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Health & Fitness

Become Healthier, Become Fitter

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If truth be told most of us want to be a lot fitter then we are. It is something we should all be aiming for, a better level of fitness. So where do we all start. Well a quick internet search reveals too many pages to provide a good and reliable source of information, and there is a great deal of in formation provided on the TV channels, books, newspapers and countless fitness DVDs. To be honest there will always be something out there that will help, or maybe you can take a little information from each one to build your own fitness regime.

Are there any benefits to being fitter? Guess what the answer is. Yes, fitter is better. Fitter equals less body fat as this is something that is burnt off during exercise and exercise is how to become fitter. You could just diet to become slimmer but your chances of loosing weight will be much greater if you exercise as well as diet.

A fitter person has a lower heart rate which improves your well being and as you will be breathing harder during exercise this will increase your lung function so you will enable your body to absorb more oxygen to feed your brain and muscles.

If you have hypertension, being fitter can help to lower this and can positively affect both diastolic and systolic levels. This has helped me recently as I am suffering from hypertension and one of the side effects of my medication has been to lower my heart rate. A lower heart rate means less oxygen circulating round my body, and less oxygen means less brain food. This explains why some days I have been slightly confused and somewhat forgetful. I decided to raise my overall fitness level and have been working out for several months now. My confusion has gone, my weight is down, my excess body fat is dropping and my hypertension is much better.

Being fitter can also have a positive effect on cholesterol levels, reducing LDL cholesterol, (which is good), yet helping to raise the HDL level, (which I understand is also good). Greater fitness can also help your heart and lower the chance of having a stroke. I used to smoke which wasn’t good for my heart and found exercise very hard. I decided to stop smoking and coupled with a fitness regime I now feel much better and a lot fitter.

My stamina and strength has increased greatly since working out and this is even more important to people as you get a little older.

A great way of developing a fitness regime is to seek help and your local gym should have a personal trainer, (or you can find your own). These will advise you on the best way to become fitter and remember they are the experts. A personal trainer knows the things we don’t and it is sensible advice to listen to their advice. They will not set up a fitness regime that is so strenuous that it will kill you on day one. A personal trainer will help you build up your strength and stamina by developing a sensible program of exercise. To develop a sensible fitness program we need to consider 4 important areas.

Aerobic exercise is a form of exercise which is low in its intensity but lengthy in its duration. Put simply this means not too hard but goes on a long time such as walking, swimming and aerobics on your own or in aerobic workout classes.

Another way of getting fitter is to pull weights which is known as resistance training. My experience of this training is limited but to do it sensibly start with low weights and build up the weight as your fitness builds up. Remember, be sensible and don’t over do it as you can damage your body easily with unsupervised weight training.

You could take up a fitness regime involving flexibility exercises such as yoga. Remember though you still need to eat a properly balanced diet of sensible foods as part of your fitness program.

Getting fitter can be easy, just do easy exercises a little at a time and then do it properly and intensively. To get fit quick though, consider being advised by a specialist fitness trainer, either a personal one or one based in a gym. They will help you find out what is best for you. Books and web sites can give you guidance as to how to get fitter and this is what a personal trainer will do, but a book or a web site cannot tailor the advice to you and your circumstances. A personal trainer can, and will, do this. Another thing they can do, which is usually something I need, is they can help to motivate you in order that you can develop your own fitness regime. Becoming fitter takes time and time is something that many of up are short of in today’s modern world. Just remember that you need to keep working at a fitness regime to develop a better level of fitness. Fitness is not something you can buy at the supermarket. In order to become fitter you just need to take things steady at first but there has to be a first, you have to start somewhere. Just look at me. I used to be a heavy smoker and drinker; I was grossly overweight and had hypertension. Now, I am much fitter, can jog miles without problems, the hypertension is much more controlled and my waistline has shrunk. How, well I started a fitness program which was easy at first, and just built up from there. Start small and build up to a more developed program. Good luck. I did it and so can you.

LynxMode

When Moderation Isn’t A Thing

Savannah Lynx

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Photos by Ludwig Araujo Photography

It’s 4 pm and I’m alone in my apartment. Even though I’ve just eaten a satisfying spinach salad with egg whites, slivered almonds, red bell peppers, and broccoli florets, I’ve been opening, closing, and reopening the pantry cabinet door for the last minute and a half now. Before I take a second to stop and think, I do the unthinkable. I climb up onto my kitchen countertop and reach far into the unreachable space in which I’ve hidden it. I grab a spoon, unscrew the lid, and dip my silver utensil into the ooey-gooey goodness of my most delectable vice. As the savory sweet treat lands on my tastebuds, the voice inside my head says just one more spoonful and then you’ll be done. That voice and I both know it’s a big fat liar.

For more Savannah Lynx: Savannah Lynx’s Resolutions with Resolve

Hi. My name is Savannah, and I’m addicted to peanut butter.

It’s amazing to me that no matter how many times I tell myself I can keep peanut butter in the house and enjoy it in moderation, I still manage to disappoint myself to no end. My predictable lapses in willpower and good judgment have become exhausting, and my tumultuous relationship with this particular pulverized nut butter is no doubt verging on toxic. If you think my hyperbole is employed simply for dramatic flare, think again. It’s not uncommon for me to polish off a Costco sized family pack of peanut butter in under a week. If I don’t have anything to do on a lazy Sunday and nobody’s around to judge me, it might only take me a committed afternoon to devour an entire jar. It’s disgusting and flat out shameful, but it’s also the sad truth. As a fitness model and supposed model of health, I feel like I shouldn’t be dealing with such silly food-related matters. After all, I have won tens of thousands of dollars in fitness competitions and even have my own column on fitnessgurls.com for crying out loud. This kind of behavior just doesn’t fit the bill. But the more I think about the secret life of everyone you think you know, the more I’ve come to realize that I’m probably not the only one suffering from a paralyzing food addiction. Just to be certain, I started asking my friends.

Competitor or not, what I’ve discovered from my official “Is-It-Just-Me?!? Poll”, is that almost EVERYBODY has that one food they cannot say no to. These addictions range anywhere on the spectrum from “questionably healthy” like raisins and trail mix to flat out not good for you at any time and might not even be considered food like Sour Patch Kids and Flaming Hot Cheetos. Moral of the story? We all pick our poison. Everyone knows treating yourself isn’t bad in small doses. But what happens when we finally come to terms with the fact that small doses sometimes aren’t a possibility? It’s time to get real, get honest, and get this friggin’ crap out of our hands so we don’t sabotage our own progress.

Here’s how to kick those cravings and keep on target!!!

Step 1: GET IT OUT OF THE HOUSE
You’ve tried “moderation” but it’s time to accept the fact that you just can’t control yourself. The only way to stop yourself from eating too much of something you really don’t want to be eating in the first place is by not having access to it. If it’s not in the fridge or pantry, you can’t be tempted by it. Out of sight, out of mind!!

Step 2: Turn your Emotional Eating Into Mindful Refueling
Most of the time we binge or indulge too much because we’re emotional. Boredom, nervousness, excitement, and stress are major triggers when it comes to forgetting about our nutrition plan and making undesirable choices. When you feel a craving coming on, take a moment to breathe and ask yourself if you’re compelled to eat because you’re hungry or because it’s just something to do. If it’s the latter, step away and occupy yourself with something intellectually engaging that will veer your focus elsewhere.

Step 3: Beware of Group Think!!
Just because your boyfriend, coworkers, friends, or neighbors are eating, doesn’t mean you have to. In a lot of cases, we eat because it’s socially awkward not to. For me, it’s almost impossible to beat my girlfriend’s house for movie night and not reach for the chips, pretzels, or popcorn- but I’ve got to stay strong! There’s a time and a place to indulge, but if you haven’t already accounted for some extra calories via your workout and meal plan, then say no thank you and pop in a piece of gum!

Step 4: Throw Away Unhealthy Mentalities
I’m not a stranger to that unhealthy way of thinking where I’ve already broken the seal on some fattening foods and think to myself I might as well keep eating since I already messed up. Wrong! We all make mistakes, and nobody can be expected to be perfect 100% of the time. The key is recognizing when we’ve had enough, and stopping before we head for a binge. Be kind to your body and allow for some give here and there. You’re only human!!

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Workout Wednesday

Heather Marsh’s Workout Wednesday: Cardio & Core Circuit

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Heather Marsh has one of the most beautiful and inspiring physiques in the fitness industry. She’s a mother, a WBFF Pro Competitor and she shares her secrets on cardio & core circuit.

Related Article: Jade Atkinson’s Workout Wednesday: Lower Body Workout

A strong core is a key to warding off back pain and keeping good posture. A good strong posture keeps you standing tall and confident! Try this cardio and core circuit if you’re short on time. You’ll be sure to get your heart rate up while building a strong core.

Heather Marsh’s Cardio & Core Circuit Workout

Interval 1:
Plank jacks 20
Supermans 20
Side planks 20 secs
Jump squats 20

Interval 2:
Jump squats 20
Mountain climbers 20 per leg
Dumbbell Russian twist 20 per side
Lateral squatted walks 20 per leg

Interval 3:
Lateral squatted walks 20 per leg
Plank toe taps 20 per leg
Scissor kicks 20 per leg
Frog hops 20

Repeat each interval 3-4 times

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Health & Fitness

7 Reasons Why Your Muscles Stop Growing. How To Get Muscle To Grow Again

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Photo by Ludwig Araujo Photography

Have ever wondered why your muscles stopped growing after a few months of training even though you are training very hard? Here are 7 reasons why your muscles stopped growing and how to get your muscle to grow again.

Also: Jade Atkinson’s Workout Wednesday: Lower Body Workout

– You are training too hard: Every time when rain your muscles intensely, you are actually breaking down your muscles. So your muscles need to recover from the damages you inflicted on them. So train each muscle group only once or at most twice a week.

– You are training too long: Keep your workout intense but do not workout more than an hour each time. After 45 minutes of intensive training, your cortisol level will increase. This hormone is known to destroy muscle cells.

– You are sleeping too little: You need to sleep more for good muscle growth. Your muscles grow when you sleep. So sleep more than 8 hours a day and watch those muscles growing fast.

– You are abusing alcohol: Alcohol is known to break down muscle mass plus many other body destruction ability.

– You do not change your workout routine: You must change your workout routine every 6-8 weeks. Your muscles adapt to your routine and stops growing.

– You do not progressively overload your muscles: You must try to increase your reps or weight every time you next train a particular muscle group. Otherwise, there is no reason for your muscles to grow.

– You do not eat sufficient protein: If you want to build bigger muscles, you must eat more protein. Protein is the building block for your muscles. It is recommended that you need 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight equivalent. If not enough protein is consumed with your normal diet, do supplement with protein shakes.

There you are, the 7 reasons why your muscles stopped growing even though you are training hard. There are many more methods on how to grow your muscles bigger but these 7 reasons and how to overcome them will be sufficient for an average bodybuilding beginner.

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