bookmark_borderRope Jumping

Jumping rope has to be a vigorous sport, because you must spin the rope at least 80 times a minute to keep it from tangling. Most people use more energy when they jump rope than when they run. Jumping 80 times a minute uses the same amount of energy as running a mile in less than 8 minutes, a fairly rapid clip for most people. If you enjoy rope jumping, do it at a pace that is comfortable to you and stop when you feel discomfort.

To use rope-jumping for fitness, you need to be skilled enough to jump continuously for twenty to thirty minutes, and jumping that long and fast requires that you be in good shape. All you need is a ten-foot rope. The ends of the rope should barely reach your armpits when you stand on the middle of it. You don’t need special shoes, but sandals or loose shoes are likely to cause tripping.

Start out by spinning the rope forward so you can see it as it passes. Bend your knees to absorb the shock of landing and protect the force of your feet striking the ground. To keep yourself from falling, bend slightly forward at the waist. Start out gradually and work up to thirty minutes three times a week.

bookmark_borderTime Management

We’re not discussing a “catch phrase,” or short-term solution, where a manager goes to a one-day workshop on time management, and then comes back lecturing his, or her, staff, about their time management.

The irony is that, most of the time, this type of manager is aware of time management because he, or she, wastes plenty of time. This usually goes on until the next workshop, and then management will learn a new catch phrase to tell the staff what they are doing wrong.

What we are discussing is a lifestyle, and possibly a big change, just like the first time you visited a Yoga class. In a “nut shell,” we have limited time on this earth and we cannot afford to waste it thinking about future worries, past regrets, fighting with loved ones, or leaving goals on hold.

Most of us leave dreams, goals, relationships, and ambitions on the “back burner,” while the daily routine of life goes by. No wonder people complain about the monotony of daily tasks. Very often, we hear, “I don’t have time to learn new skills, go to night school, practice Yoga, or become a Yoga teacher.”

Remember when you were a child and life seemed to go by so slowly? You had time to play, watch television, listen to the radio, and lay around, without a care in the world. Now, welcome to adulthood, life is flying by at a rapid pace, and goals sometimes seem further away than ever before.

Your starting point is today. All you have to do is write your list of tasks for tomorrow. This is commonly called a “to do list.” You can post it on a piece of paper, on your desktop, in your PDA, or anywhere you will refer to it in a day.

To be honest, I put the piece of paper in my pocket and refer to it during the day. Sometimes, the lesson plan for my next Yoga class can be found in my pocket, too. This is a reflection of my time line, and my generation, but my son would put it on his PDA. Whatever you choose is fine, as long as you refer to it, and get something done.

Notice, I did not say get everything done. Somehow, life throws us curves and your “well laid” plans may not fit into the daily time frame. You learn this in your Yoga practice too. It is absolutely necessary that all of us accept change. These days, change occurs on a daily basis, so there is no need to become tense about it. This explains why so many corporate fitness centers have Yoga, or meditation programs, for their employees.

Be prepared to make modifications to your plans or “turn on a dime.” Deadlines should be taken seriously, but sometimes life gets in the way. There are times when the path you are on will have to be altered. So, be prepared to have a backup plan.

Remember the Serenity Prayer: “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference.” It goes without saying, that you will waste a lot of time and energy, if you don’t know the difference.

The next point to cover is when to multi-task. What is this? You say, “This doesn’t sound very Yogic.” Yoga refers to “unity” or “union,” and we must exist in harmony with life as it is today. The mind naturally multi-tasks so, let’s make the most of our time.

In ancient times people multi-tasked, too. Why else would people around the world practice meditation for thousands of years? Why else would the people of India practice Yoga for over 5,000 years? Stress was one of many things our ancestors, and the ancient Yogis, have in common with us, and we know that stress is a killer. Most likely stress is linked to every ailment that connected to mankind.

True irony is when you consider planning time, and start to make excuses why you don’t have time to manage, or plan, your time wisely. If you like to watch television, you could do a little planning at the same time. Ideally, it is best to be totally focused, thinking clearly, and be in a quiet place when planning time.

However, there are other forms of multi-tasking you can do such as listening to an audio book in the car, using an exercise bike while watching television, and reading or listening to books while traveling. There are a number of Yoga, and Yoga philosophy audio books, available.

On the other hand, we know multi-tasking can go too far. I will never forget commuting into Boston, stuck in traffic, and seeing a guy next to me reading a newspaper on his steering wheel! Within the same month, I saw a motorist driving with a hamburger in one hand, and a milk shake in the other, while driving through stop and go traffic on Interstate 95!

We’re not considering reckless multi-tasking, but consider combining tasks that don’t require 100% focus. For example, you cannot focus entirely on an audio book while driving, and you may have to listen to it quite a few times before you mentally digest all the material.

For this very reason, you should not consider listening to, and concentrating on, meditation audio books, while driving your car or operating machinery. Yoga philosophy is one thing, but trying to listen to or practice with a meditation audio book, while driving, is quite another. Therefore, be very careful about the safety factors involved in multi-tasking.

Another point to cover is logistics. When you consider where you are going, always plan to avoid “back tracking.” For example: If you are picking the kids up from school and have to get groceries, make it into a combined trip. If you make it into two trips, this is truly a waste of time. Therefore, plan your trips, whether they are time spent in a car, riding a bike, or walking.

Lastly, make time for family, friends, and loved ones. Unify your time for a balanced life. Life is not, “all work and no play,” but life is not sitting around living the life of a “couch potato.” Remember one of the best excuses for not attending a Yoga class: “I don’t have the time.”

bookmark_borderFat Burning Tricks to Make Sexy

How to Lose Fat With: Cardio

99% of people do this the wrong way. They try to get on a cardio machine and go for 30-60 minutes in an effort to burn as many calories as possible. Does this work? Yes it does. The problem is that doing long bouts of “same speed” cardio does virtually nothing to raise your metabolism! On top of that, your body rapidly adapts to doing the same cardio workout over and over again. Soon, you have to go longer and harder to achieve the same benefit as when you started!

What Works: Use interval when doing cardio

Using intervals means that you use both high and low intensities. This is great for fat loss with exercise because the high intensity periods are what raises your metabolism so that you can burn calories for hours after you are done working out!

To use interval training, try using an exercise bike and going 2 minute slow followed by 1 minute fast. Repeat this 3-6 times and you have yourself a fat burning cardio routine that will burn lots of calories as well as crank up your metabolism!

How to Lose Fat With: Resistance Training

This is one of the most overlooked ways to achieve fat loss with exercise.

Instead of just using the strength training machines after doing cardio, try doing total body circuit training instead.

What Works: To put it simply, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn! Muscle uses stored body fat as fuel when it is primed to do so.

A great way to use resistance training for fat loss is by doing total body strength training workouts 2-3 times per week. By working your whole body, you will burn more calories and add more lean muscle mass.

Here is an example of what a total body workout for fat loss might look like:

  • Pushups
  • Lunges
  • Seated row
  • DB squats
  • Ab crunches on a stability ball
  • Leg curl on a stability ball

REPS: 10-12
ROTATIONS: 2-3
REST: 30-45 secs

Can you see how this type of workout really works your whole body? Remember, the more lean muscle mass you have the more fat loss you will see as a result!

bookmark_borderYoga Clothes for Comfort

Yoga Pants

There are many types of yoga pants. Some are long and go down to your ankles; others stop just below your knees. Often they are relatively form fitting. These types of pants have the benefit of allowing your instructor to see your alignment so she can make any necessary adjustments to your form.

If you aren’t comfortable in pants that are so revealing, you might enjoy wearing loose, cotton trousers. They offer freedom of movement without being too tight.

Whatever pants you choose, make sure that you can bend and move freely in them. Also be sure that there are no bulky ties at the waist that might be uncomfortable when you are lying in a prone position.

Yoga Shorts

Yoga shorts are a very good choice if you practice Bikram or hot yoga, because the room is heated to such a high temperature. They are a good bet in the warm summer months when long pants might be too warm. They also help you more easily check the proper alignment of your lower body because you can see your knees and ankles.

The yoga shorts should be long enough to cover your derriere and they should not ride up. Form fitting shorts usually don’t move too much, so they may be just right for you.

Yoga Tops

Yoga tops should allow you to move freely without having them fall in your face. Tee shirts should be short enough so that your lower body is not hidden, so you can more easily check your alignment. Some women like to wear sports bras (especially those who practice Bikram yoga). If you choose to wear one, make sure that it holds you securely and that nothing falls out when you are bending or stretching. You don’t want to wear something that is going to cause you to worry about what you might be showing to the rest of the class.

Yoga tops come in many bright and attractive colors. You might also have fun wearing shirts with characters such as Yoga girl on them.

Yoga Shoes

Most people do not wear shoes during their practice. However, they might be useful if you practice outside in a park, on a beach, or some place where you would not want to take off your shoes and socks. Yoga shoes look very similar to other athletic footwear, except that the soles allow for considerable flexibility in your foot and the tops of the shoes are very lightweight. Some popular brands include Puma yoga shoes and Adidas shoes for yoga.

Jacket

Many people might not think that a jacket is an important part of yoga clothing, but I beg to disagree. I think it is absolutely critical to take a jacket with you to your yoga class. I have been in many classes where the temperature has been quite cool (some are downright freezing). While the temperature often doesn’t matter too much while I am moving during the poses, it becomes quite a different story when the time comes to meditate.

bookmark_borderLimited Workout Time

The problem is that when it comes to working out, duration often comes at the expense of intensity. More isn’t always better. Better is always better. I have noticed that many people find difficulty getting effective workouts in their planned workout time.

For example, you may have one hour to workout given your other responsibilities. With a need to warm up, perform weight training and cardiovascular training, you may feel stressed if you don’t get all parts of your workout in. So, you have two options:

  • Allow your workout to spill over your allotted time.
  • Skip some parts of your workout.

Neither option is preferred. The first option creates a sense of stress at the loss of time while the second option leaves you feeling like you failed at completing your workout.

And a few of you out there never seem to have enough time left for cardio at the end. You know who you are.

I’ve got the solution for all of the above concerns – Retro-Fitting Fitness!

Here’s how it works. Begin with your total workout time in mind. You perform your warm-up and your weight training, and then perform your cardiovascular training for the time remaining until the end of your planned time.

“But what if I only have 10 minutes left? I can’t get a good cardio workout in.”

Yes, you can.

You simply have to adjust the intensity of the cardiovascular training to make sure you feel challenged in the time you have left.

Planned on doing 30 minutes, but you only have 18 minutes left? Then use more resistance, speed, or tempo in your cardio workout to get you tired enough that you have to stop in 18 minutes. Planned on 20 minutes and you have 25 minutes left? You can try to go a little longer (without sacrificing intensity!) than you normally do.

Another benefit to training this way: If you tend to be a little addicted to cardio and you’re worried about doing a long enough cardio session, the pressure of having a finite amount of time left at the end will keep you moving with a little more focus during your weight training. You’ll get through your workout without the distractions of too much rest between sets, letting your mind wander, or the chatty people around you.

The main points: Never get frustrated because you don’t have enough time for an effective workout and never sacrifice quality to do more quantity. Your body changes more significantly in response to intensity than duration.

bookmark_borderAerobic Dance

Some classes have unique, catchy names used specifically for marketing purposes. Classes can be highly choreographed, which requires a high level of co-ordination and skill.

Nowadays health clubs and fitness centres usually offer a range of ‘aerobics’ classes. The classes usually have different names, formats and descriptions and will vary from one venue to the next.

Currently popular ‘aerobics’ formats include Hi-Lo, Low Impact, Martial Arts-based Aerobics, Kickboxing, Latin, Hip-hop, Funk and Jazz. A variety of equipment-based workouts, such as Step Aerobics and Slide Aerobics, also fall within this category.

When you join a health club or fitness centre, ensure that you are familiar with different classes offered and study the class description carefully. This will enable you to choose the ideal class to go to.

The aerobics phase follows the warm-up. The aerobics section is mainly aimed at improving cardiorespiratory endurance and body composition and uses large body movements performed continuously so that the heart rate remains elevated.

An aerobics class always ends with stretching and relaxation exercises. The cool-down is designed to lower the heart rate, help prevent muscle soreness, enhance flexibility and re-establish homeostasis or equilibrium.

bookmark_borderKiller Back Workout

  • Bent Over Dumbbell Rows – Grab some dumbbells that you will be able to perform 4 sets of 15, 12, 10, and 8 reps with. As the reps lower you should use heaver dumbbells. Stand up while holding a pair of dumbbells and carefully lean over at the waist until your back is parrell with the floor. Make sure your knees are bent slightly. With the dumbbells hanging straight down, pull the dumbbells up to your sides as high as possible and squeeze your back muscles together at the top for a count of three seconds. Then slowly lower the dumbbells back to your starting position.
  • Machine Rows – 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, and 6 reps again adding weight as you lower your reps. Start in a seated position by placing your feet firmly against the footrests on a back row machine. If you do not have this type of machine you can use exercise bands with the band placed under your feet. I like using my Bowflex for this exercise. Arch your back slightly and grasp the handles or grips if you are using exercise bands. Pull the handles toward you and squeeze and squeeze your back muscles for a count of three. Do not bend backwards at your torso. Your back should remain straight. Slowly return the handles to the start and repeat with the next rep.
  • Flat Bench Dumbbell Pullovers – 3 sets of 10 reps a piece. Start by lying face up on a weight bench with your head and neck supported by the bench. Hold a single dumbbell with both hands over you chest by cupping the inside of the dumbbell. Bend your elbows slightly. Now lower the dumbbell behind your head toward the floor. Make sure the movement does no go beyond full stretch, contract your lats and return to the start position. I think this is an excellent back workout exercise. Sometimes this exercise is mistaken for a chest exercise.

bookmark_borderFitness Program Include Posture

The often overlooked, and rarely talked about, exercise posture is extremely important in preventing exercise injuries, and strengthening your overall skeletal muscle system. When focusing on proper posture while performing an exercise, you will provide a more grounded, solid base; thus, improving focus on taxing the specific intended muscle group or movement without getting unwanted muscles involved.

It is also important to focus on everyday posture outside of your fitness program. Discomfort in the back and neck is the primary adverse consequence of poor posture. It can also strain your hips and knees.

The first thing you must know is what exactly is proper posture. Find a mirror, take a deep breathe, and exhale. Now observe your position. Your head should be centered on your neck (not pushed forward or tilted in any way.) Your shoulders should be level, and not sloped. Your chest should be up, and abdominals tucked in. You should also assume the same type of position when seated.

When conducting any type of exercise, strength training or cardio, please focus on the specific posture mentioned above. Concentrate on contracting your abdominals during the execution of all exercises. Chest will be up, and head straight forward. This little reminder will not only protect you from injury, but automatically strengthen your core muscles from the constant isometric contraction.

It is important to note that poor posture can be corrected by
combating the two major causes of misalignment: weak muscles,
and bad habit. Correction begins outside of the gym getting into the habit of proper posture each and every day as mentioned above.

Here are a few more exercise tips to help you strengthen the muscles that will affect your posture.

  • Do pelvic tilt exercises while lying on the ground
  • Abdominal crunches
  • Upper and lower back exercises. Rhomboid, and Erector Spinae
  • Strengthen your gluteal and leg muscles

In order to increase your exercise productivity, and decrease the chance of injury, pay close attention to your posture both during, and after participating in your specific exercise program. You will see a difference in results and fitness program injury prevention.

bookmark_borderCalorie Burning Summer Exercises

Swimming

In summer, when the sun is blazing down on you, there’s nothing better than diving in a cool, clear, outdoor swimming pool to keep your body temperature comfortable. Do a short spell of swimming and notice the difference it has on your body and mind. Swimming is the total body and mind workout.

Tennis

Tennis is the ideal summer sport. Playing against a friend or tennis partner provides the competitive edge that you may need to work that little bit harder. Tennis is great for developing toned arms and legs. For variety you can play doubles tennis, although this doesn’t burn quite as many calories.

Cycling

Cycling in the sun is a great experience. With the sun blazing down on you and the wind blowing through your hair provides a great middle ground to keep your body temperature constant. Cycling is great for working and toning the leg muscles and the best part is, you won’t even realise your exercising them!

Hiking

This summer, why not find a place to hike to burn some excess calories. Get on your hiking shoes and find a rural trek. Go with a friend, a family member or even your partner. When hiking you won’t even realise your exercising, but it is highly effective. In fact it burns around 450 calories per hour or more.

bookmark_borderYoga Equipment

Research has demonstrated that yoga can help control anxiety, reduce asthma, alleviate arthritis symptoms, lower blood pressure, eliminate back pain, and benefit patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, epilepsy, diabetes, headaches, stress and much more.

Yoga offers a lot of benefits. Perhaps its most important benefit is it’s ability to reduce tension and stress. Stress can lead to a whole slew of other health problems.

Yoga increases muscle tone, strength, stamina and flexibility. If you are overweight, yoga can help you gently reduce your weight and keep the pounds an inches off. Yoga exercises can burn excess fat and give you your desired figure.

Yoga can also help you improve your concentration and enhance your creativity. It can help you to think more positively and learn to live free of anxiety.

Your body needs to relax from time to time. Sometimes, work can leave us feeling spent and exhausted. During busy days, we may not be able to unwind because work is still on our mind. Yoga can help you create a sense of calmness and well being to replace this stress from work.

Yoga exercise improves circulation. Your organs and veins need to move and stretch to function properly. Yoga can also help stimulate your immune system to protect you from disease.

Don’t confuse yoga with religion. It’s just a method of exercise with a long list of benefits to your health and well being. If you begin to feel more spiritual it’s probably because you are more in tune with your body and life than you were before you started doing yoga.

The pressure and demands of life can leave us stressed out. We find ourselves rushing most of the time with the deadlines and hassles we need to keep up with. This leaves us little time to rest our minds and relax.