Exercising in the Great Outdoors

Fall is a season that brings a lot of natural beauty and pleasant weather. You may think when summer is over that outdoor activities stop too. That is not the case at all. Temperatures in fall may still go up into the 70’s during the day and pleasantly warm up mother earth. This is the perfect time for young and old to spend time outdoors. Whether it is to exercise vigorously or to simply walk and take in the fresh air.

Remember, exercising or walking outside are great stress relievers, which we can all use these days. The crisp, fresh air can help clear your mind.

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When the leaves turn and all the trees show their yellow, orange and red colors it paints a marvelous picture. Houses are decorated with pumpkins and hay balls. How more beautiful can it get?

When exercising outdoors always dress according to the weather and preferably layer clothes. Also remember to drink plenty of water.

Outdoor exercise and activity ideas:

Hiking

A perfect activity is a hike through the colorful woods out in the crisp, fresh air on a sunny fall day. Make sure you layer clothes since the mornings may be on the chilly side but when you start hiking you will warm up quickly.

Kayaking

Even though kayaking is on the water, it still is a great activity to do in fall. A sea kayak where you actually sit in the boat is preferred over an ocean kayak since you can put on a spray skirt, which helps to keep most of our body dry unless you were to tip over. Some of the parks allow kayaking on their lakes. For a longer excursion there are various kayak rental or touring places along the Delaware River.

Bicycling

Take out the road bike or the mountain bike and ride through the area enjoying the colors and the scenery. When the leaves start to fall down, be more cautious in curves, as the bike may slip away from under you especially when the leaves are wet.

Running, Nordic Walking or Walking

These are wonderful activities to do in the area. You can run or walk in one of the many parks or in the neighborhood. And do not forget about the beach. There is nothing more relaxing than a walk on the beach during off-season. You do not have to deal with the crowd and you can enjoy the calming sound of the waves. In addition, the sand calls for an extra strenuous workout.

Kite Flying

Fall usually brings stronger winds especially down at the beach. These are perfect conditions to fly a kite. Setting the kite up and maneuvering it once up in the air will get your heart rate up while having a lot of fun.

Fall is also a perfect time for family activities such as:

Farm visits and pumpkin picking

Take the kids to a local farm and have them pick their own pumpkin. Not only do they get to be out in the fresh air but they also spend time walking and running around the field to find their perfect pumpkin. They will also see where those pumpkins grow.

Raking leaves

Make raking leaves a family activity. The entire family gets to be outside in the fresh air and everybody gets a small workout. To incorporate some fun for the kids hide a lollipop in one of the leave piles and have them search for it. You can also have them find a few very pretty leaves that can be pressed and preserved.

Enjoy your fall. It is a wonderful season.

How to Have Better Breathing and Healthier Lungs in This Fall Season

Ah the time of year again where the leaves change color, the air gets cooler, and the winter season is just a few weeks away. If you just read this and see these things happening outside then obviously you don’t live in Southern California.

Out here the leaves stay the same, the days get hotter and the Santa Ana winds return. We have seen this just recently and have seen the horrible affects of the wind with the recent wildfires, but what maybe isn’t seen to everyone but felt by a lot is the toll this wind, heat and lack of humidity is doing to people’s allergies and lungs.

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Most of us either have or know people who have been coughing, sneezing, stuffy, constantly trying to relieve their dry throat, having more and more asthma attacks and just generally feeling pretty miserable. It’s no fun to be feeling this way, and we can expect just more of these days to come, but what can we do to help alleviate the symptoms and possibly prevent them?

 

Now all you people who aren’t in Southern California don’t stop reading, these tips are great for anyone suffering from similar symptoms; hopefully they will relieve your allergies and make for better breathing and healthier lungs.

First of all take care of any problems you may have indoors in your home.

  • Replace sheets and pillow cases with those that help to prevent dust mites from escaping the bedding and wash these bedding weekly in hot water.
  • Make sure and keep your rooms free from clutter and vacuum and dust regularly.
  • Try to avoid going outside during high pollen count or very windy days; most weather reports now include a pollen count that can be a good guide to when you should avoid outside air as much as you can.
  • Especially avoid exercise during these days, replace your routine with things that you can do in your home.
  • Make sure and keep your windows closed during these days, don’t want to bring inside the air we are avoiding outside.
  • Use saline eye and nose drops to keep your eyes and nose moist during days of very low humidity, drink plenty of water and if needed use over the counter antihistamines or decongestants.

Following these tips can dramatically help relieve your allergies and help you to have a healthy and happy fall season.

Important Motives for Undergoing Regular Work-Outs or Exercises

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If you want to improve your health and fitness you need to do exercise or workout on regular basis. You can lose weight at the same time. That is not all. Slim and healthy body that you achieve due to meticulous exercise program also helps you to decrease level of bad cholesterol and increase amount of good cholesterol thereby reducing threats of attack of different diseases like cardiac attacks, high blood pressure level and the like.

Whatever the reason is, be it weight management or prevention of diseases or any other thing, one should stick to fitness regime to get desirable results. Here is the list of motives that may allow you to work out on regular basis.

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Weight Loss:

Reduction of fat is one of the important reasons that compel people to go for stringent workout program. In order to get valuable tips to lose weight you may contact one of the best trainers of your region. The most common tip is to change dietary habit, participate in suitable programs and get rid of unwanted pounds quickly. There is one more suggestion. Always wear comfortable clothes during these sessions. In this way you can take up meticulous programs and accomplish goals with least difficulty.

Decreases Pain of your Joints:

Consistent workout program is the best way to get relief from acute joints as well as muscle pain. Strengthen your core, reduce back ache and stay safe from different kinds of injuries. Reports have shown that people were astonished to find that the back pain that they had endured for so many years were reduced due to active participation in exercise sessions.

Build your Muscle Tissues:

Development of muscle tissues is beneficial for your health. As compared to tissues of fat, muscle tissues help in burning of calories throughout the day. For increasing strength of muscle tissues, it is important that you would practice different kinds of resistance workouts.

Prevent Age Related Problems:

Gone are the days when senior people became home-bound and suffered from different ailments. Nowadays they are more conscious about their health. In order to avoid aging and associated illness they stick to rigorous workouts to remain healthy. Recent studies also conclude that relevant workouts reduce withering of several genes within human cells and therefore slow down the process of aging effectively.

Prevent Type II Diabetes:

There is another reason why people often go for workout session. People who suffer from Type II diabetes are greatly benefited from regular work outs. Exercise stabilizes the sugar level of body and thus allows your body to utilize insulin in effective manner. Plus, you can lose weight that also increases sensitivity of insulin to a great extent.

To Increase Energy level:

A regular workout program improves your level of energy and makes you feel good like never before. If you wish to achieve drastic results in terms of health management it is important that you should take help of an experienced instructor quickly. He or she will instruct you and show you proper tactics and strategies that will speed up fitness results.

Whether you wish to lose weight or just want to improve lifestyle to stay fit, you may find different reasons to work out. No matter what the reason is, make sure you would do it correctly and efficiently.

Fitness Myths – Working Out Properly

Working out properly can really help you to get the gains you expect in a shorter period of time. How many of these common misconceptions have you believed to be true?

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Fitness Myth 1: “Aerobics is better than weight lifting to get in shape.”

You hear this one a fair amount but the reality is, if you want muscle definition and a better “after burn”, you need to lift weights. You can burn calories just as effectively with weights if you work in super sets to help keep your heart-rate up. The more effective result is the fact that weight training will create an “after burn” effect. This is when your body continues to have an elevated metabolism for several hours after your workout which is difficult to duplicate with cardio.

Fitness myth 2: “When women lift weights, they will get bulky.”

This myth is unfortunately heard a lot. The science behind weight lifting says otherwise. Testosterone is the primary hormone responsible for large muscles. Women simply do not produce nearly enough of it to produce the “bodybuilder” physique some believe they will create. Female bodybuilders who are really built take extra testosterone to attain their size. They do not come by it naturally.

Fitness myth 3: Muscle grow during your workout.”

As you lift weights that put a strain on your muscles, you breakdown muscle fibers that will then need to be repaired. When this happens, they are slightly larger than they were before and more defined to compensate for the next loads they will need to lift. You tear them down when lifting but the repair process starts after your workout as they are rebuilt over the next 36 hours or so. The recovery process is really important to help your muscles grow.

Fitness Myth 4: “Training with 3 sets of 10 reps is the best workout for results.”

There are two issues with this myth. Using the same type of workout every time may cause you to plateau and stop seeing results as quickly. A change of pace is a good thing. The other problem is what your goal is for your training. Power versus strength versus endurance all require a different type of program. High reps with low weight to low reps and high weights will give very different results.

Following specific principles of weight lifting can really help you to tone, get muscle definition and lose weight if done properly. If you are not really sure what to do, get some advice from those who know.

Women Working Out in the Weight Room

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Some women have a fear of the weight room at their gym. Many women and personal trainers as well believe that if a woman works out in the weight room they will end up with a bulky manly physique. Myths like this are giving resistance training a bad name.

As personal trainers we have to remember that men and women are physiologically different. Men in fact increase muscle mass due to testosterone. While it is true that women also secrete and deliver testosterone just like men do, women do it at slower rates and much less volume.

women

This slower and lower dose of testosterone allows women to build a more tone and lean muscle while also increasing metabolism to aid in weight loss. Most women start an exercise program to lose weight and look better, but there is more to it than this. Resistance training has many benefits that will help women’s health, both now and in the future. Looking good is great, but exercise can do so much more for a women’s long-term health. Resistance training may also decrease day-to-day stresses from our fast paced lifestyles.

Stress is a very dangerous and often overlooked factor that can lead to decreased motivation and eventual increase in body fat. Studies have shown that proper exercise can cut stress dramatically. Another often overlooked health issue for women is bone mineral density (BMD). Because of a higher level of estrogen, women are at a higher risk of low bone mineral density than men. A consistent resistance training program can increase BMD in women and dramatically reduce the possibility of osteopenia and/or osteoporosis. A well planned resistance training program can also help posture, balance, flexibility and stability for all ages. These are all very important daily and long-term health.

Cardio vs. Weight Training

Anaerobic exercise may lead to to an increase of metabolism, but aerobic exercise is important too. Aerobic training is very important for the cardiovascular system (“heart health”). Some people have trouble combining cardio and resistance training. First, if the trainee wants to increase power and strength than including cardio exercises can make all the difference. This is because of an increase in the muscle capillary density, increased number of mitochondria, and a possible change in fiber type.

Additionally, if a trainee that wants to increase their aerobic power can do this by combining both cardio workouts with resistance training. This will allow for an increase in aerobic power due to an increase in VO^2 Max. VO^2 Max is the amount of oxygen exchange within a muscle for adequately supplying and keeping the muscle cells functioning properly.

For weight management and exercise in general, the goal is to combine both types of exercise by using circuit training. Circuit training will allow a trainee to increase their aerobic and anaerobic power by incorporating moderate to high intensity exercises with resistance training. This will keep your heart rate up and increase your metabolic rate.

Resistance Training Program Design For Women

A proper program design is specific to the person being trained. Each trainee will begin at different levels based on their condition, so a custom tailored exercise program is very important. Each exercise program should begin with some sort of active warm-up regime to help stimulate proper muscle activation for your workout.

To circuit train effectively, three to four multi-muscle, functional workouts are grouped together to optimize your heart rate and aerobic and anaerobic power output. Between 2 to 4 sets and 10 to 15 reps of approximately 3 or 4 exercises are performed in a continuous cycle with little rest (30 seconds to 1 minute after completing each cycle of the 3 to 4 exercises).

Each group of three to four exercises may primarily target different areas of the body. After the warm-up, the first group of exercises may focus on legs. The second group may focus on the upper body, and the third may focus on the core muscles. This exercise structure can help save time and effort with a busy schedule and may also maximize overall fitness results. Ending each workout with a form of static stretching may also be a good idea. Static stretching after exercise can keep the joints from getting too tight.

6 Commonly Asked Questions About Working Out

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We get asked a lot of times various questions related to health and fitness. Most common questions are; what are the best methods or ways to workout more efficiently, especially within time restraints.

So we decide to compiled a list of the top 6 questions we receive in hopes it can benefit some of you out there. 

workout

What is the best type of cardiovascular exercise to do?

Interval training has been proven to improve cardiovascular fitness and body composition quicker than any other method. It is also a lot more “fun” than running on a treadmill for an hour.

How should I engage in weight training?

The most efficient way is circuit training. You will get maximal growth hormone output and get a great cardio workout at the same time.

At my gym, I see people doing cardio first. Is this the best way?

I would advise you to do a 5-10 minute warm up on a cardio machine such as a treadmill or elliptical to prepare your body for the stress that you are about to put it through. As to whether to do your cardio training or resistance training first, I would say if you are a runner, do cardio first. If you are a bodybuilder, you should hit the weights first. You always get more out of the first part of your workout so you want to focus on that part of training. If you are a housewife, I would mix it up and see which one your body responds to better.

How important are aerobics and fitness classes for weight loss?

If you find that you are more of a social creature and need the motivation of a group, then fitness classes are the way to go. These classes are filled with like-minded people with the same goals: get fit and have fun. If going to fitness classes will get you to remain active and consistent, DO IT!

I don’t have time to workout. What can I do to get fit and lose weight?

If you are short on time, then you should do 3 sets of 50 heavy two-hand kettlebell swings with one minute rest periods. If you need a cardio workout, high intensity Tabata sprints are the way to go. This will only take 8 minutes.

When I work out, I get really sore the next day or so after. What can I do to ease the soreness?

Make sure you are performing a cool down after every workout. Drink 8 ounces of tart cherry juice after every intense workout. This will decrease soreness by decreasing the inflammation markers in your body. Some other things that may help are contrast baths, ice baths, deep tissue massages, foam rolling, and staying hydrated.

How to Tell If You Are Working Out Too Hard

We are constantly told that we must exercise at least three times per week to get ourselves fit and healthy. That’s fine, but if you haven’t been exercising for a while now when you start out on your new exercise regime be sure that you take care and ease yourself into your program. Be sure that you don’t overdue things.

There are certain tell-tale signs that you are working out too hard. You just have to look for them and then adjust your training routine, before they take their toll. You are probably over-training if you suffer any of the following symptoms:

working out

Sore joints

If you do a new routine that works muscles that you are not used to being worked, then you expect to be a little sore the next day. No pain, no gain right? However if you have such soreness that it interferes with your normal daily routine, then you might have tried to do too much too soon. For example if you were working your biceps and the next day you have pain in your elbow, you either tried to lift too much weight or were lifting it wrong.

Pain while training

If you are pushing past pain to do a particular exercise, then you probably should not be doing it. Instead try to find an exercise that doesn’t cause pain and then go to your doctor to find out why you are having pain when exercising that particular muscle or muscle group. It could be the root of something more serious.

Fatigue even after recovery

If you feel constantly fatigued, even after your one day per week recovery period, you could be pushing yourself past the limits of your body. Try backing off another day of training per week so that you have two days off per week and see if it helps you feel less fatigued. Also most fitness experts agree that serious fitness buffs should take a week off about every 6 to 8 weeks so their body has an extended period to heal, rebuild and repair.

Frequent injury

If you seem to suffer more than your share of injuries while training, you may be going at it too hard or trying to lift too much weight. If you are strength training, try reducing the amount of weight you are lifting, or the number of reps/sets. If doing cardio, shortening up your routine or reducing the intensity. Also avoid exercising the injured area until it is healed.These four signs where your body is telling you that it is being pushed harder than it should. Listen to it, make adjustments and find a happy medium where you feel you are making progress, but still at a level your body can support.

I Just Started Working Out, Why Am I Gaining Weight?

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So you’ve just signed up for a membership at your local gym, or you just began working with a trainer, but after the first two weeks you get on the scale and realize that you’re a pound or two heavier. What’s going on? Well first of all, if you have a trainer I’m sure he or she has told you to stay off the scale.

Time and time again as fitness professionals we find ourselves locked in battle with the treacherous scale as people obsess over weight instead of the stuff that really matters i.e., body fat, girth measurements and how your clothes fit.

weight

So first things first, throw that scale out the window. Whether you gain weight or not has a significant amount to do with many factors, including body type and nutrition.

At Wonderfully Fit, we begin an assessment with a basic test, which is used to measure body fat versus lean mass, resting metabolism (# of calories needed to sustain your current muscle mass without moving) and average metabolic rate (# of calories that should be consumed by your body on average during an active day. When you begin to lift weights, your body which is now stimulated by heavier loads establishes new links between your brain and muscle. Your body begins to recruit more muscle and this increases its demands for energy.

It is this increase in demand that makes you feel hungrier than normal and it represents a change in your metabolism. This is a very critical time for you as you must now make better choices on what to consume and when to consume it, in order to meet the demands of increased muscle activity. The problem that many personal trainers find is that their clients will begin to use this newly revved up metabolism as a sort of credit card which affords them the luxury of eating junk food.

This is however counterproductive to your goals of fat and weight loss and most people will experience weight gain if this is not monitored carefully. This is a time where you have a chance to combine your training with lower calorie, high nutritional value foods and get the most out of your metabolism. At Wonderfully Fit, we encourage our clients to eat often, but to make sure that you’re eating quality foods.

Not only is nutrition a key reason for why you may be gaining weight, but consider this; Muscle is about 70% water and when you work out more; your body’s response places a higher demand for consumption of more water. Also in response to weight training your body needs to prepare itself for heavier loads. One of the ways it does this is to increase surface area by hydrating the muscle fibers in order to increase surface area and provide higher power outputs.

Your lean mass includes muscle, bone and organs. Weight bearing activity stimulates muscle growth and stimulates an increase in bone density. These two things can easily cause significant weight gain within the first couple of months. This is where it is important to have a look at girth measurements and body fat. Muscle is heavier and denser than fat and as more muscle is stimulated, the body’s ability to burn fat increases, which sometimes results in a loss of inches with an overall gain of weight.

Similar to the old saying, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. Exercise doesn’t make you fat, the choices a person makes, makes that person fat.

At Wonderfully Fit, we believe it’s about changing your lifestyle and by”lifestyle” we mean changing the way your body moves, looks and feels; changing the fuel that you run on and giving you the confidence to take on any challenge.

The take home messages are clear. Throw out the scale and focus on getting stronger and increasing your metabolism by moving more and eating right. The rest will fall into place over time. Rome was not built in a day and your body took years to get this far; sometimes 10, 20 or 30+. The process of reprogramming your body is not an overnight miracle, but a life-long commitment to change.

From an excerpt of Maya Angelou, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”. Realize that your trainer or fitness coach is there to assist you in reaching your goals, as well as support you along your journey to change. We give you the tools to succeed, but it just may be that your attitude towards food, nutrition and exercise are the only thing holding you back from a better you.

My 3 Best Motivation Tips To Get You Started Working Out (Again)

The reason I hear most often for people not working out is lack of motivation. Yes, there are hundreds of ways to get and stay motivated from your doctor telling you that you have high blood pressure to that upcoming Florida vacation or class reunion.

Today I’m going to give you my 3 best motivation tips. If you actually put these tips to work you’ll surprise yourself how quickly you become motivated to workout.

Working Out

Tip#1: Go shopping for new clothes

I know you’re probably saying to yourself, “What? I hate the way I look and shopping for clothes is only going to remind me of it. How is that going to motivate me?” Well, being reminded of it is reason in itself, but I meant to go shopping for new workout clothes. Buy just ONE really nice fitness outfit that you’ll look forward to wearing and ONLY wear it to your work outs. Then set a short-term goal like “If I don’t miss a workout this week I’ll go buy another outfit on the weekend.”

Tip#2: Get yourself fired-up… every day

You can’t hit a target you can’t see. Visualization is used by the top performers in every field. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t have to take long and WOW does it get you revved up to take action! It only takes a minute or two a day. That’s it. In fact the more you do it, the less time it takes. Here’s what to do:

Take minute and in your mind’s eye see yourself with your best body (not somebody else’s, yours). See yourself looking in the mirror wearing your favorite dress or jeans. Make it vivid – see the colors, hear the usual noises in your house. Let that feeling of confidence and excitement flow through you – don’t hold anything back – just let yourself feel.

Don’t believe me? Think it’s a bunch of “new age” hooey? All I have to say is – Try it (nobody has to know). Set your smartphone timer to 2 minutes. (It’s best to use an audible timer so you don’t keep breaking your concentration by looking at the time). Close your eyes and try the visualization technique I just described and stay focused until the timer goes off. If your mind wanders start again. It gets easier with practice.

Tip# 3: Tell the world your plans

Here’s your chance to use Facebook, LinkedIn and all the people on your e-mail list for something more than sharing pictures of your cat or forwarding bad jokes. Tell everyone you know that you’ve started on this fitness lifestyle that includes working out every day and eating better. Post pictures and results (even bad ones). Funny, it’s the bad ones that motivate me even more. Then invite everyone to check in on you. Peer pressure works, use it to your advantage. Plus your good friends will help you by not tempting you with bad food and bad habits.

Bonus Tip: Stop the scale “routine”

The surest way to kill your motivation is to continually step on the scale. If getting on the scale is part of your daily routine – stop it now! Your weight fluctuates for a thousand different reasons every day. It’s very unlikely you’ll lose weight in a perfectly straight downward line. But this doesn’t mean you should give up. Every single person I’ve met that has exercised and eaten properly and consistently has lost the weight – every single one. AND every one has had struggles and plateaus and just plain “bad days”. But that’s okay. If it were easy, everyone would be thin.

How Do I Work Out My Back?

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The back is one of those areas a lot of us tend to forget about. Why? I’m not really sure, but looking back at when I first started working out, I suppose it was because I couldn’t really SEE it, so I wasn’t aware of how its shape really paled in comparison with the parts that “people see”.

As I get older and building muscle is less about appearance and more about personal goals and health, I’m acutely aware of how important a strong back can be, especially in terms of supporting ourselves during other exercises.

back

Enough of that, let’s get to it!

For this particular exercise, let’s focus on the lower lats, a major part of the back that people “see”.

We’re going to do pull-ups again, but this time the setup is a little different.

Take an OVERhand grip on the bar (assuming you have one!). Keep your knees bent and try to keep them in front of you (This prevents your back from arching as well as making sure you’re isolating those lats).

Before you even mess with what your arms are doing, pull with your shoulders. Then bring yourself up until your chin is slightly above the bar (or handles, whatever you’re using). When you get to the top, make sure your shoulders are pressed down, and pull your elbows in toward your sides simultaneously.

Pretty self-explanatory lift, really. The only pointer I can think of is to keep a wide grip; it will help build your upper lats, as well as rhomboids.

Finding the Motivation to Start Working Out Again

What do you do when you lose your momentum and can’t bring yourself to do your workouts? Recently I was asked if the honest admission that you are getting overweight could be the “jump start” that gets you going?

My answer? Yes, indeed, this would probably do it, although the real trick is to make this honest admission at a time wherein it is possible for you to do a workout.

momentum

In other words, say you get out of bed not having worked out for several weeks. Or for several months. Then say, as you shower, you experience the early morning clarity of a shower talk. You know. The kinds of talks you have with yourself wherein you process the urges to better yourself still ringing in your head from sleep.

During this pep talk with yourself then, say you hear your mental mind telling you how much you want to get back to your fitness routine. Of course, then you might hear your physical mind saying, ugh, I know. I should, but . . . blah, blah, blah. After which your mental mind chimes in with, “where would I possibly find the time to workout anyway.” Body / mind connection at it’s finest, eh?

On the other hand, these kinds of mind / body arguments can often be the momentum-building spring boards which can return you to a healthy mind / body life. Not only to a healthy fitness plan mind you, but also to just about any segment of life wherein you’ve lost your momentum. Education. Time with your kids. Hobbies. Whatever. All can be helped by a positive shower talk.

My point here is though that if you have this shower talk with yourself and then go directly from your shower to a workout, you may indeed succeed. Yes, your mind will tell you, you are crazy. However, if it works, don’t fix it. Just do it.

The thing to keep in mind then is to “strike while the iron is hot.” And this is true for all things, but especially true for attempts to regain momentum in stressful activities such as working out.

 

10 Great Cardio Routine Makeover to Get Lean Fast!

If you have been a follower of my site for quite sometime now, you already have an idea that I am not a cardio fan. Cardio machines have their share of advantages and disadvantages. However, I learned that people can get very different result than what they expect if they do not use machines properly.

For instance, I have witnessed saddlebags on many who have used machines the wrong way: nobody want to see that on their body.

cardio

If you still weigh the same months after you start doing cardio routines, you must be thinking that you are doing your routines inappropriately. You are right!

If this is the case, this is the perfect time to give your cardio routines a different mix before you ask a fitness expert for help to shed those fats. I have listed below things that can help you on your cardio routines:

1. Combine high and low intensity cardio.

There is no need for long sessions of low-intensity cardio if your goal is only to shed those fats away. You will hear a lot of fitness gurus telling you that you can burn those fats easily when you do low-intensity cardio. Yes, you will burn those fats when you do the 40 up to 90 minutes cardio session though it will not have a big effect on your metabolism.

However, doing slow steady cardio sessions will have fat-storing hormonal effects on you. Additionally, your body will get used to it after 6 months storing some extra body fats preparing your body for the next round of cardio sessions.

2. Introduce (true) interval training.

If doing exercise has become a daily routine to you, then you know the term “interval training” – varying high intensity workouts with lower intensity sessions. This is great since it gives you more endurance to do harder routines in a short period. Additionally, it keeps your energy twice higher when you perform high intensity cardio.

Moreover, your metabolism will develop if the resistance on the routine is high enough. The only issue you would most probably experience is your lack of determination to push yourself more. You can spend a minimum of 20 minutes for effective interval training.

You need to make sure that by the time you reach the high intensity, you have to push yourself so hard that you almost feel like you are going to collapse while you are getting near the time you set for your routine. Ways to recover are either to standstill or just stay relaxed and take it slow. If you still feel the same before and after the workout, then your routine is not yet enough.

Lastly, there should be variations on your routines. You can try two different routines in a minute or a 45 seconds hard routine with 30 seconds dedicated for recovery. Routine variations will play an important role if your want to see your desired results.

3. Try some sprints.

Did you ever wonder how is the body built of a sprinter differs from a marathon runner? Sure, there is a big difference. When we think of sprinter, we think of them spending more time running but they are also into bikes or doing cross training for both.

Though interval training may improve either or both speed and resistance, sprint is based solely on speed. They are done for a specific distance on given period that is followed by a complete rest.

4. And a few hills.

Hills are a great way to develop those lean muscles on your gluts and legs and to increase your metabolism as well. While some cardio will not have a long-lasting effect on your metabolism, using hills for your cardio routine will. This is definitely the best approach to cardio training. You can change the inclination setting of your treadmill to at least 8 or go to a handy hill in a local park near your place.

You can get started with a simple brisk walk and as your body get along with the routine, you can combine it with other training like a light running. If you like pushing yourself more, you can integrate training or sprint based training while on hill for up to 20 minutes instead of just doing a simple light running. This is a kind of workout that your body will find hard to recover the first few times you do it.

5. Combine cardio to other training routines.

Have you ever thought of combining your cardio routines with other training that you are doing? If you are a busy person or feeling stressed, doing cardio routines alone can activate a stress hormone reaction to your body that builds more storage. If you are not stressed and you did a cardio more than you are required to do it, it will also have the same hormonal effect on you.

So, when can you consider cardio training as excess? This is doing cardio anything more than 2-3 minutes in a week and longer than the average 20-minutes per routine. You can forget about this rule if you are training for endurance event, as some experts will say that weight training is better in this kind of event than cardio. Real training is a kind of training that our bodies were designed to do. It can include bending, squatting, twisting, lunging, pushing and pulling some kind of heavy objects.

6. Focus on your workout to see results.

Some people’s minds drift away while doing their workout on a cardio machine while their bodies just go through the motion. If you are serious on spending some time on the gym, then you have to focus more.

At times, you might feel like it is just right to follow the speed of the cardio machine, that is fine. However, if you do this all the time, you are not serious enough on your training. In this case, you have to make a choice – push yourself to train to see those results or just stay at home and relax.

7. Mix it up in the great outdoors.

Doing cardio routines may include using some sort of equipment. Sometimes, however, the best workouts that you can do are the ones that includes spontaneous activity or some casual or organized sport.

If the routines that you are doing in the gym are no longer a challenge to you, it is high time for you to hit the outdoors. You can join a Frisbee game, try rock climbing or tag along with your friends that play a certain sport. You can also try new ideas that you can start doing with your friends!

8. Turn your weight session into cardio.

This is my most preferred cardio training. Since I learned how much more weight training that truly works is effective for keeping my clients and myself lean, I have looked for more ways to improve it. This is the reason why I love circuit training. This saves you a lot of time, helps to tone your body, and you will see those sweats coming out of your body as it never did before.

Lastly, it takes care of cardio training without having to use cardio machines. It is very simple – you can choose 3-8 weight training exercises (bigger movements is more effective compared to isolated ones) and do it again, one set of each. Take time to recover for 90 seconds and then repeat it 3-5 times. A break is optional, that is if, you want to keep pushing yourself more on this routine. You will see that this routine really works.

9. Use your upper body.

Your legs also need breaks. On the other hand, if you have been accustomed to heavy training, then it is high time of doing something more than performing the traditional cardio training. You can do some upper body cardio. I would recommend rowing machine. You will know how effective this machine the moment you used it.

Spending just 5 minutes on the rowing machine will really get your heart pumping faster. I like using the rower for some sprint training or for interval training – 100 meters flat out and then followed by at most 200 to give your body some time to get used to this routine. However, if you really want to see some lasting results, a shorter and harder combination will be a better option.

10. Just stop.

What if you were told to cut out cardio training altogether? This may not be for the long term but only for a couple of weeks. You might start to think of doing a very different routine than what you are doing before. This is fine. Everybody deserves a break. In most cases, people notice that by the time they cut out their cardio routines, their performance improved on some other areas.

You may hear others that when they are doing weight training, they are not giving their 100% on it so that they can save some of their energy for cardio. I have been a cardio queen for years but this did not stop me from improving my training by trying out some other routines and ‘no’ is not an option here. I would advise at least 2-4 weeks of cutting out your cardio routine each year for maximum results.

The choice is yours. In the meantime, try to get started by doing all the things I have mentioned here and I mean right away. I can guarantee you that you would be able to see the result in just a week or two and the visual results will soon follow.