Equipo Fitness

Take A Break From Working Out

Take A Break From Working OutI am hoping you can give me some advice about my workout routine. I have been working out since January which is 10 months now and I do it 6 days a week consisting of dumbbells, my home gym and my treadmill at home and had been very motivated up until the last few weeks.

What I was wondering is do I need to allow myself some kind of break? I do not want to workout on a routine consisting of anything less than 6 days a week because I’m afraid if I do, I will then fall of the wagon so to speak. I do the treadmill every day of those six days and all the weight workouts every other day of the week.

I am just wondering if this is normal to feel less than motivated. Should I give myself a break maybe? For how long?

Sincerely, Kim

Answer: Hi Kim. Everyone has different levels of recovery ability and enthusiasm. Because of this, some people can handle more exercise than others. Also sometimes the workouts people do, really don’t interest them at all. In other words, its not fun for them.

To keep it simple though, if you are tired then you should rest. If your drop in motivation has nothing to do with a lack of results from your workouts then you are legitimately tired. If however you have not been seeing much in the way of results from all your hard work, then of course you are getting down in the dumps! You need a change in your routine or another of the many fitness program variables.

In my experience as a personal trainer, I seem to run into two kinds of people. The first group needs to take a week off every 6-8 weeks or they burn out and catch whatever kind of cold or flu is going around. The second group uses intuition. They workout for weeks on end until they wake up one day and say “I don’t really feel like going to the gym today.” This could be 3 months or half a year into working out. At this point they take a couple of days to a week off and then come back fully charged and raring to go. The thing about these folks is that they know that they really do love working out, so when they don’t feel like going to the gym they know their body is actually tired. It has nothing to do with skipping out because they actually enjoy working out. They want to be there, it the just the body has had enough for now.

If I was you, I would take a week or two off but continue to eat very well and clean. During this time off, reevaluate your workout routine and make sure it includes things you really love to do. Not all working out has to be with weights and cardio machines. Working out can be anything, so make sure you find your thing that keeps you revved up. Try coming back to working out with the new items you have discovered and with a bit more attention to what you body is telling you and not only what the workout book says you are supposed to do.

Which Is Better Cardio vs Weight Lifting

There has been much speculation over what is the best way to get started when wanting to begin exercising. The first thing that you must do is figure out what your goals are. Do you want to gain muscle mass, increase lean muscle mass(tone up), lose weight etc. This is the first question that must be answered we beginning any sort of new work-out plan. Your individual work-out should be catered to what you long-term goal is. Now lets start the debate, which is better, cardio or strength training.

Cardiovascular exercise focuses mainly on developing and strengthening the cardiovascular system through aerobic training. This means strengthening each component of the cardiovascular system( heart, lungs, circulation, blood vessels etc.). When you train your body, by exposing it to a stimulus that is unaccustomed to, the first thing the body wants to do is to adapt. Adapting to the level of stimulus applied makes the desired task easier. A health adaptation that the body undergoes while adjusting to a new cardiovascular stimulus will increase the efficiency of all its components. This means that the heart becomes a more finely tuned machine able to pump more blood with less effort. It doesn’t have to work as hard. This extends the life of you heart. This type of adaptation occurs with all the individual components of the cardiovascular system. A few other benefits are:
Reverse Effects of Aging
Improved Immune Function
Increased Muscle Mass
Decreased Body Fat
Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Improvement in Respiratory Function

So I guess with all these great benefits, cardio is the smartest thing you should do to achieve all you health and fitness goals right?

Weight training aims to strengthen the muscles by resistance training (lifting weights). The body will generally respond to any stimulus you apply. By lifting weights, you force the muscle to develop more, and handle more resistance and pressure. This training helps the body to function with more stability during day-to-day life. Strength training provides a stronger frame for lifting, squatting down and bending over with more ease, the ability to quickly changing directions and recovering without falling. Body sculpting, shaping, increasing the metabolism, reversing the effects of aging, and increasing bone density are just a few of the benefits of Strength training. So with all these weight training is the best overall choice to help you reach your health and fitness goal right?

THE ANSWER IS THAT NEITHER IS BETTER FOR YOU. Neither cardio nor resistance is the best way for and individual to go when approaching a targeted fitness goal. A successful exercise plan will incorporate elements of cardio, as well as weight training in a comprehensive workout. These two elements when placed together properly will help to ensure a happier and healthier quality of life. In the end, isn’t that what we always want? We want to live a better life with the health and personal benefits of having a healthy body? By encompassing both of the ideas of weight lifting and cardiovascular training together, you can achieve just that.

How to Find Your Exercise Target Zone

 You may have heard that a super quick and fairly accurate method of finding your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your own age. This is simply too inaccurate.

This is an old school technique that has no background of science at all. What has kept this formula from being discarded is the fact that it is simple. The problem with this technique is that it assumes that you will loose around one heart beat per year, not at all true of many people. Top end heart beat rates do vary a lot from person to person, no matter what their fitness or age is.

If you really want to find out what your maximum heart rate is you are going to have to perform controlled tests in a laboratory environment. These tests, performed by trained experts in this field, involve you using a cardiovascular training machine, e.g. running machine or exercise bike. The intensity of your workout is increased every 15 seconds, in the space of a few minutes you will have reached your top heart rate.

More practical is to use a ‘submax test’. Here you exercise at a sub maximum level, with the aid of specific formulas you can then predict your maximum heart rate. Although not quite as accurate as laboratory analysis, predictions usually fall within five beats of lab results. What is best is to perform 2-3 different submax tests, finding the result from the average of all of them.

An example of a submax test would be using a step machine you perform step ups and downs of 8-10 inches for 3 minutes without any breaks. At the end take your average heart rate, using a heart rate monitor. Subsequently add to this average value the correct estimate factor, decided by your fitness level, using the following formulas. What is essential for accuracy of the final result is that the movements and effort used in the exercise is as equal with each repetition as possible.


Average heart rate in the last minute + Estimate factor = Estimate max heart rate

Estimate factor:

Poor shape = 55
Average shape = 65
Excellent shape = 75
Competitor = 80

The American College of Sports Medicine states that people should exercise within their ‘target zone’, i.e. between 55-90% of their maximum heart rate. At this level you should be burning excess calories without causing injury problems through overexertion. The higher you manage to exercise at the more calories you will burn, remaining at this level for any period of time is very difficult.

One of the best ways to increase your ability to do exercise at the highest end of your hear rate is to do interval training. This is where you mix the activities or severity of your workout to keep changing from low to middle, to high heart rate levels, raising the level gradually.

Setting Fitness Goals

Many people make the mistake of setting their fitness goals too high when they embark on an exercise program. This leads them to abandon their plans out of frustration and impatience. Setting manageable goals is key to maintaining a fitness program over time.

If you have been completely sedentary you need to start out your fitness regimen by working towards small and realistic goals. These can be as simple as walking around the block once a day for a week, and adding another block each subsequent week until they reach the 30 minutes recommended by health professionals. A few sessions with a personal trainer can help you set reasonable goals for weight-bearing exercise like weight training. In the beginning focus on overall conditioning rather than building muscle. Check with staff at your gym or fitness center for recommendations about what exercise classes are right for your current fitness level.

When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to make rash promises like exercising every day. It’s hard for even people in top condition to make time each and every day for training. Start off three or four days a week and build up from there. If you’re taking up a new sport like swimming, skiing or golf, consider taking lessons with a professional so that you develop good habits from the beginning.

If you’ve been getting moderate exercise your goals can be a little more ambitious. If you’re walking the recommended 30 minutes per day, why not add hand weights to your routine? This might also be the time to consider adding more weight to your lifting or taking an intermediate fitness course. You may also be ready to speak to a personal trainer about beginning to work on building specific muscle groups.

Once you’ve attained a high level of fitness, then it’s time for some serious goal setting. Plan to run a marathon or participate in a 5K walking event. There are many of these events run to benefit charity, giving a double benefit of both funds raised and health benefits to participants. When preparing for an event of this nature, return to your early habit of setting small, realistic goals. Add miles to your run on a weekly basis until you are able to complete the full distance. Speak with your trainer to establish a regular schedule of weight-bearing exercise that will help improve your stamina and flexibility.

Walk Every Day

When it comes to exercise we each determine what we can or cannot do, and how hard we push ourselves. Some follow the all-or-nothing principle, believing that if exercise is good for you it has to be hard, even painful. Experts have recommended high-impact aerobic exercise as a means for increasing bone mass, but a review of numerous studies on aerobic exercise and bone mineral density suggests that walking just 30 minutes per day a few days a week is enough to moderately increase overall bone density. Specifically, an eight-year study of 13,000 people found that those who walked 30 minutes a day had a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercised.

As a fitness activity, walking has become more popular over the years as it offers many health benefits:

– Consistent walking can help reduce body fat, cholesterol levels, increase cardiovascular endurance, resting heart rate and lower blood pressure.

– Regular walking, using a moderate intensity, strengthens the immune system, burns calories and keeps weight stable.

– Walking is a natural form of movement and, unlike high impact exercise, does not place excess stress on the joints and boosts bone strength.

– Studies suggest regular walking can help prevent colon cancer.

– Walking is an excellent way to prevent diabetes and heart disease, when combined with a proper diet.

A walking program is simple to start. All one needs are comfortable clothes and shoes; layer loose clothing and shoes specifically designed for walking are the best. One should also keep in mind that every workout should begin with a brief warm-up and a few simple stretches. Walking around the house or in place for a few minutes to get the blood flowing to the muscles before attempting to stretch them is a good strategy. Although walking primarily works the major muscles of the legs, people should not forget to stretch their back, shoulders and arms. This will help them loosen up any tension they may be carrying and make their walk more enjoyable as well as more effective. In addition, beginning walkers can make their workouts less strenuous by limiting how fast and far they walk and focus on good posture, keeping the head lifted and the shoulders relaxed, and move arms naturally.

The popularity of walking as a fitness activity is growing by leaps and bounds. Low risk and easy to start, walking has proved its health benefits in numerous studies. In fact, walking exercise helps strengthen bones because it forces them to bear weight, which is why high-impact exercise elicits even greater gains in bone density. Concluding, walking, the oldest form of exercise, just may be the key to achieving new levels of fitness, particularly for those who need to start with small, achievable goals to get, and stay, on track.

What You Need to Know When Starting a Running Routine

Strong legs, strong lungs, strong will. Such is the portrait of a typical distance runner. The good news is that you can be a runner, too.

Why run?

Running carries with it the same benefits of all cardiovascular exercise: it helps reduce stress, strengthens the heart and lungs, reduces risk of certain diseases, increases confidence, brightens your mood, helps you sleep better, gives you more energy, and, in general, provides a better sense of well being. It is also a great way to burn calories.

How many calories do you burn running a mile?

Conventional wisdom says that, for every mile you run, you will burn 100 calories. But other factors play into the equation as well, including your running speed and your body weight. Generally speaking, a 135 pound person will burn about 100 calories per mile. A 200 pound person, running at the same speed, may burn 150. Obviously, the faster you run, the more calories you will burn.

Starting to run

Running can be stressful on your body, particularly on your leg muscles and knees. But you can minimize your risk of injury with a few simple tips.

Make sure to stretch before and after every run. Walk briskly for at least 5 minutes at the beginning of each run. Once you feel your body starting to warm up, do some gentle stretching exercises. Focus on steady, continuous stretches and avoid bouncing through the stretch.

If you are new to running, here is how you can work up to a 30 minute running routine while reducing the risk of injury.

Your first goal will be to make sure that you can walk at a brisk pace for 30 minutes. If you can do that, start to run at a slow pace until you become short of breath. Then walk briskly until you feel like you can run again. Continue with these intervals. You can challenge yourself by timing these intervals and working toward longer intervals. For example, maybe the first day you will run for 30 seconds and walk for 2 minutes. As your endurance increases, run longer and walk for shorter distances.

Another interval technique involves counting your footsteps, instead of measuring time. When you are first starting your running routine, you may do 100 or 200 running footsteps with 300 or 400 walking footsteps in between. Then you can work up to 400 or 500 running footsteps with 200 walking footsteps in between. Each day, try to extend the number of running footsteps and reduce the number of walking footsteps (even by just a few footsteps) until you are running for a full 30 minutes. Counting steps can help give your mind a clear focus toward an achievable goal.

It is important to not push yourself too hard. Even if you simply walk for 30 minutes and can manage to get in a couple of one or two minute runs, you are getting your heart rate up, and you will be reaping some of those health benefits. The rule of thumb is this: run at a pace at which you can still talk. If you are very short of breath, slow down or take a walk break.

Once you are running for a full 30 minutes, keep up this interval training to maximize the benefits of your running routine. For example, run at your normal pace and then speed it up for 30 seconds or one minute (or 200 or 300 footsteps).

After every run, walk for a few minutes, and stretch your muscles again.

Making the most of your running routine

Here are a few more tips to help you make the most of your running routine:

Invest in a good pair of running shoes, which will increase comfort and reduce your risk of injury.

Plan to rehydrate about every 10 minutes during your run.

The best places to run are smooth dirt roads or paths, which are not as hard as asphalt and concrete. Ask around (at your local running store, for example) for recommendations of good routes.

Finally, make sure to follow these simple safety precautions: Running with a friend (or even a dog) is safer than running alone. At the very least, tell someone when you are leaving, where you are going, and when they should expect you to return. Leave your valuables at home, vary your routes, and stay in busy, well lit areas. Pay attention to what is going on around you. That means leaving the headphones at home, or turning the volume down low. Lastly, always jog against traffic, so you can assess oncoming cars for potential danger.

A running routine is a rewarding way to build strength and endurance. Enjoy the process of developing your own strong legs, strong lungs, and strong will.

The Benefits Of Doing Regular Stomach Exercises

 You can’t get great abs just by exercising your stomach muscles. There is a lot of misinformation about what you need to do to get that flat stomach that you want. First, you have to know what it takes to get the results you want. You also need to know why you might be more likely to collect those rolls of flab around your belly than your friends are. Once you understand these things, you can choose and use a stomach exercise that will really work for you.

There are several benefits associated with stomach exercises beyond getting a flat belly or a six-pack of abs. For example, doing regular stomach exercises helps your body to attain a better posture because your muscles will be stronger. Also, you’ll probably notice that your lower back will be more flexible, and your digestion will improve through regular stomach exercise as well.

By performing a regular exercise routine, you’ll enjoy life more because you’ll be more active and able to participate. Your body will feel better, and your mental abilities will also be stimulated, and your thinking abilities will improve. You need to be dedicated to a regular exercise routine to get these benefits, however. If you’re trying to lose weight, for example, you won’t see any improvement if you don’t take the time to tone up your stomach muscles.

It’s important to stay motivated. Don’t get discouraged. It takes time and patience to firm up a flabby belly. And consider that there might be other factors that impact your efforts. If you’re a woman in menopause, your body will collect fat along your waistline due to the lack of estrogen. Even with regular stomach exercise, it will be a struggle to rid yourself of this fat. Your specific genetic makeup also has an influence on your ability to have a flat stomach. If you are under a lot of stress, the hormone cortisol makes your body produce more sugar, and it makes you eat more too. Additionally, diseases such as diabetes can cause weight gain, and doing stomach exercises alone won’t get rid of the fat around your mid-section.

If you’re starting an exercise routine to decrease your excess fat, it’s important to focus on the lower abs first because this area is the most difficult to strengthen and tone. The upper abs will tone and tighten naturally as the lower abs become stronger. You should also recognize that your weight didn’t increase overnight. You can lose excess weight and fat, but only if you perform stomach exercises as part of a total lifestyle change.

Is Exercising More Important For Older People

Is Exercising More Important For Older People In todays life exercising has achieved a lot of importance. Earlier people aged gracefully in their rocking chairs however today the elderly also understand the importance of exercise. They run, jog, walk, swim and do all possible things to keep themselves fit. Exercise is essential for living a healthy life.

There are several benefits of exercising. It helps in preventing many diseases associated with old age. Most of the heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure can all be prevented by doing exercise. Exercise is advised by the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, the National Institutes of Health and the Arthritis Foundation. By having a half an hour long exercising session thrice a week, you can get rid of the diseases that occur with aging.

Maddi McDonough of Pembroke, Massachusetts is aged 66. She loves to exercise daily to stay fit. She takes around ten thousand steps every day. She has benefited tremendously from the regular exercise. Her cholesterol levels have gone down, her blood pressure is maintained and sciatica which had kept her bedridden has disappeared. She is one of the many people who have snapped pedometers onto their belts and joined the 10,000 steps club. She exclaims as to how she was able to hike up to the peak of Mt. Pilatus when she visited Switzerland. She says I was able to hike while others just waited at the lodge. She also did white water rafting in Colorado. I was even tempted to for bungee jumping in Australia, but I didnt do it! she exclaims. It is important to exercise; the type of exercise doesnt matter much. You need to exercise thrice a week in order to stay fit and healthy.

New developments are being made in the field of medicine. Earlier The Arthritis foundation used to advise rest to the patients of osteoarthritis. However with changing times, this concept also changed. Nowadays you either exercise or get the diseases, the choice is yours. Joints will become inflexible and stiff if you do not use them regularly. Exercise helps to build strong muscles near to the joints, keep the joints flexible. It also helps in reducing the joint pain. However the pain is not relieved completely. In addition to all this, exercise also controls weight, promotes better sleep, increases energy, increases self esteem and decreases depression.

Marilyn Boynton, a 68 year old described herself as an old broad. However things began to change when he started tap dancing at the age of 59. Initially she had a lot of back pain while dancing but instead of giving up she joined a fitness club. Now, her back pain has bettered.

You should not straight away start with strenuous exercises. You should always start with mild exercises and then gradually increase it. You can have some strain or injuries in case you jump to strenuous exercises straight away. To make your exercise successful, follow the following steps advised by the American Heart Association.

* You need to consult your doctor before you start out with any exercise program in case you are overweight, havent been active recently or have some chronic illness.
* You should do a number of exercises. You will get bored if do the same type of exercise regularly so choose a number of activities.
* You should start with mild exercises and then increase it slowly.
* It can get boring to exercise alone. Find out a friend and exercising will be much more fun!
* You must wear proper clothes and shoes while you are working out.
* You should exercise regularly, however there is no need to worry if you miss it for a day. Indulge in other types of physical activities to make up for it.
* Warming up is extremely important. You can have certain injuries if you do not warm up before the exercise. It is also important to cool down after the exercise.

You need to exercise to keep yourself healthy and fit. It is important if you want to lead a disease free life!

Why Many People Are Turning To Cross Training To Get In Better Shape

There is a common misconception about weight that may cause people to have a hard time reaching their fitness goals. That misconception is based on the belief that a person’s weight reflects how much fat their body contains. What actually needs to be determined is the body’s fat percentage. Typically a man should not have more than 15 percent body fat, nor should a woman exceed 22 percent. These figures can be slightly adjusted when the person’s height and other statistics are taken into consideration.

Muscle weighs more than fat, so it’s not uncommon for people who have been working out to look at the scale in disappointment after putting a lot of effort into their training. They may think that because they don’t see a significant weight loss that their fitness plan is failing. What they fail to realize is that they probably lost fat but gained muscle, so the numbers that they are reading do not accurately reflect the progress they have made.

Even without exercise, the body’s metabolism burns calories, even as you sleep. Unfortunately, if you take in more calories than you burn off, it will result in fat storage. 3500 calories equal 1 pound. In order to lose a pound, you have to burn off that many calories. This may seem daunting but remember that your body is burning calories all the time. By instituting an exercise program into your schedule, you will burn calories more efficiently. Combine that with a sensible eating plan and you will be well on your way to fitness and fat loss.

One of the best ways to burn fat and get in shape is by cross training. Cross training involves using more than one mode of exercise. An example would be to swim, ride a bike and walk. One of the advantages of this form of fitness program is that there is less chance for boredom. By doing only one form of exercise, you can easily tire of it. By using three forms, the routine is constantly changing, so boredom is avoided. Another advantage of this type of training is that all of your muscle groups are being worked and developed. Muscle also burns fat, so by developing the ones in your body, you can speed your weight loss even more.

As you begin your program, keep records of the time and distance that you cover. As you become fit, you will build up your endurance and will be able to measure your progress. It will also allow you to know when it’s time to step up the program.

By engaging in cross training, you will be able to strengthen your body, your heart and your muscle groups. You won’t get burned out by doing the same routine over and over and before you know it you will have reached your fitness goals.

Reach Your Fitness Goals Through Each Of These Easy Steps

Do you feel over weight? Are you lacking some energy? Would you like to improve your life and start making things happen? Are you tired of feeling blah? We have all felt like that at one time or another. What can you do to fix it? Is it hopeless? Is it out of your reach to fix this feeling?

You can do something about it. All you have to do is coach yourself into shape. You can coach yourself into health. You may be wondering how you do something like this. I am going to show you.

Step 1. You must find out what it is you want to accomplish. Is it that you want to lose weight? Is it that you want to gain muscle? Do you want to start exercising? Would you like to eat right? Would you feel better if you started taking supplements or vitamins?

You must identify what the goal is that you want to achieve. Identify the goal and write it down in a notebook. This notebook is going to be your journal and what holds you true to your word. Write that goal down with conviction. Write it down as if it has already occurred. “I am running 5 miles a day by December 1st.” “I have lost 10 lbs by January 5th.” When you write this down in a notebook you can revisit this and see your accomplishment.

Step 2. Figure out a short goal that you can do this week that will move toward your Step 1 goal. Keep in mind that this in an interim goal and must be able to be accomplished in a week. It should not be difficult to do but is more than you have been doing. An example would be “I will run 1 mile twice this week.” This might be too big of an accomplishment to be done in a week. This might be too small of an accomplishment in a week. You know your body. You know your schedule and what you can do. Write this short term goal down and get it done. Hold yourself accountable. Writing it down in your journal will help you accomplish your goal.

You can’t cheat yourself this way. You will know, after writing it down, what you said and when you said it. You will not be able to lie to yourself. Hold true and feel the accomplishment of that small goal.

Step 3. Continue step 2 until you have reached your final goal. Hold yourself accountable each and every week using your journal to do what it takes to get healthy and meet your goals. You can use this technique in health training, business, or anything in life. Keep up the good work and hold yourself accountable.

Writing these things down helps solidify your goal in your mind. You will know when you don’t accomplish what you said you would and when you have. You will be able to feel that confidence and sense of accomplishment when you complete your goals.

I learned this technique in training in the corporate world. You can utilize many things in the corporate world in health and fitness. If you are driven to eat more nutritious you could set the goal to take a multi vitamin as a supplement each and everyday.

You know what you need to get down and how to do it. You have all of the tools already within you. All that is needed is something to pull it out of you and something to hold you accountable. Get that journal and start holding yourself accountable to yourself. Anytime you have problems with this you could find a friend or family member who will help to hold you accountable. Do it today. Get fit and healthy.

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