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Tag: Fitness (page 1 of 3)

Best Christmas Gifts for Fitness and Sport Lovers

Best Christmas Gifts for Fitness and Sport Lovers

Christmas is coming and it is time to think about what type of Christmas gifts are you going to put under your tree! We have prepared for you a list of gift ideas for sports lovers (cyclist, gym bunnies or just fitness fanatics) to suit every taste, budget, and interest.

Mobvoi Ticwatch S (£178)

Looking for a nice water-resistant and fitness-focused smartwatch without breaking the bank? You should have a look at the Ticwatch S. It can track your heart rate, your steps, calories, and nutritional intake and works with the latest wear OS by Google. Plus, it enables you to map your workout routine!

Where to shop it: https://www.mobvoi.com/sp/products/ticwatch-s

Bam Zip-neck Bamboo Baselayer (£48)

If the person you would like to offer the gift, loves winter workouts, this gift is made for you! This bamboo baselayer offers an ultra-soft performance and a sweat-wicking comfort. Plus, Bamboo is better for the environment than cotton.

Where to buy it: https://bambooclothing.co.uk/shop/zip-neck-bamboo-baselayer-blue-bottle/

Petzl Reactik+ (£60)

Petzl Reactik is the light everybody needs in order to run safely in the 5pm dark during winter.  It adjusts the brightness (there are four lighting profiles) to suit the conditions and you can manage him through your smartphone for full customization.

Where can you buy it: https://www.decathlon.es/linterna-frontal-reactik-neg-300-lumenes–id_8375730.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxovc9f6U3wIVDbDtCh1JvgcQEAAYASAAEgIwxfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Buff ThermoNet (€23.65)

This face and neck protector is ideal when there is a real chill in the air. It will bring comfort and warmth for the outdoor bike rides or runs. You can check on the website all the different style.

Check it here: http://www.buffwear.com/buff-adult-headwear/thermonet

Pursoma After The Class Post-Workout Soak ($39.00)

This is the gift of relief and relaxation! After a hardcore workout session, the muscles get insanely sore. This luxe bath soak will relieve tension both mentally and physically.

Where to buy it: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077VLQ9VY?creativeASIN=B077VLQ9VY&linkCode=w61&imprToken=7Lakgw3iBWg0s0oPvA2stw&slotNum=3

Run Fast. Eat Slow. Nourishing Recipes for Athletes by Shalane Flanagan ($18.74)

This book is a unique fitness gift for the runners! The book is full of delicious, flavorful whole food recipes to lead a healthy lifestyle!

Where to buy it: https://www.amazon.com/dp/162336681X?creativeASIN=162336681X&linkCode=w61&imprToken=7Lakgw3iBWg0s0oPvA2stw&slotNum=10

Soft Gym Bag Oysho (29,99£)

This bag will make the fitness lovers happy! With a nice texture and 2 ways of carrying it, you can pack easily all you need to work out: shoes, legging, towels, etc. We love it! 

Where to buy it: https://www.oysho.com/gb/activewear/sports-bags/soft-gym-bag-c1010072015p101558503.html?colorId=197&typeCategory=0

 

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!

 

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!

 

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.

 

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

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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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Get outdoors to get achieve

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Use this field guide to help you reconnect to the natural world.

For many people, an exercise routine means getting in a car, driving to the gym, slogging away on an elliptical machine and then retreating back to their homes or offices, where they sit down in front of the blue glow of a computer, TV or tablet. But there’s something missed when exercise takes place only in indoor gyms and fitness studios. Trading up some of your gym time for time on the trails, the river or the bike path can bring benefits beyond improved fitness.

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How to bring variety into your workout routine

Tired of the same workout routine? Bringing variety and mixing up your workout remains a big challenge for both beginners and advanced exercisers. Creatures of habit we are, it is part of our human nature to resist bringing regular changes into our daily routines. However to attain long-term changes to your physical markers, such as weight loss or muscle definition, one needs to understand the danger and unwanted effects of routine and must therefore insert regular changes into your workout.

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