Monthly Archives: July 2017

Benefits of Fitness

Fitness is a great way to stay healthy. Exercising on a regular basis has countless benefits for the body and the mind. A study done on 25,000 volunteers has shown that physical exercising is more important to the health than losing weight. Overweight people who are fit have lower chances of developing heart problems, diabetes or osteoporosis. Who can practice fitness? Is fitness for you? The good news is that anybody, regardless of age, can benefit from fitness. Fitness exercises range from developing flexibility, to building up strength and losing extra pounds.

Short-term benefits of fitness:

• A healthier heart – Fitness makes the heart pump faster and it helps develop and strengthen the muscle of the heart.

• Stronger muscles and bones – Fitness exercises that work the muscles, such as weight lifting, develop the muscles and increase bone density. This translates into a body that is more resistant to fractures and injuries. People over 40, who have higher risks of developing osteoporosis and arthritis, can maintain a younger body for a longer time through fitness.

• Losing weight – Fitness burns calories and reduces body fat. If you exercise on a regular basis, the body will not only burn calories while you’re at the gym, but it will also burn calories while you’re resting. If you combine fitness with a healthy diet, you will have a fit and great looking body.

• Reducing stress – You have countless stress factors in your life, and stress is very dangerous to your health and it can give you a general state of crankiness and anxiety. Exercising relieves stress and triggers the secretion of endorphins in the body. Endorphins, also called “the happiness hormone” create a state of relaxation. There is something called “a runner’s high”. This basically means that people feel happier after exercising.

• A more restful sleep – Stress and health problems sometime cause insomnia and other sleep disturbances. Fitness will give you a deep and restful sleep, which is important for the body to be able to recover and function normally.

• Increased ability to focus – Research shows that people who exercise think faster and clearer. Fitness does not only do wonders for the body, but it also benefits the mind, through improving circulation in the brain and taking away the stress that sometimes clouds our judgment.

Long-term benefits of fitness:

• Reduced blood pressure – High blood pressure can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Heart problems are the leading cause of death in the world. Fitness means a stronger heart, which pumps blood more efficiently through the body and the the force put on the arteries decreases. Regular exercising is one of the drug-free methods to treat hypertension.

• Reduced coronary problems – People living a sedentary life have twice as many chances of developing coronary problems that those who exercise.

• Reduced cholesterol levels – People with high cholesterol levels have higher chances of developing cardiovascular problems. Fitness helps reduce cholesterol levels by burning the fat in the body. Studies show that people with high cholesterol levels who make exercising part of their daily routine cut their chances of developing heart problems in half.

• Improved posture – Fitness helps maintain a strong backbone with a healthy posture. It helps with back problems and back pain, that are often associated with a sedentary life.

• Reduced risk of developing diabetes – Physical activity lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes through the effect it has on insulin levels, through lowering the level of sugar in the body and though maintaining a fit body.

People are starting to understand more and more the importance of including physical activity in their daily routine. If you want to have the fitness routine tailored for you, fitness companies offer personal training. You can regularly go to the gym or you can go to a fitness boot camp, to push yourself harder and really work your body. You can practice fitness alone, with your friends or co-workers. There are a lot of corporate entities that work with fitness companies to allow their employees to exercise at the work place, because fitness increases work productivity. Make sure you exercise for 30 minutes at least two or three times as week, or even daily if possible, to get all the wonderful benefits of fitness.

Fitness First

Whatever your reasons you are to be commended, but how exactly does one go about getting into shape. Well here are a few suggestions to improve your fitness health and lifestyle. With each suggestion there are pros and cons, some will work for some people and some will not, try and decide what fits you and your circumstances best.

Join A Gym – This is a pretty obvious place to start. At a gym you have a variety of methods of getting fit, whether it’s aerobically or based on toning muscle you will find this a great place to start. At a gym you can get the help of a professional who will guide your fitness while keeping their well trained eyes on your progress. However, while a gym is a great way to get fit, it’s also very expensive and can be time consuming!

Running – A great way to get fit and virtually free! If you want to take up running a word of caution, running can cause injury. You must follow routines and have good quality foot wear. Running on tarmac is usually more convenient but it can damage your knees, so where possible try to run on grass or even better on a beach if this is an option. When you start off running, start slowly and build up the distances over the weeks. Start by slowly jogging for 5 minutes, as your fitness increases you can run further and at a faster pace. Do not push yourself to hard as this will lead to injury. Experts recommend doing a full run on day one, day two run half the distance at a slower pace, this relaxes the muscles and lessens the chances on injury. Then on day three rest. You can then start the cycle over. This is a great way to improve fitness and it will really enhance your endurance.

Swimming – Possibly the best way to get fit! Swimming tones all of your body and gives all your muscles an excellent work out. The great advantage of swimming is that it’s almost impossible to injure yourself. Many people swim to recover from injury and this can be a great way to build up worn down muscles. Similar to running, don’t over do it and take a day to rest up on a regular basis so not to exhaust your muscles. Again start slow and build up distances as you increase your level of fitness. The only real disadvantage of swimming is that you need somewhere to do it, some people may not have a nearby pool so this could be an issue. Otherwise swimming is a great fitness booster.

Aerobics – Something that is not as popular as it once was, but is still a really good way to get fit. Whether you join a class or do it in the privacy of your own home, this is a great way to get fit. It’s a low impact activity so again the danger of injury is minimal. Buying DVD’s to watch and follow fitness programmes is very helpful and can really improve muscle tone and general fitness. The only possible downside to aerobics is that if you want to be super fit it tends to be limited. You will probably have to do something else as well to take your fitness to a higher level.

Cycling – Another great low impact activity that really can get you super fit. After purchasing a bike it’s pretty much free and as you increase the distances you cycle you can travel round some interesting places which makes it an enjoyable activity. The risk of injury is low, unless you fall off, then this can be a real danger. But if you ride sensibly and safely you should not have any problems and you will find cycling a wonderful way to boost fitness levels.

Sports – This is one that many people take up. Some people find running or swimming boring as it can just be you on your own. They need the thrill of competitive games to excite them. Playing sport on a regular basis is a great way to get fit. Depending on the sport though there is usually a higher risk of injury. Some sports are obviously better than others for building fitness, but if you enjoy your sport you are more likely to keep it up and enhance you condition.

Changing Life Styles – Sometimes it can simply be walking places you might usually drive. Cycle to work instead of taking the bus. Just making more effort to get out and walk is something that is very simple but can really help you boost your fitness. Obviously walking a mile a day is not going to get you super fit but it’s a great place to start.

The Little Things – Most of the ways I have mentioned represent changes in your life and putting forward lots of effort. But there are simple things you can do that will improve your fitness. Don’t walk up the stairs, run! Dance while your making your morning coffee. Do a few star jumps while your cooking your dinner. Just be more active in everything you do. If you work at a desk, tap your feet for a while, any kind of movement will increase your level of fitness, even if it’s only a small amount it all helps.

So there is a list of a few ideas. There are plenty of other things you can try but these tend to be the best and most accessible options for most people. You may find that some of the suggestions are not for you but somewhere in there most people will find something that suits them. Another excellent suggestions is mix and match. Run one day, swim another, walk to work another, a combination of activities is excellent as it will get more of your muscles working and be more interesting. Whatever you decide I wish you well in your pursuit of fitness. Building your fitness even if only slightly will lead to you feeling more confident in yourself, better health and a feeling of achievement! So it’s well worth making that decision and getting yourself fit.

Power of a Home Fitness Gym

For the stay at home moms and working moms getting to the gym can be a hassle. Between work meetings, school meeting and everyday chores the gym is the last thing we want to do at the end of the day.

We all know physical fitness is important to stay healthy. The question I will attempt to answer is how to fit a good quality workout into your busy schedule.

The Answer: A Home Fitness Gym.

Now I am not talking about going out and buying workout equipment or a treadmill. Although eventually you may decide it is necessary for you, but definitely it is not required.

I want to show you how to set up a quality home fitness gym, which will have great fitness programs to use. You will have to spend some money, but not thousands of dollars.

One item I really like are fitness balls. You know those big balls, which allow you to do ab workouts. Most fitness balls can be purchased for $20 to $50.

Miss the Camaraderie

The hardest part of setting up the home fitness gym is a having a proper atmosphere. At home you do not have all the people you see in an aerobics or biking class. The reason gyms are so popular is due to the camaraderie from other women at the class. When you miss a couple classes they ask where you have been and they missed you.

Working out at your own home fitness gym you do lose that camaraderie. How can we fix this element?

Use DVDs

The best way I have found is the use of DVDs. There are thousands of fitness programs to purchase from as little as $10 to $70 or $80. The most important consideration is the person leading the workout video. I have found some to be a little too perky and annoying, sort of nails on a chalkboard personality.

Multiple Fitness DVDs

What I have done is bought one from a “workout guru” who has a number of different titles. The reason is simple. I get bored doing the same routine over and over again, but with I really like the person on the video. I solve this problem by purchasing their other workout DVDs.

The use of workout DVDs is a quick and easy way to set up a home fitness gym. All you need is the fitness ball and a fitness program on a DVD and you are ready to go.

Now The Hard Part

Here is the hard part. We still have to find the time to workout. Yes, time is still an issue because as we know kids and a husband have their own needs.

What I have done is carve out a 30 minutes in the morning after the kids go to school and before I have to go to work. It is a quick workout, but I do feel better once I am done.

Home Gym Will Save Time and Money

However, the 30-minute workout saves me the hour and a half I would spend at the gym. Oh, I forgot to mention this money saving tip. Since you no longer have to spend $50 a month for a gym membership this money can be used to set up a home fitness gym.

Use the $50 to buy new DVDs or other fitness equipment each month.

Creating your own home fitness gym is fun. You get to design the gym and workouts to meet your fitness needs. If you get bored just redesign the fitness program with different equipment and DVDs.

Now go set up your home fitness gym today!

Lifestyle Fitness

A number of you have written me about how to approach the days when you are not working out, when you are not following a meal plan and when you are not scheduled to participate in a physical fitness event of some kind. We tend to call these “off days” or “rest days,” some people even have an “off-season” and I tend to think these names are pretty appropriate. I think the major idea or concept we who engage in and live the fitness lifestyle must have is that there is never a time when our body is doing nothing. The only time your body will even come close to doing nothing is when you are dead and then it is still doing something; it’s called decaying. But on a serious note, we have to get it in our minds that living fit is more than a gym workout or a series of well planned meals, it truly is a lifestyle. Media and marketing do a great job of selling products but they have also given many people an unrealistic idea of what being fit is, what it looks like and how to live fit.

Popular mindsets to avoid

So often I talk to people who engage in body building and physique competitions. These are sports that I personally love and respect. These sports are characterized by a huge number of amazing athletes and they have always had a firm place in my heart as some of my favorite personalities and friends. However, most people (but rarely the athletes) tend to place the wrong label on these people and incorrectly think of these people as the ultimate symbol of the fitness lifestyle. In the majority of cases (there are exceptions) I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. I lived that lifestyle for the majority of my life so I know what I’m talking about.

In my experience the majority of these people only engage in fitness lifestyle endeavors around the clock when it’s time to get ready for a competition. The rest of the year many of them won’t train for weeks at a time, they eat anything they please and engage in binging, literally gorging themselves with food then turn around and initiate extreme dieting practices in order to prepare for their show. In addition to this, most of the people I’ve known in these sports (including myself at one time) only exercise and eat “clean” at various times throughout the year during the years that they are competing.

Over time, the great fluctuations in body weight, the steroid abuse and constantly changing dietary practices take their toll. Once their lives have moved past the competition phase, most of them tend to become recreational exercisers and end up having the same physical fitness shortcomings that most other people face. While sport is a tremendous way to stay in shape and enjoy our lives we have to ensure that we create lifestyle characteristics that will remain once our days of competition have passed. I struggled with this for years and can tell you that this is a tremendous challenge for the former physique athlete.

Get To Know Yourself It’s Going to be a Long Ride

Living fit (for life) is about you becoming aware of your body’s fitness shortcomings and designing a lifestyle that will improve them and maintain them at a high level. It’s really that simple. It’s not a get ripped-up for summer then gain all the weight back in the fall type of lifestyle. Sure there are times when a fit person may decide to take some aspect of fitness and improve it considerably in order to enjoy the benefits of it, but the thing to remember is there is no stopping point.

This is a key concept that is so simple, but so absent from most people’s lives. The fitness lifestyle never stops. It doesn’t end when you quit playing a sport, it doesn’t end when you get married and it doesn’t end when you start your own business. There is no stopping point for those who live fit. Sure we all have setbacks, struggles and challenges to overcome; but we overcome them. We know that these setbacks, struggles and challenges will be overcome while living in the fitness lifestyle. In other words we do not modify our lifestyle in order to deal with issues, we deal with issues while maintaining our lifestyle. As simplistic as this sounds, I’ve found that this is perhaps the hardest aspect of living fit that most people deal with.

Of course there are meals, days and times when we do things that are contrary to our fitness beliefs and lives. But they are the exception, not the rule. These things are allowed into our lives as a break from the norm, as brief events that add to our lives in other ways and are worth the cost.

Some examples may be:

  1. Eating cake with your child on their birthday – there are so many positives that come from this
  2. Having some drinks with an old friend who needs to talk – friends are priceless, this won’t hurt you
  3. Enjoying cultural events by partaking in its food and drinks – many things in life can’t be replaced

So you get the picture. Living fit is not about sporting six-pack abs year-round (but can include this) until you get married then adopting the beer belly. Living fit is about a lifetime of choices and actions that lead to your physical betterment as your life goes on from phase-to-phase and relationship-to-relationship. The greatest thing I love about the fitness lifestyle is that it is never too late to begin. This is an amazing concept that has changed the lives of millions, myself included, and it can do the same for you if you so choose.

I challenge you to take a long look at many of the lifestyle choices you now make and consider ways to incorporate a healthier fitness mindset into those things in order to create and build a lifestyle that will provide you with a great level of fitness from this moment forward. You can do it! Living fit is a choice and that choice is yours.