Sunday, May 27, 2012

John Is Fit

John Is Fit

3 Overweight Beginner Runner Tips

Posted: 27 May 2012 04:35 AM PDT

This is a guest post by David Dack.

Starting a running program with the right training strategies is key to staying injury-free and achieving long-term consistency—this is especially true if you're an overweight person. In fact, overweight people should be extremely cautious when it comes to starting a high impact activity such as running as they are more prone to experience injury and burnout.

Therefore, if you're an overweight person who's seeking the best approach to tackle a running program, then below are 3 of the best guidelines to help get the most out of your training sessions while steering clear of injury and early setbacks.


Beginner Running Tip 1: Walk First, Run Later

One the most common gaffes among novice runners, overweight or not, is trying to do too much too soon at quick of a pace. Or what's commonly known as overtraining. This is a recipe to disaster and can only leave you injured and discouraged. Nevertheless, you can avoid this pitfall by starting slowly and building the intensity up gradually.

For that, walking first is the best approach. Of course, you can introduce the running later on but only when you feel confident enough about your cardio power. You may be excited about your new weight loss goals, however, that's no excuse to overdo the exercise. Doing so will only backfire on you. Instead, follow a walk-run-walk training pattern and see your fitness level increase gradually with each training session.

Beginner Running Tip 2: Check your Pulse

One of the most overlooked training tools among beginner runners is keeping tags on proper heart rate. See, most beginners get obsessed with the scale that they totally ignore the importance of heart rate for healthy performance. This is a big mistake. For starters, checking your pulse on a regular basis can help you spot the risk of overtraining before it gets any worse. For instance, if your pulse is spikier—6 to 12 beats per minute—than its usual pace, then the chances of overtraining are high. No panic here. You only need to back off a bit and only resume the training when your heart rate has dropped to its normal pace.

Secondly, regular checkups can help you keep track of your progress. See, as the training progresses forward, your heart becomes much more adept at pumping blood to your body and working muscles. Hence it'll need less beats to do the similar task for you as it used to do. For that reason, if you take notice in a drop of your heart rate, embrace it and congratulate yourself. That's a cheers sign you're heading into the right direction.

Beginner Running Tip 3: Take Recovery

Taking ample recovery during your first weeks of training is mandatory. In fact, recovery and consistent progress go hand in hand. You can't get one without the other. The human body needs adequate time to adapt to the training load so it gets stronger for future workouts. Otherwise, skipping on recovery day will only leave you extremely fatigued and prematurely disappointed.

As a result, make sure to space out your training days with a recovery day. Take as much recovery as you need especially after a hard training session or when your heart rate is unusually spiky. Not only will recovery days help your body to get stronger, it'll also help you keep your mind fresh and have positive outlook on training. Your mental energy plays a crucial rule as well.

Here you have it. Now you have a basic knowledge of what it takes to start and keep running without much trouble. These are the 3 tips you need if you want to keep training within your fitness levels. Nonetheless, speed of implementation is key to success. So take action now!

photo by: midwestnerd

Post from: John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog

3 Overweight Beginner Runner Tips

How to form an exercise habit

Posted: 27 May 2012 04:25 AM PDT

This is a guest post by David Dack.

Making exercise a daily habit is the way to go if you're looking to achieve staggering consistency with your training program, thus get the fitness results and the body of your dreams. On the other hand, letting momentum dictate your exercise choices can spell disaster on your fitness resolution and overall health levels.

As a result, to take control over your exercise program, you must turn it into a habit. For that, here are 6 ways that can help.


Start simple

The human mind dreads complexity. As a result, to successfully turn your exercise resolution into a habit, you need to follow a simple and straightforward program. Otherwise, confusion and bewilderment will take their toll on your fitness vision, thus leading to more frustrations and setbacks. Opt for a simple yet challenging program; try out running or cycling if the gym is no option.

Commit to thirty days

The best way to turn your exercise—or any other activity—into a daily habit is by making the commitment to stick to the new activity for 4 consecutive weeks, non-stop. The act of engaging in the activity forces your body to readapt and establish the new habit—even if you're not a big fond of it from the get go. For more, make sure to sketch out your new resolution on paper by writing and rewriting your training goals on a daily basis; this usually boosts motivation and leads to better consistency.

Peer up with a partner

Human beings are social creatures. No doubts. And turning your exercise into a mini-social event can help you get more consistent, thus turn it into a habit effortlessly. Therefore, if you find it hard to attack the gym or the track solo, then you may need to peer up with a training partner and see your consistency soaring as a result. You and your training partner must share the same training regime and must be at similar levels on the fitness leader. Ask your friends or family members to join you, or head to your local sports club and look for ideal partner.

Reward yourself

Giving yourself a pat on the back is critical for success. Therefore, make sure to reward yourself when achieving progress. Doing so teaches your brain to anticipate pleasure after a hard work, thus enhance your overall workout experience and consistency level. Nevertheless, your rewards must be non-food based as indulging in unhealthy eating habits will backfire on your health resolution. Instead reward yourself by doing something you like such as shopping, a full hour massage, dinner and a movie night with your loved one, and so on.

Add variety

Variety is the spice of life. And when you bring in this component into your exercise routine, the latter becomes more fun and easy to stick to. In addition, if you're doing a variety of activities—running, tennis, walking, or weight lifting—you'll ensure consistent action regardless of whether conditions, time of the day, or injury. Furthermore, sticking to the same training program for a prolonged period of time is a sure way to suffer from mental burnout and lack of enthusiasm for the training itself.

Exercise first thing in the morning

According to many studies and my personal experience, people who work out first thing in the morning are more likely to develop a consistent exercise routine over people who exercise at other times of the day. The reason is simple: During the early morning, there are not much errands to run or issues to take care of, thus leaving the mental and time space for a workout.

To successfully exercise in the morning, make sure to get ready for the workout the night before by laying out your training gears and deciding in advance your workout option, so when the alarm goes off, you'll be both mentally and physical ready for the workout.

Post from: John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog

How to form an exercise habit

The 4 most important factors when choosing a gym

Posted: 27 May 2012 04:03 AM PDT

This is a guest post by Joe Pawlikowski.

It's getting a little late to trim down and get those six-pack abs before beach season, but that should deter anyone from finally joining a gym. The healthy benefits of remaining fit go beyond glimmering abs and bulging biceps. Keep yourself in shape and you can stave off health problems that affect so many people as they age. (As an anecdote, my parents, religious gym-goers, are on no meds as they turn 60 this year. Almost all of their friends are taking something or other for high blood pressure and other ailments.)

Whether you're a gym neophyte or veteran, there's no bad time to start looking for a new facility. It seems they're popping up everywhere, so you should have ample choices. Of course, not every gym will meet your needs. Here are four significant factors to consider when you're looking for a new workout home.

Gold's Gym

Equipment variety

Personal trainers and fitness magazines frequently tout the concept of periodization. That is, in order to realize the best results you should change what you're doing every few weeks. Oftentimes people suggest this to mean changing the number of reps and the weight. Sometimes it's also suggested to mean changing the specific movements. But periodization can be so much more.

Periodization is even more effective when completely switching the style of exercises you perform. Perhaps lifting weights will be effective for a while, but there are other things you can do. Plyometric exercises have become more popular lately. Many gyms have installed what amount to adult jungle gyms, allowing exercisers to perform movements that freeweights, and even cable machines, cannot offer. Some have even installed studios for boxing and martial arts.

The greater variety of equipment, the more you can vary your workouts. That will keep your body from adapting, and will prevent you from becoming bored with the same old routine.

Class space

One way people remain motivated to work out is to attend classes. Nearly every gym offers instructed classes, from yoga to ab routines to full-body workouts. It's not quite like having a personal trainer, but the guided instruction in a relatively personal setting works for many people.

If a gym does offer classes, and you would like to attend some of these classes, make sure to check out the space they offer. One gym I joined had classes in just one room. Problem was, there were boxing classes, meaning there was a boxing ring. Essentially, all other classes had to be conducted within the ring. That meant no class could have more than seven or eight people. They were not worth attending.


Years ago, gyms were essentially the same. There were free weights, some cable machines, cardio equipment, and perhaps a studio for classes. Alternative gyms weren't much of a choice for the average consumer, because there wasn't much appeal in them. They're typically more expensive, and they don't have the range of equipment of a generic gym. That has changed recently.

Boxing gyms and MMA gyms have cropped up in big numbers in the past few years. Many of them offer a much better experience than a generic gym, because they provide instructors and classes for all. The same goes for CrossFit gyms. These specialty gyms might not look as impressive, in terms of equipment, as a generic gym, but they can get you in shape much faster.

Specialty gyms are still more expensive, though, so it's all a matter of preference and affordability. But even a bit of specialization in a generic gym — the presence of a martial arts studio, say — can go a long way.


While the primary focus of a gym is the workout itself, there are other little things that can make a difference. They shouldn't be a primary reason, but they can play a role when deciding among a few finalists.

  • Towel service. It's so nice to have someone hand you a towel when you walk into the gym. It also probably means the gym is a bit cleaner than your average one.
  • Wi-Fi. Not every gym gets wireless internet coverage, particularly if it's in a basement. An available Wi-Fi network means more entertainment options when you're doing cardio.
  • Post-workout snacks. Maybe they're a bit overpriced, but the availability of protein bars and shakes at the gym can be a nice treat from time to time. They can also be great if you're on the run frequently.
  • Sauna. Because sometimes you just need to sweat it out.
  • Private lockers. Most gyms require members to remove their belongings from lockers daily. But some do offer private lockers, where you can keep changes of clothes and some equipment stashed all the time. They're worth it.

Choosing a new gym might seem like an arduous task, but it really boils down to just a few elements. If you take a look at this checklist and examine every gym this way, you should have no trouble choosing. And from there you can concentrate on getting the most out of your workouts, rather than where you will work out.

photo by: GaryPaulson

Post from: John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog

The 4 most important factors when choosing a gym

Marathon Madness: The Essentials in Traveling for the Chicago Marathon

Posted: 27 May 2012 03:46 AM PDT

This is a guest post by Maire.

When you’ve set your eyes on running a marathon, you may as well go big or go home. The Chicago Marathon is the second biggest marathon in the United States, behind the New York Marathon. Although this means you’ll get to participate in a high-energy event, traveling to a destination marathon also presents some logistical considerations. From packing all the right stuff to eating well before the race and booking a room in one of the crowded Chicago hotels, you’ll need to consider many factors to plan for a successful trip for the marathon.

Chicago Marathon

Chicago Marathon Registration

The Chicago Marathon happens every October, with the 2012 race set for October 7. However, you’ll have to register well in advance of that date, as registration closes when the participant cap is reached. Therefore, ensure that you have a confirmed registration before you plan any travel accommodations for the weekend. Since the marathon’s start in 1977, it has exhibited a steady growth that makes it one of the most popular marathons in the world today.

Travel and Accommodations

When you’re traveling by plane, plan to arrive early on the day before the marathon, or potentially even two days before. You wouldn’t want your flight to be delayed, putting you into Chicago late the day before the marathon. Chicago has two huge airports, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a flight into the city. Many organizations specialize in marathon travel and can offer assistance with booking your trip to Chicago.

You’ll want to book a hotel well in advance of the marathon because they fill up quickly. The Hilton Chicago is the official hotel for the marathon, and its location right next to Grant Park makes it an ideal choice. The only other hotel that is located less than a mile from both the start and finish lines is the Westin Chicago River North. If you’re looking for something close to the start line, other options are Palmer House, Hotel Burnham, Hotel Monaco, Embassy Suites Chicago and Sheraton Chicago. Because of the location of the finish line, you’ll have to walk back out of the park past the start line to get to most hotels.

Packing for the Marathon

If you’re flying to Chicago, you’ll want to make sure all of your essentials are with you in your carry-on bag in case your luggage gets lost in transit. Put your running shoes, socks and clothing in the bag. Expect a low around 50 degrees Fahrenheit and a high around 65. Unless you have someone traveling with you, bring a cheap long-sleeved shirt and pair of sweatpants to wear in the morning to keep warm and throw away before the race. Other items to pack include a race belt and the race tools you’ve been training with such as your watch, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Eating in Chicago

As a runner, you know how important it is to properly fuel your body before heading out for 26.2 miles of feet on pavement. Loading up on carbohydrates the night before the race gives you the energy you need, and one of the best places to get them is the Hilton Chicago Pasta Dinner Buffet the evening before the race. Some other good Italian restaurants include Scoozi and Maggiano’s.

On race day, good breakfast options include a bagel with peanut butter, cereal with milk or a piece of fruit and an energy bar. Make sure to drink at least 16 oz. of fluids in the morning, but avoid caffeine and don’t drink more than 8 oz. in the hour before the race begins. The race organizers provide Gatorade at many stations along the race course and bananas and energy gel in the later miles.

Enjoying Your Trip

In the midst of all of the logistics for traveling for the Chicago Marathon, make sure you give yourself room to enjoy the trip. The route goes through some of the most famous areas of the city, and there’s lots of fun stuff to do in the afternoon and evening following the race!

Good luck!

photo by: leduardo

Post from: John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog

Marathon Madness: The Essentials in Traveling for the Chicago Marathon


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