What’s the Best Time to Work Out?

The short answer: whenever you have time to break a sweat.

According to Greatest, “Research suggests the body could adapt to regular gym dates, so if we hit the weight room every day at 4 p.m., eventually we might perform better at that time than at any other time of day. These findings are similar to earlier research, which suggests that sticking to a specific workout time can result in better performance, higher oxygen consumption, and lower perceived exhaustion.”

Unfortunately, our lives and schedules can easily get in the way of a chosen workout time. The good news is, there are perks for working out at different times in the day. We’ve broken them down for you.

Morning

According to The Mail, “Researchers at Appalachian State University found that

7 a.m. is the best time to go for a jog if you want to reduce your blood pressure and get a better night’s sleep.”

And Shape Magazine points out; “…while there are certainly benefits to fueling up before a workout—it’ll keep you going harder and longer—a 2013 British Journal of Nutrition study found exercising on an empty stomach can burn as much as 20 percent more fat than when a meal is eaten first.”

Afternoon

Your body temperature is higher in the afternoon, which makes your muscles more flexible and less prone to sprains or injuries. Greatest says, “Muscle strength and endurance may peak in the late afternoon when body temperature is highest. The afternoon is also when reaction time is quickest and heart rate and blood pressure is lowest, all of which combine to improve performance and reduce the overall likelihood of injury.”

Evening 

Another study from the Appalachian State University, according to Men’s Health, says, “…evening gym time raises body heat like a warm bath and promotes sound slumber.” So the myth that working out later at night, say after 8 p.m., will keep you from falling asleep isn’t exactly rooted in truth.

Our advice: play it by ear on a weekly, or even daily basis, and see what time in the day you can fit exercise into your daily routine. If you’ve managed to get moving and break a sweat at least once a day, we think that’s plenty a reason to feel good about yourself (regardless of the time)!

The Best Fish Oil For Bodybuilding

If you have ever read anything related to health, the chances are that you have heard about the health benefits of EPA and DHA also known as Omega-3 fatty acids. You have probably heard that Omega-3 fatty acids are good for helping brain function, cardiovascular function, hormonal function, and specific conditions like infertility. They also help in autoimmune conditions, blood sugar balance and even with weight loss to a certain extent.

What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids 

When we speak of fish oil, we also regularly mention the word Omega-3. Usually, these 2 terms are used interchangeably, and to an extent, it’s the Omega-3 content of a fish oil blend that we are more interested in when we’re speaking in the context of the fish oil’s benefits for athletes. How can one thing as simple as Omega-3 fatty acids help all those systems in our body? It comes down to a simple model that may seem bold and oversimplified but is nevertheless true. The difference between health and disease is how many cells are functioning well in your body versus how many cells are not functioning as they should.

Why Fish Oil Is Important for Your Body

Our bodies are made up of hundreds of trillions of cells. If one cell becomes dysfunctional, we would never notice anything. However, when enough cells start to become dysfunctional, symptoms start to develop, and wherever these cells are found in large amounts, then that will be a symptom that we will experience. So, for example, if enough cells become dysfunctional in our brain, we may experience something like depression. If enough cells become dysfunctional in our hormonal glands, it might manifest itself as infertility or PMS. If the progression furthers itself and you get even more dysfunctional cells, then it may be classified as a disease.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, also known as Poly-unsaturated fatty acids, are needed in small quantities in our everyday diet. These facts are so relevant that your body does not even bother making them. Therefore they are called essential fatty acids. No more than 5% of your total calorie intake should come from polyunsaturated fats.

We need to consider the purpose of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. Omega-6 helps cells grow. Sometimes when a cell grows, it breaks. Your body then uses Omega-3 to repair the cell. This process repeats continuously.

As cells grow and occasionally deform, Omega-3 comes along and repairs them. However, when there’s too much Omega-6 in the diet, the Omega-3 cannot keep with all the growing cells. Omega-3 becomes exhausted and deactivated. You are then left with reproducing mutated cells. This may lead to inflammation and even cancer.

Fish Oil’s General Benefits 

Fish oil’s effects on overall health are extremely well proven and documented at length, from improving the efficiency and function of the heart to strengthening the effective potency of the immune system’s natural defense mechanisms.

It also significantly improves blood pressure, cholesterol, brain function, etc. However, what many people are not aware of is that fish oil has specific benefits for those individuals trying to build and maintain muscle mass, as well as burn fat.  The best fish oil for bodybuilding utilizes and maintains a forward bias equilibrium between the body’s natural mechanisms for muscle building and muscle breakdown.

Fish Oil’s Benefits for Athletes

Fish oil has direct effects on muscle growth and recovery which are both very crucial parameters for consideration amongst athletes in general.

3 methods are involved in promoting these effects. The first is the observation that fish oil seems to promote muscle building, a process known as anabolism. Reputed university studies had proven that when healthy volunteers were given 4 gr of fish oil daily as part of a controlled observational test for the effects of fish oil, the researchers found a notable increase in the formation of muscle protein.

Protein formation is the method by which various and separate amino acids join to form whole proteins. Basic biology teaches us that the foundational units of muscle fibers are in fact protein, and this is of prime importance for athletes. The researchers also noticed that the consumption led to an increase in the motor pathway, which is a key signaling pathway that controls muscle cell growth.

The second way in which fish oil seems to benefit athletes is that it reduces muscle breakdown, a process also known as catabolism. Therefore, along with aiding the building of muscle at an accelerated rate, it also assists in maintaining and preserving existing muscle. The muscles are continuously in a balancing act of both anabolism, which is muscle creation, and catabolism, which is muscle degradation. The net muscle or lean weight gain is determined by the difference in the levels of anabolism and catabolism taking place in the body. Hence, if you reduce the amount of muscle catabolism, you will, in effect, amplify your overall muscle gain. 

How Does Fish Oil Help in Building Muscle?

The best fish oil for bodybuilding assists in reducing muscle catabolism using 3 primary mechanisms. These 3 mechanisms include cortisol, ubiquitin-proteasome,and inflammation. Cortisol is a stress hormone that causes a eduction in muscle growth by the direct utilization of muscle fiber for energy production. Ubiquitin-proteasome is also a primary bodily pathway that leads to catabolism that can be greatly reduced when a higher intake of EOPA is incorporated into the individual’s dietary regimen.

Lastly, inflammation while not being a direct tensor on the catabolic process, leads to the stress factor on joints and tissues that form the supporting connective structures around muscle tissues. This stress causes pain and strain that prevents muscle training, which indirectly leads to reduced muscle hypertrophy. By reducing these 3 mechanisms, we can see that fish oil positively correlates to a regular, higher training regimen for athletes that promotes positive muscle hypertrophy. 

The Recommended Fish Oil Dosage

Regarding the recommended fish oil dosage, the main thing to take note of is that it is not the overall amount of raw fish oil that is important, but rather the specific amount of EPA and DHA that matters; the 2 key Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil. 

Top 5 Fish Oil Supplements for 2017

From this point on, we will review 5 individual fish oil supplements which provide all the intended benefits expected from the best fish oil for bodybuilding. 

Omegaboost Omega-3 Fish Oil 

This supplement has a very digestible lemon flavor that disguises the fishy taste that’s usually associated with fish oil tablets. These tablets have a sizable dosage of Omega-3 in each capsule. Omega boost acts as a great supplement to your heart health function. Each dose contains only 10 calories and has 1,200 milligrams of fish oil.

The benefits and drawbacks of this product are listed below.

Pros:

  • A single tablet is required per day
  • Fantastic choice for anyone who does not like popping multiple pills a day
  • Marked effect in inflammation reduction
  • Noticeable improvement in functional memory.

Cons:

  • The oil is extracted from fish that may contain mercury.
  • It has an EPA to DHA ratio that is not favorable for an athlete’s training goals.
  • The flavoring could also be a polarizing factor, as some consumers may not like the lemon taste.
  • The capsules are very large.
  • Difficult for some consumers to swallow due to a more sensitive gag reflex.
  • A final consideration, which some consumers have noticed while utilizing this product is that it may cause the urine to have an odd fishy odor.

Newchapter Wholemega Fish Oil 

This product is made of 5 different Omega fatty acids, all of which are obtained from wild caught Alaskan salmon. One dose of this product is equal to 3 whole servings of fish regarding Omega oil nutritional content. The gelatin used to make the capsule is halal, which may be an important consideration for some users, and the product is guaranteed to be soy-free, which helps to avoid any allergic reactions. Also, it does not contain any krill.

Pros: 

  • Contains astaxanthin, a very potent antioxidant.
  • Works efficiently against free radicals in the body.
  • Effective against oxidation induced by a buildup of lactic acid due to vigorous training.
  • The product contains no added filler material.
  • Reported to be less smelly than other comparable fish oils.

Cons:

  • An Omega-3 count that is sizeably lower than other similarly priced supplements.
  • The fish odor burps that are common if the capsules are not taken with a meal.
  • The large capsule is again a difficulty in swallowing for many consumers.
  • Multiple capsules need to be taken daily which may be a deal breaker for many users who prefer a single dosage.

Carlson Norwegian Cod Liver Oil 

This product claims to be a great source of Vitamin D3 and Vitamin A. It also has an additional source of Vitamin E for fortification. The company behind it has a unique preservation method, utilizing nitrogen instead of natural air, to reduce oxidation, which thereby ensures that it will maintain its potency for a longer period, giving you the freshest supplement possible. It can be added to liquids and other beverages of choice. The fish oil is extracted without any chemical intervention.

Pros:

  • Easily blends into the most commonly consumed beverages
  • Excellent naturally sourced vitamin profile
  • No chemical involvement that may serve as a dilution to potency

Cons: 

  • The typical fish burp, even when consumed with a meal
  • The Omega-3 Dosage profile is sizably less compared to similarly priced products 

Nutrigold Triple Strength Omega-3 Gold Fish Oil 

Nutrigold provides a prominently higher concentration of Omega-3 than would be usually available in supplements of comparable price and dosage. All the raw content of this supplement is obtained and manufactured exclusively in the United States. This ensures to the extent that the fish used for producing this supplement was obtained from sustainable and hygienic sources. The dark container reduces exposure to direct sunlight that could contribute to the deterioration of the fish oil.

Pros:

  • It’s dark bottle helps to keep the light out
  • It does not contain any artificial coloring 

Cons:

  • A faintly fishy after taste, which was unequivocally noted in all the products reviewed. 

Green Pasture Blue Ice Royal Oil 

This widely popular product boasts a unique blend of butter oil that contains a higher vitamin density profile infused with fish oil produced using a fermentation process. This in turn gives a nutrient stack that is assimilated more readily by the digestive health. It’s very beneficial for your overall health and non-heat extracted for added potency. More benefits that add to the credit of this product possibly being the best fish oil for bodybuilding is the high dosage per serving and the processing mechanism of the product which does not rely on heat and chemical buffering, leading to a greater efficacy.

Pros:

  • An effective bodybuilding support aid for muscle growth and maintenance
  • Doubles as a unique preventative supplement to reduce dental caries.
  • The fermentation process prevents the product from expiring
  • Help improve acne and other aggravated skin issues caused by excessive sebum production due to its effect on regulation of the hormone system.

Cons: 

  • None reported 

Our Recommendation

The Green Pasture Blue Ice Royal Oil is a clear winner. The stabilised version of the fish oil is easier for the body to assimilate. It’s also free from even the minor contaminants. The product offers exceptional value for money. In using this product, consumers have not reported any major side effects or drawbacks. It is for these reasons that the Green Pasture Blue Ice Royal comes in first to be the best fish oil for bodybuilding for 2017.

7 Interval Training Regimen You Can Do In 1 Hour BY KAREN REED

Interval training workouts that alternate high-intensity levels with low-intensity efforts are the key to fat burning. This formula keeps your body burning the calories even after you’ve stopped working out. Interval training helps you to get the most of your working regimen.

Interval training is not complicated as you think. This form of exercise mimics sports which include the start and stop motions with periods of sprinting or close to racing speeds that are followed by light jogging or rest. The best part of interval training is that you can use these workouts anywayyou want, for example, swimming, running, cycling, walking and even on elliptical trainers.

Interval training can jazz up your workout routine and offers you some great benefits. It helps you to burn more calories, significantly improves your aerobic capacity, adds variety and keeps boredom at bay and best of all you can just modify your current routine and don’t need any special equipment.

A recent research study says that interval training helps mitochondria stave off old age. The researchers found that biking and walking produced more proteins for the energy-producing mitochondria and protein building ribosomes and stop aging at cellular level.

Why Interval Training?

Increase efficiency. Your heart is a muscle so if you keep it beating at a constant rate never expanding it outside its comfort zone; It will never grow. However, when you throw in some intervals during your exercise sessions, your heart will work harder, pump in more blood and work harder to return to normal levels which will ultimately boost its efficiency.

Interval training gives you a healthier physique: Not only do you burn more calories during aninterval workout, but the intense exertion kicks off your body’s repair cycle into hyper drive. It helps you to burn more fat and calories. While steady state cardio enhances muscle loss, studies show that interval training allows dieters to preserve their hard-earned muscle while ensuring most of the weight loss comes from fat stores.

Interval training improves your aerobic and anaerobic capacity: Dr. Tabata’s study on moderate and high- intensity interval training showed that high-intensity intermittent training improves both anaerobic and aerobic body systems while aerobic exercise only improves aerobic systems.

Exercises

One Minute Interval Cardio Workout

Tutorial: Amanda Russell

Note: To increase the time span you can increase the number of minutes or reps.

High knees 1 minute: Keep your mind focused and core tight. Get your knees worked out for 60 seconds. Then follow it up with active recovery for 30 secs. Just keep your legs wide apart and move your arms down and all the way up.

Plank jacks: Get down into plank position and jack out your legs. Come back to active recovery.

Frog hops: Keep your hands behind your head and squat down. Then jump forward.Do these reps for one minute and come back to the active recovery phase.

Single leg hops: Choose your leg to drive your knee and hop it up. One minute of these exercises and back to active recovery. Repeat with the other leg.

Jumping jacks: Stand with your feet together. Jump your feet out with your arms raised. Immediately come back to the starting position. Back to your active recovery.

Turkish get-ups: Lay all the way down and without any support get up at once. You can use a single hand for extra support and do it as a modification.

Speed skaters: Go from side to side and drive your opposite arms to your opposite knee after jumping. Follow up with active recovery.

Jump ropes: If you have ropes you can use it. Otherwise, you can pretend jumping rope. Move from side to side, back and forth, etc.

Barrier jumps: Picture an obstacle down the floor. Keep your arms down and jump the hurdle from side to side. Finish with active recovery. Finally, do some stretches.

Jump Rope-Fat Burning Cardio HIIT Skipping Home Workout

Skipping ropes helps you to burn calories faster. According to Science Daily, 10 minutes of jumping rope is equivalent to running an 8-minute mile. It builds agility and quickness, increases bone density, boosts your brain health by enhancing your coordination, rhythm, and strategy, and is most affordable and highly portable.

Tutorial: Millionaire Hoy

Workout structure: 50 seconds on 10 seconds rest for each move.

Light ropes: Warm up with a slight jump rope. Hop twice on the left side and the right. Start slower and increase your speed.

Boxer skips: Do one jump, then do two sets of two jumps.

High knees exercise: Bring your knees up, lock in your abs, swing your rope and breathe in and out.

Front to back shift skips (butt kick hops): Jump forward, back, bouncing in the middle alternating your feet.

Butt kick hops: Lock your abs, keep on swinging and maintain your form together.

Take 15 seconds rest.

Speed ropes:  Bring your knees high up and skip the line faster. Increase your speed gradually.

Side to side high knee ropes: Jump up skipping your lines and move on either side.

Follow the listed skipping steps in order, with 50 seconds of jumping and 10 seconds rest.

  • Criss cross skips
  • 1-2 double under
  • Three-way jump ropes
  • Calf ab hops
  • Freestyle ropes
  • Hip twist skips
  • Deep lunge ropes
  • High-low jumps
  • Jump Jack skip
  • Reverse ropes
  • 180 jump ropes
  • Front to back sprint ropes
  • High-speed ropes

Stretches

Bent rockers: Fold your arms, bend and rock your body from side to side. Follow it up with cat stretch, side stretch (left and right), ham stretch (left and right) and finish off your exercise regimen with Flamingo (left and right) pulls.

60-minute Tabata HIIT, Abs, and Obliques Workout

Source: Fitness Blender

Workout structure:

  • 6-minute cardio warm up
  • 48 mins HIIT and abs routine
  • 6-minute cool down and stretch

3 Torso twists+ knee: Rotate shoulders back and forth three times. On the third one, you pull the knee and the opposite elbow just near to each other.

Toe touch circles: Keep feet shoulder width apart, make a nice circular motion around the torso reaching downwards. Repeat back and forth.

Follow it up with:

  • Oblique high knee pulls and
  • Lateral step moves

Butt kickers: Bring your heels up and move fast to pump up your heart rate.

Side shuffles: Lunge onto one hand, kick off your leg behind, shift your feet a couple of times to the left and right.

Mountain climber switch + knees: Come to a mountain climber pose and change your legs. Jump up to your standing position and repeat.

Mini scissor kicks: Lie down, lift your legs and move your feet in a vertical plane to create the scissoring action.

Follow it up with Switch leg burpees and 2 Jacks+ high kick exercises.

Toe tap crunches: Bring your knees to a tabletop position and crunch up dropping one foot at a time.

Take a water break and start with two Heel Taps + Walk Down Plank and proceed to Side Plank Toe Touches.

4 High knees + floor tap: Do two high knees on each leg and hit the floor alternating your hands. Again, do the side plank toe touches.

Russian Twists: Sit down and leaning back to about 45-degree angle rotate your shoulders and kick out your elbows.

Cool down and do these stretches: shoulder rolls, Hamstring + shoulder stretch, Shell stretch and torso twist, glutes stretch and finally oblique and hamstrings stretch.

Fartlek Workout

Fartlek means “speed play” in Swedish. This form of training combines continuous training with speed intervals in an unstructured format that strengthens both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. The speed and intensity vary however and whenever you want. You can walk, jog, and sprint for any distance or length of time and in any order.

This 30-minute Fartlek workout involves a variety of speed to give you a good running workout. Focus on running fast enough to increase your heart rate. Try to run each interval faster than the last.

30-minute Fartlek Run

Source: thisrunnersrecipes.com

  • Warm up 5-minute easy run
  • 5 minutes hard run (half marathon run)
  • 1-minute easy recovery phase
  • 4 minutes hard run (10 miler effort)
  • 1-minute easy recovery phase
  • Run 3 minutes harder (10k effort)
  • 1 minute easy
  • Run 2 minutes harder (5k effort)
  • 1 minute hardest (Sprint)
  • Cool down 5-minute easy run

Cycling Workouts

“Stationary bikes are great for everyone of all fitness levels,” Jennifer Tallman, an indoor cycling instructor at New York Sports Clubs, tells SELF Magazine. Tallman suggests doing intervals rather than constant cycling because it gives you the biggest fat burning payoff on a stationary bike.

  • Easy. Flat road
  • Moderate. You will start to breathe heavily, you’ll feel like you’re up on a slight incline on a small hill.
  • Hard. You are working at this point. You would be using medium to high resistance.
  • All-out. You’re using the heaviest resistance while still can push your legs.

Stationary Bike Interval Workout

Source: Self.com

Time Intensity Reps
5 minutes Easy warm up
30 seconds hard X 4
30 seconds moderate X 4
1 minute easy
1 minute hard X 4
30 seconds moderate X 4
45 seconds All-out X 3
15 seconds easy X 3
2 minutes easy
Challenge Repeat entire circuit One more time
5 minutes Easy cool down

Fat Burning Plyometric Workout

Tutorial:Fitness Blender

Workout structure:

  • 5 Plyometric exercises
  • Ten reps with
  • Two rounds each with one-minute rest

Broad jumps: Set a marker for yourself and make a broad jump. Switch around and jump to the starting point.

Knee tuck jumps: These leaps increase your overall effort level. Get into a nice deep squat and jump up in the air as high as you possibly can. Take your time reset those feet, and make the jump.

Power jacks: Spread out your feet. Squat down nice and low then, get your hands come above your head and jump. Bring your arms to your thighs, slap those thighs and go back to nice deep squat before you do it again.

Jumping lunge: Step forward into a lunge, keep your knees barely off the ground and jump straight switching those feet at the top range of motion. Come back down with your opposite leg forward directly back into that lunge, then jump straight back up. Keep pushing up as hard as you can.

Box jumps: You need a chair or Plyo box for this exercise. Stand up on top of that Plyo box, and jump down. Then step back on the box and make the same motion all over.

Interval Pool Moves to Burn Calories

Source: PopSugar Fitness

Sprint: Start kicking your knees as high as you can towards your chest. Move your legs as fast as you can as if you’re running a race. Just think you’re running an aqua sprint. Get your arms pumping up. If you’re under the water, then this action needs a little bit more effort from your upper body. Do 15 reps with 60 seconds rest.

Push up on the wall: you’re going to start down in the water and keep your hands securely on the side of the wall. You can use the side of the pool to get you initiated all the way up. With a bit of help from the side of the bath, extend your arms all the way then slowly pushes back down into the water. Come up and kick your feet and come down. This action works the muscles of the shoulders, triceps, and chest. Do 20 reps with 1-minute rest.

Jump with knee tuck: Plunge into the water till it covers your shoulders. Now jump up and tuck your knees into your chest. Use your arms for balance and stability. Jump and tuck. You’ll find that your lower legs get fired up. Adding the knee tuck works your core. Do 15-20 reps with 1-minute rest.

Hurdle jump: Pretend that there is a hurdle, right underneath the bottom of the pool. Keep your feet together, tuck your knees up, and jump over the hurdle to the other side and then back. This exercise works a little bit of the lateral muscle groups. Do 15-20 reps with 1-minute rest.

Water treader: You must be in the deep end of the water and move your legs as if you’re running. Just make sure to bend your knees and extend your legs. Use your upper body to help you keep afloat. Perform the exercise for 30 seconds with 1-minute rest.

Conclusion

The principals of interval training are the same for everyone. If you’re working towards a specific fitness goal, you may want to take a more scientific approach. But if you only want to vary your exercise routine you can determine the length and speed of each intensity interval based on how you feel that day.

This form of training isn’t appropriate for everyone. If you have a chronic health condition, have a word with your doctor before trying any interval training. Research studies say that even individuals with heart disease can perform short periods of interval training. Utilizing the services of a fitness instructor or an expert will be highly beneficial in this regard.

Finally, a word of caution, never rush out into a strenuous workout before your body is ready, you may end up injuring your muscles, tendons, and bones. Start slowly and as your stamina improves challenge yourself to vary the pace. You’ll be amazed by the results.

 

This blog was originally posted by Karen Reed | Click here to read the original blog!

11 Reasons To Do Cardio Workouts Daily BY KAREN REED

You’ll hear a lot about the benefits of strength training. While there are certainly many muscular and health benefits that cardio workouts don’t offer, there are various benefits that only cardio workouts can provide. You need to get a good mixture of both daily.

Cardio workouts involve running, swimming, rowing, etc. Anything that helps you get your heart rate up and work your lungs. It’s possible to combine both cardio and strength training together to get the best possible workout for your whole body.

If you don’t already, you need to make a cardio workout part of your daily routine. Here are 11 reasons why.

Improve the Health of Your Heart

We must focus on one of the biggest benefits of cardio. Remember that this type of workout works your heart and lungs, so it makes sense that the biggest benefit of all is to your heart. Your heart is a muscle, so it constantly needs a workout to remain strong and healthy. By doing more cardio workouts, you will have a better heart health.

By getting your heart pumping more, you improve the circulation around your system. You get more oxygen around your body, which helps to improve all the other organs. We’ll move onto those benefits soon.

The biggest benefit is that your heart is constantly being strengthened. It will work for the years to come, and you starve off complications like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and many more issues.

If you just wanted one reason to do more cardio, this is the reason. While strength training can help, it’s just not as good for getting your blood pumping.

Boost Your Metabolic Rate

All the processes in your body get a boost, which includes your metabolism. This is great for those who want to lose weight, but can also help to maintain a healthy lifestyle. After all, your metabolism is useful for more than just burning the calories you eat. Your metabolism helps to convert the calories, fat, and other components into energy to use throughout the day.

High-intensity cardio workouts are better for a metabolism boost compared to low-intensity workouts. However, both will offer health benefits. If you want to make the most of your workouts, try some high-intensity-interval-training (HIIT) workouts.

Of course, when you increase your metabolism, you will lose more weight or find it easier to maintain weight. It’s much easier to create a calorie deficit.

Decrease the Amount of Belly Fat You Have

While your increased metabolism will help you lose weight, cardio workouts specifically help you lose that belly fat. All the crunches in the world aren’t going to get rid of the visceral fat. All you’re doing with the strength training is working on the muscles underneath the fat. This is good for the result and toning, but it doesn’t help while you’re struggling with around middle. Studies have even shown that ab-focused workouts alone aren’t good enough for getting rid of belly fat.

Visceral fat is the worst type of fat. It surrounds your organs and puts your health at more risk than other types of fat. You can find out just how much belly fat you have by measuring your waist at your belly button with a normal home measuring tape. You want to have a waist of 35in or less for a healthy abdomen area. Even if you’re not technically overweight according to the BMI scale, a waist larger than 35in is unhealthy.

Remember that by doing the cardio workout you’re burning more calories. Your metabolism will need to use the store calories in the fat for more energy, helping you get rid of this specific fatty area. Once you lose the weight from your stomach area, cardio exercises are effective in preventing future weight gain.

Studies are positive. They show that it’s possible to lose (on average) 2.5sq. In. Of belly fat by performing cardio workouts for eight months. This was in those who only did aerobic workouts. Those who combined saw 1.5 times less loss, and those who only did strength training saw 20 times less than their cardio counterparts.

Of course, losing the belly fat isn’t just about your cardio workout. You will need to follow a healthy, calorie-controlled diet. The good news is you’ll find this easier when you do more cardio because of other health benefits. This takes us onto the next health benefit.

Boost Your Mental Health and Happiness

Cardio workouts are excellent for your mental health. Studies have shown that those who do more exercise will fight off depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. This is all linked to the release of endorphins and serotonin while you work out.

Opting for aerobic exercises helps to boost the blood flow around the body. It reduces the stress levels felt, which makes it easier for the brain to release the right hormones. By getting happy hormones out and around the body, people feel less fatigued, depressed and hungry.

This is another benefit that has been proven through studies. The Archives of Internal Medicine published a study that showed how 156 clinically depressed participants felt after a range of treatments. One group took antidepressants, one group cardio workouts, and one a mixture of the two. The results showed that cardio workouts were just as good as fighting against depression as the use of medication. Exercise is the natural antidepressant for those who want to avoid Big Pharma.

There’s no need to do a lot of cardio for this to be beneficial. Just 30 minutes a day is enough for all the mental health benefits. You don’t have to do this in one sitting but can space it out in 10-minute intervals throughout the day. What is important is getting the cardio workouts.

Of course, there are other natural ways to alleviate depression. Fresh air and sunlight are one. Try a cardio workout in the garden or go on a power walk or run in the fresh air to gain more benefits.

Improve Your Quality of Sleep

While there are many people who focus on the number of hours of sleep you get, the quality of sleep on a night you receive is also important. If your night is constantly broken, you don’t quite get the full recovery that your body needs.

The great news is cardio workouts help improve your quality of sleep—and the amount that you get. You’ll find it easier to fall asleep on a night and find that you don’t constantly wake up throughout the night.

Poor sleep is linked to stress. Your subconscious is constantly working against you when your stress levels are high. By getting a cardio workout, you’re reducing the amount of stress in your body. You get rid of the adrenaline, which helps to improve your ability to close your eyes and relax.

Poor sleep is also linked to obesity and depression. Both are tackled through cardio workouts, as we’ve already looked at.

But can’t you take a pill to help you sleep? Well, yes, there are some medications available but did you know they increase your risk of death? There are various health complications to using sleep medication, and it’s not the most effective for a clear and productive day the next morning. Cardio workout is healthier and far more beneficial overall.

Studies have shown that just getting 150 minutes of exercise a week will help improve quality sleep by 65%. You’ll also feel less fatigued and drowsy throughout the day, which moves us onto the next benefit.

Your Recovery Is Better

By getting a better night’s sleep, your body recovers better through the night. You will wake up rested and ready for another day.

But don’t your muscles ache? At first, they will. This is your body getting used to the workout that you’re performing. Eventually, your recovery rate will increase, and you’ll find that your muscles don’t ache as much as all.

In fact, cardio workouts the next day, even with some aching muscles, can help your recovery period. A light job helps to remove some of the lactic acid build up. It helps to stretch off the muscles and reduce the feeling of tightness and soreness.

You don’t have to wait until the next day either. A light jog after a strength workout will also help to loosen and improve your recovery time and avoid some pain the next day.

You also need to listen to your body. Pain due to injury is very different to aching muscles because you’re using ones that you forgot you had. If you feel pain (not an ache or tiredness) while exercising, you should stop and rest.

If you do get injured, you’ll find your overall recovery rate is quicker. Your muscles are healthier, along with the rest of your body. And yes, your recovery from an illness improves, and this moves us to the seventh benefit.

Improved Immune System

Let’s look at how your immune system benefits from a cardio workout. Did you know that cardiovascular activity improves the working of your lymph system? Your lymph nodes offer the ability to fight infection. They help to remove toxins from the body and keep you healthy overall. It makes sense that by improving your lymph system, your immune system improves.

You will also get the benefit of better quality sleep and lower stress levels. Stress can lead to your immune system working against you. It starts to attack something that isn’t there or just doesn’t work efficiently when attacking infections and viruses. You’re left constantly getting colds and viruses.

However, too much cardiovascular exercise can cause the opposite issue. You run the risk of injury and running your body down. If you don’t get enough rest and recovery between sessions, you run the risk of overpowering your immune system. It’s important to find that balance.

Reduce the Risk of or Control Your Diabetes

Diabetes is a major issue, especially in the Western world. The good news is doing more cardio exercise will help to improve your condition. You can avoid Type II diabetes completely and help to manage pre-existing diabetes.

When you work out more, your muscles will be able to utilize the glucose (blood sugar) in your body better. You’ll see lower blood sugar levels and less insulin, as your muscles find a way to expel the sugar instead. You’ll also experience fewer mood swings and less irritability.

You will still need to get your blood sugar levels checked. It’s important to follow medical advice from the doctor. However, you may find that you can reverse some of the damage. This is especially possible if you follow a healthy diet and manage your weight gain at the same time.

Improve the Way the Brain Works

It’s not just the hormones that change. The whole functioning of your brain will improve thanks to your cardio workout.

Remember that the amount of oxygen your brain gets improves. Your blood pumps faster, and you breathe in more oxygen on a daily basis.This means the connectors in your brain get all the oxygen they need.

You won’t feel as foggy or confused throughout the day. Your hippocampus increases, which means you’re learning and memory centers improve. You’ll find it easier to remember even the simplest things in life—like where you put your keys or phone.

Studies have shown that these benefits are clear in cardio workouts. The same benefits aren’t there in resistance or strength training. You want to take advantage of both types of training daily.

Improve Your Bone Health

It’s not just your organs that benefit from cardio workouts. Running and other cardio activities tend to get a bad reputation for the bone and joint health. There is certainly some potential damage, but there are also plenty of benefits. It all depends on how you do your aerobic exercises.

Osteoporosis is a problematic disease, particularly for older women. As you lose too much bone mass, your bones become weak and brittle. You’re more likely to injure or break a bone, even just from a minor fall.

While a good diet is important, the right exercises can also help to avoid osteoporosis. Studies have shown that a good warm-up, aerobic exercises, and a proper cool-down in the space of around 40 minutes can help to increase your bone mass. You’re at a much lower risk of injury and damage.

When you do cardio workouts, avoid running on pavement. Stick to grass and other soft surfaces or choose a low-impact workout that will protect your joints and overall health.

Improve Your Endurance in Life

How long can you walk up flights of stairs? How long can you last be running around after the kids? Your cardio abilities are affected by some aerobic exercises you do. If you want to increase your endurance in your everyday life, you will need to increase your cardio workouts.

Remember your heart and lungs are like muscles. The more you work them, the healthier they are. So, by doing more cardio workouts, you’ll help your heart and lungs deal with the amount of activity you need to do through the day. You’ll also find you can run/swim longer and faster in a few weeks or months’ time. The marathon may seem an impossible task now, but it will be easier with some training.

Improved endurance is also important for your metabolism. We’ve come full circle on the benefits.

Add More Cardio to Your Week

Start by adding just one or two more cardio sessions to your week. If you don’t currently do any exercise, you won’t want to do more than two days of exercise a week to start. Get your bones and muscles ready and allow your endurance to improve.

As you find the workouts easier, you can add more and train for longer. Eventually, you’ll be able to do a little cardio daily. You will even find your rest days can involve 15 minutes of walking or so to help strengthen the muscles and improve your mental health.

It’s time to add more cardio to your week. You will not regret it with the above 11 health benefits.

 

This blog was originally posted by Karen Reed | Click here to see original blog!

Burn More Calories, Give Your Joints a Break: Why You Should Start Swimming This Fall

Just because summer is over, doesn’t mean you have to stop making a splash.

If you’re looking for a new way to keep yourself in shape, and do so effectively, swimming workouts have been proven to boost metabolism, burn calories, and work all your muscles without putting stress on your joints better than any other workout.

According to Women’s Health; “The body-shaping benefits of swimming workouts are the result of a perfect storm of calorie burn and muscle recruitment. An easy swim burns around 500 calories an hour, while a vigorous effort can torch almost 700. And because water is nearly 800 times denser than air, each kick, push, and pull is like a mini resistance workout for your entire body—especially your core, hips, arms, shoulders, and glutes.” The added plus is that boost in your metabolism, meaning you’ll keep burning calories even after you’ve gotten out of the pool and showered off.

Researchers at Indiana University have also found that people who swim regularly for exercise tend to have leaner muscle mass, and trimmer waists and hips, and less lasting injury effects than those who don’t.

“You can swim almost every day without risking injury,” says Joel Stager, Ph.D., director of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University at Bloomington, who has studied the effects of swimming for years. “You can’t say the same for running or strength training.”

Swimming is one of our favorite workout options to offer to our members. We especially love it because it optimizes cross training, maximizes your cardio, and is a refreshing and different way to work out.

If you’re interested in adding this great aerobic exercise to your weekly routine, the lap pool at Beechmont Racquet & Fitness consists of four lanes measuring twenty-five yards in length. The pool’s thermostat is set year-round to a comfortable 82 degrees, which is ideal for workout conditions. The pool is open the same hours as the club and is always available for any member to use.

Swim lessons are available for both children and adults through Lori’s H20 Skills, or freestyle lap swimming is available for all members during our hours. Learn more at beechmontfitness.com/pool.

4 Tips to Exercise Safely in the Summer Heat

We’re right in the middle in the hottest time of the year. August is known for being a scorcher, but throw Cincinnati’s humidity on top of it and it’s uncomfortable to simply be outside. If you’ll be exercising outdoors this month, we want to make sure you’re staying safe while doing so. Here some great advice on avoiding heat exhaustion and staying healthy from the experts at Men’s Fitness.

  1. Know your body & be able to recognize heat exhaustion.

“In hot (and especially humid) environments, we dissipate heat by physiological cooling mechanisms, including sweating for heat loss via evaporation,” explains Elaine Choung-Hee Lee, Ph.D., associate director of Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Connecticut. “When you’re unable to dissipate enough heat to cool the body, that’s when you might experience heat exhaustion, heat-related illness, or, in extreme cases, heatstroke.”

The signs you’re passing the threshold of heat exhaustion onto something more dangerous: cold and clammy skin, nausea, dizziness and fainting, pale skin, heavy sweating, headaches, decreased coordination, chills, and irritability.

  1. Drink plenty of fluids.

This is a given for whenever you push your body to work hard. It’s also common sense for when you’re outdoors in extremely hot temperatures. But combining the two means you should be hydrating more than normally.

“Losing 1kg of mass during a workout is equivalent to about 1 liter of water, and you want to rehydrate 150%, so you’d aim to drink 1.5 liters of water over the course of recovery and into the next day,” Lee says. “Dehydration prevents your body from cooling itself since less water means less sweat.”

  1. Explore outdoor exercise alternatives.

You don’t have to go for a run in 90+ degree temperatures to keep in shape. Aerobic exercises in the pool, hiking in the shade of the woods, or yoga in the early morning are all great options for staying safe in the heat. If you are dedicated to going for a run, there’s nothing wrong with finding a treadmill or indoor track in the A.C.

  1. Know your limits.

Listen to your body and know when it’s time to give yourself a break. Calling it quits when you start to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke is a much better option than seriously hurting yourself.

“Based on what we observe in field studies, we see high rates of heat stroke in people competing at their maximum intensity and effort in a hot and humid environment in race conditions. But the folks who develop exertion heat stroke are the ones who may experience the cognitive symptoms, collapse, or feel a physical inability to perform, and yet they get up and attempt to continue over and over again,” Lee says.

Says Rachael Schultz, writer for Men’s Fitness: “…while you may think being the first to tap out of a circuit is the most embarrassing thing that can happen at the gym, [I’d] argue passing out or leaving in an ambulance is probably a lot worse.” To read the full article, visit mensfitness.com/training.

As always, stay smart when you’re in any kind of heat. If you’re looking to escape it, you’re always welcome to check into the air conditioning at Beechmont Racquet & Fitness!

Do You Have Bad Gym Etiquette?

A fitness facility is a place to get your sweat on and torch some calories; however, the rules of the road still apply. Fitness pros and recreational gym goers should always display appropriate behavior and gym etiquette during all workout sessions. Unfortunately, not every member of the gym will keep proper etiquette at the forefront of his or her attention.

To keep the gym experience safe and worthwhile for you and those around you, behave mindfully and don’t become “that guy” or “that gal” who fails to keep common courtesy rules in check.

 

Sloppy Joe or Jane

Nothing creates a more dangerous training atmosphere like an unkempt space. It’s not only rude to leave weights and other equipment scattered around a workout space, but it sets the stage for completely avoidable accidents and injuries to occur.

Always re-rack your weights and tidy up the space you are using. If you pile on the plates for the squat or bench press, remove them and put them back where you found them. The same rule applies for dumbbells (or any other moveable piece of exercise equipment). Use them and then store them. This not only keeps the weight room safe for everyone, but it allows all participants to have equal access to equipment.

Hoggy Harry or Harriette

Weight training takes time and, depending on the type of routine a person is performing, multiple sets are generally required. It’s okay to use a weight machine, squat rack or other piece of equipment to perform multiple sets. Just be mindful of other users and their time and allow someone to work in. It’s the polite action to take and the other person will appreciate the courtesy and the favor is more than likely to be returned. Consider this a “pay it forward” principle for the gym.

Social Butterfly

The gym is a great place to meet friends and have brief conversations—emphasis on the word “brief.” If you do not like giving up precious time to launch into full conversations during your workouts, respect others’ workout time and space. If you have a desire to exchange pleasantries with an acquaintance, wait until they are on a rest period. Also, take cell phone conversations out in the hall or to the locker room. Allow others to concentrate on their exercise session and not on your conversation.

Narcissist

Gyms have mirrors for several reasons: They make a space look bigger and allow weight lifters and personal trainers to monitor and correct form throughout a workout. The mirrors are not there for personal admiration of one’s physique. Take the selfie someplace else, but please don’t take up valuable real estate to snap a pre- or post-workout picture.

Bob the Blocker

Few gym behaviors aggravate individuals more than the person who stands in front of the weight racks to perform a set of curls or lateral raises. Standing in front of the weights precludes others from grabbing the weights they need to accomplish their own set of exercises. The lesson here—take the set of dumbbells you need, step way back and keep the space in front of the racks clear for through traffic.

Slammy Sammy

There’s no scientific benefit associated with banging the weights together at the end of a repetition. Rather, this behavior is actually damaging to the equipment, whether it’s dumbbells or selectorized/machine weights. This habit isn’t just unnecessarily loud, it’s simply unnecessary. A good practice to follow is to gently return the weights to their resting position or, if performing a free weight exercise (think chest fly or dumbbell bench), complete the repetition slightly before the weights touch.

Stinky Steve or Sweaty Betty

Sweating is expected during a workout, particularly if it’s an intense one. It is also expected by other patrons and gym managers for equipment users to wipe down the bench, cardio machine or other surface after use. Doing so reduces the likelihood of spreading infections and illnesses (MRSA, ringworm, etc.). Plus, no one really wants to use a dirty or sweaty piece of equipment that isn’t properly cleaned. Equally as important to cleaning the equipment is making sure your personal hygiene is handled. Keep three or four sets of gym clothes available throughout the week, wash them regularly, and keep deodorant in your locker or bag.

Exercising proper etiquette while exercising creates a safe, pleasant and user-friendly environment in which all patrons can enjoy their experience and derive the benefits of an effective and fun workout. In short, there’s no downside to having good manners.

Dr. Erin Nitschke Contributor

Dr. Erin Nitschke, ACE Health Coach, Fitness Nutrition Specialist & NSCA-CPT, is a Health & Human Performance college educator and fitness blogger. She has over 14 years of experience in personal training, education, and instructional design. To Erin, being fit means finding an equilibrium between all dimensions of wellness. Erin is personally and professionally dedicated to teaching students and clients how to achieve such balance through learning and focused skill development.

Click here to read another great article from acefitness.org!

 

 

 

Summer Cardio Tennis Returns!

Achieve a great, high-energy cardio workout with tennis racquets this month! This is a highly social and fun class for players of all ability levels—no tennis experience necessary to join.

Summer Cardio Tennis has returned to Beechmont Racquet & Fitness! Every Monday and Wednesday evening from 6-7 pm, join Pat Onoro, BR&F Tennis Pro, as we meet to get a great tennis workout. This is a great way to get your heart pumping and your body slimmed for summer.

We know many of you are in and out of town during the summer months, so we are happy to prorate the clinics based on the dates you are able to attend. Simply contact Jill or the Front Desk to discuss. You can always email us at tennis@beechmontfitness.com as well. Minimum of 3 participants per class.

Session I: June 5-June 29
Session II: July 5-July 27
Session III: July 31-August 24

Regular Season (Labor Day to Memorial Day) Cardio Tennis is offered on Monday evenings from 5:30-7 pm and Friday afternoons from noon-1 pm. Our brochures will be available in August.

Meet Pat Onoro!

“I love running the Cardio Tennis class because it’s a great combination of working on your tennis game and getting a personal workout at the same time. I have my students reset their smart watches or step trackers at the beginning of each class to see how many steps, calories, and miles someone does during cardio tennis. Sometimes ladies in my class will convert the number of calories they burned into potential bottles of wine they can consume!”

We hope to see you soon at BR&F! Stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates on what’s happening this summer. Fitness can be fun.

Help Us Donate 1,400 Needed Items to the Inter Parish Ministry

What if being charitable was as easy as clicking a button? With our latest check-in donation campaign, it is!

During the month of May, you can simply check into Beechmont Racquet & Fitness Club on Facebook to help raise food donations for our local Inter Parish Ministry. Last summer, we were able to donate over 1,300 much-needed items to local families in need. Our goal for 2017 is 1,400. Will you help us reach it?

How to Check In:

  1. Open the Facebook app on your phone.
  2. Near the upper right-hand corner click CHECK-IN.
  3. Select Beechmont Racquet and Fitness from the drop down menu.
  4. Hit “POST” in the upper right corner.
  5. Give yourself a pat on the back! You just donated a needed food item to the Inter Parish Ministry.

Items that are most needed right now include cereal and other non-perishable breakfast items, canned pasta, peanut butter, and jelly.

In addition to Facebook check-ins, we are also accepting items (especially the items listed above) directly at Beechmont Racquet & Fitness. You’ll find the donation table in the lobby.

Curious about additional ways to give back to the local community? Visit the Inter Parish Ministry website at interparish.org to view events, find sponsorship opportunities, or donate. Any and all contributions make a difference!

4 Reasons To Treat Yourself to Sauna or Steam Room Therapy

The health benefits of steam rooms and saunas might be greater than you think! Qurratulain Zaheer, a health and beauty researcher and writer interested in discovering a new and exciting approach to achieving gorgeous skin, recommends both for heat therapy with benefits that go beyond promoting good skin. This therapy can also help with fighting disease, reducing stress, and even aid your weight loss goals.
1. Saunas can minimize joint pain and tension in the body-
Saunas use dry heat to warm and relax your muscles, which in turn soothes nerve endings, joint pain, and encourages tension to leave the body. This therapy is especially useful for those suffering from arthritis or migraines. Heat from saunas also reduces tension and helps fight stress in the body, which releases endorphins and increases your melatonin levels, allowing you to feel happy and relaxed. This can especially be helpful for those suffering from insomnia or depression.

2. Steam improves breathing and issues with congestion-
Allergy season is upon us! For those who suffer from congestion brought on by allergies or other ailments, steam has been recognized as a simple solution to help alleviate the pressure in your sinuses. The heat and moisture from the steam is able to open up your airways, as well as thin and open the mucous membranes in the body. This can also be an incredibly helpful option for those who suffer from bronchitis and asthma.

3. Steam and sauna heat therapy can help rid your body of toxins-
The heat from both steam rooms and saunas cause your body to sweat, allowing your body to cleanse itself and remove toxins that may be lingering in your system. This process will also cause you to shed a few pounds in water weight, but only temporarily. It is important to note that sweat therapy cannot replace healthy diet and exercise. Eating right and getting plenty of proper exercise will always be your best tools on a weight loss journey.

4. Healthier and younger-looking skin-
Both dry and wet heat therapy can open up your pores, increase circulation, and soften your skin. Steam especially can help clear out impurities by loosening and clearing out pores; a great option for those suffering from acne.

Interested in trying out a steam room or sauna to see if heat therapy can work for you? Call us to learn more about our rates and membership details at (513) 528-5700 or visit beechmontfitness.com to schedule a free tour.

Be sure to also check out additional articles that highlight the benefit of steam rooms.

care2.com
health.harvard.edu/
livestrong.com

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