Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Pregnancy and Exercise, How to Stay Fit While Being Pregnant

By Brian Gardner


The first thing to understand when you exercise during your pregnancy is to take extra care. This doesn't mean exercise less, rather be sure to know and understand your body limits. Even though exercising during your pregnancy can be beneficial, there are certain risks involved that may be detrimental. Be sure to check in with your doctor or midwife to ensure that you are able to exercise during pregnancy.

Once you have the go-ahead from your physician, keep them updated with how you are doing. Are you experiencing fatigue or pain while you are exercising during your pregnancy? Be sure to let them know if that's the case. It's important to have caution while exercising, and if you're in doubt, check in with your physician. It is also very important to remember that exercising while pregnant isn't mean to improve your physical fitness, rather maintain your physical condition.

While choosing an exercise to do during your pregnancy, be sure to consider ones that involve a partner - be it your spouse, or a friend. Pick pregnancy exercises that you enjoy, as that will help you to stay motivated to exercise during pregnancy Stay away from pregnancy exercises where you might be in danger of falling, losing your balance or getting hit in the abdomen, as these might increase the chance of something going wrong during your pregnancy.


Finding a pregnancy exercise that you enjoy and being able to fit into your schedule is important. You'll soon notice that once you start to experience the benefits of exercising during pregnancy, you'll want to ensure that you exercise regularly. Keep in mind that the best resource for exercise while pregnant will be your healthcare provider.

Two stages of exercising that are important are warming up and cooling down. Even with an exercise such as walking, this will help you to avoid and prevent muscle soreness and stiffness. Try to include 5 to 15 minute sessions of warming up and cooling down while you exercise during your pregnancy.

The best warm up activity is one that is kept at a low-intensity, rhythmic activity, such as walking, or riding a stationary bike. Follow that up with slow, controlled stretches, before proceeding with a higher level of activity. A gentle cool down is also important as you exercise during pregnancy. In order to have an effective cool down, stretch each muscle, one at a time. Gentle toning pregnancy exercises are safe if you keep them to a moderate level. You might also try to include relaxation or deep-breathing exercises as well.

Below is a short list of signs that you should stop exercising:

1) Bloody discharge or any gush of fluid from the vagina

2) Unexplained pain in the abdomen

3) Persistent headaches, changes in vision, faintness or dizziness

4) Marked fatigue, heart palpitations or chest pains

5) Sudden swelling of ankles, face or your hands


The best way to decide how much and how often you should exercise during your pregnancy is to follow the FITT principle - Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type.


According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, women who are pregnant should not exercise for longer than 30 minutes. Even though you may feel good, and that you can keep going, your pregnant body can only handle so much. A good workout program at the beginning of your pregnancy is one that is performed three times a week.


Throughout your pregnancy, you should aim to exercise moderately. Again, the idea is not to improve your physical fitness, rather to maintain. Overtraining can be damaging to you and your body, as well as your baby's. Learn how to take your pulse, and do not exceed 15 to 20 beats per minute more than normal. If you find it difficult to talk while you are exercising, you might be exercising to heavily while you are pregnant.


Be advised that you should begin your exercising in short workouts. Pushing yourself to quickly might result in soreness of the muscles, as well as exhaustion. During the first few weeks of your pregnancy, you should exercise no more than 15 minute sessions. Once you feel comfortable with that duration, exercising for up to 30 minutes during your pregnancy should benefit you greatly. This increase in time shouldn't occur until you are into your second trimester, however. It is important that you listen to your body if you exercise while being pregnant. If you find yourself tired and sore after a workout, cut back until you can feel comfortable with the amount.


Whether you prefer to exercise during your pregnancy alone, or with a friend or group of friends, it's important to decide which type of activity you will perform. Some activities that women who are pregnant find helpful are swimming, walking, stair-climbing, stationary cycling, and special prenatal aerobics and aquatic classes. Some of these activities such as walking and swimming, can be done in moderation even up until the day you deliver.

Brian Gardner is the Founder of - An Online Pregnancy Resource For 9 Months & Beyond. Having recently experienced pregnancy firsthand with his wife Shelly, Brian has dedicated his efforts towards pregnancy research. The development of was to ensure that expecting parents had a place to find information on pregnancy and babies.

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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Planning An Exercise Program

By Scott Haywood

When designing an aerobic or strength training exercise program, fitness professionals, such as personal trainers and gym instructors, invariably use the F.I.T.T. principle as their starting point. The good news is that with a little bit of knowledge anyone can use this principle in designing an exercise program that will help them to become progressively fitter and stronger, and help them lose or control their weight.

If you want to start an exercise program or take your current routine to the next level, you'll find the information and tips in this article just what you need.

What is the F.I.T.T. Principle?

The F.I.T.T. principle is a basic philosophy of what is necessary to gain a training affect from an exercise program.

Specifically, the letters F.I.T.T. stand for:

o Frequency

o Intensity

o Type

o Time

Here's what each of these four things stand for:

Frequency refers to the number of times you exercise. For those new to training or those just wanting to lose weight, frequency is usually calculated within the context of a week. For example, your plan might be to walk 3, 4 or 5 times per week.

Intensity is the level of effort you put into each exercise. For aerobic exercises intensity is usually measured in terms relative to your maximum heart rate while the intensity of strength exercises is measured in terms of the amount of weight you use, the number of repetitions and sets you perform, and the amount of rest time you take in between sets.

Time is simply how long you exercise during each session. For example, 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, cycling, etc) per session.

Type refers to whether you do aerobics or strength training during your exercise sessions and the specific exercises you select for each.

The F.I.T.T. principle and Weight Loss

Why are the basic F.I.T.T. principle concepts important if you are planning an exercise program to lose weight?

They're important because they help you to:

o Start with the right exercises and intensity.

o Measure your progress.

o Plan your exercise to maximize long term weight loss.

Using the F.I.T.T. principle isn't just important in your initial exercise planning, it is also crucial to your long term planning and weight loss and fitness success.

By increasing or varying any or all parts of the F.I.T.T. principle elements, you can:

1. Increase the number of calories you burn during each exercise session.

2. Improve your cardiovascular fitness and strength.

3. Help minimize overuse/over training injuries.

4. Build variety into your program.

F.I.T.T Principle Guidelines

Here are some basic F.I.T.T. principle guidelines for both aerobics and strength training to help you plan an exercise program.

Please keep in mind that these examples represent general guidelines only for those of us with low to moderate fitness levels. Use these guidelines to establish a program and then customize your program to fit your specific needs and goals as your experience and knowledge increases.

And remember to always consult your doctor before commencing any new exercise program and consult a fitness professional (personal fitness trainer, gym instructor, etc) if you require help.

Basic Aerobic Training Guidelines

Frequency: Exercise between 3 and 5 times per week.

Intensity: Maintain a heart rate of between 60 - 80% of your Maximum Heart Rate.

Your Maximum Heart Rate can be calculated using a Maximum Heart Rate test conducted by a fitness or health professional or estimated using the formula:

For Women (230 - Age = Maximum Heart Rate). 
For Men (220 - Age = Maximum Heart Rate).

The best and most practical way to monitor your heart rate is with a heart rate monitor.

Time: Those of us with low levels of fitness should maintain our heart rates in our selected target zone for a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes, excluding warm-up and cool down periods.

Those with a good fitness base should exercise for between 20 and 60 minutes in their target heart rate zone.

Type: Exercises that involve as many muscles as possible and allow a relatively consistent level of intensity are best. Good examples of these include:

o Walking

o Jogging

o Cycling

o Swimming

o Rowing

o Hiking

Basic Strength Training Guidelines

Frequency: Exercise each body part 1 to 2 times per week. For lower intensity workouts or for those who have trained for some time, try exercising each body part 2 to 3 times per week. You can exercise different parts of the body on different days (called split routines) or you can train your whole body at each workout.

Intensity: Choose a weight that can be performed 10 to 15 times (repetitions) per set.

When you can perform more than 15 repetitions without rest, increase the weight slightly for your next workout.

If you are training your whole body each time you exercise, only do 1-2 exercises for each muscle group and perform 1-3 sets of each exercise.

If you employ a split routine try performing no more than 2-3 exercises per muscle group and 2-4 sets of each exercise.

Time: Beginners usually benefit from exercise sessions that last between 30 to 45 minutes. As you become fitter and stronger, you may want to increase your total workouts from 45 to 90 minutes. For most of us, particularly those with limited time, sessions of 60 minutes are typically ideal.

With rest between sets, try not to take longer than 2-3 minutes as a beginner. As you get fitter, try to reduce this time to 1 minute or less.

Type: Generally speaking, there are two types of exercises for muscles, compound exercises and isolation exercises.

Compound exercises use more than one muscle group to perform and are the most effective for those interested in losing weight. Examples of compound exercises include Bench press, Push-ups, Squats, Shoulder press and Deadlifts.

Isolation exercises use only one muscle group to perform and include Bicep curls, Tricep extensions, Leg extensions, etc.

For those new to resistance training, compound exercises are best. Once you have a base level of strength you can add isolation exercises to your workouts for variety and to help shape individual muscles.


No matter what your goal, current fitness level or exercise experience, you can employ the F.I.T.T. principle to plan an effective long term exercise program.

By using the guidelines above, you too can plan an effective regime that will help you to improve your cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility and of course help you lose weight.

Using the F.I.T.T. principle in your exercise planning will ensure that you achieve your weight loss goals as efficiently as possible. Not only will you achieve your goals in the shortest possible time, you'll also enjoy your routine more because of the variety built into it. If that weren't enough, you'll also minimize the chances of experiencing annoying and painful overtraining injuries that can stall or stop your weight loss and fitness progress.

While anyone with the basic knowledge provided above can plan their own workout, if you are new to exercise or have an existing injury or ailment, we suggest you consult a personal trainer or other fitness professional. As well as designing a personal plan for you using the method above, they can help you rehabilitate or work around existing injuries, teach you the right techniques for each exercise in your program and advise you of when to modify your plan to take advantage of your new fitness levels.

Scott Haywood is the editor of Australia's leading weight loss and healthy lifestyle website is a free weight loss resource and weight loss products guide.

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Monday, 29 July 2013

Skiing Exercises for Recreational Skiers

By Jim Safianuk

Expert Author Jim Safianuk
If you exercise often, you'll begin to build your strength and enhance your endurance in the muscle groups used in downhill skiing. You'll be preparing yourself for the rigors of skiing in the expert zones where both staying power and explosive power are of the utmost importance. First, we'll get into the why and when you need to exercise, before moving onto the five essential elements of ski-specific exercising.

The ultimate body for an expert skier is powerful, from strong ankles to strong shoulders, and every finely-tuned muscle in between. Remember the last time you watched someone effortlessly weave through a mogul field and wondered, "How does he do that?" It's partly due to practice, and partly to the body awareness and balance that strength training provides. The expert skier, who is physically strong, instinctively cues every part of his or her body. A fit body is like a well-tuned sports car. It handles effortlessly, acting on subtle intuitions.

Skiing requires a number of athletic abilities including technical, physical, and mental skills. This article is all about the physical requirements of expert skiing. Future articles will deal with the technical aspects of all-terrain skiing, as well as establishing the right mind set. But first, to ski strong you need to be strong.

Why do ski exercises?

If you think skiing exercises are just for serious skiers, think again. Strong muscles improve every skier's performance, whether he or she is a beginner, intermediate, advanced, or expert skier. For those who feel they've reached a plateau in their skiing ability, ski exercises may provide the boost you need to reach the next level.

Few sports are as physically demanding as downhill skiing, especially skiing on moguls, in trees, and down steeps. Yet, many skiers hit the slopes after little or no training in the preseason. They pay for it with sore muscles, but that's only the beginning. The lack of good physical fitness also increases the chances of injury. The most common ski injuries are joint related, and the best way to protect joints is by building muscle. Strong muscles stabilize your joints and, in turn, enable you to control your skis.

In light of the above, this article focuses on building the muscle groups around the joints that skiing taxes the most, including the knees, hips, and ankles. For the knee and ankle joints, we'll be dealing with the upper leg muscles, including the quads and hamstrings, as well as the lower leg muscles, most noticeably the calves and Achilles tendons. For the hip joints, we'll be concerned with the core, namely, the hip flexors, glutes, abdominals, groin, and lower back muscles.

Doing the downhill skiing exercises on a regular basis will make your skiing a lot easier, as well as take your skill set to the next level, because you will:

Build muscle strength in your legs, core, and upper body
Enhance muscle endurance and staying power for those long runs that never seem to end
Increase your cardiovascular endurance so you can ski all day long
Improve your stability and balance in all types of terrain and snow conditions
Help your foot-to-foot quickness in the tight, tree runs
Add explosive power for those short, intensive bursts in the mogul fields
Avoid sore muscles, injuries, and spills
When should you do ski exercises?

Exercising can be done any time you feel like it. However, in the context of the sport of downhill skiing, I recommend you begin exercising at home, two to three months prior to the start of the ski season. If your season kicks off in December, try to begin your preseason conditioning program in late September.

Exercising in the Preseason

However, if you're already involved in a ski-related conditioning program during the summer months, you'll be able to shorten you're fall program from three months to about six weeks. In addition, you should do your ski exercises on three nonconsecutive days each week. This will allow 48 hours between successive work-outs. The muscle groups will have plenty of time to recover.

Does this seem like a lot of work? At first, it will be. But after your first runs of the season, you'll be amazed at how much easier it is to link smooth, short-radius turns from top-to-bottom, all day long. You'll look back up the hill and smile, knowing that your exercise program in the fall was well worth the effort. You will have cleared the first hurdle on the road to expert skiing. Physically, you will now be much stronger!

Exercising during the Season

Strenuous activities like downhill skiing, especially at the expert level, promote tightness and inflexibility in the muscle groups. Therefore, stretching before and after skiing will keep you flexible and help prevent common injuries. Should you do the ski exercises after the season starts?

Yes, definitely. After the season starts you can catch up and get in sync by doing the exercises during the week when you're not out skiing. If you ski on Saturday and/or Sunday, do the skiing exercises on Tuesdays and Thursdays. By exercising throughout the season, as well as skiing, you'll accelerate the strength building process, and your performance will show a marked improvement.

Exercising in the Postseason

By exercising in the postseason you will maintain your fitness level that you worked hard to implement in the preseason. Aspiring expert skiers need to impart continuity in their conditioning programs throughout the year. Once you become strong, you need to stay strong.

In addition, by participating in a ski-related exercise program from June to September, you'll be able to ramp up much more quickly in the fall. The summer is also a good time to improve your cardiovascular endurance.

The Five Essentials of Ski-Specific Exercising

Flexibility, cardio, strength, balance, and power are the five essential elements for the expert skier to master. Let's consider each one of these requirements in turn.

Flexibility: Your range of motion or mobility is of prime importance. Stretching to maintain muscle elasticity, which decreases with age, is vital for skiing. Stretching for skiers will not be covered here, as we have already dealt with this subject in a previous article entitled Ski Fitness for Recreational Skiers.

Cardiovascular Endurance: Aerobic capacity is very important to skiers so they have the stamina to ski in the expert zones, and the endurance to ski all day long. If you wish to improve your cardiovascular fitness, try one of the following activities on three nonconsecutive days per week. Perhaps it would be best to do your cardiovascular routine on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and your strength, balance, and power exercises on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Lap swimming, 25 laps to begin with, increase to 50 laps
Brisk walking for at least 30 minutes, preferably 45 minutes
Jogging, 15 to 20 minutes, but no more
Rowing machine, 15 to 20 minutes
Treadmill, 15 to 20 minutes
Cross-country skiing
Cycling, short sprints are best
Inline skating, long distances and short sprints are best
Strength and Endurance: Muscular strength improves the expert skier's ability to relax, yet still maintain control, and to handle the quick adjustments needed in all-terrain skiing. The movements in alpine skiing include all the major muscle groups, so total body muscular strength is of prime importance. You'll want to do exercises that strengthen your entire body.

With this in mind, target the following ski exercises and muscle groups:

Essential exercises for the legs - quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, calves, and ankles
Essential exercises for the center - abdominals, hip flexors, glutei, and lower back
Stability and Balance: Why should you care about balance? Well, for starters, it's the basic skill needed in practically every sport. Changing your center of gravity to match your moves is the key to efficiency in sport. Good balance can help you keep your form when you encounter changing terrain and snow conditions. The result is better skiing and fewer spills.

Slight deviations in terrain often require subtle adjustments in your balance to avoid injury. To enhance your stability and balance, target the following muscle groups:

Essential exercises for the center - abdominals, hip flexors, glutei, and lower back
Fortunately, the exercises that help improve stability and balance work to build muscle strength and endurance in the core, all at the same time. This can be seen if you look back at the previous topic, Strength and Endurance.

Power and Quickness: To improve your reflexes and foot-to-foot quickness, you need dynamic, ski-specific drills from lateral training that simulate the actual movements you do on the ski hill. With this in mind, we've included five jumping exercises, which are also called plyometrics, as the essential exercises to improve your foot-to-foot quickness and explosive power.

Plyometrics are commonly referred to as explosive types of exercise drills, and are often used in conditioning programs for elite skiers because the combination of squatting with weights and lateral jumps, sprints, or quickness drills, develops the leg and hip power necessary for high performance skiing.

Before you Start

Caution must be exercised whenever beginning any conditioning program. Use an exercise regimen that's appropriate for your body type and your present level of conditioning. Please consult with your physician, if you suspect that this ski-specific program is not suitable for you at the present time.

Jim Safianuk is a certified ski instructor and writer of the downhill skiing lessons in the course Skills of the Expert Skier. Learn the skiing exercises in Lesson #3 so you can build your strength and ski pain free until the lifts close. Click here to find out more about their ski exercises:

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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Why This Is The Best Abdominal Exercise We Know Of

By Jason Camacho

Expert Author Jason Camacho
Their have been so many speculations as to which abdominal exercise truly is, hands down, the best. You'll hear about these "Ultimate exercises" that end up being nothing but fake exercises that someone made up on the spot. However, through hard research and personal experience, I've come to the honest conclusion, that this really is the absolute best abdominal exercise.

This isn't just my assumption, but among the Fitness Community it is highly regarded as the Ultimate abdominal exercise, if not the absolute best. So before I explain what this exercise really is, I want to explain to you how it works and exactly why it is so powerful. Not only does this exercises tone your abdominals but it strengthens them in an insanely fast, powerful way that you've probably never experienced before. There is much more to this exercise, but with that little glimpse into it, let's see how this exercise works.

Why This Abdominal Exercise Is The Best

Many exercises will only target a specific abdominal area or muscle group, which is why you compile a workout together of different exercises that target different sections of your abdominals. However, the reason this exercise is truly the best, is that it targets all of your abdominal muscles, as well as the tiny muscle fibers that are hidden beneath the main "six pack" muscles. Now occasionally you'll hear of exercises that really do target all of your abdominal muscle groups, and that may be true, so what makes this abdominal exercise different from the rest?

With this certain exercise, you aren't just targeting your entire core, but each and every one of your muscle fibers is getting a balanced workout, at an extremely powerful rate. Basically you're not only maintaining a balanced core, but this exercise will continue blasting your abs much harder than any other exercise ever could. So, unlike most exercises, you maintain muscular balance as well as high-intensity muscle development.

How It Works Better Than Other Exercises

First of all, this exercise is isometric, meaning that it requires no movement of the joints and isn't measure by the amount of reps you can do, but by how long you can hold the position. Being that it requires no movement of your joints, this means that you're getting highly effective results and all of the stress is targeting your core six pack abdominals.

The second thing is that your six pack abdominal don't develop by how much you work them, but by how you work them. Many exercises will influence your trunk flexion which is great, but research has proven that your midline stabilization is much more important to develop. Why? Because your abdominal muscles rely heavily on the midline stabilization rather than your trunk flexion, which is why almost every day-to-day movements, especially athletic movements, focus on your midline stabilization.

Along with easier movements, the midline stabilization is what your abdominals depend on to develop stronger at a faster rate. It's been proven that if you can get this single exercise down and get to the point where you can hold this exercise for three minutes, then all other exercises will seem like a joke because they'll be so easy for you. The reason being that you'll have majorly developed your midline stabilization with this exercise, which is how you'll develop six pack abs extremely fast.

The Connection To Mid-Line Stabilization

The most important role of this exercise is to target your midline stabilization, so exactly how does this abdominal exercise accomplish this? The position that your legs will be placed in plays a dynamic role in your midline stabilization accomplishment, but the bigger key role is your ability to hold your legs in that position.

Your abs are going to be absolutely blasted to their limit within 10 seconds because all of the stress is placed completely on them. It's the job of your abdominals to keep your legs in that specific position and hold your spine straight up, so when you combine these two jobs together it turns into complete midline stabilization. This basically means your entire core is going to work to its absolute limits just to keep you in position for this exercise.

Why This Single Abdominal Exercise?

If you notice in many people that have "six pack abs" they might be rid of that belly fat, but they aren't totally rid of that last bit of belly fat that hangs around your lower abdominals. Most people don't notice the lower belly fat as they're too focused on the toned, chiseled look of their main six pack abdominals.

So, since it's almost impossible for most individuals to get rid of that last bit of lower abdominal fat, I decided to give you the solution to your lower fat problems. Now, you can do 1,000 crunches and sit-ups and maybe you'll have that slightly toned six pack, but if you want to be completely rid of all that belly fat, including the notorious lower abdominal fat, then listen up.

This exercise is designed to do just that, blast away that little bit of extra fat right under your lower abs. Because of the long, strenuous position and the stress placed on all of your abdominal muscles, this exercise completely demolishes any remaining bit of belly fat you may have hidden. It may sound too good to be true, but perform this exercise for a week just as a test-run, and discover why this is the absolute best abdominal exercise.

What Is This Amazing Exercise?

So, at last I'm going to answer your question. This is an exercise highly regarded among CrossFit Training, which if you haven't heard of it, you should look into what CrossFit Training is. Therefore if this exercise is highly regarded among this insanely fit individuals, you know this abdominal exercise is worth it. Now instead of dragging it on any longer, I'm just going to tell you what it is. It's called the L-Sit, and I'm going to tell you how to do it.

Directions For Using Firm Ground or Exercise Mat

1. Sit down with your hands at your side

2. Lift yourself with your hands at your side and using them for body support

3. Kick your legs out in front of you as straight as you can

4. Lift them as high as you can while balancing and hold it

5. Hold if until complete muscle failure or give yourself a time limit

6. General rule of thumb is to go two reps for 30-45 seconds

Directions For Stabilizer Hand Grips

1. Sit down with your hands at your side on the hand grips

2. Lift yourself with your hands holding the hand grips, using the grips for body support

3. Kick your legs out in front of you as straight as you can

4. Lift them as high as you can while balancing and hold it

5. Hold if until complete muscle failure or give yourself a time limit

6. General rule of thumb is to go two reps for 30-45 seconds

Final Words - Rules With This Exercise

Now, I want to make something very clear with this article. Just because I said this is the absolute best abdominal exercise on the planet, doesn't mean you'll get six pack abs just by performing this exercise everyday. I want to apologize if I made it seem that way, because my only point in writing about this exercise was to stress to you the importance behind this exercise and the reasons why it's the best abdominal exercise to get you six pack abs.

Honestly, it is a very powerful exercise and is considered to be "advanced" but just because it works very well doesn't mean you should solely rely on this exercise to get a flat, toned stomach. Yes, you'll get awesome results with this exercise as it is ten times stronger than any other exercise I've come across. However, to get real, permanent six pack abs, you have to have three things along with this exercise.

Here Are Those Things:

1. You need a healthy, consistent, strong dietary program that promotes fat burning and muscle development

2. You need strong cardio workouts that push you to your limits and assist you in destroying abdominal fat

3. You need weighted abdominal exercises alongside this exercise to really give your abdominals the absolute push they need to break through abdominal fat and tone out

If you're looking for the real secrets guaranteed to help you alongside this exercises to assist you get abs fast then I highly recommend you download my free eBooks which show you the amazing secrets, tips and mini-programs that have been proven to help get people six pack abs fast and naturally.

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Saturday, 27 July 2013

The Exercise Myth

By Lawrence H Allen

Expert Author Lawrence H Allen
The reality

Exercise will never result in significant weight loss unless you dedicate a lot of time to it and dramatically change your eating habits. Just look at the ads offering exercise equipment and exercise programs. They almost always say in the small print that you only achieve the results they advertise when combined with a proper diet and their exercise. Translation - eat less, exercise more and you'll lose weight and look better.

The facts about exercise and weight loss

In order to lose 1 pound of weight you have to burn 3,500 calories and to do that with a typical exercise routine will take about one month. You heard it right, you'll have to exercise for about one month to lose one pound.

If you do a typical exercise routine with a home gym or at fitness center it is likely that you'll burn less than 300 calories per session. Therefore in order to lose just one pound of weight through exercise, you would have to do 30 minutes of exercise for about 12 days each month. And that's assuming you didn't increase the amount of calories you take in.

While doing body building and other exercises, most of us burn about 7 to 10 calories per minute. However, that's only for the minutes you are exercising. Much of a one hour exercise session is spent moving from machine to machine, changing equipment and just hanging out.

So under the best conditions using an average of 8 ½ calories per minute and exercising for 40 minutes out of a one hour exercise session, one would burn about 340 calories. Using the recommended 3 workouts per week, that's about 1,020 calories each week we would burn through exercise. It would take about a month of exercise at this rate to lose about a pound. And most of us don't work out at that pace.

One of the other surprising findings of recent research is that people who do exercise tend to reward themselves for taking the time to go exercise. We all know the feeling of, wow I just burned up 300 calories, I can afford to have that donut. Just one won't hurt. Many gyms now stock fruit juice bars and drink machines where the average drink is about 200 to 300 calories.

Obviously you are still 300 calories ahead by exercising because if you'd eaten the donut or had the drink anyway you would have been plus 300 calories.

So the question then becomes; am I prepared to exercise for an hour just so that I can eat one donut or have a juice drink. Or would it be smarter and easier to just figure out how not to eat the donut or have the drink.

The same logic applies to all forms of exercise. If you're not enjoying the exercise or you aren't doing it for a purpose other than weight loss, is it really worth doing it for the purpose of weight loss?

These are the facts about exercise and weight loss. They aren't put here to scare you away from exercise or encourage you to exercise. They are simply facts that you can use to decide if exercise is a worthwhile activity for you.

Here are some typical exercises and how many calories the average 155 pound person would burn doing them for 30 minutes.

You will also see the food you could forgo to accomplish the same thing.

Walking at a moderate pace - 130 calories - One slice of bread

Jogging - 350 calories - Roast beef sandwich at Subway

Stationary bike - 250 calories - Tostada at Taco Bell

Moderate weight lifting - 135 calories - Cheese on your ham sandwich

Swimming - 300 calories - Two servings of potato chips

Low impact aerobics - 175 calories - One serving of potato chips

These kinds of exercises actually burn a fairly significant amount of calories, if you do them on a regular basis. But the reality is that very few of us will ever do these kind of exercises for this amount of time for the rest of our life. So counting on them to be the answer to weight loss is just not realistic.

None of these numbers represent specifics about calories eaten or burned, but they are pretty representative of what most people would experience.

Exercise and Fitness

Exercise obviously has another benefit because it improves our physical fitness level and our health. It is well documented that people who continue exercise are healthier and their bones are stronger. But that's only if you continue to exercise over a long period of time.

One of the well established facts about intense exercise is that it has an extremely high burnout rate. Even college and professional athletes get tired of exercising at a high level and need to take a break.

And how many professional athletes that are now in their 40's, 50's and 60'.s look just like the rest of us, overweight and out of shape.

How many people have you known that have taken up exercising and eventually given it up. I've only known one person that has exercised regularly and intensely all his life, and he loves it. For him it is now a habit that he can't do without.

The reality is that for most of us exercise is a chore or at best something we feel like we have to do. It just not something most of us enjoy.

The good side of this is that it's not necessary to do intense or prolonged exercise to get the benefits of activity. About 30 minutes a day of doing something other than sitting around will provide significant health benefits and will create a more receptive attitude about eating and activity habits. And that's our goal.

The alternative

There is a very simple alternative to exercise - it's called activity. Just do something other than sit around.

Get out and walk in the morning or in the evening. Use it as an excuse to walk the dog, as a way to get 15 or 20 minutes of peaceful conversation with your spouse or simply as a way to starting moving. Walking is without a doubt one of the best sources of activity there is. It's healthy, it clears your mind, it makes you feel good and you might just start to like it. And it's easier on your body than running or body building.

Even if you decide to start exercising, keep it simple and keep it easy. To get the benefit of exercise it's not necessary to work up an intense sweat of run yourself out of breath. If you go to a gym, take it easy. Use the machines, use the treadmill and mix it up spending 10 or 15 minutes in each area. Exercise is cumulative. If you exercise for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening, it's still 20 minutes of exercise.

If you don't want to walk or exercise, find another activity that forces you to push, pull, bend and twist on a regular basis. It doesn't have to be on anyone's "approved" list, you just have to find something to enjoy. If possible, do it with someone else. It's very hard to get motivated when you have to do it by yourself.

Just take up something that adds movement to your life and learn to make it enjoyable.

Get up, get out and move around - it's that simple.

My name is Larry Allen and I spent the last three years researching and analyzing why diet and exercise programs don't work for most people.

The proof that they don't is in the fact that up to 96% of dieters gain weight back within 2 years and most people who start a strenuous exercise program quit within 2 months. The eating habits you have developed over a lifetime are just too strong to change with typical diet and exercise programs.

"It's Just A Habit" is a fresh new approach to permanent weight loss that shows how making small changes to your habits can have dramatic results that are not achievable through diet and exercise. No diets, no plans, no pills, no hype and no phony promises. It's simple and it's easy.

Visit my website at and discover why you haven't been able to lose weight permanently and what you can do about it.

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Friday, 26 July 2013

Exercise for Weight Control

By Robin J Dowswell

Expert Author Robin J Dowswell
It is widely assumed that exercise is a key part of controlling one's weight. However, there are many people who find that exercise alone has very little impact on their weight while others seem able to exercise and lose weight easily. What is going on? Well, people all respond slightly differently to exercise due to age, sex and their genetic inheritance. However, despite any difficulty in losing weight that you may have inherited, there are different forms of exercise that will definitely be able to help you lose weight. The different forms of exercise all have different effects on weight loss. Below I look at:

Easy/medium intensity cardiovascular exercise - aerobic.
Hard, high intensity cardiovascular exercise - anaerobic.
Weight training and other resistance exercise.
1 Aerobic exercise

What is aerobic exercise? Aerobic exercise is exercise which most people can sustain for hours if properly conditioned. Heart rates are typically 55-85% of the maximum heart rate. You breathe in oxygen through your lungs at a rate which generally allows you to talk. Your heart then pumps blood containing the oxygen to your muscle fibres. As your muscle fibres contract to produce movement, they use up oxygen. The harder and faster you go, the more oxygen that you need, and as a consequence you breathe faster. As you increase your effort your muscle fibres burn up more sugars and fats to produce the energy required to make them contract. The result? You burn calories faster.

What is fat burning? Fat burning is a form of aerobic exercise that became popular in the nineties. It is basically lower intensity aerobic exercise. Heart rates are at typically 55-65% of the maximum heart rate. Unfortunately it is not the best way to remove excess fat. You actually burn more fat as you increase the effort. Although the fat burning zone burns a greater proportion of fat compared to sugar than high effort zones, the high effort zones burn both more fat and more sugar. The amount of sugar burnt increases faster than the amount of fats as you up the effort, and so you could say you enter a sugar burning zone as you go harder. However, along with the sugar you will also be burning more fat. There are many studies that have looked at the weight loss effects of aerobic exercise. Most show a small positive benefit, but one that is far less effective than modifying dietary intake. These studies have been mostly done on sedentary or obese people and involve amounts of exercise typically of between 2-4 hours per week. The truth is that if you are not intending to do more than 2-4 hours of aerobic exercise per week, then you are unlikely to lose much weight as a result, unless you also significantly modify your diet. However, that is not to say you shouldn't do it. Most studies also show that physical and psychological health both benefit significantly from this small amount of exercise when compared to doing nothing. Larger amounts of more intensive aerobic exercise are generally more effective at achieving weight loss. The effects of larger amounts of exercise on people vary. Some are responders and others non-responders. Non-responders are thought to be people who reduce their levels of everyday activity when undertaking an exercise program, in order to compensate. In other words if you are going to treat yourself with extra food or slump in front of the TV after introducing a new exercise routine then it may well not have any effect on your weight. I have many clients who are responders, who eat more healthily when exercising a lot and who treat themselves when they are having a break from their hard exercise routines. Needless to say these clients are prone to developing a small paunch when taking it easy, but find it easy to lose the weight once they start up their exercise routines once again.

2 High intensity - anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic threshold is defined as the point during a graded exercise test at which lactate in the blood begins to accumulate faster than it can be got rid of. A fit athlete can maintain an effort at the anaerobic threshold for about 1 hour as long as the blood lactate does not continue to rise. If the intensity of exercise continues to increase from this point, as it would in a graded exercise test, then acidification occurs. This is due to the accumulation of hydrogen ions formed when the lactic acid produced in muscle is converted to lactate. The acidification soon causes a severe muscle fatigue and the intensity of exercise can no longer be maintained.

What is anaerobic exercise? 
Your muscle fibres, and most other cells in your body have two main routes of making energy. The first is aerobic respiration in which sugar or fat is burnt with oxygen in the mitochondria to produce the energy. Think of mitochondria as power stations. The second is anaerobic respiration, in which sugar is turned into lactic acid without a need for oxygen to produce energy. This happens in the sarcoplasm of the muscle cells. Anaerobic exercise occurs when you run low on oxygen. As you exercise harder your muscle fibres try to get more oxygen into the mitochondria to burn your fuel faster. As you pass through your anaerobic threshold (see panel to the left), your body is not providing enough oxygen for your mitochondria to produce all the energy you need. Your muscle then increasingly relies on the anaerobic respiration in the sarcoplasm. So at this point the mitochondrial power stations are working at close to full capacity and as a result you are breathing pretty hard. Anaerobic respiration is interesting in that it uses up sugar 15 times faster than the mitochondria. How could this affect weight loss? Well this form of respiration is now burning calories 15 times faster than the mitochondrial one. The fact is that as you push harder beyond the anaerobic threshold you make increasing use of anaerobic respiration and so burn calories at exponentially increasing rates. You reach a point at which your breathing is at a maximum. This is called the VO2max. A fit athlete may be able to maintain this rate of breathing for a maximum of 10 minutes. Your mitochondria are now working at full capacity and your anaerobic respiration in the sarcoplasm is working towards maximum. The anaerobic metabolism is building up lactic acid, which results in increasing acidosis in the muscles the longer and harder you go on. The fatigue becomes unbearable and you soon slow down.

Will I lose weight? 
Clearly you can burn calories quickly with intense exercise. However, you can't maintain high intensity for long and so the total amount of calories burnt may be less than during a long aerobic workout. However it is likely that your body will remain working long after the exercise finishes, as it will need to repair itself from the muscular trauma that normally accompanies high intensity efforts. Other bodily systems are stressed as well, and these all need energy to be fully repaired. Basically anaerobic exercise is a useful weight control tool, but because of its intense nature it should be used sensibly. It is easy to over exercise and end up injured, ill or disheartened. It is important to recover from intense sessions, ideally you become fit enough to use easier exercise sessions as a recovery between the harder sessions. This way the metabolism is kept high and calories continue to be burnt faster than before.

3 Resistance exercise 
Resistance exercise leads to more muscle mass and an increased metabolic rate that burns more calories. This is because muscle tissue requires more calories at rest than fat containing adipose tissue.

Will I lose weight? 
There are a number of studies that show resistance exercise to be effective at producing weight loss. These exercises also increase the tone of your body. If you select a good range of exercises including bodyweight exercises and exercises that challenge your balance and agility, you should find many benefits that go beyond mere weight loss and looking good. In particular a stronger more supple body is less injury prone. As a result, less time is spent injured, and exercise regimes can be kept up for longer without breaks. Breaks that can easily lead to unwanted weight gain from excess fat deposited around the body. Also it is worth remembering that the muscle strength and flexibility gained from resistance exercise can increase the efficiency of your movements and open up the possibility of new movements that can burn yet more calories.

Won't I become too muscular? 
If you are female and worried that resistance exercise or exercise with weights in particular will make you too muscular and male in appearance then think again. There are many different ways of doing weights and plenty which build strength, agility and balance without increasing muscle bulk. Most bodyweight exercises won't bulk you up, nor will all the balance and agility exercises that you can do. Into the bargain you will find that weight training will build strength, which will help you avoid injury. It will also tone up your torso, arms and legs, reducing flabbiness, cellulite and bingo wings.

In summary 
Exercise is highly beneficial to psychological health and physical health. The confidence and satisfaction gained from keeping an exercise programme going add to self esteem and very often have a positive impact on attempts to change diet. As explained above, the exercise itself is most likely to reduce your weight if you follow as many of the following points as possible:

Keep the exercise programme going for at least 3 months or more.
Build up your exercise programme to at least 5 hours per week.
Try to incorporate all types of exercise, steady aerobic efforts, short and hard anaerobic efforts and resistance training.
Don't build up too quickly. If you are getting particularly sore or tired, ease off a bit with shorter sessions and/or less intense exercises.
Keep it enjoyable. This exercise lark only really works when you enjoy it. So make it an exercise/sport that appeals. If not the chances of giving up and putting weight back on are high.
Robin Dowswell
Nutritional Therapist based near Milton Keynes, UK
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Thursday, 25 July 2013

Reap The Benefits Of Exercise: Stay FIT and HEALTHY

By Nolan J Fisher

The news is filled with scientific studies about the benefits of exercise. Television channels advertise exercise equipment, diet pills, celebrity diets and fitness regimes aimed at losing fat and gaining muscle in 10 weeks or less. With all of this blatant propaganda, it can be hard to see the simplest and most heart felt benefits of regular exercise. Exercise provides higher levels of health for the body. It improves the body's function and ability to fight new disease and the progression of disease. Simply put, exercise is an essential part of our daily lives and has nothing to do with propaganda.

To better understand the benefits of exercise, one must first examine the true definition of exercise. Defining exercise is dependent upon the level of current fitness the body has achieved. For a sedentary individual, exercise may mean walking to and from the grocery store instead of parking right next to the front door. It can be taking those extra steps to pick up the mail on foot, or walking to the bus stop to retrieve the kids after school. On the other hand, for the more physically fit person, more activity is needed to grasp the real and noticeable benefits from exercise on a regular basis.

At the heart of an exercise program is the heart. The heart needs to be worked consistently in order for an activity to be termed as exercise and thus for that activity to change the way the body looks, acts and feels. In general, exercise needs to raise the heart rate to a level that is literally an exercise for the heart. Knowing the level of heart rate one should aim for is the first aspect of reaching the core potential for the body.

Knowing Your Target Heart Rate

Your target heart rate is the rate that the heart should be raised to during exercise and the level it should remain at during the exercise program in order for the activity to truly be termed exercise. The target heart rate for an individual is computed with the help of the age and current physical fitness level. Computing the target heart rate means first computing the maximum heart rate and the resting heart rate. These two figures come into play heavily when computing the target heart rate for physical activity.

The maximum heart rate can be figured by taking the number 220 and subtracting your age from that number. While this is the most common method for figuring the maximum heart rate, the only true measurement is the one taken after rigorous exercise. In order to find this clinical version of your maximum heart rate, your doctor or the physical trainers at a local gym can help guide you through the process of maximizing your heart rate and then measuring the results.

The resting heart rate is the heart rate you exhibit upon waking in the morning. As soon as you awaken, place your fingers on the neck just below the left curved jaw line. Press in with the fingers and count the number of beats you feel within a minute's time. This is your resting heart rate.

Once you have noted your maximum heart rate and your resting heart rate you will be able to figure out your target heart rate for physical fitness. The target heart rates are figured on a sliding scale based upon intensity. The intensity levels used range from 50% to 85%, with 50% being the minimum target heart rate for physical fitness and the 85% being the maximum target heart rate for physical fitness. The method for calculating the target heart rate is as follows:

* ((Maximum Heart Rate - Resting Heart Rate) X Intensity %) + Resting Heart Rate

To further understand the calculation of the target heart rate an example could be:

* A 30 year old woman who has a maximum heart rate of 190 beats per minutes (220-30) and a resting heart rate of 60 beats per minute. This woman would have a minimum target heart rate for physical fitness of 125 beats per minute (190-60 = 130 X 50% = 65 + 60 = 125) and a maximum target heart rate for physical fitness of 170.5 beats per minute (190-60 = 130 X 85% = 110.5 + 60 = 170.5). Thus the target heart range for this woman would be 125 to 170.5 beats per minute.

Working the Target Heart Rate Levels

In the beginning of a physical fitness program, the individual will need to aim for the lower end of the target heart rate range. This is not only good for the body, but for the heart, as well. When beginning a physical fitness program aimed at reaping the benefits of exercise, a doctor or a physician should be consulted in order to make sure your body is ready for higher levels of physical fitness. This is especially important for people who have been living a sedentary lifestyle, or who are currently being treated for any physical illness, disease or limitation.

From the beginning days of your new physical fitness program, the aim of that activity will be to achieve the lower end of the target heart rate range and keep the heart rate within that range for the duration of the exercise. But, this does not mean 5 or 10 minutes. In order to achieve the benefits of exercise, a longer commitment is needed.

Optimizing Your Workout Goals

The most promising effects of physical fitness and exercise can be achieved through 30-45 minutes of sustained heart rate increase, 3-5 days a week. At first, this amount of commitment may seem overwhelming, but no one will ask a first timer to reach these levels within a few days of starting an exercise program. Starting out slowly by working out for 10 minutes, three times a day can be a goal more easily conquered. Over time, as the physical fitness levels increase, the time of each workout will increase, as well. Knowing how long to exercise and how high your heart rate should stay is only the first step in achieving the optimal benefits of exercise. Knowing which exercises to do is the next.

The Best Actions to Ensure the Benefits of Exercise

Your entire body needs to be a part of the physical fitness regime you are about to undertake. While the majority of first time exercisers choose aerobic exercise in the form of walking, jogging, treadmill work or elliptical work or their daily heart rate rise, this can be worth less benefit to the body over time.

Take the case, for instance, of the retail manager. He may walk 35,000 steps a day while on the job, but that does not constitute exercise. The body eventually gets used to this form of movement and predicts that it is an every day occurrence. The heart rate does not rise and the benefits of exercise are lost. The same goes for daily exercise regimes. The activities you choose need to shock the body and keep those muscles guessing from day to day.

The best exercises to choose for the beginner would follow a weekly plan that works the entire body within the 5 days of exercise. An example week may include:

Monday - Briskly walking for 35 minutes.

Tuesday - Sit-ups, push-ups and general calisthenics

Wednesday - Dancing for 35 minutes to your favorite music.

Thursday - Rest

Friday - Jumping rope for 35 minutes.

Saturday - Sit-ups, push-ups and general calisthenics

Sunday - Rest

As you can see from this example week, the body muscles being used are different with each day of the program. The aerobic exercise days alternate with the anaerobic or muscle building days. This keeps the body guessing and helps to build muscle which can burn more resting calories over time. This is simply an example program. Depending on the exercise equipment you currently own or plan to buy, the actual activities could change dramatically.

Choosing Your Exercise Equipment

In order to create the best exercising environment at home, the home fitness equipment market offers just about every specific piece of gym equipment for home use. These additions to the home gym can be expensive and should be researched fully before choosing which pieces to buy. Some of the equipment available for home purchase includes:

• Elliptical Machines

• Treadmills

• Weight Benches

• Smith Machines

• Exercise Bikes

• Recumbent Exercise Bikes

When choosing one of these exercise machines, it is important to find out all you can about the machine, how it works and the overall helpfulness to those who have used the machine at home. The exercise bike, for example, offers the home gym user the chance to ride a bike without going out of the home. This can be beneficial during the colder months of the year and for those beginning exercise regimes in the obese stages of weight loss. In order to choose the best exercise bike, exercise bike reviews and recumbent exercise bike reviews can be found all over the Internet. These exercise bike reviews are written by people who have already purchased the exercise bike or have used the bike on varying occasions. The reviews will help you to choose from the hundreds of models of exercise bikes available for home purchase.

So, you have put in the research, the time and the money and now you want to know the benefits of exercise. Exercise is not only great for the body, but the mind as well. A regular exercise program can help ease the effects of stress, strengthen the heart, body and immune system, as well as the self image of the person exercising.

Reaping the Benefits of Exercise

The measurable benefits of exercise will be different for each generational age. From birth to the senior years of life, exercise provides the body with positive health effects and a sense of betterment, calmness and well being. No matter the reason for beginning a physical fitness program, the results will ultimately be the same, a better you.

Exercise and Babies

From the day a baby is born, exercise can be a part of every day life. Parental massages and fluid leg and arm movements can help to keep baby calm and stress free. Some parents even notice that over time the baby becomes used to these small bits of baby exercise and uses them to fall asleep at night and recover after a hearty baby cry.

Exercise and Kids

Once kids reach the rolling stage, there will be no stopping the exercise. The levels of energy a child exhibits each and every day not only need to be used to play and run rampant, but in a focused manner. When a parent engages in exercise fun with kids, they learn that exercise activities can be a healthy part of everyday life. This is especially important in the process of making exercise a normal part of every day life in later years.

Exercise and Teens

As kids grow from being kids and into being teens, they may find themselves less likely to exercise on a daily basis. This, unfortunately, is a great precursor for the activity level the child will have later in life. Making exercise a part of family fun and family outdoor activities, again teaches that exercise does not have to be a job it can be a part of life every day. The more exercise is ingrained in everyday activities; the more apt the teen is to continue exercising later in life.

Exercise and the Adult

As teens move into adulthood, the metabolism of the body begins to slow. This slowing can cause adult weight gain which can then lead to more serious conditions such as Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes and cardiovascular problems, among others. In order to prevent these disease and conditions, daily exercise is needed to keep the body moving and refreshing on a daily basis.

Some of the many benefits of exercise include:

• An increase in circulation.

• An increase in metabolism or calorie burning.

• A decrease in depression, stress and anxiety.

• A better sense of well being and self esteem.

• A decreased chance of depression, heart disease, diabetes and other weight related disorders.

Adults who exercise 3 to 5 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes are just plain healthier than those who do not exercise. One study recently compared sets of twins and measured their cellular age. One of the twins was active and exercised on a regular basis; the other twin did not exercise and lived a more sedentary lifestyle. The twin who exercised exhibited a cellular age 10 years younger than the twin. Exercise keeps you healthy and young.

Exercise and Seniors

Just because age has gotten the best of your bones, joints and mind, does not have to mean you should stop exercising. With age comes health issues that may impede normal levels of activity, but low impact, low heart effecting workouts are still very important well into the latest years of life. These exercises can include:

• Yoga

• Dancing

• Tai Chi

• Stretching

• Walking

While this list is certainly not all inclusive, seniors can choose from any of these exercises and find a level that suits their physical fitness levels.

Exercise Has a Beginning and an End

It is important to note that the human body needs to be warmed up and cooled down when exercising. Warm ups need to last 10 to 15 minutes before the beginning of an exercise routine and cool downs need to last 5 to 10 minutes after the completion of the exercise routine. The warm up helps to prevent tears to the muscles that can occur if the muscles are cold and thus shorter than when warm. The cool down will help to distribute the lactic acid throughout the muscle. Lactic acid is a byproduct of exercise and is the main reason for pain and soreness in muscles the day after exercising.

Warm ups and cool downs can involve stretching, walking slower than exercising pace and heavy breathing exercises. Any activity that warms up the muscles can be involved in a warm up activity. The activity will need to warm up the same muscles that will be used during the exercise routine. Cooling down after an exercise routine should focus on the muscles that were just worked out in the exercise routine.

The benefits of exercise are rooted in a life of physical activity. The body needs to move, the heart needs to pump, and the muscles and mind need to be able to release some of that built up stress that living places upon us all. Through weekly exercise regimes, the human body can change, mold and prevent illness. No matter how you twist and turn it, the body is a machine that needs to stay well oiled and the perfect oil is exercise.

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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Myths, Lies and Propaganda About Exercise

By Bob R. Weinstein

Expert Author Bob R. Weinstein
Throughout my career in the military I have come across a variety of tall tales about eating and exercise. The extent of misinformation is so great that you'd think we were dealing with Cold War propaganda. If a lie is told frequently enough it is treated as the truth. Here are some of the myths, lies and propaganda about exercise.

Exercise MYTH # 1: The best time to exercise is in the morning, because it jump-starts your metabolism.

The TRUTH: Exercise anywhere, anytime.

The best time to exercise is the time that fits your schedule. That can be morning, noon or nighttime. The enemy wants to rob you of any thought of flexibility so that you just surrender and do not exercise enough. Morning exercise will expedite the wake-up process, and you will feel energized. Mid-day exercise will energize and refresh you and help you overcome that afternoon grogginess. Nighttime exercise is an amazing stress-management tool that will get that blood circulation back up so you are really infused with the energy to enjoy the evening much more. Any morning versus evening metabolism, difference is insignificant compared to the overall benefit of exercising. It is propaganda from the enemy. This myth is busted.

Exercise MYTH # 2: If you do not exercise, muscle will turn into fat.

The TRUTH: Muscle does not and cannot turn to fat.

What a bunch of hogwash! The Wizard of Oz may be able to turn muscle into fat, but that is a fairytale, and the Tooth Fairy will not be able to help you on this one! Snap out of it, Soldier! Fat cannot and does not turn to muscle, and muscle cannot and does not turn to fat! Here's what does happen. You burn off fat and build muscle OR you lose muscle and gain fat. Get that other propaganda out of your head!

Exercise MYTH #3: Running a mile burns more calories than walking a mile. The TRUTH: Both running and walking a mile burn the same amount of calories.

We called in our mathematicians for this one. They looked at us with a grin and said, "Give us something challenging. This is a no-brainer." Running one mile and walking one mile both burn 100 calories. Walking a mile takes longer and therefore results in a burn of the same amount of calories. So why run? Because it works that cardio and, if you are looking for a calorie burn, running will burn more calories in less time than walking. Ask a mathematician. It is true.

Exercise MYTH #4: You must exercise continuously for 30 to 40 minutes to benefit your heart.

The TRUTH: Every bit of exercise adds to a heart benefit.

The enemy wants you to subscribe to the self-defeating All-or-Nothing Principle. The All-or-Nothing Principle: "If I can't exercise continuously for 30 to 40 minutes, I'm not going to do it at all." We have been created to do what we CAN do. Research supports the fact that every bit of exercise accumulates to an overall health benefit. Conversely, every bit of sedentary lifestyle accumulates to damage your health and your heart.

Exercise MYTH #5: A good sweat results in extra weight-loss.

The TRUTH: A good sweat is a good sweat.

I will tell you what a good sweat is! It is a good sweat! A good sweat results in extra water loss, not fat weight-loss. Need I say more?

Exercise MYTH #6: If you are injured, you should not work out at all, in order to allow your injury to heal.

The TRUTH: Movement promotes healing.

My reliable agents in the field have uncovered a couple of sources of this myth. It is possible that liability concerns of the medical community will play a role in the propagation of this misinformation. The truth: Movement promotes healing as long as it is done safely and under the guidance of your physician. Now, here is a big test question for you. Why is physical therapy prescribed for injuries? Yeah, I know. I already gave you the answer: Movement promotes healing and the regeneration of tissue.

Exercise MYTH #7: Focusing on abdominal exercises will help me lose that belly fat.

The TRUTH: This inspired me to get poetic.

You can crunch all day. 
You can crunch all night. 
You can crunch at bedtime and by the moonlight. 
You can crunch it up. 
You can crunch it down. 
There ain't no way you'll lose a pound.

No! Abdominal exercises do not target belly fat loss. Do not believe those gadget commercials and, by the way, there is no Tooth Fairy.

Exercise MYTH #8: Stretching before exercise is essential to prevent injury. The TRUTH: There is no conclusive evidence that stretching prevents injury.

This myth is designed by the enemy to keep you from getting down to business and focusing on your cardio and strength training. Too much emphasis on stretching! The cardio benefit of stretching is almost zero. There is no conclusive evidence that stretching is essential to prevent injury. In fact, there are studies that suggest that stretching actually increases the muscles' susceptibility to injury, which - according to the studies - causes the muscle fibers to lengthen and destabilize the muscle during strength training. Mild stretching should not really be a problem. My recommendation: Warm up the body before stretching, or perform mild stretches until warmed up. Another option is to stretch briefly between sets.

Exercise MYTH #9: Never eat before a workout.

The TRUTH: Eat before your workout.

The enemy would like Americans to run out of energy and get weak. Now, if someone said to you, "We're going take a drive. Make sure you don't get gas," I think I can visualize that look of astonishment on your face! Food is fuel, and you need it for your workout. However, do not overeat. If you have an evening workout, make sure that lunch is not the last meal you had. In addition, if you do not have time to get a decent meal, eat a banana, a sports shake or an energy bar. There is no excuse for not getting some good-quality nourishment in preparation for a good-quality workout.

Exercise MYTH #10: Strength training with weights will make women bulk up.

The TRUTH: No! Strength training will not bulk women up.

The enemy wants to keep our women weak. Do not let it happen! Ladies, you will not bulk up with strength training. Most women's bodies do not produce enough testosterone to become bulky like those big guys on TV. Proper strength training will enhance your appearance and strength. In addition, if you are still concerned, just concentrate on doing high reps. That strategy is very healthy for your muscles because you will also be increasing your muscle endurance and not just your muscle strength.

Exercise MYTH #11: You should only start strength training after losing excess weight.

The TRUTH: Strength training is great for weight-loss.

Here we go again. The longer the enemy can delay an American getting on an exercise program, the greater the chances of defeat and another healthy lifestyle will be shot down by a myth before it even takes off. Movement is always healthy as long as you are not hurting yourself. Of course, in the beginning, exercise may very well hurt your feelings. If you feel that coming on, just go to my website Strength training is a definite plus when you are in the process of losing excess weight. Cardio is also essential. Just follow that principle of doing what you can do, and do not forget to say to yourself and others how much fun you are having.

Exercise MYTH #12: If you do not exercise hard and often, it is a waste of time.

The TRUTH: All exercise benefits your health.

The human body was created for movement and not a sedentary lifestyle. Every bit of exercise you can integrate into your daily life will enhance your health and wellbeing. It is a myth that you must exercise hard and often to reap any health benefits. Eat right; exercise regularly; think predominantly positive thoughts; focus on those worthy life goals; focus on leaving your mark on this earth by serving others and benefiting your fellow man and woman. That is a recipe for a healthy life.

Exercise MYTH #13: You will burn more fat if you exercise longer and keep your heart rate in the "fat burning" range.

The TRUTH: You will burn more fat when you increase the intensity.

It is time for math class, again. Yes, it is true that the percentage of fat you are burning with a low-intensity workout is higher than a more intense workout with a heightened heart rate. Nevertheless, here is the fatal math error. With a low-intensity workout, you are burning fewer calories. With a high-intensity workout, you are burning, overall, more calories and are therefore burning more fat, even though the percentage of fat burn is decreased. This means that all those treadmills with those fat burn indicators are not only robbing you of a calorie burn, but are also robbing you of a good cardio and strength-training workout.

Forget those gadgets that measure your heart rate, and get back in touch with your body by using what is called perceived exertion. You can tell whether your workout is light, medium, hard, very hard, or brutal. Use that as a gauge. In addition, remember: You want to get your heart rate up, to improve your cardiovascular condition. Otherwise, those disease-related enemy soldiers will be knocking at your door.

Exercise MYTH #14: You must stay away from strength training while trying to lose weight, since it will cause you to bulk up.

The TRUTH: All exercise, both cardio and strength training, is essential during a weight-loss program.

This one may tie in with the other myth that fat can turn to muscle. All exercise, both cardio and strength training, is essential during a weight-loss program. If you do not perform strength training, your body will begin practicing cannibalism. Moreover, guess whose muscle mass your body will eat? Your own! That is not science fiction. If you are not using and maintaining your muscle, you will lose it. Your metabolism will slow down even more, and your health will suffer.

Exercise MYTH #15: Stress speeds up the metabolism and burns more fat.

The TRUTH: Stress causes the body to burn fat slower and may result in increased fat retention.

Exercise MYTH #16: Jogging and running will make a woman's breasts sag.

The TRUTH: This is not a myth! Jogging and running will make a woman's breasts sag, if she does not wear proper support.

Wear a sports bra and do not even think of eliminating excellent cardio from your workout. Walking is for people who cannot run, and I hope you are not in that category. If you do not wear a good sports bra, exercising can make your breasts sag more quickly, says Peter Bruno, M.D., an internist in New York City. High-impact activities, particularly jogging or aerobics, can stress your Cooper's ligaments, the connective tissue that keeps breasts firm. According to the American Council on Exercise, compression bras work best for smaller-busted women. The more well endowed (typically a C cup or larger) should opt for an "encapsulation" bra that supports each breast separately. Replace workout bras every six months to a year.

Exercise MYTH #17: I cannot lose weight because it is in my genes.

The TRUTH: No! Your genes do not have the last word. Eating right and exercising regularly will have a positive impact on your weight regardless of your genes. Lack of exercise and bad eating habits will have a negative impact on your health regardless of your genes.

You have no influence over your genes and, in some cases, there is a propensity for weight gain that is in the genes. But wait. The truth is exercise and healthy eating will have a positive impact on you regardless of your genes. This means that if you have the propensity to gain weight or get certain diseases, exercise and eating right will still reduce the impact.

Your lifestyle choice could have a negative impact on the development of your genes for future family generations. There is new evidence for what is called environmental inheritance, a radical theory of transgenerational genetic adaptation proposed by Professor Marcus Pembrey of the Institute of Child Health, University College of London in the mid 1990's. Simply put, your lifestyle of poor food choices or overeating or not exercising could lead future family generations to have a propensity for being overweight or having certain diseases or even smoking. The good news is that your healthy lifestyle may have a positive impact on the development of your genes for future generations.

By Lt. Col. Bob Weinstein, USAR-Ret., author of Weight Loss - Twenty Pounds in Ten Weeks - Move It to Lose It

Lt. Col. Weinstein, nationally known as the Health Colonel, has been featured on the History Channel and specializes in a military-style workout for all fitness levels on Fort Lauderdale Beach in South Florida. He is the author of Boot Camp Fitness for All Shapes and Sizes, Weight Loss - Twenty Pounds in Ten Weeks - Move It to Lose It, Discover Your Inner Strength (co-author), Change Made Easy and Quotes to Live By.

His website: 
Office 954-636-5351

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