Why Do You Want To Learn Mixed Martial Arts

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We do things for a reason. Sometimes, this could just be a spur of the moment. But when you want to learn mixed martial arts, you have to be committed.

Mixed martial arts consists of various techniques. Examples of these include karate, judo, aikido, jujitsu and a lot more. The nice thing about each of them is that you can start learning this regardless of your age.

So what do you get from learning the mixed martial art? You become self-confident, get a good workout, build up your endurance and have good balance and coordination.

This first begins by learning one technique and then moving on to another. When you know them, the trick is now knowing when you switching from one style to the next especially when the need calls for it.

Many people want to learn mixed martial arts for defensive purposes and this is a very good reason. Some say that this is much better than a self-defense course because this is useless if the attacker is much bigger than you.

Mixed martial arts is useful because you can switch from defensive to offensive mode at any time. Since you practice this regularly, what you do is already automatic.

Some decide to get into mixed martial arts to stay fit. This is because even one class a week is more than enough to get your heart rate pumping and keep your muscles in check.

People who want fame and fortune can also learn mixed martial arts and then get to compete in competitions like those in the Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC. The top caliber athletes in this sport have practiced this for years so you better train hard if you want to be in the same level as them.

There is nothing to stop you from learning more than one martial art. In fact, the more you know the better because each technique has strengths and weaknesses. If you know what these are, you can exploit it and use this to your advantage.

A good example of this is boxing because it is a contact sport that only allows you to use your hands. But if your opponent is beyond your arm’s reach, this is useless. If you want to hit them, you have to go closer or learn karate which is the basis of martial arts training since you are able to utilize your hands and legs for defense and offense.

Another technique which many come in handy when using the legs is Tae Kwon Do since there are aerial kicks involved. This is good for someone who has long legs but difficult for someone who is not agile or flexible.

Since it is hard to kick or punch in close quarters, this is when judo or jujitsu is very useful. This is because you get to grapple your enemy and still do some damage even when both of you are on the ground.

Self-defense, exercise and for competitive purposes are the three main reasons that make a lot of decide to learn mixed martial arts. Of course, there are other sports that allow you to do the same thing but if you are interested from what you see on television, there is no harm in giving it a try.

 

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Muscle vs. Fat and Your Energy Level

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Right now, the greatest results in raising our metabolism come from exercise and building our muscle mass, while reducing our body fat. Adding more muscle to the body, in turn causes us to burn more calories, and this helps to elevate our metabolic rate.

What determines our metabolic rate, as far as our genetics? Generally, we tend to inherit the same tendencies for metabolic rates, body frames, and other related body functions from our parents.
All of this metabolic process is related to our calorie intake, our vitamin and nutrition needs, our thyroid and endocrine production, and how well all of these processes come together.

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The body’s metabolism is a unique process for each individual person. No two people metabolize food at the same rate therefore no two people have the metabolism. We all use our calories at different rates, with different results. Our metabolism, like our fingerprints is unique to each of us. But the need to understand and accommodate this metabolism is an issue that we all face. I said all of that, to say this, our metabolism affects our energy levels, and our muscle mass and body fat also affect our energy levels. When you bring the two together, you have the opportunity to create lots of energy, raise a person’s self-esteem, and give them a new lease on life. But all of this isn’t easy to attain.

Some people have really high rates of metabolism. In other words, when they consume food, their bodies burn it up almost as fast as then consume it. Then there are those of use who use our food intake so slowly, as to not even notice that we’re burning calories. These people who burn quickly are often slim and trim, the people who burn more slowly are the people with a tendency toward obesity. The people with really high metabolic rates are generally the people who feel better and have the most energy. Their body is using the food intake to its maximum, and the body feels alive and full of vitality. The sluggish metabolism on the other hand, can have almost the opposite situation; low energy levels, with very little motivation to make lifestyle changes.

The only recourse we have in trying to control our body weight, metabolic burn and health is through our thorough understanding of the role food plays in our calorie consumption versus our calorie need, and control how much of the calories we take in.

Our metabolism functions also depend on how well we have taken care of our nutritional needs. The process of burning calories and creating energy is a delicate one, and one which must be carefully tended, or it can become imbalanced. It is often through these natural imbalances that we tend to “inherit’ our metabolic rate, our body weight, and the lower energy levels.

I believe through careful analysis, and attention to each person’s unique needs, we could bring about a more natural balance of the metabolic burn vs. the calorie intake. To a level where optimal health and weight control are in equilibrium.

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3 Easy Dieting Success

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In short we all need to be healthy and fit. We each have our own reasons from looking good naked to being around for the kids, maybe the doctor ordered us too. So enjoy these quick and easy dieting tips to help along with your success.

All too often we fail to think about what we are doing to ourselves and our families. So do it for them as well as yourself.

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1. Drink 8-10 glasses of water each day

Okay, for many people this is a big problem. Water doesn’t taste all that great generally because water doesn’t really “taste” like anything. Drinking water 8 to 10 times each day gets easier the more you actually do it. It is simply a matter of conditioning your taste buds, and yourself, so that it becomes easier to do. Once you get started, you will begin to crave water.
To begin with, you should drink a glass of water in the morning first thing, before you eat. This is probably the easiest glass you will drink all day and it will help you remember to drink water all day long. Better yet, why not drink two glasses?
If you really cannot bear the taste of water, try using a water purifying pitcher or filter. You can also add a few drops of lemon or lime to your water – but no sugar or sweetener! Ice also helps.
Check out flavored waters on the market, too. Just keep an eye out for additives.

2. Eat breakfast

Do not skip breakfast. If you need to go to bed a little earlier so that you can get up 20 minutes earlier each morning – do it! Breakfast is so important to your good health and to weight control. According to Dr. Barbara Rolls a professor of nutrition at Penn State University, “Your metabolism slows while you sleep, and it doesn’t rev back up until you eat again.”

Eating breakfast is not only good for overall weight loss, it will help you stay on track with your diet the rest of the day. You are more likely to binge on something sweet and in the “bread” group if you skip breakfast.

You can always keep a couple of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge or some high-fiber, low starch fruit around. If you plan to eat fruit at all during the day, breakfast is the perfect time to do it.

3. Eat at least 3 meals and snacks each day

This can be one of the hardest adjustments to make. After all, you are busy! You already have a “full-plate”. When do you have time to worry about filling your plate with more frequent meals?

Just like eating breakfast will increase your metabolism, so will eating more often. This will also help you curb your bad-carb intake by making sure that your snacks are planned and occur regularly throughout the day.

Really, it will just take a minimal investment of planning time at the grocery store and at home each morning before you head out for the day to make some healthy food choices and prepare a few healthy snacks and meals.

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Mixed Martial Arts through the Web

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Many people have discovered various uses for the web. You can use it for research, buy and sell merchandise or simply advertise your products and services to the audience. If you are a mixed martial artist and want to get in the game, this tool can help jump-start your fighting career.

This is made possible because of websites that enable you to gain free exposure. Some of these are designed by the fighter themselves so they know what they are talking about when they are giving free advice on how to start or improve your martial arts career in the form of blogs and videos. If you don’t have a manager yet, the website can recommend someone.

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Aside from starting your mixed martial arts career, these websites post ads so those who need a training partner may be able to find one and help them prepare for an upcoming competition. If you are a little short on cash, mixed martial arts websites can help you find sponsors. This is updated daily so if you don’t see anything in your area, it is possible for you to do so tomorrow.

One person who made it big using these websites is Chuck Liddell who worked his way to the top and defeated Quinton Jackson in Pride, an organization similar to the UFC or Ultimate Fighting Championship. If it wasn’t for the information available there, nobody would still now him.

Most of these sites encourage mixed martial arts and fans to sign up and become a member. This will allow you to post questions and comments if you don’t agree with what other members are saying.

The other benefits of becoming a member allows fighters will be able to form a network, mixed martial arts event organizers may hire officials and ring card girls to be present during an event and fans will be able to watch professional and amateur competitions.

Websites that focus on mixed martial arts are there and all you have to do is find it. How many are there? There is no actual figure but with more people becoming interested in the sport, you will probably find a few out there that are worth visiting over and over again.

You can simply start by typing in a few keywords like the names of mixed martial artists or the word mixed martial arts itself so you can see them appear on your computer screen in a matter of seconds.

The challenging part is looking through each one so you will know which of these sites are relevant or not. Once you find something you like, bookmark the page so you can easily visit it with a click of the mouse. Spread the word around by forwarding the site to your friends so they too will be able to enjoy it.

For the fans, the journey ends there. But if you are a fighter, the information is simply a guide. You have to win a few matches first so people will know who you are.

One website which you can check out is MMARecruiter.com. You will be able to find here almost everything that was mentioned earlier. Once you have visited it, look at the others because they may have something else to offer especially if you are a die hard fan of this full contact sport.

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How Much Food is Enough?

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As you study the food pyramid published by the USDA, we can examine some of the better foods, and try to decide what particular formulas make us the healthiest on average. The average person needs an hour of physical exercise, six to eleven servings of grains, two to four servings of fruit, three to five servings of vegetables, two to three servings of meat, two to three servings of milk, and enough water to make it all work.

The foods of the food pyramid are necessary for our optimal health. But in what quantities and which ones are the best? These are questions that must be tailored to our individual needs. And the answers will benefit our unique needs. Healthy for me, is not the same as healthy for you. Everyone’s nutritional needs are different, and everyone’s level of calorie consumption is different.

The guidelines found on the general chart of the pyramid are as listed above, and this could be the formula for an eighty year old man, or a fifteen year old girl. The recommended daily calorie intake is just as vague and generalized as the daily food intake pyramid. Can you see how this might not work for either one? When a guideline published is this general, it is up to the individual to determine what food regimen will keep them at their healthiest, provide the caloric intake necessary, but not excessive.

According to the guides published by the USDA, calorie needs vary from one age group to another, one gender to another. So how do you determine what your individual needs are? You can setup a journal for recording your daily caloric intake for about a month. Make a note of your weight each day. If you don’t gain any weight during the course of that month, you’re eating your recommended calorie level in order to maintain your weight. Now, take that calorie information, use the food pyramid and comprise a combination of foods that will help you achieve this recommended daily intake, and still be enough to be filling and please the palette. You now have an individualized healthy eating plan.

Once the importance of a particular food plan is understood by us, it is a simple as learning our multiplication tables. We simply memorize the food requirements, and incorporate it into our daily intake as needed. As you take the time to incorporate a healthy food plan, don’t’ forget the necessity of exercise in our daily lives. In order to keep our bodies healthy and functioning as expected, we need to keep it fit. This comes through proper amounts of exercise

It is at this point in the process that we seem to lack the direction to finish what the government started. Maybe we need to incorporate these techniques into a class taught at school. Maybe this would give our young people the direction and tools they need in order to begin such a process, make it a lifetime habit, and pass it along to their children. Whatever the formula, your food intake and level of calorie content, will affect your general overall health everyday. Overeating can bring on obesity, under eating can bring about anemia; you need to find that one right guide for you, and plan, plan, plan.

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3 Steps to Permanent Weight Loss

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There is not another subject on the planet more confusing than weight loss. There are literally thousands and thousands of books written on the topic and each one disagrees with the next. But, there is a secret to permanent weight loss and it is simple.

The real secret to permanent weight loss is…

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The ability to sustain the daily practice of healthy, moderate eating and exercise habits long enough to attain the results you desire, and then continue performing these habits in order to maintain your results for lifelong success!

There is it. I know, it sounds simple but it is not! We live in a fast food, everything-should-be-easy, bigger-is-better society. Gluttony and instant gratification are the norm.

I believe there are three obstacles that thwart our ability to practice the healthy, moderate eating and exercise habits necessary to attain the results we desire, they are:

1) Getting most of our pleasure in life through the food we eat
2) Lack of long-term self-discipline in the areas of health and fitness
3) Lack of long-term self-motivation in the areas of health and fitness

Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

OBSTACLE ONE

Most people are so busy day-in and day-out that the food they eat is their greatest pleasure. This is a true danger that prevents permanent weight loss. If you’re burning the candle at both ends, rushing from one commitment to the next all day long, when you sit down to eat you want it to be extra good, because you deserve it.

SOLUTION ONE

Find ways to get more pleasure in a day. Have ten minutes of quiet time everyday reading your favorite book or magazine, spend a few minutes with a friend on the phone, or begin a new hobby that is fun. It doesn’t take a lot of time; just find other ways to load up on pleasure so that you don’t have to load up on food.

OBSTACLE TWO

Most people do not have the chip in their brains that allows for joyful self-discipline in the areas of health and fitness. Most of us have to be disciplined to get to work on time, meet deadlines, follow traffic laws, but not to limit food or exercise regularly. Some rationalize that since they have to be so disciplined in other ways they don’t want to be when it comes to their food and exercise.

SOLUTION TWO

To establish long-term self-discipline you must focus on the joy of the reward you will get at the end of the road, not the challenge of the journey. So make a list of the top ten rewards you will gain when you lose weight. You must also ask yourself what it costs you to be overweight. Does it cost you your self-respect? Your joy and aliveness in life? Has it cost you a relationship or a job? Remembering the rewards and the cost makes practicing self-discipline a lot easier.

OBSTACLE THREE

It’s easy to be motivated around January 1st, but what happens to all that motivation around March 1st? Or the first time a brownie passes by? Believe it or not, most people are not the master of their own motivation. They think just because they want it that it is motivation enough, and it is not.

SOLUTION THREE

You must reinvent your motivation every day. To do this write the top ten reasons you want to lose weight and keep it off. Also, make a list of the people who motivate you to want to lose weight and why. Review these lists, along with the ones you created above, in the morning and in the evening. Your motivation is ever evolving so what motivated you last week might not be motivating next week. So revise your lists regularly.

When you overcome these obstacles you will lose weight because over time, you will find other ways to get pleasure in your life, you will practice positive self-discipline and learn to live on less food and love it, and you will reinvent the motivation everyday to keep it all going.

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Mixed Martial Arts Training Gym

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With mixed martial arts gaining a lot of popularity, it didn’t take long before mixed martial arts training gyms have sprouted around.

People may join to simply increase their fitness levels or train themselves to also participate in mixed martial arts competitions.

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Since mixed martial arts are a combination of various fighting techniques, the trainers there will teach you the various disciplines. These may include kick boxing, boxing, judo, jujitsu and wrestling.

Members will be able to practice in a MMA octagon, utilize weights and cardio equipment as well as heavy and speed backs.

Mixed martial arts gym offer different packages to choose from. For instance, you can sign up for the gym membership which allows you to use the facilities but you will not be able to join any of the classes. But if you pay a little more, this will entitle you to join the classes.

The class schedule is usually posted in the bulletin board. There is also a copy which you can bring home. While browsing around the web for a gym, you can also look at it since this is also featured in their website so you this into your schedule. If you are busy at work during the weekdays, don’t worry because you can make up for it since many of them have classes on weekends.

Rates are usually billed on a monthly basis with no time obligation. This means you can cancel your membership any time you like or even freeze it for a short period of time if you will be out of town.

If you don’t want to attend a class, see if there are private lessons being offered. This usually last a hour long and if you paid in advance for 10 sessions, you could get a discount.

But how will you know if this is a good martial arts training gym? For that, you will have to do some research by asking those who are currently the members there or go online since there are websites that review such facilities. The important thing to consider is the ability of the trainer to help you reach your desired fitness level.

You will then set an appointment for a free introductory class so you can get a feel of what it is like to workout in a mixed martial arts training gym. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask because part of the job of the trainer is to answer any issues you may have.

If you are still having a hard time looking for a mixed martial arts gym, why don’t you go to a local MMA event and ask to fans and fighters themselves so you will know where they train. You can also ask people at work if any of them are members.

Watching a mixed martial arts competition on television could also help because some gyms are major sponsors. All you have to do is check if there is branch that is in your neighborhood.

You will be more self-confident about yourself when you decide to enroll in a mixed martial arts training gym because what they teach you will be very useful if someone tries to mug you. This is also the first step that everyone has to take if they also want to compete in this sport.

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How Does Our Food Intake Affect Our Health?

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We can examine some of the better foods, and offer advice as to what particular formulas make us the healthiest on average. On average, you need an hour of exercise and enough servings from all the food groups to completely cover the food pyramid.

This could be the formula for an eighty year old man, or a fifteen year old girl. The recommended daily calorie intake is just as vague and generalized as the daily food intake pyramid. Can you see how this might not work for either one? When a guideline published is this general, it is up to the individual to determine what food regimen will keep them at their healthiest, and then implement such a plan.

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The foods of the food pyramid are necessary for our optimal health. But in what quantities and which ones are the best? These are questions that must be tailored to our individual needs. So must the answer to what foods make us healthy be a unique one.

Healthy for me, is not the same as healthy for you. Everyone’s nutritional needs are different, and everyone’s level of calorie consumption is different.

Once the importance of a particular food plan is understood by us, it is a simple as learning our multiplication tables. We simply memorize the benefit, and incorporate it into our daily intake as needed. As you take the time to incorporate a healthy food plan, don’t’ forget the necessity of exercise in our daily lives. In order to keep our bodies healthy and functioning off of healthy food, we need to keep it fit. This comes through proper amounts of exercise.

According to the guides published by the USDA, your calorie needs are as individual as you. So how do you determine what your individual needs are? There’s one simple way to determine your calorie needs, simply keep a journal of your daily food intake. Now, take that calorie information, check with a nutritionist about the recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals that you need. Take both pieces of information, calorie intake and nutritional requirements, use the food pyramid and comprise a combination of foods that will help you achieve these recommended daily intakes, and still be enjoyable food. You now have an individualized healthy eating plan.

What those foods might be, are entirely dependent upon the unique guideline you have just established. This guide will not work for Cousin Bob, or Aunt Tilley, but it is the unique blueprint for you. It is at this point in the process that we seem to lack the direction or the discipline to finish what the government started. Maybe we need to incorporate these techniques into a class taught at school. Maybe this would give our young people the direction and tools they need in order to begin such a process, make it a lifetime habit, and pass it along to their children. Whatever the formula, your food intake, types and level of calorie content, will affect your general overall health everyday. Overeating can bring on obesity, under eating can bring about anemia; you need to find that one right guide for you, and plan, plan, plan.

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3 Amazing Ways to Shape Up in Less Than 7 Days

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Imagine you need to look great to get all the attention at the biggest party of the year. The cloak has already started ticking and you have got 7 days to fix yourself for the D-Day. If you can take out 15 to 30 minutes in the next few days, you can be ready for action.

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Step 1

  • Exercise: Start with skipping and jogging and chin-ups by hanging from a rod for warming up.
  • Two steps of crunches or sit-ups for strengthening and toning your abdominal muscles.
  • Then go for Flat bench press and dumbbell flyers for the entire chest area, focusing mainly on the      inner chest and followed by 2 sets of push-ups.
  • Work on your trapezium for the collar muscle and shoulder pressing.
  • For biceps the exercise to be followed is standing barbell curl.
  • Next you can work out on your Triceps with Single dumbbell or French press and fore forearms.
  • Skipping will have an effect on your legs, other wise you can go for Squats and back with lat pull down.

Step 2

Diets are just as important as exercise, because it is the most important part of getting the body you want. You have to eat good to look good. You need protein, and you don’t need fat. Stay away from junk and fatty foods. Not all fat is bad; there is a healthy fat. This fat can be found in fish, Nuts and some oils. Have Lots of fibers such as leafy vegetables, salads and daily products.

Step 3

The results though wont come easily and they wont come very fast either, So Stay dedicated, motivated and consistent, and do all 3 steps correctly to get the desired result.

 

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Mixed Martial Arts Training Products

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Practice makes perfect and the only way you can do that is to train constantly. Although the weapon in mixed martial arts is your body, the only way to practice your technique properly is by using the proper training products that are available in the market.

During practice and in the ring, you need to use a prime-time level glove that is sanctioned for use in amateur events. This is available in both open and closed palm designs which offers the right amount of protection to your arms and at the same time does not restrict you ability to grab your opponent.

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The heavy bag is another thing you need for training. It is heavy and weights about 100 pounds and is a full 6 feet in height. This will allow you to do a full range of strikes which is a very good cardio workout.

To practice your punches and agility, you will need a curved focus mitt. This is worn by your trainer and you get to punch it while at times, you have to dodge when your trainer decides to hit you.

Mixed martial arts fighters wear shorts or pants during practice and in the ring. You just have to make sure that this is approved for use before you use it.

You could lose more than a tooth when you are punched in the face. You could get a concussion or even a broken jaw which is why you also need to put on a mouth guard at all times. Studies have shown that this will also make you less vulnerable of getting a knockout but despite that, this still happens when you don’t have any energy left in the ring.

Although there are rules in mixed martial arts competitions that prohibit the opponent or you from hitting the groin or any other vital area, this still happens. Fortunately, you can protect that from happening by wearing pads.

Last but not the least is the helmet. If the mouth guard protects your jaws and teeth, the helmet will protect your head and face. You have to remember that some boxers have died because of a significant blow to the head and this can also happen during a mixed martial arts competition. The ideal helmet should have different openings for better cooling and ventilation when you are in the heat of combat. This should also protect your ears, eyes and forehead in the event of a frontal strike.

For people who want to study how other mixed martial artists do it, you can also buy videos and then watch this at your own convenience. There are many around and if you want to buy it, try downloading this from the web. The best part is that it is free.

The price range for each of the mixed martial arts training products varies and they could reach more than $100 a piece. While some gyms already have some of these items, you have to buy those which you will use personally. After all, will you let someone borrow your shorts, helmet or mouth guard?

You can buy mixed martial arts training equipment in your favorite sporting goods store or online. These come in different sizes and colors so you won’t have a problem finding one that suits your taste.

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You Are What You Eat, Right? (diet tips)

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To say that our diet contributes to our health and makes us the people we are is an understatement. The daily diet of every individual helps to determine the quality and length of our own lives, and quite often it affects the quality of our children’s lives.

Everyone has heard your mother say, “You are what you eat, so eat right!” How many of us have ever stopped to really consider what she was saying? You become a product of what you put into your body. Food is not the only contributing factor, but it is one of the major ones. Your genetics plays a role in your health, too. But you can turn the tide even with poor genetics if your diet is a healthy one.

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The diet factor becomes an even more important aspect of our health as we age. Quite often, as our bodies begin to deteriorate, our food and exercise become the reason that we continue to enjoy a quality life, or the reason we are bedridden or otherwise incapacitated. Medical advances have helped to lengthen the life span of the average person by almost 15 years. Along with those advances, have come better living conditions and a better educated public about their food choices. Today’s consumer is more health conscious than ever before, but that doesn’t mean we’re actually eating healthier than ever before. In all actuality, the obesity rate in the United States has reached epidemic proportions. If we are exercising, eating healthier and receiving better medical care than ever before, why are we still fighting obesity issues?

The answer may be found in the statement made previously. You are what you eat. Our daily diet consists of a low intake in fat, and a higher intake of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates turn to sugar once inside the body’s digestive system. Excess sugar is stored as fat. It’s that simple. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Carbohydrates make you fat. Even the most health conscious consumer can get caught up in the “low fat” misleading labels. Just because it is low fat, doesn’t make it healthy eating. Take the time to know your body, your energy needs, and how to read food labeling for the best health results.

Eating healthy means eating what your individual body needs to keep it running in optimal condition. That often consists of more fruits and vegetables and less processed or manufactured food. The processed and manufactured food is often faster to prepare or consume, but it is not always the healthy choice.

Did you know that your metabolism affects how much food you need, and when?

Metabolism plays a huge role in determining the burn rate of your calorie intake. Your body runs off fuel, just like your car. And, just like your car, if your body’s injectors are clean and efficient, you burn your fuel more effectively. The more effectively we digest our food and turn it into fuel, the healthier we are. Usually, we need less food if we’re making the most of our daily intake.

So, in order to eat healthy for life, we need to understand our individual needs, the role each part of the food group plays in keeping us healthy, and make adjustments as necessary.

 

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3 Biggest Benefits of Strength Training

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Strength training is exercise that uses resistance to strengthen and condition the muscular-skeletal system, improving muscle tone and endurance. “Strength training” is used as a general term synonymous with other common terms: “weightlifting” and “resistance training.”

Physiologically, the benefits of consistent strength training include an increase in muscle size and tone, increased muscular strength, and increases in tendon, bone, and ligament strength. Lifting weights has also been shown to improve psychological health as well, by increasing self-esteem, confidence and self-worth.

strength training

Improved Physical Appearance and Performance

One important result of strength training is increased physical performance. Muscles quite literally utilize energy to produce movement, functioning as the engine or powerhouse of the body. Strength training increases the muscles’ size, strength, and endurance, which contribute to improvements in our work, favorite sports hobbies, and our general day-to-day activities.
Another benefit of a good strength-training program is its effect on our overall appearance and body composition. Which can directly influence self-esteem, self-worth, and level of confidence. Take, for example, a 170-pound man who has 20 percent body fat; 34 pounds of fat weight and 136 pounds of lean body weight (muscle, bones, organs, water, etc). By beginning an effective strength training program, he replaces five pounds of fat with five pounds of muscle. He still weighs 170 pounds, but he is now 17 percent fat with 29 pounds of fat weight and 141 pounds of lean body weight. Although his body weight remains the same, his strength, muscle tone, and metabolism have improved, giving him a fit appearance.

Both our physical appearance and our physical performance can be improved by muscle gain or hampered by muscle loss. Research indicates that unless we strength train regularly; we lose about one-half pound of muscle every year of our lives after age 30. Unless we implement a safe and effective weight lifting program, our muscles gradually decrease in size and strength in the process called “atrophy.”

Lifting weights is therefore important for preventing the muscle loss that normally accompanies the aging process. A common misconception is that as we reach the age of senior citizens, it is normal to stop being active and to start using ambulatory aides like canes and wheelchairs. Many people think we have no choice; they think this is normal.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is absolutely no reason why all of us can’t be physically, mentally, socially, and sexually active, living a healthy vibrant life until our last day on Earth! The reason many elderly people rely on ambulatory aides and become slower and fatter is simply that over the years their muscles have been wasting away, so their physical performance and metabolism also decrease, becoming less efficient.

Increased Metabolic Efficiency (your ability to burn excess calories)

That one-half pound of muscle loss every year after age 30 produces a one-half percent reduction in basal metabolic rate (BMR) every year. A reduction in BMR means that our bodies are less able to use the food we consume as energy, thus more gets stored as body fat. “Basal metabolic rate” refers to the energy used by our body at rest to maintain normal body functions.

Our muscles have high-energy requirements. Even when we are sleeping, our muscles use more than 25% of our energy (calories). When you implement the principles of effective strength training and you are consistent in your program, you will achieve an increase in lean muscle mass throughout your body and increase your BMR. In other words, you can actually condition your metabolism to work better and more efficiently even when you are at rest.

An increase in muscle tissue causes an increase in metabolic rate, and a decrease in muscle tissue causes a decrease in metabolic rate. You can see that anyone interested in decreasing body fat percentage and their risk of disease as well as in increasing physical performance and appearance, should be strength training to help condition their metabolism (BMR).

One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a weight-management program is not including a strength training routine with their cardiovascular exercise and low-fat eating regimen. This is unfortunate because when we cut calories without exercise, we can lose muscle as well as fat.

Decreased Risk of Sustaining an Injury

Our muscles also function as shock absorbers and serve as important balancing agents throughout our body. Well-conditioned muscles help to lessen the repetitive landing forces in weight-bearing activities such as jogging or playing basketball. Well-balanced muscles reduce the risk of injuries that result when a muscle is weaker than its opposing muscle group.

To reduce the risk of unbalanced muscle development, you should make sure that when you are training a specific muscle group, the opposing muscle groups are being trained as well (though not necessarily on the same day). For example, if you are doing bench-pressing exercises for your chest, you should include some rowing exercises for your back muscles as well.

By now you have probably realized that weightlifting should be an important part of your exercise routine. Weightlifting provides many important benefits that cannot be achieved by any other exercise or activity. When you begin achieving great results, the excitement and fun you experience will make the change well worth the effort. Good luck; I hope you enjoy all the wonderful benefits of an effective strength training program.

 

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