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Friday, March 18, 2016


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"Worst of the Fitness Industry" (Big Brandon Carter Edition)

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                               Fitness Usa
H.I.I.T or High Intensity Interval Training has been very popular lately and for a good reason. It has shown to deliver effective workouts in a much shorter time than most people care to spend exercising. It is a great fat burner, and can also increase strength and develop nicely shaped muscles. It can be done as a cardiovascular workout, training with weights or just body weight, or even a combination of the two.

The beauty of H.I.I.T is not only better results with shorter time commitment, but the reason behind it. Any workout produces certain hormonal responses in the body. A few main hormones that are of importance when we talk about fat burning and growing muscles, are cortisol, growth hormone and testosterone. With longer workouts (even though they are less intense) the body gets too taxed, and after about 40-45 minutes cortisol levels rise pretty high. This has a catabolic (breaking down muscle) effect on the body rather than anabolic, as most exercisers desire. Growth hormone and testosterone, which stimulate muscle growth and fat burning, and are released in higher amounts as a result of exercise, get suppressed if the workout is too long and stressful on the body. However, shorter workouts, but with higher intensity, seem to create an ideal situation for a much lower cortisol release and, at the same time, no suppression of either growth hormone or testosterone. In fact, these two hormones seem to respond amazingly well to this kind of scenario. There may be many reasons behind it, the main one being that humans evolved to use high intensity movements only for short periods of time, as in “fight or flight” situations, and otherwise move a lot but in a low intensity fashion, and our bodies are simply better adapted to handle this kind of exercise on a hormonal level than workout sessions that are medium/medium-high intensity and last forever.

This video is designed for pretty advanced and experienced exercisers. Please, make sure to watch all the instructions carefully. The length of the H.I.I.T circuit can easily be adjusted to suit anyone with a limited amount of time, from as short as 3 minutes all the way to 30. You probably wouldn’t want to do just 3, but all the circuits in this series (there are 5) range from 2 ½ to 5 minutes. All you need to do is repeat them as many times as your endurance and level of conditioning will allow, up to a maximum of 30 minutes total. They will give you a great fat-burning full body workout, addressing most of the muscle groups. H.I.I.T is great for toning and shaping, as well as overall muscle conditioning. You don’t really need a lot of additional abdominal exercises since your core is used to a great degree in most of the exercises shown.
Please, always do a 5-10 minute warm-up before any exercise.

If you’re not used to working out at a very high intensity you may need between 1.5 to 2 minutes of rest before repeating each circuit. If you find that your level of fitness and conditioning allows you to move faster through the whole routine, then take only 1 full minute of rest between the circuits.

Each circuit consists of 5 exercises and all exercises are done in sets of 6 repetitions, using moderate weights that are still challenging, but that will also allow you to perform full range of motion and complicated multi-joint movements. You will have to figure out yourself what amount of weight you feel most comfortable with that will let you finish the whole set with good form. The sets are short since you are not resting at all during each circuit, and anything longer would be too taxing on the body given the choice of exercises.
Make sure that you get enough recovery between sessions. Most of the exercises in these videos are strenuous and demanding, and you will need a minimum of 48 hours recovery time. For many people a schedule of 2 days of rest afterwards is a better option to avoid overtraining.


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Fitness Tips

               Fitness Recipes
Depending on who you are, that word can invoke various thoughts and feelings in your mind and emotions.  If you dreaded gym class, you might have feelings of anxiety.  If you were a high school athlete, you may or may not feel nostalgia at the thought.   Whatever your feelings, exercise is something that we all need in one form or another.  We need a certain amount in order to feel healthy, to be healthy.   I am not speaking of running marathons or participating in Iron Man triathlons, just activities to keep your body, mind, and spirit humming along.

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As a former certified group fitness instructor and now a registered nurse, I would like to discuss some
“fitness tips” with you in this article.  Don’t get me wrong—I have been struggling with my weight the past few years (since getting older…sigh) despite my almost daily workouts.  I do however have blood pressure on the lower end, my triglycerides are low and my HDL (good cholesterol) is on the higher end of normal.  Being slim is nice but being healthy is too!
When you decide that you need to become more physically active—and I know that you have read this many times before— you do need to meet with your doctor and get the okay to begin to exercise.  Even if you are in your 20s, it is best to have a physical with your health care provider and have your blood pressure, lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), blood sugar, heart and lungs evaluated.  If you do have an underlying, undetected health condition your doctor may want to restrict your activity level or have you meet with a personal trainer or nutritionist first.  Better to be safe than sorry!
Next, decide what type of activity you would enjoy.  If you don’t enjoy it, you are not going to do it.  Find something that you will stick with.  Walking is one of the best activities that you can do and it is virtually free, you just need a good pair of walking shoes.  Swimming is another activity that many people enjoy and most city recreation departments offer a low cost monthly pass.  Swimming is also great as it is non-weight bearing and anyone with joint problems can benefit from this.  Maybe you have participated in the past in a group sports activity, such as volleyball or basketball.  Again, check with your city rec department or ask your friends if any of them would be willing to have a game a couple of times a week.  If there are community colleges or universities in your area, many offer community classes at a lower rate and most offer some fitness classes; in the past, I have taught at our local college and had a good response.

If you want to do something a bit more challenging, check with local fitness centers.  Many of these facilities will offer a group fitness class or more for free so you can try out a class.  Some classes may be strictly for beginners but most instructors will show modifications of moves for beginners, intermediate and advanced participants.  You can also ask if a personal trainer is available to perhaps show you around the weight room and see if that appeals to you (weight lifting or resistance training is very beneficial as we do lose muscle mass as we age and these activities can counteract that).
Lastly, if you would prefer to exercise in the comfort of your own home, there are options available for you, too!  Exercise DVDs are very popular and don’t have to be expensive.,, ebay and are some sites with a variety of DVDs.  Most will have a preview of the workout online, along with suggested fitness level for a participant.  Libraries also often have workouts DVDs and won’t cost you a thing (unless you forget to return itJ).  There are websites that have streaming video workouts as well; is one that I have used myself and they do have free videos.
See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?  If you are ready and willing, there are just too many options for you to not give a fitness plan a try.  At the least, you may experience such side effects as better sleep, increased strength, better health, and a sense of well-being.  Thanks for reading!

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5 Foods To Help You Feel Fuller For Longer

                       Fitness Queen
Has your stomach ever growled in anticipation of lunch, even though you just ate breakfast? At some point, we've all fallen victim to an unexplained raging appetite, which can lead to eating snacks that are high in calories, sugar and fat, and most of all, weight gain. It sounds contradictory, but eating can actually suppress your appetite - as long as you choose the right foods.

Try one of these foods as a filling snack to keep you feeling fuller for longer and the 'fridge monster' at bay.

Water. We can mistake thirst for hunger. It is essential to drink between 1.5L and 3L each day depending on the size of person, how active you are and the climate. Ensure you have water to hand no matter where you are - in your car, at your desk, always carry a bottle with you. Many fruits and vegetables are high in water content, which provided volume and weight but not calories and are handy to keep you hydrated and feeling full. Including salad vegetables with your lunch and cooked veggies in the evening will help to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Fibre. High fibre foods not only provide volume, but also take longer to digest. Making you feel fuller for longer on fewer calories. Classic examples are vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Fat. Fat is high in energy and contains protein which will help to keep you feeling full and keep the cravings away. All nuts have heart-healthy fats, but almonds contain the most fibre serving, which can keep you fuller, longer. Eating about 15 almonds between lunch and dinner can stave off that 4PM energy dip, helping you avoid those crisps and cakes in the break room. Interestingly, one study suggested that our bodies may not absorb all of that fat in almonds, which might lead to an overall lower calorie intake when eating them.

Eggs. A recent study found that overweight people who ate eggs for breakfast took longer to get hungry later. This is useful for everyone, not simply those who wish to lose weight. The research participants had lower levels of ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone that tells the brain to eat, and higher levels of PPY, a hormone that helps stomachs feel full. Eggs are a perfect combination of protein and fat, so they're more satisfying than other breakfast foods.

Avocados. The green, creamy flesh of an avocado isn't just tasty - it's also filled with fibre and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. In other words, avocados might be the perfect fill-you-up food. Foods high in fibre and rich in fat take longer to digest, allowing you to experience less overall hunger - and possibly take in fewer calories. Research also shows that avocados' oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, tells your brain that your stomach is full.

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                            Fitness Quiz
Repeat the following circuit for twenty minutes.

Advanced - Intermediate:
Dive Bomber or Hindu Push-ups
Reverse or Hindu Squats
Atlas Push-ups
Atlas Push-ups: Place your hands in the seats of two chairs. With your body held straight, dip yourself between the chairs. This exercise is similar to a countertop push-up, but it stretches and utilizes more of the chest muscles.
Yoga Push-upsYoga Push-ups: Transition between Upward Facing Dog and Downward Facing Dog continously while keeping your arms straight (but not locked).
Reverse or Hindu Squats
Countertop or Atlas Push-ups
Today's exercises can be found in many manuals on physical training. The above arrangement, however, was adapted from Pushing Yourself to Power by John E. Peterson. PYTP is a comprehensive collection of Dynamic Visualized Resistance and Dynamic Self Resistance exercises and includes many Isometric and Power Calisthenic exercises.

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