The Top 9 Exercise Lies Many People Believe

The Top 9 Exercise Lies Many People Believe

Get up and go! That’s all it takes, right? Not so fast! Many things that people think are true about exercise are actually wrong. Like anything else, if you don’t do it right, you are unlikely to get the results you expect. So let’s cut the fat and slim on down to the facts.

Lie Number 1. You will always achieve your goals if you stick with your exercise program.

Well, obviously, this depends on your goals and your program. Goals must be realistic and your exercise program must be designed with you in mind. Not everybody responds the same to the same exercise program. Given each of our genetics, it is likely that your personal gains in speed, power and endurance may be very different from that of other people you know.

Lie Number 2. You can lose as much weight as you want just through exercise.

Exercise is very important. But it will not do the job alone. As with all responses to exercise, weight gain or loss is dependent on many factors, including dietary intake and genetics. As discussed above, not everybody will lose the same amount of weight on the same exercise program. Believe it or not, it is possible to be active and still be overweight. You won’t believe how many black belts in karate I have known who were quick, strong and talented, but they just could not lose their beer bellies! Nevertheless, even though exercise by itself probably will not guarantee you reach your desired weight, regular physical activity is one of the most important variables in achieving a healthy and fit body.

Lie Number 3. You will burn more fat with low intensity workouts.

It’s a darn lie! The truth is that you will burn up more calories per minute the faster you move. The problem is that high-intensity exercise may be hard to maintain in the beginning, so most people are not able to exercise very long pushing so hard. Because of this, it is much safer and more practical to start out at a lower intensity and gradually work your way up. In general, the main benefit of low intensity exercise, other than as a starting point, is that it is less stressful on joints. However, the bottom line is that fat reduction depends on the total energy cost or how many calories are used up when exercising.

Lie Number 4. With specific exercises anyone can build their arm muscles or get a six-pack.

It’s just not true. What is true is that specific exercises will definitely tone and strengthen specific areas of your body. But if you have fat there you may not be able to see those strengthened muscles as they are covered with your fat! Not only that, but you cannot control where you will lose fat on your body through dieting or exercise. That is all genetic. That’s why being careful with what and how much you eat goes hand in hand with exercise. It’s a package deal. The good news is that research continues to show that any exercise is better than no exercise. For example, regular walking or even gardening for as little as an hour a week has been shown to help a person feel more energetic and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Lie Number 5. People who are obese are not likely to benefit too much from exercise.

That’s outright nonsense. Everybody benefits from exercise and everybody should consult with their doctor before beginning any workout program. Those who are very overweight probably need much more professional oversight and guidance so they do not try to do too much too quickly. But the truth is that research shows that obese people who participate in regular exercise programs have a lower risk of all-cause mortality than sedentary individuals, regardless of the fact that they are so overweight. Even a little bit of exercise is significantly better than no exercise.

Lie Number 6. If your goal is to lose weight, forget about strength training since it’s going to bulk you up.

Life is about balance. Your body needs cardiovascular exercise, such as aerobics or running, as well as strengthening, through push ups, planks or weight lifting. Strength workouts help increase muscle mass and decrease your body fat ratio. Everyone needs both.

Lie Number 7. Yoga and Tai Chi may be enjoyable but the fitness benefits are still unsubstantiated.

That may have been true years ago. But more recent research clearly illustrates that these exercise forms are quite beneficial in multiple ways. Some of these benefits include, improvements in coordination, flexibility, posture, balance, strength and stress management. Tai Chi has even been shown to help improve fibromyalgia and pain in the lower back.

Lie Number 8. Exercise programs in water are mainly for seniors and the handicapped.

Just because water fitness programs are primarily marketed to the handicapped and seniors, does not mean that they aren’t terrific alternatives for all of us. Water exercise offers many benefits, such as going easier on the joints, but don’t be fooled. These fitness programs can be just as challenging and successful for improving fitness and losing weight as any other. There are many athletes who incorporate water fitness programs into their workouts.

Lie Number 9. The best way to get healthy and lose weight is by going to a gym.

Poppycock! The best workout is one you are going to do! It has to be at least somewhat enjoyable, convenient, easily accessible and affordable. In fact, studies have shown that many people strongly prefer a home-based fitness program for all of these reasons! So ignore the hype about the latest fitness fads and trendy exercise equipment and facilities. Your best workout is what fits into your schedule, budget and needs. Do what works for you. But ya gotta do it!

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How Accurate Is Your Fitness Tracker?

How Accurate Is Your Fitness Tracker?

Wearable fitness trackers have become an ongoing trend in both the fitness and tech industry. Whether you’re at the gym or at work, you’ll see people wearing fitness trackers everywhere. But the question is, how do they actually work? How helpful are they for your workouts and are they actually worth spending hundreds of dollars on?

Fitness trackers come in all different shapes and sizes, and can be worn in different ways. They can be paired with your smartphone to use the many apps that are available to download that let further track your workouts and view your daily calorie intake. Most of them are worn on the wrist like a watch and rely on a heart rate monitor sensor that detect changes in the color of blood, which represents blood oxygenation, to calculate things like how many calories you’re burning. However, the heart rate monitors used on fitness trackers are far from perfect because there are many other factors that can affect the oxygenation of blood. The best fitness trackers do not rely on just heart rate monitors alone, but they also rely on tracking your movement. Still, fitness trackers that track your movement may not be the best way to track your workouts since it may not catch every time that you’re active.

Like we mentioned before, counting calories may actually be ineffective since we don’t exactly know how the accurate number of calories we’re consuming and burning. So for this reason alone, many people may not see the point in buying a fitness tracker. But, a fitness tracker can be a great tool to track your general daily activity and provide much more information on how you sleep. As long as you know there is a limit to what a fitness tracker can do, you may want to invest in one depending on what you are looking for.

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Run Smart, Not Hard

Run Smart, Not Hard

It takes a lot of determination to be able to have the motivation for going on a run on a regular basis, but fortunately there are many benefits that come along with it. Running is great for losing weight, preventing diseases, and is also an excellent stress reliever. However, you will only see these benefits last for long if you’re running properly. You may feel confused right now and it’s completely understandable because you may be thinking that there is no “proper” way to run. Many people might think that it only has to do with moving your legs but there is actually way more to it than that- there’s a whole strategy and technique behind it!

A running coach, Michael Olzinski, says “The most common thing that I seem to point out every week to runners is simply the way they position their upper body, namely their shoulders, arms, and upper torso.” Although that may sound strange at first, your upper body has to do a lot with when your legs give up while running. The more relaxed your arms and shoulders are, the faster and longer you will be able to run.

Proper Running Form Cues InfographicBefore going for a run, it is important to always do warm up exercises that incorporate the upper body. It is also important to mentally prepare yourself to feel relaxed before you go for a run. According to many runners, the mind can be your greatest obstacle and that you can actually keep running even if your mind tells you to stop. The same rules apply for the treadmill as well. Even if your mind is constantly telling you to stop, you should push yourself to always reach your running goal. Another mistake many runners make is doing the same running routine everyday. Although it’s great to have a routine, sometimes it’s good to switch it up a little! So the next time you go for a run, be sure to keep these tips in mind and you will see many lasting results!

 

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Can Caffeine Make Your Workout Better?

Can Caffeine Make Your Workout Better?

Caffeine is one the most well known and accessible stimulants consumed by many people around the world on a daily basis. Sometimes on a multiple basis daily. It is great at helping anyone who drinks it feel more alert, and can help some people stay awake for long periods of time. If taken an hour or so before exercise, it can even help boost athletic performance tremendously. Not only can caffeine help an athlete feel more alert but it can also allow athletes to run, bike, and swim for longer and faster. It also allows exercise to feel less exhausting and it makes it easier for the muscle to burn fat. But, many coaches or trainers believe that caffeine would only boost performance if athletes would avoid consuming any type of caffeine prior to a big event. However, a new study proves that someone can drink a cup of coffee everyday and still have boost from the caffeine.

Bruno Gualano, a professor of physiology and nutrition at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, recruited 40 male cyclists to prove that caffeine will always boost athletic performance no matter how often an athlete consumes it. He and his team divided up the cyclists in to three teams: low-caffeine group, moderate-caffeine group, and a high-caffeine group. First, they were each given a caffeine pill, then an identical-looking pill as a placebo, and then no pill at all. After the 3 trials, the researchers compared their times. Almost all of the riders completed their ride 3.3 percent faster on average after they took a caffeine pill compared to when they had had no pill and 2.2 percent faster than after they took the placebo. The results were all the same among the three groups no matter how much caffeine drinks they usually had.

If you would like to have a better workout and feel less exhausted while exercising, we suggest you drink a cup of coffee an hour before! But we suggest doing everything in moderation and start off with small doses. One cup would be enough to help make your workouts easier!

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Exercises are the Fountain of Youth

Exercises are the Fountain of Youth

Do you want to look younger in the most healthy way possible? Who wouldn’t! Before you head over to the store to pick up a fancy set of anti-aging solutions, you should go for a run instead. Studies show that exercising can not only have a strong impact on your mental and physical health, but it can also slow down many elements of the aging process.

When exercising, your blood flow increases, and this increase in blood flow will cause your skin cells to receive more oxygen, which therefore helps it become healthier. Exercise will also play a big role in improving your posture, which in turn keeps your bones strong and will allows you to shave additional years off of your appearance. It can also improve your flexibility, and by increasing flexibility you can avoid many injuries as you get older.

Yoga is a great way to improve on your flexibility, and you shouldn’t be intimidated to try it if you don’t consider yourself flexible enough. After all, you would need to start out slow in order to gradually improve your flexibility. Another excellent way to exercise to look and feel younger is by cycling, which also many added health benefits. Cyclists manage to preserve strength with age, and also tend to have a healthier immune system. After reaching puberty, an organ called the thymus stops producing as many T-cells as it would before a person reached puberty. However many older cyclists were found to be producing as many T-cells as someone much younger would. Additionally, exercising can also keep your metabolism high which tends to slow down as you start aging. This lowers the risk of becoming overweight that can lead to diabetes and heart diseases which many people tend to develop at a certain point. Exercise doesn’t just make you appear younger, but it also literally makes you younger by keeping your cells young and slowing down the aging process in your chromosomes. All in all, exercising is a great way to help you feel and look younger, and most importantly makes you feel and look healthier!

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How to Squeeze Exercise into your Travels

How to Squeeze Exercise into your Travels

It goes without saying that it’s important to stick to your exercise routine into your daily life. That also applies to your travels. Whether you’re on a business trip or a family vacation, you must devote time to work out, even if at a lesser capacity. It doesn’t take much to get on that slippery slope once your routine gets broken, nor does it take much to regain what was lost due to inactivity during travels.

Here are some great ways to squeeze in at least 30 minutes of exercise while you are traveling:

Pack Fitness Gear
Many people feel more motivated to exercise if they have the appropriate clothes or gear to work out in. Pack your workout clothes so you have more motivation workout even while you’re on vacation!

Take Breaks While Traveling
If you are traveling to your vacation spot by car, take a break. For example when you get out of your car to buy some snacks or fill up your car with gas, stretch a little or even walk around for a few minutes. You will feel more energized and you may even drive better.

Take A Hike
If your vacation spot is at a scenic place, go for a hike! You can enjoy the views and also get a quick workout done. Explore the area without having to take a car.

Take Advantage Of Local Facilities
If you’re staying at hotel, find out if there is a gym. If not, you can even go to the pool and go for a swim! Swimming is a great way to burn calories and also have fun with your family if it’s a family trip.

Stick To What You Normally Do
As mentioned before, sticking to any routine is important even while you are on vacation. It is also important to somehow incorporate your exercise routine if you are busy throughout the day. If you are a morning person, try waking up an hour earlier and go for a jog. If your day was busy, unwind with a quick and relaxing yoga session. Do some squats, jumping jacks, pushups, and arm exercises while at your hotel room. Bottom line: don’t look for an excuse to not exercise- look for opportunities to actually do it!

 

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The World of a Fitness Model

The World of a Fitness Model

What do you typically notice as you scroll through images of fitness models on social media? They seem to be living quite the grand life, aren’t they? They’re looking great, and often appear to be posing in their ultra-cute sponsored outfits, in settings with some form of clever product placement, simply enjoying the fruits of a privileged life, right? Wrong. They’re just like the rest of us, and battle their own demons in terms of insecurities and struggles. There’s a lot of hustle behind each of their successes, especially when it comes to upkeep. The upkeep itself is similar, yet also different from that of bodybuilders, as seen in the infographic below by Boston Mobile Dance:

According to a feature on Shape magazine, there’s so much more that goes into being a fitness model. An NYC-based fitness model, Chelsea Aguiar, says that she has been working on loving her own body her whole life, but things were rarely ever rainbows and butterflies. She said that “For every 100 casting calls you go to, you may get two jobs”. A common misconception is that it’s easy for a fitness model to land their gigs because they look so perfect, but many companies don’t necessarily think so for their own set of reasons. Fitness models do get rejected and although at times it can be hard, they learn to get comfortable with this rejection.

Fitness models have their share of insecurities and are not resistant to harsh comments or bullying that they regularly deal with on social media. Fitness models also have to be able to perform like athletes so there is a lot more pressure on them than meets the eye. Aguiar says that it can be both “overwhelming and scary”. There is also no such thing as short-term dieting for fitness models because they always have to consistently stick to a very healthy diet since they can be called for a job ion short notice.

Aguiar also says that “It’s important that as the fitness industry continues to expand, we don’t reinforce misconceptions of what ‘ideal health’ looks like.” She thinks it’s very important for the fitness industry to promote models of all different sizes for more women to become strong and confident. It takes hard work and dedication for a fitness model to earn their success but at the end it’s always worth it, because ultimately their goal is to inspire others to strive to become the best version of themselves.

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Clever Ways to Sneak Running into Family Routines

Clever Ways to Sneak Running into Family Routines

It can get hard to find time to workout when managing a busy lifestyle, especially if you’re taking care of your family in addition to your other responsibilities and obligations. Sometimes you may even feel guilty for putting other commitments, or even yourself first instead of your family. But what if you could get your whole family to join in with you the next time you go for a run? Talk about two birds with one stone! That way you wouldn’t need to compromise family time and also get your family to start exercising regularly!

Running can improve your health in many different ways and play a tremendous role in weight loss. Studies show that running can help prevent diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure. Children that are old enough to run can go running with you or even ride their bikes as you run. You don’t have to worry about going at the same pace as them but instead just enjoy some time with your family as you get that movement in. If your children are too young to run, you may want to consider investing in a stroller that is designed specifically for you to push while you run. Make it a family activity and slowly get your kids into a healthy exercise routine! But be sure to get them proper running shoes first! Heck, let everyone else play an active role in choosing the shoes they would like to run in, to make it even more exciting for them. Here’s an infographic with more details on that:

How To Choose Running Shoes

To really spice things up, you can make a list of cool places that are nearby, and get there with the kids by running or even making it a race. That way you can have fun and get to the place you need to go to while getting some exercise done. If you don’t feel comfortable with running with your kids, then wake up an hour earlier than the rest of your family and go for a jog. Make every minute count! Although it may be hard at first to wake up much earlier, at the end it will all be worth it. If waking up early isn’t your thing (or if you’re already waking up earlier for other commitments,) then get your friends involved. You can ask your friends to help babysit or look after other things while you run, and offer to return the favor when they run. There are many ways to incorporate exercise and running into your family routine, so you and your family can live the healthy lifestyle you all deserve!

 

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14 Realistic Fitness Tips For Real People

14 Realistic Fitness Tips For Real People

When it comes to searching for fitness tips on the web, things get get overwhelming real fast. Where to start? Which tips will actually suit you/your body/your lifestyle? Oftentimes, the plethora of fitness tips available online seem a bit much and simply unrealistic. So we decided to compile a list of realistic tips for real people! Have a look!

 

  1. Set A Goal
    Before beginning any important task, especially when working out, you should always set a goal for yourself. Don’t mindlessly work out without an objective. Sometimes it’s better to actually set a goal that might intimidate you at first. That way, you’ll be determined to reach your goal!
  2. Multitask While Working Out
    If you’re worried about not having time to work out, try incorporating exercises into your daily routine. For example, instead of taking a car to places you need to go, take a bike or walk (when possible.) If you work somewhere where you have to sit at a desk for the whole day, get up and stretch every hour or so.
  3. Walk More!
    Simply walking more will lead you to burning more calories and increasing your metabolism all while getting to different places. Take small steps such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and you will eventually notice a difference.
  4. Get A Personal Trainer Or Sign Up For A Fitness Class
    If you don’t know what to do or where to start when it comes to fitness, sign up for a fitness class or even consider getting your own personal trainer.
  5. Make The Most Out Of Your Time
    Don’t waste your time! You can do easy and small exercises throughout the day. For example, while your food is simmering on the stove, you can do a few squats right there in the kitchen.
  6. Eat Right
    By simply eating healthy food, you can get away with working out a little less, and reach your goals faster.
  7. Use A Fitness Tracker
    Consider downloading an app to help count your calories or even invest in a Fitbit! Knowing where you’re at during your fitness journey can be very helpful to determine how and when you’ll reach your goal.
  8. Sleep Well
    Sleep is a very essential part of our daily routine, but many people don’t take sleep very seriously or know that it is as important as healthy eating and exercising. Sleeping for about 7-8 hours a day can lower your risk of becoming obese and also helps to increase your metabolism as well.
  9. Exercise With A Friend
    Surrounding yourself with friends that motivate you to reach your goals is a crucial element to living a happy and healthy life. Next time you workout, encourage your friends to work out with you, or at least arrange to have a designated workout buddy. This way you can have company while also reaching your goals with people that you care about!
  10. Reward Yourself
    You deserve to get something in return for reaching your goals, even if the reward is something small. Next time you hit a major goal, treat yourself! Wait, not with 10 pies, but maybe with an awesome new outfit.
  11. Work Out During Your Lunch Break
    If you have a job where you have to sit at your desk the whole day, take a walk at some point during your lunch break. You’ll feel more rejuvenated and energetic when you get back to your desk.
  12. Buy Some Workout Gear
    Many people feel more motivated to exercise if they have the appropriate clothes or gear to work out in. Work out clothes can also improve your overall performance- so give it a shot!
  13. Watch TV While Working Out
    It’s important to make workouts fun and enjoyable. If you enjoy watching TV or playing video games, incorporate this into your exercise. Play a game that requires you to move or even watch a show while you do some yoga.
  14. Make Workouts Shorter
    If you’re the type of person to want a shorter workout, try HIIT (High-intensity interval training) workouts. Short intense workouts are great for burning fat and may be a great way for you to get fit.
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