5 Easy Toning Exercises For Women

If you’ve been overweight for a long time chances are you have next to no muscle tone left. Most of your muscles have probably converted to fat. It’s time to change that and put the brakes on building more fat stores and concentrate on converting those old fat stores into new muscle.

Why is muscle tone important?

toning-exercises-weight-lossYour muscles are the things which allow both continuous and passive incomplete extension and retraction of your limbs. Without good muscle tone, you would not be able to hold your body with good posture. Without good muscle tone, your body will not be able to react to certain stressful situations when needed. Having good muscle tone will also help prevent injuries. Good muscle tone will help your bones stay in their places so that they are able to do the job they were designed to perform.

How do you tone your muscles?

This is a simple question with a somewhat complex answer. Of course, the easiest way to tone your muscles to simply just use them. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous at first. Just walking up and down a flight of stairs once or twice a day is a good way to start for someone who has not engaged in any exercise for a long period of strength. If you want to get into a bit more muscle toning exercise you can use resistance bands. Most of these exercises can be done as you sit in a chair and watch television at night. So, you see it need not be a strenuous workout at all in order to count!

toning-exercises-womenWhen asked about specific toning exercises, however, most women agreed that they wanted exercises that are simple and easy to do and take less than ½ hour. They also want to be able to rotate target areas over the course of a week so that all their “problem” areas are worked on.

Here are a group of toning exercises that might help get you started. You need only very simple equipment to do these exercises: a straight back chair, one set of dumbbells weighing between 3 to 8 pounds and one resistance band. That’s it! Now, let’s get started!

  • Exercise #1: The Bra strap lift up
    This exercise specifically targets the chest and shoulders. Hole the resistance band by one with each hand. Keep your palms facing in toward your sides. Next stand up nice and tall. Keep  your feet square beneath your shoulders. With your palms facing inward toward each other, raise your arms. Be sure to keep your elbows bent slightly. Then slowly lower your arms back to the starting position. Do this in a series of three sets, with 12 to 15 repetitions per set.

  • Exercise #2: Chest Cross-over Press
    This exercise is designed to specifically target your upper chest.
    Take your resistance band in your left hand and place your right hand on your right hip. Keep your feet wide apart. Place your left foot on the other end of the band. With your left  hand kept close to your body, pull band across your chest toward your right shoulder. Do three sets of this exercise in repetitions of 10 each set.

  • Exercise #3: Muffin Top Be Gone!
    This exercise targets your obliques and your tummy. Get down onto the floor in full pushup position. Balance on your hands and toes with your hands placed directly below your shoulders. Your body should be in a straight line. Bend your right knee in and pull your leg across your body toward your left side. Next, extend your right leg in such a way that your right foot is placed out next to the left leg. Then bend your right knee in to your chest and pull the right leg back to where you began. Next, do the other leg. Do three sets of this with six repetitions each.

  • Exercise #4: Speed Shuffle Your Hips
    This wonderful exercise will work your hips like no one ever has. Be forewarned!
    Put yourself in a belly-down position on your straight-backed chair. Keep your hips just at or above the seat’s edge. Grab onto the chair’s leg with both of your hands. Next squeeze your legs and glutes behind you keeping your feet close together and your toes pointed so that they are parallel with the ground.Separate your legs just a little bit and then quickly pull them inward again. Stack your right foot above your left. Do 1 repetitions of this exercise with 12 repetitions in each set.

  • Exercise #5: Zap That Back Flab

    This is an excellent exercise for targeting your upper back and getting rid of your back fat once and for all.
    Hold one end of your resistance band in your right hand.Keep your feet just below your hips. Place your left foot on the other end of the band.Take one big step backward on your left foot so that your left knee is bent at about a 90 degree angle. You can place your left hand on your left thigh for more stability. Keep your right palm facing outward and bring your right elbow back toward your right rib cage. Hold for 1 second. Repeat 15 times in a series of three sets.

Repeating these exercises just three times a week will help you quickly redevelop some of that muscle tone you’ve lost over the years. In no time at all you will begin to look fitter and your clothes will fit on you much better.

Do Weight Loss Patches Really Work?

weight-loss-patch-slimmingIf you’re a chronic or seasoned dieter you have no doubt become very frustrated at times with your results (or lack thereof) and wondered about whether or not you should use diet pills. You’ve probably heard a fair bit of hype about weight loss patches. Weight loss patches are relatively new in the diet world. They offer a huge amount of weight loss with minimum amount of work invested. Do they really work? You might be surprised.

At first glance weight loss patches seem almost too good to be true. That makes me think of the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” In the case of weight loss patches, most claim that you can lose a great deal of weight without doing much of anything at all. There are definitely some truths and some falsities to these claims. Read on and get educated.

Most weight loss patches don’t live up to their claims

So, if you are able to find any kind of weight loss that truly works (and remember that is a HUGE if), in almost all cases, it would need to be prescribed by a physician. If you expect to actually lose the amount of weight that the publicity for most of these products promises, any reputable physician will want to run a battery of tests on you before prescribing something like this. Losing such huge amounts of weight in such small amounts of time can put your health at serious risk. You may not know this but losing upwards of 35 pounds per week will give you pretty serious side effects.

Side Effects:

weightloss-patch-Side-EffectsThe most damaging side effect will be loss of muscle tissue. If your body does not have enough fuel to keep it going, it will burn muscle for energy. This is a very bad side effect for many reasons.

Another side effect you can experience if you lose weight too quickly are problems with your gallbladder. Your body may form gallstones which are thickened clumps of cholesterol which are produced when your liver is pumping away at high levels to try to metabolize excess bile. If you are consuming little to almost no fat in your diet, your gallbladder may stop functioning altogether causing you to suffer an extremely painful gallbladder attack. Sometime the only way to deal with a chronic gallbladder problem is with surgery.

If you are not taking in enough nutrients your body may not be able to produce enough heat to keep you warm. Having just a thin layer of fat is a great body insulator. If you are losing weight too quickly, you are losing some of that excess insulation your body needs to keep you warm.

Another unpleasant side effect you may experience if you are losing weight too quickly is hair loss. Hair loss usually occurs only in people who aren’t getting enough protein. If this is the case, your body will take protein from other sources in your body instead of giving it to your hair follicles to produce new hair growth. The best part of this equation is that once you start nourishing your body again properly, your hair will grow back.

Most weight loss patches have little actual effect

Sad though it is to say, most weight patches, in general, have very little actual effect on overall weight loss. If it does give any kind of positive effect, it will almost certainly not be because of any of the herbal extracts it contains. The bottom line is that most of the publicity associated with these products is mostly based on magical thinking. If you take a good look at the ingredients list on the package, you will note that most of these products contain very large amounts of caffeine. Many will contain a product called ephedra which is used to speed up your heart rate. This will, consequently, allow your body to burn slightly more calories than usual. But when you actually stop a moment to think about this, does it make sense to you to overwork your heart if you’re already overweight to begin with? Probably not.

Most weight loss patches are not regulated by the FDA

The vast majority of these products are unregulated by the Federal Drug Administration. Thanks to the internet, you are able to find hundreds of websites on which you can purchase weight loss patches in the same way that you can find hundreds of websites that will sell you Viagra without a prescription. That alone should send up a red flag saying that it might be very dangerous to purchase this kind of product.

Even if you’re lucky enough to lose some weight, don’t expect to keep it off

Even if you manage to be one of the lucky few who loses 10 pounds or more, the chances of you being able to maintain that weight loss over a prolonged period of time are very small. Likely, you will regain the weight within one to two months. This is because your body has only been reacting to the chemicals to which you’ve exposed it. You have not made any lifelong dietary or exercise changes to your lifestyle. Unless you are planning on wearing a weight loss patch every day for the rest of your life, you will quickly return to your pre-weight loss patch weight. You will quickly discover that the weight loss patches will not work over the long term.

Weight loss patches may at first seem like your answer to a prayer. They are quick and dirty and promise huge rewards. Who wouldn’t want that? But you will soon discover for yourself that the only effective way to lose weight and keep it off over the long haul is to make changes to your diet and your exercise plans. As you’ve seen from the other postings on this blog, those changes do not need to be huge. Slow and steady wins the race. Small changes can have huge effects. You also don’t need to lose all your excess weight overnight.

 

Weight Loss Workout Schedule – Do You Need One?

weightloss-workout-scheduleWhen trying to lose weight that you want to lose once and keep off forever, it is important to incorporate a workout schedule, one that is easy to follow and won’t make you feel bogged down and resistant to exercise. There are several reasons for this. If your goal is to lose just one pound per week, you will have to burn off about 3,500 calories more than you take in per week. One simple power walk on flat ground will help you burn approximately 120 calories. Should be pretty easy to accomplish, yes? But if you only want to exercise once per week, you’d need to walk at a steady clip for about two hours. That is much more difficult for anyone to do let alone sustain long enough to lose a significant amount of fat. And I would never suggest that anyone should exercise for two hours each day. Not only would that be completely counter-productive it would be a  waste of time because no one would be able to maintain an exercise regimen like that over the long haul. So, what does that leave you with? The very best way to lose weight (fat) is to create a deficit in the number of calories you take in each day compared to the number of calories you burn each day. Plain and simple. No one said it would be easy but that’s the only way it is possible.

Is Cardio Enough to Lose Weight?

weightloss-cardioIf you’re looking to add some cardiovascular exercise to your weight loss plan, remember that cardio is just one component of any weight loss plan. You will also need to change your eating habits as well if you really want to lose weight and not just do exercise for the sake of doing exercise. Losing weight is definitely more labor intensive than the average infomercial wants you to believe. It takes determination and hard work. And it definitely requires more than drinking just one specialized shake each morning. It also takes time if you want to do it properly.There are some very simple ways that you can easily eliminate hidden calories in your daily diet. I guarantee you won’t even miss them! Start by switching out mayonnaise on your sandwich each day for some spicy mustard. Zero calories. Another quick fix is to switch to a lite yogurt from fruit on the bottom yogurt each morning. Or better yet, switch to some Greek yogurt with some lite jam or a fresh banana. Delicious. Add a one hour walk or jog for ½ an hour and you’ve finished for the day. Easy as pie. Or, I meant, diet pudding.

For the best and longest lasting results do not push yourself to lose more than ½ pound or 1 pound per week. And whatever you do, do NOT eat fewer than 1,200 calories each day. Your body needs fuel in order to function and especially to lose weight believe it or not. If you push your body into “starvation mode” you will stop it from metabolizing food properly and you will plateau or even end up gaining weight.

Don’t forget that your own genetics will play a role in how quickly you lose weight. It is known that some people simply lose weight more easily than others.

I started working with a dietitian when I started on my weight loss plan. I saw her once per month for six months. She did not put me on any kind of “diet”. Rather, instead we talked about the kinds of food I liked and didn’t like and she made suggestions on how I could continue to eat the foods I liked in smaller portions. Think about this. It definitely worked for me.

How Often?

Unfortunately, the truth is, if you want to seriously lose some weight, you should do a cardio workout five or six times per week. This means about 45 minutes of cardio at least once per day.

How hard should you push for Weight Loss?

If you are looking to seriously make a dent in your weight loss program, you will need to work out in your “target zone” most of those 45 minutes. Even just working in your target zone fifty percent of the time will help you get into shape pretty quickly. And the faster you get into shape, the faster you’ll be able to step up  your workout program. Despite what you may have heard, working at a slower pace does not burn fat more effectively. If you are doing something like aerobics at a slower pace, your body will still use fat as its primary fuel source. If you pick up the pace a bit, though, you will burn more calories and more of those calories will be fat calories.

The best way to burn calories effectively is to choose an activity that you will be able to sustain for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes. So, yes, running will help you burn off a lot of calories in half an hour but if running for just five minutes kills your knees then you’re better off walking. If you can get your arms in motion while you’re walking, all the better. That alone will be a good cardio workout for you and chances are you’ll be able to continue at a good pace for 15 to 30 minutes at a time. In the long run, you’ll burn more calories.

So, as you can see, the best weight loss workout schedule is something you can do for at least 10 to 15 minutes 5 to 6 days per week. But don’t worry if you can’t do that right away. Remember, it will take time to build up your endurance. And chances are, time is on your side.

How to Use Treadmills Effectively For Weight Loss?

treadmill-workoutI have a many different relatives who all have an interesting sculpture sitting in a back bedroom in their home. Most of these sculptures have been abandoned there for years and years. When they look at these sculptures, they are usually flooded with guilty feelings. I’m sure you know your own group of people just like this. Who knows? Maybe you are a collector of this type of sculpture yourself! I’m talking about exercise equipment, specifically about treadmills. But did you know that with all the new advanced technological advances, treadmills are among the best indoor workout equipment around? I’m going to tell how you can lose weight in an easy and quick way simply by getting on your treadmill a few times a week, so stay tuned!

The Efficiency Of Treadmills

All treadmills use your own natural movement. This is the simple act of just walking. No special skills are required like with a bicycle or an elliptical machine.

In a study conducted in Wisconsin in the 1990′s, it was found that treadmills are the most efficient indoor exercise machine currently on the market today.

Traditional Fat Burning Runs

treadmill-fat-burningMost people recommend a traditional workout that raises your heart rate and keeps it there for a specific length of time. This type of workout is regularly recommended for people when they are just beginning a workout regimen. By keeping your heart rate a certain elevated level for a certain amount of time, you are forcing your body to burn fat. You will also be able to run longer without placing too much stress on your body.

The biggest issue with this type of steady workout is that it will take a good portion of your workout time to get your body to the point where it enters a fat burning zone, usually about 30 minutes. Since most people recommend only working out for about thirty minutes at a time, that will not give you very much time in that fat burning zone.

Hill Sprints

Anyone who has ever worked out knows that few things improve your workouts better than doing hill sprints. If you want to pay attention to your gluts or your legs, concentrate on adding several hill sprints to your workout routine. If you’re using your treadmill (like you should be!) the incline feature will be enough to accomplish this easily. If you’re feeling a burn, you definitely know it’s working. If you set your incline at 10% or above, you will derive the most benefit. So, as an example, walking at a rate of 3 mph on a 12% incline will make you just as tired as running 6 mph on a flat surface. See where the benefit lies?

So start your run between 30 and 45 minutes at 80% of your maximum heart rate. Then alternate between a 10% incline and a 2% incline every few minutes. That will give you enough of a break from the strenuous workout and not leave you completely drained and exhausted when you’re finished.

One of the biggest problems most people face when using a treadmill is that they get bored. Understood. That’s why it’s so important to keep your body guessing throughout your workouts. If you usually enjoy a trail workout but find that you have difficulty getting out to a beautiful train, set your treadmill to the “random” setting and go for 30 minutes. If you do this once a week, your workouts will dramatically improve.

Interval Revolution

treadmill-interval-trainingIntervals are a new concept in treadmill training but one I am quickly becoming obsessed with and for good reason. If you’re doing cardiovascular exercise over a long period of time, you will start to breakdown muscle tissue which can end up leading to joint issues. Long sessions of cardiovascular workouts will also end up eating a big chunk out of your day. If you switch instead to interval training, you will optimize your own natural hormones, promote new muscle growth and burn fat more quickly than anything else you’ve ever done before.If you are interested in pursuing interval revolution training just take an example from the Japanese speed skating team who were able to improve their overall health in just one month’s time. After I started using interval revolutions, I personally started to see a big improvement in just two weeks. It’s simple enough to do. You just go 30 seconds on; 30 seconds off. I’m sure that sounds easy enough. What you must remember for this to work is that your 30 second interval must be done at 110%

Structure it sort of like this:

  • Warm up for 5 minutes

  • Run at full speed on a 5% incline for 30 seconds

  • Rest for 30 seconds

  • Repeat this for 8 repetitions

  • Cool down for five minutes

This entire workout should take you no more than about 30 minutes. And during that time, I can honestly assure that you will have the best workout you’ve ever had. Ever.

Bonus Tips

  • Always warm up for a minimum of 5 minutes before every workout.

  • Be sure you stretch properly and don’t ever neglect a muscle group.

  • Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and following your workout. This is crucial.

  • Be sure you rest for a minimum of 24 hours before you workout again.

  • Don’t neglect your diet. If you don’t lay off the chips and dip, you’re not going to lose the weight like you want to.

Buying A Treadmill

Deciding to purchase a treadmill is a pretty big step. You are making the first move to taking full charge over your own health and well-being. Congratulations! Here are some things to keep in mind when looking at different treadmills.

  • Most of the less expensive models will have an incline feature that will not go higher than 10% Be sure you get one that will go above 10%

  • When it comes to how much you should be paying remember that you can get a terrific treadmill for about $600.00. Resist the temptation to spend $5,000.00 a model loaded up with features will never need or use.

The last thing you should remember is that you will have to actually USE this machine, not just park it in your basement or use it as an extra clothes rack. If you use it faithfully, you will soon be able to see the fruits of your labor
. Enjoy the results because they’ll look wonderful on you!

 

2 Best Cardio’s for Weight Loss

Cardio exercise is the first thing that most people think of when they think of a workout that will help them lose weight. But what kind of cardio should you do? Now that is a much harder question to answer. Running, biking, swimming, rowing, long and steady, short and fast. Every new study shows that some other kind of workout is the absolute best way to improve your cardio health and help you lose weight. I’ll show you a couple of different methods to help you figure out what is best for you.

Long And Steady

long-steady-cardio There are millions of people who have had a lot of success with heart rate training specifically long, steady cardio workout. An hour jog that gets your heart rate to the right level can do a lot for your weight loss. At about 80% maximum effort, your body will start to burn fat in an effort to create energy, but this can take 45 minutes to even begin. That isn’t easy for a lot of people, so if you can’t make it don’t be too hard on yourself!

To take care of that, you should set aside a good bit of time to workout. An hour long run will burn up to 500 calories but if you are anything like me you are going to have hard time running/jogging that long. However, for the purpose of burning fat it is necessary. Start out slow. Try 20 minutes of steady walking. Once you have worked your time up you can begin jogging and walking alternately. It can be hard to fit this much time into your schedule, but since you are doing a steady pace of exercise, extensive stretching isn’t necessary, which will save you a little bit of time. This is a question of stamina. Now stamina is not something you can build overnight, but persistently efforts will not only help you lose weight but will greatly improve your health and you will feel better because you are a lot fitter.

Another technique to do Long Steady Cardio Workout:

Interval Training

interval-trainingIntervals are the hottest new way to lose weight, especially if you don’t like long workouts. Intervals rely on small periods of time that involve you giving 100% effort to an exercise and then resting for a short period. This is the way that the Japanese speed skating team had dramatic improvements in their endurance in only a short amount of time.

30 second intervals of effort and rest will give you an incredible workout that absolutely melts fat off of you. Four minutes of intervals on a bike, treadmill, or rowing machine will help you more than many hour long workouts. The problem is that you have to go all-out. You can’t chicken out with these kinds of workouts.

Interval training is going to burn fat like nothing else, optimize your hormones and keep you stronger than ever. Rather than breaking down muscle tissue like steady state workouts can. If you are only trying to lose weight this isn’t much of a problem, but anyone interested in keeping the muscle tissue that they have, might want to stay away from long, 2 hour workouts.

How Often?

When you are trying to lose weight, you should shoot for three times a week at least. I have worked my way up to six days a week and many people have success with a similar schedule. You do have to consider your diet and strength training routines as well. If you need extra time to heal after a weight lifting workout, you shouldn’t be doing an interval workout just yet.

Don’t Overdo It!

cardio-and-weight-lossAn important thing that I often overlooked is that you can have too much of a good thing when you begin doing a lot of cardio workout. It is tempting to workout for an hour every day of the week, but you start breaking down pretty quick.

Start with twice a week and move up to three once you are used to it. If you have the faintest hint of pain, you shouldn’t workout that day. As a general rule, give yourself a little bit of extra time to recover if you aren’t sure.

You should also make sure that you are eating enough to make up for your exercise. If you are dramatically cutting calories and also working out hard, your body will go into preservation mode and keep you from losing weight. You have two choices if this is the problem, you can either cut back on the amount of food you are eating or the amount of exercise that you are getting. Many people go overboard and exercise too much in comparison to their diet, so just keep an eye on your nutrients and workout routine. Balance is the key!

Find Out What Works For You

When it comes to cardio and weight loss, your own body is the best judge of what is best. Some people just don’t respond to one kind over another. For the most part, you should look at your goals. For overall weight loss, steady state workouts can work great. However for all around fitness intervals are the way to go. If you are inexperienced, start out with steady state until you are ready for intervals. Never overdo it, pay attention to your body and enjoy the amazing success that you are bound to have.

Swimming Workouts For Weight Loss – A Quick Start Guide

swimming-workoutsThe swimming pool is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about working out or losing that extra flab. But as it turns out swimming is a great way to turbocharge your metabolism, strengthen every muscle on your body and make sure you are healthy and lean. Swimming is one of my favorite exercises, I used to be a competitive swimmer when I was a little kid. I wish I would have stuck to that one. But in anycase you don’t need to be Michael Phelps to make the most out of your swimming workouts.

Why Swim?

Swimming is great for a number of reasons. The most obvious reason I found was the fact that you can burn up to 800 calories an hour, or even 500 while taking a leisurely stroll in the pool. Water has 800 times more density than air and as a result every movement you have is going to work to strengthen your arms, legs, core, back, and anything else you can think of.

Surprisingly or perhaps not surprisingly, swimming is also pretty easy on your body compared to all of the other workouts that you could be doing. You aren’t struggling against the pull of gravity when you take a dip in the pool and your joints will thank you for this. Unless your body is used to strenuous exercise, your joints could probably use a little tender loving care. Even if you run into problems with arthritis later on in life, swimming is something that you will most likely always be able to enjoy.

Swimming Workouts

The vital part of getting started swimming is to make sure you have plenty of variety. You’ll be surprised the first time you give it a shot when you are exhausted just a few minutes in. The idea is to split it up into shorter intervals to make sure that you don’t get too tired too quickly. Here is a sample workout:

  • Swim the length of the pool four times at a fairly easy pace.swimming workouts for weight loss
  • Take a 30 second rest.
  • Repeat 5 to 10 times
  • Do this cycle two to three times a week until you are used to it. You can increase the pace and number of workouts per week once you are ready.

Note: You can increase or decrease the distance depending on the size of your pool. If you are swimming in an Olympic size pool then 4 times might be a bit too much at one go. So I would recommend adjusting your lengths depending on the size of your pool.

Try Different Strokes

Everyone enjoys a freestyle swim. It won’t take much to learn it and it is going to seriously burn some calories. But then if you are anything like me you might get bored of the same old routine or you might develop muscle imbalances. In order to avoid that try the backstroke and the breaststroke from time to time.

  • Backstroke: Keep your eyes up towards the sky/ceiling. Many people tend to look at their toes, which will make your hips sink. You are going to make a Y with your body. Reach back at a 45 degree angle to force yourself through the water. This takes stress off of your shoulders and will help make each stroke longer, reducing some of the workload.

  • Breaststroke: A breaststroke is simply a sweeping motion with your arms. Reach overhead with your palms together. Twist to rotate your palms out and pull through the water until your arms are even with your chin. Quickly bring your hands to your chest and reach out again. Whip through the water while bending and pulling your heels to your butt. With your toes turned out, kick your legs like a frog would as you reach with your arms.

Getting Started

If you are completely unfamiliar with swimming, you might be better off taking a swimming class or hiring a coach. It can take some time to get acquainted with the different strokes and breathing patterns. A ten minute workout is better than nothing and if that is all you can accomplish than you are doing just fine. You want to build up to 30 minutes though and be able to do that workout five times a week.

Burn Calories By Simply Lying in Cold Water

As a bonus, swimming provides an incredible workout by burning calories just by being in cooler water. I’ve tried ice baths, frozen neck packs, and more to help lose weight. Your body is determined to stay at 98.6 degrees and will do whatever it takes to stay there. Whenever you are in a body of cool water, the water removes heat from your body and cools it much more than cold air does. In response, your body will burn an incredible number of calories to keep warm. This is why Michael Phelps eats 9,000 calories a day. It isn’t just the exercise that requires that amount because spending that much time in cold water is going to make you burn serious calories trying to maintain itself.

Don’t come up with any excuses for avoiding this workout any longer. If you are reading about swimming workouts, chances are good that you have had an interest in it before. You now know how beneficial swimming workouts are and it isn’t as hard as you think to get started. Join the local YMCA or pool group and get started!

Circuit Workout Routines – A Quick Start Guide

Finding the perfect workout routine is a lifelong quest that I know I’ve spent years on. I don’t have any problem doing strength training, in fact I love it but I don’t want to bulk up and I don’t want to lift as much as possible just coz I can. Circuit training is one of the less commonly talked about styles of working out but it’s been in use for years. I use this in my own workouts and I’ll show you why you should to.

What’s Circuit Training?

circuit-training-workoutCircuit training is a systematic way of using resistance training and cardiovascular exercise in combination to get the maximum amount of benefits. Military boot-camps and sports teams have been using circuits for decades to keep people in the best shape possible.

With circuit training you perform one exercise, move on to another, and then start it all over again once you’ve completed the final one. I’ll show you an example farther down, but the idea is fairly simple. Rather than performing one exercise, let’s say squats, and then resting before doing another set of squats, you will just move on to push ups.

Why Should You Use Circuits?

Circuit training really kicked me in the butt. The conditioning that you get from a regular circuit workout can’t be touched by any other kind of system. You will get a full body workout including your heart and lungs in the amount of time that you would normally spend warming up for a traditional workout.

If you are pressed for time, and I’m wiling to bet you are, you can’t do better than this. In the same way that yoga combines meditation with stretching, circuit training gives you the most strength and most endurance that you are capable of. A 30 minute workout, three times a week, can leave you plenty of time do anything else that you need to do. Pick up the kids, go grocery shopping, even take up a new hobby now that you’re saving all of this time!

How To Choose Your Exercises?

When you are preparing for a circuit training workout, you need to pick your exercises carefully. Don’t worry I am going to show you some sample ones. The basic idea is to pick exercises that work different muscle groups so that you don’t get tired too quickly. For example you can start with mountain climbers, then move on to push ups and wrap it up with squats. This isn’t as easy when you are dealing with bodyweight exercises, since many of them work multiple muscle groups. Should you move on to weight lifting, choosing your exercises carefully becomes more important to make sure that you don’t overwork yourself.

Sample Routines

Alright, here we go! Each of these workouts will have six exercises each. Perform each move for 15 seconds, rest for 15 seconds and then move on. Try to only rest for a minute or two before starting over. The shorter rest you have the better, but it is also important to give yourself time for your heart rate to come back down. Do this as many times as you can and you will start to see how quickly you can improve.

For the beginners:

  • Run In Place
  • Body-weight Squats
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Shoulder Width Push Ups
  • Leg Lifts or Crunches

Once you get used to that try this one:

  • Lunges
  • High Knee Runs
  • Burpees
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Push Ups At Alternating Hand Widths
  • Jump Squats

Just in case you aren’t aware of how to do some of these:

  • Mountain Climbers: These are almost like running horizontal to the floor. Get down into a pushup position. While you hold your upper body still with your arms, alternate your legs back and forth, landing both feet on the ground at the same time.mountain-climber-workout
  • Burpees: Burpees are a standard by which many people measure their physical conditioning. To do this, stand up straight. Drop down into a squat and place the palms of your hands on the ground. Leap your feet back into a push up position. Do a push up and then jump back into the squat position and jump up into the air. These are incredibly difficult if you aren’t ready for them, so don’t give up if you can only do one the first time!burpee-workout
  • Leg Lifts: Lie down on your back with your legs out straight. Place your palms on the ground and lift your feet up towards the ceiling. Slowly lower them back down. You want to be slowly controlling the movement throughout the time you are performing it.leg-lifts-exercise

Moving On And Reaching Your Goals.

The great thing about this kind of workout routine is that it doesn’t have to end when you reach your goal weight. Strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health can all improve forever when you maintain a routine like this.

If you need to move on to something more intense, though, you can use these same principles with more difficult routine. Weight lifting works great for this too. The important thing is that you keep going. Stick with your routine and don’t give up, no matter what!

Is Yoga A Practical Method To Lose Weight?

Lose-Weight-YogaYoga is by and large considered a fantastic way to get an incredible variety of health benefits. It can make you stronger, leaner, and happier. All while learning how to focus you energy and be more productive in your everyday life. Let’s look at what kind of yoga we are taking about and what you can truly gain from it.

What Is Yoga?

You probably have an image in your head of what yoga is. In fact, yoga is an incredible workout. It isn’t just for old bearded swamis anymore. Yoga combines meditation and exercise with meditation by moving through flowing poses that are each held for a period of time. This can be either on your own or in a class, which most gyms now offer. There are also plenty of retreats available to learn yoga in an intense learning environment, but it isn’t as complicated as many people think.

YogaThere are a variety of types of yoga in the world, but most people can’t tell the difference between them. Hatha yoga is the form that is most common in the western world. In the 19th century, it was brought here by swamis looking to share their knowledge with the western world. An estimated 16 million people now practice it, but it wasn’t always so popular. With hatha yoga, the focus is shifted primarily to the physical aspects, as opposed to the chants and religious aspects of many eastern practices. With the busy world we live in now, this means that you can combine your exercise and meditation easily and see the maximum benefit from a single workout.

Here is a great video to get you started with Hatha Yoga:

Meditation Through Yoga

Meditation-YogaMeditation is a mindful practice that can improve the overall mental ability of anyone. The center of most practices is the focus on breathing and being mindful of your body. Yoga requires you to focus on your body at all times and control your breaths. The more intense the workout, the harder it becomes. Rather than spend 30 minutes a day sitting still, you can do yoga and get a workout while you meditate.

This is important to people attempting to lose weight due to the effects that yoga has on the body as a whole. Human growth hormone is released during meditation, which can help to lose weight, build muscle, and be stronger than ever. Meditation will also help you remain positive and confident throughout your day, even when your weight loss isn’t going exactly like you want it to. One of the hardest parts of weight loss is losing motivation, but meditation makes sure that you can keep up with any routine.

Yoga And Weight Loss

Now the part that you’ve all be waiting for. How can you lose weight with yoga? The answer lies in the full body movements that yoga uses. “Core” workouts are one of the most popular topics in gyms right now and yoga truly embodies that term. Losing weight with squats and curls is fine, but yoga makes sure that you activate every muscle in your body while performing similar movements.

Holding poses is harder than you might think. The plank position is very close to a standard push up. Get on the ground and see how long you can stay in that position before you get tired. Even if you have strong arms, you will find that your legs, abs, back, and shoulders are all engaged as well. The goal of yoga is to use poses that activate your whole body just like this.

A spike in your heart rate can happen when you do a single exercise, but think of how high you can keep it when you are doing these kinds of full body poses! Cardio workouts can spike your heart rate, but they are also hard on your joints in many cases. Yoga, on the other hand, strengthens your joints and is intense enough to keep you at a fat burning heart rate, but not so intense that you need a week to recover.

What Kind Of Yoga Workouts Help You Lose Weight?

Former Professional Wrestler Diamond Dallas Page advocates a form of yoga that he calls Yoga For Regular Guys. This kind of workout has let him stay in shape since leaving the sport and actually improved his overall health. Many customers have found that they lose 100+ pounds in a year’s time.

The idea behind this kind of intense and fat loss focused routine is to keep your muscles activated as much as possible. Any yoga routine can apply this concept. By contracting all of your muscles as you work through the movements you will be placing imaginary weights on your limbs that will make the workout much more intense, but without the negative effects of extreme workouts.

How Much Weight Can I Lose?

Running burns an average of 400 calories an hour. Yoga workouts that involve the contractions that we just covered can burn that same amount and will also give you a strength upgrade. This will equal out to about a pound a week if you perform the workouts every day. Combined with diet and exercise, the results will be even more.

Who Is Right For Weight Loss Yoga?

Anyone. That is the beauty of this kind of exercise. Anyone, young or old, can see the benefits in their own way since yoga also improves flexibility and blood flow. Many of the older generations continue to practice yoga well into their later years, even if they aren’t attempting to lose weight.

Power yoga is a common name for strength and weight loss based programs. Try a 20 minute workout for yourself and see what you think. Chances are, you won’t feel like you are doing much at the beginning, but by the end, you will feel stronger, happier, and more motivated than ever to lose weight.

Here is a 20 min workout video to kick-start your weight loss with yoga regime: