Month: March 2016

New Year’s Fitness Resolutions And Keeping The Promises

download (7)Although making resolutions are quite easy but keeping the promises are quite difficult. At the beginning of the year, people are excited about their fitness regime. But as the year progresses, their passion quickly runs out of steam. So it is hard to find people making long-term changes in their lifestyle based on the resolutions made.

Be Realistic

It is important to be realistic and flexible when setting resolutions made for the New Year. In spite of the best intentions, there are chances of life’s events preventing you from reaching your fitness resolutions.

Set Measurable Goals

One way to keep up with your New Year’s fitness resolutions is to set measurable goals. Hence, setting a goal of doing exercises twice a week is more concrete and easy to follow compared to setting a vague goal that makes it difficult to measure the progress. Similarly, setting obviously difficult goals should also be avoided. Instead, starting small is more likely to help you to keep your resolutions.

Have Fun

Boredom is certainly going to prevent you from keeping your fitness resolutions. You could keep your workouts challenging and engaging by adding variety and doing new things as part of your workout regime.

Track Your Progress

Keep track of any improvements that you notice, whether you find your backaches disappearing, your slim jeans fitting again, or you find losing a few pounds. So whenever you lack motivation, you can remind yourself of these benefits that you received since you started your workout regime. Furthermore, break up your resolutions for short term purposes which will help you to set milestones, keep track of your developments and stay motivated.

Find a Buddy

It would do well to buddy up with a friend or family member while setting up your New Year’s resolution. This will motivate each of the participants, and help in reaching the fitness goals.

Celebrate Your Successes

Rejoice your success by treating yourself something special whenever you reach a landmark. However, see that the treat you select does not go against your fitness resolution.

Behavioral Changes Matter

It makes sense to motivate yourself in changing your lifestyle, which at times may seem to be a tough job to achieve. Start following your fitness plan with behavioral changes and prevent yourself from facing a health scare that could coerce you into losing weight to get fit.

Keeping up with your New Year’s resolution for months may be extremely difficult. But a change in one’s lifestyle for better is possible and it would do well to start doing it right now and stick to your exercise routine for approximately three weeks and form a routine that will see you make it all through the year with your New Year’s resolution.


Weight Lifting Technique: Not Sexy, But Safe

download (6)I had just done a set on the calf press machine. A young woman standing nearby said, “You’re the only one in the gym who does this the right way.”

I knew what she meant. Most of the users treat the seated calf press like a leg press.

My first lifting coach was a technique fanatic. He used to grunt, “If you go into the weight room, you’ll see some funny s**t.” We all learned good technique from the start with that coach.

Does It Matter?

Lifting technique is important for safety. Bad form can lead to injury – and cheat the muscle out of its workout.

But bad technique can be an important signal that the target muscle can’t handle the workload. When the weight is appropriate, the lifting action will tend to remain correct.

When the target muscle lacks the strength to lift the weight – or the endurance to finish the set – the body “cheats.” It’s just an attempt to recruit less fatigued muscle fibers, or even get stronger muscles to help. An impressive solution, when you think about it. But it’s not safe.

Errors in technique are always – consciously or unconsciously – a way of making the set easier.

Common mistakes in technique include the following, among others. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just some funny s**t I’ve seen in the weight room over the years.

The Big Wind-Up

Using body momentum is a way of lifting a heavier weight. It might feel gratifying, but it can be dangerous.

You’ve probably seen this if you’ve ever watched anyone do standing arm curls. At some point (maybe even on the first rep), the lifter stops using just the biceps. He starts winding up and rocking his whole body forward and back – or even more dangerously – arching his back to get that weight to the top of the motion.

It’s more effective and less dangerous to use a lighter weight and isolate the biceps. Or at least stop the set as soon as technique deteriorates.

The Need For Speed

Rushing through the repetitions is another way of using momentum. The lifter speeds through the movement and “tosses” the weight up, then lets gravity pull it down, making no effort to control it.

Many people do this on the leg extension machine. The extension is super fast – using a heavier weight than the lifter would be able to handle at a slower, more controlled pace. The return motion is completely uncontrolled. The weight slams down, then gets tossed up again.

Extending the legs slowly instead would make for some solid concentric work, while a controlled return would require eccentric contractions. It’s a much safer and more effective alternative.

Shortened Range of Motion

This is often combined with rushed reps, and can be seen on standing heel raises, triceps press-downs, and arm curls of all varieties.

Posture Errors or Posture Horrors?

One of the most common mistakes in the weight room is “bridging” or arching on bench press, incline press, shoulder press, and even prone leg curls.

Bench, incline and shoulder press all involve the same basic muscles – pectorals (chest), deltoids (shoulders) and triceps. The angle of the bench determines the degree of fiber recruitment from each muscle group.

When a lifter arches during shoulder press, the body may be attempting to recruit more of the stronger chest fibers to assist the weaker, or more fatigued, shoulders. In effect, the arching turns the shoulder press into an incline press.

Similarly, arching during incline press may be the body’s attempt to convert the lift to a flat bench press, which might be a stronger lift.

Arching is so common during incline press, some gyms have incline benches that are shaped for the arch! Yes, someone actually got paid for designing a bench that makes it impossible to do a correct incline press on it. Yikes. But I digress.

Aside from possible strain on the low back, the target muscles are less effectively worked than they would be if proper form were maintained.

Bottom Line?

If your technique begins to deteriorate during a set, stop. Reduce the weight and do your next set with correct technique. Use the right weight and good technique. Stay safe.

Muscles will always and automatically take the easy way out. Only the discipline of technique will keep them working effectively and safely.


Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Constipation Naturally

download (5)Constipation is a health issue in which the affected person passes hard stools or is unable to empty the bowel regularly. Lack of enough fiber in one’s diet, certain medications or inadequate water consumption can all lead to constipation. Other conditions such as piles and fissures can manifest due to chronic constipation.

However, there are many tried and tested remedies that can relieve you from this problem in a safe and natural way. Instead of taking prescription drugs, you should opt for all-natural methods since they are free from side effects and are effective at the same time.

If you are not sure of how to treat your constipation naturally, then this article is for you. We are sharing some of the best tips that have helped countless people who suffer from irregular bowel movements throughout the world. So, keep reading to find out more.

Increase fiber intake

Today, our diet has less than the required amount of fiber. This is because the influx of processed food has taken over whole foods. The result is that our body is unable to get enough amounts of fiber to get the bowels moving. You can easily increase fiber in your diet by incorporating whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Another source of fiber is psyllium husk. Soak two teaspoons of this husk in milk or yoghurt and let it sit for a few minutes. You will notice that the husk begins to absorb the liquid and starts to swell up. Taking this mixture can give your body with much-needed fiber quickly and easily.

Increase water intake

Hard stools are due to the fact that there is insufficient fluid in your body. Your intestines make use of water during the egestion process so you need to drink up to hasten this process. Drinking around 8-10 glasses of water a day will help your body to absorb food better as well as get rid of waste materials more easily.

If you find water too bland for your taste, then add slices of citrus fruit or berries and allow these fruits to infuse for a few hours in someplace cool. The result will be a sweet tasting water that is full of nutrients at the same time.

Take Aloe vera gel

Pure aloe vera gel is a great way to soothe the insides of your stomach. This gel has a slippery consistency and helps to soften your stools as well as allow for easier passage out of the body.

Ideally, you should use aloe gel straight from the plant for best results. Two tablespoons are enough for this purpose. However, if you cannot find fresh aloe gel then you can also drink aloe juice. Just make sure it doesn’t have any fancy additives else you will do more harm than good to your body.

Take herbal supplements

Herbal supplements are a great way to get rid of constipation. These medicines contain potent ingredients that regulate bowel movements and give relief from piles and fissures. Some people take adequate fiber and water yet the lack of bowel contractions make them constipated. For such people, herbal supplements is the answer. This is because these medicines also trigger bowel contractions that help to push waste materials out of the system.

Take flaxseed oil

Flaxseed oil is one of the most popular natural remedies for constipation. This oil helps to coat the digestive system and allow the body to get rid of waste materials more easily. Mix a tablespoon of flaxseed oil with any fresh juice to boost the benefits. Drinking this mixture will also give your body with other nutrients and fiber as well.


Hammocking to Make Your Life Better

download (4)“Hammocking” is the name given to the activity of resting in a hammock. No matter if it is used to take a break and relax during the day, read a book, enjoy nature, take a refreshing nap or sleep a whole night, more and more people are joining this pleasant practice.

Why is this trend increasing every day, becoming so popular? Well, here we will show you some benefits of hammocking that probably you never imagined…

They suit you

The wonderful thing about a hammock is that once you lie on it, you can stretch and move in the direction you want, because it will mold to your body as if it had been made for you.

They are therapeutic

Resting in a hammock helps to relieve the pain of the lower back and neck. Additionally, when lying perpendicularly, pressured muscles are relieved as the hammock adjusts and molds perfectly to the shape and weight of the body, providing the support needed without any pressure points. Thanks to this, the muscles relax, allowing better blood flow and facilitating circulation throughout the body. In this way, the body enters a state of optimal relaxation that promotes regeneration and healing. Furthermore, resting with no pressure points can cause the alignment of the vertebrae, which helps to reduce backaches.

Good for pregnant women

Women can also find in hammocking a way to relieve the pains of the prenatal period, by using hammocks to rest comfortably, relax and sleep. In several indigenous groups from Latin America, such as the Mexican Mayas, Venezuelan Guajiros and Panamanian Kunas, the hammock is the place where women give birth to their children.

Promotes better concentration

The rolling and twisting movements that occur when resting in a hammock, stimulate the brain cortex and therefore increase the ability to concentrate, which can be beneficial for study and recreational reading, especially for people with attention difficulties.

For better sleeping

A neurological study found that the behavior of the brain waves from people who slept in hammocks indicated a deeper sleep, improved memory consolidation, and also increased tolerance to noise. The position taken by the body in a hammock, lying on your back with your head slightly elevated, is precisely the same position designed for hospital beds, providing an optimal blood circulation and improved breathing.

They are decorative

Moreover, traditional hammocks, with their beautiful fabrics and designs in different colors and shapes, are an excellent decorative element, bringing an exotic touch to spaces, turning the site where they are installed into the favorite place for relaxation and entertainment.