Monday, 14 December 2015

Make Your Gym Sessions More Productive And Comfortable In The Right Gym Shoes

Getting a gym membership can be exciting whether you are looking forward to losing weight and shaping up, building muscles or simply getting fit. Whatever your reasons for going for some gym activities, you ought to remember that the shoes you select can have effects on how comfortable and productive you remain. A good gym shoe is one that does not keep reminding you that you are wearing it probably because it is too hot, too tight too heavy or because it pinches. You need to choose the right shoe to make sure that you give maximum concentration on  the gym workout.

Grip – This is very important especially when you are looking for weight lifting shoes. Shoes that offer a flat firm grip on the floor or ground gives you proper form and they keep you safe from skidding when lifting heavy weights. It is important to avoid thick soled high tech shoes when in the weight room for safety and effectiveness in the activity. Always look at the sole of your shoes and the anti-skid features it has to ensure that you select a pair that is bound to offer firm grip regardless of the gym floor that you get exposed to.

Support – This is another very important aspect of gym shoes especially for strength training and cardio sessions. Remember these are activities that consist of side to side shuffling and jumping and you therefore should look for a shoe that has ample support. Wide toe box high top sneakers can be great choices when you are looking for optimal movement. Look for shoes that offer ankle support and arch support as well to keep the aerobic movements swift and safe for you. Shoes that are able to keep your feet from inward rolling are best for treadmill time  so make sure you pay attention to this supportive feature as well.
Comfort – It is definitely something you must pay attention to. Choose high top sneakers that have ample cushioning to keep your feet comfortable whether you are strength training or lifting weight. A comfortable gym shoe should not only be cushioned but also light enough and breathable for your feet so that they don't end up feeling overheated and heavy as this can slow you down. Comfort also relies on the shoe size that you select. Make sure your workout shoes fit comfortably. Avoid choosing very tight shoes or very large ones because either way you will have a hard time keeping up with the gym demands.

Style – You might be going to the gym but you definitely do want to look stylish. There are so many stylish sneakers you can choose for your gym workouts so you do not have to compromise your sense of style just because you are hitting the gym, go for workout high tops! When you take time to weigh your options, you will find a gym shoe you love and one that matches your personality. Love the shoe to enjoy wearing it to the gym.
Bodybuilding sneakers are very important for any gym workout. Ensure you remain safe, productive and comfortable by selecting excellent gym shoes that have all important features included and get the right fit for your feet.


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Reasons Why Plank Exercises Are Great

Some of the best exercises are the least complicated, and plank exercises I think fall into that category. These have recently become an important part of my exercise routine because they are great for core conditioning. In fact, they may look too easy to be beneficial, but especially if you have irritation in the lower back this exercise might be your answer. But it also gives the hamstrings, glutes and shoulders a good workout, and will support proper posture and improved balance.
It should be noted, however that there are some common mistakes made when people do planks, and perhaps even more so than most exercises doing improperly could lead to injury. These exercises will tax the upper and lower regions of the spine. If these areas are weak it will normally cause the spine to sway. This can put compression pressure in the vertebrae and can cause back injuries. It is important especially when starting out, to know just where your limits are and not to exceed them. If you feel any pain in the back area, don't push it, but work your time up little by little.

Besides trying to hold the position for too long, other common faults are placing the hands too close together, allowing the hips and head to drop, and holding your breath. And what should your goal be? You are considered to be fairly fit in the core area if you can hold the abdominal plank position for at least two minutes. But again, you should build up to that point slowly.

That said, here are some reasons why you should be looking to plank exercises as part of your fitness program
1. Posture and balance improvement. By merely staying in the plank position for the period of time requires you to work on your balance. This can be enhanced further by doing planks on a BOSU ball, or by doing side planks. If we do lose our balance and posture position as we age, it is normally because of the weakening in the core area. Planks are great for this.

2. Alleviates back pain. Whatever you do to strengthen your core area is probably going to make your lower back stronger. The reason is because plank exercises require minimal movement while contracting all the layers of the abdominals.
3. Tones the stomach region. These exercises will be in our core muscles of the belly area. This is the foundation of the outer abdominals, or six-pack abs. This will be helped further by pulling in the area of your belly button, which will contract those deep inner transverse abdominal muscles.

4. Builds flexibility. The first time get into the plank position you will probably feel how the body becomes stretched. Not only in your posterior muscles but also in the shoulder area, the hamstrings and even the arches of your feet down to your toes. Plank exercises are a natural for stretching the body.

5. Mood enhancement. All of the above reasons for doing planks will help to improve a person's mood. Stretching and releasing the tension from muscles throughout the body are going to invigorate anyone who does these wonderful exercise routines.
Where you carry your weight has a lot to do with your overall health, as it is a  marker for issues having to do with the kidneys and liver. Read more about how to put on good weight through diet and exercise on our website Rich Carroll is a writer and avid health advocate now living in Chicago.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Exercise and Balanced Diet for a Healthy Life

A combination of a good exercise regime and a balanced diet will produce lasting results of healthy life. Exercise not only keeps a person fit but makes one feel good about oneself. As the sayings go, "a healthy body has a healthy mind" and "you are what you eat". Exercising regularly stimulates the brain to produce endorphin, a chemical that helps a person feel more relaxed and peaceful. A balanced diet is essential to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand.
Studies have shown that aerobics exercises can make your bones strong which in turn helps you age better. Eating a low fat, low carb and high protein diet can be helpful in achieving goals faster. Exercising regularly prevents the risk of developing heart diseases, diabetes and certain types of cancers. To ensure that you are exercising hard enough without straining your heart, calculate heart rate by using the heart rate calculator. The optimum workout requires the heart beat to go up to 75% of heart rate which will burn a lot of calories in little amount of time.

Basic exercises to get you started:
There are three basic components to all exercise routines; Aerobics, Strength training and Flexibility or Stretching.

Aerobics exercise: Walking, jumping and swimming are the best forms of aerobics exercise. Jump rope brings the heart rate up much faster than walking. Hence, ten minutes of jump-rope, is equivalent to twenty minutes of walking. Swimming is considered as the only workout that allows all the muscle groups to work together simultaneously to burn maximum calories.
Strength Training: Weights and Pilates are known as muscle toning and strengthening workouts. Weight training should be done at least three times a week. Pilates are getting quite popular nowadays especially in the western countries. It teaches control of mind and body and helps strengthen core muscles.

Flexibility exercises: Yoga and stretching. Yoga is known for relaxation. It calms anxiety and brings about a holistic approach to life. Stretching is highly recommended after every workout. It is a good way to prevent injuries and soothe tired and sore muscles.

Benefits of exercising:
The benefits of exercise are innumerable, to name a few:
• Increased brain performance
• Feel more energetic
• Releases stress
• Keeps diseases at bay
• Makes the heart stronger
• Removes anxiety and depression

Importance of a Balanced Diet:
A balanced diet will provide you the energy your body needs to function properly. It is important to maintain healthy eating habits so that your immune system is strong enough to fight illnesses. Poor diet can hinder the growth and development in children. Kids with bad eating habits are more likely to continue it for the rest of their lives.
Easy tips to follow:
A healthy diet is a composition of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, dairy and whole grains. Here are some simple do's and don'ts to get you started.
• Don't fill yourself up with empty calories, like cakes and cookies, etc.
• Try to make every calorie count by obtaining them from the four major food groups.
• Prefer fresh fruits over store bought juices.
• Try to eat six small meals instead of three large ones.
• Always eat a healthy snack between breakfast and lunch, and between lunch and dinner.
• Finally have a small snack just before bed time. That way you won't end up consuming large portions at each meal.
When starting a healthy lifestyle, do some homework on how to calculate heart rate for optimum workout, find out the caloric intake required for your age and try to maintain a food journal in the beginning. Just keep yourself disciplined through exercise, maintain a balanced diet, and you can enjoy a happy life for many years to come. Start bringing a change today by living the healthy way.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The Benefits of Using a Foam Roller Pre/Post Workout

Foam rollers are effective for increasing flexibility, but when are they best utilized? The answer to that question isn’t necessarily limited to when it’s most beneficial to use a foam roller. It’s rather a matter of how. According to National Academy of Sports Medicine CEO and founder Mike Clark (h/t, practically everyone fails to properly utilize foam rollers. Correctly using a foam roller before strenuous exercise can decrease your chances of contracting an injury and improve your workout.

Tension release from problem areas
Your basic instinct to gently roll back-and-forth consistently won’t yield optimal results from using a foam roller. Instead, it’s important to apply pressure on problem areas of your body, such as the hip flexors and glutes. Hip flexor strain is a common outcome of daily physical activity, like sitting upright in a desk chair during an eight-hour workday. It’s also a primary point of concentration for mild lower back pain. You can effectively release the tension in your hip flexors, and other problem areas of the body, by rolling your hips on a foam roller for approximately one to two minutes before a workout.

Optimized range of motion
Stretching is widely conceived as an important element of pre-workout activity, but conventional stretching technique does not directly target muscle receptors and tendons. While it’s entirely possible to warm-up each major muscle group through stretching, using a foam roller can help prepare tendons for strenuous activity and also decrease muscular-tension imbalances. Foam rolling can help increase your body’s overall range of motion and enable you to perform explosive weightlifting exercises with greater authority.
Decreased muscular imbalance
Muscular imbalances refer to certain muscle groups within the body being stronger than others. Over time, it’s likely that you’ve noticed peculiar variations in how your body reacts to strenuous exercise. For example, it’s possible you’ve realized your quadriceps are able to handle more weight in the squat rack than your chest can tolerate on the bench press. While this is relatively common among active gym-goers, it could be an outcome of muscular imbalance. Clark emphasizes that foam rollers activate the Golgi tendon organ, which effectively allows conventional stretching to activate muscle receptors. This process helps create balance within the body, thus enabling you to exercise at optimal capacity.

Increased strength and flexibility
According to research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, a dynamic warm-up model will increase strength in the quadriceps and flexibility in the hamstrings. A conventional warm-up period typically consists of moderate stretching activity and low-intensity exercise. However, combining the use of a foam roller with a regular stretching regimen, and performing five minutes of moderately intense cardiovascular activity, such as spinning, has the potential to enhance your body’s ability to execute strenuous exercises. Although research regarding foam rolling and its correlative effect on exercise remains limited, experts like Clark tout foam rollers ability to stimulate muscle receptors, which aid the process of lengthening muscle fibers.
Enhanced effectiveness of stretching
The ultimate benefit of utilizing a foam roller both before and after a workout is that it enhances the effectiveness of conventional stretching methods. Foam rollers apply deep pressure to problem areas, especially those in the pelvic region. This consequently activates muscle receptors, which increases your overall range of motion, decreases muscular imbalance, and helps maximize your strength and flexibility.

John Shea is a team sports fanatic and fitness aficionado. His work has been published across a wide platform of online audiences in the realm of health and fitness. His passion for fitness is exemplified in his writing, as he aims to help readers improve their overall well-being.