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Listening to music is a great way to prepare yourself mentally for participating in any activity. The power of music to influence, cajole and inspire us as humans is a well known fact. Its use in aerobics is no less potent, as music in this form stimulates the body and energizes it for the workout at hand. So, if you are having problems in establishing an exercise routine or perhaps are so unmotivated that you have not even started; consider incorporating some aerobics music in your routine to kick start your regimen.
Replace your sneakers often. At least after every 250 - 500 miles of walking/running. After this, the support structure of the shoe starts to break down, and is little better than running is sandals. Also remember to replace your socks often. Old socks turn gritty and lose their softness. Socks are cheap enough that you shouldn't have to put up with aging pairs.
Instead of trying to stack on more weight than you can do go for a weight that you can do about 6 to 8 reps with and switch up your workouts every 2 weeks to confuse your muscles, this technique is very effective, you can greatly increase your strength without having to train to failure every time.
Submitted by Louie Crisci
10-07-2011: Calorie Burning
What burns more fat? Running on the treadmill or 1/2 hr of weights. Answer: Running will burn more calories at the moment (perhaps 300 calories for 1/2 hour) but a 1/2 hour weight lifting session will suck up more calories thoughout the day because the body needs to recover from muscle break down. In addition, the more muscle you have the more your body will metabolize fat and increase your caloric effectiveness. So PUMP UP!
Submitted by Jim, Indiana
09-16-2011: Home Gym & Functional Training Comparisons
"Home gyms strive to offer consumers one machine with all the strength training exercises you can get at the
club. In order to accomplish this, home gyms must combine many exercise stations in one compact and affordable gym. Historically, home gyms offer a set of fixed path exercises combined with a few pulley stations. A fixed path machine guides your motion through a proper range of motion typically in a single plane. While traditional home gyms offer many guided exercises, the pulley stations on any machine require the user to control the motion. More..."
Read Entire Article >>
09-09-2011: Corporate Wellness
"There is no doubt that businesses are looking to run lean and mean in today's economy, but those that fail to make room for employee wellness are only supersizing future health care bills. I commend Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for his recently announced plans to pursue a workplace wellness program for city employees and encourage Chicago's other civic and business leaders to follow his lead. Workplace wellness is not a passing trend or a human resources platitude. When implemented correctly, wellness programs are an incredibly effective tool for managing costs. For every $1 spent on wellness measures, evidence shows medical expenses fall by more than $3. More..." Read Entire Article >>
By Jerry Roper, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Chicago Tribune, September 4, 2011
Instead of trying to stack on more weight than you can do go for a weight that you can do about 6 to 8 reps with and switch up your workouts every 2 weeks to confuse your muscles, this technique is very effective, you can greatly increase your strength without having to train to failure every time.
Submittted by Louie Crisci
As kids our parents never had to force us to go outside and play ball. We did it because it was fun. Make your work-outs fun so you will look forward to working out, instead of coming up with excuses and missing your work-outs.
Submittted by Rick Allen
Fitness is all about power output. Force x Distance / Time = Power. Force is the load you're moving, Distance is how far you're moving it, and Time is how fast you're moving it. Move more weight, a further distance, in a faster time and your power output will increase and you will be a fitter athlete.
Submittted by TJ Miller
I prefer DB benches due to shoulder injuries. How I kick it up a notch is simple: Set 1, Start with hands parallel and pronate (regular grip) at the top. Start at a higher chest position, which will involve more upper chest (who doesn't need extra help there?). Next set, same grips, just make it more of a true bench press over the medial (center) of the chest. Then, your last two sets begin with a pronated grip, and at the top 3/4 of the movement change to parallel. Next workout, alternate these two different styles with each set. The parallel grip is easier on the shoulders for many people. Remember form and intensity (concentrate on the negative portion working slowly) is many times more important than weight.
Submittted by Kurt Engelhart
When training and doing reps, instead of counting up from 1-10. Do a count down from 10-1. This will make your count and lifting easier. This will mentally and makes it easy for you to complete a set of 10 for example.
Submittted by Master Jose Isidro
Use compound movements (squats, deadlift, bench press) whenever training for mass. It produces hormonal response that adds size quickly. These three main lifts will effectively work every muscle in your body. As always, use strictest form and the last set should always go to exhaustion. Don't forget to Eat, Eat, Eat and Eat.
Submittted by Tam Le
The BMI Plus Calculator at WebMD is a health and weight calculator that gives personal results on six different weight and fitness measurements. BMI is used to determine whether your weight is appropriate for your height. The risk of chronic disease such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes is found to increase in proportion to BMI. Start here: www.webmd.com/diet/calc-bmi-plus
It's always a good idea to warm up before a workout, no matter what. Your body literally needs to warm up so that blood flow increases, the nervous system wakes up, and the body starts to use energy and oxygen more efficiently. If you go to a full workout without the warm up, your body cannot perform as well. Also you will be less stiff during and after.
I have found out that when you work on your biceps or tricepts, or any other part of your body, you can get the most out of your workout by doing 2-3 different excercises per muscle group. Most muscle groups are made up of several muscles. If you pick one day a week, and just concentrate on that group, you will see a big improvment in size, and look." Submittted by 'vschraufnagl'
RELOAD YOUR GUNS, a new study from Norway has determined that the barbell bench press activates your triceps significantly more than the dumbbell bench does. That's because the barbell is more stable. If your want to hit your tricpes even harder, use a shoulder-width grip and try to tear the bar apart as you push it up from your chest. Submittted by Stu
To get the most out of your workout in the least amount of time, I recommend using functional exercises in multiple planes of motion (i.e. lunges with torso rotation, 1-arm TRX rows, or mountain climbers combined with push-ups and a plank twist). Using the body in all three planes of motion helps to create greater athletic ability. The more major muscles groups that can be recruited simultaneously, the more calories that can burned in a workout!" Submittted by Ashley Ridge
Remember stretching AFTER your workouts are safer and will increase flexibility! Picture your muscles like PLAY-DOE! After you roll it up in your hands and get it nice and warm it will stretch much better without tearing!"
Submittted by 'Amy Payne, Fitness Instructor/personal trainer with 23 years experience'
Fitness tip I: Create a combination exercise by engaging your abs when doing pull ups. Start by hanging from the bar with palms facing toward you and legs extended straight out so your body forms an "L" shape. As you pull up, drop your legs so they hang straight down when you reach the top of pull. As you lower yourself, raise your legs again to the "L" position. Do as many reps as possible. Incorporating the abs/legs makes it much harder than a simple pull up so the number of reps you initially perform will likely be lower than you used to.
Fitness tip II: If you can perform a side plank with ease, make it harder by adding movement. In the side-plank position on your right arm, extend your left arm straight up from your body and bend your left knee as if about to kick a ball. Keep your left arm straight and lower it to touch that ground while at the same time moving your left backwards. As you raise your arm back up swing your left leg forward so it's beyond your right leg when your arm reaches the top position (a kicking motion). Do the movement in a controlled way (not too fast) and, to maintain proper form, it helps to keep your head/eyes fixed on your moving hand."
Submittted by 'Ben Chayes, CT
With bad knees that have been surgically repaired I alternate between a treadmill and elliptical to burn calories but alternate the muscles used and vary the level of stress on the knees. Throw in swimming when I can and a hot tub whrlpool action for fast recovery. At 55 this helps me stay in shape and pain and ihjury free.
Submittted by 'sdc8181'
Sprinter body or marathoner body? Most marathoners I know are not healthy looking. When I changed my cardio to high intensity interval training, my body started to change into a sprinter look rather than a sickly hollow marathoner. And I've saved hours on the treadmill and elliptical. After a 3-minute warm up, go 2-3x speed for 30 seconds, then back to normal speed for 90 seconds. Repeat this pattern for 20 minutes. You will see results fast!
Submittted by Steve from Sandy, Utah
Years ago, I learned that if an athlete wears a running shoe during training run that weigh 17 ounces each then runs during a competitive event with shoes that weigh 3 ounces lighter each, this is the equivelennt of lifting 150 lbs less per mile.
Submittted by Michael, Topeka, Kansas
This is about using the POWER RACK. If your gym doesn't have a power rack, find another gym. Or at least scream and stomp until they buy one, because if you never use the rack, you're missing out on a ton of strength and size gains! Nothing beats the power rack for safety when it comes to squats, and if you have a sticking point somewhere in your R.O.M., (range of motion), when squatting that you can't get past, use the rack for partials, and maybe some isometric work to blow past that sticking point. The same holds true for many other exercises, from the bench press at any angle, to curls, to deadlifts, to standing calf raises.
At The Dungeon, we've seen gains of 100 pounds in a power lifter's squat from less that a month of rack work, and I couldn't even count how many have busted past a big barrier... like 500 lb. deadlift, using the rack. I myself gained 60, (yep, that's 6 - 0...60), pounds of quality muscle over three years using the rack for a couple of months at a time, coupled with conventional training for 4 - 6 months, on a rotational basis. And the rack work, although incredibly grueling, rarely made me sore. So to if you're having trouble making gains . . hit the rack!"
Submitted by Sharon Lewis
Never use an 'E-Z Curl' bar for training biceps. Whenever you do curls, your wrists should be supinated, (turned out), as far as possible. If you use an E-Z bar, it pronates, (turns in), your wrists. With the wrists turned in, you can't completely contract the biceps. You can illustrate this point with a little experiment: Contract your right bicep, or "make a muscle", as they say. Put the fingertips of your left hand on the top of your right bicep. Now, turn your right wrist so you are looking at the back of your right hand. Your bicep went slack, didn't it? Now, rotate you wrist the other way . . . so your little finger is the closest part of your hand to your face. The bicep gets REAL hard. That's a fully contracted bicep! The E-Z bar, places your hands and wrists in a position that makes it impossible to fully contract your biceps . . . a semi-pronated position. Not too efficient for building biceps, is it? Therefore, a straight bar is just the ticket for doing curls. The key is, that you need to squeeze that straight bar like it's your little brother's neck right after he used your favorite shirt to clean the spokes of his bike!
Squeezing the bar is always a good idea because it will enhance grip strength as well as forearm development, but for curls, it is even more imperative that you squeeze. If you let your grip loosen up, you'll pronate your hands . . . then, you might as well be using the E-Z bar! The name "E-Z Curl" bar should've been a tip-off. You never want to make an exercise easier . . . you want to make it harder. That's to say, make the target muscle work harder. E-Z bars are great for tricep work, but that's another TIP!
Submitted by Mark L.
"I use bands at the end of my bicep and tricep workouts to hit every single fiber in the muscles for awesome pumps" Submitted by Matt C.
"If leg cramps are a problem for you, try drinking 8 oz of tonic water daily. The quinine in it can help reduce the frequency of leg cramps.
Submitted by mneeley18
For us 'older' folks (Masters), suggest using dumbbells instead of an Olympic Bar for various Benching exercises. A lot easier on the shoulders. Probably can't do the same total weight (you won't), but the stress on the various parts of your shoulders will greatly appreciate it. A side note: since there is more involved with balance using dumbbells, you may find that the muscles you really want to exercise actually are getting a better workout!" Phil and Jane, Ladera Ranch, CA
Many of us just want to shed some of those extra pounds but aren't finding success despite hours on the treadmill, stair step machine and in spin class. According to research, increased muscle mass helps the body burn more fat throughout the day. This in turn assists our efforts to lose inches and change the shape of our bodies for the better. The numbers are impressive: muscle tissue burns 25 percent more calories than fat tissue. So by strength training, we can increase muscle tissue and raise the rate at which calories are burned.
Jim, Sacramento, CA
I think the most overlooked accessory is a head harness. No matter what season it is, your neck is always visible. I have found that using it while sitting on the end of a bench seems to isolate your neck better than performing it standing with your hands on your knees. You would be surprised at how quickly your neck gains strength.
Marcus Hansen, Sylvania, OH
I wear a weight vest during cardio to make my workout more efficient. I also use it during pull-ups and push-ups. Make sure it is snug while wearing it because if it moves around it'll be distracting. Torey, Forest Park IL
High salt/sodium intake is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends that adults stay under 1500 mg of sodium per day, and never take in more than 2,300 mg a day. More than half of fast food meals exceed the 1500mg daily for just that meal alone.
Try to take at least 20 minutes to complete a meal. This is how long it takes for your brain to recognize that your stomach is full. If you race through your food, you'll still be hungry no matter how much you eat, then when it hits you, you'll feel bloated.
Pumpkins provide a good source of vitamin A and can be cooked in a variety of ways. Try these tips with your leftover pumpkin. Pumpkin smoothie: Mix together pumpkin, fat-free milk, frozen vanilla yogurt, a dash of pumpkin pie spice of cinnamon in a blender. Pumpkin oatmeal: Add fresh cooked or canned pumpkin to your morning oatmeal.
Pumpkin muffins: Add fresh cooked or canned pumpkin to your favorite muffin batter.
It takes 3500 calories to gain a pound. On average, if you want to lose a pound per week, reduce your calorie intake by 250 calories and incorporate daily physical activity that will burn 250 calories.
"Hills- If you run or bike or walk for cardio, you’ll want to incorporate hills (after the first month or two of doing it at an easy pace on flat ground). These will make you stronger and make your limited workout time even more effective. Take them easy at first, but once you’re used to hills, you can get a good pace going. Either use a hilly route or do repeats on one hill."
Do you know what's lurking inside your kitchen sponge? A smelly, wet sponge is a sure sign of one thing: bacteria. Reusing a sponge that's contaminated is dirty business. You can easily spread bacteria to other kitchen surfaces and utensils, increasing your chances of foodborne illness.Keep your kitchen clean by swapping out kitchen sponges regularly and following these rules: 1. Replace worn sponges rather than reusing. 2. To clean a sponge, wash it in the hot cycle of your dishwashing machine or wet the sponge well and microwave it on high for about 2 minutes. Microwaving a dry sponge could start a fire. 3. Pay close attention to what the sponge was used to wipe up. If it was a drip from raw meat, it's necessary to clean the sponge and sanitize it in a diluted bleach solution (1 tablespoon of bleach added to 1 gallon of water) before using a second time. 4. Since bacteria also can live in dishcloths and kitchen towels, wash these items often on the hot cycle of your washing machine.
If the Label Says Natural, Does that Mean the Food is Healthy? Not necessarily according to the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates claims on food labels. "Natural" can be used on products that do not contain added color, artificial flavors or artificial ingredients. However, products labeled "natural" are not always organic or low in salt or sugar, and may not have any other special nutritional qualities.
Diabetes is one of the nation's leading causes of death and disability. An estimated 26 million Americans of all ages have diabetes and are at risk for disabling and life-threatening complications such as heart attack, stroke and kidney, eye and nerve disease. Another 79 million adults (age 20 and older) are estimated to have pre-diabetes and are at high risk for developing diabetes. Yet research shows that Type 2 Diabetes and much of the illness and premature death caused by diabetes can be prevented or delayed through modest weight loss and regular physical activity.
Having trouble getting your fruits and veggies into your diet? Here's what I do. Every morning--first thing in the morning--I weigh out 1 pound of fresh veggies that I can eat raw, and slice them/prepare them for quick snacking throughout the day. I do the same with one pound of fresh fruit (fruits tend to be heavier, so it's a lot easier with the fruit). My goal is to finish all the fruit and all the veggies before I'm ready for dinner. It's surprisingly easy to do. Actually, I started with one pound each a day, and am now up to 2 pounds. I never have cravings for other snacks, and my tastes have adapted so I crave good fresh veggies and fruit! Whatever is left when I'm making dinner gets used as part of my evening meal. At the end of the day, I know I've eaten my veggies and fruit for the day, and I've noticed that I eat less unhealthy foods too. It also encouraged me to try new things in the produce department at my store. Submittted by Kevin Key
Can You See the Benefits of Vitamin A? Vitamin A promotes normal vision and it also helps your eyes see normally in the dark, helping adjust to lower levels of light. In addition, vitamin A also influences the immune system, is essential for bone growth and affects both male and female reproductive processes. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin A is 3,000 International Units for men and 2,310 IU for women 14 and older. IUs are listed on food labels and dietary supplements. Good sources of vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots and dark, leafy greens, as well as eggs, tomatoes and fortified milk. Submittted by Debbie
One 8oz glass of milk is considered a complete meal because of carbs and quality protein it contains. When asleep we build muscle and we go without feeding because we are sleeping meanwhile your body would just love a glass of 2% milk in the middle of the night. A sure way to add muscle quick. Submittted by Rick Allen
While produce contaminated with E. coli has made headlines this summer, most health risks linked to produce can be eliminated with proper food preparation, like cleaning all produce thoroughly. Below are tips from www.homefoodsafety.org to keep your family safe as you enjoy fresh summer produce:
Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables with cool tap water immediately before eating.
Wash produce before you cut or peel it so dirt and bacteria aren't transferred from the knife onto the fruit or vegetable. Gently rub produce while holding under plain running water. There's no need to use soap or a produce wash. For firm produce such as melons and cucumbers, scrub with a clean produce brush.
Cut away any damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating. Remove and discard outer leaves of lettuce.
Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.
Use two separate cutting boards to avoid cross-contamination, one for raw meats and the other for fruits and vegetables. Color-coded cutting boards can help you remember which is which. Cook raw sprouts (such as alfalfa or clover); it significantly reduces the risk of illness."
Calcium and weight bearing exercises are a winning combination for building and maintaining strong, healthy bones. Your goal should be to build up your calcium stores early in life, then maintain that level to later minimize the loss that comes with age. Consuming enough calcium—at least 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams a day, depending on your age—offers protection against bone loss. Weight-bearing activity, such as running, cross-country skiing, tennis and soccer, promotes the deposit of calcium into the structure of bones. While non-weight-bearing activities like swimming and cycling offer many benefits of physical activity, they don’t help to build bone. For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity every week. Submitted by Jeff Allan
What is Nutrient Density to describe foods and beverages? Nutrient-dense foods and beverages provide vitamins, minerals and other substances that may have positive health effects with relatively few calories. Foods that are low in nutrient density are those that supply calories but have very little health benefit. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat or fat-free milk and lean meat and poultry usually fall into the nutrient-dense category. Candy and soft drinks, on the other hand, contain calories but have few vitamins and minerals.
How to Recognize a Fad Diet: With all the focus on weight in our society, it isn't surprising that millions of people fall prey to fad diets and bogus weight-loss products. Conflicting claims, testimonials and hype by so-called "experts" can confuse even the most informed consumers. The bottom line is simple: If a diet or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are no foods or pills that magically burn fat. No super foods will alter your genetic code. No products will miraculously melt fat while you watch TV or sleep. Some ingredients in supplements and herbal products can be dangerous and even deadly for some people. Steer clear of any diet plans, pills and products that make the following claims: Rapid weight loss, Specific food combinations, Rigid menus, No need to exercise.
For breakfast on the run, a bowl of plain cheerios top with blackberries, blueberries, walnuts, add some 2% milk and your day is off to a great start. If you're into endurance, a great way to start is to have a bowl of fruit, it could be strawberries, raspberries, apples cut up, peaches, pears, or a combination, after eating wait 30-45 minutes, for cantelope an hour, then have whatever you usually have, bowl of oatmeal, bagel, eggs and you have yourself an energized start for the day. Submitted by Carl W., Swansea, MA
Summer Produce Tips: For melons, cantaloupe should have pronounced netting on the rind and a few tiny cracks at the stem and should smell sweet. Smell is also a good measure for honeydew and watermelon. Peaches should be slightly soft to the touch and yellow or cream-colored. For berries, choose plump, firm ones with a bright color. For vegetables, look for corn that has green husks and silks free of decay and tomatoes that are smooth and firm but not hard. Bell peppers should be firm, bright and have smooth skin. Submitted by Tim C.
Watermelon is the unofficial fruit of summer! Watermelon gets its name because it is made up of about 91 percent water. A source of vitamins A and C and potassium, watermelon is also high in lycopene, an antioxidant that may help reduce your risk of cancer and other diseases. A one-cup serving of watermelon contains almost twice the amount of lycopene as one tomato.
Submitted by Steve
Father's Day Food Tips: Prime cuts usually have more fat than 'choice' or 'select', look for ground beef with the lowest percentage of fat on the label, Grill lean turkey dogs, chicken sausages, buffalo burgers or veggie burgers in place of full-fat options, Instead of sautéed onions, put onions on the grill for great smoky flavor.
Submitted by Tom R.
The average American diet contains enough protein for recreational or even competitive athletics. Six to seven daily ounces of lean meat, poultry or fish or the equivalent from eggs, beans, nuts or seeds, along with dairy foods and grain products, supply enough protein for most athletes. Weight lifters and athletes involved in endurance sports do need more protein. Athletes who are vegetarians can consume enough protein for rigorous activity by eating a variety of foods including beans, nuts, seeds and peanut butter.
Submitted by Jeff
Are You Eating Enough Iron? Many people choose not to eat meat or other animal byproducts. If you're a vegetarian or vegan, or even if you eat meat, how do you know if you're getting enough iron in your diet? Consuming a good source of vitamin C at each meal increases iron absorption in your body. Consider adding any of the following vegetarian-friendly sources of iron to your meals: Dried beans, Dark green vegetables such as spinach and beet greens, Dried fruits, Prune juice, Fortified breads and cereals, Instant oatmeal,Potatoes (eaten with skin).
Submitted by Barry Davis
Be careful of foods that are less healthy than they appear. Dried fruit has far more calories than fresh fruit. Granola, besides low-fat granola, contains lots of fat, sugar and calories. Bottled teas or waters may be sweetened and add hundreds of calories. Energy drinks or sports drinks add lots of sugar calories. Reduced-fat products are often not nutritionally better- reduced-fat peanut butter has the same calories as regular peanut butter, but they have taken out some of the fat and replaced it with sugar.
Submitted by James, Iowa City, Iowa
HOW TO LOWER BODY FAT%
GENERAL: 6 TO 7 MEALS DAILY
-every 3 hours, no more than 4 hrS., small meals
-calories are 1/3 protein, 2/3 complex carbs
-essential fatty acids, 3 times daily (Udo's 3-6-9 blend, Barleans's flax oil), 1 tablespoon with 3 meals, fish oil tabs, 2 to 3 with other meals.
PROTEIN SOURCES: Boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders, tuna in water, any low fat fish, extra lean ground beef (4% fat) 6 to 8oz 1 times daily, whey protein (prefer isolate) low in sugar, meal replacement pack low in sugar (Prolab, Labrada, MetRx, etc.), low fat cottage cheese, egg whites.
COMPLEX CARBS: PREFER LOW GLYCEMIC LOAD & INDEX
-sweet potatoes and yams, white, red, yellow potatoes after workout, brown rice, any green vegetable or substitute (Udo's green blend), oatmeal low in sugar, pasta after cardio workout.
Critical meal Pre workout: sweet potato or yam + whey (1/2 to 1 hr.)
Post workout: 15 min. critical window, potato & whey
Post cardio workout: 10 min. window, allow a sugar carb source power bar, 15 to 20 grams of sugar.
Submitted by David Weinstock
For some added protein: Take 2 plain rice cakes and spread 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on each one. It will give you about 20 grams of protein. Very quick, very simple, and very good.
Submitted by Marcus, Sylvania, OH
A good breakfast I like to make to help keep me in shape is 2 packs of sugar free instant maple and brown sugar mixed with a few scoops of peanutbutter and some sugar free maple syrup. This breakfast is nutritious, taste about like a no bake cookie, and the best part is it's sugar free
Submitted by Brooke H.
About half an hour before you workout, drink a 24 gram shake of protein. Over time it could increase your muscle mass by 25%.
Submitted by VSchraufnag
This is more of an eating tip (or non-eating) than a food tip. I found that if I stop eating at 7-8pm and don't eat again until 7-8am, that 12-hour fast makes a huge difference in my weight loss goals. Sometimes at night I get hungry, and if I decide to curb the hunger, I'll have a one-scoop protein shake. Don't mix in fruit or peanut butter or anything, just the shake. You'll get through until the morning. Who's in charge anyway? I am. Not my stomach.
Submitted by Steve from Sandy, Utah
Fat free cream cheese plus peanut butter on whole wheat makes a good sandwich with 30+ grams of protein and good complex carbs plus monosatrated fats. Great pre-or post workout snack.
Submitted by Mike Hilert