Muscle,

Muscle Building: Men Or Women

Muscle building seems so complex sometimes that they ought to have it as a course in college. Many people want to build muscle but they do not have a clue how to do it right. Women also want to build muscle.  It is not unusual to see women in the gym working out to try and get a lean, toned body, but women are going to be more concerned about trying to get their bodies toned than trying to bulk up, they want to maintain their feminine qualities while at the same time build a little strength. So how can men and women go about building muscles where both of them can see the results they want? Here are three tips to differentiate muscle building for men and women.

Reps mean everything:

If you are a man you want to build muscle right? So when you go to the gym you can focus on one of two things, you can either do high weight and low reps or you can do low weight and high reps. High weight is designed to bulk you up. You want to absolutely kill your muscles when you go into the gym so that your muscles get a maximum workout. If you go about it softly you will not get good results.

So when you lift weights or do any kind of exercise you want to make sure you know just how many reps you want to do to see results. It can be one set of ten or ten sets of ten, whichever one you feel will help you build muscle faster is the one you should stick with.

Low weight for women:

Most women do not want to look like men, they want to build some muscle so they can look lean and trim, but how do they build muscle without losing their feminine features. The answer is low weight high reps combined with a fat burning exercise. Women are much more into aerobics than men are so they are usually getting the best of both worlds. Burning fat and doing low weight high rep exercises will help them to burn fat while at the same time shaping their muscles.  Men are usually more drawn towards muscle building than aerobics.

This is a good way to get a beach body or a body fit for a magazine cover. If a women tried to lift heavy weights she may bulk up like a man and no man would be attracted to her. So they keep it light while trimming down. Gaining too much muscle will only help them gain more weight, which is what they are trying to lose.

So you see that men should do high weight and high reps and women should do low weight and high reps to realize muscle growth that will be to their liking. Stick to this principal long enough and you will see the results you want. Don’t get me wrong; women can lift heavy weight, it’s just that no man wants to be with a woman who looks more masculine than he does.
Source by Chris Bryson

Dumbbell

Full Body Dumbbell Workouts For Fitness, Fat Loss And Strength

Dumbbells are an excellent tool to build fitness, burn off unwanted fat and build stronger, bigger muscles. After all, their ability to be used in unison, with one limb or in an alternating manner make them more versatile and effective than many other training tools. But be forewarned… there is not one “BEST” dumbbell workout for all occasions.

As a matter of fact, the “typical” dumbbell workout you find on the Internet, in books or in magazines is an example of one of the least effective ways to use dumbbells for self improvement. By “typical”, I mean a workout that uses lighter dumbbells to target small muscle groups like a bodybuilder.

If you want to get the most benefits from your dumbbell training, you need to stop looking for the best workout (singular), and start looking for a series of full body workouts you can rotate between. Keep reading to see what I mean.

Full Body Dumbbell Workouts For Fitness

One of the main reasons people work out is to “get fit”. And as stated earlier, dumbbells are great for improving fitness you can actually use in the real world because of the ways they can be utilized. You can use them together, one at a time and in an alternating fashion, just like real world movements.

In order to train as many fitness abilities as possible (strength, power, cardiorespiratory endurance, coordination, balance, etc.), you need to use a wide variety of dumbbell workouts. I suggest you use three different workouts (A,B and C) for each of your workout days. Use a wide variety of weights, rep ranges and rest periods to improve overall physical condition and work capacity. Remember, the goal is to improve fitness without sacrificing your fat loss or muscle building goals.

Full Body Dumbbell Workouts For Fat Loss

Dumbbell workouts for fat loss are NOT light dumbbells used for high repetitions. Fat loss workouts using dumbbells should be very challenging, use a wide variety of exercises and target the entire body. Making your dumbbell workout as challenging as possible not only burns a lot of calories during the workout… but also for hours AFTER the workout is completed.

For example, you could use 3 different workouts for each work day (A, B and C) and keep the rest periods low between exercises. Then when you start the second week, reduce the rest periods even further for more fat loss. But remember, the goal is to burn as much fat as possible without sacrificing your fitness and muscle building goals.

Full Body Workouts For Strength And Size

Most people would expect to see some type of split-routine here to build muscle. However, I believe full body workouts are best for building the type of athletically muscular body most people want. To build an athletic body, don’t train like a bodybuilder.

Use the heaviest dumbbells you can and perform compound exercise that use as many big muscle groups as possible. Choose your exercise based on movement patterns, and not the specific muscles they work. This is the way to build a strong, muscular body using dumbbells. And remember, don’t sacrifice your fitness and fat loss goals while building muscle.

Look, there is not a dumbbell workout in existence that can meet everyone’s goals under every circumstance. However, if you rotate between 3 different full body dumbbell workouts (one a month), you can build a fit, lean, athletically muscular body that performs as good as it looks.
Source by Eddie Lomax

Muscle

Workout Plan to Build Muscle Mass

By: FitNRG.net

Looking for a work out plan to build muscle mass? If you haven’t made much muscle or strength gains in the last little while, take a step back and evaluate your workout plan objectively. Sometimes, the most basic and simple workout plans work the best to build muscle strength, and can help you get back on track to further gains and break plateaus. There are just a few very simple principles to follow:

  • One muscle group per day
  • Minimum one week rest in between workouts
  • Your muscle building workout should be planned around heavy, compound exercises
  • Lift heavy, or don’t even bother
  • Building muscle isn’t complicated
  • Build Muscle Workouts – 5 Day Split

I always workout just one muscle group each workout session, and setup my workout week into a 5 day split – 5 days one, and 2 days off. It looks something like this:

Monday – Legs
Tuesday – Chest
Wednesday – Back
Thursday – Shoulder
Friday – Arms
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Rest

Following a work out plan like this works nicely to build muscle. By working just one muscle group per day, you can keep your workouts short, usually around 30 to 40 minutes, with the exception of leg days which usually takes me around 45 minutes. My weekly muscle building workout looks something like this.

Monday: Legs
Squats 3 x 6 (335)
Leg Press 3 x 6 (595)
Stiff leg deadlifts 2 x 6 (225)
Lying leg curls 2 x 6 (100)
Standing calf raises 3 sets to failure (varying weights)
Seated calf rasises – same as above

Suggested substitute exercises for variety: Front squats, leg extensions, hack squats, lunges, standing leg curls, donkey calf raises

Tuesday: Chest
Incline dumbbell press 3 x 6 (90)
Flat dumbbell press 3 x 5 (85)
Weighted Dips 2 sets to failure (70)

Suggested substitute exercises for variety: incline bench press, flat bench press, decline bench press, machine bench presses

Wednesday: Back Muscle
Deadlifts 3 x 5 (365)
Lat Pulldowns 3 x 6 (160)
Seated rows 3 x 6 (180)

Suggested substitute exercises for variety: pullups, chinups, bent barbell rows, dumbbel rows, good mornings

Thursday: Shoulders
Military press 3 x 6 (165)
Seated dumbbell press 3 x 6 (80)
Side lateral 3 x 6 (25)
Front raises 3 x 6 (25)
Reverse Pec Dec 3 x 6 (130)

Suggested substitute exercises for variety: Clean and press, push press, arnold presses

Friday: Arms

Standing barbell curls 3 x 6 (95)
Close grip bench press 3 x 6 (185)
Dumbbell curls 3 x 6 (40)
Tricep press downs 3 x 6 (150)
Cable curls 2 x 8 (110)
Rope press downs 2 x 8 (100)

Suggested substitute exercises for variety: hammer curls, alternating db curls, kick backs, tricep dips
Source by Jim Yang

Avocados

What Are the 14 Super Foods?

Here are the 14 super foods you’ll want to consider adding to your diet. There’s no doubt that diet plays an important role in the maintenance of health and the prevention of disease. To help reduce the risk of disease, more people are adding super foods to their diet. Super foods are those foods that have additional health benefits beyond simply providing nutrition.

These foods are high in phytonutrients, which may give them additional disease fighting powers. Although the foods that are worthy of being called super foods may be open to debate, there are certain stars in the nutritional world that play an important role in diet, and may play a part in protecting against chronic disease.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a rich source of vitamin C and fiber, as well as a group of chemicals known as isothiocyanates, thought to potentially prevent certain types of cancer. This simple, green super food is a healthy addition to any diet.

Watercress

This green super food has a unique chemical known as nasturtin, which is converted into an isothiocyanate known as PEITC. This has been shown in studies to slow down the growth of prostate, breast and colon cancer cells. The components in watercress are also thought to reduce the risk of macular degeneration of the eye. This green super food is best eaten raw, as heat can destroy the PEITC.

Walnuts

Walnuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They’re also a rich source of fiber and vitamins, particularly vitamin E and the B vitamins. Although nutritionally dense, they’re higher in calories than the other super foods and should be eaten in moderation.

Blueberries

These humble fruits have the distinction of having one of the highest antioxidant capacities of the common fruits. Rich in powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins, blueberries are thought to play a role in protecting nerve cells involved in motor skills, learning and memory as people age.

Apples

Although the apple may not be the most exotic fruit on the vine, it does have some noteworthy health benefits. Apples are rich in flavonoids, which have been shown to have antioxidant activity. Apple consumption has been correlated with a reduced risk of stroke as well as diabetes. Plus, apples are also a good source of vitamin C.

Spinach

Spinach is another green super food lauded for its health benefits. Rich in a variety of flavonoids and high in vitamins K, A and C, this simple food is thought to play a role in the prevention of a host of chronic diseases. It packs a powerful nutritional punch for a vegetable so low in calories.

Yogurt

Yogurt is considered a super food because of its probiotic capabilities. The friendly bacteria found in a container of yogurt help to preserve the health of the intestinal tract, as well as the immune system. Plus, it’s a good source of calcium and protein. There’s much to love about this underappreciated dairy product.

Wild salmon

The only meat to make the list, salmon is known for its high content of omega-3-fatty acids, the same heart friendly fats found in walnuts that help to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It’s important to select wild salmon since farm raised salmon may be contaminated with PCBs and dioxanes, both potential cancer causing agents.

Kale

Kale is a member of the brassica family of vegetables, which includes fellow super foods, broccoli and watercress. Kale has many of the same benefits as these other green superstars because of its high content of isothiocyanates. It’s thought that kale may have cancer preventive properties as well as cardiovascular benefits. It’s also a concentrated source of vitamins and minerals, being particularly high in vitamins A, C and E.

Tomatoes

Although many people may not think of the tomato as a super food, it is a rich source of lycopene, a potent antioxidant that is being studied for its role in preventing prostate cancer. The lycopenes found in tomatoes are best absorbed when the tomato is cooked, so tomato sauce is one of the best ways to get the health benefits that tomatoes have to offer.

Green tea

Green tea is a healthy source of catechins such as EGCG, which are thought to play a role in preventing a variety of chronic disease including certain types of cancer and heart disease. Numerous studies are ongoing to look at the potential benefits of drinking green tea for health.

Flaxseed

High in omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed may help protect heart health and reduce inflammation in the body. It’s also high in lignans, which studies have shown may prevent or slow down the growth of breast tumors. The beneficial components of flaxseed can only be absorbed when the seeds are ground; whole flaxseeds pass through the body undigested.

Avocados

Avocados contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that’s associated with a lower risk of heart disease as well as the ability to lower cholesterol levels. They’re also rich in potassium, fiber and folate, although higher in calories than most vegetables.

Raspberries

Last but not least, raspberries are a rich source of anthocyanins, and their sweet taste makes them an excellent alternative to a high calorie dessert.

These super foods are a tasty way to add extra nutritional punch to your diet. Whether you choose a green super food or a cup of yogurt flavored with fresh blueberries, you’ll be doing something good for your body.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2868262

Breathing

Breath Awareness – A Simple Exercise to Reduce Stress and Improve Focus

LEARN HOW TO DO BREATH AWARENESS

Breath awareness is a simple technique, but only through repetition of practice and intensity of experience can you affect real inner change. Practicing this technique can restructure the brain, trigger physiological processes to enhance health, and develop a mind capable of experiencing happiness and peace. Before you embark on this transformational journey, prepare yourself both inwardly and outwardly. Be courageous and willing to walk this path alone. Not everyone is ready to look within, understand why there is discontent and disease, and find a remedy. Your partner, your children, your closest friend, and all the people you see who are suffering, may not share your enthusiasm. If you are asked to explain why you do it, or find yourself defending your beliefs in the face of skepticism, be diplomatic and empathetic of other people’s opinions or feelings. Arguing may cause undue agitation and end up dampening your own inspiration to continue. Guard your innermost wish to be happy and share your aspirations with those who understand, care, and support your endeavors. When you begin this introspective journey you are like a vulnerable sapling. Protect yourself against external forces that could undermine your growth until your roots are well-established and your purpose is clear. It is difficult to proceed confidently if friends and family misunderstand what you are doing. Be confident and stay focused on your goal. Later, when you are a mature tree sharing your shade, fruit, and beauty, others will notice your transformation and may be inspired to do the same.

Establish a Daily Routine

Choose a time of day when you will be least disturbed or needed for other family responsibilities. Early in the morning or in the evening would be great if you have a busy life. You may also find time after everyone has gone to sleep, although the problem with practicing late at night is natural sleepiness. Select a quiet corner in your home where the lights can be dimmed. The area should be organized and free of distracting clutter. Ticking clocks can be annoying; use a quiet clock that has illuminated numbers visible if it is dark. After some practice you will get a sense for how much time has passed and will only have to glance at the clock now and again. Using a clock is an important part of the practice. Without a set time you would get up when sitting became uncomfortable, which would be counterproductive to developing focus.

To develop your ability to sit longer and concentrate better, practice by sitting with your legs loosely crossed or in a kneeling position on the floor. Use a firm cushion or folded blankets high enough to prop you up and to let your knees drop down slightly. A cross-legged position creates a tripod effect and provides great stability. If this position does not work, try sitting on the edge of a chair with your feet placed flat on the floor or crossed at the ankles. Using a back support or soft couch may cause drowsiness, which makes doing breath awareness difficult. Make adjustments until you find what position works best. If the room is cool, you may want to drape a shawl around your shoulders. Be warm, but not hot. Wrapping a shawl around you will also provide a sense of comfort and protection. Sit somewhere where insects will not bother you; compassionately remove flies, wasps, bees, mosquitoes, or other buzzing critters from the room. Close windows to minimize outside noise if the room is not too stuffy. Once you have found a comfortable sitting position on your cushion or chair, fold your hands in your lap or rest them on your knees. Whenever possible, keep your eyes closed or lowered while practicing.

Feel the Breath – Nothing More

Start your session with a calm and quiet mind. When ready, direct your attention to your breathing. You do not need to control your breath, breath deeply, or change your breathing in any way. Breath awareness is not a breathing exercise. Your job is simply to observe your natural, normal breath as it is. When you inhale, feel the breath flow over the area of skin at the entrance of your nostrils or slightly above your upper lip. Be aware of its cool temperature or slight stinging inside your nose. Now be aware of your breath leaving your nose; feel its warm air flowing out and touching the small area of skin at the entrance of your nostrils. For twenty minutes remain continuously aware of your incoming and outgoing respiration softly touching your skin at the entrance of your nose and its cool or warm sensation inside your nose.

The only difficult part of breath awareness is keeping your attention continuously fixed on feeling the breath. Given any opportunity, your attention wanders away from your breath. You become distracted by an external event-a noise in the next room or a bird chattering outside the window. Or you start examining other things going on in your body-a numb foot, an aching back, or a rumbling stomach. Or you let your mind do what it likes to do best-think, imagine, remember, stress, hope, anticipate, doubt, analyze, and so on.

Your aim in this session is to develop the ability to concentrate on feeling the breath for twenty minutes without becoming distracted. This goal may take some time to do, so for now even a few minutes is an achievement. Until your mind becomes calm and sensitive, you might not be able to feel the breath’s touch. If you cannot feel it on your skin or inside your nose, breathe harder until you can. Once you do feel your breath, go back to normal breathing and see if you can still feel it. Keep doing this until you are successful. Even if you feel nothing, if you remain focused on the area below your nose you will eventually feel the subtle, almost imperceptible, touch of air. This technique requires that you observe and feel the soft touch of natural respiration. Natural breath means exactly that-your normal, ordinary, everyday breath. Sometimes your natural breath is rapid and shallow; sometimes it is long and deep. Sometimes your breathing is erratic; other times rhythmic. Sometimes your nose is stuffy and breathing is strained or noisy. The main thing to remember is that the object of focus is always your natural, normal breath, as it is, in the moment you are aware of it.

Observe Natural, Normal, Ordinary Breath – As it is

Many of us do various breath exercises like Pranayama, belly breathing, or controlled breathing to deal with pain or stress. Some of us visualize white light while we breathe or use our breath to heal and energize different parts of our body. These breathing technique are similar but not quite the same as this method.

To understand the difference, it is helpful to put aside the other techniques while learning breath awareness or you may start mixing techniques and compromise the results. While working through the program, it is recommended that you practice exactly as instructed. Then when you go back to other breathing techniques and exercises you will know the difference.

Breath awareness provides a way to observe your reality as it is-not the “reality” you create in your imagination. The aim is to develop the ability to observe reality objectively and without reaction. This is the reason why you do not control, slow, or change your breathing. The moment you start manipulating your breathing, you interfere with what would be happening naturally. When you objectively “watch” the breath you are actually experiencing it while being aware of it. This is a rare event. Usually we experience something while simultaneously reacting to it without much awareness. In this technique you will not be using your imagination, you will be experiencing sensation the whole time. Thoughts and imagination are also real and do exist, but they are intangible, transient, and illusionary, whereas a sensation is tangible.

For this meditation to effectively transform deeply ingrained habits and conditioning, we need to work with actual sensations and concrete experiences. We need to feel pain, pleasure, restlessness, or irritability, or experience emotions like sadness, depression, anger, or fear in order to change our unconscious reactions to these sensations and feelings. Otherwise, we could simply imagine something like fear or pain, and imagine changing our reaction to it. This futile mind game would simply engage our fantasy, and none of our deep-rooted conditioning would manifest to give us the opportunity to change our reaction to the conditioning. Therefore, when you practice breath awareness, remember to not stay engrossed in thinking and imagination, because the technique will be less effective.

When you observe your breath, you will be continually experiencing your reality as it happens in the moment.Like a scientist, you will objectively examine every detail of your breath-its temperature, characteristics, rhythm, which nostril it is entering and leaving, and how it changes over the course of a sitting. The moment you manipulate or control your breathing you will no longer be observing your natural reality. When you realize that you are controlling your breath, merely acknowledge that you are controlling it and resume breathing naturally. Your aim is to become aware of your reality by feeling it. You want to experience what is going on at exactly the moment a sensation manifests. The aim is to stay alert, attentive, and connected with every sensation that arises and manifests on your skin in this limited area. This is how you consciously experience your “now” state.

Fix Attention on the Spot Where Breath Touches

To perform breath awareness, begin focusing your entire attention on a small patch of skin about one or two centimeters in diameter located directly below the nostrils and immediately above your upper lip. If you were to spread your attention to studying larger areas, you may compromise developing one-pointed focus. Your first goal is to develop a sharp and alert mind capable of examining the tiniest details of your physical reality. Although you begin by limiting your area of examination, you will learn a great deal about your mind/body phenomenon by studying this one small spot. Once your attention is sharp and focused, you will have the ability to perform a penetrating and meticulous examination of your entire physical and mental structure and experience deeper levels of your reality.

Decide how long you wish to sit for your first practice. In the beginning, it is recommended that you adhere to the suggested times. This first session is for twenty. If this seems too long, work for ten. Whether you sit for ten or twenty minutes, the important point is to remain sitting until the time is up. If you choose twenty minutes, sit twenty minutes-right down to the last second. If you choose ten minutes, sit for the full ten minutes. Glance at a clock and determine when the time will be up. Set an alarm if you like, but know that an alarm will startle you unless it is a quiet one. It is fine to open your eyes occasionally to check the time as long as it does not distract you from feeling your breath. With experience, you will be able to determine how much time has passed.

Exercise Determination

When sitting becomes uncomfortable, and it will, know that the real work has begun. Make a strong determination to sit through any discomfort, restlessness, or boredom. Persist and be rewarded. If you have pain in your legs or back, slowly shift your position. Whenever you move, move consciously so as not to overreact and break your concentration. While changing positions, continue feeling your breath. Moving your leg or foot should not interrupt your focus. When you first start observing your breath it may be awkward to breathe naturally. It takes a bit of practice to breathe normally when observing the breath because we become self-conscious, which actually changes how we breathe. After a few breaths your attention might wander. As soon as you discover that you are thinking rather than feeling the breath, start again.

Focus on the incoming breath. Focus on the outgoing breath. There is nothing more to do. You might become aware of your breath’s temperature-its cool softness entering your nose and its warmth as it leaves. This is good. Feeling everything about the breath is essential to this technique. Where there is feeling there is experience and this technique is all about actual, real experience. The moment you stop feeling and get distracted in thought, the now experience is gone. Continue being mindful of breathing. You may start to notice the breath causing occasional itchiness or stinging-sensations manifest when the mind becomes aware of the breath touching the skin.

Be Aware of Every Breath

In this particular technique you do not follow your breath inside your body. You keep your attention fixed at all times on the small area of skin below your nose. Breath awareness is about being continuously aware of breath as it passes over this one spot. The smaller the area, the sharper your focus becomes. If you are imagining your breath entering your nose, traveling to the back of your mouth, down your throat, and then filling your chest, lungs, and stomach, you are practicing a different exercise. In this particular technique, the attention remains fixed on the small area of skin at the entrance of the nostrils. If you cannot feel your breath’s delicate touch, take some harder breaths until you can. Once you detect it, resume natural, normal breathing. As long as you fix your attention on the area where you should be feeling your breath, your mind will gradually become more sensitive and alert.

Soon you will be able to feel the breath ever so slightly. If the mind is preoccupied or insensitive, feeling the breath’s touch will be difficult. If you do not feel its touch, that is fine, but continue focusing on the exact area of skin below your nose. You will probably feel the skin throbbing, itching, tickling, vibrating, or stinging. Although these sensations are not the touch of breath, they will keep you focused until you do feel it. Continue concentrating on natural breathing without missing a single breath. Be aware of how many consecutive breaths you can feel before your attention wanders, but resist counting. Counting can become a distraction. Pure natural breath is all that you want to focus on. This technique does not use counting. At first, you may only be aware of five or six breaths before your mind wanders. When your mind wanders, simply bring it back to the touch of breath. Attention training happens by repetitively bringing focus back to the breath. The length of time that you focus on the breath will eventually stretch into a minute or two, and eventually you will focus for ten or fifteen minutes. Focusing purely on feeling without letting your attention wander into your imagination is difficult in the beginning, but with practice it becomes easier.

Equanimity is the Goal

Fatigue can become an obstacle. Sleepiness may simply indicate that you need more rest, but it can also be how your subconscious copes with pain, boredom, frustration, or stress. If you keep nodding off or feel overly tired, acknowledge your sleepiness, straighten your back, and take a few harder breaths. If this doesn’t wake you up, open your eyes for a few minutes. If fatigue still overwhelms you, stand up, walk around, and then sit down and continue working. Remember that when you do any one of these things, stay continually focused on your incoming and outgoing breath in order to not break your concentration. Return to focusing on your respiration and make an effort not to let one single breath go unnoticed. Now and again, however, your mind will slide back into thinking. Know that each time you start thinking or imagining, it is like landing your aircraft and postponing your journey; it will take much longer to arrive at your destination.

To reach your goal-a more calm and focused mind-you must keep your attention continuously fixed on the area below your nose or slightly above your upper lip. When twenty minutes is over, resist jumping up and tending to all those tasks and duties calling for your attention. Take a minute to savor the moment, stretch your legs, and be mindful of how your body and mind feel. If you had an inattentive, irritable practice session, acknowledge how it was, and smile. Remember, whether your experience was focused or unfocused, pleasant or unpleasant, maintaining equanimity is the key to success.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6932865

Gym

Okay, So You Have Decided to Get Fit: Where Is a Good Place to Start?

Cardiovascular fitness is sometimes referred to as “cardiovascular endurance” because a person who possesses this type of fitness can persist in physical exercise for long periods of time without undue fatigue. It has been referred to as “cardio-respiratory fitness” because it requires delivery and utilization of oxygen, which is only possible if the circulatory and respiratory systems are capable of these functions.

The term “aerobic fitness” has also been used as a synonym for cardiovascular fitness because “aerobic capacity” is considered to be the best indicator of cardiovascular fitness and aerobic physical activity or exercise is the preferred method for achieving it. Regardless of the words used to describe it, cardiovascular fitness is complex because it requires fitness of several body systems.

Good cardiovascular fitness requires a fit heart muscle. The heart is a muscle; to become stronger it must be exercised like any other muscle in the body. If the heart is exercised regularly, its strength increases; if not, it becomes weaker. Contrary to the belief that strenuous work harms the heart, research has found no evidence that regular progressive exercise is bad for the normal heart. In fact, the heart muscle will increase in size and power when called upon to extend itself. The increase in size and power allows the heart to pump a greater volume of blood with fewer strokes per minute. The average individual has a resting heart rate of between seventy (70) and eighty (80) beats per minute, whereas it is not uncommon for a trained athlete’s pulse to be in the low fifties or even in the forties.

The healthy heart is efficient in the work it does. It can convert about half of its fuel into energy. An automobile engine in good running condition converts about one-fourth of its fuel into energy. By comparison, the heart is an efficient engine. The heart of a normal individual beats reflexively about 40 million times a year. During this time, over 4,000 gallons, or 10 tons, of blood are circulated each day, and every night the heart’s workload is equivalent to a person carrying a thirty-pound pack to the top of the 102-story Empire State Building.

Good cardiovascular fitness requires a fit vascular system. Healthy arteries are elastic, free of obstruction and expand to permit the flow of blood. Muscle layers line the arteries and control the size of the arterial opening upon the impulse from nerve fibers. Unfit arteries may have a reduced internal diameter because of deposits on the anterior of their walls, or they may have hardened, nonelastic walls.

Fit coronary arteries are especially important to good health. The blood in the four chambers of the heart does not directly nourish the heart. Rather, numerous small arteries within the heart muscle provide for coronary circulation. Poor coronary circulation precipitated by unhealthy arteries can be the cause of a heart attack.

Veins have thinner, less elastic walls than arteries. Also, veins contain small valves to prevent the backward flow of blood to the heart. The veins are intertwined in the muscle; therefore, when the muscle is contracted the vein is squeezed, pushing the blood on its way back to the heart. A malfunction of the valves results in a failure to remove used blood at the proper rate. As a result, venous blood pools, especially in the legs, causing a condition known as varicose veins.

Good cardiovascular fitness requires a fit respiratory system and fit blood. The process of taking in oxygen (through the mouth and nose) and delivering it to the lungs, where the blood picks it up, is called external respiration. External respiration requires fit lungs as well as blood with adequate hemoglobin in the red blood cells. Insufficient oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood is called anemia.

Delivering oxygen to the tissues from the blood is called internal respiration. Internal respiration requires an adequate number of healthy capillaries. In addition to delivering oxygen to the tissues, these systems remove CO2. Good vascular fitness requires fitness of both the external and internal respiratory systems.

Cardiovascular fitness requires fit muscle tissue capable of using oxygen. Once the oxygen is delivered, the muscle tissues must be able to use oxygen to sustain physical performance. Cardiovascular fitness activities rely mostly on slow-twitch muscle fibers. These fibers, when trained, undergo changes that make them especially able to use oxygen. Outstanding distance runners often have high numbers of slow-twitch fibers and sprinters often have high numbers of fast-twitch fibers.

Regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease. There is considerable evidence that regular physical reduces the incidence of heart disease. Also, it reduces the chances of early death from heart disease. In fact, the benefits of exercise in preventing heart disease have been shown to be independent of other risk factors. Inactivity is now considered a primary risk factor for heart disease.

People with low cardiovascular fitness have increase risk of heart disease. The best evidence indicates that cardiovascular fitness is associated with heart disease. Research has shown that low fit people are especially at risk. In addition it has now been demonstrated that improving your fitness (moving from low fitness to the good fitness zone) has a positive effect on health.

The frequency, intensity and time of your physical activity will vary depending on the benefits you hope to achieve. The term “threshold of training” suggests that there is one level of physical activity that all people must do to achieve cardiovascular fitness as well as the health benefits of activity. We now know that the threshold differs for people depending on their current fitness and activity levels and the benefits they hope to achieve. New studies show that health benefits can be achieved by doing less activity than previously thought. However, those who desire “performance benefits” as indicated by a high level cardiovascular fitness, in addition to the health benefits of physical activity, will need to do activity at a higher threshold level than those who are interested primarily in the basic health benefits.

The type of physical activity you select is important to the benefits you will receive. Lifestyle physical activities, such as walking, yard work, climbing stairs and normal daily tasks, can promote health benefits and make contributions to your cardiovascular fitness. Aerobic activities such as running, skiing, cycling, and active sports are considered to be the most beneficial in promoting health benefits and are effective in promoting performance increases needed for high-level performance. Though sports can be effective in contributing to the development of cardiovascular fitness, some are relatively ineffective and others can be very effective.

As a minimum, adults should participate in regular physical activity equal to 30 minutes of brisk walking most, preferably all, days of the week. Research shows that 30 minutes of physical activity equal to brisk walking most days of the week is an important contributor to personal cardiovascular health. To achieve health benefits, physical activity can be accumulated in several 10 to 15 minute bouts that total 30 minutes daily. However, when possible, bouts of 30 minutes duration are recommended. Near daily activity is recommended because each activity session actually has short-term benefits, which do not occur if activity is not relatively frequent. This is sometimes referred to as the “last bout effect”.

Calories can be counted to determine if you are doing enough to receive cardiovascular benefits of physical activity. The threshold of training for producing many of the health benefits can be determines using a weekly calorie count. Scientific evidence suggests that people who regularly expend calories each week in lifestyle activities such as walking, stair climbing and sports reduce death rates considerably compared to those who do not exercise. As few as 500 to 1,000 calories expended in exercise per week can reduce death rate, but most experts suggest that to insure a health benefit no less than 1.35 calories per pound of body weight each day. This amounts to 1,000 to 2,000 calories per week for most people if exercise is done daily.

For optimal health benefits an expenditure of 2,000 to 3,500 calories per week is recommended, because people doing this much physical activity have 48 to 64 percent less risk of heart disease when compared to sedentary people. As the calories expended per week increase the death rate decreases proportionately up to 3,500 calories. Because additional benefits do not occur for those expending more than 3,500 calories per week, the target zone is 1,000 to 3,500 calories per week. For health benefits to occur, calories must be expended on most days of the week and over long periods of time. In other words, moderate physical activity is described here must become regular lifetime physical activity if optimal health benefits are to be obtained. It should also be pointed out that some vigorous sports participation as part of the calories expended each week enhances the benefits of moderate regular calorie expenditure.

Heart rate can provide the basis for determining if a person is doing enough exercise to improve fitness. We know that expending a significant number of calories each week can result in reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and improved health. To achieve these benefits it is only necessary to do relatively low-level exercise for extended periods of time. Both cardiovascular health and performance benefits could be obtained in much shorter periods of time if exercise is done more intensely. For busy people this method is often preferred. To achieve fitness by using shorter duration exercise, your heart rate must be elevated to target zone intensity. In addition to producing cardiovascular health benefits, exercise that elevates the heart rate into the target zone has the added advantage of improved cardiovascular fitness test scores and improved performances in cardiovascular activities such as running, swimming and cycling.

Whether you are just trying to improve your cardiovascular health or wanting to improve your performance at a specific sport, it is important to apply these methods on a regular basis. Just remember these three principles; frequency, intensity and time. Apply these principles and you will enjoy good cardiovascular fitness and avoid risk of heart disease.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7576999

Nutrition

Nutrition and Food – Tips for Healthy Diet

What is a healthy diet? Is it what we have been lead to believe – milk for strong bones and teeth, protein in the form of lean beef or chicken and maybe a “healthy” microwave dinner if we are “on the go.” A healthy diet contains lots of fruit and vegetables; is based on starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice; and is low in fat (especially saturated fat), salt and sugar. This section contains details on what a healthy diet should consist of and why each vitamin and mineral is an essential part of staying healthy.

Maintaining a healthy diet is the practice of making choices about what to eat with the intent of improving or maintaining good health. Usually this involves consuming necessary nutrients by eating the appropriate amounts from all of the food groups including an adequate amount of water. Since human nutrition is complex, a healthy diet may vary widely, subject to an individual’s genetic makeup, environment, and health. For around 20% of the planet’s population, lack of food and malnutrition are the main impediments to healthy eating; people in developed countries have the opposite problem, and are more concerned about obesity..

Tips for Healthy diet

Maintain a healthy weight. The weight that’s right for you depends on many factors including your sex, height, age and heredity. Excess body fat increases your chances for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer and other illnesses. But being too thin can increase your risk for osteoporosis, menstrual irregularities and other health problems. If you’re constantly losing and regaining weight, a registered dietitian can help you develop sensible eating habits for successful weight management. Regular exercise is also important to maintaining a healthy weight..

Eat less high kilo joule foods-The total amount of energy-dense (high kilo joule) foods you eat may be as important as the total amount of fat in your diet. To reduce the energy density of your diet, you need to increase the amount of plant foods you eat. This will provide essential nutrients, help to make you feel ‘full’ and also reduce the amount of fat in your diet.

Milk and dairy foods-Milk and dairy products include cheese, yoghurt, milk and fromage-frais. They are rich in protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. Eat or drink a moderate amount of these foods – about 2 to 3 servings per day. These foods contain a good source of calcium, which is essential to our diet, but as these foods can also be high in saturated fats try to choose reduced fat versions when possible.

Limit fast food and other low-nutrient snacks, such as chips and candy. But don’t completely ban favorite snacks from your home. Instead, make them “once-in-a-while” foods, so kids don’t feel deprived.

Avoid stress while eating. When we are stressed, our digestion can be compromised. Avoid eating while working, driving, or watching TV (especially disturbing programs or the news). Also avoid confrontations, serious discussions or worry during meals. If you feel stressed or upset, stop eating and relax before continuing with your meal. Try taking some deep breaths prior to beginning your meal, or light candles and play soothing music to create a relaxing atmosphere.
Source by Peter sams

Alzheimer

Alzheimer’s Disease!Brain Games! Mind Fitness!Cognitive Function! Short-Term Memory Loss!

Ask anyone who’s ever forgotten the name of a longtime co-worker,or had to re-read a paragraph 3 times before absorbing its content,
When the mental strength and agility of youth start to slip, the wisdom of age tells you something.You want it back.

If a method of preserving or restoring youthful mental vigor were safe, inexpensive, and as simple and diverting as playing a video game
for a short while each day, wisdom would tell us to do it.

That calculation is why mental fitness programs have become the latest frontier in the nation’s quest to age without conceding to infirmity.

Regular Exercise Helps The Brain by improving concentration and attention.
Brain imaging studies show that highly-fit older adults have faster reaction times—an indication of better concentration—than their less-fit counterparts. They also are better able to focus on relevant information and ignore irrelevant cues, indicating better attention.

Highly fit individuals also show less of a decrease in gray matter in the cortex than is normally seen with aging,which may suggest a protective effect of exercise against nerve cell death. This effect is most pronounced in areas of the brain involved in executive cognition that typically decline most with aging.

When people think about staying fit, they generally think from the neck down,and while physical exercise is important to whole body function,the health
of your brain plays a critical role in almost everything you do: thinking, feeling, remembering, working, and playing – even sleeping.

We now know there’s a lot you can do to help keep your brain healthier as you age. These steps might also reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.

Simple lifestyle modifications also would have an enormous impact on our nation’s public health and the cost of health care.
If you make brain-healthy lifestyle changes and take action by getting involved, we could realize a future without Alzheimer’s disease,or other forms of dementia.

The Good News!
Reseachers have found destinct evidence that has revealed that the brain is capable of producing new brain cells for the purpose of maintaining established connections pathways necessary for long-term memories as well as enabling the acquisition of new memories.

Finding that the Brain Can Produce New Brain Cells was nothing short of revolutionary.
It transformed the way neuroscientists think about the aging brain and memory.

If the brain is able to generate new brain cells,
there’s hope that one day it may be possible to offset the damage and severe memory loss of dementia and that brought on by degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Exercising the Brain. People who keep their brains active by reading or doing jigsaw puzzles, word games or chess are less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease.
“We found that frequency of cognitive activity, but not of physical activity, was associated with risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease
and the rate of cognitive decline. We found that compared to persons with infrequent cognitive activity, risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease was reduced by about 50%
in people who were frequently cognitively active,” said Robert Wilson, Ph.D.

Wilson, RS et al. Neurology, Nov 2007; 69: 1911-1920.

So for a healthy better brain..eat healthy,get some physical exercise every day,and don’t neglect to exercise the brain as well!
Brain games are fun,challenging and most importantly promote new pathways within the brain that can lead us to better brain health.

To better minds everywhere!

Haylie Jordan
Source by Haylie Jordan

Healthy, Diet

A Healthy Diet Plan

Introduction

Free diet plan is based on balanced intake of fats, proteins and carbohydrates in different calorie count. Free diet plan stimulates your body burn the fat much easier, only by changing your daily calorie intake. Free diet plans are so common in society that many people have very restrictive ideas about what is healthy and natural in free diet plans eating. The best thing about free diet plan is that you burn the fat only.

Diet

Studies show that a lifestyle approach to nutrition, not a short term crash diet, is most likely to lead to permanent weight loss. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Monitor your weight or the way your clothing fits on a weekly basis and add or take away calories from your current diet according to what has been happening with your body.

Plan

The Diet Planner is merely a pattern to show individuals an example of what can be eaten for a certain number of calories while dieting. Be sure and follow the information outlined in the Planner Information. The first rule when formulating a diet plan should be to count calories. Don’t pay attention to any free diet meal plans, grapefruit diet plan or loss weight fast anorexia tips you’ve read in the newspapers.

Health

Health & Fitness – Choosing a free diet program is a very difficult task. Healthy eating varies in response to your free diet plans hunger, emotions, schedule, and accessibility to free diet plans food. Healthy eating means leaving half your free diet plans dessert on your plate because you have recognized you are full and satisfied. Healthy eating means being able to eat when free diet plans and to continue eating until you are both physically and psychologically satisfied.

Calories

Try adding or subtracting 100-200 calories per day, and test that level for about a week before you make a decision. The rest of your daily calories can come from carbs. If youre willing to track calories, use a maintenance figure you know is accurate as a starting point, or multiply your bodyweight by 15 to get an approximation of your maintenance calorie level. *If you have 150-200 pounds to lose, you will need to add an additional 400 calories per day to your diet plan. Do NOT go below 1,200 calories per day or you may lose your hair, your muscles, and any chance of winning the Lotto. If you require a 1,500 calorie diet, simply add 150 more calories to your daily diet. The above calculations are based on average calorie intake of 2250 calories.

Conclusion

Highly effective people and free diet plans achievers always double up and do two things at once whenever possible. We’re all in the same boat in the free diet plans beginning and free diet plans intermediate learning stages. So far, the best free diet plans book I’ve ever read on free diet plans for fat loss is Chris Aceto’s “Everything You Need to Know About free diet plans. In addition, free diet plans also contain antioxidants and phytochemicals which have been shown to prevent cancer, heart disease, strokes, and other diseases. A recent study of 23 lean men and 23 obese men found little difference in the total number of free diet plans calories each group consumed. No more than 25 percent of your total free diet plans calories should come from fat, fewer than 10 percent from saturated fat, the most damaging form discussed in detail in the GHF free diet plans component.
Source by Kamal

Fitness

Functional Fitness Training: The Reason Why Everyone Should Workout

Many people think that working out is just for those who want to lose a lot of weight or run a marathon. But the fact is as we get older our bodies can’t quite do things as well as they used to. We all start to find everyday tasks more difficult and can even become prone to injury. This is why functional fitness training could be the answer to improving your quality of life.

A video posted by Tom Bliss (@tomblissfit) on

What Is Functional Fitness Training?

Functional fitness training is one of the hottest trends in the fitness industry right now. Depending on who you ask you will probably get a different definition. Those who love kettlebells will tell you something different to someone who is a crossfit addict.

You should think of it as a form of exercise that trains muscles to do every day activities. For example, you may bend down to pick something up on a daily basis, therefore, a squat is a functional fitness exercise.

Many people think of workouts as people doing 100 pull ups or huge men performing romanian deadlifts with the biggest weights you’ve ever seen. Now don’t get me wrong, this kind of fitness is great, but isn’t really for your average Alfie now is it? Not unless we are going to start competing in the hunger games!

Therefore, functional exercises tend to simulate activities you may do at work or home all of the time. They tend to work both your upper and lower body as well as your core. This makes this kind of training great for anyone. It is simply a way of staying fit for normal life.

Functional fitness can be difficult and hard work. But then again so can real life. Everyday I pick up my  one year old daughter and carry her on my hip while attempting to carry her and her push chair down two flights of stairs. This is awkward and strenuous. Something simply lifting a barbell up and down will not help you with.

You can do functional fitness training both at home and at the gym. You can also attend functional fitness sessions like boot camps which will offer group training.

What are the Benefits of Functional Fitness Training.

The whole point of functional fitness exercises are to make everyday tasks simple. As we get older our bodies can no longer handle simple exercise like we could as children. Therefore, functional fitness is a workout that means the day to day living is a little easier and can improve your quality of life as well as reducing your risk of injury.

Typically standard weight training teaches your muscles to work isolated in an ideal posture. Functional exercises teach your muscles to work together in awkward positions your body may encounter daily.

You may have just bench pressed 200 pounds but that does not prepare you to lift your sleeping toddler out of his car seat without waking him while trying to hold the car door open with your leg. Functional exercises are designed to teach your body to perform activities you may come across anytime anywhere.

Functional fitness improves balance and stability, muscle strength. This can be very important in older adults to help maintain independence and reduce the risk of falls.

Functional fitness also uses numerous muscles and joints simultaneously. This offers a great workout as well as improving overall strength in muscles, joints and connective tissue.

Is Functional Fitness for Everyone?

Functional fitness is definitely something everyone should try, even at a beginner level. But anyone over the age of 40 who has not participated in fitness for a while should get the OK from their doctor before starting something new.

Everyone just starting functional fitness should begin with the basics. Only perform exercises with your own bodyweight. There a many people can’t control their own body weight as they do not have the balance or stability to do so.

They may find that they can use a machine at the gym easily as it is an isolated exercise. But given something like a squat on one leg and they can’t do it. Simply because their muscles haven’t been trained to work together.

So start off slow, leave the kettlebells at home for now! Build up your technique and strength and help improve your quality of life.
Source by Jenny Abouobaia