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Home Workouts

Why and how to fit some exercise into your day

Fat or fit? Your choice
How to fight it

Why and how to fit some exercise into your day

If you are reading this there is a fair chance you feel, that you need to fit some exercise into your day?  Here is what two major health organisations, say about our expanding waistlines and obesity.

The UK

One in four British adults is obese, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, prompting fears that the UK has become  “The fat man of Europe”

The UK has the highest level of obesity in Western Europe, ahead of countries such as France, Germany, Spain and Sweden, the 2013 report says.

Obesity levels in the UK have more than trebled in the last 30 years and, on current estimates, more than half the population could be obese by 2050.

Europe’s obesity league:

  • UK: 24.9%
  • Ireland: 24.5%
  • Spain: 24.1%
  • Portugal: 21.6%
  • Germany: 21.3%
  • Belgium: 19.1%
  • Austria: 18.3%
  • Italy: 17.2%
  • Sweden: 16.6%
  • France: 15.6%

Source: The State of Food and Agriculture 2013 (PDF, 2.44Mb), United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization

The USA

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in America says: “More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese.

Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. [Read guidelines]

The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight”

This part is the Why we need to exercise more

You’ve read the scary stats above.  I’ve read all sorts of reasons for us getting fatter.  And they make sense.  Just consider our modern lifestyles for a moment.

  • We use our cars to much
  • We watch television to much
  • We spend too much time sitting down in front of our computers
  • Office  jobs don’t help stop expanding waistlines
  • We eat lots of hi-calorie foods
  • Many of us live sedentary lifestyles

I’m sure you can add to this list in your own mind… We all know what we have to change.

We now know the Why of fitting exercise into our daily lives is so important.  So how can we?

Plan it

  • First of all, plan to fit some in and commit to it mentally. Write down how and when you are going to exercise during the day.
  • Keeping a log is proven to help!  You may think this step is unnecessary.  But don’t skip it, if you have a written plan you are more likely to stick to it, than if you just tell yourself “I’ll do such and such on such a day.”

There is a Monday and a Tuesday etc.  I promise you Suchaday will not appear anywhere in your week!

Body Weight Training

  • The resistance of your body can be used for strength training virtually anywhere and at any point in your day. Thanks to gravity and your body weight, this is what creates the resistance and enables you to complete exercises such as squats, planks, sit-ups, push-ups etc.  Bodyweight training is a great way to fit powerful exercise into your day.

If you can find a spare 15 minutes each day to complete a couple of sets of any of these exercises it will help. Even 5 minutes a day and doing 1 set will help.

If you are totally new to the terminology of exercise and fitness.

  • A rep is the completion of one exercise for example a squat, and a set is the number of times that same exercise has being completed.

Dumbbells

  • Dumbbells are handy things. With a set of light weights there will always be a section of the day when you can fit in some time to exercise with them.  Even… dare I say it while watching the telly.

Put down the remote and pick up the weights 🙂

Make exercise a priority

  • Some of us may not prioritize exercise as much as we should as we prefer to do other things like surf the net or perhaps open a bottle of something and chill with a tasty snack.

But when you feel like this, you need to remind yourself of all of the great health benefits of exercising and try to stick to your plan.  Remember writing it down?  Remember why you wanted to start walking down the fitness path in the first place.

If you concentrate on fitness and your goals more, you are likely to do more workouts and get the rewards and benefits that a higher level of fitness brings.

Leave the car at home

Think about every journey you make “Do you really need to take the car?”

Try to walk more.  Do you have a dusty bike somewhere in the garage or the garden shed?  Now is the time to oil it up and get cycling.

Simple lifestyle changes

Simple things make a difference.  Don’t get your groceries delivered carry them yourself.  Every little bit of exercise will help you get fitter and stay limber and mobile.  Everything you do today will help you tomorrow.

It is a fact that not keeping and working on our muscle mass now while we can, will have a strong effect on the quality of our life in old age.

So… Plan it (step one) and start a better healthier future today.  Short exercise sessions do help and it does all add up.

As always your comments are welcome.  Do you have any suggestions or good ideas about ways to fit in a little extra exercise, into our daily routines?

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Workout Injuries

Muscle soreness after exercise

Look after your muscles
ouch

How to Prevent Your Muscles Getting Sore after Exercise

No pain, no gain’ is a saying that a lot of people are familiar with when it comes to talking about exercise.

The meaning behind it is that you, will not reap any noticeable benefits from regular exercise if you do not stress your body out to the max.  Part of this is true, “however you do not need to torture yourself in order to get the results you want.”

You will need to stress your current musculature in order to build stronger and leaner muscles; however there are ways in which you can prevent your muscles from being sore when you have finished. These are steps that you can take before, during and after your workout and they will reduce the pain and soreness you feel. Which will encourage you to maintain your workout routine.  After all who wants to be in pain all the time?

Before You Workout

It is important to make sure you take the right steps before you work out and one of the main things to do is to fuel your body.

  • You should eat healthy carbohydrates 2 hours before you are going to start any strenuous exercise and you should consume plenty of water beforehand.
  • The best foods that you can eat are fruits and vegetables, pastas and whole grains as these give you the fuel you need because they are healthy carbs.

If you fuel your body correctly, this is going to stop your muscles feeling as painful after you have finished your workout.

During Your Workout

Make sure you always complete your exercises using the proper form.

A lot of exercises are designed in a certain way in order to help you get the result you want and also to reduce the risk of injuries.

By completing your exercises in the wrong way or form means that you are increasing your chances of damaging something and also the chances of feeling achy when you are finished.

Iron Magazines personal trainer Marc David suggests that you cool-down and warm-up in-between the different sets that you are completing when exercising.

  • This is to reduce the muscle soreness that you may get.

Before starting a set breathe deeply and stretch any muscles you are about to work and also alternate the days that you target certain muscle groups.

These are all tips and tricks that the top trainers in the bodybuilding and weightlifting community  advise.

After Your Workout

Stretching and walking after exercise, as well as a muscle massage and immersion in cold water can all help to reduce the soreness of your muscles after a workout.

Ensure that you remain active on your rest days and not just on the days you are going to exercise and consume a good amount of water after each workout to replace lost fluids.

There is good simple to follow information in this article with a few links to other pages to strengthen your knowledge on this subject and maybe give you a few extra workout ideas as well.

Good luck with your fitness plan and don’t forget to leave a comment below.  We welcome interaction with our readers.

 

 

 

 

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Workout Advice

Benefits of exercise for the over 60s

Strenght
Work out with weights

How will exercise benefit you?

What are the benefits of exercise for the over 60s?  One term I’ve come across is sarcopenia which is essentially muscle loss through aging.  This effect starts to happen in our 30s.  Broadly speaking we can lose 3-5% of our muscle mass every ten years; If we are and if we remain physically inactive.  Aging does produce natural muscle loss but we can fight it, and lessen its effect on us, by incorporating weight training or the use of resistance bands into our fitness routines. That is definitely beneficial.

The effects of muscle loss

What happens when we lose muscle?  We lose our strength and the ability to move easily and freely.  Muscle loss also reduces our stamina, which is a sort of vicious circle, because if we don’t have stamina we are less likely to get up and do anything.  I’ve included a link here to an article on muscle mass and function which shows clearly the importance of maintaining your muscle and incorporating strength training exercises into your routine.

The effect of exercise on energy levels

What can you look forward to after your regular home works have started to have a positive overall effect on your health?  One of these is particularly true of cardiovascular exercise combined with the increase of testosterone from lifting weights.  Some of the many benefits are:

  • You will feel more energised
  • Look fitter and trimmer
  • You will be stronger
  • You will have more stamina
  • More stamina and strength means higher energy levels
  • You will have increased levels of endorphins and adrenaline after working out
  • You will have better circulation of blood flow around the body

That last one is a big plus, better circulation has a positive effect on another part of adult life.  I have to be careful what I write here. I do not want Google or more importantly my wife too think I’m writing a for a sex site.  Here is an article on a male issue, of which exercise is a big part of the solution.

Exercise and Health
Umm?

The mental health benefits of exercise

Exercise and increased levels of endorphins help to fight depression and improve your self-esteem.  People who exercise regularly tend to do so because it gives them:

  • A sense of well-being.
  • They feel more energetic throughout the day
  • They sleep better at night
  • Have sharper memories
  • More positive outlooks
  • They feel more relaxed

So exercise is a very powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges.

The flip side of all this is rest, we now know for sure that regular mixed exercise is good for us.

But equally true is… So is rest.  Our bodies repair themselves as we sleep.  So it is a golden rule to get enough rest and sleep.

This is not a long article but it is jam packed with information and high quality links to follow for more information for parts you may wish to research further.

Don’t forget to leave a comment.  Thank you for visiting and reading this article which I hope you found helpful.

Categories
Workout Advice

Exercise and the over 60

Exercise for seniors
Workout Buddies

Exercise and the over 60

Recently I wrote a piece called Advice for older people who want to exercise; as articles go it wasn’t bad. But I wanted to write more and as I learn, I want to share that information.  So I’m going to expand on that piece and give you more detailed information, to help you work out, what is right for your situation.

I’m still on the right side of 60 but I’m getting there fast, and to say I’m unfit would be a bit of an understatement.  What I’m going to discuss today is still in the realm of common sense but applying it could make a lot of difference.

What should come first before any exercise at all?

The answer to that is medical advice, your Doctor can advise you on what care you need to take.  Is there a certain type of exercise you can’t do or something you should take into account before starting an exercise programme?  What personal limitations should you be aware of and take extra care with?

You don’t need to be Charles Atlas or that stretchy person from the fantastic 4 films and comics.  Getting fit and active is simple, and with the right advice putting a fitness plan together is not a hard thing to do at all.

Do I need a personal trainer?

Everyone’s budget is different, mine does not include enough money for a personal trainer.  What I did was research the internet.  I spent hours and hours putting together a plan for me to improve my fitness, without injury.  I took ownership and responsibility for the unfit state and condition I’d allowed myself to get into. By finding out the facts on how to improve my own health and mobility. For now and later on in life.

At a later date I may book a one off session with a trainer in my own home to get further help and advice.  Working on the principle that two heads are better than one. But to get started I did not need that expense.

What are the right questions to research about a fitness plan?

That depends on what you want. But to start you thinking, consider this, what do you aim to achieve.  I looked for information about the right exercise routines to follow and which fitness tools and products, I should be using to achieve the following:

  • Weight loss
  • Mobility
  • Strength
  • Toning

My knees are shot so I needed to avoid injuring them further.  I have not done any exercise in the last 30 years.  So gathering the right information was important to me. In this particular case, I looked into low impact exercises. Exercises that would not place any extra strain on my joints.

Stick to the plan

The point being, people start in January and usually give up by February.  That doesn’t work.  It really takes willpower patience and time to get that toned fitter body.  It is not going to happen overnight.

  • Commitment and persistence is the key.

You may have noticed here that I’m psyching myself up.  This writing is part of my personal training and fitness routine.  I’ve committing myself to a plan of action using my own home workouts combined with education and sharing

We live in a world where everything can be so easy.  You want groceries, the supermarket delivers.  You need a book or a pair of shoes, you can get them online.  Basic exercise to get everyday items is almost a thing of the past.  It is now far too easy to become sedentary.  To become a couch potato. More simple examples of this are: Who goes to the bank to pay bills, who goes to a post office to tax a vehicle? Almost every aspect of our daily life, that used to require some sort of exertion can now be done online.

In a way we were forced to move our bodies, to get things done in previous years.  We had to be more active. Now moving our bodies is a choice.  And if you spend any time at all watching the news or reading the papers, facts about a growing obesity problem in the western world cannot have escaped your notice?  Personally I only have to look at my own waist line to see the truth of it.

There are a lot of exercises that are perfect for doing at home.  The point I’m rambling towards is a good way to stick to the plan is make it a regularly scheduled commitment.

  • Put it in your diary make and make it a must do thing.
  • Mixing with people matters as well.
  • If at all possible, involve a spouse partner or friend in some of; if not all of your chosen exercise activities.
  • Sociability matters and it will help.

I feel that I have added some value to the previous post. I will end this one with a few more of the tips I got during my research.

Drink

Unfortunately, not my favourite beer in this case but water and other non alcoholic fluids .  Before during and after a workout.  The advice was to actually drink more on a daily basis.  Six to eight glasses of fluid a day was the amount I found as best advice.  NHS Choices a British health service site backed up that information.

Workout buddy

If you can find someone to exercise with it will and does make it easier to stick to the plan.  You will be less tempted to skip sessions if a friend is exercising with you.  Perhaps a session in the park or a group activity in a local community centre of some sort?

Consistency

The value of a schedule that you stick to, cannot be over emphasised.  This is a golden rule. But remember to leave some rest times in-between your exercise days.  There is nothing to stop you doing a short little extra home workout, if you really want to.  But don’t burn yourself out.  Stick to the plan.

Weights

Mix it up a bit.  You will probably be doing some cardio workouts possibly some aerobics?  Consider picking up some light weights which will give your results a boost.  One way this will work is while walking briskly. You can pump your arms with the light weights.

Focus on improvement

Monitor and track your results aim to improve, not overnight for sure but over the weeks and months. Keep a record and track how much you are improving and how much closer you are getting to your goals.

Ok the last tip to share on this post is this.

Plateaus

There may come a time when nothing seems to be happening?  Don’t worry just change your routine a bit. Fat may be turning into muscle your body may be saying “I can handle this much exercise now” Give your routine a boost and get things moving again.  Don’t stop and don’t give up.  The plateaus will and do stop and the improvements will start again.

Ok this is the 2nd in a series of posts.  My fitness plan starts on Sunday so bookmark this blog and hopefully you will follow the series.

But make sure you check out posts by other writers on this site.  There is a lot of very useful and helpful advice on many subjects related to home fitness routines.  There are plenty of exercise tips and plans you could follow and learn from.

I would very grateful if you shared your story in the comments section.

Perhaps you have a question that I can answer from research I’ve already done into exercising and fitness? Or you could point me in an interesting new direction for fact finding.  Any and all comments are welcome!

Categories
Workout Advice

Advice for older people who want to exercise

Mix it up and have fun
Workout Advice For Seniors

A Quick Guide for Seniors Who Want to Start the Exercising Habit

In general, when you have hit your 60’s, 70’s and 80’s in age terms, you have gotten to a senior position in your life.  Unfortunately, as you get older you will automatically lose strength and muscle mass and the only way to regain some of this, and to help you to enjoy your elder years, is exercising.  Exercising is a great way for you to recoup not only your strength but also your mobility and freedom.

If you haven’t really exercised for a while it is natural for you to want to avoid it, and to resist completing any form of physical exercise or effort.  The majority of us are creatures of habit.  However  you can break old habits and it really is “never too late to start”.  We can create new habits; all it really takes, is a mixture of desire and willpower!

21 Days to Form a Habit

Studies have shown us that if you complete an activity every day it will take around 3 weeks for it to become an unconscious habit.  However, everyone is different and it could take some people longer or shorter than 21 days to get back into the routine.

The best thing to do initially is to complete your exercises or activity every day for 30 days and you are more likely to be successful in your physical fitness efforts going forward.

Focus on Your Rewards, Not the Work Involved

A saying that is widely used in the United States is “You catch more flies with sugar than with vinegar.”  The meaning of this is that you are going to get better results with positive motivation rather than negative motivation.

  • You need to stay focused on what you are going to get out of all of your exercise efforts.
  • You are going to become stronger, more mobile and flexible.
  • Your self-esteem is going to improve and you are going to be more independent.
  • You are going to achieve your desired goal.

What is Your Reason?

Your grandchildren could be the reason you want to start exercising and getting fitter as you want to be able to play with them or you may be unhappy with the way that you look?  In order to have better success, make sure you are focussing on the rewards that you are looking to get out of this rather than the actual physical exercise itself.

Start to Change up Your Routines

You may wish to start off your new fitness routines at home but here is a warning.  Many people get bored of exercising quickly! If you keep doing the same routine or exercise program every day, after a few weeks it is going to become really boring! and chances are you will stop; that will mean you do not achieve what got you started in the first place.  You are well advised to join a club or group, and mix things up a bit.  Make your exercising social and interesting.

Or…  You will lose interest as it will become dull and monotonous.  So remember to change your program and include different activities like walking, aerobics, swimming, tennis.  You could join some classes like Yoga or Pilates.  There are a lot of programmes aimed at helping people who are “not as young as they used to be” get fit and active!

By doing this and mixing up your routines, you will look forward to your next exercise session much more.  You will have successfully created new habits and you will be well on the road to creating the outcome you desired, the goal that made you start exercising in the first place.  A lot of this post is just pure common sense, but I am sure you know that.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Home Workouts

Is it Possible to Get Fit with 10 Minute Workouts

Short home based workouts
Does a short Workout help?

The Dream!

At some point or another we have all heard about the amazing results you can get from supplements or the miracle results you can get from doing hardly any exercise at all, without putting any real hard work in.

Most of the time these are dangerous and nothing but hype so don’t be fooled!  I saw one recently that very nearly hooked me, but I when I did a search for product reviews, the fact that it was a £99 auto ship product; definitely put me off ordering.

I also read on fitness forums how such products are pointless anyway. If you don’t put in the work of exercising to tone and build a physique, all the supplements and vitamins in the world are not going to help you.

So how can you get fit?

What other myths are out there?  My research led me to write this post.  Some of you may have also heard that you can get fit from working out for just 10 minutes a day according to health professionals and physical trainers.

But let’s have a think about it, is this really possible? And what, if any… exercise can give you great health benefits in only 10 minutes.

Here are some facts!

When you change your routine you are changing your whole body chemistry.

You may be quite healthy and then decide to stop exercising and eat only foods that are bad for you. If you do this you are going to become unhealthy very quickly.

Also, if you are very unfit and inactive and then decide to start working out, you are going to become fit quickly.

The thing to remember is any exercise that you complete, even if it is just for 10 minutes, is definitely better than not doing any exercise at all.

With this in mind, if you are not doing any sort of exercise and then start finding the time to complete just 10 minutes a day, you are going to start reaping some great health benefits.

Losing body weight

In order to get rid of 1 pound of body weight, you need to lose 3,500 more calories than what you actually take in.

So it is going to take some hard work and exercise if you want to burn a lot of fat, lose weight and get into shape. Regular, longer workouts will be required to do this.

This is because you can roughly burn 100-150 calories if you complete 10 minutes of exercise.

When you are burning calories through actual physical activity, this is making your heart and respiratory system stronger as well as your muscles, which is going to lead to physical fitness.

Putting that into perspective you would need to complete around 23-35 sessions of 10 minute exercises in order to get rid of 1 pound of body weight.

Although that may seem like a lot, it is not a pointless exercise to complete just 10 minutes.

That is a key point, what I actually took away from my research is the fact that regular longer sessions are the way to go, but if you are pressed for time a quick 10 minute training session is not a waste of time.