1. Getting Fit Using Alternate Exercise

    October 17, 2013

    by Laura Green

    Well, age 34 is just a few months away (much fewer than I would like). The days when I would jog or swim a couple of miles a day are distant, dusty memories. Now, I get out of breath climbing the stairs out of the basement. But, I would like to get back into the healthy department, the question is, where should I start?


    Yeah, I always thought this was an “old lady’s” way of pretending to be in shape. Boy, was I wrong? I first became acquainted with yoga a few years ago when a middle-aged woman I knew – a breast cancer survivor – told me about the flexibility she had gained through yoga. I have never been flexible.

    Another exposure to this form of exercise was when I saw a 93 year old man reach down and touch his toes – with no trouble. He said that he was flexible enough for that because of yoga.

    Let me tell you, yoga is not “sitting funny” and chanting weird stuff. This non-impact exercise regimen has stretched parts of my body that I never thought could bend. It is ability based, so that old back injury from a car wreck is not in the least aggravated by my exercise. Regardless of your physical ability, size, age, and even inclination, you will find that yoga can build your core strength and improve muscle tone. All of this helps your circulation and lowers stress levels, too.

    Yoga doesn’t have to be overexertion, you work your muscles fairly hard and as a result you’re increasing the blood flow through your body. Pranayama, a breathing exercise can increase your heart rate and help supply nutrients and oxygen to your muscles. It all helps to boost your metabolism and everyone knows that a healthy metabolism contributes to the burning of excess weight and in turn will make you fitter.

    Tai Chi

    Tai Chi is a form of fitness more or less a moving type of yoga, You could refer to it as a sort of meditation in motion. The movements are adapted from martial arts and the movements of animals and birds in nature. The movements are arranged in “sets”. The movement is slow and graceful, and meditation is a key part in the exercise, or vital force in the body, to Taoism. But even if you don’t subscribe to the mysticism, Tai Chi is a great way to build your sense of balance and strengthen muscle groups.

    Tai Chi also features breathing exercises, “Qigong” can be practiced sitting, standing or lying down and can help mobilize and relax the body. Tai chi is a great way to reduce stress and increase circulation and muscle tone, a great way to get back into fitness.

    Fitness Retreats

    This is a bit of a different one, I would say the least popular most likely. But when you just don’t have the willpower to get youself doing the previous methods, or even just standard exercise, this is a great way to get fit again. The negative moniker greatly underestimates the good done by spas and camps. A day, a week, or a month at a weight loss clinic or spa can be the jump start for your weight loss and fitness regimen. There are reality shows based on this premise, with coaches that “urge” people to perform physical feats they never before would have attempted.

    However, not all weight loss camps and spas are like that. You’ll find that extreme exercise and dieting is not necessary when you have a little encouragement from a skilled coach and trainer. While the extreme features of televised fat camps may appeal to some, to others, weight loss and fitness just seem further away.

    Alternative exercise can be the perfect way to get back in shape if you haven’t already tried it. Just remember, it’s all about sticking with it, Perhaps getting older won’t be so bad, after all.

  2. How to Keep Fit While Travelling

    June 7, 2013

    keep fit

    By Sohaib Siddique

    My two biggest passions in life are fitness and adventure. I have never lived in one country longer than two years—half of the time which is usually spent visiting regions around me. As a kid, I’ve also always been into health and fitness. Missing a workout ruins an entire day for me, even when I am on vacation. But over the past few years, I have taught myself how to travel without sacrificing my health and fitness. This way I could dedicate my life to both my biggest passions. I picked up tips along my travels by talking to other people who were in great shape. Here are a few of them.

    You don’t need a whole gym…

    If you let your creative mind run free, you can use random things to replace weights. There’s always an item that can get blood running through your veins and your muscles pumped. If you feel like spending money, you could always get inflatable weights to fill up with water, but those would be a disaster in my opinion. You could use litre bottles, chairs, tables, rocks filled into a backpack—the options are endless. Rather complaining about not having a gym, make your own gym.

    Your body is heavier than you think…

    The experienced gym rats know very well that bodyweight exercises can prove very effective. In fact, all you need is some empty space and you’re good. If you need a workout matt, just use a couple towels.

    Do push ups for your chest, arms and shoulders. If you cannot do a complete push up, do the knee-variation instead. If you need more resistance, then elevate your feet off a chair, a table or anything else. Not a big fan of push ups?—no problem, do dips instead. Just put two chairs together with some weight on them (like your suitcase) and you’re good. Dips essentially work the same muscle groups push ups do.

    There’s no better lower body exercise than the squat. Squats are the ultimate mass builder—when I travel, I fill up my backpack with anything I can find—rocks are a great way to get a lot of weight without too much volume. Just throw that on and do some squats making sure you go deep each time to maximize resistance. Finish off with a core workout of crunches and sit ups. Again, you can hold a water bottle against your chest if you need more resistance.

    Travelling solo sucks, travel with a chin up bar instead…

    You would be surprised with the amount of exercises you could do using a simple door-mounted chin up bar. These bars only cost $25-30 and easily fit into suitcases. They mount onto most doors across the world and prove as a great workout aid. You can perform chins/pulls with different grips to get a complete back workout. Take it off the door and onto the floor to use the grips as push up handles. You can be creative and work different body parts as long as you know what you’re doing. P90x has some great exercises that use chin up bars to target different muscle groups.

    Still need a gym? Then use one…

    Sometimes, you just can’t get enough resistance no matter how much weight is piled onto your back. More advanced trainees should turn to public facilities when they’re travelling at this point. I’ve done this many times, and all you really need to do is go to the local gym and ask them if you can give it a trial day. Nine times out of ten they’ll be more than happy to give the new local who has just moved in a go at with their facilities. Remember, most cities have more than one gym, so give them all a “try”. Hey, we have to do whatever it takes to stay in shape!

    Modern day European cities are filled with public stations and parks that make a great outdoor gym, too. All you really need are some monkey bars and an improvised dips station and you’re set.

    God gave you legs to use them…

    We often find ourselves walking, running and even hiking from here to there when we’re away from home—and the bags can get pretty heavy. This is really good exercise, but if you’re someone who usually does a lot of running and other cardiovascular exercise anyway, then you will miss the rush you usually get. But now that you’re travelling, you have all the free time you can possibly get. Go for a run before you start your next exciting day. It’s a good way to get to know your surroundings when you’re on the road, too.

    If you’re really a cardio bunny, then you could rent a bike or throw on some roller blades for the day. There are always fun ways to combine tourist activities and exercise. Always think outside the box.

  3. 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.


  4. 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.