Wonderfully Fit

Building an Unconventional ‘Functional’ Home Gym

In the last few years, the face of fitness has changed a great deal. We’ve seen a move away from very static, single-joint movements like the bicep curl and a move towards more adventurous and engaging forms of training. These include things like kettlebell training, TRX (suspension training), Indian club training, weighted stretching, squatting, deadlifting and more.

These types of exercises effectively allow us to use our body in the way it was intended: by using all of our muscles together rather than in an isolated fashion. The result is that we produce more growth hormone and testosterone (triggering greater muscle growth) and that we build a more stable and functional body.

kettlebell

 

The problem is that this type of training often doesn’t extend to the home gym. It’s not easy to fit a squat rack in your front room… so what can you do?

Here are some items that will allow you to build an awesome, functional and unique home gym that might be a little different from the other gym bros…

Kettlebell

The first thing you need to make your home workouts more functional is a kettlebell. This will immediately challenge you more by providing a more dynamic workout and by moving the center of gravity in unpredictable ways.

What’s more, is that kettlebell training allows you to perform movements like squats, deadlifts and more that you couldn’t train on your own otherwise.

Parallel Bars

Here is a simple tool that everyone can use in order to train and that not enough people have in their home. Parallel bars usually cost about $40 and allow you to perform dips, hand stands, planche, inverted push ups, neutral grip pull ups and much more.
They’re fun, easy to store and build incredibly dynamic strength.

Gymnastic Rings

Gymnastic rings can be used for many of the same exercises as parallel bars. The big difference is that you have to balance them and hold them steady while you train. They cost a lot less than TRX and have the added bonus of letting you perform dips too, so they are far superior in that sense.

Indian Club

Indian Clubs are the lesser-known little brothers of kettlebells. These let you train with similarly unconventional shapes and another uneven center of gravity, this time using a tool that looks a fair bit like a bowling pin! Grab onto the end and swing, push, lunge and generally sword fight an invisible opponent. That’s a fun way to build strength!

Balance Board

If you want to make any movement more challenging, more functional and more interesting then simply perform it while standing on a balance board. This will force you to balance while also moving the weight, which is much more challenging for your entire body.

Rope

A rope can be used for all manner of exercises. One of the simplest ways to train with it is to hang it over a pull up bar and then perform neutral grip pull ups with it. This will build grip strength as well as allowing you to train your biceps and lats. Otherwise, you can perform rows or even wrap it around your weights and pick them up that way!

Wonderfully Fit

Healthy Weight Loss Supplements

If you are overweight and diet and exercise regime can be somewhat of real challenge for you, a great step you can make is find weight loss supplements to make your weight loss more easy. Unfortunately most of the overweight people sink into the vast choice of weight loss pills available without researching what weight loss supplements are healthy.

In this article I will try to give some useful observation considering healthy weight loss supplements.

weight loss supplements

 

Well if we dig into weight loss supplements market and research it we will find two basic types of supplements available – chemical weight loss supplements and herbal or natural weight loss supplements.

First type is a known and approved way to assist in weight loss that was used for many obese people and really helped in their weight loss routines.

There are several most known brands of chemical supplements, like Xenical or Phentermine or Meridia – all based on chemicals affecting your weight in several ways of action.
For example, Xenical acts like fat blocker. It is known to reduce up to 25% of weight if used correctly. The pill is considered suitable even for long term weight loss.

Or Meridia, affecting our brain chemicals to increase body metabolism and suppress appetite. The supplement also showed effectiveness on obese patients.

Unfortunately, using chemical weight loss supplements is not a healthy way of weight loss for sure. Chemical combinations have side effects and in some cases can affect our health badly. They are used under doctor’s prescription usually and just in case patient does not have any serious medical conditions.

Another group is natural weight loss supplements, also known as herbal. These weight loss supplements are actually a mix of natural ingredients or both natural and safe chemical components designed to maximally affect our excess weight.

The only serious thing to mention here is that not every “natural” component is safe for your health. Well known example is ephedra or ma huang – herb that is used in many weight loss supplements as metabolism enhancer and thermogenic as well. Only after several fatal cases and severe side effects reported by many people who used ephedra, it has become clear that not every natural component is actually healthy one to use.

Ok, it’s not that bad at all – here we got several natural ingredients that can you can consider as a healthy aid for your weight loss. They are widely known – it is Hoodia Gordonii, Green Tea, Chitosan, Garcinia Cambogia, Fiber and some others… Though most of them hasn’t been researched thoroughly to prove their weight loss capacities, they showed real efficacy with many people using them in form of supplements and getting positive weight loss results.

So recommendation is simple – if you are not morbidly obese and in need of serious medical help, natural weight loss supplements are the healthy way for you to make weight loss faster and easier. Just don’t rely too much on “magic pills” and use them along with diet and exercise routines.

Be aware of dangerous herbal components and choose weight loss supplements only from reputable brands and distributors.

Wonderfully Fit

Yoga and the Elderly

The Most Popular Traffic Exchange

Yoga is ideal for people of all ages, but particularly for seniors for a number of reasons. Because yoga is not a purely physical practice, there is flexibility to adapt one’s practice to meet one’s needs.  This is a significant factor why yoga has become so popular with seniors.

In short,  there IS a yoga practice available to you, no matter your age, nor your physical limitations. And with the boon in senior specific classes available,  there’s never been a better time for seniors to discover yoga.

yoga

Low Impact

The first is that in most cases, yoga is low impact. Hatha, Kundalini and Vinyasa yoga are all good examples of low-impact yoga that can be done safely even by complete beginners.

Increased Strength and Flexibility

A second reason is how much yoga can improve strength, flexibility and stability. This means less risk of slips, trips and falls, which can cause bones to break and even be life-threatening due to complications such as blood clots in the legs and pneumonia from inactivity.

Being more mobile and flexible also means greater independence well into your senior years. After all, it’s not just about how long we live, but the quality of life we enjoy as well. Staying fit and active is one of the best ways to care for your health, especially if you are a caregiver for an older relative or partner, have grandchildren and so on.

A Mental Workout

Yoga is also great for mental fitness. It improves mood, focus and concentration, especially in relation to the types of yoga which include meditation as part of their routines. Two such types are Hatha, the origin of all yogas, and Kundalini yoga. Kundalini yoga was formed in the 5th century AD to work on the energy centers of the body, known as the chakras in traditional Indian medicine (Ayurvedic medicine).

Increased Mobility

One of the biggest health challenges for the elderly tends to be pain and stiffness, such as that of arthritis. If we feel pain when we work out, we avoid working out. However, the less we move, the stiffer we become and the more pain we suffer. So we work out even less, leading to a vicious cycle of pain, stiffness and lack of exercise that can leave many people house-bound or even chair-bound when they could be out making the most of their golden years.

Starting Safely

As with all forms of exercise, it is important to start safely and sensibly through slowly adding activity to your day and not trying to overdo things. For this reason, certain types of yoga such as Bikram and Ashtanga are not a good idea. Bikram, known as hot yoga, is not just physically demanding – it is also known as hot yoga because of the roasting conditions in the studio, with temperatures often reaching 100F or more. This can lead to dehydration and a severe strain for anyone who has heart health issues.

Ashtanga has seven levels, a basic one and six more of gradually increasing difficulty. The fact that few practitioners have ever reached the most advanced levels will give you an idea of how demanding this yoga can be.

Finding the Right Studio for You

If you live in a moderately large urban area, chances are you have more than one studio close by to choose from. Many will offer free introductory lessons so you can try the yoga and see the studio for yourself. Many studios also offer discounted lessons or unlimited classes as part of a reasonably priced monthly membership.

You will naturally wish to focus on the classes themselves and how much health benefit you think you will get from them. Other important considerations in relation to choosing the right studio for you will be the skills, qualifications and experience of the teacher’s. Some specialize in yoga for seniors.

Check out an introductory class near you and see what a difference it can make to your health.