news stories

Are Step Trackers Slowly Waning?

With stiff competition, it looks like Fitbit is having a rough go with recent sales. It appears that there are some shifting mindsets that are causing the Fitbit to be the hot commodity that it once was. One reason I would attribute the slower sales of this device to would have to the time of the year. The weather is starting to turn cooler and parents are getting their pack all ready for school to be starting up. As our schedules begin to have more tasks added onto them, the worry of how many steps someone made falls to the back burner. I know that I still see many people with their Fitbits, or whichever brand you prefer, with their bands proudly displayed around their arms. I know that the Fitbit people must have done something right because I am seeing more devices trying to offer similar products. One troubling statistic showed that, after a while, people are just not hanging on for the long haul. I can easily see why users just drop off of the map after a while, it all has to do lack of determination.

runnerNot to call anyone out, I suffer from lack of wanting to move at times, we all do. The trick to getting over a lack of enthusiasm, is to not let it take such a hold over your life. I also would say that misconceptions about how long it takes to really start looking good has got some mistaken, expecting instant slim downs. Anything that has a tracker is going to have to do with progress that is continuously made. Honestly, if you are exercising after six months of taking up the hobby, consider yourself lucky. For many without the same level of seeing a task through to the end, they wind up just another lost statistic. Take it from someone who has started and stopped more exercises than you could think about, if you get back into the habit, you can always start over again. What holds back the majority is the false assumption that ending exercising, whatever ones you may utilize, means you have failed. I hate the word failure, I wish that it didn’t exist because it is so final. It personally affects me when I see someone start off with all of the potential in the world, only to squander it because they weren’t beach ready in a month. So what if you missed the last week of running, that’s what the next week is for!

It could stand to reason that maybe the ones getting their trackers knew that it was only going to be a temporary distraction, which is terrible. However, the current waning in the sales of Fitbit doesn’t mean that they are going anywhere. I love my Fitbit and always have it by me, as I’m constantly moving around (much to the chagrin of my friends) and I love knowing how much I’ve done for myself. Something we learn early on in life is to try and understand everyone else’s perspective, not just your own. Practicing what I preach, if anyone around you looks like they are just about ready to throw in the towel, with their exercising habits, set them straight. We don’t have to be mean to get others committed to their working out, just friendly encouragement, you will be amazed at how far that can take you.

workout tips

Benefits of Green Exercise: It’s Easier Than You Thought

We’ve covered many of the odd fads that come along, all in the name of fitness. If there is an action that gets people moving, it is likely that there will be a full-scale class centered around it. When I first heard the words green exercise, I had no idea what this could be. Does everyone sit around, dressed up in green wardrobes to exercise? Do we all go to the gym and paint all of the weights green, like a scene with the Joker in the art museum? The questions sounded weird but it wouldn’t have shocked me if any of them were what green exercising truly meant. As it turns out, the waves of good words being heaped at green exercising are there for good reason, it is so simple to start up!

I’ve wondered enough so it’s time to find out why this green type of exercising is catching on so rapidly. Sometimes, you don’t want to be trapped in a hot gym room, waiting for stations, dealing with all of the noise, and other grievances. Green exercising is all about getting outside and being closer to Mother Nature. Finding a nice day, which can be plentiful or non-existent, depending on where it is that you call home. Regardless, you won’t be building a squat rack and tossing weights around a park, the general vibe is more relaxed. Primarily, for those who are looking for a lighter fitness environment will be in good company with an outdoor style of workout. The great motivator for getting people to start trying out the green fitness way of life is that you can be in a group, or go solo, depending on your preference.

When In Doubt, Join Group Classes.

If you don’t have a clue, as to what exercises you should be doing, it might be best to look in your local area for classes that are being offered. For those who are intermediate or advanced aerobic masters, you’re probably safe to do exercise all by yourself, in the great outdoors. Even stepping out of specific exercises, even spending time doing your favorite hobby outside would still qualify as green exercise. Getting much needed fresh air and maybe even a nice tan in the process, green exercise is being seen as a better match for some, as opposed to stepping foot into a workout place. Those with a more noble mind then some, aren’t afraid to get out there and help their communities, adding a sense of accomplishment to your exercise. I may reveal my age here but I spent many days outside with my friends, namely because there wasn’t all the easily accessible technology back then, as there is now.

Green exercising won’t carry every great mental benefit, if you are in bad environments. For instance, if you live in a bad part of town, where there are not really many natural wonders, or trees, you won’t have as much of the psychological benefits. If you are planning on getting outside and get moving, no matter how nice or bad of shape your neighborhood is in, you will feel satisfied that you exerted yourself. Do I think that big city gyms will be shutting down everywhere, due to the takeover of green exercise? No, I feel that, as creatures of habit, we’re going to go where we don’t feel out of place.


workout tips

What Does CLA Do for Staying Healthy?

If you’ve ever struggled to effectively shed extra weight, welcome to the club. One solution, that some have sought to get, was to use Conjugated Linoleic Acid to help out in the fight against fat, but why? I don’t want to confuse you but the CLA that you take to reduce your waist is actually fat but it is one of the good ones, I’ll keep explaining. The faster you go about losing weight will depend on what is going in and the effort that helps to burn energy from food you eat. A CLA supplement is a way to help boost up the metabolism of your body. Also, this kind of acid makes you feel full fast, helping to eliminate endlessly chowing down at a buffet. Those who prefer their weight loss to come with extreme bouts of energy should note that CLA isn’t really an energy booster.

Almost every supplement creator has come out with their take on what a good CLA supplement should be. Endless reports have been done, regarding the effectiveness of this acid and results have varied, across the board. I like to think of conjugated linoleic acid as a product that has a chance of being right for you, on the other hand, you may not lose a single pound. Those who are trying to train to receive a larger amount of muscle mass should read up on CLA, as it is well-known to have positive effects on body composition. Many who exercise know what a pain it is to not only trim down but to get more massive, it is a tough road to travel down.

If you are all about the organic way of living, you’ll be happy to know that CLA is from grass fed cows. I hate to see animals being mistreated, so I’ve kept my eyes away from the more food industry documentaries, I’ve heard that beef fed from grass is better for you. CLA, being the healthy fat that it is, stands to reason that it should come from cows that were given a better diet. There is inherent danger in taking large quantities of conjugated linoleic acid. Like with any fats, too much of them can set the framework for your body to start clogging up. If we’re talking about saturated fats, you know that those will clog up arteries rather quickly. When speaking about conjugated linoleic acid, taking too much will leave you full of that fat, if your body can’t expel it quicker than it is being ingested.

Having blood pressure problems indicates that you could have CLA within your home. Often being used as a remedy to help with obesity, there are many routes that this acid can assist you with, provided you know your limits. When on the hunt for a CLA supplement, check for quality and safety, above all else. I have been able to see about ten pounds drop off of me, while using CLA for just over two months. The fat loss hasn’t been extraordinary but I expected steady reductions in body fat percentages, which I have. I’ve always used tablets and am unsure if you can find this linleic acid in a powder drink mix. I’ve noticed diminishing returns, when speaking about how much actual weight that goes away. However, if you stop using CLA for a few months and come back to it, the powerful reductions should return to you.


news stories

The Genius Idea of how ITV Challenges you to Get Fit

You can’t say that British television stations don’t have guts. About a week ago, there was one broadcaster that wanted to give the men and women of England an incentive to get out of their house and start getting fit. Someone who should have earned a bonus for creating the idea had a simple one, we will just turn our station off. I’m not a media major but the potential risks and costs that come with losing viewers and advertisers was small enough of a price to pay for iTv to hold strong and follow through with their decision. I don’t get those channels but had seen video of how iTV channels would look during the blackout, so to speak. What had been occurring during the time that channels were blacked out was a big opening of fitness centers, where you could visit for free, during that specific timeframe.

As it turns out, this idea wasn’t a flop, by any stretch of the imagination. While viewers went out and celebrated not only a free weekend at the gym, but a chance to not be glued to their television for a little while. Others took to Twitter to lampoon the tv company for their choice, adding in some mean and snarky comments, like the internet always does. I think that it was a risk-filled yet smart choice for the network. Just like with me, they are getting news stations talking and raising awareness to a growing worldwide obesity problem. I hate to sound like a cranky old man but when we were younger we spent most of our time outside, now there is so much technology that it makes it so boring to go into the outside world, what a shame. In America, I believe it was another network that had done this before in the past, as far as I know, it didn’t get the kind of attention that the decision of Itv has made. I am team GB is the title of the movement that is keeping channels switched off.

britan pledging for exercise

What an awesome way to take a small period of time to show your support for the athletes from your home country. I don’t know if we will ever see a blackout in America for our Olympic team but it would be a nice idea. Adding free activities with this channel blackout gives viewers options besides flipping channels. I would love for the channels I watch to notify me about what was going on in my community, especially if the events were free. I love hearing the woman’s voice, while the blackout is in effect, it makes me wish that I lived in England, getting the chance to leave my home and go into the world, ready to try out various sports. The gear I’ve seen being featured in their shop section is awesome, really cool shirt designs.

I don’t even live in England but I would more tempted to move, if I knew how good all of their clothes designs look. America may have taken home the most medals, but England was a close second, congratulations to an amazing country. Perhaps the blackout of the iTV channels will set the foundation for a future Great Britain Olympian to get his feet wet on the blackout day. Great things can come from humble beginnings, always remember that.

workout tips

Is it Safe to Exercise on an Empty Stomach?

If you are wanting to learn more about fasting types of training, welcome to the party! I have dealt with appetite issues most of my life and it doesn’t seem like they are going to go away anytime soon. I have grown accustomed to weightlifting with no food in my stomach, it has become second nature to me now. I wanted to get to the bottom of if you need to eat before you start lifting weights. When I eat a meal, the last thing that I want to start doing is moving around. I like to get my belly full and find the nearest couch and remote control. Having to break myself of that bad habit, I used to try to force myself to eat more before I drove off to my gym but I could never do it. I didn’t have a problem with my food coming back up, I just feel like I turn myself away from eating, in my head. What is well known is that once a battle is lost in the head, it is basically over.

Learning to apply the advice that I give to myself, also, I knew that I could not let those bad food thoughts stop me from ever again weightlifting on a stomach that has no food in it. As far as finding a definitive answer, opinions are mixed, regarding fasting or eating before you go to train. There are endless variables that will affect when you should consume food, such as: time of meals, what you eat in the previous meal, etc. If you feel uncontrollable hunger pain when you wake up, go ahead and grab a food that has good carbohydrates and be on your way. If, like me, even thinking about trying to eat before you lift makes you want to gag, just get your meal in once the lifting is all over. What seems to be the most agreed upon consensus is that what is more important than when you eat is what you eat, make it a healthier choice.

Also, your goals could play a critical factor in deciding when your own eating window is best used. For the purpose of an example, let’s suppose that Jill wanted to lose weight, while Max wanted to gain more weight. Jill would be best suited to eat after a workout, as she doesn’t want to just burn off what she ate, only twenty minutes ago. However, Jill does want to get rid of extra fat, she would need to eat after her workouts. Let’s look at Max, who is wanting to do the opposite of Jill and gain as much weight as possible. What Max would need to do would be to eat before his workout, so that the new food can change over into muscle. I wish that I could be more like the ones who load up on food, with no hassle at all, before working out but I have to work on mentally preparing myself to eat, at such an odd time for me. Teaching an old dog new tricks, I decided that I would try harder to eat at more appropriate times of the day. If someone hounds you for not eating before to train, let them know that it all depends on how you time your eating habits. As you so rigorously set aside time for activities, add eating onto that list and you may cure yourself of not being able to ingest anything before you train again.

workout tips

Is Stress Sabotaging All of Your Hard Efforts?

stop worrying so muchAre you the type that is always worrying about things that haven’t even taken place yet? I used to be a constant worrier, until it started negatively impacting my health. I’m glad that I stopped letting those little worries turn into big fears and was able to beat stress, for good. Others, who aren’t as fortunate, have stress eat them up until it consumes them entirely. As if there weren’t already endless writers telling you that stress is bad for you, you probably already know that. However, what you could not be aware of, is that the daily stress can actually reverse the work that you put in, while you trained! Findings show that juggling too much and becoming stressed could add more fat accumulations onto yourself. If you’re the one who is sweating as much as they can, week after week, while always weighing the same, you could be under insurmountable stress.

So why does the big and bad enemy of all us, known as stress, cause increased fat storage? Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by all of us, one that is vital to living. This hormone affects your appetite and when stressors are having your cortisol levels increase, you react by eating more. The hunger signals that are sent out, tell your brain that you need to eat. What is really going on is that you aren’t any hungrier than you would have been, the cortisol just played a magic trick on your brain and it is one that always fools you. Since you can’t control how hungry an abundance of cortisol will lead you to be, there is only one hope: eliminating stress when you notice it. There are many various techniques tossed around about how to rid yourself of the stress that haunts your life. Instead of trying to tell you what did it for me, or overload you with endless possibilities, I suggest that you find your de-stressing technique. For me, it was taking thirty minutes, right before I would fall asleep, and listening to mediation tracks. It takes some getting used to but when I am having a day that just won’t end, turning on relaxing music with brainwaves puts me into a whole new world.

A repeating process can occur when you’re combining exercise into a stressful lifestyle, the effects of not seeing composition changes only adds to your burden. For the average worker, those feelings of a bad day can be easily washed away with an intense workout. It’s been a well-known fact that exercising can do wonders for lowering stress and controlling cortisol. As we all have different amounts of duties in our own lives, for those with too many obligations, turning up the intensity won’t be all that is needed to de-toxify from a limit-breaking week. I won’t lie, it isn’t always going to be possible to just avoid stress altogether, there will always be events that occur that we would rather not be a part of. You can browse through the bestsellers to find a method of teaching that will help you cope with stress, there are many available. If you aren’t a reader, look for some relaxing audio clips that you can load up while laying down. Truly attempting to tune out that voice we all know that wants to keep us biting our nails isn’t done in a day, with practice, you can finally shut those negative and stressful thought down and away from bothering you.


Bored this Summer? Visit a Local Recreational Center!

For those who are lucky enough to not have a full time job, the summer can be a time where your schedule is freed up. Many shut themselves indoors and sit around, wasting the day away. What you can do instead, is to do yourself a favor while also feeling less guilty about how you spend the Summer. A recreational center is in almost every town, if you don’t live near one, there is probably one in the next town over. Most of these centers will have a membership fee that needs to be paid, prices will vary, depending upon the establishment. Once inside, you should be able to have access to a locker. I’m sure that you know about the workout equipment that they have, if not, you will be shocked at the sheer variety of what you can use. Beyond the usual barrage of weights, there is a wide variety of activities to choose from. I will use my own local rec center as an example, going forth. First, you can find some really cool racquetball rooms, which is such a funny sport to me. I get it, it takes work to bounce that ball across a room, I just have no idea how the game is played, and this is after watching people play it! I feel too intimidated to walk into one of those big glass rooms with a ball and racket by myself, I would look like a total nerd. None of my gym friends will ever venture into the racquetball area either, I must not ever be able to learn how to play that game.

Not Just for Racquetball Players, Anymore!

If you prefer to hit the ground running, there are nice indoor and outdoor running tracks, all with four lanes each. The whole lane painting puzzled me, until it was explained to me by a friendly employee. The four tracks are put in place because not everyone will be moving at the same speed, some will run, while the older will want to walk. Have you ever been in a mall, bound and determined to get where you are going in a hurry, only to have slow walkers block your path? A similar situation occurs when joggers need to get moving and are stuck in place by the ones who only want to walk at a slow pace. If you prefer an activity that has more of a competitive theme to it, there are great basketball courts, at most rec centers. My local center provides basketballs for free, while others may have you bring your own into the facility. I know that, once I walk into the front doors of the center in my area, I will immediately be greeted by the smell of chlorine and pop music blasted on the big speaker system. It could annoy the more temperate man but to me, it is a soothing and familiar part of the week that I have grown to love.

Set the video game controller down, turn off that laptop, and give a rec center a try. You can have an awesome time checking out the multide of activities that await you. From picking up on a local basketball game, taking a lap on the tracks, or figuring out how to play racquetball (let me know how to), running out of things to do and being bored will be a woe of the past!

news stories

Why Pokemon Go is Great for Trimming Down

slimming trainerIf you don’t know what a game called Pokemon Go is by now, you must have been very busy or you live under a rock. Either way, the game in which you collect little creatures hasn’t slowed down on the bestseller charts. Since the day it launched, I can’t go through one week without hearing it mentioned. I tried it out for myself and could easily see, within minutes, why so many are getting outdoors and collecting their favorite monster. It isn’t without its own dangers, all of which are attributable to bad people and not the game, many are finding themselves out of the house and outside. What you will notice is that this app gets you moving, right off the bat.

The style of Pokemon Go is that of map software, or the kind of HUD system, kind of like what is seen in Grand Theft Auto. While you are able to see a virtual version of you, in real-time, walk where you are walking. As you make a stroll down the location of your choosing, you will see these little creatures pop up, through your smartphone. There have been endless amounts of research that have gone into findings suggesting that younger people are staying inside more often. Being indoors and not getting the daily exercise that they should be, the Pokemon Go app is making big changes. Even in my little town, where our biggest landmark is a tiny lake, the craziness still lingers.

Many local residents have been making a stink about the infestation of Pokemon players but not because of their enjoyment of the game. What has been going down is that slow drivers, looking to catch every Pokemon, are having other residents frightened. According to what I have heard, you can see cars clogging up the roads, that expand over the entire course of the lake, just to get a glimpse at another creature to add to their collection. Do not play this game while driving, come on! For those who are choosing smarter actions, they are feeling the burn and enjoying the world around them. Being around Mother Nature, all while actively walking around is even aiming to help some gamers control their weight.

This game is free to get, which is a genius move, for a game that could have easily had people chomping at the bit to get their thumbs on it. Am I saying you should go and burn your gym membership, in favor of playing Pokemon? No, this game, as a fitness tool, is best used for those of whom would have never sought to change the course of their life before the game was released. The feeling of competition is shared and those looking to raise their trainer levels will go to greater lengths to make this dream a reality. The spirit of comradery will overtake those who may find a fellow journeyman along their quest to attain more of these virtual creatures. Next time you fire up this mobile craze, pack a step tracker with you, it will only add motivation when you see the fruits of your labor. For all of my fit freaks who picked up this craze, after you started exercising, don’t let the game replace your normal schedule. I love video games just as much as the next one but they can get addictive. I have had a few late nights of Fallout 4 totally wreck me getting any lifting done the next day, have more will to succeed than me.

workout tips

How Heavy of Weight Should I Be Using?

We get this question a lot, it is too confusing to enter a loaded up weight rack and know which type to choose. If you choose a weight load that is not heavy enough, it won’t actively work your muscles. Choosing to move weight that is too heavy for you to carry could harm you. I’m going to inform you about which school of thought I follow through you and then let you decide for yourself. There is also some new information floating around that puts a big twist on this question but we will get to that in a second. My opinion would always be to write up a mix of differing light and heavy lifts, incorporating them both into one awesome routine. I have never been one to put all of my eggs in one basket and I would never to that to my training. Different body types respond in various ways through strength training, it is best to try out alternate weight amounts to fine tune where you are able to carry out effective lifting.

What is truly hard to believe is that, studies are showing, you might not have to struggle with heavy sets of weight much longer. With participants in these new findings having nearly the same strength as ones that used only heavy weights, it is hard to argue that the golden rules of weightlifting could be all wrong. Arguing that training to failure is the key indicator of future growth, it is being said that weight size isn’t as important. I have always wondered what could be the end results, if I were to lift light weights but for really high reps. I’m not talking about stopping at twelve reps but trying to get to twenty five and higher, if I could. Training a muscle to failure means that you are going to be working it to the point of exhaustion.

This style of training, being one of high intensity, is destined to provide what any avid gym goer would want. Having worked with both styles, I can safely say that if you are going for pure size than training to failure is like jumpstarting your muscles. Where you do stand on the thought of concentrating on failure training, instead of focusing on heavier weights? We will see how quick word will get around because I am positive that some of the keyboard professors will get in on this study, in an attempt to put it down. I like hearing the findings of these tests that were done, trying to awkwardly bring up something that is too heavy can really put you in danger. Working your muscles for such a long time that they fail will still bring you those next day cramps and minor aches. Pyramid training, in which you adjust what you lift per each set, has always been my go to for when I need to change they way I am built, working yourself to failure is just another form of the pyramid lifting.

Will the New Studies Have an Impact?

I prefer lifting heavy weights when I am working on larger groups but when focusing on  singular muscles, I can step down what I am lifting with. I am creating a new weekly lifting regimen that will apply the emphasis on failure resistance training. I look forward to giving the grunts and groans I make, when moving around overloaded equipment a rest!


news stories

Make Room for Chocolate in Your Diet Regimen

You read all of the information from the so-called experts out there and it seems like they are flip flopping every week. First, you hear that one food is good for you and right after that they are all saying that it is bad for you. One of the foods that is so sought after is chocolate, what if I told you that this wonder food can actually help to lose more weight? Studies are actually showing that chocolate isn’t as much of a hindrance to staying skinny as has been told to us for years. Of course, you have to take everything in moderation and this sweet food is no exception. I wouldn’t go out and buy every candy bar that you can get your hands on, thinking that you will be dropping weight like crazy. There is no harm in keeping some chocolate on hand and eating a small amount when you feel the urge. As you know, chocolate milk has been named as a great post workout drink for recovery. Who knew that actual chocolate, in its purest form, would be associated with weight loss?

Now, the studies that were done did mention that the chocolate needed to be of the darker variety, meaning not the sweet tasting treat that you were most likely dreaming of. I used to have a bad desire to eat chocolate constantly and I wish that someone informed me of this study during that time. For anyone who is worried that they could end up seeing their face breakout in sets of pimples when consuming chocolate regularly, worry not, that is an old myth. I think that my parents told me about the dangers of chocolate giving me pimples, even though this wasn’t remotely true. Maybe mom and dad were hoarding all of the chocolate for themselves by telling me little white lies. Don’t go running and buying that first piece of chocolate that you see, 70% cocoa, or higher is what should be used to help lose more weight. Hearing about the required cocoa amount isn’t the greatest news for me, as I was planning on telling people that I could shed weight with just eating Reese’s peanut butter cups.

I admit, me and my stomach have a weak spot for that delicious chocolate and peanut butter mixture that I don’t know if I will ever shake. My reason for consuming these treats when I get done lifting is that they have peanut butter in them and that can’t be bad for trying to grow, right? The darker dark chocolate chocolates, ones in which the minimum percentage of cocoa will be in should have a bitter taste. If you have dug around those bags of mini bars, in search of the elusive simply dark chocolate bars, you will be in luck and should adjust to the higher cocoa amounts with ease. I can’t say that if I was serious about dropping some extra weight, that I would go for any candy over vegetables and meat but, to each their own. Lighten up and enjoy chocolate, in moderation, and sticking to a diet will not seem as hard. Call it a psychological impulse but including one or two snacks that you just can not go without will have you less likely to overindulge. You see, if you take every cheat food out of your eating routine and never indulge, you are driving on a road that has tons of twists and turns. This new and bumpier road that you are on will lead you right to temptation and back into the overeating that got you to need a change being made in your life, in the first place. Life doesn’t have to be as serious as those experts we talked about earlier would have you think.