5 Things To Rremember When Lifting Weights

5 Things To Rremember When Lifting Weights

So you’ve been lifting some weights to get into shape or maybe you are just about to start, either or good on you, getting in shape is no joke and weight lifting is a great way to really get a good workout in however make sure you know some of the more important stuff so you don’t injure yourself. Weight lifting can really get your sweat going for any workout, plus if done correctly with some cardio and a great diet, you’re bound to lose some weight. The only danger is not knowing what to do with weights, and not remembering these things can lead to a world of hurt. Additionally there are a ton of misconceptions when weight lifting that it needs to have some clarifications that needs to be shared. So here below are 5 things that you need to remember regarding safety and common misunderstandings that veterans and newbie’s alike make regarding weight lifting. Take the time to read it in order to find out more about weight lifting, if you’re just about to start this is important if you’ve been doing the workout for quite awhile already, it’s always good to brush up every now and again.

Weight lifting does not necessarily mean that you will bulk up – This is a common misconception when someone starts weight lifting and it is not entirely true. While it is possible to gain a lot of muscle when you’ve decided to start weight lifting and when I talk about muscle, I’m talking about a lot of potential muscles here, however weights doesn’t necessarily mean that you will gain said mass. Again the potential is there, it depends on how much weights you actually lift, the reps you do and the times you go to the gym as well. There are a lot of factors that can really dictate how much muscle you can gain when you are weight lifting but if you aren’t into heavy muscles, just go simple with your workout and you’ll be lean and mean instead of big and strong, the choice is really yours.

Remember the right way to lift – This, I cannot stress this enough, so I will say it again – this is really important. As newbies your first job is to figure out the proper form and positions you need to do when lifting, every angle and form, burn them into your brain and into your workout. These tried and practiced forms will make sure that as someone new to the gym you won’t end up with an injury or pull something, putting yourself out of commission. For veterans however it is important to remember and practice form for pretty much the same reasons, but you need to make sure you aren’t complacent every time you go to the gym, a moment of carelessness could lead to a long time out of commission and nobody wants that. As important as this reminder is, I will stress again that you must lift by doing the proper form, otherwise might as well open a door to a world of hurt yourself.

When do I increase weights or reps? – Well this is a little tough, since it really varies from person to person however the general rule of thumb is, if the reps or the weights are too easy on your last set, maybe it’s time to step up a little. Mind you as a newbie, it is ideal to slow down a little and get used to the form, the weights and reps, no need to rush these things. As seasoned veterans in the gym workout, you probably know when to increase weights and reps already so this is almost secondary nature. Just make sure you don’t go overboard and carry too much weight or do too many reps, it is rather tempting to some people but control and knowing your limits is a must for weight lifting. Don’t rush it, if you are doing things right, which I am hoping you are, you will reach more weights, reps and sets in no time. The gym isn’t going anywhere, neither are those weights, so enjoy the casual, sweaty and rather heavy walk to your goal.

weight lifting
It is always best to know the basics of weight lifting for a safe and healthy progress.

Make a journal – Track your progress, it isn’t a good idea to just try to wing things. The journal will be the definitive guide to knowing if you are doing well on your weight lifting workout or otherwise. You will be able to know how many reps, sets and weights you are doing, this way you won’t injure yourself by doing too much, too soon. The journal is a great idea to track your weight gain or loss, which ever you are gunning for as well, so it is ideal to really make sure that you maintain and update the journal for maximum workout effect. I know a number of people who have benefited from keeping a journal and to be honest I haven’t met anyone who has had negative effects from keeping a said journal, so I don’t see a reason as to why anyone would not keep a journal, so what’s stopping you? I personally suggest that you stick with a written journal rather than an electric one. There’s just some satisfaction to having your progress written by hand, but hey go with whatever works for you.

Make sure to warm up and cool down – An ideal way to really avoid injury is to take the time to warm up before weight lifting and then take a little more time to cool down after your workout. Some people tend to forget to do warm ups and cool downs, this should become automatic for you before and after any workout, especially for weight lifting as people can get some pretty gnarly injuries when left with cold muscles. And yes I did use the word gnarly, not sure why but it felt right for that statement. As one of the more important things to remember, the warm up and cool down should be on top of your list of things to do before and after weight lifting, do not underestimate how important either one is for your safety and well being.

And there we have it, some simple things to remember when you are going to go weight lifting. They are the basic of the basic actually when you workout and please take the time to re-read anything if you don’t understand. Your safety when weight lifting is always at the utmost importance, progress comes second, why you may ask? If you get injured, your progress will come to a grinding halt, so again it’s in your best interest to really take everything to heart. So aside from the safety tips the misconceptions need to be cleared up as mentioned above. Stay healthy!

How Biking Helps

How Biking Helps

Biking has lately been in a great spotlight, really highlighting how the sport, exercise or workout, whichever you prefer has quite a few fans of that are fairly much fanatics. Regardless if you are biking or plan to get into it, maybe even in the office or gym, you have probably heard someone raving about how great biking is as a workout and quite frankly, I would like to throw my hat in. While I do favor running, biking is still another great workout to get your cardio in. To know more how biking can really get your body going, read on and perhaps you’ll start pedaling out in the open road after reading.

It can rejuvenate your body – Research has found that regular biking can really keep you looking younger and helps keep skin looking healthy. Everyone knows that regular exercise can increase the oxygen in your body, more oxygen means that your body can do more of its work, and a workout that will really get your blood flowing is biking, so if you want to keep looking young, bring out that bike.

Get better sleep – Alright, you know how after a workout, you end up getting so tired but that satisfied type of tired? Well biking will do just that. Getting extra exposure to the sun, will get you that extra vitamin d that your body will sorely need and that will help get you nice and tired for a long, and wonderful night’s rest.

Increase brainpower – Research has shown that after a few minutes of biking, people have done 15 percent better in mental tests. So if you are about to take an exam in school or whatever, go on a bike ride going to class, not only will you get your workout in but you’ll have a better chance of scoring a better grade too, I will count that as a double win in my book.

Better health altogether – Well this is a no brainer, but regular exercise will indeed increase your bodily defenses against sicknesses. Biking is a great workout to get your sweat going and by doing it regularly, you can really strengthen your immunity system and get in better shape. Say goodbye to obesity problems and myriad of sicknesses that come with it, and in the end isn’t that what we all want?

Better for the environment – With no carbon footprint to its name, biking can really save the planet if you think about it. Not only does it take less space when parking, it has no carbon emissions as it zooms down the road, plus it helps you lose weight as a workout. Of course it won’t go as fast as a car unless you’re a pro and have the right equipment, weather, incline and open road but pretty much that’s the only negative side effect that I can figure out.

Fighting against cancer – While going to the gym and doing your regular workout is a good way to get in shape and fight against cancer, there have been studies that biking is particularly good at keeping your cells strong and able to fight off cancer. In fact in this study, women who go biking bring reduces the risk of breast cancer by 34% which is pretty darn good to me.

Great for some family time – Regardless if it’s a workout or just for fun, biking can really be a good way to spend some family time together. Kids can bring their own bikes and ride along their parents, or for the younger ones, there are a ton of equipment available in the market that will not only let them join you, but get a front seat to an exciting and very relaxing sport or workout.

biking with friends
Biking not only is good for our body physically, but for our mind as well. Also a good way to bond with family and meet new friends.

A little friendlier on your wallet – While some of the biking equipment can go from very reasonable to is-that-really-the-cost-for-a-bike without a motor, it can be very affordable if done right. And honestly as opposed to a monthly gym membership, the cost is usually rather upfront with minor maintenance tweaks here and there, if you use it for your regular weekly workout and for a few years, it will end up being cheaper in the long run. Of course if you go nuts on the biking expenses, well that is a different story altogether but hey, if you control it right, you should have a rather affordable and exciting workout to look forward to.

Keep your joints in better shape – Again while running is one of my favorite workout plan, biking provides less impact on your muscles such as the knees, ankles, and legs. Of course there are ways to lessen the impact of running in general but being comparative with both workout ideas, biking does seem less painful in the long run.

Burn more calories and fats – As a workout, cardio is an ideal way to lose weight, this works by burning calories and fats, so biking will really work it’s way up to getting you lean and mean. This works not during the exercise itself, but you will burn quite a bit then already, but research has shown that after the workout, you end up burning calories 30 minutes after biking, maybe you burn even more calories as research shows.

Become happier – As most people have discovered, a regular workout and exercise is a great way to increase your endorphins. Endorphins are the hormones released when your body goes through exercise and it gives off a very relaxing and happy feeling, actually it can be compared to morphine as they say. As a lot of people know there is this thing known as a ‘runners high’ and something very similar can happen while you are biking, this legal ‘high’ as you will is something that can get very addictive to a lot of people, but in a good sort of addiction, can’t believe I actually said that line but it is what it is. With regular exercise, your body will continue to release endorphins and you will be happier in the long run.

Find some new friends – Just like I mentioned earlier, there are quite a few fanatics out there and they make wonderful biking friends. There are a ton of groups out there who welcome anyone to join their workout, they enjoy going on the ride with veterans and beginners alike, in fact they are more than happy to welcome newbie’s and teach them the ropes, maybe impart some knowledge and some tips trust me they will enjoy having you join their little or in some cases huge groups.

And now there we have it, some very compelling reasons as to why biking will help you out, there are a ton of other reasons but I figured this is plenty to take in already. I really believe that biking is a great workout and most people should try it, but I understand there are reasons why they would avoid it, maybe they don’t know how to ride a bike or they are a little apprehensive of the equipment cost, either or, I do advise that you find a way to try it out if even for a little while. Stay healthy!

The Best Inner Thigh Exercises Of All Time

The Best Inner Thigh Exercises Of All Time

A lot of people tend to forget about the thighs when they workout, but trust me a lot of women never forget about them as they love to hate these next to bellies. I can understand why really, it’s quite hard to tone and very easy to gain weight on thighs, but with a proper workout that will all be in the past at the very least. But let’s not forget the inner thighs, admit it, you almost did, didn’t you? Not a lot of workout plans really account for the inner thighs, it’s a little understandable I suppose. For anyone who has had their challenges with reducing or toning their inner thighs during a workout, you’ll want to keep reading as I’ll list down the how to of some of the best inner thighs exercises that will help you shape that muscle up!

Exercise ball lifts – Bring out a nice yoga mat or stretching mat for this one, along with the good old exercise ball. Now lie on your side, place the ball firmly between your feet, maybe by your ankles as much as possible, move your feet up to the side, opposite of the side you are lying on. There you go, you can definitely feel a little burn as you do this inner thighs workout. Do a few more reps and a couple more sets and switch sides; you’ll be done in no time.

Glider side lunge – This is a simple workout with no equipment needed, just a little sweat and elbow grease. Stand straight with your legs shoulder length apart, make sure your feet are pointing straight and are firmly planted on the ground. Now slowly crouch, bending your left knee and stepping your right leg to the right side, point to the side and return to starting position. A few more times and your inner things will thank you, switch sides and you are golden.

glider side lunge
Glider side lunges are easy and a workout with no equipment needed.

Pilates inner thigh leg lifts – Once more bring out the yoga mat. Now lie on your left side, and place your right leg out, by bending your knee, keep your left leg straight. It feels as though it is a “come hither” sort of position, let’s be honest but trust me this will be a great workout for your thighs. Now lift your left leg up to the side, higher than your right leg’s position, after doing this a few times you won’t make fun of this exercise ever again. As always switch positions and finish up both sides.

Narrow squat  – Let’s keep it simple once more with a pretty easy workout routine. Keep your feet together and your hands to your sides, now squat lower while keeping your feet together, this will target the inner thighs, lift your arms up straight in front of you so you’ll have an easier time balancing yourself. Wash, rinse and repeat, do a few sets of these and you’ll be doing great in a few weeks.

Squeezing bridge – Another easy workout routine that only needs a yoga mat and maybe a pillow that isn’t too big, maybe a throw pillow. Lie on your back and keep both your knees bent and your feet firmly placed on the mat as well, squeeze the pillow between them make sure it doesn’t fall with a little movement. Now using your lower back, slowly lift your hips up, keep the pillow squeezed as this will allow your inner thighs to get the workout it deserves. As always repeat a few more times and you are done.

Chair pose – I can’t really go through a workout that focuses on inner thighs without mentioning a yoga position can I? Well here is one that will make your workout easier than before and your thighs healthier too. Stand straight, place your hands together in a prayer position, elbows as straight as you can get them and make sure your feet are kept together. Now slowly and gently bend your knees while twisting your upper body to the right, try to twist your neck to look up as well, from there try placing your left elbow on your right thigh, hold it a few seconds and return to the starting position. Switch sides and keep doing it a few more times and you are done for this workout.

Elbow plank with leg lift – The plank is a tried and tested exercise, if done correctly it can do wonders for your workout and this particular type of plank will help shape up your thighs as well. Place the mat on the floor and lie on your right side. Now use the blade of your right foot to balance, and your right elbow and forearm to raise your upper body. It’ll almost be like you are floating, now slowly extend your left arm and leg as far as you can, point them upwards, repeat a few more sides and switch.

Leg swings – Alright let’s keep going with some ideal workout exercises for your inner thighs. Stand on one foot, let’s start with the left leg, keep your arms straight to support your balance, keep your right foot off the ground and slightly to the side, while keeping that leg as straight as possible. Now gently swing it to the front and back, keep your balance as much as possible and repeat a few more times, and as always switch legs.

Crossover lunge – Second lunge workout on the list, starting to see a pattern here perhaps? As you can imagine, lunge workout exercises are great for your thighs and this is another one that will work well with a medicine ball if you have one handy. Keep the medicine ball in front of your chest and stand straight, feet shoulder length apart. Now lunge forward with your left leg, but swivel a little to the right, get as low as you can go without falling on your rump. Return to the starting position and then do the other leg, repeat, repeat and repeat once more.

squats
Squats are a good workout to tone your inner thighs.

Pile squats – Get a chair or have something sturdy beside you to hold on to, keep your feet apart, as you can and have them pointing outward. Now slowly bend both knees as low as you can while supporting your balance with the chair I mentioned earlier. Get back to the starting position and repeat a few more times.

There we have it my good friends, some pretty solid workout exercises that will really tone up your inner thighs. Love them or hate them, make sure that you don’t forget to spend a little time on your thighs every now and again on your workout, remember repetition is the mother of experience as they say so if you can’t get used to the exercises above, just keep practicing them and repeating it over and over, soon enough you’ll be an expert.  Stay healthy!

Must-Have Cheap Equipments In Your Home Gym

Must-Have Cheap Equipments In Your Home Gym

Going to the gym is something most of us do or have at least experienced, after all we all need to get a good workout in and maintain our fitness as well. However I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes it is a bit costly to maintain a gym membership but there are solutions around that, at the very least be quite a bit cheaper, with a few negative sides here and there. While you may not be able to afford every extreme machine out there, at the very least with some research and a little elbow grease, you can have some rather great workout options in the very comfort of your own home. Again you may lose out on some quality time with a trainer, but there’s something about making sure you’re attending to your own fitness in your own home, that makes it so satisfying. So if that is something you are interested in, keep on reading and you may never need to go to the gym again.

Free weights – The sheer versatility of free weights or even adjustable weights is something every home gym must-have and quite frankly it’s why this item is on this list. Of course the cost can be from cheap to astronomically expensive but you can pretty much gauge your own workout need and decide from there. There are so many options available in the market I wouldn’t even know where to start really, but the one thing that is for sure is that your fitness will not go unchecked if you keep using these weights at home. Best part of having these is, no line in the gym to use them too, pretty sweet deal.

free weights
Free weights are one of the most common home fitness must-haves. Huge variety, affordable and can be stored easily.

Chin-up bar – Talking about cheap equipment, a chin-bar is a must have workout tool for your home. Chin-ups, pull-ups and what have you can really get a good workout going if you know what you are doing and with a chin-up bar, it makes it all possible. Aside from it being rather cheap, it can pretty much go toe-to-toe with the bulkier and more expensive gym equipment that is used for fitness. Just make sure that you install it properly as an accident on it can really hurt your entire body, if you catch what I mean.

Punching bag – A punching bag is something you can definitely use at home. If you are looking to really get a good sweat going for your workout, plus you know what to do with a punching bag, this could be the ideal item for your fitness, plus it really helps that it is rather cheap to purchase, the only challenge is to figure out where and how to place it in your home. Make sure you leave enough room to allow the punching bag itself to sway around. Add a boxing ring and you’ll have your own boxing gym… just kidding, where would we ever buy a boxing ring anyways?

Stretching mat/yoga mat – Don’t forget the simple stuff, simple and cheap is always good. Notice how every time you go to the gym there is a ton of a mats available for everyone’s use, now why is that? Because they are very useful for most fitness workout plans, so why wouldn’t you want this in your own home gym? Simple, there are a ton of exercises that you can definitely do on mats,  in fact a whole workout program can be done purely on yoga mats or stretching mats, so this is maybe one of the better, cheaper purchases you should have.

Jump rope – While a treadmill or an elliptical machine would be great thing to have in the house, let’s face it, some of those machines are not cheap, in fact some of them cost an astronomical amount, it’s almost like putting out a small loan for a car. Truth of the matter is not everyone has that amount of cash ready for such a purchase. So looking for a simple solution, turn to a cheap and easy to purchase jump rope. No loans required for this one, but if you start getting into the groove of a fitness induced workout, this simple purchase will really sky rocket your workout plans. Don’t worry that you won’t be doing so well at the start, it takes time and quite a bit of rhythm to get it down, but in the end what is really needed is practice, practice and did I mention practice?

Exercise ball – Another good purchase, and rather cheap too while remaining quite sturdy. This can take a lot weight, and quite a bit of beating so you don’t need to dance around it while you are diving into your workout. Getting serious with your fitness, that means you’ll want to focus on your core quite a bit and an exercise ball is exactly what you need. The exercises on this thing is pretty versatile and you can keep training until you’re an expert. 

exercise ball
Exercise or what some people call gym ball is one of my top must-haves when working out at home.

Resistance bands – Now these aren’t what I’d call new, but they haven’t been around for a long time, at least not the ones available in the market today. Not only are the newer ones rather sturdy, they are affordable, useful and finally handy to have around. Great for a lot of workout options out there, getting a few resistance bands is something that will really help you with your fitness plans. Another item that is rather simple but multi-talented tool that can really do a lot of stuff that the gym equipment could do, making it a definite must-have for your own home gym.

Kettlebell – Much like the free weights or dumbbells, this indispensable little home necessity is something no home gym should be without. There are quite a bit of exercises that can work with this item, plus it’s not that expensive in fact for how useful it is, I’d say it’s downright cheap in fact especially considering everything it can do for your fitness. Make sure to research the proper exercises for this wonderful tool, you won’t be sorry you ever bought it, after all you’ll be too busy with your workout to think about those things anyways.

Medicine ball – Another handy device that can really put your home gym to another level, the medicine ball can help your fitness get to where you want it to. There’s always a good workout that can be done with a medicine ball, plus keeping it handy when you’re working out with a friend opens a world with a ton of opportunities to workout. Use the medicine ball to get a little extra weight in a lot of normal exercises, such as squats, maybe up the difficulty of push ups and much more.

kettlebell
Booty-shaping routines at home is made is easier with a kettle bell.

Weight plates – Ideally if you have a little cash set up, I think a full bench would be great in any home gym but facts are facts, those are not cheap. The weight plates however are much more affordable and can be easily purchased. These work as well as dumbbells and kettlebells, so any of the three options would be ideal if you want to get your fitness workout done while at home, get at least one of these options and you’ll be pretty set. Sure they take up some space but again what gym doesn’t right?

And there we have it, some of the must-have and somewhat cheap gym equipment that you should have at home. They are handy and can give your fitness workout a good run for their money. The challenge is knowing what to do and how to do it properly, then from there it’s wash, repeat, wash and repeat again. All of these home equipment options are pretty great, however they won’t do much if all they do is sit in a corner. You need to figure out how to get your workout into your daily routine, your fitness takes time and needs a regular schedule, so regardless if it’s a a home gym or a real gym, take your time and get used to the workout, it will do you a world of good. Stay healthy!

Popular Cardio Exercises

There have been some really great cardio workout programs out in the health market and if you’ve been searching for a popular cardio exercises I’m sure you’ve tried quite a few by now. However I wanted to share with you the popular options for cardio exercise out there, so that you can decide or test out various cardio workout options which agrees with you, so without further procrastination, allow me to share the popular cardio workout that you want to know.

Running/Jogging/Walking – By now you know someone or have probably tried to go running or jogging or walking, because quite frankly it really does get a good sweat going and in the end that really gives you a great cardio workout doesn’t it? The beauty of this is that you only need good shoes, a nice pair of shorts and a shirt you can sweat in, and that’s about it. And in reality there is a great satisfaction from getting an extra mile or two more from the day before. One of my personal favorites, this is an exercise you’ll definitely want if you want to lose weight. 

Biking – If walking or running is a little too slow, and you want some speed to really get along with your cardio workout then biking might be perfect for you. Preferably a place with a great view of mountains makes this a picturesque exercise, however as long as you have a safe lane or two to bike along, you should be fine. The equipment might be a little extensive and could become a bit costly too, however if you really get into it, you might not be able to stop yourself from having too much fun. A really great option for your cardio workout, and a wonderful way to lose weight, give this a try if you have the chance, you may just get addicted to biking.

Circuit training – Looking for high intensity training? Then circuit training could be the perfect cardio exercise for you. One of the most popular options for exercise today, circuit training has since received an almost occult following as one of the most favored cardio workouts to this day. Not for the feint of heart, this high intensity interval training can really get your calories going, which is ideal for those who want to really lose weight.

Elliptical/Treadmill – These machines are amazing, they can allow you to workout and really get your exercise in, without leaving the comfort of your own home or gym for that matter. As one of the more popular cardio workout, you can really see why when you hit the gym and see that most of the machines are full, again for a great reason. You can avoid the hazards of outside exercise while having the full  luxury of counting calories, even a mileage count, incline and much more depending on the machine, you pretty much won’t have to leave the indoors now. A definite strong contender for one of the best cardio workout options out there, the only catch is getting the right equipment unless you’ve joined a good gym.

aerobics
Aerobics is still one classic cardio workout.

Aerobics – The classic montage for a lot of people who want to lose weight, this cardio workout is still one of the classics. Joining a large group and going through rigorous exercise is still a powerful way to lose that belly and aerobics is something that pretty much anyone can do, as long as he or she has the tenacity to keep training and to keep at it. The only challenge is finding the right class for you, but aside from that a great way to really sweat it out.

Yoga – This popular cardio workout is still part of the top exercise options to really lose weight. Popularized a few years back, yoga has since spun to different types of yoga to challenge the enthusiast and even beginners, but in the end it only gives you more choices to choose from this amazing cardio workout. Again the real challenge is finding the right class for you, but there are so many options that shouldn’t be impossible. Stick with it and don’t get frustrated when starting out, and you’ll really start to bend in ways that you’ve never imagined before while getting your sweat on.

Cycling – Much like biking, this takes the lead of the treadmill or elliptical machines, as it is focused on using a machine indoor. Nowadays there is even a class, which is often referred to spinning, which makes full use of the cycling machine and can really get your sweat dripping. For this cardio workout, it would be ideal that you have a great cycling machine but what really sets it apart is that this exercise can be done in a class as well. I haven’t heard of a treadmill class as of yet, but makes you think it could happen right?  Find a good class and give it a good old try, you may really end up liking this cardio workout.

Versa Climber – If you’ve ever tried rock climbing or wall climbing and enjoyed it, this could indeed be the cardio workout for you. This unique machine has moving stairs if you will that you can climb and of course the incline and difficulty can be adjusted to suit your needs, plus there are even classes to do this altogether, now that really drives up your sweat. Now if you’ve never done a group exercise like this before, you’ll understand that having others really go at it beside you, will drive your enthusiasm up and will push you to do more than you originally thought you could, give it a try and see how far you can really go.

Swimming – This is still one of the popular choices for any exercise program out there. Considering that it is gentler on the joints and body, a lot of people have turned towards this cardio workout in order to lose weight and stay in shape. Aside from the fact that it is adds a refreshing feeling when you jump in cold water when it’s crazy hot outside, being in the water also gives you so many different workout options that you’ll have a harder time deciding what to actually do inside the pool. Again one of the major challenges is finding a pool big enough to handle your exercise, but there should be a pool in your local gym or clubhouse that should work.

There you have it, quite a few choices for cardio workout and you can test them all out. I apologize if I missed out on any of the more important options but these are some of the more popular choices for exercise programs, after all these are top of mind when you ask what cardio workout a person is doing or has tried. There are countless more and you really have so many to choose from it is almost confusing. The great thing about so many choices however is that you can really take your time to test each exercise out and finally get into what you enjoy, have fun with it, that’s the beauty of a lot of options. Stay healthy!

6-Minute Morning Workout Before Shower

6-Minute Morning Workout Before Shower

Personally, a great morning is one that I can take my time to do some morning stretches,  get a workout in and then have breakfast and shower. Doesn’t that sound like a perfect start to the day? However not all of my mornings can cater to this ideal morning routine, sometimes I only have time for a cup of tea, a quick bite, then shower. I also know that this is true for a lot of people, but is that really all there is to it? I opted to research if there was anything I could improve in such a short span of time available to me and I stumbled upon a quick, 6-minute morning workout before showering. I believe most people can spare 6 minutes before showering, it isn’t much but it really can make a world of difference. Give this a try and get a quick morning booster before the day starts. Trust me, try this and you’ll love how much better the mornings can get.

The idea for this workout is to do it like a circuit, in short don’t rest in between the exercises to really get a good sweat going. Don’t worry, this morning workout before showering is not impossibly difficult and will be a great morning booster for you and the rest of your day.

Squats – Start off with 15 squats. Anyone who has gone through gym has probably done quite a few squats in their lives but for those who haven’t it’s fairly easy. Stand straight for this morning workout before showering, keep your sides to the side and your feet shoulder width apart. Now slowly bend your knees down, try to keep your knees in line with your feet and as you lower your body, lift both hands straight forward, hold for a second and then go back to starting position. Repeat for 15 reps for this morning booster.

A quick round of push-ups to get your sweat on.
A quick round of push-ups to get your sweat on.

Push-ups – Next up is 15 push-ups, again get a mat or do it on the floor, whichever you are more comfortable with. Lie facing down for this morning workout before showering and put both hands in front of your chest, roughly by your shoulders as well, keep both your feet pointed so your legs are not touching the floor. Now use your arms to push yourself off the floor, hold for a breath and return to starting position. Again repeat the morning booster for a total of 15 reps.

Plank – after the push-ups, let’s go with a 30 second plank. Stay in the same position as the push-up however instead of your hands in front of your chest, use your forearms in the same position. Notice how you are a few inches off the floor for this morning workout before showering, and that’s pretty much it. Keep this position for about 30 seconds and you will feel the morning booster do its thing to get you a good sweat.

Follow-up with a planking routine.
Follow-up with a planking routine.

Twist – to top off this morning workout routine, lie on the floor this time with your back to it. Keep both hands behind your head and your feet straight. Now twist your entire upper body to the left, you’ll use your right elbow to help lift your head, at the same time lift your right leg to stay off the ground and the your knee should come up to meet your right elbow, this should be somewhere near your chest. Now do the other side, this counts as one rep. Do 15 reps of this morning booster and you will really feel the difference in a few short strokes.

That’s pretty much it for this circuit morning workout before showering, it’s simple and will only take about 6 minutes or so for one whole round or circuit. The trick is to really get into the rhythm and to make sure that you make it part of your daily routine. Ideally of course you get in a full workout during the day but if that is impossible, at the very least start off with this morning workout before showering and it should really give you a great morning booster for the rest of the day.

There are other workouts out there that seem to have a very similar idea in mind that it only lasts for a few minutes in the morning. I would suggest to test which one best fits you and your needs, keep at it and make sure to pair it off with a good diet, you really will see that a morning workout will make quite a difference for you. Stay healthy!

Exercise For Groups Or Couples

Exercise For Groups Or Couples

Don’t you just love your friends? I mean it could just be another friend or a group or friends or whatever, either way they are usually quite supportive of you and you often find yourself on adventures, events or so much more, so why not exercising too? I’m sure at one point or another when your workout has hit a rather stale wall, you want to make it exciting again or you just need that extra push for you to actually get some exercise in, either way, let’s get your friends involved shall we? I have a few lists of group workout events or even couple exercise plans that can really work for you and a friend, this way you’ll get healthy, they’ll get healthy, and from there you can have more fun for even more.

Competitive sports – I won’t dive into this group workout too much but as always you can do a lot of sports depending on how many there are of you in a group. Basketball, soccer, futsal, football, the list goes on. This is how a lot of people bond and get a little friendly, sometimes not so friendly competition. No matter what happens though, you end up being best friends at the end of the nasty comments or competitive challenges. Ask your friends what they are into and they probably have a game or two in common, additionally you get to meet other people and maybe add on to your little group.

Hiking – Oh my gosh, reaching new heights, going to places you’ve never been, the thrill of being on higher ground, what’s not to love? Get your group workout on or even make it an intimate hike and make it a couple exercise for the day, either way you can take up a tent and have a lot of fun during the hike and after when you are staring at the starry night sky, again what is not to love about this idea?

hiking
Hiking and taking a trip around nature is always a good idea whether to bond as a group, or as a couple’s date.

Kayaking – This may take some equipment but even more important a proper location. So if you are fortunate enough to be a stone’s throw away from a lake or a river, maybe even the beach, give it a go with a new type of group workout. Enlist some of your more hardcore friends and be prepared to feel the burn as you kayak your way through some water. On a separate note there are tandem kayaks as well which could make for some fun couple exercise plans as well.

Wall climbing – There is just some satisfaction to climbing a man made wall isn’t there? Or if man made isn’t doing it for you, let’s go on to the real thing, rock climbing! Any which way, as long as you have your friends this is a prime group workout that will really get your sweat going as well as your friendship tougher. And the beauty is, if the group is too busy cut it back down to a couple exercise day and get you and your best friend climbing up those rocks.

Biking – Again this may take some equipment but on the other hand this is a great group exercise for you and your friends. Just like the kayak there is even a tandem option available but in reality I would suggest using two bikes instead, better burn for your buck you know? Anyhow this will allow you to see more of your place and have a lot of laughs with friends, if you’re lucky you have a scenic route near you and is very friendly for long distance riding, all you have to do left is start sending out the message to everyone.

Group running – You didn’t think I’d get through the list without mentioning running did you? Of course not, as one of the most well known couple exercise available and a wonderful group workout, joining up as a group and getting a good run is always fun. You get to push each other further and you barely feel the time, I’m going to say it, run by, there I said it! Make sure you have the proper gear ready and stay hydrated. 

Dog walking – Perhaps running isn’t your idea of fun, no problem, why not finish a chore while you enjoy a group workout? Get your friends with dogs and bring out the leashes, time for a walk. Not only do you get a nice walk in, your dog gets to go out, your chore is done and if you are taking care of the dog as a couple, well think of it as a couple exercise routine as well. Either way this is definitely something you should enjoy as a group if you have a pet dog or two.

Group yoga – There is nothing like having a whole place to yourselves and getting a proper instructor. If you are new to yoga, no problem at all, being surrounded by friends in this group workout allows you to make mistakes and laugh about it. Looking for a couple exercise routines along these lines? There is something called partner yoga, where you and your partner can help each other exercise, it’s a wonderful experience and I highly suggest it.

dance group
Sweat it out with music because dance is never boring!

Dance it out – Just in case your friends are into dancing, just go with it for your group workout. There are a ton of dances that is really friendly to big groups and some of you can really shine doing these things. Needless to say there are also dances just for couples and again that will fulfill your needs of couple exercise as well.

Get extreme – Perhaps these were a little too tame for you and your friends, you need something more physical and rough? Try mixed martial arts. Enroll in a class or get an instructor to teach you, either or, this is a real eye opener for a lot of people. You can really learn a lot about your friends during this group workout and if it’s just you and your partner, this couple exercise will really allow you to get to know him or her even better as well. On the plus side if you are ever in the need to defend yourself, and let’s all hope you never do, the things you learn here will be really useful.

Now there you have it, some pretty solid ideas for group workout or even couple exercise plans, all you need to do is wrestle up your friends to join you. Chances are if you are getting into fitness, they are probably starting or should start, might as well tag along with you and make it as much fun as possible. A group that works out together is a group that pretty much stays together, and the same can definitely be said about couples as well, so what else are you waiting for? Start making those calls. Stay healthy!

Things Not To Do After A Workout

Things Not To Do After A Workout

By now you have probably heard or read about over one thousand things to do during your workout, but did you know there are things that you absolutely should not do after a workout as well? These little tips could indeed help you move forward with your workout plans and help save you from making a costly mistake to both your health and body. So if you are starting to get into your workout groove or even if you have been working out for some time, make sure you take the time read this list of things not to do after a workout just to be sure that you are absolutely safe.

Forgetting to do your cool down – After a great workout, you really need to do a cool down stretch or something. This will make sure that your muscles can relax a little and heal up. Don’t skip the cool down phase, make sure to always, always include it in your plans for the well-being of your health and body.

no to junk food
Pigging out on junk food beats the purpose of your workout and good health habits

Over doing the cardio – Cardio is great but if you overdo it, even that can turn bad for you. While again a lot of people tend to mix working out and doing cardio altogether, again it is fine but if you over exhaust yourself you open up the door to a lot of injuries. So once more it is safer to just split your cardio and workout if you can because your body too, has its own limits.

Skipping a proper meal – Of the things not to do after a workout, this could be one for the books. A lot of people want to lose weight, and while that is a great idea in general, skipping meals and denying your body the nutrients it sorely needs is a bad idea for your health and body. Make sure to eat a proper meal as your body needs nutrients badly after being worked out. Don’t skip meals, plan it out and eat something healthy.

Over eating – On the opposite side of the spectrum if you can skip a meal you can over eat as well. The thought comes up: “I just worked out, I deserve to pig out.” Well alright once in a while this is fine I suppose but doing it on a regular basis is a bad idea, especially if you are eating a lot of unhealthy fats. Doing this is not only one of the things not to do after a workout, but it is very detrimental to both your health and body if you over consume these bad fats. It is true your body needs nutrients but it needs the proper nutrients and not any old junk that is lying around, the ideal set up is a balanced meal after a good workout.

Skipping sleep – Please do not do this, as I have stressed before and continue to stress some more, sleep is super important to your body. Among the things not to do after a workout, I think this should be the easiest to avoid, assuming you can plan your day out properly or assuming that your health and body is important to you, which it should be. Get a full night’s rest before and after a good workout to make sure your body can heal properly, maximize the results of your workout and diet, otherwise you could really be negating all the hard work you are going through.

Neglecting water intake – While food is indeed important, don’t forget that you had a really good sweat going and need to replenish the liquids in your body. There is nothing more cooling than a tall glass of water or in this case, water bottle. Among things not to do after a workout, ignoring your thirst is one of them and quite frankly, it seems silly to not drink more liquids after doesn’t it? For your health and body, you really need to replenish what you used up and for me the best thing is a glass of water, if it has some fruits infused into it all the better, any which way, make sure to drink a lot of fluids. Make sure however to avoid sports drinks if you can, unless you’ve thoroughly done some research. Those are usually full of sugars that you really don’t need or want in your body after working out so hard.

Neglecting proper hygiene – After a trip to the gym, where sweat, blood and tears have been spilt, it is best to get really squeaky clean after for the safety of your health and body. Make sure you avoid touching your face or other sensitive parts before you shower as you can spread the bacteria and among the things not to do after a workout, this is the easiest one to do, as we tend to wipe our brows or rub our eyes after working out. Make sure you get a good shower in before doing all of that or at the very least wash your hands before you can hit the shower.

proper hygiene
Keep a proper hygiene not only after working out but all the time.

Forgetting to record your progress – Keep a diary of your accomplishments, this will really help you push forward for slumps and there is always a way to really share with yourself the success of a great a workout. Within things not to do after a workout, forgetting to input everything in your journal is a major no-no. You really want to keep track of all your progress and forgetting to journal it is a big shame, you worked that hard and only to not jot it down, don’t do it!

Going out in gym clothes – This is super unhygienic and should not be done at all. It can really spread the bacteria all over your body and even to others, you don’t want to do that or be that person would you? For both health and body, this is one of the things not to do after a workout, it’s simple, makes sense and shouldn’t be too difficult to avoid altogether, all you need to do is shower and change clothes.

As you can see these are some simple tips on what not to do after a workout, they support pretty much your health and body plus promote a healthy outlook. You’ve come this far and worked so hard, why let yourself slip up from working out by doing anything on this list? I know I wouldn’t and quite frankly, you shouldn’t as well. Take the time and read this list after working out, so you can be absolutely sure that you are not doing any of them at all.  Stay healthy!

How To Keep Your Knees Healthy During Any Workout

How To Keep Your Knees Healthy During Any Workout

Pretty much everyone wants a healthy body but if you are just getting into running or starting with the gym what you really want and need are healthy knees. Your knees allow you to move properly and just like with most people it is rather prone to injury, this is especially true if you don’t take care of it during workout or even during regular days. I’d like to share with you some tips on how to take care and continue to have healthy knees, after all, nothing ruins a good workout schedule like a busted knee.

Keep your weight healthy – It is no secret that your knees take a lot of beatings due to your weight, so if you want healthy knees make sure you keep your weight in check. A lot of heavy set people experience pains and injuries in their knees due to the unwanted extra weight it needs to bear, quite frankly it even takes a beating during a workout so it’s almost like a high wire act in maintaining healthy knees but it is something everyone will want to figure out.

weight lifting
Make sure to know your body’s limits and not overdo exercises that could cause injuries.

Take the right path – When you see a sidewalk or the grass, as tempting as it sounds to walk on soft cut grass, go on the concrete street. It promotes healthy knees by having a flat and leveled walking area that really removes the unwanted stress from your knees. This is true for your workout as well, when the option presents itself, always go for a level field if you want healthy knees.

90 degrees is enough – There are times it is tempting to overdo lunges and squats, after all a lot of people think that this will give you healthy knees but over bending it more than 90 degrees is a big no-no. This will give your knees some serious strain during the workout and can leave you prone to injuries, so as much as you want to go extreme on your workout,you should always be mindful about your body’s limits.

Inner thighs to the rescue – You want to reduce as much stress from healthy knees as possible and to do that, you’ll need some strong inner thighs. They can really reduce the stress the knees experience in a workout or even from walking, so keeping them nice, fit and strong really equips you with a great shock absorber and a firm supporter of healthy knees.

Be weary of your seat – Going cycling or attending a spin class is a great cardio workout and is really wonderful at losing weight, however it can really do a number on your knees. To avoid injury and to keep your healthy knees, don’t keep the seat too low otherwise it could increase the strain. Find a comfortable height for you during your workout, test and retest again the ideal seating position and remember for future sessions.

Swim for cardio – People sing the praises of swimming quite a bit and if there is a pool near you this can be great for healthy knees. The water helps reduce the impact of exercise on the knees and there is just something so refreshing about having a workout in water don’t you think? Additionally it has been found that for existing knee injuries swimming really helps rehabilitate the injury through exercise in the water while keeping the stress to a minimum. 

Knee sleeves are pretty awesome – Well it doesn’t hurt to have protection when you are up against something as dangerous as a knee injury so it is advisable if you workout quite a bit or run some distance, get a pair of knee sleeve to protect and keep knees healthy, pretty simple if you think about it.

When it hurts, stop! – Our body is pretty intuitive, we just have to know when to listen. During a workout, when your knees are burning and start hurting it’s about time to stop and take a break. Either you worked on it too long and hard or your knees have an injury, either way it is best to stop whatever you are doing and take a rest, you can test it again after a bit but if the pain persists, it might be time to go to an expert. Remember healthy knees promote a healthy you, so make sure to take care of them.

Learn to lift properly – Quite a bit of knee injuries come from gym related accidents or exercises, which is why during your workout make sure that you have the proper form and know how to lift properly. In fact, for healthy knees, this goes beyond just the gym, you need to know how to lift whatever item properly.

warm up stretches
Do not skip a good warm up or stretching. This lessens the chances of you busting your knee.

A healthy diet always helps – Now this tip is not solely for the purpose of healthy knees, but other joints as well. A proper diet can be a game changer for anyone and quite frankly it can be the key to you having healthy knees. By eating an anti-inflammatory diet you can assist your joints, not just the knees, proper nutrition while not putting too much strain on them. Additionally a good diet will make sure the rest of your body is functioning properly bringing less strain to other parts, which will lead to a healthier you. 

Stretch before working out – Before the workout a lot of people forget to stretch but I think that really helps when you want to keep your healthy knees. Make sure to do some proper stretching before engaging in a heavy workout or you could shock the knees into an injury.

Practice knee strengthening exercises – There are a ton of exercises out there that focuses on various body parts, why should the knees be any different? Well they aren’t so take the time to get a few of them into your workout routine, after all you’ll need healthy knees to keep doing the rest of the exercises as well, so learn them, live them and add them to the workout for a happy pair of healthy knees.

These are just some of the most useful tips out there to keep healthy knees during and outside of your workout. Make sure you take the time to read through them and plan out which ones you’ll use but if at all possible, use all the tips above for some really healthy knees on a daily basis for both workout and regular days. Stay healthy!

10 Beginner’s Fitness Mistakes

10 Beginner’s Fitness Mistakes

Let me start off by saying it’s great that you are getting into fitness and you are beginning your own road of getting to a better you, we should applaud that and celebrate your new found need to get into shape. However as someone who hasn’t been working out or is perhaps completely new to the health scene, there are what you can call fitness mistakes that you may not even know you are doing during your workout routine. Don’t be ashamed of thes mistakes, it shows that you are trying and these errors can be small, but let me give you the top 10 fitness mistakes that beginners usually make so that you can avoid it, correct it and know of it.

1.Always going for more – When you hit the gym a lot of the times people want to do more, more, more! More reps, more weight, more cardio and so forth, but this is one of the most dangerous fitness mistakes you can make as a beginner. While true more is usually better, this is not the case for beginners. You need to know your limits and when to say enough is enough, otherwise you could injure yourself during a workout routine. Find an expert or an instructor to help you out at the start and build from there, there’s no shame in getting help.

Don't Quit
Don’t give up easily. Don’t give up at all!

2.Giving up before you feel the change – Everyone wants immediate results and when you start going to the gym for the first time, this notion is not exempted from that idea. I know that sometimes it can be frustrating to not see some immediate results from a rigorous workout routine, true but you can’t go giving up just because it hasn’t shown any change in your body just yet. Give it time, and maybe tweak your workout routine a bit. Don’t make this as your last of many fitness mistakes, it can end a fitness streak just like that trust me, I’ve seen it happen so many times.

3.Weight, weight, weight – While a lot of people start working out to lose weight and get into better shape, do not obsess over your weight too much, this is one of the most well known fitness mistakes out there. Your weight will vary considering fat weighs less than muscle, your weight can decrease and then get heavier, that is because your fats could be turning into muscles. This dissuades some people and this kills their workout routine, best to be safe and beat this mistake before it starts.

4.Weights on that barbell – There are people who are deadest on carrying something too heavy and this is one of the major fitness mistakes for beginners. You can really hurt yourself during your workout routine if you overdo it from the get-go and nobody wants that.

5.Immediate diet changeDo not just suddenly dive into a new fad diet you heard about, test the waters, do it gradually in fact and slowly dip your feet into the diet pool, don’t go diving in head first.

6.How do you use this? – Beginners are afraid to be made out as beginners, as fitness mistakes goes it is a little silly actually as there are a lot of nice people out there and when you see someone using a machine wrong, it kind of gives it away. Feel free to ask an expert perhaps the local instructor for some pointers or such during your workout routine, I am sure she or he would be happy to impart some knowledge. You don’t want some fitness mistake to end up hurting you in the long run would you?

7.Going too advanced – There are a ton of awesome routines out there that can really work for you, however that is in the near future. You can’t exactly wake up and say: “gosh I feel like running a full marathon today.” Nope, it does not work that way and the same goes with your workout routine. You can’t expect yourself to be able to suddenly follow advanced routines without going through the basics first, as fitness mistakes goes, this is pretty easy to know but hard to follow. A lot of beginners come in and want to just jump the gun, work for it and eventually get to harder routines, but don’t just assume you can start off with it just like that.

8.Keeping your eyes on the end goal – While beginners love to target their total weight loss or complete body overhaul, it is one of the known fitness mistakes to only focus on that said goal. Make reachable small goals each month, week or even every day, it will really allow you to feel as though you achieved something and will keep motivating you to keep at your workout routine. I understand that you want to reach your end goal but if you only focus on that, you lose sight of the road and can eventually find yourself astray, don’t make that mistake.

personal trainer
Seek help from a personal trainer. They will add so much to your knowledge and help you keep and stay on track.

9.Forgetting to track your data – There is some satisfaction to monitoring your own progress through notes. Cold hard facts do not lie and among the fitness mistakes that beginners make, this could be the most often made. When you begin working out, it feels as though things are going a little slow, especially since you haven’t gotten the groove on your workout routine just yet. However if you start writing down your notes and the information of your reps, weight and so forth, you will see that each day you are improving ever so slowly, but as they say every step forward will help complete a mile, so keep going.

10Training until you pass out – This is rare even among fitness mistakes or is it? Some beginners get everything down and do reps or sets until they cannot lift it another inch, but this is definitely one of the much less known fitness mistakes. You shouldn’t workout when you can barely move, that means you overdid it. You need to do an acceptable amount of reps and sets then let your body rest properly. You need to know your limits and when to push, but don’t go overboard otherwise you could be prone to injuries during your workout routine, and if that happens, well it makes it all the more difficult to get back on the horse after you just got on it after all.

Keep these fitness mistakes in mind next time you hit the gym or plan to go on a workout spree, since you are only beginning or just starting all over again, you don’t want to knock yourself down. It’s awesome that you want to improve yourself and get healthier, that is a step in the right direction, but don’t overdo it and go at it alone, research, ask, be curious, prepare yourself for what you can really do when you put your mind to it and go on that perfect workout routine made especially for you. Stay healthy!