The need for something new and interesting to keep people enthusiastic about fitness has led to many kinds of new routines and workouts being developed, especially in the last few decades. Maybe you’ve tried everything and you feel like nothing excites you or adds that old spice back into things. But have you really tried everything there is? One option you may not have thought of that remains a great choice for cardio-based fitness is tae bo. Based on a unique fusion of tae kwon do and boxing, it combines many of the basic moves used in self-defense with the more creative, artistic side of aerobics to come up with something totally new and impressively effective.
The word ‘tae’ in tae kwon do incorporates the legs, while boxing, as everyone knows, utilizes one’s fists. Therefore tae bo is a well-balanced form of exercise that uses the whole body in coordination. Tae bo is focused primarily on using well-honed techniques over moderate to long periods of time to deepen one’s reserves of stamina and sharpen reflexes and coordination. Being a form of exercise that relies on particular easy to grasp but specialized techniques, most people will need to take classes to do it properly, or at the very least need to pick up a few books on the subject. But once you get into it, the rewards are more than worth the effort. Tae bo is designed to give back exactly what you put into it, and doesn’t stress competition so much as the perfect honing of one’s own body. Absolute control, power, lasting power and flexibility are called for, and one’s progress is easily self-monitored according to how easily the routines are gone through from one session to the next.
While it’s no exaggeration to say that tae bo expects a lot if you want to get a lot out of it, it’s also something that scales very well. Due to its non-competitive nature, it can easily be adjusted down to a mild, soothing form for the amateur, and then scaled up over time as the beginner acquires more experience. Perhaps the most significant reward tae bo offers is not so much physical as psychological. By being able to tell exactly how far you are along on mastering your forms, by being able to rate your own progress and see your improvements, the exercise becomes something enjoyable rather than intimidating or stressful. The simple pleasure of mastering your own body allows you to get lost in the exercise, and this in turn causes you to work harder at it. Working harder gets you better results, and… so you can see, it’s a positive feedback loop of sorts.
While tae bo is owned by Billy Blanks and accordingly requires licensing fees for anyone to teach it under that name, there are however many similar exercises under slightly different names attempting to cash in on the phenomenon. If you don’t think your local gym offers tae bo classes, check again. Chances are they have them, just not under that name! Try it out and see how it suits you; it can be a great break from something more annoying to force yourself to go through, such as sprinting or weightlifting.
Sometimes the simplest, most basic exercises are the best ones for people who are intent on remedying self-neglect of their bodily health. Jogging is an extremely popular exercise because it’s easy and because, yes, it works. In fact, it works better than many other exercises that require intensive training to figure out how to do properly, and it doesn’t cost you a dime. Before you start looking at expensive equipment, gym memberships, or other pricey investments, you should give the freebie of exercise routines another glance. Chances are it has something to offer you, if you’re not into it already.
Jogging is a more relaxed form of running, slowed down enough to relax potential strain and stress, but also staying fast enough to be significantly more of a workout than walking for the time put into it. This allows you to jog longer with less pressure and less vulnerability. While jogging looks like a definitive speed limit, it is commonly defined as being a run below six miles an hour. Jogging has numerous benefits to offer to anyone, including aiding in growth of muscle and bone. But of course, the primary benefit and the one most people will care to focus on is the cardiovascular improvements. Jogging is an excellent way of improving one’s endurance, allowing you to go through routines in your everyday life while getting less tired in the process. When kept up over prolonged periods of time, it will also help practitioners lose weight, although this doesn’t replace the need for a balanced, healthy diet. Most people find that the increased activity provided by jogging allows them to eat many of their favorite foods with less worry of retaining pounds, since the food is converted into readily-usable stores of energy.
For exercises with minimal financial investment, jogging is perhaps the king. It requires no real training to perform properly, and needs no special equipment. All it really needs is an open space to jog through, which is easily available to most people simply by stepping outdoors. Jogging can benefit from some extent from extra money piled into it, but this is definitely not necessary. Many joggers like to buy cheap jogging clothes to keep themselves unencumbered and comfortable. Sweat bands for the forehead are favored for some, and may be particularly useful if you live in a hot climate. For the more extreme who want to challenge themselves more without directly putting more time into their jogging, there is the possibility of incorporating leg and arm weights, which allow the muscles in one’s limbs to build more effectively without changing the essential fitness routine at all. All these tools are helpful, but many people get by without them just the same.
Don’t look on a simple exercise with scorn just because it’s easy to do! Jogging has retained its immense popularity because it’s effective despite being easy to do. Look at the accessibility as a benefit, not a mark of ineffectiveness. With that in mind, maybe you’ll be able to give this great exercise a balanced and fair look.
A new report has demonstrated behavioral differences between thin and fat people at restaurant buffets across the country. The purpose was to see how people of different sizes ate their food. The findings were telling: the higher a person weighed, the faster they ate, the more they chewed, and they were more likely to sit facing the food. Thin people generally behaved in the opposite manner. This research validated an earlier study that found that those who eat slowly take in fewer calories.
The term used to describe this phenomenon is time-energy displacement. Those who eat quickly are those who are most likely to take in excess calories and become fat.
There’s still more research that I want to tell you about; this time talking about how different foods satisfy the appetite. You can actually use time-energy displacement to your advantage by selecting foods that are harder to chew and that are more filling. Also, types of food that don’t have as many calories per a given mass are good because you have to eat so much of it to get too many calories.
Finally, all these studies show us once again that people can consume large amounts of calories from liquids in a very short period of time. This research confirms one thing for sure: parents who keep on their kids to slow down while eating are on the right scientific path.
All the amazing stories of fast and massive weight loss don’t really interest me. In fact, the faster you lose weight, the more risk you have to gain it back. What those who have managed to maintain an appropriate weight over the long term have to say is far more important. There actually have been a lot of studies done about weight maintenance. One report studied pre-existing data and discovered that less than one third of the people who lost weight were able to keep it off permanently.
We should all be very interested in the differences between the small successful group and the larger group of failures. One fact that was uncovered is that there was a higher percentage of people who worked out in the successful group.
Those were successful at keeping their weight loss also spent less time watching TV, and were generally more active. Perhaps what sets the successful group apart the most is that they spend more time monitoring themselves. The people who tracked their calories, their weight, their meals, and their body composition were more likely to keep from regaining their weight.
From these observations we can discern a few things that we need to do to keep the weight we lose off.
1. Increase your amount of daily activity including exercise.
2. Continue using weights even after you have a loss of fat.
3. Constantly monitor what you eat and what you do.
Above all, don’t listen to those who have lost weight: listen to those who are able to keep that weight off for a long time.
The need for an exercise that is fun, flexible, and affordable can be satiated quite easily if one is willing to look in a slightly unusual direction. Would you be surprised to learn that roller skating is an excellent cardio exercise? You’re probably rolling your eyes, and thinking that can’t be true. Why? Because it’s fun? It’s a silly bias to have against exercise, to assume that exercise can never be fun, and that fun things can never be exercise! Roller skates are a relatively new invention in mankind’s history, having only popped up in the seventeenth century. But since then it’s been popularized into an enjoyable and healthy pastime for young and old alike. Haven’t tried it or considered trying? It’s worth a second look.
Skating is a beautifully adjustable exercise because it can be as aggressive, non-aggressive, artistic or standard as you’re comfortable with. It can accomodate many risky and flashy tricks, and adjusts up to any number of participants or all the way down to one person. The most standard form of skating is to simply circle around in a rink repeatedly, and this form of the activity is particularly enjoyed by families, friends, and people who generally want to get moving but also stay reasonably relaxed and casual. If being confined to a smooth rink doesn’t suit you and you’d like a more real environment, there’s no reason why you can’t skate around your whole city. While stairs and ledges may prove a little risky, some people enjoy the challenge, and with proper pads and helmets there’s no reason why you should ever be seriously hurt while skating.
Craving something more structured and organized? Skating can take you there, too, with organized skate hockey tournaments, aggressive ‘street’ skating, and speed skating, among other variations. There are a number of official organizations with widespread resources to help you get into things if you feel like you need a helping hand. However, skating doesn’t have to be about the serious top-end competitions if you don’t want it to be. It works just as well as a casual hobby done in one’s spare time.
All skating requires is, that’s right, a pair of roller skates. These can be rented for absolutely dirt-cheap if you want to dabble before making a commitment to it. But even if you feel like buying right away, skates can be found for twenty or thirty dollars, well within the budget of most people. Treated well, your skates will last you many years, making it one of the cheapest investments for the gain you get out of it in fun and health.
So if you’re stamina’s not what you’d like it to be, and you’re panting at the simplest tasks… or if your legs could stand to be a bit stronger… please do keep roller skating in mind. It’s one of the most fun and less stressful of exercises you can get into to improve your bodily wellness, and it can be adjusted to fit your lifestyle and preferences with incredible ease.
If you’re in need of something exotic, exciting, and interesting to keep your enthusiasm peaked while getting yourself in good shape, you can do no better than cross-country skiing. The sport of skiing has an incredibly long and rich history for those of you who aren’t familiar with it. In fact, it originally began in prehistoric times, and has proved so useful that it continues to be popular even into the present day. Particularly beloved in the snowy regions of Europe, but also enthusiastically supported in other parts of the world, it can be an excellent way to get a cardio workout that helps challenge all the major muscle groups of your body.
Simply put, cross-country skiing is the notion of skiing through snow-covered terrain for long distances. It can be performed indoors in specially-constructed snow tunnels, but is more usually done outside in natural snowy terrain. Unlike downhill skiing, it doesn’t focus on using gravity to make things easier… in fact, much of the exercise is done on relatively flat surfaces, although elevations aren’t completely eschewed. A minor variation of the sport, suitable for people with interest in exploring the wilds, is to use map navigation to ski through more obscure trails. This makes it a supremely intriguing sport and exercise for outdoorsmen who loved the rugged wild and enjoy seeing nature in its untouched beauty. However, less intimidating forms of skiing are also available for people who like to keep to the tracks closer to civilization. In the end, it’s all up to you on where you ski, and location makes quite a difference.
Skiing is one of the few sports that really challenges the entire body rather than specialized parts of it. Most of its competing exercises in this area involve water, which isn’t always conveniently available (such as in swimming or rowing). Skiing burns an incredible number of calories compared to the time spent enjoying it, and the fresh, interesting scenery makes it easy to lose track of time and just enjoy the exercise while getting fitter. But if that alone is not enough to perk your interest, you can try one of the many competitive variations.
Cross-country skiing competitions are currently being revamped to be easier for audiences to watch and appreciate. Because of this, you can watch a competition and get a feel for whether you’d enjoy it or not easily before diving in. There are several different official formats in use, to keep things interesting for contestants and audience members alike. And, of course, the Olympics reign as perhaps the highest honor for any skiing enthusiast, if you feel that you can go all the way to the top.
Cross-country skiing, even in official formats, isn’t always about the pressure of being fast. Many competitions and formats revolve around simply lasting the distance. Instead of panicking over that last second that could have won it for you, you can enjoy knowing that each foot you move is one foot closer to victory, with failure only being something that happens to those who give up. The world’s longest skiing tour, a Canadian event, rewards a gold medal to anyone who successfully completes the entirety of the impressive one hundred and sixty kilometer distance involved.
Is skiing cross-country hard? Of course it is. Is it fun, worthwhile, and capable of growing the body into a whole new, vigorous and healthy form? It’s those things, too! Nothing worth doing is easy, as the saying goes, and skiing is very much the epitome of that.
Getting the most exercise possible while not compromising your safety and health is always a difficult conundrum to solve. The very act of working your body to the fullest to strengthen muscles and deepen your pool of stamina means that you risk cramps, sprains, strained muscles, and other problems. These are often difficult to avoid, not just because of the ease of overexerting yourself, but because of unforeseen environmental factors. Ice patches, puddles, piles of dry leaves, poor lighting… all these things and far more can turn an ordinary workout into a painful and debilitating accident, and it’s impossible to avoid them with most forms of strenuous cardio. However, the development of the home gym industry and all its many peripheral tools and equipment has created an extra emphasis on exercising hard but safely. We now have available tools that our ancestors never would have dreamed of to stay fit with minimal risk. One of the best examples for the sake of cardiovascular health is the stationary bicycle.
Bicycling is, in and of itself, an excellent means of cardio-based exercise. With a centuries-tested design, they work your lower body and legs efficiently but in a low-impact way, making it a good choice for people with delicate bones or other issues. Being a classic workout activity with a wide support base both among casual users and professional biking competitors, there’s very little to not recommend it. However, Biking outdoors isn’t without some risks. Navigating an outside environment while pumping yourself up to maximum speed can be tricky to do without risk! There’s traffic, pedestrians, stray animals, ice and snow and puddles. And, of course, in the back of your mind you always have to remember where you’re going and how you’ll get back.
The conflicts between environment and exercise are neatly swept away by stationary bikes, which are some of the cheapest forms of effective home exercise equipment available. Exercise bikes are well-supported, stable mounted bikes that you can ride in your home. No longer do you have to keep track of your balance, watch the sidewalk or road, make turns or stops. Instead it’s all about the actual exercise, allowing you the most efficient use of your time. And these simple machines often cost less than an actual professional bicycle would! Some of them also come with side benefits you wouldn’t find on a normal bike, such as a built in heart monitor or workout timer. That’s right, all the benefits of biking, if not more, with none of the drawbacks and roughly equal cost. If you’re thinking of saying no to a deal like that you’re not thinking very clearly. With the added tools, stability, and control over environment to make the perfect exercise routine for you divorced from the uncontrollable factors of the outdoors, there’s a reason why these machines are so popular in gyms!
Of course, even such a great exercise tool as this isn’t completely perfect. Stationary biking should be done as part of an overall well-rounded healthy lifestyle, if you really want to get fit. Keep in mind that it doesn’t help your upper body strength much, and that it won’t necessarily help you burn off fat in short time periods if you’re eating more than you should. Remember to use it as something to help get your stamina and lower body strength up to par, and you’ll be more than satisfied with the results.
Have you ever watched the Olympics and been in awe of those magnificent sculpted figures with water streaming off of them, just climbing out of the pool after a dive? You and many others might feel that getting a body that great is completely beyond your ability. But it’s within your reach if you want it enough. Do you think great athletes were born that way? Of course not! They started out just like you, and then they found a great exercise to get in shape and focused on it. But being in shape doesn’t have to mean being a competitor – you can get away with exercising much less than the pros with much less pressure to achieve very similar results, simply because you don’t need to squeeze every last second of power out of yourself. To get that kind of body and that kind of stamina, all you need to do is go for a swim… on a regular basis, that is.
Swimming is one of the best ways to exercise the entirety of your body from head to toe, all the while protecting it with a nice cozy cushion of water. It’s a low-impact, low on strain exercise that can be done in many varieties of ways to keep it fresh and interesting. If you do your swimming outdoors, you have the bonus of fresh air and getting a tan along with your exercise, which is always a nice side benefit. The very nature of swimming means that you work almost every muscle in your body to get it done, allowing you to shed off fat in a fun way that may amaze you. In terms of full-body involvement, it’s the ultimate exercise, and nothing you can do in a gym or on some kind of exercise machine will beat it. And whether you like diving in off a high board or just stepping off into the pool, breast strokes or butterfly strokes, speed-oriented bursts or longer endurance-based swimming… there’s something in the activity to appeal to you.
The slim but muscled physique that swimming gives its practitioners is so much a common side effect of the activity that the body type is very often called a ‘swimmer’s build.’ Swimming is also very safe for people with leg injuries, arthritis, or other temporary or permanent physical disabilities that would prevent them from engaging in ground-based exercises. Since the water cushions your body adequately from many different angles, it lets you work even parts of your body that are fragile or frail without much risk. And all that can, of course, be done for absolutely free, unless you need a membership for a local pool. However, most places are equipped with either a free public pool or natural bodies of water suitable for swimming, making membership fees a rarely occurring problem.
At the end of the day, you can get that great body, but you need to work for it. It doesn’t have to cost you anything but time, and the rewards in return are great. Swimming is far from a difficult exercise even for complete novices. Slip on some shorts and give it a try, and you’ll be on your way to the abs of your dreams in no time.
There have been numerous scientific reports that show that energy drinks don’t satisfy appetite like solid food does. What this means is that the calories you drink will fatten you up. While the major drink in the typical diet that causes problems is soda, energy drinks are clearly troublesome. What people drink adds to their body weight and gives them a poor body mass index. A published report in an obesity journal made a comparison between solid and liquid food.
It demonstrated the different ways the body handles calories from the two different types of source. An example of this can be fruit: eating the whole fruit satisfies appetite, while drinking the juice doesn’t, leading you to eat more.
If you added all your calories for the day, whether they came from solids or liquids, it wouldn’t make a difference. It’s the appetite issue that leads many people to want to eat more. You’d expect that maybe proteins would be different, but they’re not. As with other drinks, you get more calories per a given weight, less satisfaction of the appetite, less time in the digestive system, and effects in numerous other bodily systems. Finally, the amount of liquids people consume is more than ever before in history.
Because a correlation seems to exist between obesity and liquid intake, I think that whole foods need to be emphasized during efforts to lose fat and weight, so leave those protein drinks alone.
I know it’s not politically correct to go by the National Enquirer, but I got roped in by the headline, “Hollywood’s Deadly Skin and Bones Diet: Stars Risking Their Lives to be Thin.” Then there was the Tabloid, In Touch, with a similar headline, “Scary Skinny!” I wasn’t actually reading these publications; I was just doing “professional” research. Confessions from the Tabloid The cover of the Enquirer featured images of 5′ 7″, 100 pound Angelina Jolie; 5′ 6″, 110 pound Anna Kournikova; and 5′ 8″, 106 pound Cate Blanchett, and others.
Looking past some amusing photos, I came to the article which quoted Dr. Stanley Title as saying, “The skin and bones diet is extremely dangerous and can cause serious health implications. Literally, there are starving themselves to death.” This is so because celebrities know that they look heavier when they’re on camera so they go to extremes to compensate for that even it means protruding bones.
Skinny and Healthy aren’t the Same
Frequently, people forget about health when they talk about weight loss. Usually goals have to do with how many pounds lower percentage body fat were a clothing size, leaving out energy levels, quality-of-life issues, nutrition, and overall health. I have completed over 7000 tests of body composition as a fat loss coach, so I see something even more alarming with these skin and bones diet plans.
Body fat to Muscle Ratio
My major concern is how that major weight can be lost through muscle rather than fat. So people end up with very little muscle but still have fat spots. I’ve checked the composition of some women who look like they’re thin, but have higher than average body fat ratios.
What they have is a bone with a pad of fat surrounding it, much like a pipe with insulation. Problem with this is compounded by the slow metabolism and lack of strength. I used to think that fat was bad: now I know that skinny fat is worse.
4 Suggestions for How to be Lean and Fit Rather than Skinny
1. Avoid starvation diets. Because people want to believe in a quick solution, they will stop eating to lose weight, but the weight loss usually doesn’t last.
2. Strength training should be part of your normal routine. Training with weights is not just the thing for body builders: it’s good for everyone to get their metabolism to build muscle, and to be healthy.
3. Change the words you use. Rather than using terms like “dying to be thin,” try using terms like “improving nutrition.” Instead of wanting to look skinny, how about trying to have an athletic look?
4. Check your body composition. This will help you avoid damaging muscle loss. This is the same approach natural bodybuilders take: they each up to six meals with natural food every day to keep their muscle. Remember, it’s not about being “skinny:” it’s about being “healthy” and “lean.”