Monthly Archives: March 2018

Punching Bags For Fitness

Many people may not look to punching bags as their first option on the road to becoming more fit. They may think of them as being strictly for people who are trying to train to be boxers or fighters in some way. Indeed, that IS why they were first invented so many hundreds of years ago, to train fighters in the military. They have also been used for training in such martial arts as Taekwondo and Karate. It helps to use them to practice kicks as well as punches.

Nothing burns up excess calories quite as well as time spent with punching bags except, possibly, running. It is easy to understand when you consider the hard and fast punching and kicking that one does when using these bags. You can really work up a sweat that burns off even more calories while you are learning to keep your balance and defend yourself all at the same time. Attacking these bags also make excellent warming up exercises before you go running or jogging. Your muscles will be ready to be put through their paces with little risk of pulling any muscles.

Other benefits of using punching bags as part of your fitness routine include toning the muscles in your arms as well as your legs. It also builds up the strength in many muscles throughout your body. Spending time working out with the bag does not have to be done every single day. You can make these workouts fit in with your schedule whether that is three times a week, more or less. This makes one of the more ideal workouts because you can speed them up or slow them down to suit your needs. The perfect workout for your entire body may just be the best kept secret around.

Effective Home Workouts

Many people think that creating a home workout gym is either too intimidating or too costly. So, often they instead invest their money in a health club membership not realizing that for the same amount of money (or even less) they can create a very effective gym right in their own home.

For an effective home gym, all that is required is a little bit of planning. Don’t fall into the trap of purchasing random fitness equipment because of fancy advertising for the latest infomercial fad or the great “sale” at your local fitness store. That type of purchasing leads to a house littered with equipment that’s only use is as a clothes hanger or dust collector. This often happens because the equipment is either useless, poorly constructed or quickly loses its value because it doesn’t progress with your fitness level.

To avoid having a basement filled with expensive dust-collecting equipment, keep these points in mind when making a purchase:

  1. What are your fitness goals?
  2. How often do you realistically think you will use the equipment?
  3. What fitness level do you expect to be at in 3, 6, 9 months?
  4. Will the equipment meet your needs as you get more fit (at the 3, 6, and 9-month marks)?
  5. Does the equipment offer enough variations in use that you can change your workouts frequently to prevent your body from hitting a plateau?
  6. Will you enjoy the exercises or will you quickly grow bored of them?
  7. And, of course how much can you afford?

Once you have answered all of the above questions then you are ready to make some purchasing decisions. Of course, how much you can afford to spend may dictate what you can actually purchase. Don’t get discouraged. For as little as $100, you can have a very effective total strength training home gym. Even for as little as $35, you can create an effective workout that will tone your entire body.

Regardless of what your fitness goals are, there are a plethora of equipment options to consider. For building muscles and/or toning-up you can choose from free weights, selectorized machines, resistance bands, benches and even no-equipment. For cardiovascular improvements (e.g. running, walking, etc), there are even more options. They range from treadmills, to elliptical trainers, to bikes and beyond. So, answering the previously mentioned questions is very important.

To help make your decision easier, below are several recommendations based on costs and needs, along with benefits of the exercise equipment.

If you want to create a gym that will provide you with a total body workout (cardio, strength and flexibility) and you have a budget of at least $1000, consider the following recommendations:

  • Treadmill – The best option for cardiovascular equipment because it can be used for running, walking, and even some leg strength training. Plus, workouts can continually be varied based on speed, incline, even direction. And, it easily progresses as fitness levels improve.
  • Full dumbbell set with weights ranging from 5 pounds to 50+ pounds. – Great for light toning, to intermediate strength training to building muscles. Less expensive than selectorized machines and usually provides more flexibility and variety in workouts.
  • Fitness Ball – Provides exercise options for toning, strengthening and stretching.
  • Resistance Band – Provides another option for strength training. Can alternate use with free weights for a great challenge that will help prevent plateaus.
  • Step Bench – Can be used for both cardio workouts and strength training workouts.

If you want a home gym specifically for building muscles (or just can’t afford cardio equipment), and can afford at least $100, consider the following recommendations:

  • Dumbbell set.
  • Fitness Ball
  • Resistance Band
  • Jump Rope – Offers very challenging cardiovascular fitness workouts at a very low price.

If you want a total body home gym but can only afford less than $100, consider the following recommendations:

  • Three dumbbells sizes (e.g. 5, 10 and 15 pounds)
  • Resistance Band
  • Jump Rope

If you are limited to purchasing just one very affordable piece of equipment, consider buying a Fitness Ball. As mentioned above, it provides many different exercise options. With the ball you can get an upper body workout, a lower body workout, very challenging abdominal workout and a stretching/flexibility workout. And, you can get all of this for around $35.

Also, don’t underestimate what you can do with things that are already in your house, like stairs, a chair, milk jugs and others. There are a lot of exercises that require no equipment at all. For example, push-ups, tricep dips, squats, calf raises, etc. You can even create your own “weights” through milk jugs filled with water or sand.

As you can see, there are a lot of options available for creating a home gym that will meet your individual needs and will provide a lot of workout variety. Even on a shoestring budget, you can still make a wise purchase that will be invaluable in helping you get more fit and healthy. And, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of working out at home.

What are the benefits of working out at home? Well, here are some highlights:

  • No wasted time driving to and from a fitness club
  • No waiting in line to use the equipment
  • Workout on your schedule, rather than just when the health club is open
  • No expensive monthly membership fees or long-term contracts
  • Motivation to workout as you pass by the equipment every day

Of course, you will need previous knowledge of how to use your home equipment or you will have to be willing to learn. But, it’s not difficult. Most equipment will come with basic instructions and a few sample exercises. You may want to enlist the help of a professional to provide additional exercise options and guidance that will ensure that you get the most out of your fitness equipment through every fitness level stage.

What To Expect From A Fitness

Fitness fads come and go, but boot camp workouts are still among the most popular.

The great thing about boot camp classes is that they’re always different, so you’re constantly utilizing different muscles and switching things up. It really depends on who’s teaching the class and what their format is, but here’s what you can ‘usually’ expect from a boot camp style fitness class.

What to expect: To get your booty kicked. These classes are based on a series of drills, which can focus on muscular endurance, calisthenics and plyometrics. Some classes may use dumbbells or resistance bands, but will consist of mostly body-weight exercises.

Here are some of the exercises you might experience in one of your local boot camp classes:

1) Plyometric drills: Fast, powerful and functional movements. These can help to improve athletic performance and the functioning of the nervous system. The goal of plyo movements are to create a very strong muscle contraction in a short amount of time, and the movements consist of a quick lengthening phase followed by a resting phase. In boot camp classes, these movements can be used to spike up the heart rate so that you’re burning more calories during the strength exercises.

Other examples:

-Tuck jumps

-Box jumps

-Plyo push-ups

-Jumping lunges

-Burpees

2) The basics: Standard calisthenics that you’ve most likely seen before. These exercises can benefit muscular and cardiovascular fitness, and will consist of quite a few reps or sets, especially during a boot camp class.

-Lunges

-Squats

-Calf raises

-Dips

-Jumping jacks

-Push-ups

-Sit ups

-Crunches

-Flutter kicks

3) Props. Your instructor may use different props for the boot camp class, including dumbbells, resistance bands, an agility ladder, medicine balls, or even hurdles.

4) Intervals or timed stations. There could be different stations set up, and you can rotate through each station during class. Along with the rising popularity of Tabata intervals, I’ve noticed that many instructors are using this technique in their classes, so you can also expect to be timed for intervals, like 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds on, repeating 8 times for 4 minutes total.

What to wear: I find a lot of people have this question, so wear whatever you’re comfortable in, but make sure you have good supportive sneakers for jumping, running and lateral movement.

Pros:

-Variety. Changes are that class will be different every time, so as I always say: change creates change. This is a very good thing.

-Strength and cardio rolled into one workout! Fitness efficiency at its best.

-Group fitness energy and motivation. There is something so exciting and motivating about taking an intense class in a group setting, it keeps you going even when you want to stop the most!!!

Easy Workout For Mothers

When you are a mother the last thing you think you have time for is a workout. You ask yourself where a workout fits in between school plays, the kids sport activities, making dinner, laundry, dishes and the million other things on your 4 foot long to-do list. The reality is you do have time for a workout, and in fact are probably getting exercise throughout the day just doing daily chores. Try some of these ideas for an easy to do workout for mothers.

Use You Daily Routine

Why not implement a workout into you daily routine? The easiest way to do that is to incorporate it into your day. Instead of driving 3 blocks to get toilet paper on your to-do list you can choose to walk or jog to the store. This may also help you from making impulse buys that you do not need.

Ways to Work a Workout into Your Day

If you get into the routine of walking or jogging to a nearby store for small items on your to-do list you can surely find other easy ways to workout throughout your day. Set aside time for a family walk. Instead of using an elevator you could take the stairs. While you are doing daily chores around the house wear wrist and ankle weights-yes it works.

Another great way for mothers to do a workout is to have a neighborhood workout for mothers group. If you are affiliated with a church make a group to help others workout and keep you on your regimen. These simple easy to do workout for mothers can dramatically change the way you look at exercise.

Traditional Ways to Implement a Workout

Join a gym-all mothers need time to themselves. Joining a gym can be a great way to alleviate stress and keep your mind and body in shape. A workout for mothers is much more than an exercise regimen, it’s a way to distress, relax and have time without doing something for their family. A mother’s workout can be considered their “me” time. Too many mothers do not take time for themselves.

Joining a gym can also help mothers meet new people and network with other mothers while improving their health. Just because you are a mother doesn’t mean your social life should end. Having other mothers that work out with you has several benefits; the first of which is support. Support can be the difference between succeeding and failing. The second most important benefit to having others to workout with is knowledge; mothers that share workout tips have a better success rate.

How to Start a Workout for Mothers Group

There are several ways to start a workout for mothers group. Start with friends and family. You can branch out to church members and social groups such as mommy and me groups. Next try starting a new workout for mothers group at your local gym. These simple easy to implement tips can be the difference between succeeding at your workout and failing.

Improve Your Fitness

All over the world people are increasingly conscious of health. We can rest on the fact that the most important things in life is to keep in shape and to lay out, in a sense enjoy things in life. Keeping fit means recapturing the days of your youth and the enjoyment of life in those days. A man would do anything for the sake of keeping himself young. Despite all types of treatments and surgeries which is a booming market, people continue to trust the natural believe of remaining fit, i.e., by exercising regularly and maintain a workout routine. It is very necessary to train, which takes care of all aspects of a good body.

There are various benefits derived from regular training fitness. Workouts succeed in relation to the physical needs of the body, if regularly observed, your body will obtain the desired shape. Major benefits of training programs are reducing the weight of a bulky body to the right proportion and increasing power in the body. That translates into a lower risk of diseases, helps reduce body fat and finally gives the body an attenuated form. Not only this but workouts helps with depression and insomnia by helping improve how you feel physically and spiritually. Increase self-esteem and get more energy to the body with workouts.

Fitness training also helps to increase the metabolism of the body, which means with more muscles, more calories in the body are used. The training helps to increase the shape of the muscles of the body, that increases the need to burn calories. To maintain metabolism levels we may opt for training fitness and some aerobic activities. Exercising not only helps maintain a strong and toned look but also contributes to maintain peace and mental content. It also helps reduce the symptoms of menopause, heart disease and maintains the level of cholesterol. And it gives the body a more attenuated look and feel, which not only looks strong but is stronger than it looks.