Fitness & Fun – They’re Not Mutually Exclusive

Taking care of our bodies is one of the greatest responsibilities that any of us ever encounters. However, the thought of starving ourselves, running laps, and never having a night out on the town is enough to turn anyone off of the idea. But, y’know, it is possible to make healthy living enjoyable.

Unless you’re a professional athlete, getting fit should be about fun and enjoyment while still seeing positive results. Find the right balance with these tips below. You’ll be on the right track in no time.

 

Combine Fitness With Travel

Very few things in this world can offer the same level of enjoyment as exploring new territories. Find a way to blend travel with fitness, and exercise will soon evolve from chore to hobby. Once you’ve achieved this goal, success is virtually assured.

Organised events are a fantastic option. Global Adventure Challenges let you push your body to the limit in a controlled environment while getting to meet new people. Runners, meanwhile, may prefer completing the Olympic marathons over a period of a few years.

Aside from getting to see the world while getting fit, it may provide a chance to raise money for charity. If that doesn’t give you a heightened sense of satisfaction, what will?

 

Focus On Fitness Rather Than Weight

The vast majority of fitness newbies make the mistake of focusing solely on their weight. Moreover, they often wrongly assume that reducing the number on the scales is the target. Not only does this add pressure, but it can also encourage the monotony of making changes aimed solely at that goal.

Adding lean muscle while losing weight will give you a far better appearance. Better still, it’ll improve physical performance in the gym and on the sports field. The most notable factor, however, is that you won’t need to starve. Whether it’s supplements or tasty meals that are good for you doesn’t matter. Being able to eat properly during your transformation can aid emotional health too.

Above all else, no two bodies are the same. As such, focusing solely on a supposedly magic number is simply illogical. Besides, the whole notion of setting a goal weight means that you might stop doing some of the activities you enjoy in favour of the ones that you hate.

 

Make It Competitive And Social

Getting fit is a personal journey. However, that doesn’t mean it has to remain a private and unsocial adventure. Regular human interaction is crucial for maintaining the sense of enjoyment. Meanwhile, you can use those fitness buddies as a source of motivation and competition too.

Many people now use fitness gadgets to hold competitions against their friends. Alternatively, signing up for a Play Football five-a-side league or similar sporting event can work wonders. It’s a great way to get a group of friends together, and you’ll feel far less guilty about a sinking a pint afterwards too.

It’s true that dedication is needed for quick and optimum results. For those that just want to take care of their health, though, making it fun removes that need for speed. As long as you reach the intended destination, the length of the journey shouldn’t matter.

Top Supplements for Building Muscle

Who doesn’t want to put on a little muscle every now and then right? Diet and training are the most important factors; however there are a few extras that can help along the way. Take a look at some of the best muscle building supplements to help reach your goal.

Protein

muscle building

It can be tough to fit .8g to 1g of protein per bodyweight pound; especially with the hectic and busy lives being lived today. Having a well-balanced protein shake to hit this essential nutrient needs can help reach the daily amount needed. It is important to have both whey and casein protein in your supplement stack. Whey is fast absorbing, so it is good for both pre and post workout. However, casein is slow digesting and can be used prior to sleep when your body is repairing itself.

BCAA

Branched chain amino acids (BCAAS) are essential in the muscle building process. They help prevent the catabolic effects of high intensity cardio, however they also assist in the repair and production of muscle. Since BCAAs bypass the liver, it is absorbed to the bloodstream and is a great source of energy before a workout.

Creatine

Creatine is one of, if not the most known, muscle building supplement. Without getting too scientific, supplementing with creatine assists with increasing strength and muscle size. It helps deliver nutrients to the muscle by feeding water into the muscle. This may create a sensation of bloating, however it is relieved in about a week depending on the individual. Because it utilizes the body’s water, adequate hydration is necessary.

Multivitamin

 muscle building

It is difficult to get in all the vitamins and minerals needed just from food though food sources are optimal. A good multivitamin can help fill in the some of these nutrient gaps. Feeding the body what it needs to perform daily activities and some is vital to building muscle. Additionally, there are a variety of health benefits such as boosting the immune system, hormone function and energy.

Whenever possible, natural food sources are the best way to get in all the nutrients the body needs to build muscle. Supplements will never replace a whole healthy diet. However, supplements can complement a proper diet and workout program.

Can Steroids Help?

Steroids can help build muscle but do they come with many side effects. Better check out the legal steroids that can be used with minimal side effects. You can also read a detailed article written by Isaac at FitnessDonkey.com on the legal status of steroids. Unless prescribed by a doctor, it’s always a good idea to stay away from them.

 

Workouts To Ease Into After An Injury

Getting an injury is frustrating for fitness fanatics. The doctors will tell you that you need to rest but that’s the last thing you want to do. After the first few weeks, you’ll be going stir crazy, wanting to get back to the gym. Unfortunately for you, your doctor was right. If you try to get back into working out like you normally do without giving yourself enough time to properly heal, the injury will get a lot worse and you’ll end up spending a lot more time out of the gym. The best way to quench that thirst is to ease yourself back in slowly with low-impact workouts that won’t put too much strain on your body. Anybody out there that’s recovering from an injury should try these workouts.

Walking

workouts

You might not consider it a workout, it’s just walking after all. While it isn’t as intensive as your standard routine, you can’t do that yet. Walking still gets your heart rate going and burns calories without putting any unnecessary strain on your injuries. It’s also a good way to gauge how ready you are to start working out again. If you’re struggling to walk a reasonable distance then you need more time to heal. Once you can do it with ease, keep increasing the distance and eventually pick up the pace into a slow jog.

Finding a proper hiking trail is a great way to take your walking exercises up to the next level. It might be worth trying this before upgrading to a run to make sure that you can handle the extra stress on your joints.

Cycling

workouts

Walking is probably not going to be enough for you after a while and if you want to maintain your fitness levels then you need to be doing something a bit more active. Heavy running is a no go because it’s too intensive on your body but cycling isn’t. An RPM fitness class is a brilliant way to fit a proper workout in but it’s not too much for your body because most of the impact is taken by the bike, whereas when you go running, that will all be taken by your joints.

Tai Chi

In terms of a heart racing workout, Tai Chi isn’t going to cut it but it does have its benefits. It’s a gentle way to get your body moving again to see whether you can handle anything a bit more intense. It should also stretch out all of your joints and stop them from getting stiff while you’re taking a bit of time out from your workout routine.

Swimming

Swimming is probably the best exercise for somebody that has sustained an injury because the water will remove all of the impact on your joints but the resistance that it gives helps build muscle all over your body. Regular swimming sessions will ensure that you don’t lose any of the progress that you’ve made at the gym while you’re out for injury.

Whenever you’ve got an injury, don’t rush into any of these activities, even the less strenuous ones. Otherwise, you’ll end up doing yourself some more permanent damage.

Enjoying Exercise: 5 Tips To Keep Smiling During Workouts As Well After

exercise

We all know that exercise elicits a great feeling of satisfaction. Moreover, the positivity pumping through our veins is made all the more enjoyable when we see improvements in health and looks. However, the fun shouldn’t be limited to post-workout rewards. You should be able to actively enjoy those activities too.

 

Here are five simple yet effective ways to do just that.

 

Choose comfortable clothing: Many people assume that the clothes worn during exercise aren’t overly important. In truth, though, your attire makes a big impact in all aspects of modern life. This is especially true when working out as ill-fitting or poorly made clothes will bring discomfort. Avoiding chaffing and other issues will ensure that exercise remains more enjoyable. So while big brands aren’t essential, your comfort is king. If you have any injuries, it’s vital that you equip yourself with the right supports and bandages also.

 

Choose mentally beneficial workouts: The physical rewards of regular exercise are clear for all to see. However, it’s possible to take your fitness plans to the next level by focusing on mental health issues too. Yoga can be a particularly effective tool in this fast-paced modern world. Take the time to find a winning platform by visiting www.piyoreviews.com/. While this probably won’t be the only part of your regime, it can play a crucial role. The fact that those tasks can be completed at any time, even at home, should not go unnoticed either.

 

Choose competition: Adding a competitive nature to your physical activities will always provide an incentive to work harder. But it can also make exercise more fun. Whether it’s playing for an amateur sports team or signing up for a marathon doesn’t matter. Giving yourself another reason to perform will keep you smiling throughout. Moreover, those achievements are bound to add a sense of joy and pride. If that doesn’t keep you on the road to fitness success, what will?

 

Choose a social atmosphere: Getting fit is a personal journey that requires a slightly selfish attitude. Having said that, working out alone can lead to boredom, especially if you’re doing long cardio sessions. If none of your friends are eager to exercise, you can find a partner at www.meetup.com/. As well as adding a social aspect to the exercise plans, it will provide a great source of motivation. In turn, that should make your strategies more rewarding and more enjoyable in one fell swoop.

 

Choose effective workouts: Ultimately, knowing that your workouts are working is the greatest source of happiness. HIIT workouts have become increasingly popular in recent times, especially as people are starved of time. But whatever solution you opt for, it’s imperative that your plans are built for success. The knowledge that your hard work pays off will provide huge inspiration during workouts. In turn, that will make the short and long-term challenges feel far less daunting. From this point on it should be smiles all around.

 

Image credit: http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Runner-Athlete-Workout-Fitness-Run-Exercise-1342619

 

Don’t Jar Your Joints: Low Impact Home Fitness Equipment

Some types of exercise can put pressure on your joints. Activities like running and lifting have their own benefits. If you are one of the millions of people who prefer to exercise without putting strain on knees, ankles, hips or upper body joints – then low impact fitness machines could be ideal for you.

This page looks at 4 different types of low impact home fitness equipment. The pros and cons of each one are outlined below.

#1 – Elliptical Cross Trainers

These machines are known under two names. Some people call them ellipticals, others simply cross trainers. The main leg movement is in a semi-circle, which is low impact for all your leg joints. At the same time, you get a vigorous workout. In addition to the leg movements, there are poles for your arms. You exercise with these with back and forward movements. Combining legs and arm movements increases the intensity, and the number of calories you will burn per hour.

 

Home Fitness Equipment

 

You will find that some cross trainers can also be used as exercise bikes with a small adjustment to the mechanism.

Benefits: High calorie burn, exercise for both upper and lower body and low impact movements.

Drawbacks: Elliptical cross trainers are large machines and most do not fold away.

#2 – Exercise Bikes

Static bikes have been around for decades, and remain one of the most popular options for people seeking low impact workouts. There is a huge range of models to choose from. These range from very basic ‘A-frame’ folding bikes through to machines which look almost sci-fi, with monitors, big flywheels and a sleek design.

 

 

The basic peddling motion is low impact, and can be sustained for long periods. As exercise bikes are quiet, this is an ideal way to keep fit in front of the TV. For those requiring a little more back support, you can also get recumbent bikes – where you’ll be sat back in a comfortable chair. I recommend getting a bike which allows you to change the resistance level while you cycle. This can add some much-needed variation to your routine.

Benefits: Quiet machines, you can cycle for long periods, changeable resistance

Drawbacks: Lacks variety after a while

#3 – Rowing Machines

Another machine which can offer you a full body workout, without having a jarring effect on your joints is a home rowing machine. Rowing is becoming more popular, and there are some beautifully designed rowing machines around – for example the wooden models from water-rower.

 

rowing machine

 

When you first start rowing you can set the resistance level low. This will allow your muscles (both legs are arms / chest) to get used to the motions. Once you up the resistance level, you will find that rowing can be an intensive form of exercise (as well as a low impact one). My recommendation is to find a folding rowing machine. These pivot, so the longer part that you slide up and down on can go vertically. This will save a lot of space between uses.

Benefits: Full cardio workout that works both upper and lower body.

Drawbacks: Larger machines, you’ll need to like the action to keep going over time.

#4 – Stepping Machines

The biggest benefit of steppers is their size. A basic unit is only 30 to 40 centimetres tall, and not too much wider. This is made up of a small frame and 2 paddles, which you alternate in a stair-climbing motion. There are bigger models, some with the capability of twisting, and others with arm bands which allow you to work your upper body.

While this is a low-impact exercise, you need to be aware that it is intensive. You will need to take your time to build your strength and experience before you can step for long periods. While the calories per hour burned looks very high compared to other forms of home fitness equipment, keep in mind that your sessions will be shorter and sharper.

 

 

Benefits: Small Units, ideal for a short yet intensive workout

Drawbacks: Difficult to sustain for longer periods.

Low Impact Fitness Equipment – Summing Up

As you have seen, there are some good options out there for people who want to exercise and keep the impacts on their joints low at the same time. One way to find out which is best for you is a quick session at your local gym. This will allow you to try out all the different formats before you pick one for home use. There are more options available, including vibration plate exercisers and under-desk ‘air-walker’ devices.

If you want to get fit and keep your joints as safe as possible, low impact home fitness equipment is definitely the way to go!

 

Image credits:

Image 1 – By Sport-Tiedje GmbHOwn work, CC BY 4.0, Link

Image 3 – http://fitnessreview.co.uk/rowing-machine-reviews/

Image 2 and 4 – pixabay.com

 

How to Live a Fit and Healthy Life in your 70’s

Healthy Life

Not everyone is the same when they reach seventy – some are the picture of health (at least for their age), while others have the various health problems which can come with that age.  Whether you are one of the former group or one of the latter, or whether you have an in home caregiver or live independently, there is a lot you can do to keep up your health and possibly prolong it as well.  This article will give a list of the ways in which you can help yourself feel better at whatever age.

  1. Find a Purpose

Something research has shown us is that the best indicator of someone being healthy in the latter years of their life is having a sense of purpose. In most of Western society, unfortunately, older people are not seen as being useful or valuable in any way, and so are often shunted aside from the daily life. Cultures which revere age, and the wisdom which comes with it, have older people who are much more well-adjusted than in other societies, since they have a place in the on-going society.

Try to find a way to inject a sense of purpose into your life, be it through becoming involved in the community in some way, becoming more involved in your religion, or through some form of volunteering.

  1. Get Enough Sleep

There is a pervading myth which says that, as you get older, you need much less sleep.  This couldn’t be further from the truth, and in fact older people require more or less the same amount of sleep as younger people do. The myth possibly arose from the fact that changing circumstances in someone’s life – medications, stresses, illnesses – can make it difficult for older people to get to sleep.

People in their seventies should make sleep a priority – try and keep to a schedule with no naps, and regular hours.  Getting fresh air will help, as will exercise.  A proper amount of sleep means that you will have enough energy to face the day!

  1. Avoid Falls

As you get older, you will find yourself becoming more and more unsteady, leading to falls and general instability. The frailer we are, the more dangerous falls are, so it is important to take steps to avoid the potential for falling as much as possible. Risk assess your own house to determine what has the potential to cause a fall, and take steps to change them.  Hold onto handrails whenever possible, and take up a form of exercise which stresses balance, which will help reduce the risk of falling.

  1. Keep your Brain Active

You needs to keep your brain active as you get older, otherwise you risk losing your mental acuity.  If you have been mentally active all your life, then keep it up; otherwise, begin with some small mental challenges such as Sudoku, crosswords, or other puzzles of the same kind.  Once you have mastered them, it might be time to move onto more complex challenges such as learning an entirely new language.