Exercise Blog

Exercise Blog Topics:

Time Management: Eliminate Time Killers to Gain More Hours Every Day
Need Motivation for Exercise? Listen to Music!
National Nutrition Month
Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Abs Exercise?
Revised Government Guidelines for Exercise and Diet
Holding Your Breath While Exercising
Nutrition and Meal Planning
Treadmill Workout Ideas That Make Fitness Fun
Body Fat and Obesity
5 Simple Practices of a Healthy Diet
More on cardio & weight training in same session....
Effects of Doing Cardio in the Same Session as Weight Lifting





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Time Management: Eliminate Time Killers to Gain More Hours Every Day
By Burt Carlson

There are two types of time killers in everyone�s life. Unless you deal with both, you�ll lose productive time every single day and be a lot less effective than you could be.

Some time killers are more of less common to most people. This article will tell you more about how to deal with them.

Apart from that, there are also other time killers that are highly specific to each individual. They have to do with your habits, personality and working style.

To eliminate such time wasters, the first and most essential step is to be a keen observer of how you spend your time. Once you have a handle on what specific habits or situations are robbing you of your time, you�ll be better positioned to deal with those issues. And deal with them you must, if you want to be more productive.

Before you do that, let�s look at six common problems that waste mammoth amounts of time and what you can do about them.

Time killer #1: Phone calls

Someone said that the telephone may be the most misused of all modern conveniences! Phones turn out to be time wasters instead of time savers because they�re incorrectly used. Where do we go wrong in using phones?

Do you make the mistake of not starting a phone conversation correctly? When you telephone someone, you should straightaway identify yourself and ask for the person you want to speak to. Instead, if you get into a �who is speaking� routine, you waste valuable time even before the conversation has begun.

The other big issue is how long you chat on the phone. Phone conversations are best kept brief. Going on and on over the phone not only wastes time, but may also prevent someone else from reaching one of you with an urgent message.

Now that mobile phones are ubiquitous, a whole new range of phone usage problems have sprung up. If you answer a mobile phone while you are in a meeting with someone is obviously an irritant to that person. Unfortunately, most people give the person calling more importance than the person they are with, which is extremely bad etiquette.

If you must have a lengthy conversation on your mobile phone, at least excuse yourself and leave so that the other person is not left hanging while you chat and giggle on the phone.

Time killer #2: Machines that don�t work well

In many organizations, this is a bigger time killer than many people realize. Examples: A photocopier that takes a long time to produce the first copy, a desk drawer that gets stuck all the time, a door knob that won�t open the door till you jiggle it several times and so on.

Until such machinery is either repaired or replaced, it will continue to waste time and lower productivity.

Time killer #3: The endless talkers

We all know people who are in love with their own voices. They lose all sense of time once they start talking! In the process, they can easily waste hours of your time as well.

The best way to deal with such folks is to avoid them in the first place. That�s much better than requesting them to shut up! Ask your secretary to divert their calls, or use caller ID to do the same thing.

But make no mistake -- they are serious time killers and you need to deal with them appropriately.

Time killer #4: Traffic jams

This one�s a huge problem in most cities. Calculate the amount of time you spend each day in traffic jams, multiply that by the number of work days in a year and prepare to be astonished at the colossal waste of your productive time.

One solution is to leave an hour early. Of course, that still kills your time, although it does help you avoid being late.

Where possible, walk to work, or take the metro part of the way and walk the rest of the distance. You�ll probably get there faster. Plus, you�ll be in better health too.

Another approach is to use the time you�re caught in the traffic to do something constructive. Like listen to a CD on self development or on a professional topic. That way, at least you get something useful out of the time that would otherwise be lost.

Time killer #5: Queues

These days, you can use the internet or the telephone to eliminate much of the need to stand in queue, whether it�s for booking tickets, doing a routine banking transaction, etc. Where possible, utilize those options, because they save you considerable time.

Time killer #6: Meetings

Meetings are supposed to boost productivity. Unfortunately, in most cases, they tend to lower it. This happens largely because of bad planning.

Take the time to prepare a crystal clear agenda for the meeting, including what outcomes you�re looking for. Then communicate that to all meeting participants in advance. Just this one step will go a long way to converting meetings into productive activities instead of time killers.

Deal constructively with these time killers as well as others that are unique to your situation. And you�ll discover that you�re adding hours to your day and getting more done in less time than ever before.

Burt Carlson is a top corporate executive whose passion is helping people get more out of life by managing their time better. He has written articles on time management dealing with getting organized at work, developing sustained self motivation and many other related topics.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/

Make more time for exercise today, don't put it off another day!


Need Motivation for Exercise? Listen to Music During Your Workouts!

Research has shown that music is a powerful motivational tool for your workouts. One study showed that people who listen tomusic during their workouts tend to exercise more often, for longer periods of time, and with greater intensity. In addition to getting better workouts, people who listen to music enjoy their workouts more than people who don't.

I've recentlystarted listening to my favorite upbeat music during cardio workouts and really notice a difference. I have been able to workout for alonger period of time and it seems like the time passes so quickly.

The ipod MP3player is the latest technology to listen to music. It allows you to upload hours and hours of your favorite music. The regular ipod is about the size of a pack of cards and the new ipod shuffle is the size of a pack of gum. There is a current offer online where you can get an ipod for free by completing one offer and getting a few of your friends to sign up as well.

I personally like the ipod shuffle for workouts because it's small, lightweight (0.8 ounces) and will shuffle through all my favorite songs I've loaded onto it. The battery has about 12 hours of playtime and automatically rechargesitself when you plug it back into your USB port on your computer. You can get an ipod shuffle for free here -- it's just another tool to help keep your workouts interesting, motivating and fun.

So, what's the bottom line? Consistent regular exercise will give you results, so if music helps you stay motivated, by all means use music during your workouts!

Helping you reach your fitness potential,

Shelley Hitz

National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month. You can check out the American Dietetic Association website at: www.eatright.org for more information.

A couple of nice publications they have available as PDF documents online are:

Healthly Eating on the Run
&
Food Labels

They both are short -- two pages that you can easily print off and read.

Helping you reach your fitness goals,

Shelley

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Abs Exercise?

It's very easy to get into an "exercise rut" doing the same exercises the same way. What often happens is that your body adapts to the exercise and is no longer challenged and changed by it.

To get the most out of your abs exercise, make sure that you frequently change the type of exercise, the intensity of exercise or the amount of repetitions. This will force your body to adapt to the changes and make your exercise more effective.

Another tip to getting the most out of your abs exercise is to use proper timing. I would recommend with a standard abdominal crunch to take two seconds to lift your head and shoulders and then four seconds to slowly lower to the starting position. This will work your muscles both ways (called concentric and eccentric contractions) and allow you to get the best effect.

As always, you can send your questions to me.

Helping you reach your fitness goals,

Shelley Hitz
Licensed Physical Therapist and NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Revised Government Guidelines for Exercise and Diet

Did you know there are currently over 65% of Americans ar considered obese? As of January 12th, 2005, the US govenment released a new set of dietary guidelines to help Americans combat this plague of obesity.

You can read about the new guidelines here:CNN reports on the new government dietary guidelines

USA Today reports on the revised food pyramid

One of the most controversial changes in the guidelines is the amount of physical activity recommended.

The old guidelines recommended 30 minutes of activity per day.

The new guidelines recommend 30 minutes of exercise daily to cut the risk of chronic disease. But to prevent weight gain, it should be 60 minutes, and to maintain weight loss, it should be 60 to 90 minutes.

A new food pyramid is also scheduled to come out soon as well. The dietary guidelines are revised every 5 years, but the food pyramid hasn't been revised since its creation 12 years ago.

I believe that to be successful in living a healthy lifestyle, you need a plan and accountibility. You can get started today with Online Fitness Coaching which will help you plan by setting your goals and give you the accountibility you need.

If you'd like to read the entire dietary guideline for 2005 just released, it can be viewed as a PDF document here:

2005 Dietary Guidelines

Helping you reach your fitness goals,

Shelley Hitz
Licenced Physical Therapist and NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Holding Your Breath While Exercising

Here is a question I recently received & my reply:

"How do you tighten your ab muscles without holding your breath?" -- Hollie

Thanks for your great question! Holding your breath while performing abdominal exercises is a very common problem for many people.

The main reason I tell my clients not to hold their breath while exercising is because it can increase your blood pressure. As most people know, sustained increased blood pressure over time can put you at risk for a stroke in your brain. So, all in all, it is wise to try to breathe during exercise.

Let me give you an example. When performing a sit-up on an exercise ball, breathe out (or exhale) when raising your shoulders off the ball. Then you can breathe in (or inhale) when lowering your shoulders back to the ball.

It may take some concentration and effort to train yourself to do the exercises this way, but I highly recommend it!

Helping you reach your fitness goals,

Shelley Hitz
Licenced Physical Therapist and NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Nutrition and Meal Planning

Start your year off right by getting your nutrition on track. Many people make New Year's Resolutions to lose weight or begin exercising. Instead of making a resolution you will probably break, why not decide to make a lifestyle change?

One way to make a lifestyle change is to begin eating healthier. Easier said than done, right? Well, now there is a brand new tool available to use to help you is called Nutrition Generator. It is an online tool that will guide you step by step in choosing the foods to give you a balanced diet.

Why don't you give Nutrition Generator. a try this New Year? Make a decision to make a lifestyle change!

Happy New Year!
Shelley Hitz

Treadmill Workout Ideas That Make Fitness Fun


Research shows thatin order to lose weight safely and keep it off, you need to exercise. And even those who are not overweight benefit from an exercise or workout routine. But many people don't exercise regularly, which puts them at risk for heart disease, accidents or injuries, and other health concerns. There are many reasons people give why they don't exercise more. It's boring, it's too difficult, they don't have enough time or they'd rather be doing other things. Some people aren't sure how to exercise and they are uncomfortable going to a fitness center to work with a trainer. But with a good treadmill and a workout routine that fits your needs, exercise can be enjoyable, convenient and beneficial.

A treadmill is a perfect choice in exercise equipment for many people. It allows you to walk or run in the security and privacy of your own home. Unlike weightlifting or aerobics, you don't have to use your hands or move your body across the room. Typically, it requires less concentration than other types of workouts, especially if you have a treadmill that allows you to program in a variety of workout components, such as hills, speed changes, and adjustments to maintain a target heart rate.

The Basics

The type of treadmill workout that is best for you depends on your overall fitness level, what you are trying to accomplish through your exercise routine, and what you enjoy doing. Continuous training is perhaps the most common type of treadmill routine. Essentially, it involves running at a set pace, usually for 20 to 45 minutes. This type of exercise workout is ideal for incorporating some fun activities into your treadmill workout. The majority of our suggestions below are aimed at those who are basically turning on the machine and walking or running until their time is up.

Those who prefer a more demanding workout or who are in training for marathons or other stamina events go with interval training. It consists of shorter bouts of activity performed in quick succession and at a higher intensity. Because this requires more effort and concentration, it may be difficult to let your mind wander or to focus on other activities. How much you have to concentrate depends on the individual but there are still some fun activities listed below that can be added to any treadmill workout.

One of the most important aspects of any exercise routine geared toward improving cardio strength is to be sure you are exercising in such a way that you achieve and maintain your target heart rate. Maximum heart rate is calculated by subtracting your age in years from 220. Most people agree that a good target heart rate zone is 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. Because this factor is so critical to healthy, productive exercise, many treadmills come with a heart rate monitor built in, often in the handrails that you hold onto when using the machine. But you can also purchase an inexpensive heart rate monitor from most large department stores, health stores or at hundreds of locations online.

How you choose to achieve your target heart rate, be it walking, jogging, continuous or interval training is up to you. But we have some suggestions to help you make exercise more fun and increase your chances of sticking with it and exercising regularly.

Tune It Up

Perhaps the most popular way to entertain yourself while using your treadmill is to listen to music. It can help you focus and give you something else to think about while enduring even the most strenuous parts of a workout. It is a good way to check out new music and expand your horizons. Or put in your favorite motivational music ¿ the songs that really get you moving and shaking ¿ and your 45-minute routine will whiz by. There are some treadmill music CDs that have been compiled specifically for those who need a little motivation in their treadmill exercise routine. Use headphones to avoid disturbing family members if necessary.

Learn While You Burn

Maybe you prefer to lose yourself in a good story. Some people are able to read a print book or magazine while they exercise on their treadmills. Several companies sell book holders that attach to the treadmill and work well as long as you are not bouncing around so much that it is difficult to read the print. Many people listen to books or storytelling on tape or CDs. This is especially productive for those who don¿t have time to sit down with a good book or who fall asleep when trying to read in bed.

Mary Gossen had a book she truly wanted to read, but the only time she could find in her busy schedule was in the evening before bed. This didn¿t work well for her because she would doze off after just one or two pages. ¿There is something about reading before bed that puts me right out,¿ she shared. ¿But I got the book on tape and listened to it while I walked on the treadmill and I was able to finish it in under a week. In fact, I found myself walking longer than my normal amount of time because I didn¿t want to turn off the tape. Now I listen to books on tape all the time while I exercise.¿

An alternative is listening to language tapes. This works especially well if you have a vacation planned. You can build your language skills and get in shape for that bikini, and the excitement of the pending trip helps motivate you to get on the treadmill. Place a fan nearby or get one that attaches to your machine and you can even imagine you are already there, enjoying the tropical breezes.

Not able to get away for a vacation? Pick a destination you¿d like to visit and then calculate how many miles you walk or jog each workout and plot them on a map. Watch the travel channels on TV or rent a video guide to the area to help provide incentive and distraction.

Guilt Free TV

Many people watch television while on the treadmill because they say it makes them feel less guilty about watching. A good movie can help you forget you are exercising, and you are probably not going to fill up with popcorn and treats if you watch while you¿re on the treadmill. You will probably have to break it up into several segments, but the anticipation to see the end of the movie makes you that much more eager to exercise. Also, by agreeing to exercise everyday when your favorite sitcom reruns, soap or reality TV show is on helps you stick to a regular workout schedule.

Sarah Marcus got hooked on a soap opera while she was home on maternity leave. When she returned to work, she began taping the soap and then watching it while she exercised each evening. ¿I got to see my soap and my husband got to spend some time with the baby while I exercised. Plus it helped me to lose my pregnancy weight faster.

These are just some ideas to get you started and help make your treadmill workout more enjoyable and hence something you will look forward to and stick with. Maybe you get a headset and talk with a friend on the phone while you workout. Or better yet, set up dual treadmills side by side and make a date out of it. The possibilities are many and whatever keeps you exercising on a regular basis is a good thing. Half the fun can be experimenting to see what works best for you.

C.J. Gustafson is a successful writer for
www.Treadmill-Ratings-n-Reviews.net, providing treadmill ratings and reviews on the most popular models. She admits she needs all the help she can get when it comes to sticking to treadmill workouts.

Copyright 2004 Treadmill-Ratings-n-Reviews.net

Permission is granted to publish this article on your site only if all links are left intact.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/

Body Fat and Obesity

The Obesity Epidemic
Obesity is a disease that affects approximately 60 million people in the United States, and women are especially affected. Over one-third of women between the ages of 20 and 74 are obese, the majority of them being African American or Mexican American. With more and more pre-packaged food and less and less activity, the number of obese people in America has steadily increased since the 1960?s.

But what is obesity? Many people think obesity means that a person is overweight, but that?s not exactly true. An overweight person has a surplus amount of weight that includes muscle, bone, fat, and water. An obese person has a surplus of body fat. Most health professionals concur that a man is obese if he has over 25 percent body fat, and a woman is obese if she has over 30 percent. Women physiologically have more body fat than men, so that why there?s a difference in percentage.

It is difficult to determine the exact percentage of body fat a person has, but estimates can be made in a number of ways. First, using a tweezer-like tool called a caliper, you can measure the thickness of skin folds on different points of your body and compare the results with standardized numbers. You can also use a small device that sends a harmless electrical current through your body and measures your body fat percentage. The most commonly used method to determine if a person is obese is to look at his/her Body Mass Index (BMI). A person with a BMI over 30 is considered to be obese, and a BMI over 40 is considered to be severely obese. It?s important to remember though that BMI could be misleading in pregnant or lactating women and in muscular individuals.

With obesity, comes the increased risk of diseases such as high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, heart disease, and breast, colon, and prostate cancer. In addition, obesity has been linked to mental health conditions such as depression or feelings of shame and low self-esteem. Health experts say that even losing 10 to 15 percent of your body weight can dramatically decrease the risk of developing these serious conditions. In addition, many obese people are discriminated against and targets of insults and other verbal abuse.
A number of factors, such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, genetics, and certain medical disorders, cause obesity, but it can be conquered. The following information seeks to educate about obesity and the methods used to treat it. It does not take the place of a physician.

5 Simple Practices of a Healthy Diet

For today's topic, I've asked Ty Kuiper to share a few tips about eating healthy. He has a passion for health and fitness that included a basketball career, playing both in college and professionally overseas. Please add your comments about Ty's suggestions to us below....What other practices have helped you succeed at eating healthy in today's fast food culture? Let's help each other!

Helping you acheive your fitness goals,
Shelley
www.onlinefitnesscoach.com
www.abs-exercise-advice.com



5 Simple Practices of a Healthy Diet

"Eating healthy can be a challenge in today�s fast paced lifestyle. One�s commitment to family, work and community pulls a person in many directions leaving little time to prepare and eat healthy meals. This article will highlight the �5 Simple Practices of a Healthy Diet� that foster energy and weight loss.

Simple Practice # 1 Preparation is Key
You�ve heard the old adage, �Failing to prepare is preparing to fail� well that applies to eating a healthy diet. One of the simplest yet most effective actions you take is to buy a good set of food containers. Being able to find a lid to the container not only saves time but reduces stress. Have ample food containers is a must in today�s mobile society.

Simple Practice # 2 Planned Overs
Cooking takes time and energy. Whenever you are planning a meal consider doubling up on the recipe. Once the meal is prepared enjoy the and afterwards package up the �planned overs� into the new containers to be enjoyed again at a later date. By planning over meals you can cut meal preparation time by 50% with some meals.

Simple Practice # 3 Pack Your Lunch the Night Before
Your mother was right all those years when she made you get ready for the next day, the night before. A little bit of effort the night before saves time, money and energy the next day. Look in the refrigerator the night before and pull out what you will need for the next day. This is an excellent time to use a �planned over� meal or �leftovers� from pervious meal. Pack all the meals you will need for the day and add a little extra just in case you see someone who needs a snack.

Simple Practice # 4 Peaceful Eating
Enjoy your meals, take time to sit, relax and savor the nutrition. This is easier said then done, and one has to consciously close out the world. Shut off the cell phone, move away from the computer and find a quiet place. Take your meal outside to enjoy the sunshine and breathe fresh air. Your ability to break away will actually help you perform at a higher level when you do go back to work. Take a break, life is short.

Simple Practice # 5 Practice Patience
No one is perfect, so go easy on yourself. The marketing pressure is extreme and many of us fall victim to the fast food crazy. Do the best you can but know that is a journey and not a destination. Enjoy the process and celebrate your victories, food is fun and cooking is a great way to care and love yourself.

Caring for oneself through meal preparation is one of the foundational behaviors of a healthy and vibrant lifestyle. Cooking is a fun way to spend time with the ones we love. Children in particular need healthy cooking modeled so that they learn to self-care and avoid the fast food lifestyle. Use the �5 Simple Practices� and you will be well on your way to healthy diet.

About the author:
Ty Kuiper is a freelance writer, parent, software consultant, over 40 basketball player and lifelong Alaskan. Ty lives in Anchorage, Alaska and enjoys mountain biking, hiking, kayaking and watching his children play.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

More on cardio & weight training in same session....

Recently I was e-mailed this exercise question:

"I walk 4 miles a day at a rate of 3.5 to 4 mph. On Mon, Wed & Fri I do strengthening exercises for about 30 mins. My question, should I exercise immediately after walking? or wait a few minutes of several hours?"

Here was part of my answer...

"Aerobic exercise (walking) and strength training use different energy sources. For instance, when you are performing aerobic exercise, your body uses both fat and glucose (sugar stored in your muscle and liver as glycogen). However, when you are strength training, your body uses only glucose/glycogen.

If you do your aerobic exercise first, there is a chance that you could use up all of your available glucose/glycogen. Then, when you are ready to do your strength training, there is nothing for the muscles to use � it�s like a gas tank being empty! In order to get the glucose/glycogen for the strength training, your body could break apart MUSCLE TISSUE to use amino acids as the energy source. That means you could possibly lose muscle tissue during strength training if you do your aerobic exercise first.


However, when you do your strength training first, your glucose/glycogen stores are full and when you then do aerobic exercise, your body can burn fat to meet the energy demands (sounds like a better deal, huh?).

It�s okay to do a light aerobic warm-up first, but all-in-all, it�s best to do your strength training first if at all possible."


Until next time,

Shelley
Helping you reach your fitness potential!

Effects of Doing Cardio in the Same Session as Weight Lifting

This is a common dilemma of many who exercise. You want to get the most of the precious time you spend in the gym or working out at home.

So, what is best? Many people say it's just a matter of personal preference. But is it?

I recently read a research article that gives us some insight into this age old question.

This sophisticated study investigated 3 research questions.
1. Does cardio exercise before weightlifting compromise strength training?
2. Does the intensity of cardio have a varying affect on strength performance?
3. Is strength training affected depending on muscle groups used in cardio exercise?

The findings of this study found that the intensity of cardio exercise does not affect strength performance. However, when strength training the same muscles used in cardio, strength performance is decreased.

Study - "The Effect of Concurrent Training" by Len Kravitz, Ph.D.

BOTTOM LINE: If you do cardio and strength training in the same session with cardio focusing on your legs, do strength training that session with a focus on your upper body.

More Later,
Shelley


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