Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fitness And Kids - FIT-4-Kids, An Exercise Program Just For Kids

Introducing kids to a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge in our fast food, video game laden society. Thirty minutes once a week in P. E. class isn't nearly enough to maintain the cardiovascular system, much less keep an overall healthy bodyweight. One thing that P. E. class has right though is that classes are fun and they allow kids to socialize. The Fit Express' FIT-4-Kids exercise program along with their specially-made kids exercise equipment gives kids what they need and want.

So little Johnny's not thrilled about running 30 minutes on a treadmill? It's already hard enough for adults, who understand the importance, to exercise on a consistent basis. I've trained children, I can tell you from experience they get distracted and bored even easier. Introducing health and wellness at an early age is important and it's up to us to give them a fun option.

There are many ways kids can get physical exercise from after-school sports, jungle gyms, parks, recreational centers, kids gyms. However , most of these don't consist of a strict program (that doesn't feel strict) that makes them do at least 30 minutes of continuous cardiovascular exercise and also includes functional strength training using complete range of motion for all of the body's muscle groups. The FIT-4-Kids exercise program contains the key aspects of fitness and provides cardio and strength exercises in a safe, fun and sociable way.

Fluid interval training (i. e. FIT) works very similar to circuit training. exercise machines (each working different muscle groups) are placed in a circle or other arrangement. Every 2 minutes a central timer goes off and everybody switches to a different machine that they do continuously for the next 2 minutes. This allows multiple muscle groups to be worked simultaneously, the heart rate stays up, and it doesn't get boring. Two minute timer's just a suggestion; custom workouts can be easily created.

Worried about kids exercise equipment being dangerous? Don't be! FIT is extremely safe! What do sports, rec. centers, parks, and jungle gyms all have in common? They all allow kids to do uncontrolled movements, on their own, with minimal supervision. Running around, kicking, jumping, swinging-there's lots of potential for muscle and joint injuries! Kid's don't have the motor coordination to perform the unassisted exercises like squats, pull-ups, etc . with proper form and technique. Even when they could do these exercises, it's not fun for them and they don't have the patience or enjoy repetition sets. FIT is perfect, it's continuous and it doesn't require concentration or slow/boring movements.

Unlike most gym equipment you're familiar with, FIT-4-Kids doesn't use bulky machines with weight stacks, it uses Fit Express' kids hydraulic fitness equipment. By pushing or pulling oil through hydraulic cylinders to create resistance it provides an extremely smooth fluid movement that is much safer and kid-friendly. Never worry about dropping a weight stack, pushing or pulling too far, or hurting joints. You can pause at any point during the movement! And unlike most gym equipment with hard-to-understand seating levers and controls, the FIT4Kids machines are smaller (for children 4' to 5'9) with fixed seating and control arms. An easy-to-reach lever that controls if the exercise is harder (more strength) or easier/faster (more cardio) is the only option. So they can just get on and go!

Call your local kids gyms, recreational centers, schools, and ask them if they have a FIT-4-Kids circuit! Visit www.FitExpress.com for more information.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Great Way To Spice Up Your Workouts -- Interval Training

There’s been a lot of buzz recently about interval training. So , you may be wondering what it really is and, more importantly, why you should incorporate it in your fitness workouts. Well, if you want a workout that can help propel you to the next fitness level, burn more calories, increase your speed, improve your power and more, then it’s time to learn more about this effective technique.
A simple definition of interval training is: short, high-intensity exercise periods alternated with periods of rest. These higher and lower intensity periods are repeated several times to form a complete workout. Here’s a basic example: walk for 5 minutes at 3. 5 MPH, walk for 1 minute at 4. 2 MPH and then repeat this sequence several times.
Most people spend their workout time only performing continuous training exercises. These are exercises where the intensity level is basically constant throughout. An example of this is walking at 3. 5 MPH, at 0% incline for 30 minutes.
Continuous training is very effective and should not be eliminated from your weekly workouts. However , it’s recommended that you include both interval training and continuous training sessions as part of your fitness regimen.
Why should you include interval training? As previously mentioned, there are many benefits to this type of training and execution is relatively simple. interval training can help you improve cardiovascular fitness, increase speed, improve overall aerobic power, burn more calories, break-through a plateau, increase workout duration, reach new exercise levels, expand your workout options and increase your workout threshold – just to name a few.
Plus, this training method has useful applications for beginners, intermediate exercisers and even conditioned athletes. There are two basic types of interval training. For the majority of exercisers (novices and intermediate) Fitness interval training methods are recommended. Athletes can choose a more advanced technique known as Performance interval training.
The Fitness training method utilizes periodic increases in intensity. Typically the higher-intensity levels range from 2-5 minutes in duration and are followed by lower-intensity periods that also range from 2-5 minutes. And, a critical element in Fitness interval training is determining the appropriate level for the higher-intensity periods. This level should not exceed the anaerobic threshold (which is usually reached below 85% heart rate reserve).
On the flip side, the Performance training technique involves periods of near maximal or even maximal intensity (e. g. >85% heart rate reserve – even reaching 100%). The higher-intensity levels can range from 2-15 minutes in duration and are followed by lower-intensity periods that also can range from 2-15 minutes in duration.
Don’t let the two types of training and their ranges confuse you. Incorporating interval training methods into your exercise routine is actually quite easy. Since the majority of exercisers fall into either the beginner or intermediate category, we’ll focus on getting started with those techniques.
To begin, choose the type of exercise: walking, jogging, swimming, biking, etc . Next determine your lower-intensity level. This is usually somewhere between 50-65% target heart rate. This will be your baseline, lower-level intensity. Then simply increase the intensity-level up to where you feel like you are working hard to very hard, but avoid reaching a level over 85% target heart rate. If monitoring your heart is not feasible, instead use the RPE scale where 1 is basically at rest and 10 is working extremely hard. For example , if you find that when you are exercising at a comfortable level you rank a 5, then bump up to a 7 for the higher-intensity intervals.
You may choose to systematically raise and lower your intensity (e. g. 2 minutes lower intensity followed by 1 minute higher intensity and repeat) or you can alternate more randomly by raising and lowering the level at your discretion. To increase your intensity, you may choose to change the speed, incline, or some other variable.
interval training can be especially helpful in situations where you are trying a new form of exercise. For example , this can be very beneficial when first learning to jog. If you attempt to jog continuously without building up to it, you will probably fatigue quickly and even give up. However , if you begin with intervals of walking interspersed with jogging periods, the workout will be much more enjoyable and effective. Also, you will be more likely to stick with the program and achieve the end result – continuous jogging.
Now that you know the benefits of interval training and the basic techniques for it, why not give it a try for yourself. Not only will it provide health benefits and improved fitness levels but it is also a great way to avoid workout boredom. Plus, with interval training workouts often are more enjoyable, go by quicker, and improvement results come faster. So why not try spicing up a stale, run-of-the-mill workout with Interval options? You may even find yourself excelling in an activity you were skeptical of even trying.

Craig Ballantyne Explains Fat Loss Interval Training

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Top 5 Exercise Plateau Breakers

Plateau. That dreaded word that you do not want to hear, let alone experience. Especially if you have been diligently exercising in an attempt to get fit or lose weight. We have all experienced a plateau at some time - all of a sudden you stop losing weight or you just cant seem to run any faster. When you hit a plateau, don't panic. It doesn't necessarily mean you need to work harder or spend more days at the gym.
Here are five ideas that may help you break through in record time.
Take an Active Rest
If you have hit a plateau, it may be time for an active rest. Take a week off from structured exercise, and instead take leisurely walks, play ball with the kids, or take a yoga class. Active rest rejuvenates the mind and the body and allows for overworked muscles to rest and rebuild. You will return to exercise stronger and ready for new challenges.
Time to Eat
As you increase your fitness level, your body's metabolism may increase and so will your calorie needs. If you hit a plateau, evaluate how much you are eating. You may need to eat more than you have in the past for your body to continue to increase its fitness level. If you find you are often hungry, this is a clear sign you need to eat more to sustain your exercise program.
Mix it Up
If you do not vary your workout routine your body will eventually run on cruise control, and you will experience a plateau. Try new cardiovascular activities, or use free weights if you always use machines for strength training. Changes in your routine will surprise the body and force it to adapt, bringing you to new levels of fitness.
Different Day, Different Intensity
Varying your activities, or cross-training is important to avoid or break through a plateau. While cross-training the type of activity is often recommended, it is also important to cross-train the intensity of your workouts. Specify different days of the week as low, moderate or high-intensity days. Try interval training work at a low intensity for a couple of minutes and increase to a high intensity for a couple of minutes, and repeat. If you use a heart rate monitor, be sure your average heart rate for your exercise sessions vary from day to day.
Sleep It Off
Be sure you are getting enough sleep. Getting the right amount of sleep for your body will allow time for your muscles to recover from exercise. This will ensure that you can come to your next exercise session with enough energy and at full strength to take on a challenging workout.
If you are still frustrated, find inspiration in the story of Chris Witty, winner of the Gold Medal in 1000 meter speed skating in the 1998 Winter Olympics. A month before she was to compete in the Olympics, she was diagnosed with mononucleosis. Of course she had to cut back on training, and at the time that she should have been preparing to peak for competition. Not only did she win the Gold Medal, which nobody expected, she broke the world record! Imagine what a little rest might do for your workouts!
If you find you still cant break through that plateau, then make the decision to ride it out. Sometimes a plateau is necessary to allow the body to catch up with a new body weight or fitness level. Rest assured your body knows what is best and will break through the plateau at the right time!

Best Fat Burning Exercises and Interval Training

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Interval Training for Fat Loss Not Aerobic Training

Announcing interval training for fat loss

 Forget long steady state aerobic training if you want to lose fat.

1. Its boring! Who really wants to spend half an hour or more running, cycling, rowing, etc .

 2. Your body will adapt to it! As you get fitter, it becomes harder to burn the same amount of calories as when you started exercising because your body adapts and becomes more efficient. So what do you do to burn the same amount of calories as you used to? Well if you continue with aerobic training the answer is either go for longer or do the same time quicker neither of which are particularly enjoyable.

 3. The fat burning zone or heart rate training doesn't work. Yes, you burn a higher percentage of fat at a sub-maximal intensity but the overall calories burnt are less than a higher intensity workout. (See the post below for more on Fat burning zone and heart rate training for fat).

 4. Sprinters have less fat than marathon runner.

 5. Yes, you burn calories whilst doing aerobic training however it may be detrimental to your muscle growth. As I've said many times before, the more toned you are the more calories you burn whilst sitting at home. Aerobic training is largely catabolic (breaking down), which can consequently reduce the development of muscle growth. Less muscle = lower calorie expenditure = lower fat loss.

  The answer? interval training

  Interval training is not aerobic exercise! Before I tell you what interval training is let me tell you what aerobic training is. Aerobic training (with oxygen) is exercise at a low or moderate intensity that can be maintained for a relatively large amount of time as long as oxygen is available for the muscles.

 Ok, so now let me tell you about interval training. This form of training is known as anaerobic training (little or no oxygen available). The key benefits of this training method are that it not only burns calories whilst you are doing it, it also burns more calories when you have finished as it revs up your metabolism for up to several hours afterwards, therefore helping you burn more calories through the day.

 So what exactly do I do when interval training?

 First off, choose an activity, running, rowing, etc . However , I recommend you do not do the same exercise every time. Remember your body will adapt! Try changing the machine or the activity every 2 sessions to avoid this.

 Once you have warmed up (5 mins) increase the intensity for 1 minute. This should be full out effort or as close to as possible (not recommended for those with heart problems). Think of a scale between 1-10, 10 being the most difficult, 9-10 is where you should be at this point. Once you have completed that slow down to a comfortable (5-6 out of 10) that you can maintain for 2 minutes. This is one bout, you should repeat this between 3-6 times depending on your level of fitness followed by 3 minute cool down. The total work out should be between 17-26 mins depending on how many bouts you do carry out.

 Remember, always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Now, go ahead, give it a go. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the results. Give me some feedback either way, thanks.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

7 Killer Ways To Maximize Your Fat Burning In The Gym

Hey, we all want to shed some pounds and get back to the body that we had when we were younger and didn’t appreciate it but it takes discipline, planning, and dedication to make that happen. All too often people shed 10 or 15 pounds and then seem to stop losing weight. There is definitely a reason this happens and it should not be seen as failure or an excuse to give up on your weight loss goals. Here are 7 absolutely killer ways to maximize your fat burning routine and help ensure success with your weight loss goals.

1) Anaerobic exercise
If you think you can just run laps or pedal that fat away, think again. Muscle tissue is what burns the most calories in our bodies and you need to life weights in order to create bigger muscles that will burn more calories. Now although aerobic exercises such as cycling or swimming are also necessary, the fact remains that building bigger muscles is the best way to lose weight and keep it off. This is because you are creating a more efficient calorie burning machine by lifting weights which will ensure you succeeed with your weight loss goals.

2) Warm-up and Cool Down
Warming up before exercising and taking the time to cool down afterwards with some light exercises are not generally seen as essential to a fat burning program. However , the reason why a lot of people tend to give up on their weight loss goals is because they failed to see the progress they hoped for when they began. An injury, even one that only lasts for a few days, can set your weight loss goals back by weeks and lead to a loss of stimulation. You need to plan an extra twenty minutes into your weight lifting routine for these two essential activities or you risk injury and derailing your weight loss plan.

3) Diet, Diet, Diet
This should not be a killer way to maximize your weight loss goals but it is. The reason for this is because people tend to think of losing weight in two ways: diet, or exercise. Hey, these two go hand in hand and you are never going to maximize your fat burning routine in the gym unless you take care of your body outside of the gym. Stop thinking of meals in terms of three: instead, think 5 meals with smaller portions. The FDA recently developed a new food pyramid with this very idea in mind and you should check it out before starting your fat burning program because it can save you a lot of time and energy if you get the diet part figured out before even stepping into the gym.

4) Plan Workouts
The body is the most complex machine on the planet and you can’t just hope to step into a gym and jump on a machine or some weights and think that you are going to see the results you want without knowing how they affect your body. The ideal exercise routine is done only 3 or 4 times per week and only for 30-45 minutes at a time. You cannot work your body more than this because it will actually cause your muscles to break down which means you will be burning fewer calories, and therefore, not maximizing your fat burning routine in the gym. If you have any doubts about what kind of routine is ideal for your goals, don’t be afraid to consult a physical trainer to help you set up a program that is best suited for you.

5) Nutritional Supplements
If you really want to maximize your fat burning routine in the gym, then you need to consider using nutritional supplements. Now I am not talking about those crazy supplements that promise to burn fat for you while you sit and watch tv! I am talking about essential fatty acids, amino acids, whey protein…. things that will truly maximize your workouts that you can’t always expect to get in the foods you eat every day. Again, consult a physical trainer if you want to know which supplements are best for your weight loss goals.

6) Set Weekly Goals
I know that this just seems terribly obvious but the truth is that most people are not thrilled with the idea of working out so it is easy for them to skip a session or indulge in some pizza and think that they will make up for it next time. Listen, next time never comes and when you stop seeing the scales go down, the motivation just seems to stop. By setting weekly goals, you can track your progress and make it that much more likely that you will adhere to the goals when you see things are not going as expected.

7) No More Late Night Snacks
This one may not seem to make sense, but I assure you that it will help maximize your fat burning exercises. The reason is your metabolism. When you eat right before you go to bed, it throws your body off and you probably notice that you awaken and don’t feel hungry. Then, you skip breakfast entirely or only snack on a bagel or something on you way into work.
The result: the body goes into conservation mode. This means that it slows down your metabolism and that means you are burning less calories throughout the day. Plus, it increases the likelihood of snacking and basically just sets the scene for a bad cycle. Eating five smaller portioned meals per day also has to do with your metabolism as it has been found that metabolism remains highest when there is a consistent supply of food in the body. You might not believe that late night snacking affects the way your body burns fat when working out, but it does.

Now some of the things listed above are obvious while some just seem silly. And yet, taken together and consistently adhered to, these 7 little ideas will maximize your fat burning in the gym and get you to that body you can see in your mind but not the mirror far quicker than if you just go about things in a disorganized and inconsistent manner.

Free Belly Fat Burning Tips