Monday, August 19, 2013

Your 30-Day Ab Challenge

Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a newbie, finding your fitness motivation to reach your goals can be difficult. One way to boost your fitness is to try a 30-day challenge.

A 30-day challenge can provide you the motivation you need to push yourself a little harder. The 30-Day Challenge Series I created not only offers a 30-day workout plan, but also offers support with an online forum and community to help you achieve your workout goals.

More: 4 Tips to Stick to Your Workout Goals

The benefits of the 30-day challenge series are:

  •     They're loaded with exercises that you can do anywhere, anytime.
  •     Provide a variety of movements for almost any fitness level.
  •     They're long enough to build a habit and help you see results.
  •     They're short enough so you avoid burnout.

So are you ready for a 30-day challenge? Everyone is always trying to get that lean, six-pack look. So start with the first of many 30-day challenges-the abs challenge. This ab challenge will help you sculpt and strengthen your midsection in no time.

30-Day Ab-Challenge Exercises

Ab Crunches 

 Set up: Lay flat on ground, keep your legs in table top, place your hands behind your head, and look straight up.

Action: Contract your abs, lift your chest towards knees to get your shoulder blades off the ground, and keep your neck straight. Do 20 reps.

Bicycle Crunches

Set Up: Lay flat on ground, keep your legs in table top, place your hands behind your head, and look straight up.

Action: Contract your abs, extend your right leg while you pull your left knee in. As you pull in your knee, lift and twist your chest to reach your right shoulder towards your left knee. Repeat on the other side. That equals one repetition. Do 20 reps.  

How To Lose Stomach Weight: A Guide

As adults’ waists get larger with age, many wonder how to lose stomach weight. This difficult-to-target  area presents problems for many people when trying to tone their body. While there is no surefire magic bullet to drop the stomach bulge, there are many things that you can do to begin to tighten the underlying muscles and combat fat.

Eating to Lose Stomach Fat

In order to trim belly fat, eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meat and fish plays a strong role. A diet filled with plenty of whole grains and few refined grain products has been shown to be successful in eliminating belly fat faster than one focused on refined grains only. Also, you should work to avoid as many refined carbohydrates as possible, such as any items containing white sugar or white flour.

Choosing the right kinds of oils and fats to eat – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats being the best options – is critical to providing your body with the right tools to lose weight. Healthy fats are still fatty, with all fat containing 9 calories per gram, so they should be eaten in moderation. Some examples of food with “good” fats in them, that reduce the risk of heart disease, include nuts, seeds, soybeans, olives, canola oil and avocados. Essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 that are found in many nuts, seeds and fatty fishes are also necessary to complete the fat burning process in the body.

Eating more frequently throughout the day can also be successful in speeding up your metabolism, which will help you to burn your food more efficiently. Experts recommend 5 to 6 smaller meals daily, which prevents overeating, as it eliminates much of the need to binge eat out of hunger.

Exercising to Lose Stomach Fat

While crunches and other stomach-focused strength training will not have much visual effect if you have layers of fat around the muscles, these exercises will work to strengthen your core. However, if you are carrying around excess fat, aerobic exercise is the thing that will burn the fat, as spot exercises will do nothing to get rid of the fat.

To really lose weight, you will need to regularly exercise for about 60 minutes daily. This can be any moderate activity that gets your blood pumping and heart rate up. The more you exercise, the more stomach fat you will shed. Numerous studies have shown that people that perform any high-intensity aerobic fitness regularly are leaner in the abdominal area.

Lifting weights and strengthening your entire body forces your abdominal muscles to be in use, while stabilizing your body to do many upper body and lower body strength exercises. Try free weight squats, lat pulldowns, chest presses and dumbbell rows to start off building your core. Focus on a mix of strength building exercising, as well as cardio throughout the week.

By eating right and focusing on your total body for toning and weight loss, you will begin to see results by dropping some of the bulge around your waist.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Beginner's Guide To Running For Fitness And Weight Loss

Running is one of my favorite ways to get fit. It can become quite addictive as you strive to improve your times and if you stick at it you'll find yourself looking forward to your jog. Its main benefit is to the heart and lungs which will do you the world of good but your lower body will get a tremendous work out as well. A good pair of trainers and some comfortable clothes is all you will need.

There are a number of reasons why you might want to take up running. For a start it burns up a lot of calories. About 600 calories an hour seems average but if your overweight then you may burn considerably more as your having to work harder. You will notice that you feel refreshed and positive after a run and less stressed.

You should seek expert advice before starting any strenuous exercise. The main thing is to start of slowly in order to give your body time to adapt and if you have not exercised in some time it is a good idea to do a few weeks of hiking or walking. See my article on walking for fitness and weight loss. Then you can try some short bursts of jogging in your walk such as 2 minutes running and 5 minutes of walking. Try to increase the duration of the running whilst reducing the walking time. You will experience rapid gains at this stage and it wont be long before you are able to run for several miles.

Its best to mix up your running routine by running different courses and different distances. This will keep things interesting mentally and offer you a different challenge. When running try to keep your neck and shoulders relaxed and keep your torso straight and upright whilst engaging your stomach muscles. Try to land the feet gracefully not stomping. Most people will land on the heel and roll onto the toe and push off. Other runners will land more on the middle of the foot which may allow you to run more efficiently. Remember to stay nice and relaxed as you will achieve greater speed with less effort.

Remember to stretch out thoroughly after every run or you will lose flexibility and suffer very saw stiff muscles. You will most likely suffer some form of injury when you start running especially if you rush in to quickly. You should seek expert advice on injuries and stop training. Some common problems are shin splints, bad knees or sore hips. Good trainers will help and you can go to a good sports shop for advice when buying trainers. You should not run with shin splints as you can develop a stress fracture and should wait for them to heal.

As with walking I recommend that you perform a couple of sessions a week of resistance training. This will give you a more rounded development and will help with your running as you will have more strength.

Fitness for Weight Loss

Millions of people across the world are overweight and struggling against obesity. If you are in poor physical condition, take solace in the fact that you are not alone. Also recognize that no matter how out of shape you are at the present moment, with a little dedication and hard work you can dramatically improve your physical fitness and get into the best shape of your life.

Being physically fit will boost your confidence and self-esteem, as you will look great, and will also help you to avoid health problems such as heart disease and obesity. Exercise has been shown to help alleviate depression, so being physically fit and active might also improve your mood. If you want to get into the best shape of your life, this is the perfect article for you. Read on to learn some great fitness tips.

Eat right. To be fit and healthy, it is necessary to follow a healthy, well-balanced diet. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, such as tuna fish, chicken breasts, low fat yogurt, skim milk, and egg whites, and slow digesting complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain oatmeal. Along with eating healthy, pay close attention to the beverages that you drink.

Sugary fruit juices, soda pop, and alcohol contain lots of calories and are not good for you. Try to replace these unhealthy beverages with water. Water is naturally free of calories and is great for you! Strive to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
Engage in regular aerobic exercise. Participating in aerobic exercise is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. Find an exercise that you enjoy, and work out your heart and lungs for at least 20 to 30 minutes, 4 times per week. Aerobic exercise will help you to lose excess weight and boost your mood. Try to find an exercise that you enjoy, this way working out won't feel like a chore.

Basketball, soccer, dancing, swimming, walking, running, hiking, swimming, martial arts, tennis and volleyball are all great aerobic activities. If you are just starting to work out again after a long layoff, start out slowly with simple walks around the neighborhood and slowly increase your fitness and cardiovascular stamina.

Lift weights. In addition to regular aerobic exercise, make an effort to engage in strength training workouts on a regular basis. Don't be intimidated by free weights or strength training machines. If you've never strength trained before, a personal trainer can help to teach you proper exercise techniques. Working out with weights will help you to build muscle, shape your body, and increase your resting metabolism.

Get a workout buddy. Workouts can sometimes be a pain. To make the experience more fun, find a workout partner. Exercising with a friend can be a great idea. You will have more fun and you and your friend can provide encouragement for each other. Getting fit and healthy is not going to be easy, but you can do it. Take advantage of the tips in this article and get started on your fitness journey. Good luck!

How Are Fitness and Weight Loss Related?

Nowadays, many people suffer from overweight problems, sedentary lifestyle, or both. If for some reason you decide to change only one of the issues - more physically active or lose weight, which could be the better option.

According to Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, in which researchers monitor the health, body weight and exercise levels of more than 14,000 middle-aged men for 11 years, being more physically fit may be more beneficial than losing weight. The level of physical fitness of the participants was estimated by measuring their metabolic equivalents (MET) through a treadmill test.

The results showed that men who maintained their fitness levels, compared to those whose levels declined, over the course of the study, reduced the possibility of dying from cardiovascular disease by about 30%, even if they didn't lose any significant excess body weight. The men whose physical fitness was improved - reduced their chance for cardiovascular disease by 40%.

How Is Physical Fitness Measured?

There are countless definitions of physical fitness, related to feeling comfort in your body and having an athletic figure, but one of the most accurate ones reflects the ability of the cardiorespiratory system to supply energy/oxygen during low to moderate-intensity exercise, as well as the ability of the muscles to utilize that oxygen.
A clear and effective way to measure fitness levels is by using a treadmill for estimating peak physical capacity. While you are running on a treadmill, the speed and incline are gradually increased until you can't go any further. The fitness capacity is usually measured in METs - the amount of oxygen used while resting or sleeping. The respective number of METs is estimated through a formula according to the speed and incline at your peak performance.

Increase Fitness to Reach Closer to Your Healthy Weight

Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, and increased physical activity are proven to be two of the best things you can do to improve your long-term health. But what if you are overweight and inactive? This study and many others suggest that being more active is a good starting step toward better health.

The increase in the amount of physical activity and/or exercise depends on age, gender, current fitness levels and individual characteristics. It is not important where you are starting from. If your fitness is low today, you can boost it with performing regular activity that challenges your body, and gradually improving it by slowly increasing its levels in the long-term. There is no need for strenuous exercise, in terms of health related fitness, it can often lead to more negative than positive effects. To challenge your body, means to work hard enough to speed up your heartbeat and breathing.

For people who don't regularly train their heart, lungs, and muscles, any increase in activity is great. But as much beneficial as physical activity is, it alone can't lead to great weight reduction. To further improve your health and decrease the risk of developing many diseases, this study and countless others before it, suggest that you still would want to reduce your excess body weight. This, of course is achieved by balanced nutrition and gradually reduced daily energy intake. Slow and gradual changes are essential, because it allows eating plans to be followed more easily, it gives enough time for the body to adapt to new changes, and the results are expected to be long-termed and sustainable.

Weight Loss Quick Tips - 4 Health and Fitness Tips We Should All Live By

 When it boils down to it we all need to adopt healthy habits. Obesity is a serious problem. Especially in the Westernized world. More and more people are being declared obese by their doctors. Of course this opens the door for the big pharmaceutical companies to come up with new pills, powders and shakes that will supposedly help you shed a million pounds overnight. None of these magic pills and potions work.

It's time we all start taking responsibility for ourselves and take our health more seriously. Far too many people are dying due to obesity related diseases. It has to stop. Here are 4 very simple health and fitness tips we should all start living by.

Health & Fitness Tip #1 - Start Drinking More Water

Water is extremely important to your overall health. Not only does it keep you hydrated and ensure your vital organs continue to function and operate, but it also help you lose weight by ridding your body of toxins and excess fat. Too many of us are borderline dehydrated. That means our bodies are basically working overtime trying to flush out all the toxins and junk. So drink more water. It does a body good.

Health & Fitness Tip #2 - Eat More Often Throughout The Day

When it comes to losing weight and getting in shape you want to eat more and not less. I know this sounds counter intuitive but hear me out. Most of use grew up on the whole eat 3 square meals a day bit. And while that isn't bad advice, it also isn't the best advice when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape.

If you truly want to lose weight you will need to up the number of times you eat during the day. Notice I didn't say up the amount of food you eat. Instead of eating 3 large meals a day you should eat 5 or 6 small meals. By doing this you will rev up your metabolism and cause your body to burn more calories all throughout the day. So start the day off with a nice healthy breakfast. This will help set the tone and get your body ready to burn the fat.

Health & Fitness Tip #3 - Get Out And Get Some Exercise

Something as simple as a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood will have a profound affect on your health. By getting regular exercise you will keep your heart and your joints strong. You will also prevent certain diseases from occurring. If you are currently out of shape just start off with something simple. Next time you have the option to take the elevator or the stairs, choose the stairs.

Next time you go to the grocery store park as far back as you can. Don't ride around looking for a close spot. Park far in the back so you can get a little exercise in. You don't need to join a gym and pay a monthly fee to get exercise on a daily basis. Just be creative and most importantly have fun. Run around with the kids or play a game on the kinect with them. Anything that gets you moving is a good idea.

Health & Fitness Tip #4 - Find A Way To Stay Motivated

Losing weight and getting in shape is not easy. Especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. That's why it is very important that you find ways to keep yourself motivated and on track. The first thing you should do to stay motivated is determine your "why". Why do you want to lose the weight and get in shape? Do you want to make sure you around to see your grandkids grow up?

What is your "why"? Make sure it is big enough to keep you going during the rough patches. You should also consider getting a workout buddy. Having someone there to hold you accountable is a great motivator.

The Best Way to Kick Start Your Fitness and Weight Loss Goals In 5 Simple Steps

Just about anything which is worthy of doing usually requires more than just a single step to complete. Things with any complexity take several steps that will take some time to complete. It is just inherent in the nature of things that substantial tasks will not be accomplished overnight. You should prepare yourself very well, get a clear mental picture of what must be done, then stick with your plan. Regardless of your fitness and fat loss goals, don't anticipate any exceptions to those requirements.

However it is not that difficult in reality, you simply break it into clear individual steps. Any big goal, like improving your overall health, can be achieved by making lost of small, incremental changes.

Here's how you can jump start your fat loss and fitness goals by sticking to these 5 easy steps:

Step 1. Clean up your eating habits. This is of crucial significance because diet is actually more important in fat loss and lean muscle building than exercise. Make sure you do not neglect the importance of cleaning the junk out of your diet.

Step 2. Stop wasting your time at the gym doing long, slow cardio exercise. This will be a critical step, so lend it your complete attention. This is how to do it the best way, for the best results. Substitute high intensity intervals into your cardio workouts. The main reason this is very important is that you will burn far more calories long after you have finished your workout.

Step 3. Use heavier weights. You will want to do this in order to burn far more calories. In addition you will just want to be sure to lift the right amount of weight to avoid injury.

In my experience, women tend to not lift enough weight while men often try to overdo it in this area.

Step 4. Limit beer consumption. Specifically, even a couple of beers each night can derail all of your hard work from the entire week.

Step 5. restrict every type of sugar in your diet. In addition to that, Cut out soft drinks.

When you follow these steps and start seeing the results, you will be even more motivated to keep going. Accept the rewards and respect (and envious glances!). You managed to do it you now deserve the credit! It's your success to enjoy, and your opportunity to set the standard for other people to try and follow!

The Importance of Physical Fitness for Weight Loss

Physical fitness and nutrition are two of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle. A lot of movement and intentional exercise are not only essential for weight management, but they are beneficial for the overall health as they help to improve the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems. The American College of Sports Medicine has published a pronouncement in their official journal, suggesting that the increased levels of physical activity may be necessary for weight loss and for the prevention of weight regain, as well.

Among the recommendations of the statement, the ACSM position emphasizes the importance of physical fitness for weight management. Here are the prominent points that show the relation between physical activity and weight loss:

  •     Nowadays, weight management is a pressing public health concern, as more than 60 percent of U.S. adults either overweight or obese. Only as little as a two to three percent decrease in excessive body weight can be beneficial toward the improvement in chronic disease risk factors.
  •     To achieve weight loss results and prevent weight regain, larger levels of physical exercise/activities on regular basis are needed.
  •     For the prevention of weight gain - 150-250 minutes a week of physical activity at a moderate-intensity rate is recommended. For more than 150 minutes every week spent in exercise, modest results of weight loss are expected.
  •     Achieving weight loss - 150-250 minutes a week of physical fitness can lead to only modest results. Greater amounts will most likely provide clinically considerable reduction of body weight.
  •     To maintain body weight and prevent regain - more than 250 minutes a week of exercise are considered to be helpful.
  •     Energy-balanced diet along with regular physical fitness will lead to greater decrease in body weight, rather than dieting alone.

In general the recommendations for adults are of at least 150 minutes/week, or 30 minutes - 5 days a week, of moderate-intensity physical activity in order to prevent significant weight gain and for the reduction of associated chronic disease risk factors. If such activity levels are maintained steadily in the long-term, overweight and obese people will most likely experience greater weight loss, than slightly overweight people. However, to prevent weight regain and to further promote greater weight reduction - more than 250 minutes of moderate-intensity physical fitness, distributed evenly throughout the week, is advisable.

Along with aerobic exercises, strength or resistant-training is also important to improve the musculoskeletal system, promote muscle mass development and to further decrease many health risks.

Fitness and Weight Loss Motivation for Men

Getting into shape is hard, that's something we can all relate to. Most of us have been there, done that, failed, rebounded, yo-yo'd around and on down the line. But with the right weight loss motivation and weight loss tips for men, anyone can succeed, no matter what the goal is, no matter what your starting point is, and no matter how many times you've tried and failed in the past.

When it comes to weight loss tips for men, you have to adjust your attitude and start making healthy lifestyle choices. Just saying the word diet makes us think of punishment, restriction, and very often, failure. Instead, develop a healthy eating plan and make smarter choices whenever possible.

By eating the same amount of food, but spreading it out throughout the day to keep our metabolism burning, we can see great weight loss gains. By moderating the portions and frequency of our favorite foods, instead of eliminating them entirely, we can stay motivated, avoid letdowns in the future, and reward ourselves while still making progress. By making quick changes and fixes to our nutritional strategy such as eliminating sodas and cutting back on beer, big results can be made very quickly. By adjusting our goals to be realistic, achievable and measurable, we can really stay on track and be pleased with how we perform.
These are real weight loss tips for men that will actually help you to finally succeed. It's this kind of weight loss motivation that real men everywhere need, because all too often our expectations and our tactics to achieve our plans are way out whack. But by simply realigning our attitudes, our expectations, our game plan and more, a huge difference can be made, and it can all happen really quickly.

So much of succeeding with any fitness or exercise program is arming yourself with the information you need to be successful, to fight through the inevitable plateaus, and to stay on track so you always keep advancing no matter what. The right weight loss motivation for men and weight loss tips for men can therefore make all of the difference.

It's never too late for any guy out there to get into fantastic shape, and there's no single person who is immune to being successful. It's all about the right knowledge, attitude, information and game plan. Don't listen to the infomercials and the self-proclaimed gurus, or buy the latest fad diet book of the week. Instead, make smart choices, utilize the weight tips for men that others have really used to great success already, and start taking control of your own life and your own success. Doing all of this can be amazingly simple if you can just get the ball rolling and set off in the right way to reach your goals.

Choosing Your Weight Loss or Fitness Program - What Is Right For Me?

So far we have discussed three ways to set up your fitness journey to help you ensure a quicker and more effective weight loss. We have set our goals, chosen our diet, and now to pick a great program to go along with it. This program should take into account your physical limitations. This could include a previous knee or back injury, heart issues, or your general fitness level. Your time constraints should also be taken into account. Since I am a working mother, I find it difficult to pick a program that lasts longer than an hour. However, the program should be intense enough to burn calories too. Some of the workouts I do last longer than an hour, but I leave those workouts for a day when my husband is home to watch my son for that period of time.

Be sure to ask your coach to assist you in choosing a program that fits your goals, diet and lifestyle. They are knowledgeable and should be willing and ready to help you out. Once your program is chosen order it and read the nutrition guide and workout details as soon as possible. Then pick a start date. Make sure you have gone shopping to get all your meals for the week!

Make sure you also get a multivitamin to take daily as well. Go to a health store or online and purchase any supplements you need to take. Personally, I take a multivitamin, omega 3, and calcium magnesium vitamin. I also take a pre-workout formula for endurance as well as a Results and Recovery drink for a post workout drink. This helps repair muscles after a workout as well as prevent sore muscles. Next it's time to start! This is the time to go over your goals and make sure you feel motivated enough to begin. If you think you need more motivation try joining a Challenge group. They are a great way to keep you supported and motivated by people who have similar goals than you. I have found several life-long friends from my groups and there results are amazing! Some lose weight quickly, while others may have taken a bit longer. Either way you have motivation from their results which makes you reaching yours not as impossible and you may get to your weight loss goal even quicker!!Just remember to maintain your focus on attaining your goals and when you are lacking motivation go to your coach and team mates for support.