Getting Buff Just to Impress

One year ago I used to be skinny. What motivated me to gaining muscle was a girl in one of my college classes. She seemed to be really attracted to muscular guys, so I wanted to get buff to impress her. I went to the gym and started doing exercises, but I could barely lift anything, and was only slowly making progress. I heard there was a better way of gaining muscle for people like me, so I looked at a Muscle Gaining Secrets review to see if it was legit or just a load of nothing. People seemed to like it and swore that it gave them bigger muscles.

I was desperate to get buff, so I gave the the Secrets plan a shot. There was really nothing I had to lose, because I was already skinny anyway. Under the plan, I saw my weight go up and my muscle mass explode to give me a more defined body. I could see my muscles and flex them. Continue reading

Fitness and You’re Health

Being physically active is a vital part of being healthy for any individual. Eating a balanced healthy diet and being active in your daily life are the two best things to help keep you healthy and young. Everyone should try to get in at least three days a week where they are doing some sort of exercise, although more is better. Weight bearing exercise is important for some individuals, especially those who are suffering from bone loss, or have a history of bone loss in their family. Doing weight lifting exercises puts pressure on your bones which helps they to grow stronger. Other people who might want to do weight lifting exercises are those who want to have better definition in their muscles, or people who have sagging skin. Lifting weights will improve the overall look of your body by toning and tightening it up. Using light weights can still be effective for this, as long as you can feel some burn while you are working out. If you desire to use heavier weights there is no need for women to be afraid of becoming manly looking. It takes a long time and a lot of weights to get the look that most female body builders possess. Studies have shown that weight bearing exercise is just as beneficial to the heart as cardiovascular exercises. Weight lifting exercises should be done at least three times per week, and each body part should never be trained back to back.

Cardio exercise help you lose weight, lower your chance of heart attack, lower blood pressure, improve your mood and lower stress levels. Cardio exercise should be done about five times per week for maximum results. If you can’t do cardio five times per week, you should still try to fit it in three times per week as this will still benefit you greatly. You should chose a type of exercise that you enjoy, since if you chose something you find boring, chances are you won’t stick with it. Good ideas for cardio exercises include biking, walking, jogging, playing tennis, playing basketball, skating, inline skating, swimming, skiing and team sports. You can also use cardio as a type of functional exercise. This means instead of driving to the grocery store, try walking instead. This way you aren’t going out of you’re way to fit in exercise, but you are still reaping the benefits. You should try to do cardio for at least half an hour, and try to make sure you raise your heart rate a little.

Before engaging in any type of exercise, you should get a complete physical examination to make sure you aren’t suffering from heart disease or some other type of illness. After your doctor gives you the ok to start exercising, start out slow and work your way up. And remember, exercise should be fun and enjoyable.

5 Tips For Keeping Active In The Winter

With winter coming there will be lots of cold days that simply make people want to stay inside and keep warm. However, all those days spent indoors is generally accompanied by the winter blues. Fortunately, there are a lot of things one can do to liven things up and keep themselves active in the winter even if it is a bit chilly outside. The following five tips will help you have an active winter and finally beat the winter blues.

Tip #1 Yoga or Pilates
Taking a yoga or pilates class at your local gym will help you get out and about, meet new people, and even tone up your muscles! This is great way to stay active and in shape over the winter so when summer bathing suit season arrives you will be prepared.

Tip #2 Take a Bike Ride
A bike ride is fun any time of the year and can be especially enjoyable during the winter because the cool air is refreshing. Just remember to bundle up before heading out on your winter bike ride so you do not get too cold or risk overexposure to the cold weather.

Tip #3 Go for a Walk
Going for a walk is always a great way to get yourself in motion. It doesn’t matter if it is a slow leisurely walk or a brisk one you will get benefits from walking and being active. Also, walking during the winter will help you burn some of those calories you might be eating more of.

Tip #4 Weekly Meeting with Friends
Scheduling a weekly meeting with friends whether at a coffee shop or alternating friends’ homes is really a great way to stay active in winter and have a lot of fun as well. You will find yourself looking forward to each meeting with your friends.

Tip #5 Plant a Winter Garden
If you like to be active in the garden in the spring and summer then there is no reason why you should stop just because the temperature drops. A great idea to keeping active in winter is to plant a winter garden. There are plenty of things to plant no matter what your region, just do a little research on a winter garden for your region and you can have a really active winter.

New Year’s Resolution: Walk Your Way Fit!

“It requires a direct dispensation from Heaven to become a walker.”
~Henry David Thoreau

With the new year upon us, everyone I know is looking for a fun and easy way to get fit. Here’s a solution I’ve developed that doesn’t involve costly equipment or a ton of time.

Before you commit, first ask yourself: Would you like to:

• Lose weight?
• Improve endurance?
• Tone muscles?
• Enjoy long range health?

Did you know that you can reap these benefits (and more) just by walking? You can! But, what most people don’t know: In effort to achieve a certain result quickly, it pays to use a specific program (or a combination of them).

After you’ve make the commitment to a walking program, next you’ll need to establish your goals. Ask yourself: “What’s my main fitness priority?” Then you’ll need only match up your goal to one of these five programs. Choose from: weight loss, cardio conditioning, muscle toning, long term health or a combination of all of these.

Here’s a thumbnail sketch of each simple program:

Weight Loss:

Benefits: Flatten tummy, shrink hips, tighten thighs, reduces excessive fat.

Type of walk: Moderate; 45-60 minutes, daily.

Calories expended: 2,000-2,500 per week.

Cardio Conditioning:

Benefits: Strengthens heart, improves aerobic endurance, helps you perform better during other aerobic activities and helps you recover more quickly from physical exertion.

Type of walk: High intensity, brisk pace; 20-30 minutes 3-4 days per week.

Calories expended: 800-1,000 calories per week.

Muscle Toning:

Benefits: Improve muscle strength, endurance, body firmness and increase metabolism.

Type of walk: Moderate, with resistance; 20-70 minutes 2-3 days per week.

Calories expended: 500-3,000 calories per week.

Notes: Use hand weights-light hand or wrist weights and swing them in a controlled manner. When doing so, flex your arm muscles, keeping them as close as possible to your upper body.

Long Term Health:

Benefits: Done consistently, this walk will increase energy, reduce stress and fatigue, improve risk of heart disease, improve mood, improve self-esteem and ad years to your life.

Type of Walk: Consistent walks; 30+ minutes, daily.

Calories expended 2,000 per week.

Have It All! Mix And Match:

Type of walk: Choose one program each day, 4 times per week.

My Mom’s story: When I was a teen-ager my mother and I used to exercise together. After some years, however, my Mom’s priorities changed and she found herself about 30 pounds overweight. Once she made the commitment to make a change, she used the combination of a daily walk and a sensible diet. The result? She lost one pound per week for 30 weeks and is back to her thin self once again!

A couple things before you begin. Most importantly, before you begin any fitness program, check with your doctor. Also, to make your walking workout a positive experience by investing in proper footwear. You will want to have flexible sneakers, walking shoes or (what I usually recommend) “cross-trainers.” They are available at all sporting goods stores: make the investment, you’ll be glad you did!

And speaking of proper form, most people also do not realize that there is a “way” to walk for the greatest benefit. It’s easy! First, strike the ground with your heel, rolling your foot to your toe. Then, push off with your toe. Repeat this with your opposite foot.

That’s all there is to it! With a little effort and your new flexible shoes “made for walkin'” you are well on your way to reaching your healthy goals for the new year!

Do you Stretch Before the Game?

My co-editor and I use different practices about stretching: I stretch very little before a game and she doesn’t stretch at all. There are a few big muscles in our bodies that should be stretched before playing sports (as I recall from my 3 month stint as a personal trainer). I used to be more like my co-editor and not stretch at all. So, as time marched on, my aches, injuries, and recovery time increased while my flexibility decreased.

About three years ago, I discovered yoga. You can’t really do yoga because it is an identification with eternal happiness, but you can do yoga practices. Hatha Yoga is the physical practice or postures (the Sanskrit word asana means ‘seat’ or ‘posture’) that have become popular in American culture.

So, the gym that I belong to had this incredible Yoga guru who was much more than a teacher. She became my physical trainer, spiritual guide, and meditative healer. Then, the financial woes of the Silicon Valley forced her to take some software internet job, leaving behind my forty-something achin’ body, (not to mention my own Silicon Valley financial woes!) But, not before I learned the benefits of stretching through yoga practices.
Practicing yoga postures has helped my tired muscles and my spiritual mind by reducing physical pain, stress, and increasing flexibility.

Back to stretching before a game — here are the major muscles groups to stretch: quadricep, hamstring, gluteus, chest, shoulder, and back. There are many ways to stretch each muscle, so rather than going in depth with each, I will share a few things that I keep in mind during these stretches.

1) don’t stretch to the point of pain,
2) increase the stretch as you relax,
3) breathe — normally,
4) don’t stretch beyond the point of breathing normally,
5) connect your mind with the area of the body that you are stretching,
6) if you feel pain, back-off.

And, as I always tell my co-editor, if all else fails get a massage!