Saturday, November 29, 2014

Article # 593. How do I avoid tiredness during or post work out

One of the benefits of getting enough exercise is supposed to be that it gives you more energy to get through your day, but sometimes that just isn’t the case. When working out leaves you more tired than you were before you started, that can be an indicator that something is wrong. There are a few reasons why working out can leave you so worn out, and finding out the reason behind your post-workout fatigue may just help you to overcome it and get the energy boost you need from your exercise session.

Start Out Slowly

It can be tempting to go all in when you decide to start working out, but this may not be the best idea. This is one of the worst things you can do if you are worried about fatigue. “Don’t try to jog 5 miles, when the most you’ve done before is walk 2 miles. Consider walking at first, and then when you get used to that, build that up to a short run. Over time, add more distance or time to your run until you get where you want to be. Doing too much too soon can make you feel more tired than usual after your workout is complete.

Examining Your Fuel Quality


In theory, eating less should go hand-in-hand with a workout regimen designed to help you lose weight. While this is a common misconception, the truth is that exercise actually increases your body’s need for food. The more fuel you burn, the more fuel you will need to keep going. If you haven’t eaten enough of the right things before your workout, you are bound to feel wiped out after you exercise. You may even feel sick. The Young Women’s Health website suggests you eat a variety of foods, as different foods bring different nutrients to the table. Lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains are essential to a healthy body. Healthy bodies are capable of doing more exercise. A post-workout snack is just as vital. You should consume a healthy snack like yoghurt and fruit, a banana with one tablespoon of nut butter or a carton of low-fat chocolate milk within 30 minutes after exercising.

The Importance of Hydration

Hydration is one thing that many people fail to consider. Not only is it important during and after your workout, but it is important before your workout, as well. Water makes up 60 percent of your body’s total weight, and every bodily system depends on it. A lack of water can lead to dehydration, which can be very draining on your energy. If you find that you are extra tired after your workout, try to drink more before, during and after you exercise.

Rest Is Important

While intense training may leave you feeling weak, rest can make you strong. Don’t overdo it when it comes to exercise, as this is a surefire way to end up exhausted when all is said and done. While it may feel like you are pushing your body in a good way, you may be over-exhausting yourself. When you do an extremely intensive workout, give your body time to rest up and refuel the next day. If you must exercise, do something light to give your body time to recuperate.

Medical Issues

If improved nutrition, rest and hydration don’t do the trick, consult your doctor for more information. He may be able to identify a nutrient deficiency or other medical issue that is preventing you from having enough energy, getting you back on track in no time.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Article # 592. Causes of Junk Food

Fast food nutrition should make up a minimal part of a healthy diet. Fast foods and junk foods are high in fat, sodium and sugar, which can lead to obesity and a range of attendant health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Here are the facts about how excessive junk food consumption affects your body.
Junk Food Affects Your Energy Levels
Junk food doesn't contain the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. As a result, you may feel chronically fatigued and lack the energy you need to complete daily tasks. The high levels of sugar in junk food puts your metabolism under stress; when you eat refined sugar, your pancreas secretes high amounts of insulin to prevent a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels.

Because fast food and junk food don't contain adequate amounts of protein and good carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels will drop suddenly after eating, leaving you feeling grumpy, fatigued and craving sugar.

Junk Food Contributes to Poor Performance and Obesity

Junk food contains large amounts of fat, and as fat accumulates in your body, you'll gain weight and could become obese. The more weight you gain, the more you'll be at risk for serious chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. You could even have a heart attack.
The high levels of fat and sodium in junk food can cause high blood pressure or hypertension. Excessive dietary sodium can also have a negative effect on renal function, even leading to kidney disease.
In the short term, high levels of dietary fat lead to poor cognitive performance. You'll feel tired and have trouble concentrating because your body might not be getting enough oxygen.

Junk Food Can Damage Your Liver and Heart
The high levels of fat and sodium in junk food and fast food can contribute to heart disease by raising blood cholesterol levels and contributing to arterial plaque build up. The high levels of Trans fatty acids found in many junk foods and fast foods can lead to fatty liver deposits, which, over time, can cause liver dysfunction and disease.

Junk Food Can Lead to Diabetes

Over time, the high levels of sugar and simple carbohydrates in junk food can lead to type 2 diabetes. This occurs because eating too much sugar puts your metabolism under stress; when you eat a lot of refined white sugar and simple carbohydrates, your body has to pump up insulin production to prevent a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels.
Because junk food doesn't contain the protein or complex carbohydrates that your body needs to maintain consistent blood sugar levels, your blood sugar levels will drop suddenly soon after eating. You'll crave sugar and likely end up eating more junk food.

Over time, this stress damages your body's ability to use the insulin secreted by your pancreas. A healthy diet can help maintain your body's insulin sensitivity.

Even in the short term, eating too much junk food can make you feel really uncomfortable. It can lead to mood swings and constipation, and lower your energy levels so that you lack interest in the exercise you need to burn off those extra calories.
Nutrient Deficiencies

Processing that removes vitamins, minerals and fiber makes junk foods into the sources of empty calories that nutritionists disparage. Children who eat a lot of junk foods may develop nutritional deficiencies that lead to low energy, mood swings, sleep disturbance and poor academic achievement, among other health conditions.



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Article# 591. Foods That Will Improve Your Stamina

While certain foods in your diet can actually reduce stamina, healthy foods help to build up your stamina and increase your energy level, especially if you’re interested in sports and athletics. As a sportsperson, you need foods that are designed to not only give you energy but also keep you feeling full all day long.  “Nutrients like complex carbs, proteins, fibre and vitamin C is crucial for those who are into sports. These nutrients keep you active and feeling energetic.”

Essential nutrients:

Complex carbs: When you are talking about building stamina, you just cannot miss out on complex carbs. Carbs are the main source of fuel for your body and brain. Carbs is the food that the body uses to get glucose, which provides energy. Complex carbs are present in foods like bread, pasta and rice, which unlike simple carbs, keep you feeling energetic all day long.” 

Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps strengthen your immune system and protects you from infections like cold and cough, which sap your energy. Also, when you are outdoors, you are more susceptible to bacterial infections, which hamper your health. Thus ensure that you consume foods and fruits rich in vitamin C. 

Proteins: Protein is an important nutrient for the growth, development and repair of muscle and body tissues. Protein has a higher metabolic rate than fat, so an individual can burn more calories. It is also said to increase satiety, which prevents a person from overeating. Healthy sources of protein include lean chicken, fish, eggs and nuts. 

Iron: Lack of iron in your diet can cause loss of stamina. You can get iron from meat, beans, nuts and some vegetables such as broccoli and spinach.  Consult your doctor about taking iron supplements. 

Foods that build stamina

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is an unprocessed carb, which gets digested slowly and hence keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time. “A power-packed cereal, oatmeal provides sustained energy for hours. Due to high content of complex carbs, it breaks down slowly in your body and keeps the blood sugar at optimum level.”

Beans: Rich in mineral and iron which helps your body to generate RBCs (Red Blood Cells) that carry oxygen to the muscles when you are exercising and also builds stamina.

Green leafy vegetables: Packed with micronutrients, it is essential for building stamina and also to improve your RBC count. Green leafy veggies are rich in fibre and digest slowly while maintaining your blood-glucose level.  

Bananas: Bananas are a particularly good energy source and these are best eaten a few hours before you intend to exert yourself. Along with being great sources of carbs, they are also effective because they trigger the release of ‘dopamine’ — a chemical that builds your concentration and focus. 

Peanut butter: Peanuts are said to contain Omega 3 fatty acids that helps in reducing pain, boost heart health and develop your brain. Peanut butter is also excellent for building stamina. It is high in calories and digests slowly. Consume peanut butter in combination with complex carbs. 

Lean meat, fish, chicken and eggs: “Rich in protein, these foods are important for growth and development, muscle building and repair. Meat takes a longer time to digest and thus keeps you feeling full and active all day long.”

Red grapes: Red grapes contains ‘resveratol’ which provides increased energy. These grapes contain a very small amount of sugar, which gives you instant energy and helps build stamina. 

Beetroot juice: Consuming a glass of beetroot juice before exercising will make your body work for long hours without feeling exhausted. Beetroot is rich in vitamin A and C —  both help in building stamina and reducing fatigue. 

Quinoa: Quinoa (Bathua) was declared to be a sacred grain by the Inca Empire and was fed to the warriors so that they could get energy! It contains eight essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals and fibre. It gives instant energy and keeps you active. It’s easy to cook and can be cooked like rice in only 10 minutes.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Article # 590. Kneeling Cable Crunch With Alternating Oblique Twists / Kneeling Oblique Cable Crunch:

1.Connect a rope attachment to a high pulley cable and position a mat on the floor in front of it.
2.Grab the rope with both hands and kneel approximately two feet back from the tower.
3.Position the rope behind your head with your hands by your ears.
4.Keep your hands in the same place, contract your abs and pull downward on the rope in a crunching movement until your elbows reach your knees.
5.Pause briefly at the bottom and rise up in a slow and controlled manner until you reach the starting position.
6.Repeat the same downward movement until you’re halfway down, at which time you’ll begin rotating one of your elbows to the opposite knee.
7.Again, pause briefly at the bottom and rise up in a slow and controlled manner until you reach the starting position.
8.Repeat the same movement as before, but alternate the other elbow to the opposite knee.
9.Continue this series of movements to failure.
Tip: Keep your elbows in tight when doing the normal crunching movement, but extend them outward when doing the oblique twist. This technique will open your body for a greater rotation, as well as allow your elbow to drive backward with more force.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Article # 589. Plant-based anti-ageing foods

Who wants to look their age? Most people want to look years younger than they are and are always striving towards it going into strange diets, getting help of surgery and taking jabs of botox and dermal fillers.

Studies have shown that people who eat mostly plant-based foods look younger than their real physical age. And if that is true, it sure makes sense to include plant-based, anti-ageing foods in our daily diet to get that ageless, young skin and delay the inevitable effects of natural ageing by improving skin elasticity and thereby staving off wrinkles..

"There are certain foods that are rich in Vitamin E, which when included in our daily diet, can help improve the texture of skin and it's elasticity." Avocados, walnuts, sesame seeds, olive or olive oil are rich in Vitamin E.  "Eating a diet that is rich in colourful fruits and veggies, can help protect against skin ageing." Tomatoes, red bell pepper and all citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes and bright orange vegetables have carotenoids and all these should be included in your diet. "Apart from this, avoiding caffeine products can help control melanin production. Sipping on green tea is a better idea."

Here is a list of some anti-ageing foods:


Since ages almonds have been considered as an anti-ageing food because of the high content of Vitamin E. It is great for healthy skin, hair and nails. The body needs Vitamin E to protect the cells from the onslaught of free radicals generated by air pollution, peroxides and ultra violet rays. Experts say that eating around a dozen almonds daily will help.


Walnuts are a rich source of Vitamin E and having a handful can help your skin look great.

These are excellent as anti-ageing food and improve tired and dehydrated skin. The high water content and high amounts of silica present helps to get a smooth and glowing skin.

They are also known as nature's best moisturisers and are loaded with anti-ageing nutrients such as Vitamin C and E, and Omega 3 fatty acids. Though a medium-size avocado has 30 grams of fat, all of it is healthy mono-saturated fats that lower cholesterol and protect the heart. "Eating avocados can help stave off wrinkles and keep your skin looking soft and supple, because of the Vitamin E that helps to get your skin glowing."


This is another rich source of Vitamin E


 "Antioxidants that are present in berries such as blueberries, and cranberries and in strawberry, can help keep you skin vibrant and glowing." The canned cranberry juice works for your skin.
Eat one to two cups of blueberries a day for your daily 'dose' of anthocyanin, an anti-ageing antioxidant that increases the potency of Vitamin C.

Green tea

This is a very healthy substitute for caffeine drinks and are packed with anti-oxidants.


"If you do not drink at least 2-3 litres of water every day, your skin might wrinkle faster. Water provides the much-required hydration and keeps wrinkles at bay.

Aloe Vera juice

Aloe vera juice is excellent if you want younger-looking skin says and adds, "Have 30 ml aloevera juice diluted with 100 ml water early morning on empty stomach. And after 20-30 minutes you can have your regular breakfast."

Sunflower seeds

This in another remarkable anti-ageing food and a Vitamin E and selenium powerhouse with very effective youth-enhancing qualities.
Eating a handful of sunflower seeds daily will help you look younger, stave off wrinkles and improve skin elasticity because it is extremely rich in Vitamin E.

Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are a very rich source of selenium, a mineral that works very well with Vitamin E to stop oxidative stress and cell damage caused by free radicals; thus, slowing down the ageing process. But should be eaten in moderation (two nuts a day) because of its high fat content.

Article # 588. Tips to Prevent Tiredness!

If you feel tired when you wake up in the morning, at work and in the evening well before bedtime, you should see your doctor, because there could be medical issues working against you, such as anemia, severe allergies and side effects from medications you're taking. If you aren't suffering from any medical conditions, you'll need to make lifestyle changes to improve your energy and prevent fatigue. If you don't make the necessary changes, your quality of life can be greatly impacted by feeling tired regularly.

Set yourself up for an energized day by eating a wholesome breakfast each morning. If you're eating doughnuts, sugary cereals or white bagels with cream cheese every morning, you're setting yourself up for day of tiredness. Instead, eat whole grains, healthy cereals with skim milk, fruit and healthy proteins, such as eggs. An example of an ideal would breakfast is one piece of whole wheat toast with a small pat of butter, three scrambled egg whites with green peppers and onions and a cup of berries and any cereal breakfast like Porridge, Bran flakes, Oats, Wheat flakes, corn flakes etc.

Add exercise into your daily routine. Try to fit in heart-pumping cardio activity at least five times a week. You can fit exercise into your day without making too many changes by splitting it up. Move around as much as you can. Your job may keep you at a desk or in a cubicle, but you can use your breaks or lunch hour to take a short walk, which will get your heart rate up and your blood sugar down. You will feel more energized for the rest of the day.

Eat less at lunch. Your body has to work hard to metabolize a heavy lunch full of carbohydrates and sugars, leading to that mid-afternoon slump. A lighter lunch will keep you charged up and ready to take on the rest of the day. Try soup and a sandwich with a bowl of rice with oil less curry. Eat chicken, turkey or fish as your protein, and fill up on fruits and vegetables instead of French fries or pasta.
Move around as much as you can. Your job may keep you at a desk or in a cubicle, but you can use your breaks or lunch hour to take a short walk, which will get your heart rate up and your blood sugar down. You will feel more energized for the rest of the day.

Don't smoke. The chemicals in cigarettes can cause profound fatigue, and the lack of clean air in your lungs can make your body work harder to stay oxygenated. Stopping smoking will make you feel more energetic all day long.
Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, sluggishness and headache.

Get better sleep. If you're working out and coping with stress, you'll be more likely to get a good night's sleep. Try to get eight full hours of sleep, and get up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on the weekends. Use your bed for sleeping and relaxing activities. Don't watch television or do work in bed.
Don't drink caffeinated beverages after lunch and cut back on your overall caffeine intake. According to Whole Living, the best way to cut back on caffeine is to reduce it in small increments, so you don't feel the impact of negative side effects, such as headaches and irritability.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Article # 587. Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle

Billions of dollars are spent annually on weight loss products targeting those who want fast results. But real weight loss takes time and should never be the result of a quick fix. Building muscle means feeding muscle, and burning fat means losing fat. Forget about fad diets and dietary supplements, and bring your attention to the real solutions of looking and feeling great, common goals in today's health- and image-conscious society.

Step 1

Eat breakfast. After an overnight fast, the body needs energy from food to jump start your metabolism. Eat a combination of protein, complex carbohydrate and a healthy fat each morning. Example: oatmeal topped with nuts and a banana.

Step 2

Be active. When you participate in physical activity, you burn calories and fat. The more intense the activity, the more fat you burn, and the easier it is to keep your weight under control. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week. But you don't need to set aside major chunks of time. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk during your lunch break. Do jumping jacks during commercials.

Step 3

Refuel with protein. Protein is one of the body's main building blocks for muscle. Have a protein source at each meal and snacks. Examples: eggs, peanut butter, chicken, fish, beans, milk, yogurt and cheese.

Step 4

Avoid bad fats, and add good fats. When the body doesn't use fat for energy, it's stored in body cells, causing those unwanted fat pockets. Bad fats contain saturated and trans fat and are most commonly found in food like butter and red meat. Aim for good fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, found in food like avocados, olive and canola oils and fish. Another way to decrease fats is to eat grilled, steamed, boiled and poached foods that use little or no fat as part of the cooking process.

Step 5

Stay hydrated. Hydrating purifies the body. Water is best; it cleanses and removes toxins, fills our cells and suppresses appetite, which can lead to burning fat and fueling muscle. Drink at least four to six glasses of water each day, and eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Article # 586. Role of Fat in the Body

Your body needs fat to function properly. Fats fill the fat cells – the adipose tissue – that help insulate the body; they’re stored there until your body needs a backup energy source. Your body uses its reserve calories from carbohydrates about 20 minutes into a workout, and then switches to the stored fat in the fat cells for the fuel to keep you going. Fats also supply fatty acids needed to control inflammation and to help with brain development and blood clotting. Your skin and hair depend on fat to be healthy. The body needs fat to absorb and move vitamins A, D, E and K through the bloodstream.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Article # 585. Helathy Fats to Build Lean Muscle

Most people assume that to build lean muscle you need to consume an excess amount of protein and eliminate fats and carbohydrates. This could not be farther from the truth. The food pyramid applies to all sorts of people, even the hardcore fitness enthusiast looking to pack on muscle mass. In fact, you could make the argument that body builders and workout enthusiasts looking to add muscle need a balanced diet more than anyone. So why do you need healthy fats to build muscle and what happens when you don’t consume enough healthy fats? Let me explain…

There were lots of misconceptions that to add lean muscle mass, one should just eat a ton of protein and limit my fat intake to a bare minimum because they wanted to look super lean. This really hurts the progress, but from this I eventually learned the facts about proper nutrition and building muscle. I began incorporating a good amount of healthy fats into the diet.

If you do not consume enough healthy fats, your body will use your protein intake as your main energy source. This is a major problem for someone trying to add lean muscle mass. You want your protein and amino acids to help build and repair lean muscle tissue. If your body is using protein as its main energy source, you may not reach your anabolic potential. Consuming a good amount of healthy fats ensures this won’t happen. So what is the proper amount of healthy fats to build muscle? You should make sure that fat intake is at least 25-35 percent of your total calories (depending on your body type). This may seem like a lot of fat, but if you are working out and lifting weights hard, your body will need it! You should be consuming a healthy combination of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and lots of veggies! This will help your body recover and repair damaged muscle tissue at its optimum rate.

So what are the healthy fats that will aid in muscle growth the most? Healthy oils such as olive oil and coconut oil, for instance. Canola oil is okay, and flaxseed oil is great to use, as well. Limit your intake of butter and margarine – these are not healthy fats! Nuts are a great way to get your healthy fats in and help to build lean muscle. Almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, pecans and Brazilian nuts are all great muscle builders. You can also consume peanut butter, but make sure you get a peanut butter that is low in sugar. There are many healthy peanut butter options such as Smart Balance’s. Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna can also help you get your fat intake up. Salmon is probably the best overall muscle builder because it is high in protein, fat and Omegas! Though you can rarely get Salmon in India, you can try for Mackerel / Henning which are high in Omegas.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Article # 584. How to lose weight fast by eating best fat burning foods that will greatly help you to burn extra fat.

You can eat a small amount of nutritional foods at these times to be healthy like, fruits mainly Orange, Apple, Raspberry, Grapes, Grape Fruit, Pomegranate, Avocado, Strawberry, Pineapples, Banana, Apricot, Blue Berry, Mangosteen, Peach, Papaya, Peaches, Pear and Kakadu Plum.

If you have little extra time you can make a delicious fruit juice from above healthy fruits that you love to eat or drink. You can eat or drink, time to time when you feel little hungry and this will help you a lot to reduce your appetite and will take fewer calories a day. 

Another highly effective way to burn extra fat and detox altogether is by drinking cucumber, lemon/Lime, mint, orange mix water daily. If you can do this simple change to your lifestyle you will be rewarded greatly by detoxifying your body with nutritional foods and same time you are losing your weight faster and helping you to be energetic and also will increase your metabolic rate to do your chosen exercising methods more effectively.

You can eat Green Vegetables mainly Broccoli, Carrot, Murunga, Pumpkin, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, Collard Greens, Bamboo Shoots, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Cabbage, Cucumber, Lemongrass, Red Leaf Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onions,  Red Peppers, Green Peppers and Green Bean.
Vegetables Like Kale Can Quickly Bring Your LDL Cholesterol Level Down. You can add them to any meal plan you try to prepare at home will make it healthy for anyone to eat and of course they will help you to Lose Weight Fast by Burning Your Extra Fat. You can add Oatmeal and Cereal to reduce calorie intake further. You can also include eat Nuts and Seeds, make it handful a day.
These diets will help you increase your HDL Level and will mostly help you to Remove Bad LDL cholesterol and intern greatly Help you to lose weight fast. But one need to be educated more on this that’s why I added it below to all other nutritional foods because some nuts like Peanuts have many calories and need to eat little as you can but Nuts also rich in Vitamins and need to eat little as you can to lose weight fast.

If you can eat Basmati Rice and Brown Rice you will get added benefit to your Diet Program as they have lots of natural fiber. Organically grown raisins, sunflower seeds, sultanas, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts and multi – grain flakes, green coffee bean extract can bring nutritional benefits and will also help you to Burn Fat really fast.

Please avoid Soda and unapproved Instant Noodles as possible as you can and if you can avoid Soda intake completely it is always good for your health and will promote your weight loss effort greatly. At last you can eat shredded spicy chicken avoid all the skin parts of it and baked Fish or Fatty Fish and also for these you can add lemon souses, herbs and spices like garlic and oregano to make the dish Delicious and also will greatly help you to Lose Weight Fast. 
If you follow above diet guide moderately, it will be nutritional and healthy for you. Above is the Best and Natural ways to Lose Weight Fast by eating Healthy and Nutritional foods and following this as moderation with all other foods you eat.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Article # 583. How to get Muscle Toned

How to Get Toned

Here we'll assume here that, by "get toned," you mean that you would like to achieve the popular, conventional definition of muscle tone, rather than the actual definition. To be more specific, you would like your muscles to be clearly defined and to have a firm appearance. And, if you are female, you also probably want to ensure that your muscles "don't get too big."
There are two things that can and should be done to acquire muscle tone. They are as follows:
  1. The first thing that you must to do acquire the popular definition of muscle tone, and this is an absolute requirement, is reduce your overall body fat. Reducing body fat thins out the subcutaneous fat layer under your skin, bringing it closer to, and pulling it tight around the contours of your muscles.
After completing just this one fat reduction step, some people will find that they've achieved the muscle tone that they desire, because they already have a well developed musculature hiding beneath their fat. The vast majority of people, however, will find that they aren't entirely happy with the appearance of their muscles once they have reduced their body fat, and so step number 2 below becomes necessary.
  1. The second thing that can be done to develop muscle tone is strength training. For a lucky few people this step might not be required, from a purely aesthetic perspective, because they already have well proportioned muscles under the fat layer removed in step 1 above. But for most people a strength training program, in addition to body fat reduction, is necessary to develop muscle tone. The optimal training program for developing muscle tone must focus on improving muscle strength, as opposed to muscle size or muscle endurance. This type of training requires that you lift heavier weights for fewer repetitions. You can review the specific recommended lifting guidelines for building muscle strength here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Article # 582. Should I Be Doing Cardio or Lifting Weights?

Should I Be Doing Cardio or Lifting Weights?

Both cardio exercises and weightlifting have advantages and disadvantages. Finding the proper balance between the two is the best thing you can do for your body. Cardio burns fat, while lifting weights builds and tones muscle; the combination of the two is what is going to get you the body you have always wanted. Here's a little insight into the advantages and disadvantages of both forms of exercise so that you can decide on an integrated regimen of cardio and weights that will best meet your needs.
Benefits of cardio

Cardiovascular exercise has benefits that range from weight loss to improved mental health. Cardio exercise releases endorphins in your brain, which are your body’s natural pain killers. According to Discovery Health, endorphins also reduce stress, depression and anxiety.
If you want to burn fat, cardio is your best option. You can lift weights all day long, but, if you are not doing any cardio, you will not burn that pesky layer of fat that is covering all the muscle definition you are working so hard to achieve.

Risks and disadvantages of cardio
The downsides of cardio include susceptibility to injuries such as shin splints, tendon and joint pain and stress fractures. If you are looking to tone your muscles and build definition and size, you will not achieve that through cardio exercise alone.

Benefits of lifting weights
One of the advantages to lifting weights is that the results are relatively fast and noticeable. Relying solely on cardio exercises will not get you the toning and definition desired. There are a variety of weight-lifting exercises that can target specific muscle groups throughout your body, making it simple for you to build or tone muscle in the area of your choice.

Another benefit is that exercises using free weights are often good for rehabilitation of injuries. In addition to these advantages, lifting weights makes you stronger, which may help prevent injuries.

Risks and disadvantages of lifting weights
If the appropriate weight is not used or used incorrectly, injuries can occur. Lifting weights requires more supervision and instruction for maximum benefit and avoidance of injuries than cardio exercise. Using weights alone without cardio, you will most likely develop bulk, instead of a toned and streamlined body.

When deciding between cardio or weights, remember that both types of exercises are needed when trying to achieve a healthy, strong body. Both require that you be careful and responsible for maximum effect. Using free weights during cardio exercise is also an effective way of combining the two exercises: building your muscles while getting a cardio workout.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Article # 581. Difference Between Slow-Twitch and Fast-Twitch

Muscle fibers can be put into one of three categories: Slow twitch or type 1, type 2a and fast twitch or type 2b. Type 2a are essentially fast-twitch fibers but their ability to adapt the traits of both type 1 and 2b fibers according to the training you perform means that they are normally classified as intermediate fibers. There are a number of chemical, functional and structural differences between slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers.

Blood Supply

Slow-twitch fibers have a very good blood supply -- so much so that they are often referred to as red fibers. This plentiful supply of blood ensures that slow-twitch fibers receive a large amount of oxygen, which allows them to work for a long time before becoming fatigued. In contrast, slow-twitch fibers have a relatively poor blood supply and are subsequently referred to as being white in color. The lack of blood results in relative oxygen restriction, so fast-twitch fibers tend to fatigue much faster than the better oxygenated slow-twitch fibers.

Density of Mitochondria

Mitochondria are energy-producing cells, which create adenosine triphosphate or ATP for short. ATP is your body's essential chemical fuel and is necessary for all energetic reactions. Slow-twitch fibers have a high number of mitochondria, which provide them with an almost limitless amount of energy. Combined with their high blood supply, slow-twitch muscle fibers are ideally suited to long, endurance-type activities. On the other hand, fast-twitch fibers have considerably fewer mitochondria and, as a result, fatigue far quicker than their slow-twitch counterparts.

Diameter and Force Production

Fast-twitch muscle fibers have a larger diameter than slow-twitch fibers. They also have the greatest hypertrophy or growth potential. The larger the cross-sectional size of a muscle fiber, the greater the amount of force it will be able to produce. Fast-twitch fibers are best suited to high-intensity but short-duration activities such as lifting heavy weights or sprinting. Slow-twitch fibers are much smaller in diameter and are far less powerful. While they cannot generate large amounts of force, they can generate low amounts of force for long periods of time. They have very little potential for hypertrophy and are best suited to endurance activities such as walking and cycling long distances.

Preferred Fuel Source

Fast-twitch fibers use ATP derived from glucose for fuel. For very short, intense contractions lasting up to 10 seconds, the ATP is supplied by stores within your muscles. In activities lasting from 10 seconds up to around three minutes, ATP is produced during the incomplete breakdown of stored glucose -- a substance called glycogen. This process results in the production of the fatiguing waste product lactic acid.

In contrast, slow-twitch fibers use a mixture of glucose and fats for energy. The lower the intensity of the activity, the greater the amount of fat used. As intensity levels rise, fat metabolism decreases while carbohydrate metabolism increases. If intensity continues to rise, slow-twitch fibers are unable to continue working and fast-twitch fibers will take over.



Monday, March 17, 2014

Article # 580. Ten Answers To Your Biggest Fitness Questions

Here’s how to answer the questions members or clients most often ask fitness professionals.
Every day, fitness professionals are faced with a multitude of questions—on topics ranging from losing weight to rehabilitating injuries. While it is difficult to know all the answers, providing clients with ready responses can be a testament to your professional credibility. This article addresses some of the more popular questions clients ask and provides the information you need to answer them quickly.
1. What Is the Best Way to Lose Fat?
The simple (and complex) answer is that there is no “best way” to lose fat. Each client will respond differently to a training program. However, there are some principles fitness professionals can apply when designing their clients’ programs.
Activities that incorporate many muscle groups and are weight bearing use more calories per minute and are therefore better suited for fat loss than non-weight-bearing activities that do not use many muscles.
It is often assumed that low-intensity exercise is best for burning fat. During exercise at a very low intensity, fat does account for most of the energy expenditure, while at a moderate intensity, fat accounts for only about 50 percent of the energy used. However, since the number of calories used per minute is much greater at a moderate to high intensity than at a low intensity, the total number of calories expended during a moderate- to high-intensity workout is greater than it is during a low- intensity workout of the same duration; consequently, the total number of fat calories expended is also greater during the higher-intensity workout. The rate of energy expenditure, rather than simply the percentage of energy expenditure derived from fat, is important in determining the exercise intensity that will use the most fat. Furthermore, endurance-trained individuals rely less on carbohydrates and more on fat as a fuel source during submaximal exercise (Kiens 1997). Thus, the more aerobically trained your clients become, the more fat they will use during subsequent exercise sessions.
To decrease body fat percentage, your clients do not necessarily have to use fat during exercise. Much of the fat from adipose tissue (as opposed to intramuscular fat, which is primarily used during exercise) is lost in the hours following exercise. Moreover, the amount of fat lost after a workout depends, in part, on the exercise intensity during the workout. Following high-intensity exercise, the rate of fat oxidation is higher than it is following low-intensity exercise (Mulla et al. 2000; Phelain et al. 1997). Because clients can perform a greater intensity of work if the work is broken up with periods of rest, interval training is a great way to perform high-intensity work and help decrease body fat percentage.
Both strength training and endurance exercise have been shown to decrease body fat percentage. However, aerobic exercise appears to have a greater impact on fat loss than does strength training (Ballor et al. 1996; Dolezal & Potteiger 1998; LeMura et al. 2000). A combination of endurance and strength training results in more fat loss than either exercise regimen alone (Dolezal & Potteiger 1998), possibly because clients who perform both activities spend more time exercising.
2. If I Lift Weights, Will I Get Bigger Muscles?
Whether or not your clients will get bigger muscles (hypertrophy) depends on three basic factors: genetics, gender and training intensity. Genetics is mostly manifested as muscle fiber type; people with predominantly fast-twitch fibers acquire larger muscles more easily than people with predominantly slow-twitch fibers. In relation to gender, males acquire larger muscles than females do, because males have greater amounts of testosterone and other sex hormones that influence protein metabolism (Tipton 2001). Thus, females experience less muscle hypertrophy with strength improvement than males do (Lewis et al. 1986). Training intensity is the only factor you can control.
Hypertrophy results from an increase in the number of contractile proteins (actin and myosin, produced by the body in response to training), which in turn increases the size of the muscle fibers.
If the training goal is hypertrophy, the load lifted should be at least 80 percent of the one-repetition maximum (1 RM), as a general guideline (Zatsiorsky 1995). If your clients are not interested in developing larger muscles, keep the load less than 80 percent of 1 RM. However, hypertrophy can be stimulated any time the training intensity is high enough to overload the muscle. Thus, in an unfit client who has never lifted weights before, 60 percent of 1 RM may be enough to cause slight hypertrophy, especially if the client is predisposed to hypertrophy by having a large proportion of fast-twitch fibers.
3. How Do I Get a Flat Stomach?
Genetics also plays a role in whether or not your clients can obtain a flat stomach or a “six-pack” look to their abdominals. Having said that, two types of exercise can help: strength training and cardiovascular exercise. The abdominals are just like any other muscle group: For their definition to become visible, they must grow larger and the fat that lies over them must decrease. What makes the definition of the abdominals so difficult to see is that they are situated in the area of the body that contains the most fat. Strength training the abdominals is only half the story. Your clients will get a flat stomach only if they combine strength training with cardiovascular exercise to get rid of the fat. Most clients do not do nearly enough cardiovascular exercise to decrease their body fat percentage to a point where they would see their abdominals. Even when the aerobic exercise stimulus is adequate, the role of diet must not be underestimated. All people with a flat stomach or six-pack have a very low percentage of body fat.
Abdominal crunches are just as effective as any piece of equipment to train the rectus abdominis muscle, the main muscle in the abdominal region (Demont et al. 1999; Vaz et al. 1999). As your clients improve their abdominal strength, they can make crunches more demanding by performing them on a movable surface, such as a resistance ball (Vera-Garcia et al. 2000).
4. Should I Do Cardio First or Weight Training First?
It depends on the client’s goals. Many personal trainers think that performing strength training before cardiovascular exercise will augment the amount of fat used during the cardio workout because the strength training will deplete the muscles’ store of carbohydrates (glycogen). However, strength training is not likely to deplete glycogen stores, because a lot of the workout time is spent resting between sets and exercises. Even if the strength workout were long and intense enough to accomplish this task, exercising in a glycogen-depleted state has many negative consequences, including an increase in acidic compounds produced in response to low carbohydrate levels, low blood insulin, hypoglycemia, increased amino acid (protein) metabolism, increased blood and muscle ammonia and a strong perception of fatigue. Currently, no research shows that strength training immediately before a cardio workout increases the amount of fat used during the cardio workout, or vice versa. Most likely, the intensity of the activity, not the mode of exercise, determines the “fuel”—either fat, carbohydrate or protein—that is used. However, if clients strength train first, it is possible that muscle fatigue incurred from the strength training could cause them to decrease the intensity of their subsequent cardio workout, thus leading them to expend fewer calories over the workout as a whole.
If the primary goal is to increase aerobic endurance or lose weight, then the client should perform cardiovascular exercise first. If the primary goal is to increase muscular strength, then the client should perform strength training first. Basically, in order to get the most out of the workout, the client should perform the most important type of exercise when he or she is not fatigued. Because many clients want to lose weight and increase muscular strength, alternating the order of the workout during different cycles of training is one way to satisfy both goals.
5. Do I Need to Take Dietary Supplements?
Your clients do not need dietary supplements unless they have a documented vitamin deficiency or they do not eat a balanced diet. Using supplements as an alternative to a sound diet can lead to serious deficits in the consumption of other nutrients (Benardot et al. 2001). It is always healthier to acquire vitamins and minerals from food than to obtain them from a pill. However, serious vitamin deficiencies do occur in a small proportion of the population (Benardot et al. 2001), and supplements are useful for making sudden improvements in vitamin status.
Supplements for losing fat or building muscle are rapidly becoming popular. Claims that “fat-burning” supplements will decrease body fat by increasing either mobilization or oxidation of free fatty acids (FFAs) are faulty at best. Untrained individuals have a greater ability to mobilize FFAs than they do to oxidize them. Therefore, supplements that increase FFA mobilization are not of any value for untrained people. For supplements to directly enhance FFA oxidation, the insulin response to the carbohydrates in those supplements would need to be eliminated (since insulin inhibits fat oxidation), and this is unlikely to happen (Coyle 1995). Exercise alone increases the muscles’ capacity to oxidize FFAs.
For those who eat a balanced diet, there is no evidence that muscle-building supplements, including protein powders and amino acids, build muscle mass (Clarkson 1998; Eichner et al. 1999). The few supplements whose muscle-building potential is supported by research (e.g., creatine) are effective mostly in elite athletes who have undergone many years of training (Eichner et al. 1999).
6. What Is My Target Heart Rate?
Target heart rate—the heart rate range used to determine the desired intensity of an activity—will differ depending on the goal of the workout. You can calculate target heart rate using a percentage of your client’s heart rate maximum (HRmax), which can be predicted by subtracting your client’s age from 220, or by measuring your client’s heart rate while he or she performs a maximum exercise test. You can also calculate target heart rate using the Karvonen method, which takes into account your client’s resting heart rate (RHR). Subtract your client’s RHR from his or her age-predicted HRmax before multiplying the outcome by the desired percentage. Then add the RHR back onto that value. The difference between HRmax and RHR is called heart rate reserve (HRR).
Since RHR will decrease as cardiovascular fitness improves and HRmax can decrease with age, periodically recalculate target heart rate as your clients become more fit (or more sedentary) and get older. Age-predicted HRmax may be off by more than 10 to 15 beats per minute, since all people of the same age do not have the same HRmax. Therefore, it is much more accurate to directly determine HRmax with a maximum exercise test. Use HRmax, but don’t forget to consider subjective factors, such as how the client feels.
When the workout goal is to increase aerobic endurance, target heart rate should be 65 to 80 percent of HRmax (about 55%-70% of HRR). During interval training, which focuses on increasing cardiovascular performance, target heart rate should be greater than 80 percent of HRmax (70% of HRR).
7. What Is the Difference Between Weight Machines and Free Weights?
Ignoring the effect of gravity in creating resistance during all movements, free weights (dumbbells) keep the resistance on the muscle constant throughout the joint’s range of motion (ROM), while weight machines use variable resistance, with the resistance changing throughout the ROM. Machines have geometrically shaped cams that change the torque required of the muscles by changing the lever arm of the resistance force (external weight) or the applied muscular force. Thus, machines place more stress on the muscles at the angles at which muscles can produce greater force. Since there are points in a joint’s ROM where the muscle is stronger and points where it is weaker, and the amount of weight your clients can lift is limited by their weakest point, free weights serve only as a strong enough training stimulus for the weak joint positions. With machines, the load changes to provide optimal resistance throughout the entire ROM.
On the other hand, movements using free weights occur in a three-dimensional plane, while most weight machines allow movement only in a single plane. With machines, the movement is guided, so only the major muscles required to perform the movement are used. With free weights, the added task of balancing the weights in the three-dimensional plane recruits other functional muscles that machines do not recruit.
Clients new to weight lifting should probably begin with machines to train the major muscles, and then use free weights to train more specific movements.
8. Why Are My Muscles Sore After a Workout?
Soreness results from high force production when an exercise is new or a load is greater than normal. Furthermore, eccentric muscle contractions (in which the muscle lengthens, as when lowering a weight) cause more soreness in the days following the workout than either isometric contractions (in which the muscle does not change length, as when holding a weight) or concentric contractions (in which the muscle shortens, as when lifting a weight). This soreness in the days after exertion is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) (Armstrong 1984; Clarkson & Sayers 1999). Although many people think that lactic acid is the cause of muscle soreness, the fact is that lactic acid (lactate) is removed from the muscles within 30 to 60 minutes after exercise, so it is long gone by the time soreness develops. Muscle soreness results from an immediate mechanical injury and a biochemical injury occurring a few days after the workout (Faulkner et al. 1993). The mechanical injury is caused when the myosin heads pull away from the actin filament, causing microtears in the muscle fibers. The biochemical injury is characterized by increased plasma enzyme activity and a leaking of enzymes (e.g., creatine kinase) out of the muscle. Soreness typically increases in intensity during the first 24 hours postexercise, peaks in the next 48 hours, then subsides within five to seven days after the workout.
Following eccentric exercise, both ROM and muscular force production decrease (Balnave & Thompson 1993; Donnelly et al. 1992; MacIntyre et al. 1996; Mair et al. 1995; Newham et al. 1987; Weber et al. 1994). Structural damage, altered neural activation and a disruption in calcium ion homeostasis are possible reasons for the decrease in force production that occurs with DOMS (Armstrong 1984). DOMS is not associated with any long-term damage or reduced muscle function.
As your clients adapt to the training load, their muscles will be less sore following a workout. Eccentric training also reduces DOMS (Balnave & Thompson 1993; Mair et al. 1995).
9. How Do I Get Rid of These Flabby Arms?
One of the biggest exercise myths is that you can lose fat in an area of the body by strength training or exercising that specific body part. The truth is that “spot reducing” and “spot toning” do not work, because we cannot dictate from where our bodies will decide to oxidize fat, nor can we change fat into muscle. Doing triceps press-downs will not decrease the amount of fat clients have on the backs of their arms any more than doing crunches will decrease the amount of fat clients have on their stomachs.
As your clients age, their skin will become less elastic and thus conform less to their arms. So “flabby arms” are somewhat a product of age. Any exercise that decreases body fat percentage will help your clients lose fat on their arms, just as it will help them lose fat from other areas of the body.
10. How Often Should I Work Out/Lift Weights?
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), your clients should exercise 20 to 60 minutes, three to five days a week for health/fitness promotion (ACSM 1995). Exercising only three days a week may be enough for previously sedentary clients to improve their fitness, but it will take more exercise to see further improvements. Improvements in aerobic power (VOmax), cholesterol levels, body composition and cardiovascular health are all augmented the more often you exercise (Duncan et al. 1991; Gettman et al. 1976; Milesis et al. 1976). However, it is important that your clients do not progress too soon or exercise excessively, since both these behaviors can lead to overuse injuries.
Clients are often told they should not lift weights on consecutive days, whereas they are encouraged to do cardiovascular exercise as often as they can. However, there is nothing wrong with lifting weights every day, just as there is nothing wrong with running every day. Muscles do not know the difference between lifting weights or running; the only thing muscles know how to do is to contract to overcome a resistance. Whether your clients need to lift weights every day depends on their fitness goals. For basic gains in strength, your clients need to lift weights only two to three times a week. For more advanced clients, lifting weights more often is fine, and the training program can be organized using easy and hard days, just as with cardiovascular workouts. Keep in mind that some experts recommend not working the same muscle groups two days in succession, in order to give the muscles time to adapt.