muscles

What Are The Best Sports To Tone Up?

Toning is a word that has made a significant apparition in the vocabulary of the fitness world. What does it mean to be toned, you ask? At worst, it means buying the next magazine that promises to tell you all about getting toned up for the summer and starting an unhealthy diet in the hope that you can get to the bikini figure before the end of the summer. At best, it means losing some fat and gaining muscle mass without getting bulky. And, believe it or not, but you can’t do it in two weeks – in other words, you can forget about the promises of trendy women’s magazines and their miracle diets. Fitness trainers and specialists agree that toning your muscles involves a healthy mix of cardio, strength, and good eating habits, without never starving yourself or risking an injury for dangerous training. Here are some the favorite ways of getting toned, depending on the sport you choose.

 

Getting ripped

 

Adopt The Shredding Regime

At the core of losing fat, there’s the need to change your diet to restrict your calories intake without falling into the trap of an unhealthy diet. In fact, you might be wondering right now: Do you have to learn what to eat if you need to learn how to get ripped? The answer is yes, definitely, you need to understand what fuels your body and whether your body needs a low-carb and high-fat diet or a moderate carb and low-fat diet. What you eat, ultimately is what your body becomes. Additionally, getting ripped is about maximizing your body energy to sustain a workout regime. What this means is that you are likely to need to take a hormonal supplement to help your muscle grow bigger in a shorter time. Achieving a toned body is the result of a workout that focuses on strength to develop your muscles. But you can control the level of toning by introducing cardio and low-resistance exercises.  

The Quick Workout That Burns Calories

Most people can find it difficult to get the time to go to the gym and exercise. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t find a workout that works for your busy schedule. All you need is 30 minutes to get some cracking results, assuming that you stick to a quick workout for a long period. Going for a jog for 30 minutes can get you to burn several hundred calories. The main problem with jogging is that it only visibly tones your lower body. If you want to notice improvements in your arms and abs, you will need to vary your workout schedule and combine running with kettlebell exercises, or even dancing. Here again, 30 minutes is a good time to achieve positive results. If you have more time, it’s better to switch to a more involving activity that will help you to tone your full body.

 

The Long-Term Investment In The Week

When you can invest over one hour of your time several times a week, you can embrace a sport that will help you to develop your strength and your endurance at the same time. Swimming is always a favorite, especially as it is so soft on the joints. It’s difficult to injure yourself when you swim, and you can improve your body shape visibly over a long time. Toning your muscles implies that you need to work against a resistance, which the water provides when you swim. The resistance of the water is stronger than air, so you are likely to see better results faster with swimming than with a kettlebell. But more importantly, swimming is a combination of arm strokes – that engage your shoulder, biceps, triceps, chest, and upper back –, leg kicks and core balance. It’s a full-body workout, and it doesn’t even feel like it! What’s not to like?

Swimming

Got Lots Of Time To Kill?

If you find that you have a lot of time to dedicate to a sport activity,  you may want to get involved in an outdoor workout that trains your entire body. Golf is one of those sport gems that provide full-body training and plenty of wonderful health benefits, and yet, you don’t feel like you are training hard. In reality, an 18-hole round exceeds the 10,000 steps a day recommendation. If you take into account the fact that you need to carry your clubs for the round, you can be burning over 700 calories. Additionally, golf can help to reduce the impact of stress, which is often related to weight gain. It’s a win-win all the way: You’re outdoors and you are toning your muscles and relaxing your mind.

 

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: Yoga for Every Body Type

When I give my Yoga classes, I sometimes have people coming to me who are very ashamed of their body type. They wonder, “Will I ever be any good at Yoga? I do not look like those people do in the photos when they do their poses.” They have seen some picture of someone grabbing their ankle from behind their head and think that if they can’t do that, then they are no good at Yoga.

When Patanjali gave Yoga, he didn’t say, “Yoga is only for a certain body type.” He didn’t say, “You must be skinny or tall, flexible and small.” He didn’t intend for only people who could reach their ankles behind their ears to be able to find God. He made Yoga as a way for all humans to quiet their body, quiet their mind, and find through meditation insight into the true nature of life and the divine.

If you can breathe, I say you can do Yoga. Yoga starts with breath. If you can breathe in, and you can breathe out, Yoga is already for your body type. Now bring some consciousness into how you are breathing in and out. When you breathe in, where does that breath go? Does it go into your throat? Into your chest? Into your belly? How about into your legs, and into your feet?

Yes, I know that when you breathe, the physical air that you are breathing only goes into your lungs. But Yoga isn’t about the physical. It isn’t about where the molecules of oxygen or hydrogen go. And that is why I say Yoga is for every body type – because, in Yoga, the body isn’t what’s important.

We’ve forgotten that in this modern age of Yoga magazines and models and dancers turned yoga teachers. Yoga isn’t about the physical. It’s not even about fitness. Not physical fitness. It’s about connecting to your sense of the divine, and your own inner systems of intuition. When you look outside of yourself, to something external, you are not finding Yoga.

If you are flexible, that is good. It means you are relaxed. It means you are in a good position to listen to and sense all the subtle signs and signals happening inside your body – your God sense. So when you are breathing in, where does that breath go? And when I say breath, I mean, Prana.

Become sensitive to Prana in your body. Prana is your life force. It is the energy that makes you as an alive being. Western Scientists might say they cannot quantify Prana, and that it thus does not exist – and I say good luck to them – why are they expecting to be able to quantify the nature of the divine? They are the created saying that if they do not understand the creator then the creator does not exist. Hubris!

But then there are those more enlightened Western scientists who have had a sense of Prana, and respectfully tried to quantify it, and manipulate it, in order to give life and well-being to patients – such as William Reich, and his way of calling Prana “Orgone.” And such Western scientists have been silenced and worse. It is a great shame of our times that we show so little respect to the mysteries and those who honor them.

You do not need any expert, any scientist, to tell you what you are feeling in your body is real. It is between you and the divine. Feel that breath in your body, feel where the Prana it contains goes. Become sensitive to how it moves, and then learn how to move it around – in yourselves and others.

That is the true secret of living a good life. Yoking yourself to the divine through your sensitivity for Prana and life force. Being able to move it around inside your body, and other bodies, wherever you are and whatever you are doing. You can move it like a current in an ocean – you are the moon pulling the tide.

Yoga, as a physical exercise, comes after that. Doing the physical work is a way to tire your body, and tire your brain so that you are able to feel the Prana. You are not distracted by doing anything else. You are in a pose, and it is uncomfortable, and you keep sitting with it until the discomfort no longer bothers you anymore. Then you are ready to listen to Prana.

Start with simple poses suitable for your body type. Perhaps you will use a block, a wall, or other props. Use a chair. There are many good resources on restorative yoga poses and Yin yoga. You do not need to do sun salutations one hundred times in a row at one hundred miles per hour to be a good Yogi. You can start by sitting in a chair and twisting. Stand behind the chair, and bend over, holding onto the back. Lie on the floor, and bend your legs over the seat of the chair. This is all very simple.

Do this every day, and the harder poses will open themselves up to you. But you will have the good foundation of feeling the life breath of Prana. Find Prana in you, and you will find the divine. Then you will see that Yoga is not only for everybody type, it is for you.

Load Your Guns: Best Arm Strengthening Exercises

Lots of runners focus on strengthening their legs and improving their cardio when they are busy training. Very few think about working their arms and improving upper body strength. But no matter what type of exercise you prefer, even if it is running, you should always work on strengthening your entire body, even the parts you don’t use that much. For instance, when we run we use our arms to help propel our whole body forward. Plus, if you have strong arms, you will be able to carry your water bottle with you on your runs without feeling any aching in your arms and shoulders!

Ready to load your guns? Here are the best arm strengthening exercises for giving your arms plenty of power.

Biceps Curl

What you need: dumbbells

How it’s done: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold tightly onto your dumbbells in each hand. These can be as heavy as you like but it’s best to work your way up rather than starting off with very heavy weights. Have your arms down by your side with the palms facing the thighs. Then just bring your arm up and bend at the shoulder. You should rotate the hands so that the palm is facing you and level with your shoulder. Pause here for a minute before lowering and repeating with the other arm. You should do this for about 15 reps on each side.

Pull Ups

What you need: pull up bar.

Are you wondering what about pull up bars? This is the most common equipment used to strengthen arms, and here’s how you can use them. You just need to grip the bar with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up until your chin touches the bar and then lower yourself slowly down. You should aim to do this for ten to fifteen reps. When you find this gets too easy, try to lift and lower yourself slower, as this works the muscles more.

Plank Press

What you need: yoga mat, dumbbells

First of all, position your dumbbells so that they are at the head of your mat. Next, get into a plank position. Ideally, your feet need to be slightly wider than shoulder-width. The dumbbells should still be on the mat, within your line of sight. Now you need to lift one of your hands and pick up a dumbbell. Make sure your hips stay still so that you engage your core muscles. Bring the elbow up so that you are now holding the dumbbell right next to your shoulder. Now simply extend the arm forward, so it is straight out in front of you. Then bring the arm back to the bent position, so the dumbbell is back by your shoulder. Repeat this for ten reps and then move onto the other arm.

You will find that most exercises that work the core muscles will also be very beneficial to your arm muscles. But hopefully, the three exercises I have mentioned will help you to greatly improve your arm strength, which can, in turn, improve your running ability!

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.

Three Common Workout Injuries And How To Treat Them

If you’re super into fitness, you’ll know that it’s not just one easy, level path. The road to achieving your fitness goals is full of bumps, hills, and potholes that will try to trip you up at every opportunity. The mental fight to keep going even when all you want to do is sit on the couch and eat chocolate is one we all know too well. But what happens when you experience a physical problem as a result of your fitness regime? Injury due to exercise is more common than you might think and can easily happen if you don’t take certain precautions. Here are three common workout injuries, plus how to treat and avoid them.

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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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