Aerobic Exercises

How to Lose Weight Before Summer

You lose weight when your total calorie expenditure is higher than your total calorie intake. Apart from counting your calories, to lose weight you must take steps to burn the excess fat reserve in your body through regular workouts.

However, you should lose weight gradually. Losing weight too fast causes serious health problems. Moreover, you must avoid rigid diets. A healthy diet coupled with moderate intensity physical activities is usually sufficient for losing fat.

How to Lose Weight

Exercises

A sedentary lifestyle is the key cause of weight gain. You burn calories when you exercise. Hence, increasing the physical activity level is essential for stimulating weight loss. About 45 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity is recommended for burning the extra flab and maintaining healthy weight. To customize your body to exercising, gradually increase your activity level. Increase the duration and intensity of the workouts slowly to avoid straining or injuring your body joints. Common aerobic activities such as brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling and swimming help to lose weight. Moreover, instead of using the elevator, climb stairs. You can even lose a significant amount of weight by mowing the lawn or cleaning the house.

Low Carbohydrate Diet



As meals rich in refined carbohydrates and sugar are easily digested, a high carbohydrate diet makes you hungry fast. To lose weight fast, eat low carbohydrate meals. Avoid foods and beverages containing added sugar. An ideal weight loss diet comprises of moderate quantities of whole grain products, sufficient fresh fruits and vegetables, moderate amount of plant and healthy animal proteins and a small amount of unsaturated fats. To curb hunger pangs, divide the three large meals to four to five smaller meals. Do not skip your meals and avoid fad diets that recommend rigid dieting or fasting. Apart from meeting your optimum calorie requirement, a healthy diet also meets the minimum nutritional requirement of the body.

Build Muscles

As a weight-loss program primarily focuses on eliminating the unwanted fats from the body, to lose body fat, fitness trainers recommend exercises that help to build lean muscles. Muscle building helps to boost the metabolism rate of the body. Hence, you will burn fat easily.

Drink Enough Water

Remember to drink enough water. Dehydration reduces the metabolism rate of the body. In addition, drinking water before a meal makes you feel full after eating a small amount. Hence, drinking sufficient water daily can facilitate weight loss.

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Cardio Classes or Boot Camp Style Exercises

Cardio workouts comprise of a wide range of aerobic exercises that help to increase the heart rate. Running, brisk walking, jogging and bicycling are common cardio exercises that help to burn fats and maintain healthy body weight. Boot camp style workouts comprise of high intensity cardio exercises and strength training workouts that are performed rapidly. Boot camp style workouts are designed to facilitate fast weight loss.

Cardio exercise classes are suitable for every person. However, only physically fit exercisers accustomed to regular cardio activities are the appropriate candidates for boot camp style workouts.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Boot Camp and Cardio Classes

Boot camps are more challenging than cardio classes. Participants in the boot camps work harder. The exercise schedule is designed to support speedy weight loss. You will lose higher amount of calories in a boot camp. Therefore, if you want to attain your target body weight in a short time, consider joining a boot camp. Moreover, boot camps are cheaper than cardio classes. However, for beginners and exercisers who need personal attention, cardio classes are the best option.

What are Boot Camp Style Exercises?

Boot camps are a type of group fitness program. Unlike cardio classes that can be attended several times each week for as long as you wish, boot camps are held for a short time, usually for four to eight weeks. The duration of each boot camp class is between 45 and 60 minutes. The classes are usually held outdoors, at least thrice a week.

In each boot camp class, participants practice several high intensity cardio and strength training exercises. The physical fitness level of each participant is tested before the beginning of a boot camp. This helps the fitness trainer to assess the specific requirements of each participant. Equipments commonly used in boot camps include dumbbells and exercise balls. Each fitness session starts with five to ten minutes of a light cardio exercise for conditioning the muscles and joints for the high intensity activities. Exercises commonly present in the fitness regimen of boot camps include body weight exercises such as squat-thrust, pushups, walking lunge, ski jumps, jumping jacks etc. Each workout lasts for about 30 to 60 seconds. Immediately after finishing an exercise, the exerciser moves to the next exercise. All the exercises should be completed in ten minutes. The entire series of exercises should be repeated two to three times. The workout session ends with about five to ten minutes of low intensity cardio exercises.




What is the Difference between HIIT and Long Workouts

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of workout regimen that alternates short intense anaerobic workouts with long active recovery periods. It helps to improve endurance, athletic performance, stimulates glucose metabolism and accelerates fat burning. HIIT is considered more effective than long cardio workouts. Compared with long workouts, the benefits of HIIT are realized in a shorter time.

What is HIIT?

A typical HIIT session starts with warm up aerobic workouts, followed by high intensity exercises and ends with low intensity cardio. Each high intensity workout is performed up to the maximum capacity, until the exerciser goes out of breath. A typical high intensity interval comprises of three to ten reps of a high intensity exercise for about 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Each intense training interval is followed by 2 to 3 minutes of low intensity cardio for recovery.

What is Long Duration Cardio?

Long duration workouts comprise of moderate intensity cardio exercises. The workout regimen is preceded by low intensity warm up exercises to condition the muscles and joints. The moderate intensity interval is followed by low intensity recovery workouts.

Who Needs Long Workouts

Long workouts are recommended for beginners who have almost zero endurance. These exercises are suitable for all exercisers regardless of age and health condition. The steady exercise schedule can be easily maintained by most exercisers. The long duration cardio exercises are also suitable for people striving to lose weight. Moreover, the long duration workouts help to prepare the body for high intensity interval training in the future.

Who Needs HIIT

HIIT is recommended for experienced exercisers with a high endurance level. It is best suited for athletes, sports persons and body builders. Even people who want to lose weight at a faster rate can perform the high-intensity workouts. HIIT is more difficult than long duration cardio.

HIIT vs. Long Workouts

HIIT is more effective than long cardio workouts. The high-intensity anaerobic workouts help to break fats at a faster rate than aerobic workouts. Although these workouts are difficult and extremely fatiguing, nonetheless, by promoting cardiovascular fitness and by strengthening the muscles, they are more beneficial than the long duration moderate intensity workouts. As a typical HIIT session lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes, it is less time consuming than the long duration workouts. Within a short time, you can attain your target calorie expenditure. Moreover, HIIT helps to increase the metabolism rate of the body that helps to burn calories for several hours after the exercise session.

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The Best Workouts at Home

Most of our health problems are attributed to our sedentary lifestyle. Regular physical activities are essential for burning excess calories and maintaining healthy body weight. If time or financial constraint prevents you from visiting a gym, you can arrange for your fitness training right inside your home.

Home workouts are inexpensive and effective. You can realize the same benefits of a gym fitness training session in your home. Moreover, workouts at home can be performed at any time, even while watching the TV.

For the highest level of fitness training at home, your at-home workout schedule should comprise of cardio exercises and strength training. While the cardio exercises, by increasing the heart rate, accelerate fat burning, the strength training exercises strengthen the muscles and stimulate muscle growth

Best Workouts at Home

Jogging

A workout session at home can start with jogging. It is an effective warm up exercise that helps to condition the muscles for moderate or high intensity exercises. If you cannot jog outdoors, you can jog at a stationary position at home.

Jumping Rope

Another effective warm up exercise, jumping rope helps to burn significant amount of calories. A typical fitness-training schedule comprises of 30 to 60 seconds of jumping followed by moderate to high intensity cardio exercises or strength training workouts.

Pushups

Pushup is an effective bodyweight exercise that helps to build lean muscles. There are different variations of pushups that can be included in a workout schedule. You can perform pushups with your hands wide apart or hands close together. A typical pushup session should comprise of 10 to 15 reps.

Bench Dips

Bench dips help to build the triceps, shoulder and chest muscles. You will need two chairs for performing bench dips. Each bench dip session comprises of 15 reps.

Squat

Squat is a form of strength training that targets the thigh, buttocks, hips and quads. There are different variants of squats that can be performed at home. For best results, squats should be performed with dumbbells. Each squat session should comprise of 20 reps. You can also perform bodyweight squats without weight. Squat jump is a form of bodyweight squat that strengthens the leg muscles and accelerates fat burning.

Kickboxing

Kickboxing helps to burn significant amount of calories within a short time. You can punch or kick in the air or against a bag. However, it is advisable to seek the advice of a fitness instructor before performing these workouts.

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What are MMA Gloves?

Mixed martial arts gloves, commonly known as MMA gloves, are a type of open fingered gloves with padding. They are designed to protect the fists of the fighters participating in mixed martial art fights. The weighted pad minimizes the risk of knuckle injury during the combat, while the open finger design eases finger movements during a fight.

During MMA workouts or fights, you will need appropriate MMA gloves, shoes and shorts. These essential gears apart from offering the highest level of protection during combats also ease movements during fights. Hence, you will need a good pair of boxing gloves of a reputed brand to display your best mixed martial art skills.

Types of MMA Gloves

Heavy MMA Gloves

The weight of the weighted boxing gloves should be taken into account while selecting a pair of MMA gloves. The heavy 6-oz MMA gloves are best suited for beginners and amateur MMA fighters. The heavy padded gloves offer maximum protection to the fists during a fight. They can also reduce the risk of facial injuries.

Lightweight MMA Gloves

However, professional MMA fighters prefer the lighter 4-oz MMA gloves. The lightweight gloves can also be worn during workouts. MMA gloves designed for professional competitions contain lesser material than the workout MMA gloves, thereby allowing flexible hand movements. They are more flexible and offer better mobility than the heavy boxing gloves. However, MMA gloves do not offer sufficient wrist support. If you need wrist support during workouts, you can wear a wrist wrap.

Uses of MMA gloves

Although MMA gloves are primarily designed for MMA fights, they can be used even for a number of non-MMA sports and workouts. Workouts that require the exerciser to exert excess weight on the hands require a protective gear for the hands to minimize the risk of injury to the wrist and knuckles. MMA gloves can protect your hand during pushups, jumping rope and while throwing medicine ball. Moreover, as the MMA gloves are not as heavy as regular boxing gloves they help to increase the mobility of the hands. The diverse range of motions supported by MMA gloves has made them a useful gear for workouts.

MMA gloves are different from regular boxing gloves. They are best suited for MMA fights and workouts. However, they are inappropriate for boxing. MMA gloves of reputed brands are highly durable. To maintain the shape of the cushion padding of the gloves, do not squeeze or squash the gloves while stashing them in the locker or gym bag.

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Bodybuilding Tricks for Older Men

Older men who have ignored their health in their youth encounter a number of physical and emotional problems with age. Nevertheless, it is never too late to fix your past mistakes and include workouts in your daily schedule.

However, your joints and muscles lose their flexibility with age. Your physical stamina and endurance level also declines. Nonetheless, even a person accustomed to sedentary living can join a cardio class and follow a fitness program to burn the body’s excess fat reserve, strengthen the muscles and joints and improve the quality of life.

As you grow old, the metabolism rate gradually slows down and you start gaining fat. Bodybuilding, by boosting the lean muscle mass, helps to push up the metabolism rate and inhibits obesity-related health problems. Moreover, by improving your body shape, it makes you look younger.

Bodybuilding Tricks for Older Men

Improve your Fitness Level
Before attending an intense weight-training program for building muscles, you must take steps to increase your fitness level. Especially older men who have avoided physical activities in the past must join cardio classes to condition their body for resistance training.

Weight Lifting
You may start your weight training at home with dumbbells. Perform 12 to 15 reps of weight training and progressively increase the weight. However, for best result, exercise under the guidance of an experienced fitness trainer.

Resistance Training
Apart from weight lifting, resistance-training workouts that target the muscles of the limbs, shoulder, chest and abdomen are included into the bodybuilding regimen. Push-ups, squats, crunches, bench dips are common strength training exercises that can be performed at home.

Track Changes

To make sure that you are moving on the right fitness track, monitor your muscle mass, and track changes in the widths of your waist and hip once a month.

Consult your Doctor
Seek the advice of your physician while planning your bodybuilding schedule. You should have an easily attainable target. Regular health checkups are recommended to avert health problems that may occur due to intense workout.

Avoid Excess Training
Strength training two to three times a week is usually sufficient for gaining muscle mass. Perform 12 to 15 reps up to the point of muscular failure during each weight lifting session.

Nutrition
Only slight increase in calorie intake can meet the energy requirement during workouts. Meet your protein requirement through low fat dairy, lean meat and poultry. Add sufficient healthy carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables and a small amount of fat to your diet.

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Are Eggs Okay on a Diet?

Egg is one of the most nutritious foods in the diet. It is a prominent source of protein. Egg also contains cholesterol. Due to its cholesterol content, people on low fat or healthy diet often avoid eggs.

However, a number of recent studies have shown that although eating excess eggs can boost the cholesterol level in the blood, people suffering from high cholesterol and heart problems can safely consume up to four eggs a week.

Cholesterol in Eggs

Cholesterol is an important component of the cell membrane. It is also essential for the synthesis of several hormones and vitamin D. The liver, intestines, reproductive organs and the adrenal glands are main sites of cholesterol synthesis in the body. A small amount of the cholesterol requirement of the body is met from dietary sources. Egg yolk is a common source of dietary cholesterol. The yolk in a large egg contains approximately 186 mg of cholesterol.

A healthy individual can consume up to 300 mg of cholesterol per day. People suffering from cardiovascular diseases or high blood cholesterol should limit their daily cholesterol intake to 200 mg per day. If you want to include at least one egg in your diet daily, the amount of other animal and dairy products in your diet should be reduced accordingly. However, cholesterol is found only in egg yolk. Egg fat is free from cholesterol and unhealthy fats. Hence, you can eat egg whites freely.

Protein in Egg

Egg is an excellent source of protein. About 10 percent of the daily protein requirement can be met by consuming a large egg. Moreover, egg is a low calorie source of protein. A large egg contains about 70 to 80 calories.

Vitamins and Minerals in Eggs

Egg is a good source of vitamins A, D and several B vitamins. It is also a valuable source of iron and iodine.

Benefits of Eating Eggs

There are numerous benefits of consuming eggs. Researchers have not found any significant link between egg and risk of heart attack and stroke. Egg is one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a number of health disorders.

Hence, a part of the daily vitamin D requirement of the body can be met by consuming eggs. Egg is also a good source of zeaxanthin and lutein, nutrients that help to maintain healthy vision. Choline in egg helps to sustain the normal functions of the cardiovascular system and the nervous system. Therefore, you can safely add one to two eggs to your diet.

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Sports Performance and Caffeine

Caffeine is an active ingredient in coffee, tea, chocolate and cola. It is also used as a stimulant drug for boosting sport performance. A number of athletes drink coffee or a caffeine-based health drink before a competition to improve their performance. Studies suggest that caffeine is an effective performance booster. Moreover, it is the only legal performance enhancer.

Caffeine is an excellent stimulant. It is easily absorbed. After consuming coffee or any other caffeinated product, the caffeine level in the blood peaks within 45 to 60 minutes. The stimulant effect of caffeine increases the heart rate, boosts the metabolism rate, and accelerates fat burning. The stimulant effect of coffee usually lasts for a few hours.

How Caffeine Works

Glycogen and fats are the main fuel sources for the muscles. As long as there is sufficient glycogen reserve in the body, fats are rarely broken down to supply energy to the muscles. Caffeine enables the working muscles to use fats even when enough glycogen is available. By utilizing fat and sparing glycogen, the muscles can work harder.

By increasing endurance, caffeine helps to improve sports performance. Moreover, caffeine also stimulates the muscles to release calcium stored in them, thereby allowing the muscles to work faster. In addition, caffeine also reduces the perception of exhaustion. As athletes feel less fatigued by drinking caffeinated beverages, they can work harder for a longer time.

Although laboratory studies suggest that caffeine can cause 20 to 25 percent improvement in the performance level of athletes, according to real world observations, about 5 percent increase in performance can be expected by taking caffeine before a sports event.

How to Use Caffeine for Increasing Sports Performance
A small amount of caffeine is usually sufficient for improving endurance. However, the amount of caffeine an athlete needs for improving sports performance depends on his/her body weight.

The performance boosting effect of caffeine can be realized by taking 1 to 6 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight. You can drink 4 to 20 ounces of coffee before a competition. However, consuming too much caffeine will not help. It may actually reduce your stamina.

For best results, drink about four ounces of coffee, three to four hours before an event. To realize the full effect of caffeine, it is advisable to avoid or limit consumption of caffeinated products for three to four days before the race. When coupled with appropriate fitness training, caffeine can cause significant improvement in athletic performance.

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Does Milk Build Muscle?

Milk is one of the finest sources of high quality protein that help in growth and maintenance of muscles. Hence, milk is an essential food for building muscles.

To accelerate muscle growth, you must drink several glasses of milk daily. Apart from supplying your body good quality proteins, milk is also a prominent dietary source of calcium. Calcium is essential for the bones. It also helps to maintain the normal muscle activities. Dairy calcium also helps to break down fats. Milk supplies the body this essential mineral without which your muscles cannot relax properly.


How Much Milk You Need to Build Muscles

To promote muscle growth, depending upon your daily protein requirement, you can drink up to two gallons of milk each day. About 32 grams of protein is present in a liter of milk. To build muscles, a person needs approximately 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. The high amount of protein required for promoting muscle growth can be easily met by including several glasses of milk in the daily diet of a bodybuilder.

Protein in Milk


Milk protein comprises of 80 percent casein and 20 percent whey. Both casein and whey are essential for bodybuilding. Casein is digested slowly in the body, and is therefore, ideal for meeting the protein requirement of the body in between meals or while resting. Moreover, the slow rate of digestion ensures maximum absorption of the milk protein.

Whey on the other hand is rapidly digested in the body. It contains amino acids that are most needed for muscle building. As the amino acids in whey are absorbed at a faster pace, whey helps to support recovery of the muscles after a workout. Instead of taking a separate whey supplement, you can drink a glass of milk to promote post workout recovery.

Calcium in Milk

Calcium deficiency causes muscle cramps and increases the risk of strains and muscle injuries. Most of your daily calcium requirement can be met by consuming milk daily. Moreover, calcium in milk accelerates fat metabolism. Hence, to boost your lean muscle mass, you require sufficient calcium in your daily diet.

Milk Types

To realize the maximum benefit of the milk nutrients, you should drink semi-skimmed milk. However, if you require excess protein to reach your target body weight, you can include full fat milk in your diet. As the caloric value and fat content are higher in whole milk, consume whole milk in moderation.


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The Truth about Building Muscle

Muscle building not only gives you a great body to boast of, it also entails several health benefits. Apart from strengthening the body muscles, the lean muscle mass helps to replace the fat cells in the body. Muscle building workout is therefore an important constituent of a fitness regimen.

However, the process of gaining muscles is unclear to many people. Muscle building is mistakenly associated only with bodybuilding. Apart from bodybuilders and sportspersons, muscle building benefits every person.

Weight Lifting for Building Muscle


To build muscles, you must train intensely with heavy weights. You must train regularly, progressively increasing the weight to gain muscles. However, you need not spend a long time in the gym, lifting weights, to grow muscles. The weight you are lifting to gain muscles should be heavy enough to perform 10 to 12 reps to the point of muscular failure when your muscle cannot lift the weight despite best effort.

If you can perform more than 15 reps with a specific weight, the weight is no more effective for growing muscles. Therefore, you must increase the weight to perform not more than 12 reps to further increase your muscle mass. To build muscles, strength training with appropriate weight for about 20 to 30 minutes two to three times a week is usually sufficient.

Increase Protein Consumption

Although to build muscles, you must increase your daily protein intake, but an excessively protein rich diet is not needed for growing muscles. A high protein diet in the absence of proper weight training cannot affect the size of your lean muscles. Consuming excess protein, on the other hand, may cause adverse side effects. It is estimated that to grow muscle, a person needs about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Increase Carbohydrate Consumption

Carbohydrate is the main fuel source of the body. Although carbohydrate does not help to grow muscles, nonetheless, it is needed to provide energy to perform high intensity workouts for boosting the muscle mass. To gain muscles, you must consume excess calories. The additional calorie in the muscle building diet should come from healthy sources of carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Muscle Building with Steroids

Only through hard work, you can grow muscles. Growing muscles is a time consuming process. However, you might be tempted to boost your muscles mass with the help of anabolic steroids. These synthetic hormones are unsafe for health. Intake of anabolic steroids is associated with serious liver and heart problems.

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