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Category: Fitness (page 1 of 3)

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.

 

Do we need to stretch before exercising?

Do we need to stretch before exercising?

A few years ago, to stretch before exercising in team sports was an activity widely recognized, especially the static stretching during which you undertake a pose and you hold it from a few seconds to long minutes.

However, recent studies have demonstrated that a prolonged static stretching could cause reactions in the nervous system that might weaken temporarily the stretched muscles and the performance of athletes.

Many coaches and sports organizations recommend the dynamic stretching because your limbs and joints always stay in motion.

With the purpose to analyze the effects of dynamic stretching on performance, some scientists have tested different stretching routines on 20 young male athletes in team sports (rugby and football) for 4 days.

In order to have the best conditions for the study, the warm-up consisted of a few minutes jogging, a stretching and then 15 minutes of intense sprinting, jumping and other fast moves. During the 4 days, only the stretching was changed.

The first day, during their warm-up, the athletes completed 9 basic static stretching for different muscles, each of them last 5 seconds. The second day, the same 9 stretches were completed again but for 30 seconds each. The third day, the same stretches were done but with the dynamic version. And the last day, no stretching was done during their warm-up. The athletes had to complete tests every day to measure their flexibility, agility, jumping and sprinting.

Results: the performance of the athletes didn’t change, regardless of the type of stretching (dynamic or static) and even without any warm-up. So, to stretch before exercising?  It’s up to you to decide! The answer will depend on how do you feel about stretching and the type of exercise do you want to do!

 

Weight training: what are the benefits?

Weight training: what are the benefits?

With the weight training, people use the resistance provided by the weights in order to increase muscular strength, size, power or endurance and so to reach your goals even faster. By pushing our body to their physical limits, we are guaranteed to receive a better response.

🔸Increase muscular strength: Exercising with weight will help you build muscular strength and if you follow a progression program, you can develop your muscles better and be able to pull heavier weight.

🔸Increase muscular size: This is the benefit which converted weightlifting in a popular activity. Why? Because it can help you to lose weight and to look slimmer. By increasing your muscle mass, you reinforce your metabolism so that your body will burn more calories throughout the day.

🔸Increase muscular power: If your muscles are stronger, you will also feel more powerful and quicker when you are lifting a weight.

🔸Increase muscular endurance: the muscular endurance is the ability of your muscles to exert a force for a certain period of time. The more you train with weights, the longer you will be able to exercise without any difficulty.

But weight lifting is more than this: we can globally say that it is beneficial for the overall health: it helps to build bone density, increase cardiopulmonary health, improve balance, reduce the risk of falls and injury, enhance motor performance, improve sleep, develop confidence and much more.

 

When and what should you eat before exercising?

When and what should eat before exercising

Have you ever wondered why do you have much more energy to workout some days than others? This could be due to the time and the type of food you eat before exercising. Let’s see how the food you eat can have an impact on your performance!

Can we get better results if we eat at certain times?

The most important is to control your overall calorie intake (keep an eye on portion sizes) and the quality of your food (eat well throughout the day). But that also depends on your goals. If you are not spending all your time in the gym every day, the nutrient timing (eating a certain amount of nutrients at a certain time) does not have a real importance. Try to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day at a regular time and exercise when it seems the best time for you. Easy!

On the other hand, if your objective is to gain mass and that you are doing intense and long training, the time and the type of food you eat before exercising or after a workout becomes more significant. In this case, you should eat the right balance of carbs, protein, and fat both before and after your workout in order to prevent muscle mass loss and give you more energy.

You just need to consider that macronutrients are absorbed by the body differently. Carbs are ideal to receive a quick dose of energy: sugary carbs are the fastest to digest and complex carbs take a little longer (whole grains or legumes). Protein arrives in the second position and the longest to digest is the fat. The digestion time depends also on the proportion.

In order to increase your performance during your intense workouts, focus more on carbs and protein and limit the amount of fat. 

Our tips:

🔸 Don’t eat protein bars or shake (even less just before your training). Energetic bars often contain a lot of sugar and artificial ingredients.

🔸 Drink a coffee before your workout: some studies demonstrate that caffeine could improve physical performance.

Working out in the heat: the benefits

The benefits of working out in the heat

Do we burn more calories by working out in the heat?

With the high temperatures of summer, many of us choose to work out outdoors even if it seems easier to exercise with conditioned air. But in the reality, what is better? Is it more effective to do hot workouts? Here is everything you need to know.

Doing a long run under the heat of July can be very intense and difficult. Does it mean that we are burning more fat and calories? After this type of workout, you can sometimes feel lighter. Unfortunately, the extra weight that you have the feeling to have lost is likely to be water, not fat.

Indeed, hot workouts may help you to burn more calories because your body is using more energy due to the heat, but the difference with indoors workouts (conditioned air) will be negligible.

However, even if working out in the heat doesn’t really help you to burn more fat, we can recognize some benefits.

Working out with extreme temperature has a detox effect. The fact that you are sweating a lot helps your body to get rid of toxins (lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium). The more you sweat, the less you will have toxins in your body. Sweating can help you to stay healthier and live longer. But don’t forget that the more you sweat, the more you become dehydrated so don’t forget to drink a lot of water.

Another benefit of hot workout is the fact that you become more flexible. This is particularly useful for people that practice yoga. It allows you to sink deeper and it makes your muscles more pliable. However, try not to overdo it and respect your limits.

A study done at the University of Oregon suggested that exercising in the heat can increase performance. The experience was testing the ability of competitive bike riders to perform in a 55-degree room. One group trained before in a cold environment and the other group in the heat. In the end, when they were all tested in the 55-degree room, the group that trained in the heat was significantly more performant.

Finally, hot workouts may help you to build mental toughness and give you the ability to keep going.

If you really decide to work out in the heat, you have to take some precautions. Pay attention to your body and feelings. Be particularly careful if you feel the following symptoms: dizziness, confusion, cramps, nausea, and weakness. This means that is time to cool off.

The most important is to hydrate yourself a lot because the risk of dehydration is much higher in hot weather.

 

 

 

 

 

What are the benefits of Yoga for your body?

thebenefitsofyoga

We can consider that Yoga is a tree with 8 different branches: restraints, observances, postures, breathing, withdrawal of senses, concentration, meditation, and absorption.

Most of the time, the type of yoga usually practiced in gym and yoga club is the Asana yoga. The Asana yoga is more focused on posture, stretching, and strength. The idea is to connect the movements of your body to your mind and respiration. This is much more than stretching: this is a physical-mental work.

You can choose to practice yoga by embracing the 8 different branches of yoga or simply by practicing the spiritual connection.

What are the benefits of Yoga?

  • Yoga improves your flexibility and versatility by lengthening your muscles. This is the most obvious benefit of yoga and you can see the results very quickly. During the first class, touching your toes will seem impossible. But if you keep going to your yoga classes, the pain will start to disappear.
  • It tones your body and builds muscle strength which protects you from back pain or arthritis.
  • Yoga helps you understand how to align your body, how to position your muscles and how to improve your balance. Having a bad posture can cause back or neck problems.
  • It increases your blood flow, specifically the relaxation exercises.
  • Yoga helps you to sleep better by providing downtime for the nervous system (if your class includes meditation exercises).
  • You can lose weight but it depends on different factors:
  1. The length of your session
  2. The frequency of your yoga training (at least twice a week).  
  3. The type of Yoga: yoga sessions are more intense with the Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Power yoga. 

Even if you don’t really lose weight, you will see your body get toned.

Workout from home: all you need

workout from home

Getting into fitness is not cheap! From the underwear to the new shoes, you also have to add the price of your gym membership each month! But what if you could lower the price of being fit by creating your own gym at home? Here are some regular home items that you can use to engage every muscle you’ve got.

Instead of a mat, use a towel or a carpet

Grab the biggest towels of your bathroom and you have your mat! In addition, unlike the mat, you can soak up your sweat by washing the towel after your workout!  

Instead of a bench, use a chair

Even if it is less stable, chairs are good tools to exercise at home. You just need to push the back of a chair against the wall and you are all set to do some step ups, plank knee cross, tricep dips, standing side crunch, incline push-ups, and much more! If you think that the chair is too risky for you, you can also use the stairs instead!

Instead of dumbbells, use water bottles

Dumbbells are easily replaceable! You can use bottles of water, cans of soup, large carton of milky, anything in your house! Use the lighter objects to do micromovements with a lot of repetitions such as the dumbbell clean, the farmers’ falk, bent-over row, the bench press,…

You can use the heavier items as a kettlebell for overhead squats, Turkish get-up, single arm presses, lunge presses, Russian twist, weighted reaches and weighted hip raises!

Use your body

Who says it was compulsory to work out with weights? You can totally use the weight of your own body to do endless exercises such as planks, squats, burpees, crunches, leg raises, Russian twists,…

Use the wall

Did you know that wall sits are recognized as the most effective body exercises to tone and tighten the butt, the belly, the legs or the triceps? Here is a total-body against the wall workout: wall push-ups, sprints, wall plank, outer-thigh toner, hamstring blasters, single-legged wall squats.

Now, you are ready to work out everywhere!

 

8 Steps to Become a Runner… For Anyone Who Doesn’t Really Like Running

fitness budy

Running is a love/hate-activity for most people. It takes some willpower to get going, it hurts a bit during the run, but the feel-good payoff afterward makes it worth the effort.

But for others, running is just a hate-activity, as in “I hate running!”

And that’s completely fine. You don’t have to run to be fit and healthy. At the same time, have there ever been instances when you wish you liked it? (I bet you have.)

Whether it’s the social aspect of running with friends, all the amazing fitness benefits running offers or the opportunity to train for a goal or raise money for charity, running certainly does have its perks.

There are 8 simple steps to become a runner — even if you think you don’t like running.

 

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6 REASONS TO GET MOVING

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Even small amounts of physical activity can be good for your health. But do you know all the reasons why?

If the thought of exercise turns you off, it may be time to reframe your perspective. Research shows that it’s not just structured exercise but any type of physical activity that has benefits. This means anything that gets you moving—a walk with a friend, raking leaves in the yard, climbing several flights of stairs—counts, as long as it gets you moving for a sustained amount of time. And any amount of physical activity is better than none. This means getting moving for just 15 minutes a day can start to bring benefits, especially if you are usually not active.

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