endurance

How You Can Be More Active in Your Everyday Life

When we talk about being active and living a healthy lifestyle, it isn’t just about going for a run each evening but being completely sedentary the rest of the time. In order to be truly more active, then there needs to be some things that we change in our everyday lives. When we are always more active, at work, school or at home, then we are really on the way to living a healthy and active lifestyle. All of those extra things can help us to stay well. So what are some changes you could be making? Here are a few ideas to help you be more active in your everyday life.

Walk More

It might elicit a moan from you or your family, but walking more is a great way to be active. You’re using your whole body, burning calories, and getting your heart pumping faster than it would be in the car. Even something like taking the stairs over the elevator is a good way to be more active and walk more. Plan your time better to walk to more places and you’ll really feel the benefit of it. You could also look to get a step counter to encourage you to be more active. We should be aiming for at least 10,000 steps per day, but many of us fall short of that. You can read more here if you want to http://stepcount.org.uk/. So if you’re curious to see where you are with that at the moment, then a step counter will be a good way to start being more active.

Take Regular Work Breaks

Work or school are going to be some of the places where we find it hard to be the most active. We can’t just get up and leave when we want. However, we can take breaks to have a quick walk around the office or to get a glass of water. You shouldn’t be sat at your desk for hours on end without moving. Consider standing at your desk if you need to, to get your body moving and some weight bearing on your feet. You could even look into getting a bike or elliptical installed under your desk, like this one https://www.hereon.biz/under-desk-elliptical/. What a fun way to be more active when you normally wouldn’t be very active. Employers should take note!

Use Standing Time To Move

Think about times in the day when you stand up but don’t do anything. You might be waiting for the kettle to boil or for the oven to heat up. But use that time to get in a mini-workout. How many squats can you do in the time it takes for your pasta to cook or the kettle to boil, for example? When you’re having a phone conversation, how many times can you go up and down the stairs or do something else that is active like cleaning the house? Multitask and get a few more mini-workouts in each day and it will help you to stay fit and well much more than people that don’t.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

5 Things To Avoid To Keep Your Lungs As Healthy As Possible

We all know that eating right and exercising is the best way to stay healthy. However, there are so many things in life that can damage your lungs. Your lungs are one of the main parts of your body that keep you alive; so looking after them is imperative. Here are are some examples of things to avoid to keep your lungs healthy.

Smoking

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Smoking cigarettes is probably the most dangerous thing that you could put into your body. Not only can it harm your lungs and cause you to contract lung cancer; it can cause many other cancers too. Did you know, that every cigarette that you smoke can take 10 minutes off your life? If you suffer from an illness like asthma or COPD; the effects of smoking can take it’s toll faster than someone who doesn’t suffer from any lung diseases.

It’s not just tobacco that can be harmful if you smoke it either. Smoking any form of drugs can harm your lungs just as much as regular tobacco. Not only that, it can cause dozens of other health problems, including things like psychosis.

If you’re trying to quit smoking, visit your local pharmacist for help on quitting. It will save your wallet and your life.

Bonfire Smoke

There’s nothing quite like huddling around a bonfire and watching the flames engulf the firewood until it burns to glowing embers. However, breathing in bonfire smoke can do serious damage to your health. Even though it may smell nice, the smoke contains dangerous particles that can penetrate the walls of your lungs; causing breathing problems, headaches, runny noses and wheezing. If you are attending a bonfire, try not to stand too close. That way you’re at less risk of reaping the damage that can be caused by bonfire smoke.

Asbestos

Asbestos is something that’s been around for centuries and is typically used in buildings for insulation. After the discovery of asbestosis, it was discontinued in the build of new houses. However, many homes all over the world still contain asbestos; which can pose a threat to anyone who has a lot of exposure to it. If the asbestos is untouched, it shouldn’t harm you but if it’s broken or removed the small fibre particles can enter your lungs and cause damage over time.

If you’re in the industry of home improvements, make sure that you wear a face mask when working with asbestos to make sure that the particles aren’t accidentally breathed in. However, if your company hasn’t been providing face masks, you could call a mesothelioma attorney for compensation; because being exposed to asbestos could have potentially put you at the risk of cancer. Make sure you get yourself checked out if you’re experiencing tightness of the chest, shortness of breath and deformities of your hands.

Cleaning Chemicals

Even though we want to keep our homes clean and hygienic, using bleach without proper protection can lead to lung diseases like COPD, asthma, and can even cause people with current lung conditions to have even worse symptoms. Anything that contains bleach, chlorine, and ammonia is potentially dangerous. The warnings on the side of the product normally advise you to cover your mouth when using it to prevent the fumes from these chemicals harming your lungs. Like with working with asbestos, make sure that you wear a face mask when using these chemicals to prevent any damage to your lungs, even if you are only bleaching the toilet.

Related Article: Detoxify Your Home and Join the Green Cleaning Trend

Carbon Monoxide

We’ve probably all heard that carbon monoxide is dangerous for the body, but why is that? Carbon monoxide is found in cigarettes (one of the many reasons you shouldn’t smoke) and it’s a gas that prevents your lungs from taking in enough air; therefore suffocating the lungs and making it difficult to breathe. Unfortunately, we are even at risk of carbon monoxide in our own homes, so it is definitely worth investing in a carbon monoxide meter which will tell you if any is detected in your home. Having appliances that use fuel in your home serviced regularly should decrease the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Avoiding these 5 things should keep your lungs healthy so that you can concentrate on keeping healthy through a good diet and exercise. If there is anything else that seems like it would be hard on your lungs like dust or particles in the air, make sure to cover your mouth to prevent damage to your lungs.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Understanding The Relationship Between Mind and Body For Better Health

If there is one goal which we would all generally agree to being important, it is to remain as fit and healthy as possible for as long as possible. However, put this way, it doesn’t really tell us much. The truth is that there is much more to it than it at first appears, and getting to grips with that is the first essential step towards understanding it more fully. As it turns out, anyone who wants to improve their health in any big and lasting way will benefit massively from understanding a little about the psychology behind it all. Fortunately, such psychology is easy to understand and will help you with any health goals you hope to achieve. Let’s take a deeper look into the world of psychology to understand the relationship between mind and body a little better.

A Two-Way Relationship

It is often helpful to think of the relationship between health and mind as a yin and yang situation. In one sense, being healthy helps to promote a more positive psychological outlook, and improves mental well-being. But at the same time, fostering a healthy mindset is always going to improve the effectiveness of any decisions you make regarding your physical health. It might be beneficial to visualize the mind and body relationship as a swinging door: no matter which way you push it, it comes back the other way with equal force.

Alternately, you might want to go the way of certain spiritual traditions, and consider the mind and body to really just be two parts of the same machine. Seen from this perspective, it makes little difference what you do for one or the other. Improving your mind strengthens your body, and boosting your physical health likewise brings about more positive and beneficial states of mind. We all already know that getting the mind and body in harmony can have hugely positive effects. This is made all the easier by considering that they are really just one thing anyway. Understand the basic nature of this relationship as well as you can; it will help you no matter what you attempt to do to improve your health.

Building A Strong Foundation

Seen from that viewpoint, it is clearly beneficial to try and build a strong foundation from both the physical and mental sides of the equation. If you look at http://trainingtips.com/strong-foundation/ you will get a good idea of what we are going for here. The better the foundation, the starting point, the more effective any subsequent actions to improve one’s health will be, so this is worth looking into at your earliest convenience. In truth, there is practically no end to what you can do to bring about this harmonious foundation – but there are particular first steps which are worth attempting.

For a start, it is a good idea to try and clear both mind and body of any particularly toxic substances. In the physical realm, this means avoiding any genuine toxins which your body probably doesn’t appreciate having inside it. In many cases, this is extremely difficult to do, especially if those toxins are highly addictive substances which you have been dependent on for some time. If this applies to you, consider visiting somewhere like www.orlandorecovery.com to try and rid yourself of the addiction. It might take a long time, but it will be worth it.

On the mental side, getting rid of toxins means working to remove the basis of unhelpful and damaging thought patterns. This, again, is for many people the work of a lifetime. You might even say that useless mental chitter-chatter is something of an epidemic human disease. Nonetheless, you can make small changes each and every day to gradually do away with these types of thoughts. Take up a meditation routine, even just half an hour a day, and you will be well on your way with this side of the bargain.

Keeping The Balance

Your main mission now is to continue to try and keep the balance between body and mind as you work on improving your health. There are countless fitness and health goals which you might be set on achieving. Regardless of what yours are, you should try to ensure that you always work towards them with both body and mind in the center of the issue at all times. This will ensure that you do not focus too heavily on one to the detriment of the other – a common but often unseen flaw which upends many attempts to improve one’s health. Put simply, you need to work on both improving your physical and mental well-being at the same kind of pace.

The Physical Side

When it comes to looking at improving your physical health, there are a number of easy and common changes which you might want to make. If you feel that you have become sluggish, then the first port of call will be to simply get moving in whatever way you can. This might mean going for a jog every other day, or it might even be something much smaller, to begin with. Whatever it takes, make sure you go at a speed which will not cause too much stress to either side of the equation. Take it as slow as is necessary in order to enjoy it, but as fast as you need to in order to see those changes you want to see.

The Mental Side

Of course, in tandem with this, you will want to think about tending to your mental side. This means continuing with that daily meditation practice, for a start. But it’s also a case of keeping stress at bay, killing it the moment it arises within you. This practice alone will do plenty in terms of keeping you centered and healthy, and you might be surprised at what a difference it really does make overall.

Health only comes to you when you focus in a balanced way on both your body and mind. Focus on those aspects of wellbeing which tend to both, such as good nutrition and plenty of rest, and you will be well on your way to greater health.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

3 Ways To Alleviate Running Pain

Running is a hard, but enjoyable past time for us. It gets us fitter, it makes us feel good by releasing endorphins into our system, increasing our quality of life overall! However, like any sport, running does come with pains and aches, some more serious than others. There are many different ways to alleviate running pain, and here are the best 3 ways to do it!

Get The Right Pair Of Shoes

Running shoes are incredibly important for the well-being of your legs. They properly distribute the weight of your feet across the sole and support your feet, unlike normal trainers. This is important because naturally, humans run on their feet! But in shoes, we run flat footed, and over extended periods of time, this causes damage to the feet themselves, the ankles and the knees. If you’re not running very often than a normal pair of running shoes will do you fine, but if you’re a more regular runner you need to get specially fitted shoes! Companies like FleetFeetSports offer fitting services and can find the perfect shoe for you, eliminating the risk of getting any foot related issues!

Stretch Out After Each Run

Stretching is also a very important component of running. When you exercise, your muscle contract and relax, however, due to the intensity of exercise your muscles don’t fully relax, instead they keep slightly contracted all throughout your run. If you get back from a run and don’t stretch out, you will continue to feel pain in your legs! Stretching forces your muscles to stop their constant contraction, meaning that you can relax and not have any problems. As an example, many runners will have stumbled across problems with the dreaded iliotibial band, causing a clicking whenever the knee is bent. This can be incredibly debilitating, however, if you purchase a foam roller from companies like Trigger Point there are stretches you can do to slowly nurse the IT band back to full health!

Get Physiotherapy

This is the last line of defense in alleviating injuries, and should only be done if you really need it! Physiotherapy differs from person to person as each problem is unique. However, they do offer medication and exercises after a consultation and examination of the problem you are having. Then a physician will take you through the necessary things you need to do. The treatment can often include massages and other muscular stimulation exercises. If you want to find out more about this topic, because it is very complex and specific, go to PainEndsHere.com. Companies like this are able to offer professional help for those that need it. So, if this applies to you then you should definitely reach out to one of these businesses.

So there you have it! The three best ways to alleviate running pain, any of these are guaranteed to make your pain go away. However, if it is more serious you need to make sure you see a doctor because you can’t remedy everything yourself! If you’re looking for other ways to avoid injuries when preparing for a run, read this.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Get Ready To Improve Your Running Performance With A Bike

When it comes to running, whether you are a beginner or an experienced runner, there are some plenty of tips that you didn’t even think you needed. We have touched on the most obvious of them in a previous article on runningsolegirl.com. For a start, a healthy runner, needs to pick the right attire, which means that you need to choose shoes that can absorb the shock and protect your knees and ankles from getting injured. When you run, you need to accept that you are investing in your health. Consequently, you have to be ready to pay the full price for a pair of shoes that will help you to prevent injuries. But naturally, embracing the running side of life doesn’t stop there. Your body goes through a lot, especially if you decide to run long distances. You need to adapt your diet to your workout requirements so that you can fuel your body with all the nutrients it needs to perform. However, you can also improve your running performance with a bike. Want to see how? Read below.

Pick the Right Bike for Your Needs

Just like running requires the right equipment, cycling does too. However, the kind of bike you need will depend on your cycling abilities and preferences. Are you a road cyclist or are you an off-road enthusiast? If you fancy the idea of cycling along natural tracks in the countryside, you might need to studies some of the mountain bike reviews from mountainbikesreviewed.com to find out everything you need from brake power to suspension. As a rule of the thumb, runners need a light to a medium-light bike that is suitable for road and slightly out of the beaten track trails so that you can follow your usual running route. Stay away from heavy bikes, and pick instead bikes that offer a responsive, stable and smooth riding experience.

Bikes Offer a Friendly Training Option

Contrary to running, cycling offers a joint-friendly alternative, that is very helpful if you’re recovering from an injury or if you suffer from painful joints. In truth, cycling regularly can help your joints to become stronger and can gradually help you to prevent the development of long-term weaknesses such as arthritis. More importantly, it keeps your muscles active even through a recovery period, which makes it the ideal activity to maintain your strength without causing your body any further damage.

Bikes Can Develop Your Endurance

Last, but not least, cycling offers an ideal combination of strength and endurance; which can help you to improve your performance. Cycling long distances with periods of sprints is a preferred training method for runners who want to maximize their endurance. Since it gradually develops your muscles to sustain a bigger effort. Additionally, there’s no denying that cycling helps your lung capacity to grow; which is exactly what you need when you are running long distances. You will find yourself feeling less out of breath and able to tackle more sizeable running challenges. As surprising as it might sound; one of the best training approaches for a marathon is to go cycling, a lot!

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

5 Tips For Getting Back On The Track After a Muscle Injury

Things are going well. Your running times are improving all the time, you can feel your body adapting to the demands of the sport, and you’re confident that all in all, you’re on the right track (hey) for running success. And then you feel a twitch in your leg and, just like that, you’re laid up and unable to run. There are two options in this scenario: you can lie down and bemoan your luck, or you can do all you can to get back up and running as soon as possible. Let’s take the second option, and get back on the track after a muscle injury.

Keeping Things Cool

If you’ve injured yourself now, then you’re fortunate that it’s summer, because things are about to get pretty cool. When you have a strained muscle, ice will be your friend. How you do is up to you; you can get an icepack and target the sore spot exclusively, or you can be brave and have an ice bath. Settling into a bath of icy cold water might not sound like much fun, but it has bags of benefits before your injured muscle, including boosting your all round recovery, boost circulation, and even give your happiness levels a lift too.

To The Core

You might have a massage to help you unwind, but to recover from a muscle injury? It’s true. A deep tissue massage will relax your muscles, which will soothe the pain of the injured area, and also get those deep-lying toxins and tight muscle areas moving, too. Beyond speeding up your recovery, there’s another obvious advantage to getting this type of massage; you’ll feel extra relaxed, which might be important when you’re not able to release those tensions through long running sessions.

Stretch it Out

Stretching is an underrated tool for runners. For starters, if you make stretching part of your everyday routine then you’ll be greatly reducing your chances of getting injured; indeed, it’s because of inadequate warm-ups that cause most injuries to happen in the first place. When you are injured, stretching will help strengthen your muscles in a low-impact way. When you get back to running, your muscle will be stronger and less like to be re-injured if you’re stretching every day!

To the Pool

Everyone knows how important momentum and being in the “workout groove” is when you’re trying to build endurance and prepare for a long race. If you’re lying on the couch every day, then by the time you get back on the track you might have lost the edge you’ve gained during your training. As such, head to the water when you can’t run. It’ll cause no troubles for your legs, but will help you stay active and build up your endurance. And who knows: you might fall in love with swimming, too.

Rest

OK, last tip: when you’re injured, it’s extra important that your patient and get plenty of rest. If you neglect to do either of these things; then you’ll run the risk of having a relapse as soon as you’re back running. Not what you need!

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Guest Post: How to Minimize Irritation If You’re Working Out with Allergies

Exercising can feel like a hassle with a busy office schedule, a family and a social life to maintain; let alone if you have to deal with annoying allergy symptoms. Which can turn even your best days at the gym into a total disaster. A runny nose, incessant sneezing, coughing and wheezing if you’re lucky enough to suffer from allergy-induced asthma; all contribute to an increased feeling of exhaustion and destroyed. Here’s some tips to help ease irritation if you’re working out with allergies.

However, to avoid skipping another training session or missing that PR; you can take many precautions and make the most of each one of your workouts.

What’s your kryptonite?

With spring and summer quickly setting up camp; they bring a whole range of allergens your immune system can react to during the day. Most people, unfortunately, are unsure which irritants in the air are the primary culprits of their troubles, so it’s highly advisable that you check what your system is most sensitive to and at which time of day are you most exposed to it whether you’re outside or exercising indoors.

Pollen, dust, mold, animal hair, cigarette smoke, and various plant-based irritants are the most common causes, some of which can trigger any allergic reaction such as a severe asthma attack, or only bug you with persistent sniffles and watery eyes. Either way, narrowing down your most likely perpetrator will help you determine the best exercise routine; as well as the most suitable place to work out during allergy season.

What’s your magic potion?

The perfect set of circumstances that allows you to perform and feel your best during your workout needs to be based on the right environment, medication, nutrition and rest. Limiting your exposure to allergens with the help of an air purifier for dust and other irritants, introducing plenty of greenery in your home and switching to a diet that is based on anti-inflammatory foods will all help you reduce your symptoms significantly.

Moreover, consulting your doctor will help you learn which medication is most suitable for your symptoms and your health condition; to avoid the potential side-effects, such as sleepiness, and increase your quality of life during allergy season. You might also have to adapt your routine so that it is less strenuous on your respiratory system, and resort to other activities; such as swimming (but ideally not in water teeming with chlorine), yoga, or moderate weight training in a clean gym.

Be Prepared

Despite your best efforts, some days will be more challenging than others; to adapt your weekly training plan, you should check the weather forecast on a regular basis for perfect workout situations. Such as right after the rain. Pollen is usually quickly dispersed when the wind blows; while rain can wash away most of it, and leave a bountiful of fresh air for your lungs to enjoy and use for a workout.

Limiting your exposure to allergens with pure indoor air, regular showers to wash off the irritants from your skin, and an adapted schedule to boost your performance when the risk of irritation is lowest will help you not only minimize your symptoms, but also take full control of your workouts and do your best no matter what your fitness forte might be.

While it can be challenging to continue your workout regime uninterrupted during the allergy season; you can manage your symptoms with the help of these guidelines, stay fit and enjoy your training as much as possible. Your fitness goals should not suffer due to a setback such as your allergies; on the contrary – use them to fuel your desire to overcome your limitations, outgrow your current mindset, and with their help, become a better, stronger athlete!

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Guest Post: Running Tips For Beginners

The beginning is always the hardest. But once you start you’ll forget how hard it was. Almost all runners have similar stories from their beginnings: they almost died in the first two hundred meters, and then it happened by chance that (considering that they are still feeling alright) they become long-distance runners, and today those moments remember with a smile on their faces. Whether you start in order to lose weight, be active, you want to do something about physical activity, or because of something else, running is the simplest, most natural and least expensive way to secure yourself a permanent good feeling. Here are some tips for this.

Start with walking and short running

Do not go fast because you will burn more quickly. Here’s a rule – slowly but surely. In this way, you prepare your body in a collision and at a certain point, you will feel when it is time to run. This will also keep you from injuries. Start with a slow addition of running to your walk. Walk four or five minutes, then add running to walking, but so that every time you refresh while you walk. Even those experienced runners are recommended to introduce parts with walking.

Listen to your body – what does it say?

Once you learn to listen to your body, you become a coach to yourself. It’s completely normal to feel pain or fatigue in the muscles, but take care when or if during or after running experience mild dizziness, pain in the chest, legs or back happen. In this case, continue to walk or stop training and rest until the pain stops. Over time you will learn to listen to the signals your body sends, when it’s time to stop, and when you can continue. You will have to pay more attention to what you eat. Some habits might have to change. Make sure you are eating light and healthy meals which are in accordance with your new physical activity.

Slower at the start – faster at the end

It is important to slowly build the base, your pace, and you will quickly get to full enjoyment in running that will later be easy. To ensure yourself a constant progress, it is better to run three to four times a week for 30 minutes rather than two hours twice a week. And that is why it is important to have a proper plan that will gradually lead you to larger distances and build your tempo. When you finish training, and you say to yourself “maybe I could have a little more” – it’s a sign that you’re running the right pace.

Heating and cooling

Heating is important because with that you are sending a clear message to your body that it is preparing for physical activity. The heart and legs are getting ready to move. Ideal heating is when you run a little bit, and then walk, and so on for a few minutes. When you are finished with your workout, do not stop suddenly, but slow down completely, and end up by walking. Be sure to stretch. Heating and cooling are important because those reduce muscle pain and possible infection, and in that way, the whole body constantly works to prevent injuries.

Set a goal and watch your real success each day

Having a goal in most cases is a safe way to persevere. If you specify the goals and timeframes, you have a clear time vision, a clear motivation, and responsibility towards yourself and your given word. You open a circle which, when you close it, brings you an amazing feeling of your own achievements. With that, you will find yourself in one of the best and most important project which aims to: health, good feeling, self-confidence, self-management, sometimes a team work, some weight loss, a change, new experiences and new people.

Change the surface where you run

Runners usually have a strictly defined path where they run. The best solution for a beginner is to simply change the running tracks. Soft surfaces are not always the best. Treadmills seem softer and therefore safer, but they also have disadvantages. Earth tracks for running are generally uneven, may have holes and other obstacles, which can be dangerous. Feel free to change: sidewalk one day, the next day a paved road, a dirt road on weekends etc.

The rule of 10%

Add as much time or distance as you need to improve your form and save yourself from injuries. But be careful, do not increase the time or the running speed for more than 10% per week. If you run 90 minutes this week, next week run 99 minutes.

We hope the tips above are helpful, but you have to bear in mind that all you really need is the will which serves as an incentive for every action of yours. Where there is a will, there is a way for everything and you will be ready for every challenge that may come across.

Guest Post: How to Maximize Muscle Mass Before, During and After a Workout

This article provides a summary of how to build muscle mass and the type of workout required, the best type of exercises to get the quickest results and the importance of diet.

Strength, Size and Endurance Training

There are three main types of workouts. Workouts designed to produce muscle strength, workouts designed to produce muscle size or mass and endurance training workouts.

If you’re training for strength it’s advised to do fewer reps per set (about 1-5), whereas for muscle endurance doing more reps per set is preferable (13-20). Focusing on building muscle mass, involves a type of muscle growth called Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy and is somewhere between this range.

It is muscle size and mass that I will concern myself with in this article and it’s the most common type of workout, designed to create a lean and bulky muscular look.

Workouts Designed to Produce Muscle Mass

To maximize muscle mass, you have to do more than just push your body to the limit through resistance training. You have to choose the right exercises, the right number of reps and the right amount of rest after each workout. All this done correctly maximizes muscle fibre engagement.

I recommend targeting different muscle groups at different times of the week giving yourself one or two days rest in between exercising that muscle group.

One effective technique is the 3 day split and involves exercising three different muscle groups on three different days of the week. This could involve exercising the legs and Abs on a Monday, taking one day rest and exercising the Chest, Shoulders & Triceps on a Wednesday, taking another days rest and exercising the Back and Biceps on a Friday. Then taking two days rest and repeating the next week.

So for example:

Monday – Work on your Legs and Abs with 3 different exercises. 4 sets for each and 12-15 reps per set

Wednesday – Work on your Chest, Shoulders & Triceps with 3 different exercises. 4 sets for each and 12-15 reps per set

Friday – Work on your Back & Biceps with 3 different exercises. 4 sets for each and 12-15 reps per set

You should pick two or three exercises for each muscle group and then perform 4 sets of between 12-15 reps for each exercise. This would work out at around 8-12 sets per day with 12-15 reps per set.

If three different exercises for each muscle group is too much you should stick to two while starting out, or you could try 2 sets instead of 4 sets for the last exercise.

Working out more than 3 days a week can mean your muscles don’t have time to recover, resulting in wasted effort.

Isolated versus Compound Exercises

You need to choose the correct exercises to maximize muscle growth. This means targeting as many muscles as possible. Compound exercises target more muscle fibres with each lift and therefore provide the most results in the shortest period of time and with the least exercises.

For example a tricep kickback will target just one group of arm muscles — the triceps on the back of the upper arm. However the bench press will target your triceps, pec muscles, and your deltoids, with your biceps acting as a dynamic stabilizer. If you’re targeting two or more muscles than it’s a compound exercise and not an isolated exercise.

By targeting a larger portion of muscle fibres, this will be more taxing on your system and result in a greater release of anabolic hormones resulting in greater muscle growth.

With compound exercises, you don’t need as many exercises per workout and you can spend less time in the gym.

Typical compound exercises include:

• Squats

• Split Squats

• Lunges

• Reverse Lunges

• Pullups

• Deadlifts

• Barbell rows

• Incline bench press

• Decline bench press

• Flat bench press

• Standing Military Press

The Role of Protein, Creatine and Glutamine

Of course nutrition and supplements play a huge role in building muscle with protein being at the top of the list for supplements needed for gaining lean muscles. Creatine and Glutamine are also very important.

Protein should be taken half an hour before a workout to provide your muscles with adequate nutrition thereby reducing the breakdown of muscle or catabolism during workouts. Also, right after a workout, when your muscles are depleted of nutrition. This will aid in muscle recovery and growth. Another important time to take protein is right before bed and upon waking when the body again is again depleted of nutrition.

Glutamine on the other hand should be taken right before bed as this boosts growth hormone levels significantly. Another good time to take glutamine is first thing after waking as this helps in the recovery process from difficult workouts.

You should take creatine about half an hour before a workout and again right after a workout as this creates an anabolic state for your muscles and helps prevent muscle breakdown.

Don’t Over-train

Don’t’ get into the bad habit of working out too long, or train too many days. When it comes to body building, often less is more. Overtraining comes with little to no gains in size or strength. You need to give your muscles time to recover, which means plenty of rest between workouts.

So combining a good workout with the right exercises and reps and the right nutrition, sufficient rest, and a solid supplementation program, you will build a great physique with the least amount of work.

The Three Types Of Fitness

When we talk about fitness, we have a tendency to use the word as a catch-all. Just fitness. While that’s useful – and we can all generally agree on the difference between being fit and not being so – it’s also a little too vague for anyone who is serious about getting their body into shape. If you want to get a beach body and then sustain it, you need to dig a little deeper into fitness.

While fitness can be broken down into many different sections if you wish to be pedantic about it, the main focus should be on three distinct areas. If you want to achieve the most from your routine and get yourself feeling as good as possible, then you need to be able to tick the boxes for all three of them.

Fitness Category #1: Endurance

Endurance is the cardio fitness that most of us focus on. It’s what makes us able to stay on the treadmill for longer, pedal up another hill, or do anything for a sustained length of time.

Endurance is important, but it’s also probably the most problematic. It takes a long time, more so than any of the other categories. It’s about doing a little bit at a time, on a daily basis, which you can then increase. Over time, it all builds up.

You should always aim to push yourself further to work on your endurance. If you usually just run for 20 minutes or do 100 laps, that’s not pushing your endurance. Week by week, you need to increase: 22 minutes, 102 laps – onwards and upwards is the ongoing trend.

Fitness Category #2: Strength

Most of us associate the idea of strength training and muscle building with the idea of becoming “ripped” – and that’s not everyone’s goal when it comes to exercise. However, getting good muscle tone is not just about the aesthetic indulgence – it’s also a form of fitness in and of itself.

You don’t need to be looking to build muscles to the point of bulging, but a good core strength will help your endurance and keep you as healthy as possible. Get into the habit of doing weights work a couple of times per week, supplementing your efforts with the likes of FitnessDeadline.com to make the most of it. Over time, you’ll feel the effects of this improvement – and you might look better too!

Fitness Category #3: Suppleness

The idea of suppleness being a factor in fitness is a relatively new one, but as we understand more and more about how the body works, it becomes more important. Endurance and strength are necessary for general life and movement, to help keep you comfortable throughout your life – but suppleness is something you have to add in there.

The simple fact is that we lose our natural, in-built suppleness throughout our life. It’s one of the major causes of disability in old age. However, if you nip it in the bud early and keep yourself as supple as possible, then you’re more likely to actually be able to enjoy your retirement.

Yoga and pilates are the standard when it comes to increasing your ability to flex and be supple. Start gently with videos from YouTube.com even if you are otherwise physically fit – if you’ve never done it before, you might be surprised at just how demanding it can be!

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

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