Tired of long distance running and workouts and still can’t see the results. Well then try out rowing machines. This rowing machine works out on six major different muscles at every stretch and gives you perfect and desired results. They don’t only stretch your muscles out, but also help you to burn more calories. This machine works largely on you back and makes you 24 hours fit and going.
They work on deltoids, pectorals major, Rectus abdomens, Internal and external Oblique’s, Triceps, Biceps, Hamstrings and Quadriceps. These muscles make your bodies most visible parts. Just working out on them you can make a sweet and smart body. With the introduction of rowing machine many companies have come up with their products. We have brought out rowing machine reviews for you to decide the best.
Rowing machine types:
1. Air Rowers
Today’s most air rower uses fan air rower resistance to meet all availability levels. These rowers provide most important difficulty levels from beginner level to pro level. Depending upon the brand they may or may not be noisy. They are not purely silent because of its paddling and spinning blade.
· Flywheel adjustable resistance
· Flexible handling
· Easy workout
· Footrest design with frame lock
2. Water Rowers
This type rower is latest and trendy rowers in the market today. Though priced on a higher side, but its looks and finished woodwork shall make you work a little longer. This is well known for its better dynamics. Water rowers cast themselves into your strength and power.
· Robust design
· Efficient dynamics
· Ease of handling
· Sliding seat
3. Magnetic Rower
This is a new concept to market. The old fashion flywheel was stopped with physical force. This is replaced by flywheel with magnets which helps to stop the wheel easily. The magnet is not in contact with moving parts. Being new to market this is hardly used, but has the potential to build your body. This has only one demerit which is a reduction in force on your body which should not be the case in rowing.
· Electromagnet for force reduction
· Flywheel dynamics
· Easy handling
4. Hydraulic rower:
Are you looking for rowing machine which suits your budget. Then a hydraulic rower is best for you. This is an award winning machine for its cost effective result. Hydraulic rower is completely manually controlled and needs user to work attentively. Due to its cost effectiveness nature some of them are not durable. Hence, choose wisely between the products. Some of them have also reported to cause burning sensation on the skin after use.
· Hydraulic rowing
· Low cost
· Tough handling
Some features you must see before buying a rowing machine such as:
1. Monitoring System: These systems generally have features such as calorie meter, heart beat measurer and duration of workout which helps you access yourself better,
2. Moving parts: These parts put a lot of pressure on your body if they do not run properly. Choose between them wisely
3. Assembly system: Assembling the rowing system is another tough job. You must choose one of the rowing machine which could be easily assembled.
Exercising is an efficient way keeping your body fit and toned up. With the right amount of exercises, you will stay healthy and have a better lifestyle. Using the right amount of accessories can improve your exercising routine and give you better results in a short span of time. However, using the wrong tools or equipment’s can lead to equally devastating consequences. Therefore it is essential to use the right types of equipment while exercising.
What are the crucial aspects of exercising tools?
What should be the most important aspects to look for while using assisting equipment while exercising? Firstly, the equipment must not stain your body. They should provide a little amount of resistance so that you can shed a few more inches in a quick time frame. Secondly, the workout accessories should be strong enough to hold your body. Thirdly, they must provide some amount of comfort while exercising. Uncomfortable tools or equipment can cause severe health damage.
List of important accessories:
After discussing the necessary aspects of workout accessories, you must have understood that this equipment must be selected very carefully. Here is the list of some standard accessories that you can use safely in your home gym.
· Punching Bag:
Punching bags are some of the most commonly found accessories in a gym. A session of around fifteen to twenty minutes on a punching bag can burn up to 150 calories. A good workout on this equipment relieves the stress and works as a good cardiovascular training session. You can start your exercises on the punching bag with a session of 60 seconds workout and a 30 seconds rest period. Later on, you can gradually increase the exercise period to two minutes with the rest time of a minute.
· Using Kettle Bells:
These heavy balls of mass can burn a lot of calories leading to super toned muscles. Also, an exercising session with these Kettle Bells can improve the core strength of the body. You can find this equipment in several weight measurements. You should select the ones that you can lift with little difficulties. Choosing a more substantial set of Kettle Bells, during a workout can lead to sore muscles. In extreme cases, the problem of muscle tear might come up.
· Pull up stand:
Using a pull-up stand while exercising, can help you in building strong muscles. While applying on this tool, you can strengthen a different set of muscles. It gives you full body training and stronger core muscles. For example, if you are regularly performing widespread grip chin-ups, the latissimus dorsi muscles on your body have a full workout. Also, the rear deltoids muscle gets in better shape.
Obesity is a growing problem throughout the globe and both young and adults are equally affected. The reason behind the issue is increasing love for the digital world and ignoring the importance of outdoor play. It sure is difficult to get kids moving at such times when they are glue-stick to screens, but believe it or not, it is worth trying. Not only you can let them move, you can also make exercising fun for them in the following ways.
Yoga is one of the best ways to curb obesity and keep your kids healthy and active. You don’t need any fancy commercial playground equipment as you just need a little space and a mat and you are good to go. You must know how to perform yoga and how it enhances flexibility, develops coordination, and improves strength. Let me tell you how you can make it fun!
Let kids mimic animal poses while doing yoga such as a cow, lion, or cat. If that seems hard, you can try making yoga a story. For instance, you would talk about trees in the story and your kids perform tree pose or you tell about a snake and they act like a cobra. They can even move out of their mats for some seconds and make interesting sounds.
Indoor and Outdoor Activities
You can perform indoor and outdoor obstacle courses with them. There are times when you just can’t let your kids go outside whether it’s due to unfavorable weather or exams around. Indoors, you can try a pillow, lining up a jumping rope, cans or bottles, or a hula hoop. Arrange several pillows vertically and ask your kids to jump it 10 times. You can try similar activities with jumping ropes and other items I mentioned.
Now, let’s talk about outdoor obstacle courses! When you take your kid to a playground, set some challenges for him such as taking swing ten times, run and cover the entire jungle gym, climb the ladder or a climbing wall. Ask him to take all these challenges at once and get back to you. Furthermore, you can make obstacle courses on your own such as tying a rope somewhere or using bases of skates.
If you are unable to try any one of these, then try using adult exercises and make yourself an obstacle course. Sounds strange? Well, you can try doing push-ups yourself and ask your kid to jump over you when you are up. This isn’t only safe, but a hell of a fun as well!
Kids crave for parents’ attention and take more interest in adult things. Rather than leaving them alone to play, it would be the best if you join them. You can do simple things such as taking a ride with them, playing their favorite music and dance around or play catching balls. What is more, you can also look for age specifications in your gym and take your kids to group classes with you.
Eating out is very common in today’s world. One does not want to be the odd one out by always refusing to eat out with friends, family and colleagues in a bid to eat good home cooked meals and sticking to their health goals. Also, people are travelling more from what they used to once – whether it is for work or for leisure. However, it is possible to have a balanced and healthy lifestyle while still eating outside of home. All that is needed is making sound choices.
While eating food at a restaurant or at a food café or at a buffet, we may not know which food options are loaded with fat and calories. This becomes difficult for people on weight loss programs or those with clinical conditions. But, it does not mean that they do not eat out. Today healthier options are available at restaurants and food cafés and good choices can be made at buffets.
Just following the simple guidelines below will help you make healthy and guilt free food choices:
1. Skip the fancy drinks
Both, alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks add to only calories in a meal. The margaritas, pina coladas and the other fancy drinks are laden with sugar. If a drink is must, a glass of wine or a simple martini can be an option. For those preferring a non alcoholic drink, buttermilk, jal jeera or a light lemonade can keep away the unwanted calories. However, plain water is always the best option.
2. Appetizers and Soups
Avoid fried or breaded appetizers, which are generally high in calories. Of course, you can also save calories by skipping the appetizer altogether. Steamed appetizers like momos, grilled chicken, dimsums, etc are good options. When choosing soups the best choices are broth-based or tomato-based soups. Cream soups, chowders and pureed soups can contain heavy cream or egg yolks.
3. Salad tips
Those opting for salads before the main course tend to eat fewer overall calories. However, avoid creamy cheese, honey based dressings, cheese, potatoes, bacon, fried noodles, croutons etc in salads as they are high in calories. Instead, squeeze a lemon or try rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar. If you want to order a dressing based salad ask for the dressing on the side as then the amount of dressing you put in the salad will be in your control. A salad with just some vegetables, corn, lean meat or beans could be a great filler. Stir fries can also be a great option instead of the salad to help you avoid eating more calories later.
4. Watch the portion sizes
At restaurants, since the dish ordered is usually sufficient for 2-3 people, split the dish with your partner instead of eating the entire portion yourself. If you are at a fast food restaurant, order the small sized meal instead of the large sized one. Let go of the fries and the carbonated beverages.
5. Make your meals low in fat
When you go out at a restaurant to eat always check how the food is prepared. Check whether the food is broiled, poached, grilled, baked, or steamed as it tends to be lower in fat than foods that are fried. Limit foods that come with cream sauce or gravy. Avoid or have butter, sour cream, gravy, and sauces served on the side. This will allow you to control how much you eat as they are high in fat and calories. While ordering for burgers and sandwiches avoid ordering them with cheese, bacon, and other sweet sauces and opt for whole wheat or multigrain bread with added vegetables. With sandwich meals, choose water and fruit or plain yogurt if they’re available, rather than sugary or carbonated drinks, chips, and fries. Choose seafood, chicken, or lean red meat rather than fatty or processed meats.
6. Add fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
At fast food restaurant ask if french fries can be replaced by fruit or salad. Order extra vegetables with pizza, sandwiches etc. Indian, Thai and Japanese restaurants have a lot of vegetarian options available. Always opt for brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat or multigrain bread and tortillas instead of white rice, pasta, or white bread.
7. Be aware of overeating at a buffet
Check the entire buffet before you start filling your plate. Always start with a soup (non-creamy, broth based), fill the plate with veggies; opt for non-fried and less oily options. Instead of sugar sweetened beverages opt for plain water, buttermilk or jal jeera. Avoid butter / oil laden kulchas, puris, parathas, butter nan and ask for plain wheat rotis. Instead of desserts go for fresh cut fruit plate. Always wait for 5 to 10 minutes before going for a second helping.
8. Be conscious of what you eat while travelling
At hotel breakfast buffets do not eat large portions. Have a healthy mix of foods rich in carbohydrates and proteins with some fresh fruits. Make healthier food choices at meal times. Always drink plenty of water during travel as that is one aspect often neglected. Pack healthy snack options like roasted makhanas, nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, dried fruits like dates, anjeer, apricots, raisins etc to avoid unhealthy snacking. Instead of drinking carbonated beverages always check for the availability of coconut water, buttermilk etc. Fresh fruits are also a good option to keep yourself from indulging in fried and other unhealthy foods.
When the weather and seasons change, we often feel our bodies respond. When it’s colder outside, we feel more contained and stiff. When it’s warmer, we feel open and supple. But during this transition period, where they may be more rain or flowers blooming, there may be energy and emotions stuck in the heart and the hips that need to move out and around! All you need is a yoga mat, bolsters, and a yoga belt to get yourself on the way to spring cleaning yourself out.
Our hearts are the emotional center of love, joy, gratitude, and peace. However, when we suppress our emotions, they often get stuck down in the hips. And when we go to our yoga mat- we feel it! Here are two poses you can try to get yourself emotionally free today.
Gomukhasana / Cow Face Pose
Here, we will open the hips and the heart together. Start by tucking your left leg underneath your right so the knees are squeezed tightly together in front of you. If this is uncomfortable, simply cross your legs or stack your hips up on a bolster.
Root your sitting bones down into the ground and then reach your right arm up and left your arm back. Reach for the hands behind you or clasp onto your belt for assistance. Take 5 deep breaths here and then fold forward and hold for another 5-10 breaths. Slowly release and either move onto the next pose or practice the other side.
Restorative Pigeon Pose / Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana
Transitioning from Gomukhasana, swing the right leg back and shift the hips so they are square to the front. Make sure the front leg is externally rotated so the knee points toward the front left corner of your mat. For a deep, supportive variation, place a bolster underneath your hips and one in front of you.
Straighten out your back leg and lengthen your spine on an inhale. As you exhale, slowly fold forward. Drape your torso and head over the bolster and give it a nice hug. Exhale all of your stress and old, toxic thoughts and feelings away. Breathe deeply into your hips. Allow yourself to sink and surrender into this supported pigeon pose. Stay for 2 minutes.
Active Pigeon Pose
If you desire a more dynamic practice of pigeon pose, try the full variation. You can still use a bolster for support under the hips if needed. Set the legs up in the same position. This time, keep the torso upright and reach back for your right foot with your right hand. Rotate the arm so that you point the elbow up to the sky and bring the foot closer to your head, eventually reaching back with the other arm.
Becoming popular worldwide, you will find people wearing yoga pants not only when they are working out but also as a fashion statement. You can shop online and get the latest trends.
The types of clothes you wear say a lot about you. However, at times you want to feel good about yourself without thinking much about what others say. The good thing is that they’ll have you looking fine and make you feel fantastic.
They are comfortable. You can wear them at home, during your morning run, in the gym, while shopping or any other appropriate time. Of course, you cannot wear them at work unless you are a fitness instructor.
It is important to note that according to research, what you wear has significant impacts on your well-being. Also, what you wear can enhance your self-confidence especially during social interactions. Let’s dive into some of the benefits.
Benefits for the wearer
1. They might alleviate your stress levels
If you are looking for comfort, then this has a real impact on your health as well. When you are feeling cozy and great about yourself, you tend to forget your problems for a while. Soft and light on your body they might work wonders especially for people with anxiety issues.
Anxiety never blends well with tight or heavy clothing. If you feel anxious about something, then get your favorite pair and feel cozy. But remember that you can only wear them in an appropriate place like at home.
2. They make workout sessions fun and easy
How many times have you gone to the gym after work and realized you forgot your pair of yoga pants? Then you had to exercise with your regular pair of pants. Now think about how it felt. Definitely, it was not enjoyable, and it made the whole workout session seem difficult.
Quite flexible, they stretch to allow you to move with ease. They are comfortable, light and soft which ensures your body is free during exercising. Tight clothes can limit your blood circulation when working out, jogging or performing physical activities. You can shop for yoga pants online since having more can never hurt.
3. They are cost-effective
A pair of yoga pants will have you feeling cozy, great, and hot and with all that, they won’t damage your pocket regarding money. Most yoga pants are significantly cheaper than regular pants. Designer yoga pants can be quite expensive, but there are myriads of more affordable options.
Shop online and get yourself super cozy and cheaper solutions. Make every dollar you spend worth it.
What is the main difference between yoga pants and leggings?
Many people usually confuse this type of clothing with leggings. The two are quite different in several ways. Leggings were initially meant to be worn as undergarments. However, today they are worn for any occasion.
Ideal for exercise and yoga, they are sturdy, light, comfortable and quite flexible. Leggings are usually thin and sometimes see through making them unfit for training or work out. Most people wear leggings at home.
The most significant difference between the two is that yoga pants have a wider waistband than leggings. The thick waistband makes yoga pants more flexible and ideal for work out. People prefer yoga pants for exercise because they bring out the confidence aspect.
Typically, leggings are made for warmth while yoga pants for physical activities. While shopping for yoga pants online keep this in mind.
Which are best for me?
Yoga pants are perfect for yoga or exercise. Other people use them for other purposes like when running errands or lazing around at home. There is a slew of different styles to choose. Shop for online and get the ideal style for you.
Here are some of the most popular styles;
1. Bohemian Yoga Festival Pants
These tend to be looser and flare out at the bottom. Boot-Cut pants are comfortable and are used for certain types of yoga. However, since they are loose, they might be unfit for other forms of yoga.
2. Women’s High Waisted
Foldover pants are equipped with a foldover waistband. The style makes the pants looser at the waist, and hence the pants are quite comfortable.
Long leggings are tight, and most people use them as yoga pants. They are comfortable, light and flexible. Short leggings can also function as yoga pants. Their length gives them their name.
4. Sugar Skull Capris
Capri pants are short as well. They flare at the bottom like boot-cut pants. The difference between boot-cut pants and Capri pants is the length. Capri pants are shorter than boot-cut pants.
5. Wide Leg Women’s
The pants are loose and suitable for Kundalini yoga. They are not popular since they are unfit for many types of yoga. Harem pants are baggy as well with a band at the ankle.
There are different types of yoga such as Bikram, Kundalini, Vinyasa, and Hatha among others. There are different designs to cater to every person’s yoga needs. While shopping online, you can get the most appropriate one for your yoga session.
The best styles for you
1. Rainbow Full-Length Yoga Leggings
It is among the most popular yoga pants worldwide. It has the best features such as a high-rise waistband, lightweight, comfortable, quite flexible and style among others. These yoga pants are perfect for exercise or jogging. They have a perfect length as well.
2. Thick Velvet Warm Leggings
They are among the best yoga pants because of their uniqueness. They are stylish, comfortable, versatile, extra-long and flexible. They might be unsuitable for hot yoga, but they bring style to another whole level.
3. Mesh Patchwork
These yoga pants are a bit thicker but with large pore sizes. The large pore size makes them incredibly comfortable and breathable.
People say that night sweats resulting from the after-effects of illnesses can never be tamed and it is seldom that people can sleep peacefully at night. Even though night sweats are something you cannot control especially when you have contacted health issues as that of infections, cancer, hormonal imbalances, depression, diabetes, etc., there are measures that you could take to keep yourself safe and healthy.
Not everyone may witness instant or effective results but following these tips can bring about a change in the way you sleep and preventing sweating.
Be surrounded with comfortable clothing
So love wearing sensuous nightwear to sleep while the rest find it cold during the winters and wear night suits made of flannel. These are known to trap heat and result in you sweating in the middle of the night. Consider wearing light and fluffy clothing while you sleep. You could also consider ditching the underwear while letting your body breathe. Choosing clothing made up of cotton as well as laying cotton sheets to sleep on can help you stay away from sweats at night.
Change eating habits
There are several who have this tendency of consuming alcohol at night before they sleep. Some prefer a cup of coffee or probably spicy food to finish the day with. All of these tend to trigger body temperature fluctuations, and that would result in night sweats. When you drink alcohol, the blood vessels of the body tends to dilate, and that is where you start sweating profusely.
Breathe deeply more often
It is said that the fast-paced lives that we lead has curbed the way we breathe as well. We are known to take short breaths which leads to stress, When you are stressed, you automatically tend to witness night sweats. Taking up Yoga or probably meditation where you can undergo deep breathing sessions can help you calm down and be less stressed. This can help you get back to normal and not sweat when you sleep.
Keep yourself hydrated
When we sweat, we tend to lose out a lot of water, minerals and salts from our body. When you witness night sweats, drinking a glass of water immediately can help you receive relief in multiple ways. There are times when you can get better almost immediately while at times taking sips from the glass can help you recover.
Take control of the temperature around you
When you witness sudden night sweats, ensure that the temperature of the room is brought down. It could be switching on the fan or lowering the temperature of the air conditioner; you could help yourself accordingly. Gel mattress toppers to help you stay can and cool when you are sweating. There are modern mattresses that allow you to feel cold and adjust the temperature accordingly. Buying one of these especially when you are frequent with sweating at night can help you get that required relief and not feel the discomfort that you witness when you go through night sweats.
When drifting off is a struggle, it may seem like one of life’s greatest frustrations. It needn’t. In most cases, choices made during the day can have a big impact on whether going to sleep is a pleasure or a nightmare.
At least one in five people have difficulty in getting to sleep at night. A small number of them visit their family doctors for help. Many thousands more suffer in silence.
Sleeplessness is not only one of the commonest – and most worrying – of all medical problems, it is also one of the problems about which there are the greatest number of myths.
For example, many people seem convinced that they must get at least eight hours sleep every night.
That’s simply not true. There is no firm rule about how much sleep we all need. Some people only feel comfortable when they have had 10 hours sleep. Others, like Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, manage perfectly well on four hours’ sleep a night.
It’s also important to remember that we all need less sleep as we get older.
A second myth is that if you have a sleepless night, then you’ll have to sleep twice as along the following night to make up for it – and avoid damaging your health.
The fact is that if you get just two hours sleep before going off to work then the worst that will happen is that you’ll feel tired! And you should be able to recover completely by having an extra couple of hours’ sleep the following night.
Many of the unfortunate millions who suffer from insomnia could solve their problem completely if only they knew a little more about the common causes of sleeplessness – so, here are some of the reasons why people can’t sleep, together with the solutions.
If you go to bed thinking about the day’s problems and worrying about the things you have to sort out tomorrow then you’re bound to have difficulty in sleeping.
Writing down your problems will help take them off your mind. So, make a full list of your worries. Then put the list on one side and spend an hour relaxing in front of the TV before you go to bed.
Prescribed pills often keep people awake. Drugs used for heart disease, high blood pressure and asthma commonly cause sleeplessness. Ask your doctor if he can change your prescription. Remember, too, that 50 per cent of people who can’t sleep are kept awake because they drink tea or coffee last thing at night. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant. Tobacco is another possible cause of sleeplessness and, although a single nightcap might help you sleep, too much alcohol will definitely cause insomnia.
If you are kept awake by pain, then ask your doctor for help. If he can’t help you then ask for a second option.
Cramps keep many people awake. You can keep cramp at bay by using this simple exercise. Stand barefoot one yard away from a wall. Lean forward until your hands touch the wall, but keep your heels on the floor. Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat it once. Do the exercise three times a day for a week and then every night before you go to bed.
When depression and sleeplessness go together, it is the depression that needs a doctor’s treatment.
If you are kept awake by hunger, then have a bite. Don’t have anything too hot, rich or spicy. A hot milk drink will probably be best. Remember, too, that if you are slimming you may have difficulty in sleeping. A low blood sugar will keep you awake. A very low-calorie late-night snack might help.
If you are kept awake by noise, try soundproofing your bedroom with bookshelves and double glazing. Or try wearing ear plugs. They take a little getting used to, but work very well and are recommended for shift workers who have to try and sleep during the day.
Finally, it’s worth remembering that you won’t be able to get to sleep if you’re not tired.
If you’ve dealt with all these problems and you still have difficulty in getting to sleep at night, then follow this special bedtime regime:
- Relax your body thoroughly before getting into bed. Take a good brisk walk for 10 to 15 minutes. Think through your day’s problems and write down all your worries in a notebook. Keep it by your side and every time a new problem pops into your head, write it down.
- Have a soothing, warm bath for 15 minutes.
- Go to bed with a relaxing book or magazine. Try to keep something relaxing for bedtime reading. And have a spare book ready.
- When you turn off the light, close your eyes and try to transport yourself to somewhere beautiful, relaxing and warm. Imagine, for example, that you’re lying alone on a peaceful, sunny beach. Try to hear the waves on the shore and the sound of seagulls high overhead.
- This simple regime will probably send you to sleep within minutes. But if you can’t get to sleep, don’t lie there fretting. Get up, sit in a comfortable chair and read your book again. Make yourself a hot, milky drink. Then go back to bed when you start yawning.
Did you know that you can burn a lot of calories doing house chores? According to fitness experts, house chores can burn up to an average of 250 calories in an hour for a 150-lb individual. This post has highlighted some of the ways you can use your house chores to build up a sweat and get fit while doing housework.
1. Turn a bend into a functional exercise
Every time you are doing a chore that requires bending, turn the motion into an exercise by modifying the way you move. For instance, when picking up something from the floor, you can do it with a lunge. Or, you can do a full squat when, say, you are lifting groceries or a laundry basket.
2. Doing Laundry
Doing the laundry is a sure way to give you a great work out. It takes a lot of physical work to keep your clothes clean; from lifting up heavy laundry baskets, to lifting your arms upwards and downwards when hanging the clothes outside. Instead of using a washing machine, you can hand-wash your clothes to burn more calories and stay fit. Obviously, washing clothes by hand involves more physical activity than simply using a washing machine.
Here are other ways you can exercise to stay fit instead of using mechanized equipment:
- Rake the leaves instead of using a blower
- A manual mower will give you greater exercise than using a gasoline mower
- Wash your car at home instead of taking it to a car wash
- Washing the dishes, rather than using the dishwasher, involves a lot of bending and reaching actions which are good exercises to do.
- Lay off blenders and choppers and use a mortar and pestle and a knife to do your food prep work.
This is another house chore that can give you a great work out. In fact, it offers you the same level of physical activity as rowing or hiking. While at it, extend the stretches of your muscles by dusting even the hard-to-reach places. Again, consider doing the whole house in one go. This way, you are sure to work up quite a sweat.
Also, while vacuuming, add some lunges to tone up your buns and legs. You can begin at one end of the house and do lunges as you vacuum over to the other side of the house. However, do your best not to lean on the vacuum cleaner, but rather rely on it for balance only.
4. Do chores that use a lot of muscles regularly
Chores, like scrubbing a wall daily, sweeping, mopping, cleaning rugs, chores that involve climbing up and down stairs several times, ironing, and dusting (especially hard-to-reach places) are strenuous activities that put a lot of muscles to use. Doing such chores regularly is sure to keep you fit.
5. Consider making a playlist of upbeat music to help you set the pace while doing chores
Scientific studies confirm that listening to fast-paced music can encourage you to make quicker moves and maximize the results of your physical activities.
Use upbeat music when doing chores like vacuuming, mopping, cleaning windows, scrubbing the walls, and other such chores.
6. Other ways to get fit while doing housework
Doing tricep dips while, say, making your bed, or climbing up and down a ladder while painting, or decorating, or doing squats while loading the dishwasher, are examples of activities that you can throw in a few exercises while doing them and working around the house.
Big changes come from small beginnings so, even making the smallest change, or implementing one simple action, can help to make you fit, especially if you make it a habit every day. When you begin to build these habits, you can slowly increase the difficulty level and try working a bit harder, but remember; it all starts with building good habits.
PUNCH UP YOUR MASS
When it comes to training, are your gains coming faster than an Ali one-two combo? Or are you getting worked over in the corner like some washed-up pug, folding up under a rain of body blows?
While you probably don’t want to admit it, chances are it’s the latter. You see, so many of us find ourselves making zero progress after months, even years of battling in the weight room. Unfortunately, and contrary to popular opinion, building your body is not an endeavour of brute force. When you aren’t making progress, simply dropping your head and powering through the same workout regime week after week won’t eventually wear down the forces that halt your growth. But that’s what many of us do.
Just like in boxing, the man usually left standing is the one who knew his opponent – he knew when to jab, when to duck and when to go in for the kill, not the one who tucked his chin and came out flailing. You need to take the same type of strategy to your training: fight smart.
To help you strategize, I present 18 tips on gaining and understand the “sweet science” of resistance training. I hope that as you incorporate this advice into your own regime, you realise that the bout for more muscle isn’t about one swift knockout punch; it’s about going the distance and slipping in some well-timed blows. Keep your gloves up!
- PUSH yourself. If you’re lifting about the same weights now as you were a year ago, don’t expect to be much bigger. While the biggest muscles aren’t the strongest muscles and the strongest muscles aren’t the biggest, a substantial link exists between strength and size, providing you avoid very low reps, the rest/pause technique, partial reps and long rest periods between sets. Those techniques generally yield lots of strength, but little or no size gains.
- MAKE “good form” your mantra. Don’t just give mere lip service to the cliché “use good form”. Permit absolutely no bouncing, heaving, exploding or excessive range of motion, and never get so greedy for poundage increases that you sacrifice good form. Good form is needed not only to avoid injury but also to stimulate optimal muscle growth. In addition to proper form, avoid high-risk exercises such as any squat with your heels raised on a board or plates, bench presses to your neck or upper chest, or behind-the-neck shoulder presses with very heavy weights. Also, use a controlled rep cadence: about 2 to 3 seconds for the positive phase of a rep and three seconds for the negative phase.
- INDIVIDUALISE your exercise selection. If an exercise hurts, and you’ve been performing it using good form with a controlled cadence and have tried sensible modifications, drop that exercise. The first rule of exercise selection is “do no harm”. Discard the reckless “no pain, no gain” maxim.
- SQUAT. Do your utmost to squat well and intensively. The benefits aren’t just limited to the thighs, glutes and lower back; the squat stimulates muscles throughout the body. While some people truly can’t squat intensively in a safe way, most can. Reverse the squat, improve your squatting form and pay your dues in the rack, and you’ll reap the rewards.
- DEADLIFT. The deadlift is one of the most productive exercises for bodybuilding mass. Master the technique – conventional style, sumo or stiff-legged – and slowly build up the weight to something very impressive. Impeccable flat-back form is imperative; avoid any exaggerated range of motion. Deadlift properly, or don’t do it at all.
- TRAIN hard, but smart. Do enough to stimulate growth, then get out of the gym and give your body the chance to recover and grow. The bottom line is progress, not training intensity. If, however, you always cut your sets short by a couple of reps, stopping even though you know you had more in you, get serious, pull out all the stops and put 100% effort into finishing what you start.
- LOG it. You’ve heard of the importance of keeping a training log, but how many people actually do it? Accurately record all your reps and poundages. As the weeks go by, you must be able to see small but gradual improvements in weight lifted and/or the number of reps performed. If not, you have clear proof that you need to alter some aspects of your training regime.
- HARNESS the power of one. Get a couple of half-pound discs, home-made weight increments, or some creative alternatives such as wrist weights or large washers so you can add just 1 pound to the bar at a time. Adding a minimum of 5 pounds to an exercise at a single shot when you’re at your current best weights, as many people try to do, often leads to a breakdown in form and injury. Instead, nudge up the weights. Strength is built slowly.
- PARTNER up. Find a training partner who has similar recovery abilities to yours, so you can use a similar training programme. Then push each other to deliver perfect workouts every time – intensive, progressive and always with good form. But, just as a good training partner will help, an inappropriate training partner can be your undoing. If he or she can recover more quickly than you, can tolerate more sets and exercises, and pushes you to abuse forced reps and other intensity enhancers, cut your ties pronto.
- BE consistent. Bodybuilding success is about getting each rep right, each set right, each workout right, each meal right and each night’s sleep right, week after week, month after month. Compromise a little on this and you’ll reduce your rate of progress; compromise a lot and you’ll kill your gains. Keep in mind, there are no “small” victories. Set no limits on yourself, but don’t expect the impossible. Just live for the next bit of progress, and then the next, and then the next. Bit by bit, you’ll build bigger muscles.
- MAKE your training time sacred. Protect your privacy while you train. You must be totally in charge and say no to intrusions, whether human or otherwise. Don’t do this to become a hermit or to alienate your family and friends; do it to honour your need for the focus required to do your very best at something you’ve committed to.
- FOCUS. Only highly gifted bodybuilders can build mass and refine it at the same time. The rest of us need to focus on building mass by concentrating primarily on the tried-and-tested compound exercises for a year or more. Only then does detail work such as cable crossovers, dumbbell laterals and triceps kickbacks have real practical value. If used earlier on, detail exercises stymie progress by putting a heavy drain on your recovery ability and reducing the level of effort you can dedicate toward compound moves.
- PERSONALISE your training programme to find what works best for you. No single programme works well for everyone; even good programmes have to be fine-tuned to fit the individual user. Personalise the factors of exercise volume, training frequency and exercise selection. Once you find a good programme, don’t chop and change it haphazardly. Stick with a given set of exercises long enough to make substantial progress in the weight you can lift.
- FOLLOW excellent nutritional habits every day. No matter how well you train, rest and sleep, if you cut corners with your nutrition, you’ll impair – if not stop altogether – your muscle growth. Take your nutrition very seriously. Divide your calorific and nutritional needs over five or preferably six meals per day. Eat more, and eat more often. If you weigh the same now as you did a year ago, you can’t expect to have bigger muscles unless you’ve substantially reduced your bodyfat.
- NOT progressing? Cut back. If your bodybuilding has stagnated, chances are you’re spending too much time in the gym. Cut back and give yourself a chance to grow. Try reducing your weight training to just three days per week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, alternating two different routines – chest, shoulders, triceps and abs in one routine, and legs, back and biceps in the other. Perform no more than three works sets per exercise and a maximum of eight exercises per routine. If you can do more than three works sets per exercise, you’re loafing – train harder. Never battle through warning signs of overtraining. Symptoms include loss of training zeal, stagnant exercise poundages, reduced appetite, and nagging aches and pains. Whenever you feel any of these symptoms, take action by increasing recovery time and sleep, reducing training volume and improving on the nutrition front.
- STRETCH. Follow a programme of a dozen or so stretches three times a week. Stretching won’t make you bigger, but it will help keep you resistant to injury. Stretch only after warming up, hold stretches for 15-30 seconds, never do ballistic stretching, and don’t try to improve your abilities too quickly by forcing a stretch past your limits.
- REST generously between workouts. Despite adequate recovery time being so pivotal, many bodybuilders make the mistake of minimising recovery time and maximising workout frequency. If you still feel tired and are due to train today, rest another day. Then modify your training programme and lifestyle so that you recover adequately between workouts without having to take unscheduled rest days. Also, get at least eight hours of quality sleep each night. If you have sleeping problems, find solutions; consult a sleeping clinic if need be. Short-changing yourself in the sleep department can arrest bodybuilding gains even if your training and nutrition are in good order. If you rely on an alarm clock most mornings, you aren’t getting enough sleep. Give your bodybuilding recovery greater priority than late-night socialising.
- APPLY the central creed of bodybuilding: progress. Gear your training and entire package of recovery-related factors so that progress in muscular mass is a reality. If gains aren’t happening, make changes until they do happen. The buck stops with you. You select the exercises, volume and training frequency you use. You decide when to quit on a set. You must discipline yourself to use good form. You determine your sleeping hours. You are responsible for your nutrition. Take advantage of the tremendous power you have to change your physique!