Everybody wants a six pack, including you. It is probably the most sought after goal and hoped result of working out. Working toward great abdominal muscles, not only looks great, but cuts your risk of injury and improves your performance in everyday life. Not only are rock hard abs a symbol of fitness, but strong and flexible abdominal muscles help trim your waist and end back pain. Two very important health goals of many who enter an exercise facility. It allows you to move from side to side with stability and control. Men and women want to walk on the beach and show off all their hard work by exposing their abs. From what has been seen in gym and health facilities, it is most worked on muscle group or it is the most neglected. What category do you end up falling into? There are many ways in which you can work you abdominal muscles. There is a scientific sequence to effectively shaping and creating great abs.
Most people are stronger in their upper to middle abdominals compared to their lower abdominal muscles. It is recommended that you work your lower abs first since you are freshest and have the most energy to get the most out of your stomach. The abdominal muscles react and provide optimal results visually when performed to failure. Failure occurs when the muscle is thoroughly exhausted and the exercise can no longer be executed. This means you can not do one more painful repetition. Your mid-section should be worked in this manner all the time.
Some examples for lower abs are as follows:
The reverse crunch (using the slant board) – with your hand holding the bars and your legs straight on the floor, raise your knees to your face, while bending your knees, until the fetal position. Then slowly drop your rear end until you touch the board and repeat the exercise.
Leg lifts (performed on the Roman Chair) – Start with your back on the back support and lift your knees/legs to its highest point. Feet should not be allowed to swing behind your rear end at its lowest point for safety and momentum purposes.
Hanging leg raises (performed on the cable machines) – Start by hanging from the middle pull up bar on the cable machines. The hanging leg raise is probably the most result producing stomach exercise since it is generated from the lower abs and then incorporated the upper abs at its peak. It begins by having your feet lift over and above your waist until it reached approximately where your hands are holding on. Remember to keep you body from swinging back and forth. This will cause you to use more stomach muscles and less momentum.
Then proceed to your upper/middle abs to get that desired burn.
The Ab Roller, which is great for upper abdominals and obliques, is great to start with since it promotes safety and immediate results. Exercises utilizing the ball and floor mats are great ways to end a stomach workout. The utility ball allows for maximum stretching to hit all areas of the mid-section.
Since your stomach is considered your smallest muscle, you are able – and recommended to – train them up to 6 days per week. A cardiovascular work out which consist of constant aerobic activity which last for more than 30 minutes at your 80% target heart rate is extremely beneficial and necessary to achieve that ever desired six pack.
Great abs are only obtained through hard work, perseverance and proper form. They are the central point in which your motion begins and ends. In the end, great abs will give you the needed support for your workout and your life.
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Today more than ever there is so much information out there on losing weight that is has become very confusing and sometimes difficult to follow. It’s actually very easy to lose weight if you follow my 7 principles.
1. – Before you can start any diet program you need to be in the right frame of mind. If you do not feel good about yourself you probably will not want to choose healthy foods. You cannot expect the act of going on a diet to make you feel better about yourself. The only way you can choose to eat a healthy diet to lose weight is if you have a positive self-image.
2. – Learn more about who your ancestors were. If you eat more like your ancestors you will be eating food that is better for your body. You will likely lose weight, have more energy and feel great. It has been shown when a group of people stop eating the food that was indigenous to them they start gaining weight and having health problems.
3. – Eat whole foods that are as natural as possible. When you eat whole foods that are full of nutrients your body will know how much to eat and how much not to eat. You do not have to count calories because your body is a wonderful machine. If given the right nutrients you will be at the best weight for you, have plenty of energy and feel great. Eating highly processed empty calorie foods will cause your body to always be hungry because it’s trying to get the nutrients it needs.
4. – Drink the best weight loss supplement known to man, water. Most people do not know the difference from being hungry for food or thirsty for water. A great deal of times people eat when they should drink. Most likely you will not feel as hungry if you are getting enough water. You will be satisfying the thirst, which is confused for hunger. Water also helps you digest food better. Drinking water before you eat will help fill you up.
5. – Always chew your food well. Chewing your food well will ensure that you get the most nutrients out of your food. Getting the most nutrients will satisfy your body therefore you will eat less. Another benefit of chewing well is that it helps aid in digestion.
6. – Eat small, frequent meals in a day. Large meals tax your digestion system, making it work harder. Taking too much time in between meals makes you hungrier for the next meal.
7. – Increase your physical activity. Most people are over weight because of a lack of physical activity. Start walking more, bicycling, walk your dog for longer periods of time, swim, dance and leave the car at home when you can. It’s important that you choose a physical activity that you enjoy because you’ll stick with it. Choosing a physical activity purely based on the fact that it burns a lot of calories may be a mistake.
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Sure, it’s great to look nice and be confident in yourself, but it’s also crucial to be physically healthy. Do you know how to go about this? Well, herein lies the dilemma. Many individuals around the globe are not privy to what’s imperative when it comes to looking great and being in good health. There are many misconceptions at play. When in doubt, a couple things you can always count on to prevail are healthy diets and rigorous exercise workouts. We all require both of these in order to stay healthy and look great.
What exercise workouts do you prefer? For me it all revolves around martial arts. I love Wing Chun kung fu. Therefore, along with technique training and sparring, I like to do a lot of simple exercise workouts such as push-ups, leg raises, and pull-ups. These common exercise workouts are as old as time, but still very effective. And do you know what I like best about them; they’re all free. I don’t need to fork out cash every month on a gym membership to do them. Not to say that this is a bad idea. For some, a gym membership is right up their ally. Maybe this is how you achieve your exercise workouts. If it works for you, then that’s what counts. My wife will ONLY work out if she is in a gym or fitness center of some kind. When she’s at home, getting her into any exercise workouts is virtually impossible. I even pick on her about it once in a while. It must be the plain and simple atmosphere for some folks. Regardless of where you like to get it done, exercise workouts are what will get and keep you in shape. It is a permanent thing. Once you start, you never quit. If you quit your regime once you’re the desired weight, then you’ll probably end up back where you started.
One of the crucial side-kicks to exercise workouts is diet. You absolutely must conform to a healthy way of eating. This is no joke for a number of reasons. You must eat well in order to stay in shape. Your diet has a bearing on your lifespan, and your chances of acquiring cancer. If that isn’t enough to motivate you, then maybe your physical appearance is. Get on the web today and discover a number of great exercise workouts and diet plans.
Burn the fat and Feed the muscle!
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Over the years, there have been people making up plenty of excuses to avoid exercising. Some of these excuses are creative, some are ridicules, but most are in a group of common excuses used everyday to justify not having to make the effort to improve their health and well being.
How many people do you know who were going to start exercising and start getting in shape and they were going to start this coming week, but that was two weeks ago and they still haven’t started yet? What excuse did they have this time? Maybe this has happened so many times, you stopped counting. Maybe this has even happened to you more times than you can remember. Well, what’s stopping you?
Here are some of the most common excuses used by people to not exercise, and the ways that you can get around those excuses if they have plagued you and are stopping you from partaking in a healthier lifestyle.
By far and away, the most common excuse used today is; “I don’t have the time to exercise”. The old perception that you have to exercise for 1 to 2 hours a day is just nonsense. A good, solid exercise routine doesn’t have to last for more than 20 to 30 minutes a day to be very effective. If you can’t find up to 30 minutes a day to exercise, then how do you manage to find up to 2 hours or more a day to watch TV?
Another popular excuse used often is; “I can’t afford to pay for a gym membership or for home equipment”. The fact is, you can get in better shape and lose weight without ever setting foot in a gym. Walking and or jogging around your neighborhood or in the local park don’t cost a dime and will give you all of the benefits of a cardio workout at the gym. Doing callisthenic exercises such as crunches and pushups and so on at home also cost nothing. Home fitness equipment can also be purchased that will give you a good resistance workout for under $50.00 such as resistance tubing bands and an exercise ball.
“I don’t know how to exercise or what exercises to do” is an excuse that gets used from time to time, but there are several ways to learn how to exercise right and what exercises to do. Using the services of a qualified, certified personal trainer is the best way to get you going in the fight direction. If affordability is an issue with a trainer, there are workout videos and books that you can buy to help you out, you can even find loads of exercise books at your local library that you can check out free of charge.
Another excuse that seems to be fairly common is; “I’m too old and/or out of shape to start exercising”. This excuse is really only valid if your doctor has told you that you should not exercise for some medical reason. If you are very out of shape or you are a senior citizen, then you may just have to start out slowly. Even starting out with only 5 minutes a day of exercise and slowly increasing as you go is much better than doing no exercise at all.
Last but not least and by far my favorite excuse is; “I hate anything to do with exercise”. This one always gives me a laugh. Most people who really think they hate exercise do so because they are stuck with the image that exercise is a series of boring, grunt and groan exercises involving heavy weights, or jogging far enough to complete the Boston marathon. The old adage of “no pain, no gain” is still embedded in the minds of many people, and who wants to have to go through pain every day to get in better shape? Exercise is really all about getting active and getting your body moving. Even playing in a softball league or hiking on a trail or bicycle riding is good exercise. Just find activities that you like to do and you will find that exercise can be fun.
Ok, no more excuses. The time is now. Making the time to spend even 30 minutes a day to get active, get in some exercise, and get yourself more healthy and fit will by far be the best thing you can do for yourself and your family. Think of how much more you can enjoy doing the things you like to do when you are in better condition and better yet, think about how much more you can enjoy your children as they grow up and how much more you can enjoy your grandchildren later in life.
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Have you lost weight in the past only to regain it a short time later? Have you followed every diet including Atkins, South Beach, the Drinking Man’s diet, the Peanut Butter diet, or even the Chocolate Diet? All of these diets work, and none of them work, meaning you can and probably do lose weight on any of them, but you won’t keep it off. Why not? Because the day will come when the diet is over and you’re right back to your regular routine; the same routine that got you fat in the first place.
In the past diets carried a warning not to stay on them longer than the prescribed period; usually two weeks, some a mere three days. Today’s popular diets are attempting to style themselves as lifestyle choices, but this isn’t working either. People want to be able to eat a sandwich now and then. They want the burger and the bun! Strive for balance choosing foods you prefer, and you’ll have a better chance at lasting weight loss success.
Small Changes: Big Answer to Weight Loss Blues
Start today, and work one day at a time making one or two small changes such as switching to the calorie-free soft drinks then weaning yourself down to two or less a day (if you drink more than that now of course). Changes don’t have to be drastic. In fact trying to make drastic changes in your lifestyle never works because while you may be happy in the beginning, you slowly grow miserable toward the end. In fact, that’s the problem right there: you anticipate an end.
Weight Loss Comes Down to Choices
Talk to people who’ve lost weight and kept it off. They’ll say, “This is a lifestyle.” It’s about choices you make every day. Are you choosing to take an extra helping, even though you’re comfortably full? Change that one behavior and you’re on your way. Do you choose to take the bag of chips to the couch? Change that, in fact just stop eating on the couch entirely and you’re one step closer. Eliminate the habit of grabbing a few bites on your way past the candy dish, that alone can shave several pounds. I once lost eight pounds simply by eliminating the candy dish I kept at my desk (not to mention the money I saved not buying a couple pounds of candy a week).
Choose one small habit or behavior at a time, not your entire existence, and you’ll have a much better chance to reach your weight loss goals.
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Weight loss is a tough result to obtain regardless of weight or level of physical fitness. There are many different ways to lose weight, some more unhealthy than others, but the ones that work are most times the most complicated to pull off.
Some people may recommend eating less to lose weight, and in some cases eating less is a key component of losing weight, but in most cases, eating is a necessity if one wishes to lower their own weight. Without food and the calories they supply, your body has no energy to burn and in turn will turn your existing muscle into fat. In order to lose weight you must make a commitment, a commitment that must not be broken if you desire results.
Do not misconstrue this for the idea that you can never indulge during your diet, but just be sure that you have set reasonable limits for yourself that you are ready to commit to. If you are on a strict diet, a “cheat” meal here and there will go a long way to keeping you happy.
To be successful in achieving your goal of weight loss: set multiple, smaller, more easily attainable goals for yourself. These will keep you self motivated and more likely to obtaining your overall goal of a happier and healthier life.
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Whether you want to tone and define weak arms so that you can wear something sleeveless with confidence or you want to increase muscle mass, working the muscles in the front and back of the upper arms will help you get there.
Most people new to bodybuilding pay a lot of attention to building big arms, sometimes to the point of overtraining. Don’t forget, the arm muscles are brought into play during most exercises aimed at other body parts so care must be taken not to overdo things.
Having said that, the arms are complex body parts in their own right and deserve a properly focused exercise program. In basic terms the arm consists of three main muscle groups:
1. Biceps brachii – two muscles at the front upper arm that run from the elbow to the shoulders.
2. Triceps brachii – three muscles at the rear upper arm that run from the elbow to the shoulder.
3. Forearm – several smaller muscles that run from the elbow to the wrist.
We’re really stuck on wanting to look good and that’s alright, but it’s really one goal of the arm exercise benefits. “Exercise is a body tune-up, and if we’re keeping our body exercised, we’re keeping it tuned just like a car.” When working the arms, be sure to balance the body.
We tend to make the mistake of exercising only our show muscles. And that is actually an imbalanced program. We pay too much attention to the muscles in front of our body and not enough attention to the back of the body.
On the most basic level, this doesn’t build the whole muscle.
The reality is, if you want big arms, you’ve got to work both sides of the arms. When someone flexes their biceps, it’s the whole arm that’s working. The triceps are a part of that.
You should vary your grip and width when performing not only these exercises, but all others. Why? Consider the barbell curl as an example. Most guys tend to use a wider grip, which works the short head of the biceps on the inside of the arm, while forgoing a narrow grip, where the biceps’ long head is emphasized. When someone who does this places his hands on his hips, the long head on the outside of his arm is usually small and disproportionate compared to the inner arm. By using the same grip or width all the time, you create an imbalance in size and strength.
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I have been doing push-ups five days a week for over 25 years. My arms are pretty strong but it did not happen overnight. I did not do push-ups for a couple weeks or months and then stopped. I had to make push-ups a habit if I wanted to continuously get the results I have.
Exactly the same holds true with healthy eating. You will never be healthy, eating healthy foods occasionally. You have to make healthy eating a habit if you want to obtain nutritional health. People jump on the ìband wagonî of healthy eating when they read books or view websites that talk about nutrition. While many of these books and websites tell you what you should eat in-order to be healthy, they fail to teach you how to make healthy eating a habit. Thus in a short period of time when temptations come, people fall right back into their old unhealthy eating habits.
What is a Habit? According to Webster’s dictionary a habit is ìa behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.î
Can you see that if we simply apply this principle to healthy eating we will be on our way to vibrant health?
Bad Eating Habits:
Bad eating habits do not develop overnight. For most people these habits began forming when they were kids. Thus one reason why many adults have a hard time breaking their bad eating habits is because these habits have been a part of their lifestyle for many years.
Why Do We Eat Food?
There are two main reasons why we eat food. One is to supply fuel for our body. The other reason is for pleasure. Unfortunately some of the foods that gives us pleasure are unhealthy.
Most people make their food selections based on what they see, smell or taste. Look at these three sentences: That pie sure looks good! That pie sure smells good! That pie sure taste good!
Notice that all three statements involve food and pleasure. However the food that is producing the pleasure (in this situation the pie) may or may not be good for you from a nutritional standpoint. That is why we need to be wise in our food selections and not simply leave it up to our sense of sight, taste or smell.
Eating Healthy Can Be Enjoyable:
Some people think of eating healthy as being boring and tasteless. I think that one reason they feel this way is because most of the commercial ads we see promote foods high in calories, fat, or sugar and only a small percentage of food advertising is done for fruits, vegetables, grains and beans. Thus if there was more nutritional education, more and more people would find eating healthy to be pleasurable and tasty.
How Healthy Eating Habits Changed My Life:
In 1998 my wife finally talked me into going to the doctor to get a check-up. I was not feeling sick but she clearly said that it was a good idea to get a yearly physical examination. Thank God I listened to her.
I have been athletic all my life. I run 18 miles a week. So when I went to the doctor I was not expecting to hear the bad news he gave me. He told me I had borderline diabetes.
Diabetes can be very dangerous if not treated. It is one of the leading cause of death in the United States. It is a disease of the pancreas that causes the body to stop producing the insulin it needs to regulate blood sugar.
My doctor told me that I did not need to be put on medication, however he suggested I start reading some books on healthy eating. That was the beginning of my path to healthy eating habits that turned my health situation around. Today I can honestly say that I am in excellent health. I feel great, I sleep great, people tell me that I do not look my age, I maintain a healthy weight, I do not take any type of medication, my blood pressure is normal, my blood sugar is normal, my cholesterol is normal, my immune system is strong, and the list goes on.
It is great to be in good health and I thank God for it. However I do not believe that I am healthy because of chance. I strongly believe that one main reason that I am healthy is because I take personal responsibility for my health. Making healthy eating a habit is a great part of this responsibility. Our physical bodies have laws that are governed by proper nutrition. If we violate these laws by consistently eating unhealthy foods, we are going to get sick.
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Achieving weight loss is not that easy. It needs a good strategy, planning and motivation to lose weight. Some of the weight loss tips, which can be followed at ease, are listed here to stay healthy as well as to stay fit with a perfect body figure.
Eating the right way helps achieving weight loss goals. Taking meals in smaller amounts, frequently helps in being energetic all the day and prevents from eating more.
Eating out is often associated with obesity as when dining outside, most of the people donít check what they eat. Hence, to achieve weight loss, it is better to avoid dining outside.
Break fast should not be skipped as it has been found out that, people who do not skip their break fast are very successful in losing weight. If break fast is skipped the bodily metabolism slows down and when food is taken during lunch, it results in increased insulin levels and in turn weight gain.
It is good to stay away from beverages rich in fat and sugar as they will increase the insulin levels in the blood, while caffeine content can lead to dehydration.
Diet strategy can be planned in such a way that, without having to cut the favorite foods, they can be consumed in smaller portions along with healthy fresh vegetables or fruits to get a filled up feeling. By this way, the nutritional value of the food consumed is increased and fat rich foods are minimized.
Increased consumption of protein helps in burning the calories and avoids the storage of fat in the body. Protein supplements also help in building and preserving lean muscles.
Water plays an important role in weight loss as water hydrates the organs and the body. It suppresses hunger pangs, and can be taken in more amounts to get a filled up feeling.
Plan how you want your diet plan to be, adhere to it strictly and it is advised to keep a log for noting down what you eat and the amounts you eat with the weight measurement every week to analyze if you are progressing or not. Stay motivated while going through weight loss measures to attain success.
If weight is lost the healthy way, it benefits the person with a lower blood pressure, being able to be energetic in spite of controlled intake, healthy heart and organs, better body figure, less stress made on the bones, joints and muscles, and the most important of all stress free.
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Like a slap on the face, the idea strikes, you need to lose 10 pounds. Perhaps Grandma’s comfort food has left you bulging around the waist, or watching too much television hasn’t given you enough time to exercise. You decide to lose weight, now.
Here’s the sad truth about losing weight: you can’t shed the pounds as easily as you gained them. For one thing, drastic diets can force you to give up meat, chocolate and other favorite foods. Or, the diets want you to jog, not drive, to every destination even if you need to go 59 miles.
You don’t have to take these extreme measures unless you want to lose 10 pounds in a few days. In a few cases, quick weight-loss may work, yet most people need more time to reach their weight loss goal. In this approach, you add healthy habits into your life so you transition smoothly into weight-loss mode. In fact, you don’t even notice the diet and exercise changes since they blend in with your life.
While you still need to put effort into losing weight, with this technique, losing 10 pounds doesn’t take over your life. You might find that the slower method not only helps you to lose 10 pounds, but also keeps the pounds off forever. Your slow method of weight loss turns into your new lifestyle, a lifestyle that gives you satisfaction.
You can start changing your lifestyle by looking at your daily activities. For example, what can you do differently to get more exercise? You might walk the children to school or bike to work- if you need to travel only a short distance that is. Finding active alternatives to driving is good exercise and will conserve gasoline, whose prices are skyrocketing. You also help the environment by not adding to pollution.
Other ways to incorporate exercise into your life involve walking around the block during lunch and using the stairs instead of escalators. Taking in exercise, whenever you have the opportunity, moves you towards your goal of losing 10 pounds.
You can also participate in strenuous hobbies or sports. For instance, you might join a volleyball team or start your own. Or, go on scavenger hunts or camp out in the woods. You get the idea: find activities that you enjoy doing so that the exercise turns into entertainment.
As you can see, changing your life to lose 10 pounds doesn’t have to be drastic. Use our tips to develop a healthy lifestyle that works for you.
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