Category: Exercise and Health

Fitness: Maintaining optimum strength on weak muscles

Fitness: Maintaining optimum strength on weak muscles

Muscular strength should be maintained at the level which supports the daily activities and allows for emergency physical activities and occasional prolonged periods when adequate nutrition and hours of rest are reduced. Most occupations involve some muscular strain. Sitting for hours at a desk places a continuous strain on the small muscles supporting the shoulders and head. If these small muscles are not allowed to rest or if their circulation is not improved by massage or exercise, they will become fatigued and distractingly painful.

The strenuousness of muscular activity is proportional to the strength of the muscles involved. An activity which is strenuous for a weak muscled individual is less strenuous for another individual with stronger muscles. If a sufficient reserve of muscular strength is maintained daily tasks are performed with greater ease and efficiency, in greater quantities and with less fatigue. As the athlete trains for his event by strengthening himself through increasing loads of work, so the worker and the executive can train themselves the better to withstand their physical stresses through extra loads of physical activity.

Fitness: Maintaining optimum strength on weak muscles

The athlete requires daily periods of hard work to maintain a high state of training but those who perform sedentary or moderate work need less frequent and less strenuous periods of extra physical activity. The exercise periods can be made very pleasurable if the work is accomplished in the form of golf, bowling, tennis or other sport. If there is sufficient leisure time, desirable levels of muscular strength can be maintained by such activities as gardening, home workshop activities, fishing, hunting, and camping.

Strengthening Weak Muscles

Muscular weakness may be corrected by working the muscles against heavy loads. The loads should be adapted to the strength of the muscles and increased as muscle strength is improved. Tile rate of improvement will generally be in proportion to the amount of work performed by the muscles. Rapid improvement requires long periods of work. If the load of work is too heavy or the movement too rapid, or if insufficient rest is allowed between the bouts of work, exhaustion will occur and the total amount of work which can be accomplished during the exercise period is diminished.

A properly planned weight lifting program using dumbbells and barbells will give rapid increase in strength of weak muscles. The amount of work can be accurately controlled and the exercise can be adapted to the muscle groups needing the greatest development. Wrestling and gymnastics are also useful for improving muscular strength. In wrestling, however, a weak person usually exhausts himself before he has performed enough work to bring about the desired rate of improvement, Gymnastics tend to develop only the special parts of the body which are used in exercises. Both wrestling and gymnastics have a greater value in the later stages of a strength building program.

A special problem arises in exercises designed to strengthen abdominal muscles. Leg-lifting and trunk-flexing exercises can be performed most easily by contractions of the strong hip flexor muscles, the sartorius, rectus femorus, psoas major, iliacus, and the adductors. Abdominal muscles are brought strongly into play only when the performer contracts them voluntarily during exercise. Assistance can be given by palpation of the abdominal muscles and encouragement of the performer to use his abdominal muscles strongly in the exercise. Autogenous auditory facilitation by means of electrical amplification of the performer’s own muscle sounds assists in increasing the work output and endurance when muscular exercise is difficult.

Related Links

Fitness Main Page
Physiological Elements of Fitness and Beauty
The Effects of Training on the Physiological Systems
Physical Condition of Muscle

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Physiological Elements of Fitness

Physiological Elements of Fitness

Cardiac output, pulmonary ventilation, oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide output and heart rate during and after exercise are so closely interrelated in an individual performing a standard bout of work that fairly accurate estimates of all other factors can be made from the measured value or a single factor. Post-exercise heart rate is frequently used because of the ease and convenience of its measurement.

The exercises employed in physical fitness tests place the systems of the body (particularly the cardiovascular system) under stress. Running on a treadmill, pedalling a stationary bicycle and stepping up onto a stool are frequently used because they involve large muscle groups in fairly heavy work but do not demand unusual skills.

Performance is measured by the maximal duration of the effort or by the maximal amount of work accomplished. Physiological effect is estimated from the magnitude of the heart rate changes during exercise and from the rapidity of return of the heart rate to normal following the exercise.

There is a voluminous literature on physical fitness tests and testing. The reader is referred to an excellent review and to articles dealing with applications to industry, to physical education and to medicine.

A test of physical fitness for strenuous exertion has been used successfully to detect alterations in physical condition in subjects on reduced calorie intake and with restricted vitamin B complex in the diet. A modification of the test has been used to evaluate the results of programs of physical training.

The test may be administered periodically to determine whether tim the optimal amount of training is being given, to segregate students into classes so that work will not be too hard for some and too easy for others, and to determine when a student has improved enough to be shifted to another class in which he will receive optimal training. Further modifications of the fitness test have been used in programs of rehabilitation and convalescence and in a study of neuro-circulatory asthenia.

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Changing diet, behavior and exercise

Changing diet, behavior and exercise

You have already taken the first steps toward changing diet, behavior, and exercise patterns. Only you have the power to take charge and follow through on your new plan for better health.

Keep in mind the factors that increase risk for atheroselerosis and coronary heart disease in persons who, like you, have been diagnosed as having elevated cholesterol. Cigarette smoking, obesity, insufficient exercise, high blood pressure and diabetes all compound the danger of disease in a person who also has the major risk factor of high cholesterol. How fortunate that you can eliminate or control these risk factors by simply making the one-day-at-a time choice to live a healthy life.

Millions of Americans have already made this choice, shifting toward vegetables, fruit, fish and chicken and away from the saturated fats found in meat, butter, lard, milk and cream. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there has been a marked improvement in per capita consumption of products affecting coronary heart disease risks. Since 1960, use of eggs is down 21 percent,fluid milk and cream down 19 percent and butter down 43 percent. Consumption of fish and chicken are up 20 percent, respectively. Purchase of low-fat and skim-milk products has increased by 300 percent since 1970. Advice from the Framingham Heart Study, a recent epidemiologic study on heart disease and diet, states: “If Americans would smoke less, get more regular exercise, keep their weight normal, follow a diet lower in fats and take care of their blood pressure, they would have better chances of avoiding, or at least postponing, heart problems.”Is Diet alone-monitoring intake of calories, cholesterol, fats and sodium–can go a long way in reducing the risk of atheroselerosis and coronary heart disease. For example, excess weight and high blood pressure go hand in hand.

Besides controlling weight by reducing fluid retention, lowering sodium intake is an important step in controlling blood pressure.

Diabetes, another risk factor, may often be controlled by diet. Just losing weight will bring certain types of diabetes under control:

A healthful diet combined with exercise is doubly effective in helping to guard your health. Studies have shown that exercise alone helps keep cholesterol levels low.

For one study, Finnish lumberjacks consumed about 4,760 calories daily, with a high proportion of their fat obtained from animal sources. Yet their blood cholesterol levels were no higher than those of other men in the same area who ate less fat. The Finnish researchers believe that physical activity was an important factor in keeping cholesterol levels low. After receiving your doctor’s approval, it is recommended that you begin your exercise program with walking. As soon as you get the medical okay, get started! You don’t need trendy, expensive clothes; you don’t need a team, an opponent or a partner; you don’t need to drive anywhere, invest in equipment or join costly dubs. All you have to do is step out your front door to start on the path toward living healthfully.

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Top ways to wake up feeling prettier

Top ways to wake up feeling prettier

Moisturizing and sleeping on a satin pillowcase will help you feel pampered when you wake up.

Before you go to bed at night try one of these simple, at-home beauty tips. You’ll wake up feeling pampered, refreshed and rejuvenated and, yes, even prettier.

Beauty Tip: Braid wet hair for nice waves. It’s an old school bedtime beauty tip for a reason. It works!

Beauty Tip: Try an overnight treatment. Use Frownies Facial Patches to reduce movement during sleep so you’re less likely to crease skin, says dermatologist Francesca Fusco, M.D.

Beauty Tip: Moisturize. Everywhere. Moisturize your elbows…your knees…your toes. Everywhere.

Beauty Tip: Protect your blowout. Flip hair upside-down, pull into a high pony and secure with a terry hair tie.

Beauty Tip: Swipe on nourishing essential oils. “When you wake up, you’ll look like you’ve had a facial,” says Chanel makeup artist Rachel Goodwin.

Beauty Tip: Wear primer over skin care products. Yes, at night! “It allows them to sink in,” says makeup artist Mally Roncal.

Beauty Tip: Change your pillowcase. Sleep on a satin pillowcase for smoother hair.

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Eating for High Energy

Eating for High Energy

The more you exercise, the more you need to eat a balanced diet. The nutritional rules still apply, but with an added carbohydrate intake. The combination of healthy food and physical exertion combats stress, encourages tissue repair, rebalances hormones and releases endorphins and encephalin. Mood and outlook should improve markedly.

To boost your sporting performance, you need glucose. The body makes glucose from starches and sugars in carbohydrates, including bread, potatoes and rice and stores it in the muscles and liver as glycogen. Like everyone else, sportspeople need protein, obtained mostly from pulses, poultry, red meat, fish, cheese, eggs and seeds, and vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Sufficient fluids, particularly in advance of sport, are vital. You should also drink water during (if possible) and after exercise to replenish fluids.

The more you train, the more you need to eat a balanced diet. The dietary rules still apply, but with an added carbohydrate intake. The combination of healthy eating and physical stress of fighting effort, promotes tissue repair, rebalance hormones and releases endorphins and enkephalins. Mood and outlook should improve significantly.

To improve your sports performance, you need glucose. The body makes glucose from starches and sugars in carbohydrates, including bread, potatoes and rice and stores in muscles and liver as glycogen. Like everyone else, need protein Sport, made mainly from pulses, poultry, red meat, fish, cheese, eggs and grains, and vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. adequate liquid, especially in advance of the sport, are essential. You should also drink water during (if possible) and after exercise to replenish fluids.

If an intense exercise and fitness are an integral part of your life, you need to think long term and always stick to a balanced input, but varied food. Most athletes have a hearty breakfast and nutritious, especially the day of the event, and eat a diet rich in complex carbohydrates permanent.

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How to find time to work out every day

How to find time to work out every day

Follow these tips to shave 15 minutes off daily activities, and you won’t be too busy to hit the gym.

The secret to finding time for a workout is really about one simple strategy: ditching the stuff that’s wasting your valuable time. Here are 15 easy ways to shave 15 extra minutes out of your day–and put them toward your fitness goals.

1. Sign Out Facebook. People average seven hours a month on the social site. Do the math and it works out to 105 minutes each week, or 15 minutes every single day. You don’t have to banish FB, but limit it to two short sessions a day.

2. Say No! When someone (not your boss) asks you to do something you don’t have time for, say, “I’m sorry, I can’t”–and feel the freedom wash over you.

3. Plan Your Day. Schedule your biggest task of the day for when you’re most focused and productive. You’ll get it done more quickly than if you try to tackle it during a natural low point.

4. Resist Multitasking. Trying to do too many things at once often means getting nothing done. Pick an item from your to-do list, and do it and only it. Each task will get done faster when it gets your full attention.

5. Record Your Shows. An hour-long TV show contains just 40 to 42 minutes of real content–the rest is commercials. Invest in a digital TV recorder so you can free up time to pursue more healthful activities, like 15-minute workouts.

6. Don’t Be A Neatnik. Is it really all that important that your apartment is spotless? Stop wasting precious potential gym time polishing picture frames.

7. Buy Time. Pay for services that suck up tons of time. Before you pooh-pooh the idea of hiring a cleaning service, sit down and do a little math. When you think of the few hundred bucks you blew on shoes and all the time you’ve spent scrubbing the tub, you may want to reconsider your expenditures.

8. Put It In Ink. You find time for everything on your calendar because it’s there in black and white. Block out your workouts as you would work appointments.

9. Set A Timer. All the little things you plan to do for just a few minutes–surfing the Web, cleaning the fridge–can suck away hours. Keep a kitchen timer nearby. When you start a task, set it for 15 minutes. Then stop when the bell rings.

10. Touch It Once. When a paper comes across your desk or an e-mail hits your inbox, deal with it right away. Piled-up paper and messages create distracting clutter, and you waste time revisiting each issue again (and again).

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Six shortcuts to drop weight faster

Six shortcuts to drop weight faster

Cycle instead of walk, eat every three hours, and you could see results in a week.

Most things worth achieving—getting a college degree, finding your perfect mate, building a career, raising a family—take time and effort. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to take a few shortcuts when it comes to achieving the body of our dreams. Fortunately, you can hit fast-forward on your better-body goals with these simple, science-backed tricks for speeding your fat burn. No, you won’t transform overnight, but you could start to see results within a week, and even the world’s biggest brainiac can’t earn a bachelor’s degree that fast!

Join the Breakfast Club

People with a lifelong habit of eating early have a waistline about 2 inches smaller than that of breakfast skippers, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals. An A.M. meal may boost metabolism; it helps your body make less of an enzyme that raises cholesterol. Rise and dine—within 90 minutes of waking up.

Six shortcuts to drop weight faster

Snack Regularly

Going too long without food (five hours or more) slows your metabolism, causing your body to burn less fat than normal, says Debra R. Keast, Ph.D., president of Food & Nutrition Database Research in Okemos, Michigan. It can also lead to blood sugar dips, cravings and hunger that make it harder to control your choices at the next meal or snack.

The fix: Have a healthful snack about three hours after breakfast and another three hours after lunch, suggests Lauren Slayton, R.D., founder of Foodtrainers in New York City. Try a 6-ounce nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 1 cup of sliced strawberries, or 2 Wasa light rye crackers topped with ¼ cup part-skim ricotta cheese and a drizzle of honey. These 100-to-200-calorie snacks will help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels steady and your energy level humming along.

Spin Off

People who cycled 6 miles a week for only six months lowered their insulin level by 19 percent, but walkers who covered the same ground saw no change, a study from the Karolinska Institute finds. (High insulin is tied to weight gain.) Biking works more muscles, amping up fat-burning metabolism, which can keep insulin in check. Pedal the pounds away!

Get Green Tea

Drinking three cups of the brew daily may spark your metabolism to burn 30 extra calories a day, a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows. Doesn’t sound like much? That’s 3 pounds off a year—diet-free! The compound ECGC in the tea makes it easier for your body to burn fat. Sip your way slim today!

Pump Some Iron

Start thinking of your gym’s weight room as the “lose weight” room. Strength training, which only about 17 percent of women do, speeds metabolism, torches calories, and sculpts sexy muscles. It’s so effective, in fact, that you should put cardio on the back burner and make strength training 60 percent of your routine—no joke, says Holly Perkins, an ExerciseTV trainer in Los Angeles. Embrace free weights, especially barbells, which work more muscles (you have to hold them steady as you lift) than machines. Remember that the muscle you’re gaining weighs more than the fat you’re shedding; at first, you may not drop pounds, but you’ll be smaller and firmer—go by how your jeans fit.

Clock Your Sets

To melt fat faster while you strength train, limit the time between sets. Exercisers who waited only 35 seconds between sets decreased their body fat by 27 percent more after eight weeks than those who rested three minutes, researchers at San Antonio Catholic University of Murcia say. Shorter rests keep your metabolism humming along and your heart rate up, so they shave minutes off your time at the gym and help your afterburn for hours once you’re back at your desk.

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Easy mistake that derails your workout

Easy mistake that derails your workout

Whether on an elliptical, a treadmill, or a stair climber, holding the support bars is a bad idea.

The minute your workout starts to intensify, the temptation is always there: grab the rails. Whether you’re on a stair climber, elliptical or treadmill, reaching out for those support bars can undermine your workout in ways you probably don’t realize.

It may seem harmless to get your balance or hold yourself up a little, but it’s very easy to support half your weight without really trying that hard. And on a stair climber, for example, supporting half your weight with your arms can cut into your calorie burn by as much as 35 percent, according to Zack Barksdale, a professional fitness trainer at Cooper Aerobics in Dallas, Tex.

And as counterproductive as those lost calories are, Barksdale, who holds a Masters of Science from Baylor University, says the long-term effects are much worse.

“The bad thing about it is that you’re not activating your core,” he says. “You’re not working on posture if you’re holding on, and you’re not engaging your muscles naturally.”

That doesn’t just risk your cardio development. It might risk injury. “Later on down the road,” Barksdale says, “if you fall during any kind of physical activity, your shoulders aren’t going to have the range of motion to safely catch you. You’ll end up doing things like tearing your rotator cuff.”

Generally, Barksdale says it’s best to avoid the stationary machines if you can and get outside or to an indoor track. Instead of pushing down steps on a stair climber, you could be pushing your body weight up on stadium steps, which is a much more natural motion. It will also ensure your core is engaged, since there will be no rails to support your body weight as you go up.

But if the gym is a daily stop, and the machines are a part of the routine, there are some things you can do to maximize your time on them.

First and foremost: don’t reach for the rails. “If you don’t hold on, your neurological system is going to have to fire like crazy, which will give you better balance and reflexes for life,” Barksdale says. “If you’re holding on to railings, as you get older, your balance is going to start to go. We see it all the time.”

Also don’t think that just because you’re holding railings or poles that move with the motion of the machine, that you’re not doing harm.

“You’re moving your feet forward and backward, but if you’re holding on to handles that move as well, it will make your lower back tighter and tighter every day,” Barksdale says.

The fix? Go slow and engage your arms and core into the motion of the exercise to promote balance and strength. Too often, gym-goers amp up the speed on their machine and have no choice but to grab the rails for balance.

“If you’re going so fast that you’re having trouble staying up without holding the railings, that tells you that your core isn’t strong enough to go that quickly, and you need to work on that first before you start going so fast that you need to grab the railings,” Barksdale said. “It’s better to start off slow, and be able to balance.”

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Workout mistakes to avoid for better results

Workout mistakes to avoid for better results

When you stick to a routine, it is easy to become, well, stuck. If you are not cut down, toning up, or feeling any kind, it is probably due to an error following year. Read on to learn how to restart – and get the body you want pronto!

Mistake 1: You can count on Cardio Peel Off Pounds

For most women, sweaty aerobic exercise is not enough. “Research shows that weight loss is minimal if it is accompanied by a plan,” said Amy Luke, PhD, a nutritional epidemiologist at the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University of Chicago. “We can compensate for the extra energy we burn during physical activity by at least the rest of the day, or more commonly, we feel hungry after working, so we eat more.”

The solution: Keep your diet in check. To remove a book, which is 3500 calories in a week, aim to eat 300 calories less each day (300 x 7 = 2100) while burning 300 calories of exercise five times a week (300 x 5 = 1500) . “You plan for the year. You need to plan what you will eat after,” says John Porcari, PhD, professor of exercise physiology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and fitness advisory board member. Drink plenty of water also helps.

Mistake 2: You race through your representatives

Two things could happen here: Either your weight is too light, which is often the case for women, or are too heavy, and you let the momentum or gravity take over. Either way, your muscles are not sufficiently challenged, so they do not get more toned.

The solution: If you do not believe you’ve done just about everything you can do at the end of a game, choose a heavier weight. “You want there to be some pressure on the representatives of the second-last and last,” says Barbara Bushman, PhD, professor of exercise physiology at Missouri State University in Springfield. Achieving lighter weights when Do not move the weight with a regular check as you raise and lower.

Mistake 3: You Overcrunch Your Abs

If you make more than three sets of 15, you are wasting your time. “Crunches are not additional to your waist cinch,” says Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama, and a FITNESS advisory board member. “We work the rectus abdominus, which is only one of the four muscles of the abdominal wall. But there are three other deeper muscles [internal obliques, external obliques, transverse abdominis] that give you a lean appearance by helping you with your posture.”

The solution: Take a break temporarily from your usual crunches and try the Pilates-based movements: (1) board (balance on the floor on forearms and toes and hold for 30 seconds), (2 ) Double-leg stretch (lie on your back, knees bent at 90 degrees with feet in the air and shins parallel to the floor, shoulders off the floor with your arms loosely clasping her knees, extend your legs and V arms wide, then back to top), (3) side planks (lie on the floor on your right, leaning on his right elbow, feet stacked, lift the hips, using your left hand on the ground in front of you to support Hold for 5 counts, then lower Do 10 repetitions, switch sides .. and repeat). Do 10 repetitions of each movement, three or four times a week.

Mistake 4: you aim to stay in the area to burn fat

No wonder you think you have to do this to lose weight: Many cardio you mean when you are above and below the zone. But the reason to stick to the low intensity exercise has been completely discredited. “Because fat takes longer than carbohydrates to convert to energy, you burn a higher percentage of it while sitting or walking when you run. So the old thought was that in low intensity of exercise that you could torch body fat and lose weight, “says Porcari. But the theory did not work in practice.”

In one study, we had people walk or run for half an hour . On average, the marchers burned 240 calories, 44 percent were fat, so they burned 108 calories of fat. Runners burn 450 calories, 24 percent were fat, so they burned 120 calories of fat. You look at total calories or fat calories, the riders arrived safely in the lead, “says Porcari.

The solution: There is nothing wrong with low-intensity exercise, especially if you have common problems. “But to lose weight, you will probably need to do for more than half an hour. Just for general health, the recommendation is 30 minutes five days a week, “Porcari said.

Mistake 5: You Skip the Warm Up

You may think you are saving time, but you’re actually just affect 5 to 10 minutes of your workout. “Your body needs to warm up literally so that blood flow increases, the nervous system wakes up, and the body starts to use energy and oxygen more efficiently,” says Michael Bracko, a sports physiologist and Director of the Institute for Hockey Research in Calgary. The result: Each step feels like less of a slog, and burn calories in full swing.

The solution: Bracko said that the best warm-up is to do your exercises chosen a low intensity. Runners, for example, should work, then run. “Continue until you break a sweat,” says Bracko. Alternatively, you can try to “dynamic” stretching, which moves are taking body through the range of motion you’re about to do. For a runner, which can mean high knees, butt shots, and forward, reverse, and rushed next door. “Avoid static stretching where you hold poses for several reasons. Reality soothes the system and can affect the performance”, Bracko says.

Related Link: View more fitness secrets

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Lose fat with just two exercises

Lose fat with just two exercises

This workout combo puts a low impact on joints and offers a major metabolism boost.

Here’s how it works: You do 15 repetitions of the kettlebell swing (you can also use a dumbbell for this), followed immediately by 15 reps of the squat thrust. (See below for descriptions of both exercises.) Without resting, do 14 reps of the swing and then 14 reps of the squat thrust. Continue this pattern until you complete only one rep of each exercise. This is called a countdown workout.

Sure, that’s just two exercises, but do the math: If you complete the entire routine — from 15 down to 1 — you’ll do 120 repetitions of each exercise. That’s 240 repetitions. And these aren’t just any exercises: They’re movements that challenge your entire body.

They’re also done at a fast pace. On average, it’ll only take you about three seconds per rep. So you’ll do those 240 reps in just 12 minutes or so. That’ll light your muscles on fire, and have you gasping for air (in a good way).

If you think that sounds too easy or too fast, I suggest you try it. You may find you can’t even finish. But that’s okay — you can just start with a lower number, like 8, and work your way up as you improve your fitness. What’s more, if you want an even greater challenge, you can always take a breather and repeat the routine.

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