1. 5 Winning Strategies for Getting into Shape

    March 18, 2013

    at the gym

    Image Credit: Javi

    by John Smith


    Many people consider getting into shape as their basic goal. Finding motivation is easy. However, due to our laziness and busy schedule, it takes psychological effort in order to achieve your desired results. Therefore, in order to achieve your desired results, you should stick to a well-designed schedule for getting into shape which should be followed in a good succession. Fortunately, by reading this article you will know five simple strategies of getting into shape which you can adopt for the best results.

    1. Warm up with stretches before the workout-
    It is very important to warm up before engaging into any physical activity. Often you have seen athletes warming up before they take part in any sporting activity. This is important because it aids your body. Warming up increases the blood flow to the working muscles, this in turn reduces your muscle stiffness. As a result there will be fewer injuries of the muscles thus improving your performance in the exercise which you undertake to take. In addition, warming up prepares one’s mentality and improve the range of different motions of the muscles. Warm up session should be of 3-5 minutes prior to the stretching because it will add mobility and fluid to the joints which helps in avoiding injury.

    2. Breathe well during your workouts-

    So as you plan to undertake your exercise you need to breathe properly. Getting correct breathing rhythm helps a person to get the best out of his or her workout. Fatigue will be reduced when you breathe out properly. Important factors should be followed in breathing while working out. Each workout involves a period of pulling out and exerting pressure. When pulling out, you need to breathe out in order to pull out inhaled air while when exerting pressure you need to breathe in order to pull in air.


    3. Resting between the workout-
    The major problem is the Lactic Acid produced in the muscles during the workout. We just feel a burn in the muscles which leads to the failure at the end of the set. Therefore rest between different sets of the workout is very important.  Interval of resting during your workout will allow your muscles to develop and recuperate well and more evenly. Getting into shape will always require a person to maintain proper resting intervals. Two minutes of rest is recommended between each and every set of the exercise for gaining power, strength and muscle mass. If we start the next exercise before the completion of two minutes, we can lack our intensity and strength.


    4. Ensure that you have worked out first for large muscles-
    It is important to work out large muscles first during your exercise since this will increase blood flow into different body parts. As a result, this will prepare other small muscles for workout. In turn, you will get benefit a lot in achieving your desired results. This is the most efficient way of starting your exercise.
    Bigger muscles are required when a person is working out on smaller muscles therefore when you start your exercise on smaller muscles, you will realize that you will not be able to do more on bigger muscles due to them being tired. You will always earn the best results when you start with the big to small muscles.


    5. Work out in each muscle group at least three times in a week-
    It certainly depends on your motivation, but in order to achieve high frequency during training your workout, you should be aiming at least to work out at each muscle group three times in a week. Since training each muscle below three times in a week will not earn you the desired results.
    Depending on your intending outcomes, it is important to set up several winning strategies that you should follow in order to get your desired results. Take your time and ensure that you have followed the above five crucial strategies and you will never regret.


    Author Bio: This post has been written by John Smith. He is passionate about Health and Fitness. He works for Diet Direct Company. Diet Direct provide best protein shakes for weight loss. These protein shakes are rich in protein and also helps in losing weight.

  2. Core Fitness Principles – Arousal

    March 16, 2013

    by Jake Norton


    exercise and fitness

    Image Credit: Marcos Vasconcelos

    When most people think of arousal, the mind immediately reverts to something sexual. The truth is that, put simply, arousal is the amount of attention the mind or body is giving to a particular stimulus.

    For all activities there is an optimal arousal level and this directly affects decision making speed or focus level. A high level of arousal will increase blood flow and therefore oxygen flow into the brain, neural and muscular systems and stimulates adrenaline production. This is commonly known as getting nervous or being ‘stressed’. In sports performance it is often a case of knowing what to concentrate on and focusing attention on these factors. Concentration can vary in both intensity and focus.

    Some people have high arousal levels prior to performance or competition and this can positively or negatively affect sporting performance as muscular tension, decision making ability, concentration, rhythm and coordination are affected by arousal levels.

    Arousal is important at all levels of competition; it can be the difference between winning and losing an event. A golfer or darts player would do better reaching their optimal arousal levels while lower on the scale where the muscles are more relaxed and the player is able to take a narrow focus. In competitive team and individual sports like squash or football the optimal arousal level would be higher.

    An individual with low arousal levels may exhibit concentration levels similar to someone who has just woken up. Their movements may be sluggish and inaccurate, reaction times slow and they may display poor decision making. With muscular tension and concentration too low, delayed reactions and low force production are the result because the performers have less capacity to respond to relevant sensory information.

    Even though increased muscular blood flow is beneficial to sporting performance, excessive muscular tension can cause stiffness and effect general movement and reaction times and force production in the performer. Excessive arousal may also lead to hypersensitivity to irrelevant stimuli and the performer led to distraction and this can reduce rhythmic ability and coordination in performance.

    A performer is able to prepare for high ‘stress’ situations by identifying relevant cues and practicing scenarios or producing a plan of what to do in particular situations. Debriefing with a coach or team-mate following an event may assist in seeing where performance may be improved. Video analysis is also very useful in seeing where a player may need to work on arousal levels.

    Emotions (anxiety and excitement) play a large role in an athlete’s performance. anxiety can be characterised as feelings of nervousness and tension with excitement displaying as liveliness and optimistic thoughts of success. Both can have positive and negative effects on performance as excessively high arousal can cause both relevant and irrelevant cues to be ignored and performance to deteriorate as a result.

    Goal setting and routine can be beneficial to athletes as they can assist in maintaining concentration through an event. These goals may relate to points scored, defensive play or technique. Word cues can also be used by athletes to stimulate (“run harder”) or calm (“breathe”).


    Author Bio: This article is written by Jake Norton a physiotherapist by profession and a part time blogger who loves to write on health and fitness related topics. Jake is working together with Dr. Dustin Young a Chiropractor in Seabrook Texas helping patients with sports related injuries.

  3. Finding Motivation to get back in Shape

    March 9, 2013

    finding motivation to get fit

    by Ann-Marie Stephens

    Whether you are trying to lose weight or simply trying to stay in shape, finding motivation to do it is often easier said than done. This article will not only show you how to stay motivated long enough to achieve your goals, but how to find motivation for all your future goals and ambitions.

    Pre-Requisites to finding motivation

    Finding motivation to achieve any goal in life is like finding that all elusive secret. After all, motivation is the key ingredient to success. Have it, and you can achieve anything. Without motivation, even the most mundane tasks seem impossible. However, motivation itself requires two key ingredients; the will to adopt new approaches (having an open mind), and the need to succeed.

    Step one to finding motivation – replay!

    Most of us feel the need to get back in shape because someone important enough has taunted us a few times about our current shape or we have read some article about the effects of being out of shape.

    If it was a taunt, replay it in your mind again and again until you feel the anger growing within you and the need to do something about it. If it was some article you’ve read, think about the effects of being out of shape that were mentioned in the article.

    The very fact that you are on this page means you already have a reason to get back in shape – focus on it.

    Step two to finding motivation – get past the first week!

    Depending on how out of shape you are, your physical capacity and lung capacity might be severely limited. But know this: the body is very good at adapting. The second day is easier than the first and the third easier than the second. Day after day you will notice your capacity increasing. To begin with, concentrate on doing your exercises daily for one week. Start small and each day increase it by just a bit. By the end of the week you will be seven times better than when you started!

    Step three to finding motivation – Forget the past, start small

    Motivation often falters when we miss our initial targets. For example, when you last exercised, you might have been able to do 10 laps of the pool with only a mild sense of exhaustion. After a long break, start with one lap of the pool. The next day do two and the day after, do three laps and so on. You may think you can do three laps on the first day itself but don’t go for it.

    Step four to finding motivation – Pace yourself

    Remember to increment your exercise routine by tiny amounts. It may take you a tad longer to reach your goal but that is infinitely better than dealing with failure mid-way.

    Step five – Know where the peak lies

    In the example above, I wrote about increasing the exercise volume by a bit on a daily basis. Once you reach (say) five laps of the pool, continue doing only five laps for the rest of the week and then ask yourself how you feel.  Do you feel confident you can add one more lap and sustain it?

    Too many failures result from over-reaching ourselves. On a good day we might be able to do 7 or even 10 laps but that does not mean we can sustain it over a period of time. Knowing your limits is not only the key to staying motivated, it is the key to preventing injuries.

    Step six to finding motivation – Methodology

    Achieving a goal usually requires more than one step. Getting back in shape usually requires us to exercise and replace foods that contribute to the flab with foods that don’t. Measure your success by the completeness of your achievement.

    Step seven – Reward Yourself!

    Achieving all your targets for the first week is a major achievement. See that you give yourself a small reward.  The reward will make you feel good and also remind you of your success.

    Step eight – Sustain your activity

    Successfully achieving all your goals for the first week makes it much easier to continue because you now have the ‘know-how’ to achieve your goals. Remember, tiny increments or if you have reached your target, innovate and make your exercise routine more interesting. Reward yourself at the end of each successfully completed week or month.

    Ultimately motivation comes from the mind and our mind is extraordinarily powerful.  To stay motivated, you must want your target bad enough.

    Some readers had written to me previously saying that they do not think about the exercise while exercising. Instead, they concentrate on thinking about solutions to problems at office and before they know it, they have reached the end of the exercise routine for the day. Experiment around; discover what works best and helps sustain your activity.

    Author Bio:

    Ann-Marie Stephens is a co-founder of the Precise Portions, a dietitian-designed portion control dinnerware system that makes it easy to eat well. Taking the guesswork out of healthier eating; retraining you to eat the right amounts of the right foods, in the right proportion; improving chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. You can find healthy eating information & practical tips on Precise Portions blog.

  4. Deepen Your Yoga Practice with These 8 Goals

    February 28, 2013

    If you’ve been dabbling with yoga, maybe it’s time to take it to the next level by setting some yoga goals, or even one yoga goal.

    The fact is that a progressive yoga practice practice requires setting simple and attainable yoga practice goals in a way that’s not future oriented.

    We do yoga practice to experience a benefit of some sort, so goal-setting is part of that process in order to reach and enjoy the benefit.

    This inspiring yoga infographic presents 8 great yoga practice goals any yogi can pursue to deepen their practice. The end result of the goals is to help yogis deepend their yoga practice and/or learn more.

    8 yoga practice goals

    Yoga goals are for every anyone looking to deepen their practice … from yoga teachers to the person doing yoga for the very first time. Read this informative infographic today and decide on one simple yoga goal that you can get started with immediately.


  5. Overcoming The Excuses When It Comes To Fitness

    February 25, 2013

    at the gym

    Image credit: Alexandre Gloria @Flickr

    by Annie Springstein

    “I’m too tired today.” “I’m just not in the right frame of mind to workout. It was a rough day at work.” Do those statements sound familiar? People say stuff like that all the time. You know what they are? They are part of a long list of excuses that are used by people to give themselves a pass on not achieving their goals.

    Nobody likes to fail. When you have a goal in mind you don’t set out to not reach it. Yet, time and time again people give up on those positive goals. In the process they usually start using excuses as to why they didn’t get there because that is easier to deal with than simply stating the truth.

    The key to reaching almost any goal is and has always been a combination of dedication and consistency. You hear about it all the time…the stories about people who never gave up and kept at it. That is the key…you don’t give up and you don’t quit. Yes, things do happen now and again that will set you back, but you can’t allow excuses to dictate your life.

    Squashing the Excuses

    Let’s look at the common excuses and then explain why they aren’t really a good excuse:

    • I’ll do it tomorrow – There is no tomorrow. There is not yesterday. There is today and right now. Make the most of every day even if that means using only 15 minutes to workout.
    • I don’t like working out – Do you like the way you look and feel? Are you healthy? If so then don’t workout, but if you said “No” to those questions then go workout.
    • I don’t have my workout clothes – And? Rocky used to wear ratty sweats and Chuck Taylors. You aren’t in a fashion show. Just grab some sweats and a t-shirt.
    • I’ll do it later – Who are you kidding…you aren’t going to do it later.
    • I’m tired – Some days this is true from a lack of sleep and such. However most people feel lethargic because they aren’t working out regularly and an object at rest tends to stay at rest. Even a 15 minute workout can help you feel refreshed and in turn will allow you to sleep better.
    • I haven’t eaten yet – So eat a snack and then go to the gym. People call this a pre-workout snack for a reason. Powerbars are a tremendous invention.
    • I work too much – All work and no play makes someone go crazy with an ax in a horror movie. A sound body equals a sound mind AND if you work that much your body and mind can probably both use the stress relief of a good workout session.
    • I’m sore – So work something else. Cardio is always a great option and getting the blood flowing helps with soreness and recovery.

    Really the list can go on and on. People are willing to create almost any excuse rather than just admit to themselves the truth. The bottom line is that working out is hard work…that is why it is called “working” out. If you truly want to change your body, become stronger, have more endurance, become more athletic, or live a positive, healthy life, then you have to put the work in. There is no magic pill or fairy godmother that will make it happen for you.

    Even if you can’t give it your all today, do at least one positive thing towards reaching your goal. Go for a walk, do a quick training circuit at home, jump rope, or do some yoga. No matter what just DO something. Stop making excuses why you can’t reach your goals and instead take one step, no matter how big or small, each day towards that goal!

    Annie Springstein writes on psychology, fitness, and bodybuilding topics for Nutribomb.com. You can find here reviews of the most popular supplements lines like Optimum Nutrition http://www.nutribomb.com/optimum-nutrition-s/2131.htm at the Nutribomb Blog.

  6. Positive Actions for Your Physical and Mental Health

    February 24, 2013

    Enjoy Longer Life

    There are all kinds of hacks out there, hacks to work well in the office, hacks to keep that computer running on maximum capacity, but what about hacks for the body and mind? The answers are out there to promote a longer, fuller life and your emotional and psychological well-being. You don’t need to be a physician or psychologist to understand these.  Most of these answers are common sense and it won’t take a lot of work, but positive lifestyle changes are key.

    Cut out inflammation!

    Inflammation is at the root of numerous health hazards that cause the human body to break down. Heart disease, extreme weight gain, and cancer result from a state of chronic inflammation. Unhealthy life styles that include too much insulin and too much stress mean bad news when it comes to longevity. Add a lack of relaxation, sleep, and activity for a nasty combination. People who lose the battle tend to forget to have fun. The motto should be, “Play hard, eat right, and rest up for another day.”

    Change is good!

    What can we do? Make a positive change for the better. Start eating right and getting exercise. The formula for a longer, healthier life hasn’t changed. Stop worrying, any psychologist will tell you that mental health is a foundation for your physical well-being  Get moving. It doesn’t have to be intense exercise, but physical activity should be a part of our daily regimen. A morning or evening walk is a simple fix. Not only does it promote physical health, it is positive for your emotional health results as well. People have to stress less and enjoy life more. You don’t need to go to psychologist for this, just learn to be in piece with reality. Cut out the smoking, get rid of the processed foods, and sleep well. Indulge in treats now and then, such as a glass of red wine or a piece of decadent, dark chocolate. The rest of the time, eat lean meats, fresh produce, and forget about the junk. Old habits may die hard, but a longer life is worth the effort. Learn the body hacks and live well!

    This health information was brought to you by BestHealthDegrees.com