Buying A Gym Pass – Stretch Your Cash And Shrink Your Waist

Buying a gym pass can be a great motivational tool to keep you working out. However, in these tough economic times, every dollar counts. So what is going to work best for both your bank account and to reduce belly fat?

Length of pass

A 12 month membership can be a scary outlay on the wallet, especially all in go, so a shorter length of time can be more affordable as a one-off cost. Beware of 1 day passes as these are the most expensive way to get into a gym. Multiply the number of times you would go in a week or a month and you will see what we mean.

One month passes can be good if you are only looking at a quick fix before, say, a vacation. Why quick fix? Well, normally once the month is up most people take a planned or unplanned breather before they join again. If this coincides with your vacation, great. However if it is only going to coincide with a rest on the couch, it may be not such a good plan. Before you know it you will be right back where you started, needing another gym pass.

Three month passes will be more costly as an outlay, but when you split it over the 3 months you should come out a long way in front. If the amount is too shocking for the bank balance see if the gym will split the payment up into installments. Right now, those scenarios are becoming more likely as gyms and health clubs scramble for members. (You also will not be the only person asking.)

The other great benefit of a 3 month pass is that by the end of the 12 or 13 weeks you will be into a totally new and better routine. Your mind and body will have become accustomed to hitting the gym and you are less likely to stop going when your time is up. (Bear in mind that some bad habits can take longer than a month to break.)

Other features to look for

Of course, one of the only good things about a downturn in the economy is the fact that many gyms and health clubs are offering better deals. See what sort of incentives are out there before getting that gym membership.
* Free personal trainers and nutritionists can literally save you a fortune. While most gyms will offer a trainer free initially, see how many complimentary consultations you are entitled to.
* Free child minding facilities. Why pay for a sitter at home if you can get free child minding? Check out the staff’s qualifications and that the kiddy area is in fact child friendly.

Cost effective measures.

* Share with friends. Some gyms offer incentives  such as friends can work out for free. If any of your friends belong to gyms why not try these gyms for free before committing yourself. Taking friends for free is also great motivation to stop you jamming out when you first get started.
* Car pool with friends or colleagues can be a great way to save on fuel and car maintenance. It is also another great motivator to get you going.
* Medical insurance. Check with your health or medical insurance to see whether you are entitled to any sort of rebate. Many insurance companies are promoting pro active health measures to minimize health claims down the track.
* Employer’s discounts. Those people who work for large corporations may be entitled to gym discounts. Do your research.

The fine print.

* Extras. Check out that the pool and any special classes like Pilates, aqua aerobics, etc are covered in your membership.
* Class times. If you are wanting to take a few classes it can be worth your while to ensure that the classes are running when you can get there.
* Variety of machines. Before handing over your cash check out the machines and facilities. Does the gym have everything that you might want or need?

Conclusion.

Stretch your dollar while you shrink your waist line with a monthly or 3 monthly gym pass. These are far more cost effective than a day or week pass and will provide the extra motivation to keep you working out.

What Is Resistance Band Training – Will It Work For Me?

There are lots of terms floating around in the fitness and workout world. Resistance training is one of them. So what is resistance training exactly? The true meaning of resistance training is working out in such a way as to force your muscles to contract against a resistance that is external.

Resistance workouts can be performed with weight machines, free weights, your own body weight, or with bands or tubing. This article is going to focus primarily on resistance band training.

Band training is using stretchy bands, or tubing, as the resistance for building up your muscles. Instead of using weights, or machines, the workouts are performed with the bands. Although this system sounds deceptively easy, the resistance and results are still there. Bands can be easily bought at any fitness store.

Benefits of resistance training.

There are so many health benefits to be gained from resistance training in general that the American College of Sports Medicine now recommends that all American adults should be incorporating this type of activity into their workouts two to three times weekly.

* Resistance, or strength training not only tones up your muscles, making them appear toned and taut, it will improve your muscle mass.
* Increased strength.
* Band training not only burns calories at the time of the workout, but will lead to a higher metabolic rate. In other words, your metabolism will start to run faster and more efficiently which is a great benefit for weight management.
* Improved balance for the elderly.
* Improved bone mass, which helps alleviate osteoporosis.

Advantages of bands (or tubing).

* Cost effective. Tubing or bands are much less expensive than weights and machines. Generally, you should be able to purchase a set of 4 for about $20.
* Color coded. Bands and tubes come in different colors, which denote different thicknesses, and strengths, which in turn will result in varied resistances.
* Light weight. Bands weigh next to nothing, make them easy to use for the elderly, and any one with joint problems or lacking in a lot of strength.
* Portable. One of the best things about bands is that you can throw them in your suitcase when you are traveling and continue on with your workouts while you are away.
* Adjust to size. No matter whether you are 7 foot tall or 4 foot 10, unlike some machines, which only cater to specific heights, bands will still be effective.
* Easy to store. Tubing and bands take up no room whatsoever. You do not need a dedicated room or garage for your home gym exercise equipment. You can use these pretty much anywhere in the house.
* Won’t damage anyone or anything if dropped. Whereas, free weights and dumbbells can cause significant injuries and damage if dropped on toes, feet, or the floor.
* Don’t require a lot of coordination to use them effectively. While some weights and machines may require some dexterity to change plates and pins etc, bands are pretty simple to use.
* Don’t need to be strong to use them. Free weights and dumbbells require some initial strength to be able to set everything up and get started, with bands you don’t need any strength at all to get cracking.

* Versatile. There are many exercises that you can perform with the one set of bands. You can exercise all the major muscle groups of your body.

Disadvantages of bands.

* Tubes can be damaged with sharp edges or rough surfaces.
* Tubing or bands will eventually need replacing as they lose their stretch and resistance.
* Over time they may start to perish, like any rubber product.

Who can use them.

One of the best features of bands for training is that anyone can use them. Even the wheelchair bound can use the bands to work out their arms. No matter your age, size, or strength, there will be plenty of workouts that you will be able to utilize. Those with injuries can also selectively use the tubing to keep the strength in their other non injured muscle groups.

Conclusion.

Resistance band training has many health benefits when performed 2-3 times per week. Working out with tubing or bands is suitable for just about everybody no matter size, age, or strength.

Muscle Soreness, Lactic Acid Buildup And DOMS Explained

No pain, no gain. This is the adage that many of us work out by. If it’s not hurting we are not working hard enough. What causes sore muscles and what part does lactic acid buildup play?

There are 2 types of muscle pain. One is the burning that you feel in your muscles while you are working out, and this is commonly known as lactic acid build up. The second kind is the stiffness and soreness you may encounter for up to 2-5 days after you have worked out. This pain is referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS for short).

Lactic acid
is created when the body is not getting enough oxygen to break down the glucose required for energy. Lactic acid is produced at these moments of time of extreme anaerobic activity (such as weight lifting) as a defensive measure, forcing the body to slow down and catch its metabolic breath. The burning feeling you are experiencing is a sure sign that you are working out to your maximum. Once your body starts producing the lactic acid in high quantities the body can only continue that particular muscle use (rep) for another 1 -3 minutes. The lactic acid does not hang around in your muscles for too long, from several to twenty-four hours.

DOMS is the correct term for the pain, stiffness and suffering you may encounter when you try to get out of bed the day or two after the massive or new workout. This pain and stiffness usually peaks within the first 1-2 days and then subsides. The length of recovery time can depend on the muscle damage and subsequent repair necessary. Yes, you read right. DOMS is actually caused by the inflammation and damage of the muscles created by the workout. Generally, if DOMS is caused by a new workout routine, your muscles will soon adjust and you will find the DOMS will stop troubling you.

Tips for relieving muscle pain.

* Massage has been proven to reduce both the tissue swelling and the pain associated with DOMS after strenuous workouts. The theory is that the massaging motion helps clear the chemical build-ups in the muscles and surrounding tissues, allowing the healing process to start faster.

* Light exercise
again has been clinically proven to help alleviate some of the symptoms of DOMS. A light cardio workout is recommended first to warm up, followed by some stretches. If you are then able to do your usual workout that’s fine. However, if the pain is interfering with your routine, or the pain intensifies then this is your body signaling you that those particular muscles need more recovery time. It is important to listen to your body and not ignore severe pain.

* Heat packs and ice packs can both help with tissue damage and pain. Ice will help prevent swelling, and heat is generally found to be soothing for sore muscles and joints.

Does it really have to hurt to work?

The pain that is felt in the muscles after an intensive routine is the small tears in the muscles healing themselves. This is part of the muscle strengthening process. A little DOMS can be a great indicator that you have successfully pushed yourself. On the other hand, severe DOMS indicates that you have overexerted yourself. Lactic acid burn is a signal that your muscles are indeed working out.

Conclusion.

The production of lactic acid is a process signaling that muscles in your body have run out of oxygen needed to clear out the chemicals created by an intensive workout. The build up of lactic acid is signaled by the feeling of muscle burn. DOMS, on the other hand is the pain and stiffness felt from anywhere between 1 and 5 days after a strenuous activity.

Are Vitamins And Health Supplements Good Insurance?

Are you one of the 50% of the population in the United States who takes vitamins and health supplements on a daily basis? Do you really need to? Are they doing you more harm than good? Do you think they are a good form of insurance?

There is never going to be a substitute for fresh and colorful foods on a daily basis. In a perfect world we would all be eating our recommended doses of each and every food group each and every day. Fresh foods contain phytochemicals, micronutrients, fiber, and natural antioxidants that can never be replicated quite the same in a tablet. Interestingly, while it is impossible to consume toxic levels of antioxidants from real foods, this is easily achievable with mega-dose antioxidant supplements.

Sadly, it is estimated that only 25% of Americans achieve the recommended daily dietary requirements. For the other 75%, eating enough fresh fruits, vegetable, dairy, and whole grains can often be a real challenge. (The only food group that Americans as a group do manage to consume to the recommended requirement is the fat group, which most people are guilty of over consuming.)

What should you really be eating daily:

* 3 glasses of milk, or other source of calcium.
* 1 1/2 cups of fresh fruit
* 2 1/2 cups vegetables
* 6 ounces whole grains
* 5 ounces beans, meat, or some other form of protein
* maximum of 5 teaspoons of vegetable oil, such as olive or canola.

Those who could benefit from daily vitamin supplements include:

* Women planning on becoming pregnant in the near future are recommended to take folic acid and pre-natal vitamins. Pregnant and nursing mothers may also need supplements but should check with their health care provider first.
* Those whose diets are lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables, calcium, whole grains or protein.
* Those who consume too much alcohol.
* Those who have had some forms of gastric bypass weight loss surgery. (The removal of some parts of the stomach and bowel can reduce the absorption of nutrition from foods.)
* Those who have suffered from major illnesses and operations (check with your doctor first to ensure the supplements will not interact with your other medications.)
* Those who regularly skip meals.
* Those who exercise vigorously on a very regular basis.
* Those people who may exclude whole food groups from their diet, for example vegetarians or vegans.
* Anyone whose doctor says they should do so.

Caution:

* Supplements should never be used as a substitute for foods.
* Some supplements can interact with other medications including the Pill, anti-depressants, heart medications, and blood thinners, to mention only a few. Be sure to talk to your doctor.
* When it comes to vitamins, bigger is not always better. Beware of mega doses. Research has shown that some vitamins and supplements including Vitamins A and E, selenium, copper, zinc, and iron, and antioxidants such as beta-carotene, may actually be harmful in large doses.
* Never exceed the recommended daily allowance per vitamin or mineral.
* Always check the expiry date. If there is no date on the label purchase another brand.
* Be leery of astonishing claims. Vitamins should be used to protect against dietary deficiencies only.
* Store your vitamins in a cool and dry place. Check whether or not they need to be stored in the refrigerator.
* Keep out of reach of children.
* Children should only be ever given vitamins specifically manufactured for children. Adult doses may well be unsuitable and harmful for a little person. Children have dramatically different dietary requirements to adults.
* Remember that in the US vitamin companies are not policed by the FDA, unless claims are made against a product. Yes, you read right, there has to be a complaint before these products are investigated. It can be a great idea to stick with well known and reputable manufacturers.
* If you are unsure, consult your doctor first.

Conclusion.

Vitamins should be used as an insurance policy to ensure that essential vitamins and minerals are not lacking from your system. Vitamins and supplements can be beneficial for those who lead hectic lives and skip meals. However, supplements are never going to be better for you than a healthy well balanced diet. Care should be taken to never exceed the recommended daily dose, and at the time of publication, mega dose supplements have found to be harmful.

High Intensity Training – Go Harder For Better Results

Have you hit a plateau in your training program? Not losing any more weight? Not seeing an improvement in muscle mass? Been doing the same workout for quite some time? If you have answered “Yes” to any of these, it is probably time to reassess your workout program. You may well be working at a lower intensity than is optimal for your goals. Try some of these tips for a more effective high intensity training.

* Add extra weight. Obvious, yes. But many people get stuck in a rut with their workouts and it doesn’t occur to them that they need to start lifting more. Your muscles get used to lifting certain weights and then after that they are just cruising on auto-pilot. Give your muscles a jolt.

* Alter the speed of the reps. If you cannot possibly lift heavier weights for whatever reason, try changing the speed of the repetitions to increase your workout intensity. For example, instead of letting gravity help on the way down, slow the negative part of the exercise right down. You will be in control of the weight, not gravity, and you will really feel a difference. This is one strategy that has endless variations to keep your muscles from getting complacent and lazy. When asking yourself  how to get a six pack, you will be much more effective at getting rid of the love handles if you play around with the speeds of your crunches.

* Change the exercise pattern. Your muscles get used to doing things in a certain order. Many people always workout in the same pattern. For those skeptics out there, just try reversing your whole workout routine and see how much harder it is. Your muscles will not be doing what they expected and will have to work harder. Try it and see. This is another strategy that has plenty of variation.

* Shorten your rest intervals.
Decreasing your rest periods means that your muscles will have to work harder. As an added bonus you will also be able to do more in the same workout time.

* No pain, no gain.
Cliched but true. If you are cruising through your workout you are definitely not going to progress. It should be hard and it should burn. Do a few more reps at the very least.

* Hire a trainer. Get a trainer to give you an assessment to see where you can improve. This can be invaluable for those people who have been doing the same old same old for a long time. Sports medicine techniques have changed and you could possibly benefit.

* How long is too long for a workout routine? A very fit person will need to increase their intensity every 3-4 weeks. Experts state that it takes about a minimum of 3 weeks for the body to reap the benefits of the change in routine. Beginners may take as long as 2-3 months before they hit their first plateau. This is because at the start it is all new and their muscles are getting it all together.

* Keep a journal.
This is pretty important when you are playing around with rest intervals, your speeds, your weights, and your routines. How can you possibly remember? If you can you are possibly doing too much of the same thing on a regular basis. Logging your progress will give you a better idea of how much stronger and fitter you are getting. Keeping a journal will also allow you to look back over time and see which tactics work best for you.

* Are you working hard enough?
If you are not out of breath or sweating then it goes without saying, you are not working yourself hard enough. You should be working at such a level that you are capable of short answers only. If you can carry on a whole conversation you need to be harder on yourself. If you feel faint or breathless you are overdoing it. Obviously, chest pain would mean stopping immediately and possibly a visit to the doctor.

Conclusion.

Pushing yourself harder in your workout will yield results. Those stuck on the scales or not seeing an improvement in the bathroom mirror will benefit from upping their workout ante to a higher intensity.

How To Increase Metabolism Easily, Effectively, and Long Term

We all know someone who seemingly never stops eating, is always hungry, and never seems to gain a pound. Then there are others who are less fortunate who seem to gain weight just by looking at a serve of pasta. What’s going on? Well it all basically comes down to metabolism. Your metabolism is simply the manner in which your body burns up energy. Someone with a higher resting metabolism is going to burn more calories while watching TV than someone with a slower metabolism. However, all is not lost. Read on for some simple tips on how to increase metabolism.

Eat protein. Breaking down the energy from high quality low fat protein source requires the body to use more energy than to break down the energy from sugar or fat. Incorporating small serves of eggs, fish, lean poultry and lean beef with each meal will force your body’s metabolism to increase.

Incorporate high fiber into your meals such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only will the fiber leave you feeling fuller, but your body’s metabolism will have to speed up to try and break down the fiber.

Add muscle to your physique.
The more muscle tone you have, the more calories your body will burn each and every day. Yet another great reason to hit the gym.

Sleep well. Lack of sleep can wreak havoc with your metabolism. If you want to increase your metabolism getting a good night’s sleep would have to be one of the easiest ways.

Small snacks often. OK, first up, we mean healthy snacks, not pizza and beer 5 times daily! We also don’t mean for you to eat 5-6 huge meals daily. Rather, look at what you currently eat in a day and divide this amount into 5 smaller meals rather than 3 big meals. Eating every 2-3 hours stops the body from going into starvation mode and keeps your metabolism really buzzing along.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
. Research has shown that including 300mg daily of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA together will enable your body to increase fat burning hormones and decrease the fat storage hormones. The results? A possible surge in metabolism by up to 400 calories daily (according to researchers from the University of Western Ontario.)

Exercise effectively.
Multiple muscle exercises will speed up your metabolism, not singular, as is mentioned in the truth about six pack abs book. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is an extremely effective method for revving up your metabolism and burning calories for hours afterwards (known as afterburn). For further information on HIIT you may like to read this article. Incorporating heavier than normal weights in your routine can also boost your metabolism, as your body will have to work harder to repair all those tiny muscle tears.

Get moving.
Keep yourself on the move. Toss away the remote and force yourself off the couch. Take the stairs. Ride a bike instead of driving.  Take your kids to a park or play with them in the yard. Walk to the corner store instead of driving. The more you move around, the more calories your body is forced to burn and the faster your metabolism will run.

Conclusion.

Boosting your metabolism can be achieved simply and effectively. Smarter eating and exercising, along with adequate quality sleep and the inclusion of fish oils on a daily basis can dramatically burn more calories.

Find A Reason For More Successful Weight Loss

Want to lose weight or get fitter, but can’t find the motivation? You need to find a reason to hit the gym, or to start a new diet. Saying “I will start on Monday” is for many, just not enough incentive. Try some of these strategies to help yourself get off the couch, restock the fridge, and reduce belly fat.

* Special occasion. Circle the date on the calendar and set yourself realistic goals. This would be for most, 1-2 pounds per week. Whenever you feel like eating that chocolate cookie, or skipping your workout, visualise the new outfit that yu want to wear.  For extra encouragement  try posting a picture on the fridge or bedside table to remind you why you are getting up early to go for a jog, and why you are not eating the pizza. Birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, vacations, they all work extremely well, just set that date before you start.

* Medical reason. Your doctor may have already given you a warning, or suggested, subtly or not, that you need to lose a few pounds, drop the blood pressure, or reduce your waistline.  You may have a family history of strokes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes. You may have seen someone in our family struggle to get around with the bad back or knees, lugging those extra pounds.

These are all extremely good motivators to get you going. If they are not, schedule a visit to your doctor and hear the scary facts for yourself. Better still, get some tests done and then let the doctor tell you what could be improved just with some diet and exercise. Don’t forget many health issues today (like diabetes type 2) are avoidable just by making healthy choices.

* Self esteem. Feeling fantastic can make a huge difference to your self esteem. If you see yourself in a more positive light, then so will the rest of the world. If those extra pounds are eroding your confidence, get rid of them. Think about how much better you are going to feel, when trim, taut, and terrific.

* Have more energy.
Tired of being tired? Need more energy to play with the dog, kids, or grandchildren? Being unfit, or carrying excess pounds makes you more tired. Once you start your new regime you will notice within a couple of weeks the extra stamina you have. Once you start having fun it should be easy to keep on going.

* Revenge. For those who have suffered some personal turmoil, like a heart break, there can be nothing better than looking and feeling fantastic. Yep, everyone might down a few beers or take solace in the ice cream for a short while but then it is time to get it together. After the chocolate and pizza mourning stage, you will want to be seen putting your very best foot forward. No-one is worth gaining 10 pounds for, or going up a dress size. If that isn’t enough, think about how you will feel in your new outfit when you bump into your ex looking better than ever.

* Appearance. Wanting to look better in your jeans, swimmers, or workout gear is a great reason on its own to shape up. No-one likes to feel embarrassed about how they look. Move your smaller clothes to the front of your closet where you can see them each and every day.

* Embarrassment in public. Maybe the thought of being seen in public, or eating out, or even doing the groceries, brings you out in a cold sweat. Perhaps you worry what others are thinking when they see you eat, or not eat. Maybe you just don’t want to embarrass your kids or your partner.

* Space.
Some people just start to get upset about the amount of space they take up in the office. Or perhaps they are tired of not fitting into seats on the plane or the cinema.

Conclusion.

Use a valid reason, whether it be health, vanity or something else, to help get you into your shorts. Once you have found something you feel passionately about, and have set yourself realistic goals, the rest will follow on more easily.


Do Not Give Up Your Fitness Program – You Can Do It!

When you first get started on your new workout regime it can be every easy to feel like quitting. It’s a cold morning, it’s raining, the bed is warm, you are tired, or your body is already stiff and sore. The list goes on. After work routines can be even harder to stick with. Drinks, meetings, working late, and exhaustion, can all seem like perfectly adequate reasons to put off a workout. It does seem hard initially but it is important you do not give up. Try these easy tips to stay motivated.

* Set Goals.
Do you want to lose pounds, inches, or just get fit and healthy? Not only is it a great idea to set goals, but you should ensure that they are realistic. We all want the love handles and muffin top gone in a week, but it is not going to happen. Break the goals down into smaller increments if the overall picture is just too overwhelming. Allow yourself a weight loss plan of 1-2 pounds per week.

* Get a Workout Buddy. Having someone to workout with can be great for getting you into that gym. Just ensure that your partner is just as motivated as you. Do not select a slacker who is going to encourage you to shop, drink, or sleep in, instead of working out.

* Hire a Personal Trainer. This is the ultimate in being forced to keep going. Harsh cancellation fees, and having to justify your non attendance, are enough motivation for most to show up in the gym. If you are totally non-motivated then you may be even better off hiring a personal trainer that will literally come to your home and drag you out of bed or off the couch, if needs be. While you are using the personal trainer it could be a great idea to get them to show you some strength training exercises which will help with the calorie and fat burning.

* Use Photos etc.
Stick a photo on the fridge, your alarm clock, your desk at work, or as your screen saver, of what you want to achieve. It may be you in slimmer days or it might be a shot of an outfit you aspire to look good in. Whenever you feel the will power slipping take a good look and remind yourself of your goals.

* Use a Special Event to stay motivated. Is there a summer vacation or reunion coming up? Remember to leave yourself enough time to get somewhere near your goals. Every time you feel like skipping the workout think of those guys you haven’t seen in how many years, or the bikini you want to wear around the pool.

* Use a Journal. Keep track of your workouts. Before too long you will notice that you will be doing activities harder, longer and stronger. The journal can also be used to chart your measurements and any blood pressure or blood test results that you can compare favorably along your fitness journey.

* Stay Positive. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen eventually. In the meantime remind yourself that you are getting fitter and healthier on a daily basis. You are not only toning up but reducing your risks of diabetes type 2, heart disease and stroke.

Conclusion.

It can be hard to get off the couch, out of bed, or out of the office, when you first start a new fitness program. However, before you know it, you will be looking forward to your workouts and will not need motivation or reasons to go. You will be embracing your new lifestyle and wonder how you ever got by without it.

Easy And Effective Ways Of Dealing With Muscle Soreness

Have you overdone your workout? Barely able to walk, sit or bend? Can’t face the thought of the gym or the running track ever again? Don’t despair. There are many simple and effective ways of dealing with muscle soreness and stiffness. Read on for some fast relief of that muscle pain.

Types of muscle pain.

There are several types of muscle pain associated with working out:

* Lactic acid burn.
This is the burning feeling you experience in your muscles as you are working out. This is a result of strenuous muscle exertion and lactic acid builds up in the tissues as a byproduct of the vigorous workout. Lactic acid burn starts to subside within minutes of finishing the exercise.

* Acute injury or sprain. Sudden onset of acute or unusual pain while exercising could indicate an injury or sprain. Many sprains can be treated in the same manner as DOMS. However, if your pain hasn’t gone within a week it will be time to consult a doctor. Severe pain may warrant a visit sooner.

* Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is used to describe the pain and stiffness that you tend to wake up with the day after a vigorous workout. This pain may intensify for up to 48 hours after the workout, and then start to subside. There are many useful strategies you can implement to help with this sort of soreness.

Treating muscle pain.

* Massage has been shown to help with both lactic acid build up and DOMS. In the case of lactic acid build up massaging the surrounding areas seems to clear the chemical build up faster, decreasing tissue inflammation. In the case of DOMS, massage would appear to be at the very least, very soothing.

* Yoga has been shown in studies to help with DOMS. The gentle movements along with the stretches may be just what the physio ordered.

* Stretching definitely helps alleviate the stiffness and soreness of those tight muscles. The best thing about stretching is that you can do it as often as you need to. Just remember, aim for gentle stretches, do not rock or bounce and try and hold for at least 5 seconds.

* RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, and is ideal for more significant muscle injuries like sprains and swellings. The ice and elevation will minimize the bruising and swelling of the affected area. The compression, as in a bandage, will help support the area and will ease the pain, especially if it is your ankle or foot.

* Heat packs are extremely soothing for sore muscles and help with the associated inflammation. Many people swear by wheat packs for those aching and stiff muscles and joints.

* Ice packs and cold water.
Many athletes claim that ice baths are great for dealing with pains and swellings. Ice packs definitely help with sprains and swellings. Some may prefer the warmth of a heat pack, and others may find an ice bath more effective. Experiment and see which works the best for you. Neither will harm you.

* Warming up before going again.
Before you embark on your next round of activity it is vital to do a gentle warm up for 10-15 minutes. You will start to feel better straight away. Note the word “gentle”. Activities such as walking and cycling are excellent.

* Gentle activity.
You may not feel like even climbing out of bed, but gentle activity will definitely help your cause. Do not workout to the intense level you were at to give yourself the DOMS. Knock it back a few levels of intensity, but still do something. This will also help to keep you in your new workout mode. If you stop until you feel better, you may not go back.

* Be patient. You may feel as if you will never be able to move again, but within 3-7 days you will be fine. If you are not OK after 7 days you will need to see a physio or doctor, as this would indicate an injury, as opposed to DOMS.

Conclusion.

There are many simple ways of dealing with muscle soreness including stretching, yoga, massage, gentle exercise, and both heat and ice. Your muscle pain will go away, and in the meantime you will feel much better if you keep working out at a lesser intensity.

The Many Health Benefits Of Strength Training

There are plenty of great reasons why you should think about incorporating strength training, or resistance training, into your workout routine. Some may associate this type of training with body builders, but you need not necessarily become Mr. or Ms Universe. Indeed, many use resistance training as a means to keeping themselves trim, taut, and toned, as opposed to bulking up. The many and varied benefits of strength training include:

* Increased stamina and strength.
As your muscles become stronger you will notice a huge improvement in your overall endurance and energy levels. Day to day tasks that may have been a struggle will also become a lot easier, courtesy of the extra muscle tone.

* Better muscle tone and definition. Not everyone wants to look like a body builder. The majority of those using strength training do so to keep their muscles toned and the love handles at bay. Tight muscles are always going to look better than wobbly skin and bingo arms.

* Faster metabolism. Not only does resistance training burn calories and fat at the time of the workout, but the extra lean muscle will cause your metabolism to run considerably faster permanently. Every extra pound of lean muscle mass that you lay down can burn as much as an extra 35-50 calories each and every day. The more muscle mass you have the more calories you will burn.

* Reduces risk of osteoporosis. The risk of osteoporosis increases significantly with age. While the risks are higher for females, men can also be afflicted with thinning of the bones. The most effective way to counteract this bone disease is to incorporate weight-bearing activities into your workout at least 3 times weekly.

* Better coordination and balance. Strength training has been proven to improve balance and coordination, especially in the aged. The stronger the core and leg muscles become, the less chance there is of falling. The stronger bones from the resistance training mean that any little spills have less chance of breaking bones.

Starting out. It can be a great idea to have a personal trainer, or physiotherapist, guide you as to the best exercises for your fitness levels and age. Otherwise it can be very easy to either over or under exert yourself. The correct movements are critical with this sort of training. Get the motions and the weights right and then you will be able to workout yourself.

Keeping it cost effective.
Personal trainers are also useful for providing great ideas for a home gym and can give great insight into keeping the costs down with resistance bands, the best value weights, and utilizing your own body weight in the workouts.

Keep a journal.
Resistance training is one area of working out that requires you to keep pushing yourself. Keep a record of your workouts and ensure that you are upping the ante on a regular basis.

Regular workouts. Strength training is best done at least 3 times weekly. Mix it up with some aerobic or cardiac workouts on the other days to fully maximize your workout potential.

Conclusion.

The benefits of strength training include reducing the risk of osteoporosis, burning fat, boosting the metabolism permanently, and improved stamina and endurance.