The BeYou Blog

Eat Better, Move Better, Feel Better

Category: Fitness (page 1 of 4)

Which group class should you choose?

Which group class should you choose?

Before choosing your group class, it is important to define your fitness goals in order to find the perfect class to complete your goals!

Do you want to lose weight? To build muscle? Or maybe to be faster and stronger? Luckily, most gyms are offering a variety of funny group classes! But which one is the right for you? Of course, the best is to try every class and then decide which one you prefer, but you can also think in terms of goals. This article will help you define which class will help you to complete your fitness goal!

Your goal is weight loss

Good news: most classes are good options for weight loss! The best is to opt for a class that involves both cardio (to keep your heart rate elevated during all the class) and weight lifting. Cardio will help you burn more calories and weight lifting will help you build muscle which can give to your skin a more toned effect.

You can choose a class like “Total Body Toning” or “TRX”. Pilates is also a good option and maybe better at the beginning to enter into the fitness world. Other good options could be “Zumba”, “Kickboxing”, “GAP” or “Ab attack” class.

Your goal is strength and flexibility

If you want to get stronger and be bendy at the same time, it is possible! Most weight lifting classes can help you to complete this goal. But don’t forget to get heavier weights to see a progression. Yoga class is also an excellent way to work on your body strength, flexibility, and balance.

Your goal is to improve performance

If you want to have better results (running a marathon, increasing running speed etc), focus on Interval Training classes such as HIIT class or cycling class. They are great to push yourself and go beyond your limits.

But the most important: Have fun moving!

Why I am gaining weight even when I exercise?

Why I am gaining weight even when I exercise?

If you have the feeling that you are gaining weight whereas you are exercising, read this article, it will make you feel better!

Many things can affect your ability to lose weight, such as:

  • Food choices: Diet is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy weight. Try to eat more protein-rich foods, fibrous vegetables, healthy fats.
  • Activity level
  • Genetics
  • Age

Stress can also affect your weight loss, and over-exercising can lead to stress-related hormonal fluctuations that may make weight loss harder.

Although getting the right amount of physical activity is important for your overall health, overtraining and not getting adequate rest between your workouts can keep you from losing weight. This is why balancing exercise with recovery periods is critical.

Overtraining — especially physically demanding cardiovascular activity, such as a marathon or triathlon training — may increase levels of cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress.

Elevated cortisol levels have been associated with:

  • weight gain
  • sleep disturbances
  • increased inflammation
  • excess belly fat (even in lean people)

Elevated cortisol levels drive hunger and cravings for tasty junk foods, which is why chronically elevated levels can lead to weight gain or prevent weight loss.

Our tips:

  • cutting down on training sessions
  • giving your body time to recuperate between workouts
  • adding cortisol-reducing activities to your routine, such as yoga or meditation

Menopause transition (perimenopause) typically begins in your mid-40s. Studies show that hormonal fluctuations during this time may lead to weight gain, especially in your abdominal area.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/

15 Minutes Fat Burning Exercises

You don’t have time to train today, but you don’t want to feel guilty? Try these 3 fat burning and bodyweight training exercises to work up a sweat in only 15 minutes!

 

THE BENEFITS

It combines endurance and strength training.

You burn massive calories (fat burning)

Get tonedand become stronger.

Do it anywhereand anytime.

No equipmentneeded.

Quick training (15 minutes are enough).

 

  1. EXPLOSIVE BURPEES

Burpees will elevate your heart rate which can help you burn massive calories!

 

2. JUMP SQUATS

The only fact of jumping is really effective for fat burning, and much more if you convert your jump in a jump squat! It will activate your core and you will be working your leg muscles (quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes) as well as your inner and outer thighs (adductors and abductors), calves. You will also improve your stabilization. If jump squats turn to be a too big challenge for you, regular squats are great too!

3. JUMP LUNGE

This cardiovascular exercise is a variation of the simple lunge. You will be working all the major muscles in your lower body (quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves) and your legs.

Our suggestion: 40-second workout/ 20-second rest. Repeat for 4 rounds and rest for 60 seconds at the end of the third exercise interval.

Running: why my legs feel heavy?

Running: why my legs feel heavy?

Some running days are better than others. Among the reasons of a bad run, we can mention bad weather (cold temperatures, slippery ground, strong wind), low energy (a headache, sickness, hangover), weak breathing, cramps, soreness or heavy legs. In this article, we will focus on  “having heavy legs” while running.

There is nothing worse than starting a run and feeling that you have bricks instead of sneakers. What are the causes of heavy legs? How can you reduce this dead leg feeling?

 

🔸 Adjust your strength training

For sure, building muscle mass can help you become a better runner. However, a very intense strength training can lead to heavy legs. During the in-season of running, focus more on  light strength training.

 

🔸Don’t skip the post-run stretching

It is also very important to incorporate regular stretches after your run. It will decrease muscle stiffness and pain and increase your range of motion. If you don’t have time, try at least to stretch for 10 minutes (static leg stretches) and also involve quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hips, and back.

 

🔸Overtraining

If the feeling of heavy legs is quite frequent during your runs, it might be a sign of overtraining (too much physical stress on your body). It can be caused by too many workouts, doing too much after an injury, large jumps in the long run, etc. If the feeling of heavy legs is really due to overtraining, we recommend taking a few days of rest. It’s also important to listen to your body in order to avoid injuries and more serious problems.

 

🔸Wear good shoes

The ideal shoes are light as possible while offering the necessary support. If you run quite often, the best would be to go to a professional store and ask for a recommendation. You need to have shoes adapted to your type of foot. Be sure to replace your running shoes every 300-500 miles.

Moreover, having heavy legs can also be due to a low carbohydrate diet, a lack of sleep, iron deficiency, dehydration, or poor circulation.

We hope that this article was helpful and that it could help you facing this problem. If you are experiencing heavy legs too often, see your doctor to address your concerns.

 

What are the Benefits of Hanging Exercise?

Simply hanging a bar is undoubtedly the best upper body stretch, that you need to do daily.  It is quick, simple and is really effective. In order to perform the hang stretch, you only will need a bar or something that can support your body weight to hang from. We will see how you should do it and all the benefits it will provide.

How to do it?

  1. Grab onto a bar. Wrap the bar with all your fingers, your palm facing away with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip.
  2. Try to hang yourself without touching the ground with your feet.
  3. Keep your body in alignment. Our tip to help you keep your body aligned is to press your legs and glutes together and keep your abs contracted.
  4. You should feel a stretch across the upper back, biceps, and triceps.

During the movement, try to relax your body and let the weight of your body drift towards the floor. This action is called “traction”, giving you the feeling that your muscles and body start to lengthen.

The benefits

As we have already said, the bar hanging is definitely the best you can do for your upper body.

🔸Improve the strength of your grip

Hanging a bar will make your grip stronger as you will be supporting your entire body. Which means that you will be better in other training exercises requiring a strong grip (pull-ups, deadlifts, rows, etc).

🔸Make your shoulder stronger

Having strong shoulders will allow you to perform safely pressing and overhead movements.

🔸Healthy Spine

Hanging a bar could be very useful for those who have spinal compression or pull heavy barbells on a regular basis. It can relax your back and relieve you from unwanted lower back pain and soreness.

🔸Improve your posture

When we are hanging a bar, we try to keep our body in a straight position. If you do this exercise daily, it will increase your awareness of postural imbalances.

🔸Improve your workouts

Bar hanging is considered as a really good warm-up before a training proposing pull-ups, chin-up or other gymnastic movements. Hanging exercises can improve your workouts at a general level as you will increase grip strength, flexibility, body weight movement, shoulder stability, back strength, and posture.

 

 

Why you should consider stretching for your body maintenance 🧘‍♀

Why you should consider stretching for your body maintenance

Stretching is not only the best way to increase your flexibility, but it is also a vital form to maintain your body! 

When you are stretching your muscles after a long run or doing a few stretches after a few hours sitting at your desk, you can see the benefits of stretching. Most of the time, your body needs it, asks for it and it makes you feel good!

However, we can admit that we should practice it more often. Experts think that the body should receive stretching exercises on a consistent basis. Indeed, flexibility is one of the components of fitness which means that as the other components such as cardio training or strength training, stretching is a necessary part of your fitness routine. Stretching helps the muscles function normally (they will be more receptive) by resolving tension and improving the circulation.

With a consistent stretching routine, you can increase mobility, flexibility, blood flow and muscles function. But also you can:

🔸Help your muscles heal:

One of the main benefits from stretching is that it can recover your muscles after heavy exercises. After a strong training, muscles fibers can be overly contracted. Stretching allows realigning tissue within the muscle and connective tendons so that they can heal. If not stretched, your muscles will be shortened of their range of motion, decreasing your results.

🔸 It prevents aches and pains

When you start noticing discomfort or just minor aches in certain muscles for example if you are sitting at a desk during too many hours, after carrying heavy weight from the supermarket or simply after a tough training, the solution is STRETCHING. Ashes and pains are just a sign that your body needs some extra attention.

🔸 It improves your workouts

Stretching allows you to enhance performance and to get better results. As your range of motion is improved, you will gain in physical performance.

🔸 it improves your movements at a general level

You will be better prepared to perform any kind of physical activity during your daily life (carrying bags, running to catch the bus, climbing stairs, etc).

🔸 It can reduce stress

Stretching training can be really relaxing, specifically the stretching activity when you are taking deep breaths (yoga for example). You can also see it as a form of meditation.

Stretching is specifically recommended to people who sit or stand a lot and for people who train a lot. If you want to increase your flexibility on a permanent and long-term, it is recommended to schedule 2-3 stretching sessions of 30 to 60 minutes a week.  Hold each position during at least 30 seconds and be careful not to push a muscle too far.

🧘‍♀

 

Choose the right training for your body type

Choose the right training for your body type

Did you know that it exists 3 types of body, which are predominantly genetic but it doesn’t mean that you can’t change the shape of your body? Of course, if you have a straight and narrow physique, it will be difficult to transform your body in a hourglass figure but you can adopt a specific training in order to make the most out of your body type!

The 3 body types are Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph. Try to identify your body type with the description below and the picture in order to know which training (both strength and cardio) you should opt for. Of course, determining your body type is not always so obvious but you might notice that there is one type more predominant. 

 

  1. Ectomorph (check the body type with the blue rectangle)

The ectomorph body type is naturally very thin with narrow hips and shoulders, thin arms and legs and very low fat. This body type generally struggles to gain weight.

Your strength training:

  • Train with heavy weight with long resting time between each set (2-3 minutes) and between each exercise (5 minutes).

  • Focus on 1 or 2 body parts per day in order to avoid a caloric deficit.

  • You should do  5 to 10 reps and 6-8 sets for each exercise.

  • Our tip: don’t train a muscle group that is sore

Your cardio training:

  • Minimal cardio

  • Prefer moderate to low-intensity cardio exercise such as biking or speed walking.

 

2. Mesomorph (check the body type with the black triangle)

The Mesomorph body type is an intermediate between the Ectomorph and the Endomorph. It is the ideal body type for bodybuilding because you can win muscle easily. It is characterized by very strong legs, broad shoulders, and a narrower waist. People with this body type generally have also low fat.

Your strength training:

  • You will get better results if you do a varied training (light, moderate, heavy weight). You can do basic exercises such as squats, lunges, chest press, shoulder press with heavy weight followed by moderate or light weights.
  • For the legs, you can even incorporate really heavy weights (6 reps).
  • Do between 8 to 12 reps by exercise.

Your cardio training:

  • We recommend doing cardio training 3 days per week during 15-30 minutes.
  • HIIT training good be a good option for this body type

 

3. Endomorph (check the body type with the red square)

The Endomorph body type has more the shape of a pear and is more round. They tend to have more body fat, especially in the legs and arms. This is why it is much more difficult for this body type to gain muscle and easier to gain weight. But don’t blame your genetics! You can still work on it in order to come closer to the body type that you like.

Your strength training:

  • Total body workout in order to burn many calories
  • If you work with weights, prefer moderate weight lifting.
  • Aim for 8-12 reps and 3-5 sets for upper body and 12-20 reps for lower body.

Your cardio training:

  • 20-30 minutes cardio 3 days per week
  • Prefer easy cardio training such as swimming, biking, hiking, or walking

All these information are great to give you an idea of the direction you have to take. But remember that any kind of results takes time and consistency! So don’t give up and believe in yourself!

 

Quick workouts: what about the benefits?

Quick workouts: what about the benefits?

Many of you are wondering if quick workouts really make a difference? When, once again, you don’t have time to go to the gym or your energy seems very low, you decide to opt for a short home workout and you are wondering will it be worth it?

So if short workouts can really bring benefits, what are they?

A quick workout can provide benefits for general health and fitness. It also will help you to come closer to your weight loss goals. However, short workouts are not ideal if you have specific goals such as becoming stronger, having bigger arms, better muscles, etc. Indeed, if you want to build muscles, you will need a little more time than just 10 minutes a day.

According to a study, even a short training of 4 minutes can increase your cardiometabolic health, specifically for people having a very low level of fitness (significant decrease in mortality risk). Moreover, some individuals with overweight following a 2-month short and high-intensity workouts, had a better control of their blood sugar levels.

Short workouts have also another benefit: you are not so exhausted as regular workouts and your appetite doesn’t increase.

Another study has demonstrated that a 10 minutes high-intensity workout can improve your mental focus which makes it perfect for your break at work, before an exam or a study session.

In order to receive all the benefits properly, you should opt for a high-intensity workout at about 8 of a 1 to 10 level of discomfort (it should be hard to make your heart race).

So, short workout or no workout?

Clearly, the answer is short workout! If you are traveling, don’t have the time or just want to gain more focus throughout the day, do it! But of course, they shouldn’t be your only option!

In summary, you can improve your general fitness with quick workouts but keep it as an extra training when you don’t have time.

 

HIIT: What is Tabata workout?

HIIT: what is Tabata workout?

First things first, before going into the description of the Tabata workout, let’s explain what is a HIIT training.

HIIT = High-Intensity Interval Training

This training style became very popular recently because it allows you to do a good training in a short period (perfect in you have a busy schedule).

This type of training will help you to lose body fat because, due to the high intensity, your body will continue to burn calories even after the training (afterburn effect). This is due to the fact that your body requires more energy (calories) to repair itself after this intense training.

The concept of this training is quite simple: performing short powerful movements, followed by regular resting periods. Rather than spending one-hour practicing moderating exercises, you will push yourself close to your limit for a short time.

Tabata is one of the most effective HIIT training. It was originally created by Japanese professor Dr. Izumi Tabata for the Olympic speed skating team.

Tabata HIIT = 8 x 20 seconds maximal intensity exercise + 10 seconds of rest between each lap = 4 minutes exercise

This type of training is really efficient because it will both strengthen your muscles and improve your cardiovascular system.

Here is an example of a Tabata workout with 2 different exercises that you can easily do at home, for the days you would like to skip the gym.  

Exercise 1: Perform squat during 20 seconds + rest for 10 seconds + Repeat again (8 times)

Rest for one minute

Exercise 2: Perform mountain climbers during 20 seconds + rest for 10 seconds + Repeat again (8 times)

You are done! Congratulations! You just burned 343 calories!

Don’t forget to engage your core during both exercises. Perform the mountain climbers at high speed in order to get your heart rate up!

 

6 efficient exercises for your workout at home

6 efficient exercises for your workout at home

Sometimes you feel like you need to hit the gym, and on other days, motivation has totally disappeared.

Then what are the options?

Option 1: Missing one day at the gym (nobody will see the difference, isn’t it?).

Option 2: Workout at home! Even if you don’t have any equipment, your body resistance is all you need.

Our tip:  If you don’t feel motivated, listen to music while exercising! Listen to the beat and motivation should come!

🔸Lunges

6 efficient exercises for your workout at home

Begin the movement in a standing position, feet hip-width apart. Take a step forward with one leg, shift weight and lower your body until your opposite thigh is parallel to the floor. Your knee should lightly touch the floor before going back to the initial standing position.

Do 15-20 lunges per side during 2-3 sets.

🔸Plank

6 efficient exercises for your workout at home

Get yourself into the plank position, tucking your tummy. Hold this position for 90 seconds. You can also add some variations for the next 45 seconds: raise one arm and tap the opposing shoulder, by alternating right and left arm.  

🔸Tricep dip

6 efficient exercises for your workout at home

For this exercise, you can use a bench or a chair. Sit down with your feet flat on the ground and place your arms behind you, leaning on the bench. Lift your butt and slowly lower down your body by bending the elbow.

Do 30 reps.  

🔸Sumo squat

Begin in a standing position and place your legs in a distance apart wider than your hips. Get as low as you, just like you’re going to sit down on a chair. You can place your hands in front of you to help you with balance.

Do 30 reps.

🔸Ab bikes

Lie down on a mat. Cradle your hands with your head and bring one elbow to the opposing knee.

Do 30 reps for each side (left elbow-right knee and right elbow-left knee).

🔸Pushups

6 efficient exercises for your workout at home

The full pushups involve doing the movement in the plank position so that you are lifting a lot of your weight. With the micro pushups, you do the movement by resting in your knees (easier). 

Try to do 15 full pushups and 10 micro pushups.

 

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