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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.

The Most Essential Nutrient: Water

The Most Essential Nutrient: Water

Nutrients don't come only in the form of food. Water is the most important nutrient, and very often most forgotten. You can last for some time without food, but not without water. Your body mass contains about 70 percent to 75 percent of water, with fat-containing much less, about 10 percent to 40 percent of water. Due to the increased muscle mass, men's and athletes' bodies contain more water than the ones with proportionately lower muscle and higher fat, for example, non-athletic women, people who are overweight and people who are older.

Water is very essential for important biochemical reactions, supplying nutrients and removing waste. It is necessary for maintaining blood circulation throughout your body. It also maintains the body temperature.

As you exercise, your metabolism and your internal body temperature increases. Water carries heat away from your internal organs before any damage occurs, which otherwise could lead to heat stroke or even death. The heat travels through the bloodstream to your skin which causes you to sweat and as the sweat evaporates, it allows you to cool off and maintain safe body temperature, ideal functioning, and health.

Daily water intake has to be balanced with losses to retain total body water. Losing body water can adversely affect your body’s functioning and health. When you start feeling thirsty, you've probably lost around 1 percent of your body water which will leave you dehydrated. If you have a 2 percent water loss, you could face serious fatigue and cardiovascular impairments. It's essential to keep in mind that individual liquid needs differ depending on your sweat rate, the environmental temperature, the clothing, humidity, and some other factors.

Summer is here, the sun is out, the grass is green, and you’re ready to take part in all those outdoor activities, beautiful hikes and perfect pool afternoons that you dreamed about all winter. But as the mercury rises, you need to pay attention to one important aspect of your health - your hydration

Things to do -

  • Drink enough water to prevent dehydration.
  • Keep a check on fluid loss by checking the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow and not dark yellow.
  • For short-duration and low to moderate intensity activity, water is a must to drink before, during and after exercise.
  • Any time you exercise in extreme heat or for a long time, supplement water with a sports drink that contains electrolytes and 6 percent to 8 percent carbohydrates. This prevents "hyponatremia" which dilutes your blood and can also lead to serious impairment.
  • Avoid exercising with a hangover.
  • Have enough fruits and vegetables in a day for optimum health. They all contain various levels of water and important nutrients essential to the body.
  • Another option is to replace fluid and sodium losses with watery foods that contain salt and potassium, such as soup and vegetable juices.
  • Drinking a predetermined number of ounces throughout the day (such as at meals, and before, during, and after a workout) will also keep you on track.
  • Chia Seeds - When you consume water-logged chia seeds before exercise or a day in the sun, they will progressively release the water as your body digests them, keeping your system hydrated

Water is truly the decoction of life. As you experience all the wonderful milestones of summer, remember to have plenty of water and eat a diet rich in hydrating whole fruits and vegetables to keep you going strong and healthy all summer. Your body and mind will thank you.

Treadmill vs Running Outside

Treadmill vs Running Outside

The argument over whether running outside or on a treadmill is "better" is not something new. Some people will tell you that running outdoors improves steadiness. Others will insist that a treadmill helps you sustain speed and performance levels that might otherwise lag outdoors.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer to this argument. Both methodologies have their own pros and cons based on your individual training needs and goals.

Treadmills -

Treadmills are one of the most famous pieces of cardiovascular equipment both at home and in gyms.

Some advantages of treadmill running:

  1. There are no weather and temperature restrictions
  2. You can stop any point you want
  3. The cushioned, smooth surface is not hard on the joints
  4. You can use the washroom whenever you feel the need
  5. You can do it alone and at any hour of the day
  6. The treadmill leaves you free of all hazards for eg, inattentive people on the wrong side of the road, cars, etc.
  7. It gives you greater kinesthetic sense since you can watch your form in front of a mirror.

While treadmills are considered the safer option by most users, there are also plenty of treadmill-related injuries each year. These include sprains, falls, head injuries, and cardiovascular events in people who either ran too fast or overexerted. Another important point to notice is that most treadmills do not have a downward incline feature which you need to strengthen the anterior tibialis muscles at the front of your legs. Then there are no turns on a treadmill machine, which puts restrictions on your ability to improve your lateral agility.

Outside Running

While elite athletes use a treadmill as part of their training routine, they do the majority of their running outdoors on tracks, trails, or pavement.

The advantages of outside running are rather simple:

  1. You do not need an expensive gym membership
  2. You can even train when you’re traveling
  3. It provides sport-specific training for road races
  4. You can enjoy nature and breathe in some fresh air
  5. It can be more motivating as it requires you to complete a set distance rather than just stepping off a machine.

Outdoor running also brings a risk of injury. According to research, anywhere from 7.2 percent to 50 percent of runners encounter some sort of injury. Knee injuries are by far the most common, followed by the less common ones namely lower leg, foot, and ankle injuries. It can also be unsafe due to cars, stray dogs, etc.

Conclusion

Athletes can get the same workout by running on a treadmill or outside provided they maintain the same effort level. But "effort," here is a highly variable measure which is based not only on the heart rate but a phenomenon is known as perceived exertion. Perceived exertion refers to how difficult you consider an activity to be, irrespective of how your body responds to that activity. It is important because we tend to give up sooner if something is perceived to be difficult. This psychological component can influence how much we get out of one exercise compared to the next.

If your main intention is to maintain your cardiovascular fitness goals, a treadmill may be all that you really require. By pairing the exercise with an accurate pulse monitor, you can push yourself in the right way while still keeping well within your maximum heart rate (MHR).

On the other hand, if you are training for a race event, you will definitely benefit more from running outdoors. While you can incorporate treadmill running to improve your cardio health, you should limit it to not more than 40 percent of your overall training.

If you run outdoors, your muscles and joints will be more conditioned to the varied terrain you'll encounter in a race. You'll be able to adapt to changes in the weather better and also be able to figure when to exert extra effort when faced with elevations or known obstacles.

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.

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