workouts

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.

Exciting Exercise Options For Every Bored Gym Bunny

When you love to workout, you often find yourself hitting the gym a couple of times a week. Whether you love to use the cardio machines and run up a sweat, or hit the weights and build a bit of muscle, you often find that doing the same thing all of the time gets super boring really fast. But what can you do to change that? Aside from switching up your workouts every few weeks, you may also want to think about getting out of the gym and trying out more exciting forms of exercise.

Cross Country Running

If you love to do cardio at the gym, but you find yourself getting bored with it, why not think about trying running outside instead? It can be a lot tougher than running in the gym, but the challenge is always exciting. And, if you want it to be as good as it can be, run cross country. Running the roads can be fun, but going through fields and enjoying the countryside views can be one of the best ways to enjoy your run.

Biking

When you feel like you want to do something completely different to what you do in the gym, why not think about starting to cycle? Trying out biking can be a lot of fun, a vigorous workout and a bit of a rush too. When you’re looking at the right bicycle, be sure to check out the best hybrid bikes under $1000 while you do your research. With a hybrid bike, you can ride the roads in an everyday manner, but you can also explore the mountains. And heading out into the mountains is definitely an exciting workout option.

Roller Skating

If you want something less vigorous but just as fun, why not have a go at roller skating. As a kid, you probably got out on your skates all of the time. But as you get older, you forget all about the fun you had and feel as if you have to try out more serious forms of exercise instead. Until now. When you’re bored of the gym, get on your skates and enjoy riding around with friends or racing yourself.

Wakeboarding

Or maybe you want to get out into the water and have a go at a fun kind of workout that way? Although there are so many different water workouts that you could try, wakeboarding is definitely one of the most fun. Not only can you enjoy the action and adventure of throwing yourself around on the water, it’s definitely a challenging workout too.

Rock Climbing

Finally, you may also want to think about trying out something completely different like rock climbing. If you want something that will push you both mentally and physically, rock climbing is it. But don’t worry if you don’t have the experience. You can try it out at indoor centers and even get instruction before you’re thrown in at the deep end. Then, when you’re out on real rocks, you’ll get both excitement and a workout all rolled into one.

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: 7 Interesting Ways to Get your Summer Body Ready

Good news, guys! Summer’s near! Whether you like to swim, lounge on the beach or can’t wait for your exotic summer vacation, summer is loved by everyone. If you’re one of those people who live to look fit in your swimsuit, then it’s high time you started thinking about getting your summer body ready. One of the things you could do is hit the gym, but if that’s not your style, you can always try some fun alternatives and a few interesting tips that will get you summer-ready.

Work That Pole

If you have the space and are not afraid of hanging upside down from your bedroom ceiling, then definitely install a pole. It might seem silly at first, but just try doing some of the moves and soon you’ll realize just how much strength and endurance it requires. Pole dancing offers a serious full-body workout (especially for your core) and it will certainly get you toned for the summer. Did I mention it’s super fun, too?

Hit the Rocks

Ask anyone who ever tried rock climbing just how good a workout it is. If you decide to hit the rocks, you will experience a serious test of strength for almost all of your muscle groups. You will use your hands to pull and your legs to push and your core to keep you balanced and your brain to calculate the route and….you get it? It’s a fun full-body workout that will get you pumped and leave you asking for more.

Try LARPing

LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) can seem crazy for those who never tried it, but once you let your imagination fly, you’ll realize just  what a good way it is to stay fit. Choose a role play involving heavy costumes and swords and lots of running for dear life, and you’re guaranteed to have a serious workout (and some serious fun!).

Gaming

You might think that games only make you lazy and unproductive, but have you ever played Dance Revolution for an hour? Well, I have, and let me tell you how exhausting it is. You can play games such as tennis, dance, athletics, Olympics and many more on Xbox Kinect or Nintendo Wii. If you’re a big fan of games such as NFS or first-person shooters, you can challenge yourself by only playing standing up or do a quick set of sit-ups or lunges between the rounds.

Longboard

If you watched a movie or a music video with teens from the United States recently, then you must have seen them riding longboards. Longboards are making a huge comeback, and how could they not, when they’re so good for you. When longboarding you must move your feet and legs for propulsion and your arms and body for balance. This will give you a wide range of movements and make you burn a bunch of calories in the process. You will also work on your endurance that will come in handy during the long summer days. You can get some good longboards in skate stores almost anywhere in the United States and you can join the young crowd on the streets and get ready for the summer.

Drink Smart

When working on your summer body, you can’t forget about calories. Do you know how many calories there are in your Jack and Coke or in a single margarita? Between 250 and 500 calories! So, why not try some flavored vodkas instead? They come in many different flavors ranging from your regular fruity flavors to some more interesting combinations such as Cucumber and Basil or Caramel Apple. If you take it with a splash of soda and some lime, you’ll end up with a one-hundred-calorie drink.

Dress Your Salad

If you like to be generous when putting dressing on your salad, then try to avoid those creamy ones and opt for oil-and-vinegar-based ones instead. Another trick you can try is getting your dressing on the side, thus limiting the amount you use. Even though it sounds contradictory, skip the fat-free options. You need fat to feel full and better absorb all the nutrients from the salad.

Working on your summer-body doesn’t have to be all dieting and gym. You can have some fun along the way and enjoy other activities that are much more interesting than a stuffy gym. The only thing you need to do is be active and have some discipline, and when the summer comes you will be ready to shine in your bikini.

Luke is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym, and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.

Workouts If You’re On The Go

Sometimes time just isn’t on your side, and that’s not your fault, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bother trying to get in a quick workout if you have a spare 30 minutes – you can always make time for that.

30 minutes may not sound like a lot, but it can really improve your health and fitness, and you can always work up to doing more, as time goes on.

Cycling

If you don’t have any time to spare, then cycling may be the answer for you. You can use it as a replacement instead of adding it to your other list of things to do. So if you have some errands to run, like going to the store to grab something, or even making your way to work, instead of driving there in your car, or hopping on a bus or train, get your bike out and ride there!

Running

Similar to cycling, you can use running as a replacement to driving around. But there are many other ways you can incorporate running into your life. If you have kids, then taking them to the park and having a good old run around with them is a great way to keep fit. Or if you have a dog, take them for longer walks to places you’ve never seen before. -If you’re visually interested, it’ll make the workout a whole lot better.

Cleaning

If anyone tells you that cleaning the house isn’t a workout – they’re lying. Vacuuming, sweeping, dusting and polishing are all types of aerobics that work different parts of your body. You will definitely feel the ache the next day. Even things like doing the washing, carrying it outside, and hanging it up, are working your muscles. Just visualize the calories you’re burning, and you may not mind cleaning as much as you once did!

Kettlebell

Kettlebell workouts are great; they’re quick, fun to do, and they work your whole entire body in one go. It may take a bit of time to get used to, but once you get it, you’ll be hooked. Using a kettlebell swing does not only reduce your overall body fat, but they also build up your strength, endurance, and power.

Dancing

Everyone should make time to dance! It feels amazing to do, and your body (and mind) will thank you for it.
Not only are you burning fat, but your body is also releasing all those happy endorphins, which will make you feel oh so good.

Stair-Climber

Stair-climbing doesn’t just have to be done at the gym on a machine – there are stairs everywhere! At work, at home and outside. So if you have an hours lunch break and aren’t sure what to do with it, pack a change of clothes in your bag, and go up and down them stairs. This isn’t just create cardio workout – it tones your body up too, leaving you looking and feeling great.
Don’t be put off if you get people watching you – own it.

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.

Kick-Start Your Fitness Plan The Right Way

Every day, countless people around the world resolve to finally drop all the excuses, and start exercising in a more regimented and efficient way. If you want to build muscle or improve your overall fitness, you need to have a clear idea of what you’re getting into, and avoid overextending yourself or taking things too slow. Here are some of the most important tips for anyone who’s taking their first steps into a more healthy, active life.

Take Things Slow

It’s completely understandable that you’ll be spurred and encouraged to push yourself to your limits, and jump right into a grueling, Rocky-esque exercise regimen, getting vigorous exercise in five or even seven days a week. It’s good to be ambitious, but if you take this approach, you can easily end up biting off more than you can chew, and bringing a disaster down on your head before you’ve even had the chance to see any changes. Begin at the beginning. Start slow and build up your exercise regimen gradually, seeing how your body reacts to each change. 30 minutes a day 2-3 days a week is a great starting point for anyone who’s new to organized fitness. Remember, you’ll be doing more than a lot of other people!

Remember to Eat Well

Eating well outside of the gym is absolutely essential to support the progress you’ll make inside of it. Sure, you may be absolutely smashing it at the gym. However, if you’re not paying attention to what you eat, you’ll be holding yourself back from those overarching goals. The most important things to have before your workout are carbs, and fast-absorbing protein. You may also want to consider supplements and auxiliary products. Look into the best supplements for runners if you’re looking to improve your general fitness, or products such as BCAAS and Beta Alanine for building muscle. Before you order any of these things in bulk, make sure you’re talking to someone who’s a little more experienced in your chosen area than you. Supplements can be incredible for helping you along towards your fitness goals, but they need to be balanced with the right amount and the right kind of exercise.

Mix up Your Routine

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to bulk up or simply shed some pounds, mixing up your exercise regimen is absolutely essential, especially for people who are just starting out and having to drag themselves out of the house before every session. Even within the categories of strength and aerobic training, you shouldn’t simply stick to the exercises you prefer every day. If you go for a run at the same pace around the same block every day, it will quickly become boring, which will make it harder and harder to find the self-discipline it takes to actually get out there and keep at it. Try getting the same benefits from an elliptical workout, a cycle around the block, or practicing your tennis serve. You’re more likely to stick to something you have fun doing, so don’t bore yourself into giving up!

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.

Is Social Media Beneficial Or Harmful When Working Towards A Fitness Goal?

Social media is so interwoven into the fabric of our everyday lives that it’s hard to imagine a time without it. Many have taken to these networks to share snippets of their daily routines, and to show off successes and progress. The fitness community on social media is wide-reaching, with a hefty number of diet and wellness pages/profiles to follow.

You may also notice friends posting gym pictures or photographs of their healthy meals for others to see and like. On top of that, many fitness apps even come with an option to sync or share progress on social media.

All this can make you pretty excited to start using these platforms in similar ways, or might urge you to follow some advice-filled accounts for tips and tricks. But is social media really beneficial for you when you’re working towards a fitness goal? Let’s look at the pros and the cons.

The Pros

It’s Good Motivation
Being surrounded by hundreds or even thousands of people aiming for the same thing as you can make you feel incredible motivated. You’ll find people with your body type, people who face the same struggles as you, and people who will keep you going when you feel like giving up. Sometimes, posting your goals and progress on social networking sites may even help you stick to them.

You Have Access to a Sea of Information
There is endless data available through social media. You can find products, diet plans, exercise routines, and excellent advice that can really help you achieve more during your fitness journey. Best of all, it’s completely free. You can follow a personal trainer on Instagram and watch videos of his workouts without needing to pay for his services. And in all honesty, that’s pretty neat!

You Become Part of a Community
Being part of a health-driven community means that you’ll never be short of people to turn to, discuss ideas with, and get personalized advice from. You may even gain a few workout buddies! Yes, there are bad seeds in every group, but you’ll ultimately find like-minded acquaintances who can encourage you to grow while you, in turn, encourage them. There’s no better feeling!

The Cons

Anyone and Everyone Can Share “Advice”
The number of “bloggers” and “fitness gurus” who are actually just out to make a quick buck or gain some fame can make finding good people to follow a tricky task. Many may offer terrible advice and get you off to the wrong start. Keep in mind that even the best of fitness personalities may sell out once in a while and promote a fad diet or an expensive product that makes ridiculous claims and promises. Avoid the fraudsters and check for qualifications. Legit bloggers and gurus will be more than welcome to share their qualifications and achievements with you.

It’s Not All Real
A social media picture, perfectly framed and shot so as to show someone’s best angles and finished off with a caption followed by tens upon tens of hashtags, isn’t a good representation of real life. It’s a photograph taken out of context. It presents these fitness gurus as something more than human with a perfect lifestyle and all the free time in the world to burn off that many calories per day. Only the most flattering snapshots are shared, and it can make you feel like you’re just not good enough or making progress as fast as you should.

You Could do it For The Wrong Reasons
Seeing other people progressing faster than you, or going on a more difficult regimen than you’re on, can really get you thinking. You could start feeling jealous, or suspect that the grass is greener on the other side, and try to imitate or catch up with your peers. In reality, you should be attempting a healthy lifestyle for no one else but yourself.

Conclusion

So, is social media any good at all when you’re trying to get fit? The honest answer is that it depends on how you use it. Social media is a tool, and if you harness it right, you’ll be able to use it effectively and to your advantage.

Stuck In A Fitness Rut? Transform Your Average Workout Into An Inspiring One

If you’ve been doing the same workout and exercises for months on end you can start to lose motivation. Our bodies don’t improve the same way they did to start with, and we become frustrated and demoralized by the same stale routines. Mix up your workouts to get the best results. This will ensure you’re working different parts of the body, and keep your workouts exciting! Here’s what to do if your stuck in a fitness rut. 

A Simple Solution

The common misconception that body weight training is just for boys, is finally being broken down. More women than ever are taking up some form of weight training and seeing the amazing results firsthand. It may be intimidating but this form of exercise has huge benefits and is a lot of fun. This is a popular form of exercise amongst those who want to ditch the gym equipment but still build some muscle. You’ll burn fat fast and increase your core strength with these types of exercises. Another great thing about bodyweight training is that you can scale up or down easily depending on your fitness. Simply add more reps of increase or decrease time limits to modify simple workouts.

Take it Outside

Exercising outdoors has huge benefits which have been extensively reported. If you haven’t yet taken the plunge, you really should. Gyms are great because of the equipment and sense of community that they can provide. It’s easy, however, to start to feel like you’re stuck in a fitness rut. Working out outside isn’t limited to running either. Get creative and use what mother nature has provided! Hiking, swimming, kayaking and even paddle boarding are all great ways to get fit.

These types of exercises can get you excited about fitness again and help mix things up. If you want to get super creative try stand-up paddleboarding workouts. The balance and strength needed to stay upright on the board really work your core. In addition, it’s a low impact exercise, which makes it great for older people, or those with damaged joints. Read some SUP reviews to find out the benefits and get some tips and inspiration.

Top Technology

It may sound odd, but introducing some great tech into your workouts could really transform them. There are now advances which mean you can listen to music via headphones whilst you swim. Apps can chart your workout, progress, and tell us where we need to improve. Getting feedback and keeping a log of our workouts is a great way to improve them. Technology really can be a useful aid when trying to improve your exercise regime. Keep a track of which areas you’re focussing on and it’ll become clear which areas you’re neglecting. If you find yourself doing cardio most of the time, integrate some strength training too.

What’re Your Thoughts?

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.

Benefits of Rowing Machine Workouts

A Rowing Machine is really useful to exercise on. This is one of the rare gym equipment that really exercises your entire body in the same routine. Rowing Machines are often favored because they are short in size and can be packed away in the corner to leave more room for other heavier equipment. But rowing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to burn carbs, so don’t push it to the side yet. Here are 7 benefits of Rowing Machine workouts.

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Your Next Fitness Craze

Running, swimming, and the gym. Three pretty standard ways of getting your heart pumping and your muscles toned. But what happens when you want a little more out of your fitness routine; and how can you have fun with your friends whilst keeping up your daily cardio?

There are a variety of brilliant activities you can share with your friends; even the ones who aren’t so keen on keeping up their fitness levels as you. From a simple game of rounders in the park to playing tag with your kids; it’s all about the amount of effort you put into it. Let’s have a quick look at some alternative, fun ways to get your body moving, and possibly your next fitness craze.

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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.

Guest Post: Top Workout Trends You Need to Try in 2017

Whether we love it or hate it, most of us have by now realized that working out is a must. The benefits are numerous: from general health, through mood enhancement, to weight control. However, after a while, it can get boring. It’s not easy finding the perfect form of physical activity that appeals to you. Once we get bored with the routine, we often drop it – especially those of us who struggle with discipline and willpower in the first place. But, just like in every major field, each year brings us new trends and fads in fitness, too. Take a look at the hottest workout trends in 2017 – you might just find some new ways to keep your workouts fresh and fun.

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