Heart Healthy Exercise Tips

Heart disease is a serious risk for many adults. In fact this risk has become so prevalent that over the last decade, society, the fitness industry, has become more conscious of “heart health”. You can go into just about any grocery store and see a wide variety of food items that market directly to those individuals who are trying to improve their heart health. Additionally, many health and fitness organizations have targeted programs and equipment just for improving one’s heart health.

healthy heart cholesterol

If you are looking to improve your overall heart health, then check out the following heart healthy exercise tips:

Start Exercising

There are many reasons or excuses for not exercising or going to thy gym. However, if you are looking to improve your heart’s health, whether it’s for treatment of prevention, then you must eliminate the excuses because your life literally depends on it. Doing something as simple as walking around your neighbourhood can help to lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the good cholesterol (HDL). The goal is to start out walking for at least 10 minutes per day and work your way up to at least 30 minutes per day.

 

Gym Membership

Joining a gym can provide numerous options for your new lifestyle of fitness and heart health. Most gyms offer a wide range of cardio machines, free weights, classes and more. Additionally, finding a workout partner can help you stay motivated to exercise.

 

Aerobic Exercise

In addition to walking, at a brisk pace, there are other aerobic (cardio) exercises that can help improve your heart’s health. Running, stairs, cycling, elliptical machine and others can help to get your heart rate up and improve your overall cardiovascular health. Aim to do at least 30 minutes per day of cardio. Taking a dance class like Zumba is a fun way to improve your cardio while learning how to dance. If you like cycling, a spin class is a perfect option for doing cardio.

 

Bodyweight Exercises

Performing bodyweight exercises like yoga, pilates, pushups, swimming and others, can help to improve your health. It helps to improve muscular conditioning and can even increase the heart rate, which improves the heart’s conditioning level. These are perfect exercises for those who can’t join a gym.

 

Weightlifting

Weightlifting, or strength training, can improve your overall muscular health by improving stamina. An improved muscular stamina and strength, would translate into making daily tasks easier like carrying groceries, walking up an incline and it would also help to prevent age related diseases like osteoporosis. A stronger muscular system means your body won’t have to work as hard to perform daily tasks, which means your heart won’t have to work as hard.

 

Balance

Working on balancing exercises will help prevent potential falls and injuries. Yoga, bosu balls and swiss balls are common methods of balance training.

 

Stretching

Stretching helps improve your flexibility, which is very important for your joints and range of motion. As you get older, you start losing flexibility and range of motion. It’s vital to stretch at least 2 days per week for a minimum of 10 minutes to maintain good flexibility as you get older. Some stretching techniques can even get the heart rate up and improve your heart health.

 

Workout Routines for Women to Look Great & Feel Good!!

Women Exercising in a Fitness Class

The journey to getting a fit & healthy body can be long & arduous, especially for women. With their natural curves, it can be complicated for females to lose unwanted fat deposits & get the bodies that they want. Fortunately, there are different steps that women can take in order to inch their way closer to looking great & feeling good. Here are some steps that you can take in order to get closer to your dream body without having to deal with the frustration & stress that usually comes with a failed weight loss journey.

The first thing that you have to do is to set a clear & easy-to-follow schedule. When it comes to finding the best workout routines for women, you should stick to a schedule that will not be too hard on your body or on the other chores that you have to accomplish daily. At the beginning of your journey, working out three times a week should do the trick. This exercise habit should be enough to kick start your weight loss. Once you have lost the initial number of pounds, then you should jump start your work out & start exercising more frequently. Doing so will help you lose weight faster & build up your body’s stamina.

You should also plan out your workout. Instead of doing full-body workout routines for women day in & day out, it will be better for you to target key parts of your body in different days. Separately work on your back, your shoulders, your arms, your abdominal muscles, your buttocks & your legs. This way, you will be able to ensure that your main muscle groups will have all the time they need in order to recover. One day’s rest between arduous exercise sessions will build your muscles & help you lose fat fast.

Before finding the workout routines for women that you will use to lose weight, you should set realistic goals that you will be able to achieve slowly & surely. You should do this early on in your journey, before you start your first day. Make sure that you will set goals that will push you to challenge yourself without putting too much pressure on you. Avoid impossible goals because they will do nothing but cause you to feel frustrated if & when you fall behind.

Finally, make sure that you supply yourself with the motivations you need to stick to your journey. Sticking with the best & the most challenging workout routines for women will cause you to feel tired at one point. When you feel yourself starting to get burned out, just focus on your goal & keep going!!! Find motivation that will help you stick to your workout day in & day out. Keep pushing yourself until you achieve the body that you are after. With enough determination & discipline, you will be able to achieve a body that will not only look great, but will also make you feel good about yourself as well.

5 Great Fitness Motivation Quotes to Help You Accomplish Your Goals This Week

1. “If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it.”

 

Persistency only gets you so far. Even the most persistent among us can hit walls. The key to reaching your fitness success is consistency. You need to consistently exercise & eat healthy each day, each week, each month, & each year to get the results you deserve. The most successful among us combine both persistency & consistency into a single package of awesomeness.

2. “Giving up on your goal because of one setback if like slashing your other three tires because you got one flat.”

 

Setbacks happen to the best of us. Even our heroes. Even those that seem the most successful. The key is to not let setbacks cause you to quit. Never give up on your goals. A setback is minor in the scheme of things, even when it feels major. Keep chugging along & you will get there.

3. “If you want to get fit, you have to give away only one thing: your excuses.”

 

Excuses don’t help anything. Yet it is very hard to let them go. It is a natural human reaction to make excuses for things that we find difficult. If you hope to get fit, then you have to give away your excuses. Hold yourself accountable. Only you can earn the body that you deserve.

4. “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”

 

Doubt can cause you to not even attempt something. When you don’t even attempt to accomplish a goal, there is no way you can ever achieve it. On the other hand, working towards a goal does not always guarantee success. But it does far more often than not ever trying. If you are going to fail, at least give it your very best shot.

5. “Anyone can work out for an hour, but to control what goes on your plate the other 23 hours…now, that’s hard work!”

 

I like this quote because it shows just how important nutrition is. Exercise can only get you so far. You need to control what you eat, for each & every meal, if you ever hope to achieve fitness success. Sure, it’s a mental game. Sure, you will slip up & cave in at some point. But look at the big picture, do your best, & focus on eating better every single day.

Train at Home: Gym & Workout ideas for the home.

Most savvy individuals & certainly anybody who takes care of their health know that regular exercise has many benefits. Cardiovascular health, stamina, mood & mental health can all improve with exercise, while the risk of a number of cancers, as well as diabetes & other serious medical conditions, are reduced in those who keep themselves physically fit.

 

The Exercise Dilemma 

While many fitness fans work out a few times a week in a professional gym, there may come a time when that is no longer enough. Some people grow bored with gym routines & look to add something else; such as a dance or a martial arts discipline to their weekly routine, but these are not always available at the gym. Some people might like to exercise more often but have a busy schedule that prevents them getting to the gym, while other individuals, such as shift workers or those with unpredictable or changeable schedules. People need the flexibility to exercise at odd times of the day or night, when most gyms aren’t open.

 

The Solution

 

Fortunately, it is reasonably easy to install a quality exercise space in most homes. To begin with, of course, you need a spare or unused room; in many cases, a garage or basement area will provide the perfect space. If there is no spare room available, building a small extension or addition onto your existing home for this purpose can be a great investment. However, in all cases, the primary consideration when it comes to having an exercise area in the home is that you have sufficient room to move around comfortably & safely.

The second consideration is the internal environment & in particular the heating & lighting arrangements in the exercise room. Additionally, make certain that you do not forget ventilation; excessive heat & condensation can not only damage your home, they can be dangerous to your health if you really work up a sweat in your home gym.

You will also want to think about the flooring in the exercise room. If the room is for light exercise use a normal flooring material should be fine, but for anything more strenuous, such as heavy cardio exercises or weight training, you might want to think about installing a sprung or other sport-optimised floor.

The equipment that you choose to install will depend on your own fitness interests. Many people & in particular dance & aerobics fans will want a generous amount of mirrored surface on at least one wall. A wall clock is another must-have for timing routines accurately & giving you that extra motivation to work faster, harder &  better. You will also need to remain hydrated, so a bottled water dispenser, or even just a tap, should be readily available.

 

A Great Investment

While building a home gym may seem excessive or indulgent to some, it is important to view it as an investment. If exercise is a big part of your life, it is something that you will be doing for many years to come. You need to ask yourself whether you would rather pay for that exercise with private gym fees, or with an investment in your own home which should increase its value.

Exercise is hugely beneficial to your health and, if you have a family, sharing that interest can be equally beneficial for them, too. Although a home gym may involve some initial financial outlay, the long term rewards may just make it one of the best investments you ever make.

Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors is a famous basket ball team and represents the eastern side of Canada on NBA games. National Basketball Association is always a great medium to showcase the best basketball talents of USA. At this point of time, the Toronto Raptors is in the top five lists of best basketball teams of NBA.

raptors-logoThe history of Toronto Raptors:

The Toronto Raptors joined the game of NBA in the year 1995. They were then representing the eastern side of the conference. They appeared in basketball along with their western rival, the Vancouver Grizzlies. At that time, they were the only faces of Canada in NBA. The starting was not that good for the Raptors as they did not have any marquee player by their side. But all the things were changed in the year 1998 when Raptors signed Vince Carter.

The era of Vince Carter:

Vince Carter was undoubtedly the best player of his time. He was playing in the position of guard-forward in Toronto Raptors. Carter did something which was still impossible for the team. He assisted the team to reach their first play-off in NBA championship. In the season 2000-2001, the Toronto raptors again qualified for the play-offs. They even reached the semi finals with the help of Vince Carter. But they got defeated by seven goals to the Philadelphia 76ers. It was surely an unforgettable journey for the raptors. The winning campaign ended soon in the season 2001-2002 when they got eliminated in the first round. They were trophy less for the next 4 years. The unhappy Vince Carter then left Toronto Raptors in the year 2004.

The time of Chris Bosh:

The time from 2001 to 2005 was really horrible for the Toronto Raptors team. After trading Carter, they signed Chris Bosh. He was the greatest centre-forward of the season 2005-06. But Toronto Raptors was still in misery as they got eliminated from the opening round of NBA championship in 2006. The same thing happened in the 2007-08 season. Chris Bosh was certainly not the lucky mascot for the Raptors. He also left the side in the year 2010 with a free agency trade.

Raptors’ sudden comeback:

The season 2013-2014 was undoubtedly the best for the team Toronto Raptors. This season saw the side stage a dramatic turnaround when they set a record of winning 48 games. They even won the cup for the second division title. It was a great day in the team history. They were the toppers of the 2014-2015 seasons and broke numerous records. But they again got eliminated in the opening round from the post season.

Some other information on Toronto Raptors:

When Raptors started their journey with basketball, they used to play in a different arena. But they now play at Canada force camp. The jersey of the raptors is always very popular among their supporters. They usually wear the throwback jersey of the Toronto huskies as they consider huskies as their predecessor.But they recently designed four new team jerseys in collaboration with NBA 2K16 sports agency. The colour of those jerseys is red and white which represent the colour of Canada’s national flag.

Toronto Raptors are playing really well lately and they recently defeated one team by a huge margin on NBA. We hope that you are now satisfied with our short overview on Toronto Raptors basket ball team of USA. Go and watch NBA and support Toronto Raptors this time.

Posted in NBA

Simple & Easy Tips To Prevent Kidney Problems

Like most people out there, I’m sure you’re one of those people that wants to take active steps toward getting into great health. Most people out there want to prevent diseases like diabetes & alzheimer’s, while at the same time promoting good heart health. However when was the last time you even thought about taking corrective measures to keeping your kidneys in good health. If you can’t even remember then perhaps it’s time that you start to take some action.

You might not realise this but your kidneys are one of the most important organs you have. One of the main jobs they have is to filter about 200 quarts of blood every single day. The other job they have is to filter about 2 quarts of excess water & waste, all of which becomes urine down the line. Another little known duty that your kidney’s have is that they make some hormones, which regulate the chemicals that are in your blood. So obviously taking the steps to keeping your kidneys healthy just makes good sense. To help you out, I’ve put together a few tips that will help you get a head start. Implement them and you’ll be well on your way to keep your kidneys in remarkable health.

 

1) Drink a Ton of Pure, Filtered Water Everyday

This is the one tip that you’re going to want to implement because staying hydrated will ensure that the volume and concentration of your blood remain consistent. The other benefit is that it promotes good digestion, keeps your body temperature set and it also washes out the toxins from your body. To keep all these things in order you’re going to want to drink about 50ml for every 1lb of bodyweight. However if you happen to be a little more active and sweat a little more than normal then you’re going to want to increase the amount of water that you drink to about half your body weight in ounces. A good example is that if you happen to weigh 200 pounds then you should drink about 100 ounces of filtered water a day.

2) Don’t Hold it in…

Another job that your kidneys perform is to filter all the blood that’s flowing through your body. Once your blood is finished filtering, all the excess water and waste products are stored up in your bladder & it will eventually be excreted. However you need to remember that your bladder only holds in about 14 ounces of water which isn’t that much at all. If you prevent yourself from going to the bathroom then it will result in your bladder stretching out more than it should do. So when you do finally go to the bathroom & urinate, your bladder doesn’t actually empty out completely. If you keep doing this, then it will eventually lead to you getting a urinary tract infection.

3) Ensure You Start Drinking Fresh Juices

While juicing isn’t going to result in you getting into the best health & cure you of all your health issues, it will slowly but surely help to keep your kidneys working perfectly. Drinking fresh fruit & vegetable juice will result in your digestive system absorbing up all the excess water in your body & help to flush out all the excess toxins that have been lying about your body. But if you happen to be suffering from kidney stones then it’s going to be super important to avoid using the ingredients… spinach, collard greens & beets. The reason being is that these vegetables are extremely high in oxalic acid which actually cause kidney stones to form.

 

4) Start To Improve the Foods You Eat

Ensure that you start eating healthy all the time. You need to know that how well your body functions is all dependent upon the sorts of foods that you consume on a day to day basis. If the foods that you eat are really toxic & unhealthy then this will ultimately start to affect the condition of your bodily organs, especially your kidneys. This is why I believe it’s so important to make sure that you totally avoid consuming highly processed foods from now on. So what should you be eating? Well, your main focus should be to consume foods that are really great for your kidneys. These include things like watermelon, green tea, garlic, asparagus, fish & celery.

5) Start Taking All The Right Supplements

The first supplement that you’re going to want to take is cranberry extract because this will help to keep your bladder protected while at the same time keep your kidneys healthy. The reason why cranberries are so good for your kidneys is because they prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to the lining of your kidneys. Of course let’s not forget the fact that cranberries also reduce inflammation & pack a ton of antioxidants! To keep your kidneys as healthy as possible, I’d recommend that you start taking at least 400 mg of cranberry extract every single day. But be sure to double up the dose if you’re suffering from urinary tract infection. Another supplement that you’re going to want to take from now on is vitamin D. There is plenty of research out there that shows that lack of vitamin D & kidney problems are closely linked. You must work hard to take at least 2000 IU of vitamin D every single day. Did you know that your kidney’s were designed to last for your whole life. Taking care of them by implementing the tips that I shared in this article will mean that you will enjoy great health for as long as you live.

Is Swimming for Fitness Effective?

One of the questions that I hear the most often from my Personal Training clients is “is swimming for fitness effective?” Many people with the goal of losing weight & gaining muscle want to know whether swimming works to accomplish both goals.

So should you jump into the pool & start swimming laps? Well, it depends. It depends on what your personal needs, preferences, & goals are. Keep on reading below for more about the connection between swimming & fitness.

The Benefits of Swimming

 

There can be no denying that swimming has many benefits. However, how much of these benefits you unlock depends greatly on how you go about swimming.

For instance, swimming on your back doesn’t take a whole lot of energy. On the other hand, a stroke such as the breaststroke or front crawl uses far more muscle & expends more energy.

Another thing to take into consideration is effort. Swimming is much more beneficial for fitness if you are giving it your all. If you are trying to beat a personal best time, the cardio workout will be much greater.

The best reason to use swimming, in my opinion, is as a way to stay in shape while recovering from injury. Those that have knee problems will find swimming much more agreeable than running, bicycling, & other forms of cardio training.

Swimming is also a soothing & relaxing activity. I know a lot of people that swim not necessarily because it is the best exercise out there but because they love how it allows them to relax & empty their minds.

The Drawbacks of Swimming

 

While swimming is a whole lot better than not exercising at all, there can be no denying that is had its drawbacks. Chief among these is that it is primarily cardiovascular & doesn’t really build strength or larger muscles. If this is part of your fitness goal, then you would do well to combine your swimming routine with weight training.

Swimming definitely does burn off calories but it does so in a slightly different way than other activities. Unlike other forms of exercise, you stop swimming calories shortly after you get out of the water. Other forms of exercise, like my Cardio Conditioning, allow you to burn calories long after stopping the exercise for the day. You might have heard of me refer to this as the Afterburn Effect.

Final Thoughts on Swimming for Exercise

At the end of the day, swimming can be a great workout for your body. It is a fun fitness activity that works your entire body. Best of all, you can do it by yourself or with others. Unfortunately, swimming is not the best exercise for losing weight or gaining muscle. So if you decide to swim, you should base that decision off of what your personal fitness goals are.

The Importance of Exercise in Your Daily Life

There are some things that the body needs. For instance, your body needs to receive the right nutrients either through food or supplementation. Your body also needs clothing to protect it from cold & heat. Your body also needs regular exercise. It may seem like a lot of work & may seem a chore to most people, but if you are serious about taking good care of your body, you need to know how important exercise is.

To some people it is a great hurdle but you have to know how important it is if you want to live a better life. The following are some important benefits that you can enjoy when you exercise regularly:

1) Stress reduction

Stress is a major problem in the modern world. When you are stressed you are unable to do all kinds of things. Stress derails you, puts you down, wastes your energy & discourages you form becoming more productive. One can be forced to deal with stress because of an emotional problem or a physical incapacity. Stress can bring about tension & exercise can relieve this.

2) Good health

Exercise, especially when it is done regularly is going to be very good for your health. When you exercise regularly, you build good heart capacity & you promote good blood circulation. Apart from that, it helps to build muscle, keeps you strong & gives you better skin. Exercise releases toxins from your body through sweat & promotes overall health. It keeps you strong enough to combat diseases.

3) Better body

Good exercise, especially one that is exerted on the right areas & with the right effort and capacity, should help to give you a good body. Most of the people who go through an exercise regime do so because they want to lose weight. By exercising properly, you can have the body you want & you can feel really good about yourself.

4) Fun & enjoyment

The truth is that exercising can be work when you look at it at first glance but then you will realise that exercise can be quite fun, especially since there are many great forms of exercise. You can go dancing, you can do martial arts, you can engage in sports & you can do all other things. Working out & exercising does not always have to be hard work & if you choose the right exercise program, you can enjoy all the above benefits & have good fun, at the same time.

Top 5 Tips for a Better Deadlift

The deadlift is one exercise that I believe everyone needs to have in their fitness repertoire. It is very simple & basically just involves picking a barbell up from the ground & setting it back down (although it is slightly more involved than that). Indeed, we have even talked about deadlifting before on FitnessPlus in a long ago post that covers the difference between conventional, sumo, & Romanian lifts (I strongly urge you to go check it out).

The reason why the deadlift is such a great exercise is because it is simple & effective. It only requires a barbell & it works your entire body from your arms to your core to your legs (especially your legs). Better yet, it is a natural exercise – what is more natural than a human picking something heavy up off the ground?

Unfortunately, the deadlift is one of the exercises that is performed incorrectly the most often. Your best bet if you are learning to deadlift is to hire a Personal Trainer to show you how. In addition to improving your safety, having a little one-on-one time with a Personal Trainer will help you get the very most fitness benefits from all of your training.

Keep the five tips below in mind while learning to deadlift as well. These tips will all help you deadlift better.

1. It’s Not a “Dead Squat”

 

Many people – even professionals – think of the deadlift as a squat with a barbell in your hands. This is not true at all. There are significant differences in the technique & body positioning behind the lifts. Using standard squat technique during a deadlift is dangerous & could lead to injury. You need to learn proper deadlift technique, stick with it during your deadlifts, & reserve a different technique for squats.

2. Focus on the Hips

 

The movement of the hips, sometimes known as the hip hinge, during the deadlift is crucial to an effective deadlift. This is basically the part of the exercise where you push your hips back. A lot of people that use squat-like technique & movement for the deadlift don’t perform the hip movement properly. Ask your Personal Trainer to point out exactly how you can improve this part of your technique. It will make your deadlift much more powerful.

3. Keep a Solid Back

 

It really kills me when I see people deadlifting with rounded backs. In addition to bad technique, having a rounded back during the deadlift is a huge no-no for your spine. If you keep lifting this way, your spine will eventually get hurt. Make sure to attain upper back stiffness whenever you are deadlifting by keeping your chest tall & engaging your lats. This is another area that a Fitness Coach should be able to help you. Practice, with the right technique & low weight, is much better than practice with poor technique & high weight.

4. Remove Your Shoes

 

I see plenty of awesome deadlifters wearing their training shoes while performing the exercise. It doesn’t hinder them. However, I firmly believe that most of us can benefit by taking our shoes off. Deadlifting without shoes is a great way to improve your technique (shoes make you slightly taller & barefoot allows you to sit back on your heels more). Minimalist shoes like Chuck Taylors are a great alternative to actually slipping the shoes off.

5. Singles, Singles, Singles

 

Form is God when it comes to deadlifting. There is no point in doing high reps if you sacrifice form. You are best with sticking at around 5 reps at a time. In fact, even experienced deadlifters tend to stick with only around 1 to 5 reps at a time. Working in this range, even just doing singles, allows you to hone in on your technique. You can also move to heavier loads & do each rep as close to perfect as you possible can.

Start Deadlifting Today!

 

Deadlifting can be intimidating. It seems like an exercise only reserved for the super inshape. Those muscled up guys grunting over there in the corner. But, in reality, it is a great exercise for everyone to learn.

If you need help, then remember to ask for help! Find a Personal Trainer or ask your gym’s trainer for help getting you started. Then start small with low weight & focus on technique first. Watch others at the gym who deadlift with the proper technique & mimic them.

Before long, you will be deadlifting your way to fitness success! The deadlift is one of the best ways to get stronger – the right way.

Squats, Squats, Squats: Everything You Need to Know & Why They Are So Important

 

Say what you want, but there are few, if any, exercises that are better for your body than squats.

Sure, they target the lower body, but they require that a multitude of muscles work together to complete the movement, making squats a compound exercise. Plus, when it comes to the lower body, you really can’t argue with the benefits of making squats a regular part of your workout routine.

That’s why I decided to make today’s blog post all about squats. I’ll start with a few of the best benefits of the exercise & then give a brief explanation of how to do them the right way (to maximize their effectiveness & reduce the risk of injury).

Why Squats Are Important

 

If squats are not a part of your regular workout, then you need to make them a part of your regular workout. They simply have just so many benefits.

Here are a few reasons that squats are such a fantastic exercise:

  • Full Body Exercise: Squats are great because they help build muscle in your entire body. Naturally, they build up your legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, etc), but they also release testosterone & human growth hormone to improve muscle growth & muscle mass throughout your entire body. So, at the end of the day, they help promote lower & upper muscle growth.
  • Functional: Squats are one of the best functional exercises. These help make real-life activities easier instead of simply making you better at operating gym equipment.
  • Burn Fat: If you have done squats before, then you know that they are intense. In fact, they are one of the most time-effective ways to burn more calories & fat!
  • Mobility & Balance: Squatting is about more than just gaining muscle. The exercise also focuses on building/maintaining mobility & balance. In addition to increasing balance in your legs, they promote core strength & improve coordination between your brain & different muscle groups.

Proper Form for Squats

 

Using the proper form is essential when performing squats. If not done correctly, they can place undue stress on certain parts of your body (such as your knees). I’ve given you a few tips below that will help you perform squats right. However, there is no substitute to getting tips & advice from a Personal Trainer in person.

My best tips for the proper squat include:

  • Warm up before you start.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your back in a neutral position.
  • Keep your knees centered over your feet.
  • Bend your knees, hips, & ankles slowly until you reach a 90-degree angle.
  • Slowly return to your starting position.
  • Repeat.
  • Breathe in as you lower your body & out as you return to your starting position.

Start Doing Squats!

Now that you know the benefits of doing squats & how to do them what is stopping you from adding them to your workout routine? Nothing should be!