body fat percentage, you cannot get your abs to show.

Where Does that Leave the Ab Exercise Machines?

Hopefully in the company’s warehouse, never to show up on your doorstep. But if you’ve already invested money into getting some of these machines, don’t worry — a lot of people have done the very same thing.

You can sell the machine to free up space in your home for other more interesting fitness tools of the trade, like resistance bands or free weights.

If you want to hold onto it just because you like it and it’s a fun workout, that’s not a problem — but if you really want to build those abs, it might be time to look into some strength training programs that help you shred body fat and sculpt your whole person, such as the Wendler 5/3/1 and StrongLifts 5×5.
Take care!

Post from: John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog

Are Those Late Night Infomercials Really Onto Something When It Comes to Building Solid Abs?

Common workout derailments and how to stay on track

Posted: 17 Mar 2012 04:12 AM PDT

This is a guest post by Joe Pawlikowski.

Stop me when this sounds familiar: You’re progressing in your workouts, diligently working through every one. You’re enjoying it, and you’re getting into a groove that makes you feel unstoppable. But then something unexpected comes up, and it sets you back considerably. Things return to normal, but you’ve lost all that motivation you built up. And so your fitness goals stagnate.

It happens to the best of us, so it’s bound to happen to you. That is, if you don’t make preparations now. By planning ahead for these unforseen circumstances, you can ensure that they don’t derail your workout plans. Here are a few common derailments and the easy cure.

Traveling

It’s one thing if you stop working out on vacation. That’s a time for rest and relaxation, so perhaps you’re setting fitness aside for the week. There’s nothing wrong with that. And, since you plan vacations in advance, you have probably planned your week off from the gym in advance. So there are no problems here.

The biggest offender here is a work trip. These are often cost-monitored, which can lead to problems. Sure, you might not mind sleeping in a cheap hotel. A bed’s a bed. But cheap hotels are cheap for a reason. Chances are it doesn’t have a gym. If it does, it’s probably shoddy and essentially unusable. And there are few more disappointing feelings than walking into a hotel gym and realizing they have none of the equipment you need.

The best solution is to always have a bodyweight workout ready to go. I’ve always dug Men’s Health’s hotel room workout, because it’s straightforward and simple. You can do it every day you’re on your trip, since it takes just 15 minutes every morning and isn’t too taxing on your muscles. Just make sure you have one of these ready to go. That way there’s no thought involved.

Getting sick

This happened to me earlier this year, so I’m particularly sympathetic. I felt the cold coming on one morning as I was preparing for the gym, but decided to ignore it. But by the next day I was too worn out to go. I still wanted to, since my symptoms were above my neck. Of course, that meant exposing others at the gym to my germs, so that meant no working out.

As with travel, you should have a plan in place for when you get sick. It should include at least one day with no activity. Sleep in, if you can, and go to bed early. Your body needs sleep to recover, so the more you’re snoozing the more you’re healing. While there’s a chance you can exercise, it’s best to hold off. If your body is recovering from a working at the same time it’s recovering from an illness, it can’t properly focus on one or the other.

It’s best to have a plan in place that covers a number of days on the shelf, since something like the flu can make it impossible to even leave the bed. If you need just one day off for a cold, it shouldn’t hurt too much. But if you need four or five days off for the flu you need a plan. The best plans involve an easy workout — maybe a hotel room workout — to get back into the groove slowly. It’s definitely not recommended that you jump right back into your regular routine with your regular weights. Your body is still recovering, even when you start feeling better. Treat it gently.

An emergency

Our final workout derailment somewhat combines the first two. It will also probably take your mind off your workouts for a bit. Emergencies of all types crop up in our lives. It’s impossible to plan for them specifically, but you can still have a plan in mind for general emergency situations. It’ll help you get back into your groove once you’re done attending to this serious business.

The wild card here is that oftentimes emergencies can be emotionally draining. A death in the family can not only take us away from our workouts for a period of time, but it can leave us without motivation to get back into the groove. At this point the plan doesn’t involve a certain kind of workout. It involves an emotional checklist, and perhaps some emotional cues, to get back into the normal swing.

It’s tough to nail down what to do here, because everyone has different emotional cues. For me, it’s music. Like most gym-goers, I listen to music while I work out. But I find that when I’m emotionally drained and unmotivated, listening to music before my workout helps. You can apply this to anything that enhances your mood. Do it before your workout, and you’re more likely to get through it. It might seem petty and trivial at the moment, given your recent emergency, but if fitness is important to you it’ll come back eventually. You might as well get back on the horse as quickly as you can.

Surely there are other circumstances and events that can derail a workout. What are some of the obstacles you’ve faced, and how have you gotten yourself back on track?

Post from: John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog

Common workout derailments and how to stay on track

Five Weight Loss Methods that might do more harm than good

Posted: 17 Mar 2012 04:03 AM PDT

This is a guest post by Natasha.

Weight loss is not an option anymore, it's a compulsion, and an obsession for the millions of people worldwide who are ready to go through any torture to get that perfect tummy, that gorgeous flat stomach and the so called perfect abs. These obsessions are further strengthened by the images of those divas portrayed by the media. Add to that the companies that banks on this insatiable obsession of people and keep bringing about solutions and methods that does more harm than good. From liposuction to crash diets, people are stopping at nothing to get a flat figure. Here are five harmful weight loss methods, which are absolutely not recommended to commoners.

Weight Loss

1). Liposuction – Easy Way Out?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure of removing fats from the body via the "suction" procedure. Suction tubes, known as cannula are inserted into various parts of the body and the fat is gradually sucked out. Common areas for fat suctions are neck, chin, arms, buttocks, things and mainly the abdomen. Liposuction is beneficial only for people who suffer from fatty tumors, gynecomastia (fatty breast tissues in men) or Lipodystrophy syndrome (fat metabolism disturbance).

It should be noted that liposuction is not primarily a weight loss solution. It is only a surgical procedure to remove fats and to change body contour. A risky process, it can cause infection, scaring, numbness and even dents of lose hanging skin after the operation. It is also compulsory for the person to maintain a healthy life style otherwise fat cells may grow bigger. People who are not medically obese are advised not to opt for liposuction and should instead focus on working out and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

2). Crash Diets – The Starving Stigma

An extremely popular and yet an equally harmful way of losing weight is to starve or to go on a crash diet. Teenagers, women and even men find this an easy way to shed off some pounds. Starving for 3 to 4 days and surviving only on water or vegetables is not going to help you. Your energy level will go through a drastic drop and this will affect your work, study, daily routine, moods, internal health, as well as your life!

Crash diets will only give you a "weaker" look, instead of a healthy slim look. You will have dark circles under your eyes, low blood pressure, and even difficulty in breathing. Instead of putting yourself through this torture, just eat fewer proportions, avoid fatty and oily foods and eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables along with brown bread and grilled chicken throughout the week. This will also be easy to maintain and you can always swap from chicken to fish and beef anytime of the week.

3). Diet Pills – Torture for Your Body

Diet pills might work, but they often work by killing your body's healthy functions every now and then. Containing harsh chemicals and pharmaceutical ingredients, they are not the healthy answer to weight loss dilemmas. Thousands of people have reported to be effected by the drastic effects of diet pills, including increased defecation, digestive disruptions, constipation disorders, bowel movement disorders, rectal pain and many other gastrointestinal issues. Would you put up with so many dangerous ailments just to lose a few pounds of fats, which you could easily do with daily workouts? Think before you buy some of those new pills in the market, be they herbal or pharmaceutical, they rarely help and sometimes do more harm than good.

4). Laxatives – Killing Your Digestive System

Laxatives are used by people with bowel movement disorders. Taken under medical supervision, they should not be used by healthy people who just want to lose weight. You cannot lose pounds by emptying your body of food particles, especially when you are already consuming very minimal food. This is a dangerous method and is also quite irrational. Unless you are suffering from a bowel problem, laxatives taken for weight loss will only lead to fluid loss, also known as water retention. You can even suffer from cardiac arrest.

5). Compulsive Exercise – Burning Calories or Breaking Your Body?

Just because exercise is good, doesn't mean you get on to compulsive, obsessive exercising. Forcing your body to go on a rigorous exercise regime without proper intake of calories is going to get you on a hospital bed very soon. There are people who do cardio exercises up to two to three hours a day, without understanding the unnecessary stress they are putting on their bodies.

The ideal exercise routine should be something like half an hour on daily basis. Even then you have to do a variety of exercises instead of sticking to just one exercise form. Compulsive exercise will make your body lose vital energy and it will forever be in a frantic pace to cover up for the massive amount of energy loss. Not only will this overwork the organs but will cause cardiac arrest, kidney failure and even asthma.

Conclusion:

Losing weight is not that difficult a task. You just need to have a moderate plan with ample time allocated to working out, eating balanced and well cooked meals, and staying active. Never rely on one of those "quick weight loss promises" as they are effective only for the first two weeks, after which you will go through a year of physical pains and illness.

Post from: John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog

Five Weight Loss Methods that might do more harm than good

How to Get Back Into an Exercise Routine

Posted: 17 Mar 2012 03:48 AM PDT

This is a guest post by Marie.

New Year’s has come and gone and the resolutions of most people lie abandoned in a ditch or are dusty from lack of use. It’s easy to start strong and then putter out. But there’s no time like NOW (as in, you know, today) to get back into it. Your routine may have lagged for a number of reasons. Your routine may have been boring or too complicated. Maybe it was too extreme — waking up with sore muscles the day after an intense workout is not enjoyable for some people. Get back into shape by following these tips and re-booting your routine.

Exercise

Try Something Low Impact

Many people think they are “feeling the burn” when they are really just injuring him or herself. You are working out to get healthier, not create problems. If you absolutely despised your old routine, it could be that it was too intense. Avoid injuring yourself by trying a low impact workout, such as using ellipticals. Unlike running on cement or bicycling, using an elliptical machine does not put stress on your joints or lead to pain the next day. You can go as slow or as fast on the machine as you like, getting in a great cardio workout. Items like yoga balls and resistance bands can also provide an excellent workout but protect you from injury.

Bring a Friend

Going at it alone can be incredibly boring. You don’t have anyone to talk to as you run or workout and no one to push you on that last set of weight lifting. You’ll both hold each other accountable too, so you won’t just have yourself to answer to if you skip a workout. Getting a friend to workout with you gives you motivation to get back into a routine and gives you a chance to socialize.

Spice It Up

Make exercising exciting by trying a different workout style or routine every so often. The same routine over and over bores you and your muscles. Before long you will both plateau. Instead, add different styles every other day or so. For example, take a Pilates class or DVD once a week, go for a walk or look into the thousands of workout videos available free on Youtube.com for some thinspiration. Most likely, your community also offers group adult classes in dance, tai chi or something similar that can challenge you in a new way.

Cement the Habit

It’s hard to get back into a habit once you’ve dropped it. One way to reinforce a new habit or reboot an old one is to commit to it for a month or longer. Tell yourself that you’ll exercise each day for 30 days. Breaking a large goal into smaller, approachable pieces makes it easier to achieve. You don’t have to exercise for hours each day, even 15 minutes will suffice. At the end of 30 days, your new routine should be such a regular habit that you don’t even think twice about it.

As with many things, the hardest part is starting. Although morbid, I like to take a “not getting any younger” approach — it will NEVER be easier for you to workout than it is today. So why not try before the going gets really tough? Find a routine that's healthy, a buddy who’s reliable and an attitude that’s positive then get yourself back to the gym.

Post from: John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog

How to Get Back Into an Exercise Routine

Shooting Off the Calories with Tagging

Posted: 17 Mar 2012 03:34 AM PDT

This is a guest post by Penny Cooper.

Laser tag is a military-style game where your aim is to shoot off your opponents. The more points you or your team accumulates, greater the chances of you winning. The guns used are a replica of military weapons the only difference being, they emit infra-red beams instead of bullets.

The laser tag work out

Laser tagging entails quite a deal of physical activity. It is great in terms of a cardio workout and also stimulates circulation and the burning of calories. This game demands certain degree of strategic planning to gain an upper hand over your opponent. This makes it a great mental work out too. Outdoor laser tagging additionally gives you a reason to be outdoors and take in some fresh air and there is no stress while shooting your opponent, because the beam does not injure anyone.

The running and dodging activity is a great stimulant and helps loosen up those muscles which may have stiffened over long hours of sitting. The pace of the game can be varied according to the terrain. Indoor games are usually faster paced, while outdoor games can get quite adventurous with the setting up of snipers and arenas meant for ambush. Themes are varied; some may resemble an urban warzone while other may be modeled on a tropical forest with dense foliage. Laser tagging is extremely safe and can be played by a wide range of people from young to old.

It is a great team building sport and many organizations use it to help better employee relationships as well as fitness. Outdoor games force members to strategize and work together in a team while indoor games present an entire different set of hurdles and challenges.

Additional benefits

Laser tagging can tire you. All the running around is a great way to stimulate a good appetite. Instead of curbing that hunger with junk food, eat healthy. Vitamin C rich foods great anti-oxidants, fruits and vegetables can make healthy snacks and they can be quite tasty too. A simple salad and fruit juice is a great way to satisfy your cravings after an exciting game of laser tagging. Be sure to drink adequate amounts of water and consume protein rich foods. Water not only flushes out toxins, but also improves your metabolism.

Laser tagging is a safe and interesting game that can be played by anyone who holds a fascinating for something mentally and physically stimulating. The group size can also be varied and with greatly affect how demanding your game is. It can be engaged in anytime and laser tagging centers are fully equipped, eliminating the need for you to invest in sports equipment.

A new source of fitness

With the rising popularity of this sport among people of all ages, it is being increasingly seen in fitness centers and spas. The motivation fueled by this sport is also known to be a great stress reliever. Laser tagging your way through the gym is sure to keep your body in good form aside for probably knocking off a few calories as long as it is coupled with a healthy diet.

Post from: John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog

Shooting Off the Calories with Tagging

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