Some very useful tips for your workout!
What does it take to become a vegetarian?
How to exercise in order?
The General Rules Of Exercise Order
For most of the people, most of the time, proper exercise order can be summed up in one simple sentence:
More demanding exercises should be performed before less demanding exercises.
Here are the most common examples of what that means…
- Exercises for bigger muscles should come before exercises for smaller muscles.
Examples: Chest or back before shoulders, biceps or triceps. Shoulders before biceps or triceps. Quads or hamstrings before calves or abs.
- Compound exercises should come before isolation exercises.
Examples: Bench press before dumbbell flyes. Overhead press before lateral raises. Squats before leg extensions. Romanian deadlifts before leg curls.
- Free weight/body weight exercises should come before machines.
Squats or deadlifts before leg presses. Barbell bench press before incline machine press. Pull-ups before chest supported machine rows.
As I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of times when it might make sense to deviate slightly from these rules based on various individual factors, but in general… these rules should apply in most workout routines.
- Exercises for bigger muscles should come before exercises for smaller muscles.
How to protect your neck?
The neck is a delicate region made of complex bones and numerous muscles, and you need to take caution while exercising to avoid neck injury. This is an area of the body that must be kept healthy and strong, especially when you are actively exercising. You can take a proactive approach to avoid neck injuries when exercising.
First, it is important to realize the underlying causes of neck pain. Common causes include:
- Poor posture while doing everyday activities like using a computer or watching television.
- Sleeping in an uncomfortable position.
- Car accidents and sports injuries.
- High impact exercises and using poor technique for strenuous exercises, such as weightlifting.
While poor posture is a tough habit to break and accidents are unpredictable, there are measures that you can take to protect your neck before, during and after exercising to protect your neck from injury.
Preparing your body for exercise is just as important as having the right kind of shoes or protective gear. The following actions can be taken before you start a workout to avoid neck injury.
Study stretch exercises for the neck and upper body, and do them before every single workout. Many different yoga postures and exercises are especially appropriate and gentle on the neck.
It is important to get the heart beating and the blood flowing when you exercise. Rather than jumping right into rigorous exercise, warm up slowly. Aerobic exercise, such as light jogging or riding a stationary bike, is a great way to warm up the muscles and a solid warm up will help prevent neck injury.
When you are exercising, it is important to listen to your body and evaluate your unique needs. The following actions can help you evaluate your needs and avoid injury.
If you are lifting weights, pay special attention to the position of your neck and focus on using big muscles, like the hips and legs, to do the work. Keep your head in a neutral position when lifting any amount of weight.
When doing any exercise you do that involves twisting, such as step aerobics or weight lifting, use caution. Use your body as a gage for how much you can handle; pain is an indication of overexertion.
After a workout and on the days in between your workouts, the following actions can help you recover quickly and reduce the likelihood of a neck injury.
Ice and Rest
If you often find that your neck, shoulders and upper back are sore after you exercise, use a cold compress or apply ice directly after a strenuous work out. This can help to reduce pain and discomfort. Be sure to allow adequate time for your body to recover following a strenuous work out too. Ice followed by rest is a great combination for reducing pain and preventing further injury.
Massage can be an effective and efficient way to reduce neck pain and minimize the possibility of injury in your next workout.
Pay attention to how your neck feels before, during and after exercise. Use a combination of the techniques above to keep your neck feeling great and your workouts on track.
Lose your weak spot.
Think of your core muscles as the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body. Whether you’re hitting a tennis ball or mopping the floor, the necessary motions either originate in your core, or move through it.
No matter where motion starts, it ripples upward and downward to adjoining links of the chain. Thus, weak or inflexible core muscles can impair how well your arms and legs function. And that saps power from many of the moves you make. Properly building up your core cranks up the power. A strong core also enhances balance and stability. Thus, it can help prevent falls and injuries during sports or other activities. In fact, a strong, flexible core underpins almost everything you do:
- Everyday acts. Bending to put on shoes or scoop up a package, turning to look behind you, sitting in a chair, or simply standing still — these are just a few of the many mundane actions that rely on your core and that you might not notice until they become difficult or painful. Even basic activities of daily living — bathing or dressing, for example — call on your core.
- On-the-job tasks. Jobs that involve lifting, twisting, and standing all rely on core muscles. But less obvious tasks — like sitting at your desk for hours — engage your core as well. Phone calls, typing, computer use, and similar work can make back muscles surprisingly stiff and sore, particularly if you’re not strong enough to practice good posture and aren’t taking sufficient breaks.
- A healthy back. Low back pain — a debilitating, sometimes excruciating problem affecting four out of five Americans at some point in their lives — may be prevented by exercises that promote well-balanced, resilient core muscles. When back pain strikes, a regimen of core exercises is often prescribed to relieve it, coupled with medications, physical therapy, or other treatments if necessary.
- Sports and other pleasurable activities. Golfing, tennis or other racquet sports, biking, running, swimming, baseball, volleyball, kayaking, rowing and many other athletic activities are powered by a strong core. Less often mentioned are sexual activities, which call for core power and flexibility, too.
- Housework, fix-it work, and gardening. Bending, lifting, twisting, carrying, hammering, reaching overhead — even vacuuming, mopping, and dusting are acts that spring from, or pass through, the core.
- Balance and stability. Your core stabilizes your body, allowing you to move in any direction, even on the bumpiest terrain, or stand in one spot without losing your balance. Viewed this way, core exercises can lessen your risk of falling.
- Good posture. Weak core muscles contribute to slouching. Good posture trims your silhouette and projects confidence. More importantly, it lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply. Good posture helps you gain full benefits from the effort you put into exercising, too.
Weak, tight, or unbalanced core muscles can undermine you in any of these realms. And while it’s important to build a strong core, it’s unwise to aim all your efforts at developing rippling abs. Overtraining abdominal muscles while snubbing muscles of the back and hip can set you up for injuries and cut athletic prowess. If washboard abs are your holy grail, it’s essential to trim body fat through diet and aerobic exercise and build strong abdominal muscles through frequent core exercise sessions.
Keep your stats, see amazing results.
Test yourself often. Every 4 weeks, measure a variable—waist size, body fat, weights youre using—that equates to your end goal. “It’ll show you the tangible results of your training”.
Stretch for strength.
You can use the timing and the nature of stretching to maximize gains in strength and flexibility.
The timing of stretching is critical to maximize the training response, meaning that a great method of stretching used at the wrong time can be disastrous. The regular practice of stretching will accelerate maximal gains in strength and hypertrophy. However, restrictions in fascial structures slow down hypertrophy gains and make it difficult to improve flexibility. Hence, the popularity of our FAT tool courses to remove limiting adhesions – especially when combined with a NO2 increasing cream such as Zanagen Ignite.
If you stretch with the wrong method, such as doing static stretching before strength training, you make the muscle temporarily weak and increase the risk of injury. This has been proven in multiple studies of various stretching activities, ranging from strength training to warming up for rugby and football. In most studies the decreases in maximal strength and power range from 7 to 20 percent. Who wants to train or compete at 80 to 93 percent of their best?
PNF stretching and ballistic stretching increase strength levels for workouts and competition. The key is to perform until you feel your nervous system being activated. Using bands to stretch the joint capsules also potentiates strength and flexibility gains.
To maximize your flexibility gains, four to six hours after strength training do a combination of stretching methods in this order: PNF, then ballistic, then static; following this protocol will accelerate your progress in the weightroom and on the athletic field. With PNF stretching make sure to gradually increase the tension to about 66 percent of maximal strength for 6-8 seconds for the highest return on your time investment.When using the ballistic method, use the pendulum approach, by gradually increasing both range and velocity of the stretch. Although many physical therapists frown upon this method and argue that it increases the risk of injury, this is no more than the talk of glorified bartenders with their bags of ice. Successful kicks and throws are ballistic, so you can and should train the same way you compete! It’s all about the progressions. Weightlifters lift world records after progressive warm-ups. They get there by lifting heavy weights in a progressive manner. Why not apply the same principles to stretching?
How to recover faster?
The subject of recovery covers many different realms. The classic “one day of rest between workouts” can help the novice lifter introduce recovery into his regime. But you’re one step above “novice”. You train.
When you train, you tear your muscle tissue which is know as microtrauma. From a general perspective, 48 hours is a decent amount of time to wait before training the same muscle group again. Shorter time frames can produce poorer performance in the gym, or possibly overtraining the muscle, and as a result, cause injury.
There are instances, however, when weightlifting can lead to prolonged soreness and fatigue. A heavy workout can result in 4 days (or more) of soreness. What we do with our bodies in and around training days can help your cause.
Improve Tissue Quality – foam rolling and stretching can go a long way to improving the elasticity and condition of your muscles. Remember, in the weight room, we’re constantly shortening muscle tissue, and the lack of flexibility will just lead to more tightness and increase the time needed to recover. Over time, chronic pain could also result due to joint stress.
Do ‘Easy’ Cardio – light jogging, cycling, swimming, or lower intensity sports (say, a basketball “shootaround” session) can do well to flush lactic acid and promote recovery. The aerobic training can send oxygenated blood to muscles and improve circulation. This, coupled with the dynamic movements involved, can allow the body to “loosen up” and improve recovery time between workouts.
Train Regularly – If you are a weekend warrior, or train sporadically at best, it could be a screaming indication of the amount of time it’s taking for you to recover. Even if you do the same thing each weekend, the amount of time spent in absence of athletic endeavours per week is leaving your body as shocked as ever as soon as you leave the gym. Try to get training a minimum of 3 workouts per week, and you’ll notice your body give you a much more “manageable” response to your training.
Eat The Right Foods – the amount of time it takes for our muscles to recover from a workout is directly contingent upon the foods we decide to fuel our body with. We all know proteins are building blocks to muscle development. That said, we should be having plenty. Remember that our workouts break our muscle tissue down. It’s up to us to build them back up again, and protein-rich foods are key.
Rest, Relax, Recover – if your sleeping habits are off, they’ll have an effect on your recovery time. Cortisol levels can elevate, and testosterone and HGH levels can drop. These hormones need to be in the right balance in order for you to get the most from your workouts, or else you could just end up overtraining, and ultimately losing muscle. Take a week off of training if you notice you’re still sore after a few days, susceptible to colds or illness, aren’t motivated to train, having poor sleeps, and aren’t feeling as strong in the weight room.
How to run hills faster?
Here some tips for running up hills.
Look ahead to about 50metres in front of you when running up a hill and try not to shift your gaze. Now I didn’t say look down, as you know that is a big no, no in running, just with your eyes look ahead to the ground fifty metres in front. You don’t want to look to the very top of the hill as that will just make it all look too big and hard, but chipping away at each 50metres will get you up to the top in sections. If you don’t even want to see 50metres in front, do this, look away to the side. For me it’s an out of sight out of mind thing, if I am looking at the view to the left or right, it almost feels like I’m not on a hill…almost… I said!
Shorten your stride, don’t slow it just shorten it. Small strides will get you to each 50metre point more comfortably than big strides.
Lean into the hill slightly, but keep your body straight. We tend to roll our shoulders and get stooped running up a hill. This isn’t good for your back and it also prevents you getting a good flow of oxygen into your system, and is often why your breathing becomes more laboured
Learn to Love Hills– sounds crazy but if you say you hate hills, they will be mean to you. If you embrace the hill, say you love it, talk yourself up and over it. All the way up a hill I’m saying things like ‘nearly at the top’ ‘Good girl” ‘It’s not so bad’ ‘I may be running slowly, but at least I am still running’ Remember you are saying this in your head, so no one can hear or take offence! It’s far better to talk this way, then to keep saying ‘this is so hard’ ‘I’m hating this’ ‘I have to walk’. Also tell yourself, the hill is not going anywhere, it is an immovable force, you have to get over it, you can do it the hard way by grumbling and moaning, and walking or you can get over it quicker by running and not whinging
Recovering from the Climb– Another amazing thing about the Race the Rattler the other day, was the rabbit and tortoise mentality on the hills. I passed so many people on my slow crawls up the hill because they were walking and then off they went down the other side like a billy cart passing me, then of course I passed them heading up the other side. This went on for most of the race with the group of runners I was with…but I did notice that by the last 3km, I had passed all those rabbits and I did beat all the little group I was with home. I think it was because, my pace was consistent, and I stuck to running so I still had the confidence in the end to run strong.They however, were getting exhausted by their erratic pace all the way through, walking up and speeding down the hills was using all their energy. All the way we could also read each other on the hills and I think in the end it was the mental strength that won through on the last couple of kms. I honestly believe that everytime you walk in a race it chips away at you mentally, and at the end even if your ran 99% or the way, you are still haunted or frustrated by the 1% walk. When you run all the way to the top of a hill, give yourself a reward and go into recovery mode, start to jog down the hill slow and strong, get some nice deep breaths into your lungs and spend a little time recovering and enjoying the view. Unfortunately we are not like push bikes, that can zoom down a hill and then go halfway up the next hill without even touching the pedals…runners have to touch the pedals as soon as they get to the bottom of a hill. So make sure you have fully recovered by the bottom, ready to launch your assault on the next hill. If you run down a hill too fast, you will find you haven’t the energy or strength to get all the way up the next one
Train on Hills– Like all things in running once you train and get used to something you are fine. Remember when you couldn’t run 5km and you did, then you thought how could I ever run 10km and you did, then it was half marathons and then maybe marathons…all of this was done by simple persistence and training. Well hills are the same. The body will soon adapt to any pressure you put it under. So once you start training on hills it will soon adapt, and when you do encounter hills in a race, you body won’t jack up and say no way, it will just do what it’s used to and run over them. The Mooloolaba runners run up Alex Hill some Saturdays (about 500metre hill) and I never hear them complain about it (of course I wouldn’t listen if they did). When I am coming behind them I see them running normally chatting away, just like they are on the flat, it is such a part of their run now it’s not a problem. So I suggest once a week run on a hilly course.
Ask Yourself Why?..If you find you always have to walk when it comes to a hill or part of a hill, don’t just accept it, ask yourself why. What is the reason…are your legs sore? are you out of breath?, are you not used to hills? are you just plain Lazy, do you have negative thoughts?…find out why and work on that one reason to overcome it
Push Through– I use this mentality on all my beginner runners and it can also be used on any running challenge we have no matter how far and well we think we can run. When you want to stop the first time, Don’t…keep running; when you want to stop the second time, Don’t…keep running; when you want to stop the third time, Stop…walk for a minute and then start running again. When I saw the runners the other day in Race the Rattler , I knew when they were on the hill they were walking the first time they felt like it. You need to push through the feeling and keep running, that way you will get a little further up the hill. The second time you think you can’t go on, keep going, once again you push through and that gets you a little further, it may even get you to the top. When it happens for the third time, walk for one minute only (time yourself) and then start to run, don’t give in on the third one and just walk to the top. If you stop every time you feel like stopping it means you haven’t pushed though and next time you want to stop you will again, and again. However, if you push through a couple of times, then it was a little win for you and next time you will get further up that hill.
How to win a marathon?
Marathon training will be challenging, but should be fun and enjoyable. Finishing a marathon is an accomplishment that less than 1% of people in the world can say they have achieved. You are about to be one of them!
Are you a beginning runner? Already a runner? Haven’t run in a long time? Either way, you can finish a marathon. Learning some of the basics will help you get started.
Building mental stamina is essential. It’s one thing to be motivated to begin training. It’s another to stay motivated every day. Naturally, we think running a marathon will not be easy. Even so, many finishers say it was even tougher than they thought. Staying motivated and developing the proper mindset is key to enjoying training and crossing the finish line with a smile on your face.
Finish time goals, weight loss goals, “just finish” goals…we all have a reason(s) for wanting to run a marathon. If your only goal is to lose weight, good luck. You’re likely to quit. You are likely to quit just like so many people who join health clubs each year for the same reason only to stop going after seeing little results in little time. You must have the right goals and reasons for running in order to be successful.
Wear the right gear:
Treat your feet to a good pair of running shoes (or three!). Running shoes will be the most important piece of gear. Shoes are designed to fit feet with different arches, pronation, and more. Visit a local specialty running store to find the best shoes for your feet.
Carbohydrates provide the fuel runners need. During marathon training, 65% of your total calories should come from carbohydrates, particularly complex carbohydrates. 10% should come from protein (you need 0.5 to 0.7 grams per pound of your body weight each day). 20-25% of your total calories should come from unsaturated fats. Be sure to get the nutrition you need to keep you strong and allow for adequate recovery.
Obviously, it is important to run as marathon training, but recovery is equally important. You should not run every day. Your body needs to rest between runs so it can recover from one run to the next, getting stronger between each run. Nutrition and eating the right foods at the right time also play a vital role in recovery. Take recovery days equally as serious as your running days.
On runs of an hour or more, carry fluids with you and consume 6-8 oz. every 20 minutes. During pre-training and marathon training, weigh yourself before and after each run to Rehydrate and get your body weight back to the weight it was before the run by drinking water or sports drink within the first hours after the run.
Use your non-running days to rest and recover. Ice down any soreness, particularly in knees or shins (most common) four times per day for 15-20 minutes. Injuries often sneak up without warning. Doing all the right things right will minimize your chances of injury.
Before you begin marathon training, you should be able to run for at least 30 minutes without stopping. Distance is not important right now. You just need to get your body used to running.
Combinations of run/walks are great to use during pre-training because they ease your body into the exercise and minimizes the chance of experiencing a running injury.
It’s also a good idea at this point to go ahead and select a marathon and get signed up!
Your mileage should gradually increase each week with your longest run being 18-20 miles. You should then taper off in the final weeks leading up to the marathon to allow your body to recover from training and so you will be strong on marathon day. Having a 20-mile run under your belt will give you a major psychological advantage on marathon day.
Tapering in the final weeks before the marathon will help your body recover from marathon training and be strong for your big day. You will also want to carbo-load the week leading up to the race. Given the atmosphere at most marathons, you will likely feel full of adrenaline after leaving the starting line. Remember though, marathons are about endurance and pace is critical. Maintain pace to save everything you have left for your big finish!
Find healthy fast food.
Drive-Through Done Right
Sometimes eating on the fly is a fact of life. Findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that fast food accounts for more than 15 percent of daily calories for people in their twenties and thirties. If your busy schedule calls for the occasional grab-and-go meal, FITNESS is here to help. Our cheat sheet identifies two safe bets for lunch or dinner at 10 of the most popular chains. With these menu picks, which each have 480 calories or fewer and are low in artery-clogging saturated fat, you can eat burgers, tacos, and fries guilt-free.
- Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken and low-fat balsamic vinaigrette plus Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait; 375 calories, 9.5g fat (4g saturated)
- Grilled Honey Mustard Snack Wrap plus small french fries; 480 calories, 19g fat (5g saturated)
- Fresco Steak Burrito Supreme plus black beans; 430 calories, 10.5g fat (3g saturated)
- Fresco Chicken Soft Taco plus Pintos ‘n’ Cheese; 330 calories, 10.5g fat (4g saturated)
- Egg White Veggie Wake-Up Wrap plus hash browns; 350 calories, 18g fat (4.5g saturated)
- Tuna Salad Sandwich on an English muffin; 390 calories, 23g fat (3.5g saturated)
- 6″ Subway Club on 9-Grain Wheat Bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, cucumbers, and Sweet Onion Sauce plus apple slices; 445 calories, 4.5g fat (1.5g saturated)
- Oven Roasted Chicken Salad with tomatoes, green peppers, onions, olives, and cucumbers with honey-mustard dressing plus Yogurt Parfait; 400 calories, 6g fat (1.5g saturated)
- Chicken & Hummus Bistro Box (hummus, grilled chicken, grape tomatoes, cucumber, and pita bread) plus a banana; 380 calories, 7g fat (1.2g saturated)
- Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl (grilled chicken, black beans, roasted corn, jicama, tomatoes, feta, greens, and quinoa with chile vinaigrette) plus Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend; 450 calories, 15g fat (2.5g saturated)
- 3 Barbacoa (braised beef) Tacos on soft corn tortillas with lettuce and tomato salsa; 405 calories, 10g fat (2.5g saturated)
- Vegetarian Burrito Bowl with brown rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, lettuce, and roasted chili-corn salsa; 385 calories, 7g fat (1g saturated)
- Large Chili plus Garden Side Salad (no croutons) with fat-free French dressing 375 calories, 9 g fat (3.5 g saturated)
- Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich plus apple slices 440 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
- Half Smoked Turkey Breast on Artisan Whole Grain Loaf plus Low-Fat Garden Vegetable with Pesto Soup (from the You Pick Two Menu); 320 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated)
- Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad (no bacon) plus Baked Lays Potato Chips; 430 calories, 17g fat (2.5g saturated)
- Whopper Jr. (no mayo) plus Value-Sized Onion Rings; 410 calories, 18g fat (5.5g saturated)
- Veggie Burger plus apple slices; 440 calories, 16g fat (2.5g saturated)
- 4 Hot Wings plus Sweet Kernel Corn; 380 calories, 16.5g fat (4g saturated)
- Kentucky Grilled Chicken Breast plus mashed potatoes (without gravy) 310 calories; 10g fat (2.5g saturated)
10 More Calorie Bargains
Whether you’re craving a sweet snack or looking for lunch, here are more surprisingly diet-friendly finds.
- Burger King 4-piece Chicken Nuggets; 190 calories, 11g fat (2g saturated)
- Chipotle Cheese Quesadilla (kids’ size); 190 calories, 11g fat (6g saturated)
- Dunkin’ Donuts Cinnamon Cake Munchkins (two) ; 120 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated)
- KFC Original Recipe Chicken Drumstick; 120 calories, 7g fat (1.5g saturated)
- McDonald’s Vanilla Soft-Serve Cone; 170 calories, 4.5g fat (3g saturated)
- Panera Power Breakfast Egg White Bowl with Roasted Turkey; 190 calories, 7g fat (1g saturated)
- Starbucks Chocolate Cake Pop; 140 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated)
- Subway Kids’ Roast Beef Sandwich; 200 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated)
- Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco; 160 calories, 10g fat (3.5g saturated)
- Wendy’s Jr. Original Chocolate Frosty; 200 calories, 5g fat (3.5g saturated)
Eat right on the run with these smart strategies.
Don’t fall for health halos. Some veggie dishes pack nearly 1,000 calories, while a burger may have as few as 250. Read the nutrition facts before you order.
Go high tech. Speaking of nutrition facts, they’re in the palm of your hand with the Fast Food Calorie Counter app ($1, for iPhone or Android), which lists more than 9,000 menu items.
Look beyond the main menu. Pint-size portions on the kids’ menu can save you calories, and the Dunkin’ Donuts all-day breakfast menu has many nutritious picks. Panera has a secret menu with healthy egg-white bowls and a steak lettuce wrap; say you’re ordering from the “hidden menu” to get the scoop.
Go skinny-dipping. Not all condiments are created equal. A ketchup packet has only 10 calories, but those cute little packages of honey mustard and barbecue sauce contain 60 calories and 50 calories, respectively.