Category: Fitness Training

The best time of day to work out to lose weight

The best time of day to work out to lose weight

You’ve committed to squeezing in a workout between your commute and your desk job, but before you embark on this new regimen, you want to know: When’s the best time to exercise to ensure you’re getting the most out of it?

Research covered by Gretchen Reynolds in The New York Times suggests that working out early in the morning — before you’ve eaten breakfast — helps speed weight loss and boost energy levels by priming the body for an all-day fat burn.

The No-snooze Payoff

One of the reasons working out first thing in the morning helps us lose weight — or at least protects us from gaining it — is that it pushes the body to tap into its fat reserves for fuel, as opposed to simply “burning off” our most recent snack or meal.

In one recent study, 28 young, healthy men spent six weeks eating a hefty diet of 30% more calories and 50% more fat than they had been eating before. But while some of them spent the six weeks stuffing themselves and barely exercising, the others started working out every day. Of those who worked out, half did so first thing in the morning; the other half hit the gym (and did the same workout) after a high-carb breakfast. The fasting exercisers ate the same breakfast; they just did so after working out.

At the end of the volunteers’ month-and-a-half eating fest, the ones who hadn’t worked out at all had, unsurprisingly, packed on the weight — about 6 pounds each. The ones who had been exercising after breakfast gained weight, too, but only about half as much.

In comparison, the people who worked out daily but hit the gym before breakfast hadn’t gained any weight at all. They had been able to eat a lot of extra food — just as much as their fellow volunteers — without paying the price in additional pounds.

The study was small, short term, used a specific eating plan, and involved only men close to age 21, so it’s hard to extrapolate much from the results. And the fasting exercisers didn’t lose weight; they just didn’t gain weight. Still, the experiment provided some of the first evidence that “early morning exercise in the fasted state is more potent than an identical amount of exercise in the fed state,” the authors write.

Another smaller study helps point out why timing could be so important. In it, two groups of men ran on treadmills until they burned 400 calories (about the equivalent of a small meal, or three to four slices of toast). While one group ran on an empty stomach, the other ate a 400-calorie oatmeal breakfast about an hour before their workout.

All of the runners burned fat during their workouts and remained in a heightened fat-burning state after they had gotten off their treadmills. But both results were more intense for the runners who had skipped the oatmeal. In other words, exercising after a long period of not eating could be setting us up for a longer, more intense fat burn.

Set Your Clocks

Another component of the early-morning workout regimen can help with weight loss: daylight. Aligning our internal clocks, or circadian rhythms, with the natural world helps give our metabolisms a boost. One recent study showed that people who basked in bright sunlight within two hours after waking tended to be thinner and better able to manage their weight than people who didn’t get any natural light, regardless of what they ate throughout the day.

So next time you think about hitting snooze, remember this: An early-morning workout might not just help you meet your fitness goals, but it could even give you more energy than those few extra minutes of shut-eye.

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Fitness: Why is it so important?

Fitness: Why is it so important?

Fitness. A simple word whose meaning is far-reaching and occupies almost every corner of our lives. Be it physical, emotional or mental, our fitness dictates how we function, and all aspects of it are intertwined – with one consistently affecting the other.

Physical fitness is about more than just losing weight or gaining muscle – it’s about laying down a foundation upon which your life can be built. A body in a positive physical state becomes a tremendous asset to draw from both inside the gym and out when it comes to issues such as alleviating stress, the promotion of healthier personal and professional relationships, learning how to better manage your time (and follow through on commitments) by way of scheduled activity, and an overall sense of mental clarity.

The “why” of fitness and its importance is easy to answer – but the “how” can be arrived at in a number of ways. You might enjoy participating in a sport-related activity (tennis, squash, golf), or you could get together with your friends to take part in a group class (aerobic, yoga, spinning). Of course, there are also individuals that prefer to simply grab a pair of dumbbells and have at it or jump on a treadmill and run the day away. Everyone is unique in how they pursue their fitness goals – but we all share a common purpose: to make tomorrow better than yesterday.

Let us help you with your fitness goals – however you choose to pursue them. We know that you will come to realize the Ottawa Athletic Club is more than a fitness centre – it will ultimately be the center of your fitness.

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No matter what your goal, fitness is a lifestyle

No matter what your goal, fitness is a lifestyle

You are so excited! After months of hard work, you finally fit into those jeans you couldn’t button not too long ago. You can see those muscles that you always knew were hiding under that fat. You finally finished your first half marathon! No matter what the goal, it’s a great feeling when you put it in your sights and actually accomplished it.

During those months, you were diligent with your workouts (never skipping), prepared your meals in advance (so you wouldn’t make bad impromptu choices). But you decide to go out and “celebrate” for a drink. Then two. Then you say, “What the hell, bring on some nachos!” –you deserve it, right? After that, you have to satisfy that sweet tooth, right? So, you take the “Willy Wonka” train to the nearest frozen yogurt café and load it up with all the fixings!

You say, “Oh, there’s nothing wrong with one night of celebrating.” Except, you wake up the next morning and before you even realize what you’re doing, you find yourself rummaging through the cupboards for that box of Pop-Tarts you bought three months ago,. Once you find yourself staring at the bottom of an empty cardboard box that once was home to “God’s gift to the breakfast pastry” and say, “What did I do!? Well the day is shot, might as well go out with a bang, and start fresh tomorrow! Chinese for dinner!”

Bad move! One day leads to two…then a week. Then a month. Those jeans begin to get tighter. You get aggravated. You start to go in a downward spiral and you lose the motivation to work out and prepare your foods. Everything you worked so hard for and that made you feel so good isgone, and for what? A quick fling with some sweet tasting treats?

Here’s the thing…every day makes a difference. You cannot train hard and eat right only three days out of the week and expect to see a positive change. There is no five days on, two days off (more commonly known as the weekend) schedule that you can follow and still expect to see results. Fitness is every day. It doesn’t need to be 100%, but it should be close.

Though, one isolated cheat meal won’t affect you, what’s really going to get you in trouble is if you extend that meal through the weekend. Repeatedly. Then slowly let it leak into Monday, Tuesday, and the rest of the week. Pretty soon, your weight is creeping back up. Little bites are nothing, but added together they become something big. Just because I may steal a few of my kids M&M’s (please, don’t call DCYF), it doesn’t mean I’m not consuming calories. They add up, and, especially if I do it repeatedly, it can easily equal a whole bag.

Again, being fit is a lifestyle; it should be made a habit. Do you brush your teeth? Why? The answer isn’t because it so much fun and tastes delicious! It is because of the consequences of not doing it. What are they? Let’s see…gingivitis, bad breath, cavities, stained teeth, and ultimately decaying, loose teeth that might need to be pulled out.

Exercising is the same thing. Hopefully, you enjoy it more than brushing your teeth. But, more importantly, think of all the great things you get from exercising. Exercise makes every aspect of life better. And what are the consequences of not exercising? Let’s see…osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, tendinitis, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, decreased metabolism, lethargy, and weight gain.

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Energy Drinks: Myth vs. Fact

Energy Drinks: Myth vs. Fact

Myth: Energy drinks have “high” or “dangerous” amounts of caffeine.

Fact: The vast majority of energy drinks consumed in the United States – including Monster, Red Bull, Rockstar, AMP, Full Throttle and NOS – have similar or lower levels of caffeine than home-brewed coffee which many Americans enjoy on a daily basis. And many contain about half the caffeine of a similarly-sized coffeehouse coffee. A 16 fluid ounce energy drink typically contains between 160 and 240 milligrams of caffeine, while the same size coffeehouse coffee contains around 300 to 330 milligrams. Moreover, caffeine has been safely consumed around the world for hundreds of years.

Myth: With the recent growth of the energy drink category, Americans are getting dangerous amounts of caffeine in their diet.

Fact: The FDA commissioned an in-depth analysis of caffeine consumption among the U.S. population in 2009, which was then updated in 2010. This report concludes that, despite the growth of energy drinks in the marketplace, the average amount of caffeine consumed by the adult U.S. population remains consistent with past FDA estimates – at approximately 300 milligrams of caffeine daily.

The report also found that coffee and tea remain the primary source of caffeine in the American diet. Furthermore, that same report indicated that teens and young adults ages 14 to 21 years consume, on average, approximately one-third the amount of caffeine as people over 21 – about 100 milligrams per day – and that most of their caffeine consumption is from beverages other than energy drinks.

Myth: Energy drinks aren’t regulated.

Fact: Energy drinks, their ingredients and labeling are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)— even those that are labeled as a dietary supplement using a Supplement Facts panel, instead of a conventional food using a Nutrition Facts panel. And, as with most consumer products, energy drink advertising is subject to oversight from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Myth: Youth are major consumers of energy drinks.

Fact: A report on caffeine consumption among the U.S. population commissioned by FDA in 2009, and then updated in 2010 and again in 2012, indicated that teens and young adults ages 14 to 21 years consume, on average, approximately one-third the amount of caffeine as people over 21 – about 100 milligrams per day – and that most of their caffeine consumption is from beverages other than energy drinks (Somogyi 2012). Importantly, the 2012 report also showed that the average amount of caffeine consumed has remained constant.

Myth: There’s no way for a consumer to know how much caffeine is in an energy drink.

Fact: There are several ways to find out exactly how much caffeine is in an energy drink. Most mainstream energy drinks voluntarily list the total amount of caffeine from all sources right on the label. In addition, this information is readily available on company or product websites, as well as through their toll-free numbers.

Myth: Taurine is a stimulant.

Fact: Taurine is an amino acid that is naturally found in the human body, as well as in common food items such as seafood, scallops and poultry. Because taurine exists naturally in breast milk, it also is used as an additive in infant formula, one of the most researched products sold.

Myth: Guarana is a dangerous drug.

Fact: Guarana, another ingredient found in some energy drinks, is a nut-like seed from plants native to South America and is a natural source of caffeine. Guarana contributes caffeine to beverages – just as coffee, tea, cocoa, yerba mate or other natural sources of caffeine do.

Myth: Energy drinks are a new product about which too little is known.

Fact: Energy drinks have been enjoyed safely by millions of people around the world for more than 25 years, and in the United States for more than 15 years.

Myth: Energy drink companies target children.

Fact: Energy drinks are not intended for children. The leading energy drink makers have voluntarily pledged not to market these products to children or sell them in K-12 schools. In addition, these companies voluntarily display an advisory statement on energy drink packaging, stating that the product is not intended (or recommended) for children, pregnant or nursing women, and persons sensitive to caffeine.

Myth: Because of the caffeine content, combining energy drinks with alcohol is more dangerous than consuming alcohol alone.

Fact: The United Kingdom’s Committee on Toxicology (COT), an independent committee of experts that provides advice to agencies such as the Food Standards Agency (FSA), was asked by FSA to conduct an in-depth review of alcohol and caffeine. In December 2012, COT published a report which concluded that “the current balance of evidence does not support a harmful toxicological or behavioral interaction between caffeine and alcohol.” Nevertheless, leading energy drink makers have voluntarily pledged not to make claims that consuming alcohol with energy drinks counteracts the effects of alcohol.

Myth: Energy drinks are driving an increase in emergency room visits.

Fact: Although a recent government report showed that of the more than 136.1 million visits made to emergency room facilities, 20,783 involved energy drinks – either as the alleged reason or a contributing factor for the visit – in fact, as the FDA itself acknowledged, no conclusion about causation can be drawn from these reports.

This statistic is of concern as our industry is committed, first and foremost, to the safety and integrity of its beverages. Unfortunately, it is difficult to draw hard conclusions about the role of energy drinks in these hospital visits because the report did not provide information on the general health of the people involved or other circumstances which may have contributed to their hospital visit.

Nonetheless, our industry takes this information seriously and will continue to safeguard consumers through voluntary steps such as listing caffeine content on our product labels and displaying an advisory statement reminding consumers that energy drinks are not intended for children or recommended for pregnant or nursing women or other people sensitive to caffeine.

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Celebrity style fitness and workout secrets

Celebrity style fitness and workout secrets

By now, it feels like we made our health and fitness New Year’s resolutions about a lifetime ago. While we may have slipped up and splurged on the occasional heaven-sent macaron, or ditched our workout for a Netflix marathon, we’re still committed to making 2014 our fittest year yet. Just like we have inspiration boards both on Pinterest and in real life, we’ve also taken to creating FIT-spiration ones to keep us on track.

Part of a good workout is having a good time, and some of our favorite celebrities know the most fun ways to keep in shape. Below, we’ve rounded up three celebrities who’ve revealed their fitness secrets so that we can all get a little more fun into our routines. Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Biel and Mila Kunis reveals fitness and workout secrets in achieving a stunning physique.

Amanda Seyfried fitness and workout secrets

Amanda Seyfried

While many actresses follow a strict diet, Amanda confesses that she eats whatever she wants. But how does she maintain a healthy physique? She prefers to workout 45 minutes daily and her exercise includes pilates, cardio exercises and yoga. She is also fond of doing her workout doors like jogging,cycling and dancing.

For celebrities and Hollywood stars, it is not easy to get in shape especially in their busy schedule but they still managed to find time to get their body to work. Just like them, it is not impossible for you to achieve a gorgeous body. Make this celebrity fitness routines an inspiration and you can have an amazing body if you work hard enough and follow proper fitness training.

Jessica Biel fitness and workout secrets

Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel is very strict when it comes to her fitness routine. When it comes in maintaining her gorgeous physique, she loves to do it outdoors where there is minimal equipment. Whether it is an outdoor run or walking her dog, Jessica make sure that her outdoor activities can help her stay fit. She is also fond of doing circuit training and to find balance she makes sure she does yoga for at least twice a week.

Mila Kunis fitness and workout secrets

Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis fitness routine is much talked about. This 31-year old mom is known for its very extreme Black Swan fitness routine and diet to get her into her professional dancer shape. This famous routine led her to lose 20 pounds but it wasn’t without sacrifice. She was constantly exercising and dancing. That’s seven days a week and five hours a day. Now that she has a baby, she is balancing her life between her fiance, Ashton Kutcher, her baby and herself. She never forgets to have a time to relax, exercise and eat right.

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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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The anytime, anywhere workout

The anytime, anywhere workout

Seventeen Magazine beauty editor, Annmarie lverson, reveals her own very personal fitness routine-one that you can do when and where you like.

1. Warm Up

Okay, I admit it. I do work out almost everyday. And no, I’m not crazy. I’m just really interested in feeling distressed and looking streamlined in my clothes. But I also have to admit I wasn’t always a jock.

In high school (in Wisconsin, where I’m from) I never had the nerve to try out for volleyball or cheerleading. College at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee was the same story-no intramural sports, no rahrah activities. But in freshman-required PE, I discovered that being in shape didn’t depend on making the team, scoring big points, or showing up for practices.

Instead, the instructor showed me how to become my own personal trainer and create my own routine. How easy is it? You just do an aerobic activity to get your heart going and calisthenics to tone and shape your entire body. You can do it alone, or with a friend. So here’s the workout that works for me… where I want, when I want.

You have to ease your body into a workout. All it takes is TEN MINUTES of nonstop brisk walking, easy jogging, or cycling. Your PORTABLEGYM should include a Jump rope, resistance bands, weights (one to three pounds) and sport shoes.

2. Stretch

Go directly from the warm-up to stretches while your muscles are still warm and you have a maximum range of motion.

1 Sit on ground with legs spread to sides. “Walk” hands out from body as far as is comfortable. (If you exercise with a friend, you can ease each other into a stretch by putting your feet together and clasping hands.)

2 While still sitting, place soles of feet together. Grasp ankles with hands, and use elbows to push knees toward ground. Don’t bounce-just press up and down gently.

3 While standing, wrap a band (or a towel) across up per back, and pull while TWISTING torso from left to right until movement feels easy.

4 Slide band up, behind shoulders, and pull shoulders from side to side.

3. Aerobic

This is the key calorie-burning, fattrimming part of the workout. The trick is to get your heart rate up to an aerobic level for about twenty minutes. Do this with one activity (like running, cycling, or swimming) or do a COMBINATION of two or more activities.

1 Jump back and forth over a friend or a small table. Jumping in the air exerts an amazing amount of ENERGY and sends the heart rate up-just be sure to keep up the pace.

2 When you jump rope, keep feet together and shoulders relaxed. Jump just high enough to clear the rope.

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Hit the Road, Girls

Hit the Road, Girls

Sportsmen who include running in their fitness program may wonder what longterm effect the pounding will have on their weight-bearing joints. Isn’t there a danger that the wear and tear on the joints could ultimately result in cartilage damage, arthritis and other problems?

Actually, the latest research indicates just the opposite: Runners develop healthier, denser bones than nonrunners and appear to have a lower incidence of wear-and-tear arthritis and osteoarthritis in the knees and hips.

The Stanford Arthritis Center in Stanford, California, conducted a study recently comparing 41 veteran runners and 41 nonrunners. The people in both groups ranged in age from 50-72. The purpose of the study was to determine whether long-term running produces a healthy heart but a worn-out skeletal system.

Hit the Road, Girls

Researchers found that the runners displayed no sign of cartilage loss in the joints and actually had slightly more joint space than nonrunners. Which is desirable, since decreased joint space is perhaps the most notable feature of osteoarthritis. Also, both male and female runners had 40% greater bone density than nonrunners. Which is desirable again, since loss of bone density is a sign of bone weakening.

At least two other studies have produced similar results, proving that our knees and hips not only stand up to the stress of running but seem to almost thrive on it!

Source: Muscle & Fitness Magazine

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Weight Loss: Exercise can do wonders

Weight Loss: Exercise can do wonders

People keep asking me me, “How do you do it? You make pictures, you do television, you give concerts, you record albums, smoke cigars, drink martinis, you go out with pretty girls-how do you do it?” It’s very simple. For instance, a martini. You fill the glass with ice, then you pour in some gin and a touch of vermouth, add an olive, and you’ve got yourself a martini.

I also do exercises and walk a lot. And walking is even easier than making a martini. I take one foot and put it in front of the other foot, then I take the other foot and put it in front of the other foot, and before I know it I’m walking. And you don’t even need an olive.

Most people agree that walking is good for your health. And yet where I live in Beverly Hills nobody walks. If they have to go three blocks, they drive.

Some people even have two, three, or four cars. I’ve got one neighbor who has a little car to drive to his big car.

Now me, every morning I get up and go out in my backyard, and rain or shine I walk for a mile and a half. Well, that’s not quite true-I’m exaggerating. If it rains, I let Gene Kelly do the walking. But I don’t let him sing. Around my house I do the singing.

I’ve got a regular routine. I walk through the yard, around the pool, through the trees and back to where I started. And I do this forty times. That covers the mile and a half. Oh, I must tell you one morning when I was filming the Oh God! movie, I got carried away with the part I played.

Instead of going around the pool I tried to walk across it. Swimming is a good exercise, too.

My advice is to walk whenever you can. It’s free, costs nothing, and it not only makes you live longer and feel better, but it also keeps you looking trim. To me that’s important. I’ve always been very conscious of my body. I’m conscious of the fact that it doesn’t look like Burt Reynolds’s. And he’s probably conscious of the fad that his doesn’t look like mine. But that’s his problem. If he wants to look better, let him get out there in the rain with Gene Kelly.

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