The Benefits of Walking

Walking

Walking can be an easy yet effective way to burn calories. Walking is great because it requires no equipment, except a comfortable pair of shoes. Walking can burn calories alone with toning leg muscles. Many people take just plain walking for granted, but it is a very effective and cheap way of losing weight.

Here are a few tips on how to walk to achieve the maximal benefits.

PACE:

Go at a pace which your heart rate is within your target heart range. You should do this at least 3 days a week for 20 minutes. If you can walk everyday that would be great also. Walking has a very low risk or injury. Walk faster to burn more calories in a shorter time.

TREADMILLS:

Even though I prefer walking on regular ground a treadmill can be a very effective way to burn calories. One advantage of a treadmill is you can do it inside and the incline can be adjusted. If you raise the incline slightly you can burn more calories.

MOVE YOUR ARMS

Swinging your arms also helps burn calories while walking . Make sure your arms are between 90 and a 145 degree angle at the elbow. Make sure the arm is locked so the pivotal part of your swing is at your shoulder.

We are a group of personal trainers certified through AFFA. Our goal is to provide good Health and Fitness advice.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Clinton_Walker

5 Tips for Starting Runners

So you’ve decided to take up running? Maybe you are starting back up after putting it off for years. Here is a list of tips that I have found beneficial to the starting runner or even the seasoned pro.

1. STRETCH THOSE LEGS AND FEET BEFORE AND AFTER Stretching is the number one thing to remember in any running program. Keep your muscles flexible and relaxed, your joints mobile, and relieve tension and strain by doing a few gentle stretches before AND AFTER your run. I cannot stress enough how important it is to stretch after the run and to cool down. I have found most new runners miss this vital step in their exercise program.

You don’t want to start off doing too much too soon. Build your body up while you prepare yourself to meet the demands that you are about to ask from your body. Make sure to loosen up your hamstrings, quads, calves, iliotibial (IT) band, hips, buttocks and the plantar fascia (area at the bottom of your feet between the heel and ball of foot). Stretch until you feel tension but not pain. NEVER bounce because this can tear your muscles and cause more serious problems.

2. POSTURE! POSTURE! POSTURE! This isn’t finishing school, but the principal is the same. Running gets your whole body in motion and the proper posture and body mechanics will help reduce the strain on your body.

Keep your body perpendicular to the ground. Don’t lean into it. Hopefully you aren’t running into wind tunnel.

Swing your arms naturally and go with the flow.

BREATHE! How many martial art movies do you need to see to know this is important??? Never stop breathing. Oxygenate the blood. Feed your muscles. BREATHE!

Your feet should hit naturally on your heel, roll forward and push off with your metatarsals (the area we call the ball of the foot). It should just feel right. Make sure the soles of your shoes arent worn down in the heel or on the sides. This could cause you to hurt yourself and take away from the natural progression of your stride.

Dont pick your feet up too far. This is running, not a marching band tryout. By keeping your feet closer to the ground an increasing your stride, you will reduce muscle fatigue.

3. ALWAYS WEAR YOUR PROTECTION As you start up your running routine, you are going to find out that aches and pains are a typical reality that we all must face. However, this doesnt have to be the end of your run if you just take the proper precautions. Keep these simple rules in mind when you begin your program and you should be good to go for a long time!

Hydrate yourself: Drink lots of water before, during, and after your run. People perspire, its a fact, but if you let yourself dehydrate, you will be in for a world of hurt. I like to bring a water bottle with me on my runs for those mid-stride liquid replacements. Its a good idea to drink 2-5 cups per hour during your run. Note, every person perspires at a different rate. If you happen to be someone who leaks sweat like a sieve, drink more water. Dont forget to fill up again once you are done stretching, too.

If you are running in a colder climate, layer your clothing. We all know it gets hot under all those clothes, but you have to slow the rate of heat loss. Youll want to wear some sort of moisture-wicking material. I like to wear fleece. But there are other brands out there like Polartec. Also, ALWAYS wear a hat!

I prefer to run on paved trails in our local park system, but if you find yourself running in areas where there is the potential for traffic, please remember to wear bright clothing and if you must run at night (which I wouldnt suggest) wear reflective garments to increase your safety.

4. REDUCE STRAIN Running takes its toll on a persons body. Its good to switch out different activities. Besides running, try other cardio-exercises like bicycling or swimming. Your body will thank you and it can break down on the monotony. Pain is the body’s signal that something is wrong. If the pain gets worse after your run, it’s time to take some time off. Dont swallow a couple of aspirin and think you are good to go.’

Definitely take care of your feet! A good pair of running shoes is essential for preventing injury. You have to find the pair that’s best for you. Change them out often because the soles will wear down quickly.

And while you are at it, don’t forget the orthotics. The insoles that come in your shoes are usually very cheap and only meant for about 20 miles of wear. If you are like me, that’s one week! Proper orthotics provide cushioning and support and reduce a huge amount of strain from your whole body not just your feet. While custom orthotics are available, I wear a brand that offers a selection for arch type and are made with a silver material that reduces blisters and athletes foot. If you are interested, you can see them at www.footdefense.com.

5. CALL YOUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL In business, its always best to hire a consultant. So why, when you start doing something as important as your health wouldn’t you speak to an expert in the body? A medical professional can help with any injury and return you to your running program as well as advise you on hurting yourself again.

In closing, please remember that safety should come first. Be aware of your surroundings, the people that you run with, and most importantly, your own well-being?

http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=James_Fowler

Beginning Running – A Simple Plan to Get Started

How to Run Faster than a Three-Toed Sloth…

or…

Learn How to Run Faster than when I’m Lying on the Couch

“How to Run Faster?” is the WRONG question!!!

Running by Minutes!

That’s it. It’s really very simple. It’s a bonanza of running for beginners!

The important thing:

Start slowly and build… Slowly and Consistently!

Rather than being a slave to mileage logs, always trying to get in the right number of miles per day, even when you feel like your legs are made of Jello…

The Ordinary Runner simply puts in the MINUTES!

That way, if you feel great one day, you can run a little faster. (And if you feel like a slug, you can run a little slower.) Just run the number of minutes you have set for the day!

You still get your run in for the day, whether you feel great or feel lousy!

This is a much lower pressure approach to fitness, and much more enjoyable!

Remember when you were a kid…

… You could run! You did it all the time!

Running is natural. God made us to run!

That means you can learn to do it again! Just run!

You won’t have to worry about how to run faster…

… The more you run, the faster you’ll get, naturally!

It may have been a long time since you ran!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it again!

Just remember the most important thing:

JUST KEEP MOVING!

And don’t feel the pressure that you’ve got to run fast! Remember, you’re in the top 5% of people in the world if you just get out there and run, whether it’s slow…

… or even slower!

Here’s a 7-Week plan to get you started:

Running should be fun!!

Before I show you the plan for getting you started (a very simple plan, by the way), I should say this again…

The important thing is that you GET started…

And then…

Just KEEP MOVING!!

This plan is simple, and flexible. Follow it exactly or simply use it as a guideline, especially if you’re already exercising a little bit.

Start where you are, and don’t be embarrassed about it. Remember, with just a little time and consistency, you’ll be getting in shape, losing weight, feeling and looking better…

… And you’ll do it the healthy way, with your own work, not any cheap pills or diets!

If you haven’t run in years…

… don’t go out and run 30 minutes the first day. This is a SURE WAY to hurt yourself and end your running career before it begins!

Week 1:

Alternate 1 minute fast walk and 1 minute slow, for a total of 15 minutes. (5 days this week)

(If you want to, substitute a slow jog for the fast walk portion. Just be careful, and be realistic! Remember, patience and consistency are the keys!)

Week 2:

Alternate 3 minute fast walk and 1 minute slow, for a total of 15 minutes. (5 days this week)

Week 3:

Alternate 7 minute fast walk and 1 minute slow, for a total of 20 minutes. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

Alternate 1 minute slow jog and 1 minute slow walk, for a total of 15 minutes. (Tuesday, Saturday)

Week 4:

Alternate 2 minute jog and 1 minute slow walk, for a total of 20 minutes. (6 days this week)

Week 5:

Alternate 4 minute slow jog and 1 minute slow walk, for a total of (25 minutes Mon, Thur; 20 minutes Tu, Wed, Sat)

Week 6:

Alternate 5 minute jog and 1 minute walk, for a total of 30 minutes. (6 days this week)

Week 7:

Alternate 7 minute jog and 1 minute walk, for a total of 35 minutes. (5 days this week)

At the end of this 7 week period, you will be losing weight and feeling better! You’ll be well on your way to fitness, and you’ll notice you can run longer and longer!

Once again… You’re just getting started! Being an Ordinary Runner is a lifestyle, and WON’T happen overnight.

This is not a “Get Skinny Quick” lie, like you see on infomercials. This is the real thing!

Just Keep Moving!!!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kely_Braswell

Using Nutrition to Boost Your Cardio

So, you’re doing cardio religiously and you’re not getting any results. What’s the deal?! Good news. You’re probably just making some minor mistakes that need to be corrected. If you want to make changes to your body, its probably pretty important for you to understand how your body works. After all, I doubt you’re running on the treadmill because your cable got shut off and the cardio-theater at your gym is the only place you can watch The OC. I’m almost certain you want to burn fat. So, lets learn how that works.

cardioWere going to talk about using nutrition to maximize the benefits of your workout. What you eat and when you eat it can make a world of difference. But first, we need to talk about how your body works.

Even though you want to get rid of the excess fat that’s stretching out your pants, your body is not in such a hurry to do so. You almost have to trick your body into burning that fat as energy. You need to have fat to survive, and to your body, those love handles are money in the bank. Because of this, when you don’t eat anything for an extended period of time (as little as 4 waking hours), your body will go into whats called starvation mode. In starvation mode, your body will actually store more fat and break down muscle tissue to use as fuel. This slows your metabolism and increases your body fat. Its basically a self defense mechanism. With no fuel coming in, your body fears it may have to survive for some time without food. Your body doesn’t know that you’re just stuck in traffic or that you had to skip lunch because your boss was making you do his work. It just thinks Holy Mackerel, Im gonna starve. So instead of using its valuable fat stores, your body gets stingy and actually cannibalizes its own muscle tissue to use as fuel.

So to keep your body from freaking out and going into starvation mode, try to eat small meals throughout the day. 5 to 6 small meals a day is ideal. When I say meals, that doesn’t mean that you need to sit down and have 3 courses. A handful of almonds or even a protein shake can count as one of those meals.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you eat a turkey sandwich right before you hop on the treadmill, your body wont burn fat then either. When you eat carbohydrates, your body stores them in the form of glycogen in your liver. As you expend energy, your body uses these glycogen stores until they are gone. When performing any type of aerobic activity, like walking, running, etc., your body can use glycogen stores or fat stores for fuel. The problem is that your body will never use the fat stores until the glycogen stores are gone.

So you’re saying that if I don’t eat, my body will get scared and hold on to all my body fat, but if I do eat, my body will just use that as fuel instead of burning fat? Yes. And if this were the end of the article, you would probably be pretty mad. Fortunately, there are ways to make this work.

Option 1: Right when you wake up, before you eat or drink anything (except water), do 55 minutes of moderate impact cardio. Walking or an elliptical machine is ideal. If you’re breathing too hard to carry on a conversation normally, slow down. If you get light headed or weak from this option, eat something with no carbs before you workout. For example: egg whites, chicken breast, or a protein shake with no carbs. Protein consumption will not affect your glycogen stores so your body will still be willing to burn fat. With this option, its okay to eat breakfast when you’re done.

Option 2: If you only have 20 minutes in the morning, do intervals before you eat. Warm up for 5 minutes and then run for one minute and walk for two. Each time you run, make it a little more intense until you are running at full blast for one minute. After 20 minutes of these intervals, cool down walking for 5 minutes and then don’t eat for an hour after you’re done. Your body will burn fat for that entire hour.

Option 3: If you can only do your cardio in the middle or at the end of the day, use either of the above formulas but try to workout about 2-2 1/2 hours after you eat.

Option 4: Do your cardio right after you do your weight training. I know you’ve heard to do it before this is wrong. Warming up for 5 minutes before you weight train is fine, but always do your fat burning cardio sessions after your weights.

Option 5: If your cardio sessions are more intense like an advanced step class or a spin class, you’re better off having something in your stomach. Try eating about 2 hours before the class and then don’t eat for an hour after the class. Most often, during an intense cardio workout, your body is not willing to burn fat as fuel. It doesn’t know that you’re going to stop in an hour. It thinks this behavior could continue for some time so it can get stingy with its energy stores. But it will burn plenty of fat in the hour after you’re done.

Be specific when following these formulas. They work. Am I saying that if you eat before your cardio that you’re wasting your time? No, anytime you do cardio its great for your heart, you’re burning calories and you can increase your metabolism. But why not get the maximum benefits if you’re going to do the work anyway.

Are You Making This Cardio Mistake?

Are You Making This Cardio Mistake?

Are you exercising for long periods of time to try to burn fat? If youre like most people you probably are, but there is a better way. Its called high intensity interval training (HIIT) and lately it has started to become pretty famous for its obvious health benefits.

–So What Exactly Are The Benefits?

1. Major Increase in Fat Loss. In a study done by Tremblay et al, two groups were assigned different training regimens. Group A performed the regular moderate intensity cardio (like jogging or bicycling) for 20 weeks and Group B performed a HIIT routine for 15 weeks. In the end the results of each group were recorded. Group B lost nine times more fat than Group A and in 5 weeks less (1)!

2. Increased Lactic Acid Threshold. Lactic acid is that burning sensation you feel when you work a muscle really hard. You’re lactic acid threshold is how fast your body can remove the lactic acid in your muscles. The higher the lactic acid threshold, the harder you can work your muscles before they get tired.

3. Increased peak power, or the maximum amount of energy available for a sustained period of time (2)(3)(4).

4. Increased VO2 peak or ability to utilize oxygen (2).

5. Shorter Workouts. I dont know about you, but would you rather spend 30 minutes to an hour jogging along the road, or crank it up a notch and just spend 4-8 minutes performing sprints?

–So Why Does This Burn more Fat than just Jogging?

cardio-trainingAlthough HIIT is much shorter than a normal run for 30 minutes workout, it burns more fat. To put it simply, after your HIIT training session is over with your metabolism explodes and tons of calories are being burned. So essentially with HIIT training, you burn most of the fat after your training session.

–So How Exactly Do I Perform This?

Simply put, HIIT is based around this concept: Go fast then go slow. Repeat. You can perform HIIT routines on pretty much any machine you want like a treadmill, elliptical machine, cycling machine, or apply it to almost any sport (swimming, cycling, running). Try to keep the bursts of speed at around 90%-100% of max effort.

Here is a sample HIIT routine:

Sprint 20 Seconds
Rest 10 Seconds
Repeat 4-8 Times

Or

Sprint 15 Seconds
Rest 5 Seconds
Repeat 4-6 Times

These are just samples, you can change it however you want (you could even use distance instead of time), but remember, HIIT is based around the concept of fast bursts of work. Also, to continually challenge yourself you should add to how many times you repeat the cycle. Say for instance day one you repeat the sprint/rest cycle 8 times, well the next time you should shoot for 9 times. Also remember the amount of time you sprint, rest, and the amount of times you repeat the cycle should depend upon your athletic ability.

If you haven’t trained at a high intensity since your high school gym days, take it slow at first. If you have to start at 80% intensity and perform less cycles thats O.K. too. Everyone has to start somewhere. You may also want to check with your doctor before performing a routine like this as it is very physically demanding.