Archive for the ‘Tips and Tricks’ Category

Ensuring a Speedy Recovery After a Good Exercise

June 21st, 2015 No comments

Making sure that you do not feel sore after a workout is essential to continue pushing your limits, and also to have strength to repeat it the next time. However, even though there many ways to go about a speedy recovery, not all are effective and many might be even harmful if you do not do as it was intended to. You need to understand that in order to grow muscles, and to tone your body, you need some time to rest as well, and in order to really help your body repair itself, you will need to maximize recovery.

The focus is on productive recovery

A speedy recovery is not going to be good if your body cannot keep up with damage repair, and you will be basically only patching up minor tears which might not help your body recover in the short period of time given. Which is why you should workout past your limit, but only to a certain degree, because you will leave enough room for your body to recover after, and to build up nicely, without having to suffer or without having to damage yourself.


Change your diet accordingly

It is very important that you figure out a proper diet, and that you include as much protein as possible because it will help with not only building muscles but with shaping your body too. However, try not to overdo the protein count, because it could be potentially dangerous to your body and to your overall health as well. Moreover, make sure that you check your protein sources, because not all ingested protein is absorbed in the same manner, and some might take longer than other, which must be taken into account even when recovering after a hard workout.

Workout nutrition

Before and after a workout it will be essential to focus on what you eat, as it can help with your session, and with the recovery period later on. It is important that you pay attention to the nutritive factor and how it will influence your body. Putting together the right pre and post workout nutrition will require careful planning, and some precise calculating, but once you get the right formula, it will really help with the speedy recovery. Moreover, you will be able to drastically reduce soreness and improve overall regeneration of your body.

Keep yourself hydrated

It is a general rule that you should always keep your body hydrated, and that you should avoid sugary drinks, because they will only give you empty calories and a sudden burst of energy that will not help with recovery. However, by choosing a recovery drink you will speed up the process and also enjoy a tasty treat after a good session of workout. Try to drink them only after a workout so that you do not get addicted and that you do not overdose yourself, which could strain your body even more, making recovery slower.

Rest is not the only option

Many believe that after a good workout it is best to just lie down and let your body do the rest, but it is not always the case. It is believed that active recovery might just be better for your body as it can help mend your body faster and reduce soreness on a level that will help you feel even greater after a good workout. Moreover, this method will help you recover better not only physically but psychologically as well.


Recovery with style

In the end, it is vital that you find the best possible way to relax and to recover after a great workout, and it will be necessary that you focus on all the elements so that you can really help your body out. Keep in mind that rest is just as important as working out, and in order to feel great and energized you will need to make sure that you eat right, drink enough and rest plenty so that your body feels great afterwards. Remember though to give your body enough time for recovery, do not just rush into it and into a new workout session too quickly.

How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

December 28th, 2014 No comments

It’s that time of the year again – time to be jolly, spend some quality time with your family, friends and loved ones, perhaps travel somewhere nice and indulge yourself with various treats for all the senses. Still, Christmastime is also a season infamous for unwarranted weight gain: with the winter chill and the elements raging outside, holiday feasts rich in heavy foods and the overall tendency to be lazier, sleepier and less mobile than usual, your waistline and figure at the end of Christmas break may end up slightly more on the generous side than you originally expected. Don’t worry, there are some simple ways to avoid weight gain during winter holidays, and if you stick to these straightforward recommendations, your body will keep its slender form all through to spring and summer.

Stay hydrated: Lots of H2O is a must in winter, too

Drinking enough water is important, and we all know that well. Still, our thirst doesn’t appear to be as pressing in the wintertime as it does in the summer season, but that’s no excuse to cut down on your gulps over the Christmas holidays. If you manage to get down at least 8-10 glasses of water or mild tea, you will get all the liquid your body needs to keep functioning seamlessly; your metabolism will remain as active as usual despite the consumption of somewhat heavier foods. Sufficient H2O intake will keep the exchange of matter in your cells from slowing down and it will also reduce your sense of hunger (which tends to get misleading in wintertime with all that starchy food lying around), thus preventing unwanted weight gain and deterring a range of other negative effects on your skin, nails, hair and internal organs.

christmas-fitnessGet a move on: Don’t let the cold stop you

Though couch-potatoing all through the winter holidays may sound appealing to overworked folks, it is definitely not recommended if you want to keep fit and slim, come early spring. The fact that it’s bitter cold outside isn’t a good enough excuse to laze and mope around for days on end: the genuine definition of decent holiday rest also involves moderate recreation and movement. There are various indoor sports you can engage in over winter to keep your body active and agile even if you’re not a fan of snow sports. Sign up for the gym, go bowling, organize a basketball or football match in the local high school gymnasium or take some yoga and Pilates classes – there’re lots of options for indoor fun and games, so don’t even think about offering questionable excuses to justify your holiday fat.

A bit of apothecary magic: Weight regulating supplements

Even with proper care and sufficient activity, you may gain a bit of weight around the figure’s edges due to overly starchy diet during winter holidays. Still, there’s a safe and easy way to remedy slight-to-moderate weight gain: with some tried and tested protein powders, your body will be able to use up all the nutrients optimally and turn extra nourishment into muscles instead of that mean fat and beastly cellulite. Even if you’re not an avid athlete, protein shakes and smoothies are good for the body if used in moderation, so perhaps it’s the right time to whip out some powders to combat all that starch, carbs and fat laying around the Christmas table.

Enjoy your holiday and treat yourself to some soulful delight this winter, but don’t give in to the line of least resistance: spring and summer will be here before you know it, and shredding that Christmas fat before the beachside season will be a much more difficult task than preventing it now. Drink lots of water, stay active, try some weight regulating supplements and be moderate with your diet – that’s pretty much all it takes to avoid turning into a slab of fat in just two or three weeks (needless to say, your body will be eternally grateful to you for it).

Fitness Watches: a Review and Comparison

September 21st, 2014 No comments

Fitness watches are part of the latest trend back toward wrist-worn technology. You might have thought that wristwatches were going the way of the rotary dial telephone and floppy discs but wrist-worn tech is suddenly back in vogue. And there’s a great fit with fitness, especially jogging, as this is a lightweight and practical way of staying connected and measuring your activity.

Let’s check out some of the latest fitness watches on the market. Here’s a complete review to help you decide which fitness watch is the best for you. The watches we focus on here are the Garmin Vivofit, TomTom Runner Cardio and Samsung Gear Fit.


The Garmin Vivofit

This is a very comfortable watch with a small display that makes it look like just another watch on the market. The focus here is on absolute simplicity. It does not have a touchscreen or even a backlight or nightlight. This watch is focused entirely on measuring activity, with a switch that measures step count, distance, goal differential, calories burned and… the time and date. That’s it.

As sparse as the Vivofit is in features, it’s deft and nimble at getting you out and on your workout. Particularly notable is the red line that tells you that you’ve been sitting too long. When you want to run or workout the watch is ready to go with you – no messing or fussing as there is with more complex fitness watches. Because of its simplicity, this watch’s battery has been known to last as long as a year.

The Vivofit syncs with either a Garmin Connect app (assuming you have an account). Slim on features it also has the slimmest price of the most recent issues in fitness watches, under $200 MSRP.

The TomTom Runner Cardio is designed even more specifically for running, with a thicker, yet very comfortable strap, a backlight and a big, easy-to-read-while-you’re-running display. However, the navigation for this is a tad clunky. Moving through the menu is not easy and it might take you a minute to set things up before you head out. However the features are what make this so bulky. There’s an onboard GPS, a heart rate monitor, and a gage for pace, strides and even elevation. GPS mode wears out the battery but this still has a solid battery life if you’re just using it in the gym.

Wear and Working Out

This watch is not designed to be worn everywhere all the time, so if that’s what you are looking for, you may want to invest your money elsewhere. That also means that you need to remind yourself to put it on before working out and when you set the watch up for your workout, it takes a bit of navigating and setting. Your workout syncs to an app (iPhone only) or uploads to TomTom’s MySports service or to popular online trackers such as RunKeeper.

The Runner Cardio has the occasional lapse in step counting and can require an occasional reset.

The Cardio Runner is one of the most expensive of the latest collection of fitness watches; this is a commitment to fitness, at $300. As biometrics gets smarter and the market changes, the price of this and other fitness tech watches will come down.

The Samsung Gear Fit

This is the techiest watch, one that looks very go-go-gadgety. The touchscreen is curved and the interface is bright and easy-to-use. Features include a step tracker, alarm, heart rate monitor, GPS locator and controls that sync with your phone. That’s the key to this watch, it requires a Samsung phone. You’re not going to buy this unless you have a Samsung phone but if you do, this is an excellent accessory.

Once you have it set up and synced, working out is seamless. You can use it with Samsung’s S Health app, and data gets transferred to your phone regularly. The Gear Fit allows you to track progress in much greater detail than other fitness watches, with no fussing with uploading or wait times. In that way it is certainly superior to the TomTom Runner Cardio, for example. It also awards you medals for reaching goals.

The Gear Fit is known to occasionally lapse in counting and can require a reset once in a while. This is moderately priced at $200 MSRP.

brand Price Comfort Night Battery life Usability Feature set Style
Garmin Vivofit $190 5 N 5 4 2 3
TomTom Runner $300 5 Y 3 2 5 4
Samsung Gear Fit $200 4 Y 3 5 4 5

Check them out for yourself:


Categories: Cardio, Tips and Tricks Tags:

Sure-fire Ways to Ruin Your Metabolism

May 13th, 2014 No comments

Aren’t you tired of all those articles telling you all about the ways to speed up your metabolism, all the wondrous, easy ways to burn fats more effectively and to get fit in record time? Well, if you are, then you have come to the right place. We give you some of the quickest and surest ways to ruin your metabolism. You decide what you want to do with it.

Drink a lot of alcohol

Drinking alcohol in amounts that are larger than anything but a drink or two a day will definitely have a negative effect on your metabolism. For one thing, alcohol is packed with sugars and other substances that have a negative effect on your body. In addition to this, drinking alcohol can alter the chemical balance in the brain and lead to negative effects on the metabolism. Finally, if you keep on drinking too much, your liver will become compromised; your liver is the crucial part of your metabolism.

Avoid getting enough sleep

Sleep is crucial for leading a healthy lifestyle and without enough sleep; your body is in total disarray. Sleeping patterns have a healthy and regulating effect on various hormones that govern your appetite and your eating habits. These are ghrelin, leptin and cortisol..

Skip meals

Skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do to your metabolism, especially if you do this regularly. First of all, skipping meals will actually tell your body to start conserving energy which will directly slow down your metabolism. In addition, this usually leads to overeating during your next meal and you can guess how negative this will be for your metabolism. Excuses like "I don't have time to plan my meals" or "I have to choose between eating junk or not eating at all" will surely take you down the messed-up-metabolism lane. Personally, I rarely leave home without a protein bar and I don't even have to go to the store to buy them - I just order online from these guys and get them delivered to my doorstep.

Stay stressed

There are a few reasons why stress is bad for your metabolism. For one, people who get stressed and stay stressed are more likely to try and mitigate their stress and anxiety with eating -- and eating junk food, at that. Furthermore, stress can lead to a fight or flight response, which elevates levels of cortisol, which has further negative effect on the metabolism.

Eat a lot of processed food

Processed food is extremely bad for your metabolism, simply because it often contains a lot of sugar. Sugar actually interferes with lipase, a hormone which is essential in burning down of fats in the human body. Additives, salt and other similar substances found in processed foods also have a negative effect on levels of hormones that control the burning of fats.

Gorge yourself on dairy

Consuming too much dairy products and drinking too much milk has a number of negative effects on the human body, with benefits that are quite limited; this includes the negative effects to the metabolism. Full-fat dairy products are especially difficult to digest; too much dairy can lead to a chronic slowing of your metabolism as the body gets accustomed to the presence of dairy products in your diet.

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Five (+ One) Ways to Stay Motivated

April 23rd, 2014 No comments

Everyone has their own tricks to stay motivated to keep active, get fit, keep going to the gym, keep running, whatever it is you do to work out. Setting goals and keeping your goals in front of you is a big key, of course. But there are times when you just need something else, some other mental trick to get up off the couch, get in your car and get down to the gym.

I have my own special trick I’ll tack onto the end of this. Let’s take a look at some other great tips from around the web, though.

Stay Hungry 1976 DVD

Strangely incongruous movie poster

Mix Fun with Fitness

“Make it Fun,” says the Mayo Clinic. Great advice: “If you're not enjoying your workouts, try something different. Join a volleyball or softball league.” Something I think about switching over to: “Find sports or activities that you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep you on your toes.”

Try different things until you find something you really love doing that keeps you active.

Find a Fitness Community

“Reach out to others for support, “ says (Well, that’s what is all about, actually.) They note that in America, some tend to have trouble asking for help, but encouragement from others can be a critical aspect of staying motivated for some people. Create or find your own support group. We’re trying to create one online here that can be part of your network or all you need, to share with others.

Be a cheapskate, make sure you’re getting your money’s worth

The Washingtonian did a post about the difficulties of staying motivated in a cold climate. One of their best points was that once you’ve invested in a gym membership or workout equipment you’d be a fool to throw that money away and not get your money’s worth. I know that the local chain of gyms might get a bad rap for making people commit to one year but I like that as a great motivator.  Think like a cheapskate! Get your money’s worth out of the money you’ve sunk into staying fit. Stay away from the gym and you lose doubly – your waistline grows and wasting money.

Keep a Fitness Card or Log

This is a commitment.  This is another way you can use our site. Keeping an online log is a great way to stay motivated but even if you just keep one for yourself you’ve got that extra motivation to not miss a workout and to push yourself higher.

Put Yourself Out There

Anything you can do to draw attention to the fact that you work out puts it always in the back of your mind and it can become part of your identity.  If you sit at the front in your cycle class, there’s no slacking off for you.  Force yourself to be your best.

If you lose weight and tell people that you’re working out they’ll ask you about it next time they see you. “Still working out?” What are you going to say to that?

Blog about it, tweet about it, make sure you let others know that that’s who you are. You might even motivate others.

There are other ways to stay motivated. Let me know what you think in the comments.

My Secret: Lie to Yourself

There is at least one workout a week that I do not want to get in the car for. “I have work to do…. There’s a game on...” we all know excuses that boil down to “I just don’t feel like it.” My secret? I tell myself a lie: “This time I’ll take it easy.” Okay, I reply. Once I get in the car and head to the gym there’s no turning back of course. Sometimes I even follow through so next time when I tell myself this lie, I will believe myself. Of course, often I end up giving myself a good workout and sometimes I get into it and push myself more than I ever have.

Try it next time you really should go to the gym but you just don’t feel motivated. “I’ll go but I’ll take it easy.” It works every time for me.