Have exercise misconceptions prevented you from starting an exercise program? Clear up any confusion and let these exercise tips improve your workout routine. Hopefully none of these common exercise myths, mistakes and misconceptions have prevented you from working out.
1. Common Mistake: Failure to set goals. Do you exercise without a clear goal in mind? Having a clear goal set is a critical step in exercise and weight loss success. Tracking your progress in a journal will help ensure you see your improvements, will help motivate you and help you meet your ultimate goal.
2. Common Misconception: No Pain, No Gain. Pain is your body’s way of letting you know something is wrong. Do not ignore this. When you go beyond exercise and testing yourself, you will encounter physical discomfort and need to overcome it. An example of this would be training for a marathon. It is important that you have the “base training” before getting into the advance training. The base training develops the body and gets it ready for extensive training. You need to learn to “read” your body. Is the heavy breathing because you are pushing your body or could it be the beginning of a heart attack. Exercise is important. Do it correctly and you can do it for the rest of your life.
It is normal for you to hurt after you exercise, but it must be done gradually with a good amount of rest periods to allow proper healing. There are two common problems here with beginning exercisers. You can cause long lasting damage to muscles, tendons and ligaments if you work out while you are in pain, without allowing enough rest time to heal. You might find yourself in constant and long lasting pain if you do this which means that you will no longer be able to exercise.
If you wake up the next morning after you exercised and can barely drag your aching body out of bed because everything hurts, you are going to be less motivated to exercise at all. Constant pain is a sure way to kill your exercise program.
3. Common Mistake: Sacrificing Quality for Quantity. When you are ready to increase the number of reps of a particular exercise, and strengthen the corresponding muscles, instead of forcing yourself to do a little more each time try decreasing the number of reps in a set but increase the number of sets. Also, back off to half your usual number of reps but add a couple of more sets. You will feel less tired and will be able to gain strength in your fast-twitch muscles.
4. Common Myth: Weight Training Makes Women Bulky. Weight training for a woman will strengthen and tone muscle, burn fat and increase metabolism, not build mass. Women do not produce enough of testosterone to build muscle mass the way that men do.
5. Common Mistake: Over-Emphasizing Strengths. You should start focusing on your points rather then what you are good at. This will help you balance things. For example, if your lower body is stronger than you upper body, then try to work only on this area one day a week.
Being smart about how you exercise will take you a long way. It is important to have a healthy body so get out there and start exercising today.
If you are busy, not able to get up early morning or have no time for gym just follow this 20 minute home work out to stay healthy and fit.
1) Jog : in one place for 3 minutes
2) Jumping jacks: 25 repeats
When landing, bend your knees slightly to reduce the impact on knee joints.
3) Crunches : 15 repeats
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head with elbows pointing outwards. Support your neck with your hands. Keep your neck in a straight line with your spine. Flex your waist to raise the upper torso from the mat. Lower yourself until the back of your shoulders touches the mat.
Muscle worked: rectus abdominis
4) Hip Bridges : 10 repeats
Lie on your back. With your hands at a 90 degree angle to the floor, lift your body off the floor to form a straight line, a sort of a bridge, from the shoulders to the knee. The position should resemble a table … your hands and legs as the legs of the table and your upper body to your knees as the surface. Hold this position for two seconds. Squeeze your gluteus (butt muscles) and then lower yourself.
Muscle worked: Lower back, hamstrings and gluteus.
5) Step – up’s : 1 minute
You will need a stepper for this.
Muscle worked: hamstrings, gluteus, quards.
6) Reverse crunches: 15 repeats
Lie on your back with your hands on your sides. Keep you knees bent. Bring your knees towards your head, till your hips come slightly off the floor. Hold this position for a second, and then lower your knees.
Muscle worked: lower abs and obliques.
7) Mountain climbers : 1 minute
Get your hands and knees and raise your knees like a starting block sprinter. Run in that position, supporting your upper body with the palms of your hands. Keep your back straight.
Muscle worked: triceps, deltoid muscle, gluteus, quards, hamstrings, calves.
8) Push – ups : 15 repeats
Muscle worked: triceps, deltoids, pectorals.
9) Squat thrusts: 1 minute
Stand straight. Now, drop to a crouch position. Immediately thrust your legs out straight behind on your toes, in push up position, now jump to pull legs back to the chest, in crouching position , then stand up straight,
Muscle worked: arms, legs, chest, and lower back.
Cool down by walking around, till your heart rate starts getting back to normal, stretch.
A minutes rest is needed in between exercise. Proper form is important. Do not hold breath. Sip water during the workout. This workout targets the whole body, improves cardiovascular efficiency and tones and strengthens the body.
The word aerobic literally means “with oxygen” or “in the presence of oxygen.” Aerobic exercise is any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously for a long period of time and is rhythmic in nature. Aerobic exercises utilize oxygen as the major fuel for sustaining activity for relatively long periods.
In general, aerobic exercises are those activities that require large muscle work, elevate the heart rate to between 60 percent and 80 percent of maximal heart rate, are continuous in nature and are of 15 to 60 minutes in duration. An aerobically fit individual can work longer, more vigorously and achieve a quicker recovery at the end of the aerobic session.
Aerobic exercises fall in two categories:
Low to Moderate Impact aerobics – These include walking, swimming, stair climbing, step classes, light water aerobics, rowing and cross-country skiing. Nearly anyone in reasonable health can engage in some low- to moderate-impact exercise. Brisk walking burns more calories than jogging for the same distance because it takes more time to walk than jog that distance and poses less risk for injury to muscle and bone.
High-Impact aerobics – Activities that belong to this group include running, dance exercise, tennis, racquetball and squash. High-impact aerobics should be performed on alternate days. People who are overweight, elderly, out of condition or have an injury or other medical problem should do them even less frequently and only with clearance from their doctor.
Here are some of the many aerobic exercises you can do and because of the variety you have to choose from, it can not only take the bordum out of doing it, it can make doing it downright fun as well.
Walking is a popular form of exercise because it requires little in terms of equipment or facilities. Walking an extra 20 minutes each day will burn off 7 pounds of body fat per year. Longer, moderately-paced daily walks are best for losing weight.
In jogging or running, an individual is able to cover greater distances in a shorter period of time. Therefore, greater numbers of calories can be burned per time spent.
3. Choreographed Aerobic Exercise
Choreographed aerobic dance is a very popular form of exercise throughout the world. Aerobic dance helps in toning up the muscles of the body and many people find it fun to do as well.
4. Step Aerobics
Step aerobics incorporates the use of a step or bench typically about one foot wide and three feet long and about six inches high. Instructors use many moves that require participants to step up and down from the platform. This way, the activity will not be boring and tiring, but will be lively and motivating.
5. Water Aerobics
Water aerobics incorporates a variety of movements from both swimming and land aerobics to develop vigorous routines that are aerobic in nature. It utilizes the resistance to movement that water creates to elevate heart rates and also helps you if balancing yourself on land is difficult. It is a good way to lose weight.
Swimming is a very popular form of regular exercise. Due to the resistance of water, the amount of energy required to swim a certain distance is greater than that needed to run or walk the same distance. In other words, swimming can burn more calories than running per time spent.
7. Stationary Cycling/Bicycling
Stationary cycling or bicycling are excellent forms of aerobic exercise when done continuously. Like swimming, cycling is a non weight bearing activity that builds muscular endurance and strength and improved flexibility of selected muscles of the legs and thighs.
8. Jumping Rope
Jumping rope can be a great aerobic workout as long as it is performed at a slow to moderate pace and is done continuously for a relatively long period of time (15 minutes or more).
The key to effective weight loss is through use of a healthy exercise program which is performed on a regular basis while following a healthy dieting & nutritional plan. Aerobic exercise is good for weight loss because it uses more calories than other activities and helps raise your metabolic rate.
This helps your body burn calories at a faster rate. It is an effective way to lose fat only if you are motivated enough to do it frequently. Aerobics only burns fat during the workout itself. So if you want encouraging results you need to be able to exercise daily and for longer periods.
Sticking to a nutritious diet while traveling can be one of the more difficult things to do. However, if you learn how to make smart choices, a healthy diet is really not that difficult. It’s probably not the best time in which to start a healthy diet, but if you are currently making healthy choices in your foods already, modifying your diet slightly to accommodate travel, is not as difficult as it first may seem.
If you are traveling by airplane, your diet may have to include airplane food, which can often be of poor nutritional value, depending on the selection. When you book your flight, ask about your food options, ask if a vegetarian dish is available? Vegetarian dishes are sometimes more nutritional in this case, but it really depends on what they may be serving. If you can, eat a larger meal before your flight, so that you don’t have to eat the entire meal that is served, to feel full.
When driving or taking a bus, you may be tempted to stop at fast food restaurants and eat the meals found there. Avoid this whenever possible! If you’re on vacation, you may wish to splurge a tiny bit, but having fast food more than once during a week can really be bad for your health. If you must, choose the healthiest options available, like chicken breasts and diet soda.
Also, remember that you can take your own meals when traveling. Carrying a loaf of whole-wheat bread or pita wraps, some lean lunchmeat, and low-fat cheese in a cooler is a great way to avoid high-fat and high-cholesterol junk food meals. These are much better choices and you’ll save a lot of money as well. Call ahead to ask if there will be a refrigerator in your hotel room.
Lastly, make smart choices when you eat out. If you choose salads or pasta get the dressing on the side and ask about low-carb options. In fact, many places print these dieting options directly in the menu for the health-conscious people. Control your portions by ordering lunch menu sizes or splitting the meal in have and getting a doggie bag, and you’ll be well on your way to healthy eating, even away from home.
Yes, eating healthy foods when you travel can be a challenge. However, your health is worth it. Eating meals high in nutrition will also assist in fighting illnesses that you are likely to encounter when traveling and you will find yourself more alert so that you can enjoy your trip.
Whether you are at your ideal weight or striving to reach your weight goal is it simply a matter of burning more calories than you take in? The answer, I suggest, is no! Overall body health improvement as well as weight gain or loss must be factored in to the equation or you could be heading for problems. Correct nutrition can help to reduce the risk of a miriad of health-related problems, the most frightening of which are surely heart disease and cancer. Proper nutrition, however, entails eating many different foods, monitoring your consumption of some food and beverage items, and counting calories. Good diets offer balanced nutrition that reduces cholesterol, blood pressure, and helps with weight control.
To function properly, your body must have the correct combination of nutrients:
Carbohydrates. They are the primary source of ammunition in your diet. The body uses carbohydrates to build glucose which can be used immediately or stored in your body for later. Too much glucose, however, is stored as fat. There are two types of carbohydrates – simple and complex. Sugars are simple carbohydrates. Starches and fibers are complex carbohydrates.
Proteins. Proteins help your body build and maintain muscles and other tissues. They also function in the creation of hormones. Like carbohydrates, excess protein is stored as fat.
Animal and vegetable are the two major types of proteins. Too much animal protein can cause high cholesterol, as it is high in saturated fat.
Fat. Strange as it may seem; fat is another nutrient your body requires. It comes in both saturated and unsaturated forms. Saturated fat puts you at risk of health problems. Unsaturated fat is healthy, but if it goes through any type of refinement process, it can become saturated fat.
Vitamins. These are also required nutrients. Different vitamins perform different tasks within the body. They can work with the metabolism to help with energy levels for any task you can think of that you need your body to perform. It has also been noted that certain vitamins can prevent disease.
For example, vitamins A, C, and E, also called antioxidants, can assist with the prevention of coronary artery disease by keeping build up from occurring on artery walls. Vitamin B-1 is needed for digestion and proper nervous system function. Vitamin B-2 is needed for normal cell growth. Vitamin B-3 helps to detoxify your body. Folic acid assists with production of red blood cells. Vitamin D assists with the absorption of calcium. Vitamin K helps your blood clot.
Minerals and trace elements. These are another nutrient your body requires. Both are used in many different body processes. Minerals like chlorine help make your digestive juices. Phosphorus helps build strong bones. Both can be found in the foods we consume, but with a trace element, your body just needs a tiny amount. Salt is one final nutrient your body requires. You should not consume more than 2400 milligrams per day, though, as it might raise your blood pressure.
You should follow several guidelines to create a well balanced, nutritional diet. First, try to consume two and one half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit each day. When making your selections for each day, be sure to choose a good variety. A good rough guide is to eat as many different colors as possible, this will help you to select from all five vegetable subgroups at least four times per week.
You should eat at least three ounces of whole grain products each day. At least half of your grain intake should be whole grain based. Milk should also be part of a healthy diet. Consume at least forty-eight ounces of low fat milk or milk products on a daily basis. Your total fat intake should only be between ten and thirty percent of your calories. Most of the fats you consume should be in the form of unsaturated fats, as saturated fats can do much to damage your health. Meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products should all be lean, low-fat, or fat-free. Less than ten percent of your calories should come from saturated fats, and you should always try to avoid trans-fatty acid.
Fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be a regular part of your diet as should potassium rich foods. Alcoholic beverages should only be consumed in moderation.
Excellent nutrition is the basis of a healthy diet.
There is so much conflicting information out there when it comes to the topic of building muscle, and sometimes it can be very difficult to know where to start. If you’re an average beginner looking for some basic guidelines to follow in the gym, the following 8 points will start you off on the right track.
1) Train With Weights and Focus On Compound, Free Weight Movements.
If you want to make solid, noteworthy gains in muscle size and strength, you absolutely must train with free weights and focus on basic, compound exercises. A compound exercise is any lift that stimulates more than one muscle group at a time. Examples of these lifts are the squat, deadlift, bench press, chin up, barbell row, overhead press, dip and lunge. Compound movements allow you to handle the most weight and will stimulate the greatest amount of total muscle fibers.
2) Be Prepared To Train Hard.
One of the biggest factors that separates those who make modest gains from those who make serious gains is their level of training intensity. In order to stimulate your muscle fibers to their utmost potential, you must be willing to take every set you perform in the gym to the point of muscular failure.
Muscular Failure: The point at which no further repetitions can be completed using proper form.
Sub-maximal training intensity will leave you with sub-maximal results, plain and simple.
3) Track Your Progress In The Gym From Week To Week.
Our bodies build muscle because of an adaptive response to the environment. When you go to the gym, you break down your muscle fibers by training with weights. Your body senses this as a potential threat to its survival and will react accordingly by rebuilding the damaged fibers larger and stronger in order to protect against any possible future threat. Therefore, in order to make continual gains in muscle size and strength, you must always focus on progressing in the gym from week to week. This could mean performing 1 or 2 more reps for each exercise or adding more weight to the bar. Keep a detailed training log to track your progress as your strength increases over time.
4) Avoid Overtraining.
Overtraining is your number one enemy when it comes to building muscle size and strength. When most people begin a workout program, they are stuck with the misguided notion that more is better. They naturally assume that the more time they spend in the gym, the better results they will achieve. When it comes to building muscle, nothing could be farther from the truth! If you spend too much time in the gym, you will actually take yourself farther away from your goals rather than closer to them. Remember, your muscles do not grow in the gym; they grow out of the gym, while you are resting and eating. Recovery is absolutely vital to the muscle growth process. If you don’t provide your body with the proper recovery time in between workouts, your muscles will never have a chance to grow.
5) Eat More Frequently.
The main area where most people fail miserably on their muscle-building mission is on the all-too important task of proper nutrition. Training with weights is only half of the equation! You break down your muscle fibers in the gym, but if you don’t provide your body with the proper nutrients at the proper times, the muscle growth process will be next to impossible. You should be eating anywhere from 5-7 meals per day, spaced every 2-3 hours in order to keep your body in an anabolic, muscle-building state at all times. Each meal should consist of high quality protein and complex carbohydrates.
6) Increase Your Protein Intake.
Of the 3 major nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) protein is without a doubt the most important for those who are looking to gain muscle size and strength. Protein is found in literally every single one of the 30 trillion cells that your body is made up of and its main role is to build and repair body tissues. Without sufficient protein intake, it will be physically impossible for your body to synthesize a significant amount of lean muscle mass. If your body were a house, think of protein as the bricks. A general guideline is to consume 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day from high quality sources such as fish, poultry, eggs, beef, milk, peanut butter and cottage cheese.
7) Increase Your Water Intake.
If you want a simple, easy and highly effective way to maximize your muscle gains, drinking more water is it. Water plays so many vital roles in the body and its importance cannot be overstated. In fact, your muscles alone are made up of 70% water! Not only will drinking more water cause your muscles to appear fuller and more vascular, but it will also increase your strength as well. Research has shown that merely a 3-4% drop in your body’s water levels can impact muscle contractions by 10-20%! Aim to consume 0.6 ounces for every pound of bodyweight each day for optimal gains.
8) Be Consistent!
Consistency is everything. Those who make the greatest gains in muscular size and strength are the ones who are able to implement the proper techniques on a highly consistent basis. Simply knowing is not enough, you must apply!
Building muscle is a result of the cumulative effect of small steps. Sure, performing 1 extra rep on your bench press will not make a huge difference to your overall results, and neither will consuming a single meal. However, over the long haul, all of those extra reps you perform and all of those small meals you consume will decide your overall success. If you work hard and complete all of your muscle-building tasks in a consistent fashion, all of those individual steps will equate to massive gains in overall size and strength.
Many adults only remember riding a bike. They gave it up as they became older. Adults can and should take advantage of bicycle riding to get some exercise. Older folks may want to ride the large tricycle with a basket on the front.
I remember my first bike. It was blue with a bell attached to the handlebars and when you worked the little tab back and forth with your thumb, you would hear a tinny ring. All the kids in my neighborhood had bikes, of course they were two speed bikes, stop and go, unlike the many different bikes that are available now.
I don’t remember any of us being overweight back then. We rode bikes rather than watching some silly or violent program on TV. In fact, there was no TV, no McDonald’s, no computers, no Gameboys; the only video games we had were pictures in our heads.
During the daylight hours we didn’t have many sedentary games. We ran around in the yards playing imaginary games. It was great fun. At night the whole family would sit around the supper table eating and talking. The meal usually consisted of a meat, two or three vegetables, and dessert with tea or milk to drink. No one opted for bottled water, oh yeah, there was no bottled water.
The only time we had hamburgers was on Saturday nights, no fries. Instead of fries we had goulash. During the summer we cooked outdoors on a homemade barbecue pit made out of stone. There were no charcoal, electric, or gas grills, we used wood in the pit.
Some of the neighborhood kids were always invited to eat supper with us on Saturday night. We would eat on a wooden picnic table in the backyard. After supper we would play basketball or horseshoes, or some other game. We got plenty of exercise.
Maybe if we had kept on doing those type of things, we would not have so many lazy and overweight people now. Get some “kids” of all ages together and go for a bike ride at least once a week. When you are riding, maybe along the way you’ll ride upon a backyard barbecue pit where you can fix some burgers the old fashion way and pitch a few horseshoes after supper.
It seems like every time you turn on the TV these days, there is another commercial for exercise equipment. The latest and greatest treadmill or the second to none all in one machine are advertised on a daily basis. And why not? Consumers love them. We’re always looking for ways to shape up faster and without as much work. And, that’s just what this equipment claims to do. Work out for just 20 minutes a day, three days a week and you’ll have the body of a supermodel in just one month. If only that were true. We wouldn’t have to put ourselves through the pain of the gym everyday.
If you are looking for some quality exercise equipment though, it is available. You just need to do some research and talk to enough qualified people to learn what equipment will be best for your work out routine. A treadmill works for a lot of people who like to work out in the privacy of their own home. And there are a lot of benefits that can be gleaned from running on a treadmill everyday. This type of aerobic exercise is good for your heart and your lungs. Just be sure to keep tabs on your heart rate so you don’t over do it and put your heart in danger. A general rule of thumb for running is that you should be able to talk semi-comfortably while you’re running. If you can talk without any trouble at all, you’re probably not running hard enough or fast enough. If you can’t talk because you’re busy huffing and puffing, you’re probably pushing yourself too hard. Slow down a bit and take it one step at a time.
There are several other types of exercise equipment available that can prove beneficial to our health as well. A popular piece of equipment these days is the exercise ball. They come in different sizes, so it’s important to determine which one will work for the goals you have in mind. There are many muscles that you can work using the ball. And the balls usually come with a set of instructions that tell you how to use it for different muscle groups. It’s also a great way to stretch your muscles, which is an important factor in every work out.
Some people prefer yoga or Pilates as their main workout. Each of these activities has their own set of exercise equipment as well. Along with the exercise ball, it’s important to invest in a mat. Not only will it give you the comfort you’re seeking when lying on the floor, but it’ll help keep you from getting dirty as well.