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Dumbbell Training

Dumbbell Training

Every health club and gym provides lines of cardio equipment, aisles of weight-training machines, free weights and specific stretch areas to help members achieve their individual goals. When it comes to fitness equipment, there is no one best equipment. Different types of equipments are intentionally designed to achieve specific fitness results.

Dumbbell Training

For those who have goals related to strength training, there are countless options for increasing lean muscle and adding strength. Options include the traditional weight machines, dumbbells and also a large variety of specialized equipment such as kettlebells, medicine balls, sandbags and oversized tires. Some forms of resistance training equipment are more fruitful for developing maximum strength, while weight-training machines can help increase muscle definition and lighter forms of resistance like medicine balls and kettlebells can help in improving movement-specific power output. Dumbbells are mostly used for joint-isolation exercises such as biceps curls, chest flyes or shoulder raises. Using dumbbells for full-body, multiplanar movements can provide a variety of different strength results. It also offers a large amount of benefits for cardiorespiratory fitness and flexibility

Let’s talk about the benefits of dumbbells -

  • Dumbbells can provide two types of overload that result in muscle growth, namely mechanic and metabolic. Mechanic overload is the result of damage caused by muscle contractions, which revives the repair process and leads to an increase in muscle size. Metabolic overload takes place when a muscle is worked to fatigue, which in turn leads to the adaptation of muscle cells being able to store more glycogen which leads muscles to increase in size. Heavy dumbbells can produce mechanical overload, while moderate-weight dumbbells combined with high reps can produce metabolic overload. \

 

  • Dumbbell exercises can create both intermuscular and intramuscular coordination which leads to greater levels of muscle activation. Intermuscular coordination is the potential of a number of different muscles to work together to produce and stabilize joint motion. Intramuscular coordination is the amount of muscle motor units and their joint muscle fibers that are activated within a specific muscle. Using lighter dumbbells for compound, multi joint or multiplanar movement patterns boosts coordination between various body segments. Using heavy dumbbells can enlarge the number of muscle fibers activated within a specific muscle.

 

  • Machines allow one motion in one specific movement to place load on one muscle or muscle group whereas dumbbells can be used for a variety of exercises. Due to their length, standard barbells are best used for compound movements in one specific motion. Because of their size and the fact that they can be held in each hand, dumbbells can be used to create a variety of different movement patterns to develop task- or movement-specific strength.

 

  • Traditional exercises with heavy dumbbells can increase the force production capacity of the contractile element, which is the specific actin-myosin muscle proteins responsible for sliding across one another to create concentric shortening actions or control eccentric lengthening. However multiplanar movement patterns with light dumbbells can improve the resiliency and strength of the elastic component which stores mechanical energy as it is lengthened, which is then released during a rapid muscle-shortening action

 

  • A single dumbbell can be used for exercises such as a one-arm overhead press or a split-leg goblet squat to create overload in one limb at a time since it allows you to focus on one arm or leg at a time, which is one way to initiate strength gains by using a heavy overload

Some workout options -

Goblet Squat

  • Hold a single dumbbell by the end in both hands
  • Open your feet wider than your shoulder - width
  • Rotate your knees and toes slightly outside
  • Sit into a deep squat, sitting your hips back and keeping your weight in your heels
  • Press through the heels and make your glutes and hamstrings to press up to standing  
  • Repeat 15-20 times

 

Lunge with Overhead Press

  • Stand with feet hip-distance apart while holding the dumbbells up by your shoulders with both palms facing in
  • Step your right foot back into a lunge position, but keep the weight to the front foot
  • Press the left heel, to stand back up and drive the right knee forward to balance on one leg
  • As you stand, press the weights overhead
  • Lower the weights down as you put the right foot back into another lunge
  • Complete 15 repetitions on the right leg, then switch

Dumbbell Rotational Press


  • Stand and hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other
  • Rotate to the right and completely extend your left arm. Pull your arm back down, rotate to the left and completely extend your right arm
  • Alternate sides for 8 to 10 times - complete 3 sets and rest for 45 seconds between each set

You can always watch youtube videos, google or consult a trainer for the best exercises for your body type and stay fit.

Tips to Stay Fit this Summer

Tips to Stay Fit this Summer

One cannot go online or open a magazine without seeing all sorts of articles and advertisements promising to help you shed weight and get ready for the swim-suit season. We hear all about how to get in shape for the summer, but what is it that takes to get and stay fit during summer?

With the scorching heat and plenty of distractions, summer can be one of the hardest times to stay motivated. It takes real dedication to hit the gym when you could be chilling by the pool. But the benefits of exercise are vast namely, weight loss, increased energy, improved immune system, better health, the list goes on which are the same irrespective of the season. Therefore, a little heat is no excuse to dispense with your workouts. In fact, the summer presents a sea of great exercise options.

Make Fitness Exciting

One of the best summertime fitness tips is to move outside. Outdoor fitness allows a number of options for a fun summer workout. This could include tennis, swimming, biking, some push-ups and other exercises at the park like yoga.

Many societies also offer outdoor fitness classes. Take a trial class which will help you figure whether that class provides you with the right fitness level.

Take your time to find a workout routine that works for you and that you’ll actually enjoy during the warm weather. Don’t join a 6 a.m. pilates class if your idea of early morning idea involves curling up with a book. To the contrary, if your day’s obligations push exercise to the end of the day, aim for a quick early-morning session and you can cross it off your list.

Walking is a fun, pleasurable way to move more if you’re an exercise beginner. Aim for 10,000 steps every day. If that feels like too much in the beginning start with a lower number and gradually increase that number. These days mostly all phones have a tracking app, if not, you can download one to count your steps.

Walking can be a lot of fun. You can schedule a morning walk with a good friend or stream an audiobook you’ve been meaning to read, or put on some music that will get you moving more vigorously.

Wandering in nature will rejuvenate you, get your blood flowing and give you strength during warm summer weather.

You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get a full-body workout. In fact, you can get an intense workout even in 15 minutes.

High‐intensity interval training (HIIT), also known as burst training, you give you a full-body workout in less time.

It involves working at the top of your capacity for 45–60 seconds, then recovering for 3 minutes by walking or a slow jog, then returning to very high intensity for another 45 – 60 seconds. You can include walking, running, biking, jumping rope, dancing and even swimming.

With HIIT, you only need 15–20 minutes and minimal or no equipment to do a quick workout. And you can do it outdoors.

An example of interval train while running:

  • Sprint up a hill as fast as you can go for up to one minute
  • Walk back downwards for one to two minutes
  • Repeat it

If HIIT is something new for you but you’re committed to trying, start slowly. If you can’t do a full minute, going as fast as you can for even 10 or 15 seconds will provide its benefits. Be prepared to sweat. HIIT should leave you breathless and physically maxed out.

Hydrate yourself - Drinking plenty of water is essential year-round, but in summer it becomes even more important as we need to recharge the water we lose through sweat. Many problems associated with heat, namely headaches, lethargy, and irritability, are actually signs of dehydration. Water is even more important when you are physically active as lack of water could lead to muscle cramps and fatigue.

Be cautious: You can prevent heat-related problems if you -

  • Know the best times to exercise outdoors during the summer — usually, morning and early evening are best but you can always check the weather forecast for heat advisories
  • Stay hydrated because, by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated
  • Wear breathable, flexible, light-colored clothing and proper headgear
  • Take proper precautions

Follow these fitness hacks and sail through this summer smoothly.

Cycling Benefits

Cycling Benefits

Cycling Studies have found that cycling holds back the effects of aging and keeps your immune system young.

It helps you sleep better -

In a study where sedentary insomnia sufferers were asked to cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day resulted in a decrease in the time for insomniacs to fall asleep and sleep time increased by almost an hour. Exercising outside exposes you to broad daylight which helps get your circadian rhythm back in sync, and helps your body get rid of cortisol which is the stress hormone that can prevent deep, regenerative sleep.

Increases your brain power

Get pedaling if you want your grey matter to sparkle. Researchers found a five percent improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness from cycling led to improvement up to 15 percent in mental tests. That’s because cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus which is the region responsible for memory that deteriorates from the age of 30. Cycling boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which regenerates receptors, explaining how exercise helps ward off Alzheimer’s.

Longer lifespan

A study which compared over 2,400 identical twins found those who did the equivalent of just three 45-minute rides a week were nine years biologically younger, even after discounting other influences, like body mass index (BMI) and smoking. Those who exercise regularly are at significantly lower risk of many problems like cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, all types of cancer, high blood pressure and obesity. By cycling, the body becomes much more efficient at defending itself and regenerating new cells.

Saves the planet

At least twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space as one car. It takes just five percent of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike, and to top it all, a bike produces zero pollution. Bikes are efficient, you travel around three times as fast as walking for the same amount of energy.

Helps you lose weight

A lot of people who want to exercise think that heading out for a jog is the best way to start slimming down. But while running does burn a ton of fat, it’s not feasible for you if you’re a little larger than you would like to be. If you think about it two to three times your body weight goes crashing through your body when your foot strikes the ground which is a waste of energy. Rather, start out on a bike where most of your weight is taken by the saddle, so your skeleton doesn’t take a battering.

Beats illness

As we all have heard, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what we don’t know is riding is the way to keep the doctor at bay too. Moderate exercise makes immune cells more active, so they’ can fight off infection. In fact, studies have shown that people who cycle for 30 minutes, five days a week take about half as many sick days as couch potatoes.

Makes you happy

Even if you’re sad when you saddle up, cranking through the roads will lift your spirits. Any mild to moderate exercise releases natural good endorphins that help counter stress and makes you happy.

Make friends and keep healthy

The social side of riding could be benefiting you as much as the actual exercise and health benefits. Socializing releases the hormone oxytocin, which buffers the fight or flight response of the body. Those with the most friends reduce the risk of early death by more than 60 percent, reducing blood pressure and strengthening their immune system. There have been researches which concluded not having close friends or a confidants is as harmful as smoking or carrying extra weight. Add in the fitness element of cycling too and you’re a winner.

Heals your heart

Studies have shown that regular cycling can cut your risk of heart disease by 50 percent. There have also been researches that showed that 10,000 fatal heart attacks could be avoided each year if people kept themselves fitter. Cycling just 30 km a week reduces your risk of heart disease to less than half that of those who do not exercise.

Improves workload management

Your boss will appreciate what cycling does for your usefulness to the company. A study of 200 people carried out found that employees who exercised before work or at lunchtime improved their time and workload management as it boosted their motivation and their ability to deal with stress. Workers who exercised also felt their interpersonal performance was better and they took fewer breaks and found it easier to finish work on time.

As it’s rightly said, “Cyclers see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens”. So, what are you waiting for? Grab that bicycle and get going!!

Self Hypnosis

Self Hypnosis

The word hypnosis comes from the Greek word “hypos” which means sleep. It is an abbreviation of the word neuro-hypnotism which means, ‘sleep of the nervous system’. Hypnosis reminds us of swinging pendulums and audiences being made to cluck like chickens whereas in reality hypnosis is much more than an amusing magician’s trick. It’s a medically accepted technique that uses innate mental powers to promote all kinds of mental and physical improvements.

Self-hypnosis is a naturally arising state of mind which can be defined as a heightened state of focused concentration. Under this, you can change your thinking, kick bad habits, and take control of the person you are along with relaxation and distressing from everyday life. It's just like meditation and results in a better version of you. It is almost always guided by a narrator who guides you into hypnosis by guiding your thoughts and giving you suggestions.

Hypnosis does not mean:

  • Mind control
  • Brain-washing
  • Sleep
  • Unconsciousness
  • Peculiar altered state
  • Mystical state

When in hypnosis a person is:

  • Alert
  • In control
  • In a natural state
  • Harmless
  • Capable of coming out of hypnosis when she/he wishes to

Self-hypnosis is often used to improve behavior, emotions, and attitudes. For instance, many people use self-hypnosis to help deal with the problems of everyday life. It can boost confidence and even help people develop new skills. A great stress reliever, it can also be used to overcome habits such as smoking, drinking, and overeating. Sportsmen and women can enhance their athletic performance with self-hypnosis, and also people suffering from physical pain or stress-related illnesses also find it very helpful (hypnosis should be done under the guidance of a doctor or qualified therapist).

Let’s talk about one of the most popular and effective forms of self-hypnosis -

  • Sit in a comfortable chair without crossing your legs and feet -
  • Do not indulge in a large meal before doing this so that you don’t feel bloated or uncomfortable. Sit in a chair because lying down on a bed will make you want to sleep. Also, wear loose clothes and take off your shoes. If you wear contact lenses, it is better to remove them. and keep your legs and feet uncrossed.

    1. Look up at the ceiling and take a deep breath -

    Do not strain your neck or tilt your head too far back. Pick a point on the ceiling and fix your eyes on that point. When you keep your eyes fixed on that point take in a deep breath and hold it for 3-5 seconds and then breathe out. Silently say, “My eyes are tired and I want to sleep now”. Repeat this process to yourself a couple of times and, if your eyes have not already done so, close them and relax in a normally closed position. Say it as you mean it in a gentle, soothing but convincing manner. Some other examples - To relieve stress at work you can use: ‘I am relaxed at work’. For an addictive habit, like smoking/drinking, you may use: ‘I am a non-smoker/non-alcoholic’. To reduce your nervousness before a public speaking event you may say: ‘I am a confident speaker’

    1. Allow your body to relax -

    Allow your body to become loose and limp in the chair. Slowly and with intention count down silently from five to zero and tell yourself that with each and every count you’re becoming more and more relaxed. Stay in this relaxed state for a couple of minutes and focus on your breathing. Observe the rising and falling of your diaphragm and chest. You will realize how relaxed your body is becoming without you even having to try and relax it. The less you try, the more relaxed you will become.

    1. When ready, come back to the room counting up from one to five -

    Tell yourself that you are becoming more alert of your surroundings and at the count of five you will open your eyes. Count up from one to five in a lively manner. At the count of five, you open your eyes and stretch your arms and legs.

    Repeat this technique three or four times and analyze how with each time you reach a deeper level of relaxation. However, if you feel you do not relax as much as you would like, do not force it.

    Some people feel a little spaced out or sleepy after they come out of the hypnosis. This is similar to waking up from an afternoon nap. It is harmless and passes after a few moments.

    Failing to achieve a goal does not mean you are a failure. It could be that you need to approach the goal in a different way or that you need to be persistent. Practice self-hypnosis regularly. Take your time. Relax. Accept the speed at which you achieve results, however small they may seem at first. Believe in yourself and you will go on to achieve the success you desire.

    How Hormones Affect Your Health

    How Hormones Affect Your Health

    From our mood swings to our physical health, hormones have a lot to do with the way we function. Hormonal imbalance occurs when there is a lot or too little of a hormone in the bloodstream. Because of their role is so essential in the body, even small hormonal imbalances can cause side effects throughout the body. These are basically chemicals that are produced by glands in the endocrine system. Hormones travel through the bloodstream to the tissues and organs and deliver messages that tell the organs what to do, what not to do and when to do it.  

    There are plenty of reasons why you might develop a hormonal imbalance, which can happen at any time in life. For example, hormonal imbalances tied to adrenal fatigue or PMS mostly affect younger women. Older women and men face other imbalances like higher-than-normal cortisol levels, low estrogen, or low testosterone.

    How diet affects your hormones -

    The energy and nutrients you obtain from your diet are the raw materials your body needs to produce hormones and fuel your body. For example, a lot of reproductive hormones are attained from cholesterol, which comes from foods like whole-fat dairy, eggs, butter, or meat.

    Hormones always impact one another. That’s why it’s said that within the endocrine system “everything is connected.” Therefore, if your body is producing high levels of certain hormones like cortisol, levels of other hormones will likely drop such as estrogen, progesterone, thyroid hormones, or testosterone.

    If your diet doesn’t supply enough energy or “materials” to make all the hormones you need, it’ll prioritize the production of stress hormones first because they’re important for survival.

    Your body does not consider reproductive hormones and those responsible for metabolic functions as its first priority. Hence, during times of extreme stress, you may develop unhealthy fluctuations in your hormone levels. Stress can come from emotional or physical sources, originating from anything like not eating enough calories, not sleeping well, or having an infection or being unwell.

    How can you prepare yourself against stress? Well, you cannot control which hormones your body will naturally produce, but you can definitely start with a high-quality, nutrient-dense diet as the first step.

    Symptoms

    The indication of a hormonal imbalance depends on which glands and hormones are affected. The common symptoms for hormonal imbalances include:

    • Unhealthy weight gain or weight loss
    • Excessive sweating
    • High-stress levels
    • Poor gut health
    • Vitamin D deficiency, too little UV light exposure
    • Obesity
    • Sleep deprivation, or too little rest and relaxation
    • Lack of exercise
    • Environmental exposure to toxins
    • Unhealthy lifestyle options including smoking, high alcohol consumption, or using drugs
    • Genetics
    • Aging
    • Changes in sensitivity to cold and heat
    • Skin Rashes
    • Blood pressure imbalance
    • Variations in heart rate
    • Brittle bones
    • Changes in blood sugar content
    • Anxiety
    • Unexplained long-term fatigue
    • Depression
    • Headaches
    • Need to go to the bathroom more or less than usual
    • Bloating
    • Changes in appetite
    • Reduced sex drive
    • Brittle hair
    • Infertility
    • Swelling
    • Blurred vision
    • Inflammation in the neck

    Balancing hormones

    First and foremost, it’s essential to address gut health and inflammation. Inflammation, which is the root of all disease including hormonal imbalances which usually stems from your gut. From there, it can affect nearly every aspect of your health because it forces your immune system into overdrive.

    When the immune system is overactive due to high-stress levels, genetics, or an inflammatory diet, you may develop autoimmune reactions as your body affects its own tissue or glands.

    And since gut health plays a significant role in hormone regulation, having a gut-related issue such as leaky gut syndrome or irritable bowel disease also increases your chances for hormonal imbalance.

    1. Eat a balanced diet with proteins, carbs, and fats.
    2. Reduce inflammatory foods like added sugar, gluten, etc
    3. Have probiotic foods like fermented yogurt, fruits, legumes, whole grains, oats, etc.
    4. Consume at least 25-30g of fiber every day like lentils, avocados.
    5. Eat healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, and seeds, organic dairy, etc.
    6. Drink enough water
    7. Take care of your liver - Limit alcohol
    8. Do not smoke
    9. Sleep for 7 to 9 hours
    10. Get sunlight exposure for Vitamin D

    Hormones determine a lot of our bodily functions as well as our mental health to such an extent that keeping them balanced is important. But because they have a tendency to go up and down with time, it is essential to keep yourself in pink of health. Everyone is different, and what works for some may not work for you. Therefore, it’s important to check your hormone levels with your doctor before you eat too much or too little of a certain food or make any changes in your diet.

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