Simple Ways To Test Your Body Fat Percentage

By Paul Becker

Copyright © 2008 by Paul Becker.

When losing fat it is important to know, not just how much weight you are losing, but how much of your body is muscle and how much is fat. You want to lose fat while maintaining or even building muscle. So, you need some way to keep track of your body fat percentage.

The following are two simple methods to determine current body fat percentage and lean mass percentage.

Method Number One

For this test you will need someone’s help and a ruler that reads in millimeters (mm).

Step 1 – Hang your right arm at your side and have someone find the point halfway between your shoulder and elbow, on the rear (triceps side) of your arm.

Step 2 – With his/her thumb and forefinger have him/her pinch a fold of skin and fat away from the muscle.

Step 3 – Have him/her measure the thickness of the skin pinched. (Do not rest the ruler against the skin.)

Step 4 – Have him/her do steps 2 and 3 several times and get the average reading.

Step 5 – Find your body fat percentage by using the chart below.

Fat Percentage Chart

Skin Fold Thickness In MM = % for Men & Women

6mm = 5-9% for men

6mm = 8-13% for women

13mm = 9-13% for men

13mm = 13-18% for women

19mm = 13-18% for men

19mm = 18-23% for women

25mm = 18-22% for men

25mm = 23-28% for women

38mm = 22-27% for men

38mm = 28-33% for women

Method Number Two

This test requires a scale and a tape measure. Do the following calculations:

For Men

Lean body weight = 94.42 + 1.082 (nude weight in pounds) – 4.15 (waist girth around bellybutton in inches)


Body fat (%) = bodyweight – lean bodyweight x 100/bodyweight

For Women

Lean body weight = 8.987 + 0.732 (weight in kilograms) + 3.786 (wrist diameter in centimeters) + 0.434 (forearm circumference in centimeters)


Body fat (%) = bodyweight – lean bodyweight x 100/bodyweight


To convert pounds to kilograms divide by 2.2

To convert inches to centimeters divide by 0.394

Divide circumference by 3.14 (pi) to get diameter.

About The Author: Paul Becker is a natural (steroid free for life) bodybuilder and fitness consultant. For more information on Bodybuilding and Bodybuilding Supplements visit his website at

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How To Lose Weight Successfully And Permanently

Obesity rates are rising throughout the western world. For most of us, that means that many of us have a pound or few to lose. These days, being a little overweight is almost perceived as normal. However, we all know that to maintain a healthy life we should be keeping our weight in the healthy range. Failure to do this leads to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and many other unpleasant health issues.

We are all so used to instant gratification that it can be hard for any of us to get into better eating and exercising routines. We all want the weight to fall off yesterday and to look and feel like we did 10 years, or 10 pounds, ago. The best way to lose weight successfully for the long term is to start with a sensible eating plan and stick to it.

Lose Weight Naturally

For those who are seeking a healthy lifestyle, a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables will have you glowing and full of energy in no time. Fresh foods prepared at home have much lower levels of fats, sugars and salt, than most foods bought on the run. Preparing food yourself is not only more cost effective but also allows you to have a better idea of the calories and carbs that you are consuming.

Fresh vegetables, nuts, fruits, and in particular, berries are full of antioxidants which have many health benefits. Natural foods such as cocoa beans, and chocolate, in particular, but also green tea and red wine (in moderation), are extremely high in flavonoids and phenolic acid which have recently been found to reduce fat secreting enzymes and triglyceride production in the fat cells of lab mice.

To lose weight naturally and safely is a fairly basic equation: eat less fuel than you are burning off. What does this mean? Eat less than you usually do, and exercise more than you usually do. Having said this, it is important that you maintain this ratio in a healthy balance. No one can exist forever on lettuce leaves and run 5 miles daily. Taking diets and exercising to extremes is not healthy, will burn you out, and leave you extremely bored and feeling dissatisfied.

A varied healthy diet and an exercise routine that you enjoy will be far more successful in the weeks ahead than a harsh diet with an unpleasant exercise component that you can’t maintain long term. Harsh diets and dreaded exercise routines will only led to broken diets and rebound weight gain. Generally the results of those diets are weighing more in the end than you did before you started.

Committing to a healthy and sensible lifestyle will enable you to maintain it long term. This will lead to permanent weight loss and not yo-yo dieting.

How To Lose Weight Safely

Slow and steady wins the weight loss race. Yes, we all want to drop a dress size overnight, but this will never happen safely. Fad diets and pills that claim to allow you lose ridiculous amounts of weight fast do sound tempting and better still, easy. However, they are never safe weight loss options. Generally, all you lose short term is muscle tone and fluid. The minute you rehydrate yourself, the pounds go straight back on.

It is important to not lose your muscle tone. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn in a day. Another way of thinking about it is, the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism works. This is clearly a win-win situation for everyone. Combining some muscle resistance into your workout routine will not only having you looking more toned and terrific, but the extra muscle will be doing your metabolism a great favor.

Harsh low carb diets can be dangerous in the long term as the body starts to burn up muscle as fuel. While low carb diets can allow you to drop weight quite quickly initially, losing your muscle in the long term is counter productive to permanent weight loss.

Most diet experts agree that a safe weight loss goal is 1-2 pounds per week.

Easy Tips To Lose Weight

* drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. Not only will the water prevent you from becoming dehydrated while working out, the water will assist your body in flushing all those toxins out that are being broken down from the stored fat cells. Drinking plenty of water can also help alleviate the hunger pangs a little. Anyone participating in a low carb diet (less than 100 carbs daily) definitely needs to keep their fluid levels up to minimize kidney damage.

* exercise first thing in the morning. Many people swear by exercising before breakfast. The theory behind this is that your body is forced to burn up stored fat as there is no energy floating around your body from consumed food.

* don’t eat for an hour before or after exercising. This is similar to the theory above, where your body is forced to burn stored fat for its energy rather than whatever you have just put in your mouth.

* eat every 3-4 hours. Smaller portions broken up into meals every 3-4 hours is better for your metabolism than 3 big meals spaced further apart. When you body is receiving a constant supply of food it is happy to start burning fat as it realizes there is more food coming. However, once you go past the 4 hour mark your body instantly goes into starvation mode and clings to every last calorie that hits your lips next. For the doubters out there, take a good look at those you know who constantly seem to be eating and are super thin. Then there are the others who hardly eat a thing and gain weight just by looking at food. Having said this, we are not saying that you should eat 6 huge meals daily, rather divide what you used to eat during the day into 5 smaller portions. Better still, have 3 smaller meals, and 2-3 super healthy snacks, such as fruit or vegetables or low fat cottage cheese.

* weigh yourself weekly first thing in the morning. Most people’s weight fluctuates through a day or week. Select a day of the week to weigh yourself and stick to it. Don’t be tempted to jump on the scales every day, or twice daily, as you will only end up being discouraged. Don’t forget that all that water you are drinking actually weighs something on those scales!

* measure inches rather than pounds. Muscle weighs more than those flabby bits. Once you start toning up it can be disconcerting if you stop losing weight off the scales or even start to weigh more. This is where the tape measure and clothes come in. If you are looking better in your clothes then you are still losing fat overall. Your waist and hips may still be getting smaller but the muscle you are building up is weighing more. Another good reason to not become obsessed by the bathroom scales.

* incorporating lean protein into each meal is a great tip for leaving you feeling fuller for longer. Diets rich in good quality lean protein, for example, chicken, fish, or low fat cottage cheese, have also been proven to be effective in keeping the lost pounds off.


No successful weight loss campaign is complete without mentioning exercise. Exercising not only burns calories, but if done correctly can speed your metabolism for up to 48 hours after you have finished. A workout routine that incorporates an aerobic component and some resistance work is going to be best for losing those inches. The aerobic component will burn the calories and fat, and the resistance component will increase your muscle, allowing your metabolism to be more effective.

You should be exercising 3-4 times weekly minimum. Start off slowly and build your times up. Warm ups and cool downs are essential for minimizing muscle strains and injuries. Once you start becoming used to your workout you will need to up the intensity and times to achieve the same benefits. Concentrate on reaching your target heart rate and staying in the correct zone for aerobic or fat burning. These charts are easy to obtain online and are posted in most gyms.

If you are considerably overweight or out of condition you should seek a medical clearance before starting off around the block in your running shoes.

Select an exercise that you actually enjoy for maximum pleasure. This will also reduce your chances of giving up.

Exercise with a buddy for extra encouragement if you need it. Socialising and exercising at the same time will help the time go faster and not seem so hard.

Include the whole family in such pursuits as walking the dog, skating, roller-blading, skiing, running, or just playing. Every extra bit of movement will be burning more calories.

A weekly workout with a few different activities lessens the chances of injuries and boredom. Mix it up a bit. Try some of these exercises:

* Walking is an effective way of burning calories and fat. Walking is a free activity that is low impact on the joints and a great place to start for those who haven’t exercised for a while. Walking is also great for warming up and cooling down before running and jogging.

* Jogging is great form of aerobic exercise for those with some level of fitness. As time goes by you will be able to pick up the pace and increase your distance.

* Skipping rope is another great and cost effective way to shed those pounds. 10 minutes of skipping rope is equivalent to a 30 minute jog. Great for the time challenged and a portable piece of exercise equipment. Also invaluable for when the weather prevents running and walking outside.

* Weights and bands are great for strength and resistance work. Depending on your budget, you can either workout at home or in a fitness club. There are numerous DVDs out there to give you some workout tips. Strength training can either be incorporated with an aerobic workout or performed separately on a different day.

* Swimming is a great form of aerobic exercise with minimum impact on sore joints like knees and hips. A vigorous swim will burn calories and can make a nice change from a jog or walk.

* Aqua aerobics is the perfect solution for those with joint problems, rehabilitation, pregnant ladies, and the elderly or unfit. The water acts as both a cushion for the joints and resistance for the muscles. Highly recommended for those who have difficulties exercising without encountering discomfort.

* Exercise bikes are highly effective ways of burning the calories and the fat. The great advantage to exercise bikes is that you can install one at home and pedal away at all hours of the day and night when the gym may be closed. Exercise bikes also make a great option when the weather is too nasty to exercise outdoors. Nowadays, exercise bikes have plenty of built-in programs to prevent boredom setting in and you can see how many miles you have pedaled and how much of your lunch or dinner you have burned up. Heart monitors can make these calculations even more accurate. For those with lower back problems recumbent exercise bikes are probably a better choice. These are a little more like sitting in a proper chair and correct posture of the lower back is maintained. They are also easier to step through to get on and off.


There is no quick and easy way to lose weight successfully and permanently. A sensible and healthy diet combined with exercise 3-4 times weekly at minimum is the best formula. Once you become accustomed to the workouts you will enjoy them and miss them when you can’t do them.

Select exercise routines that you enjoy and this will make it easier for you to participate.

Crash dieting and fad diets are dangerous for your health and only result in less muscle tone, slowing down your resting metabolism. The more muscle tone you have, the more calories you will burn at rest.

Permanent weight loss is a lifestyle decision incorporating pleasurable workouts with a healthy and fresh diet. Once you start to reap the benefits you will be highly motivated to continue.

Starting An Exercise Program And Sticking With It Successfully

OK, you are all fired up, motivated, and ready to go. You have new training shoes, have just gone up a dress size, and you have seen new numbers on the bathroom scales that are frightening you. You may be battling the bulge, or just wanting to improve your fitness in general. You have told yourself, and possibly others, that you are starting an exercise program.

Not surprisingly, statistics show that only 30% of people follow through with their fitness resolutions over a 12 month period. To keep yourself in the minority who manage to keep their exercise program going, why not follow these tips to help yourself succeed with your workout program:

*Medical clearance.

It may be worthwhile having your doctor check you out before you start running 5 miles before breakfast. This is especially important for anyone suffering from health conditions, is over weight, elderly, or hasn’t exercised for a while. Your doctor will be able to weigh you, check your blood pressure, and advise you on your optimal cardiac workout rate. You will be amazed at your next evaluation at the differences between your resting heart rate and blood pressure, before you started your fitness program and 3 or 6 months down the track.

Physical fitness test.

Before starting on your new exercise program it is a great idea to perform some sort of physical fitness test. These can be as complex or as simple as you like. You can do a relatively straight forward one yourself. Personal trainers, gyms, and health clubs will probably throw in a few extras to help test you. However you are assessed, keep the initial results for tracking your progress.

If you are testing yourself, try some of these pointers:

* BMI (your body mass index). This is a measurement derived from your height and weight.

* Body measurements. Measure any areas that you are looking to tighten up, bulk up, or reduce. Usual measurements include chest, waist, hips, thigh, and various parts of the arm.

* Flexibility. How far can you stretch? Can you touch your toes?

* Resting heart rate. This is a great guide of overall fitness, and is also necessary so that you know when you are working out at the correct intensity. ( More on that later.)

* Recovery rate. How quickly does your heart rate return to resting after your first workout? As your fitness improves, this time will become shorter.

* Your speed for running, swimming, or walking a certain distance. What distance can you actually cover initially?

* How many push ups and crunches can you perform?

Retest every month to six weeks. Initially you will be astonished at how quickly your fitness improves.

Beginner exercise programs.

* Beginner exercise programs are a sensible and safe place to start for seniors, those coming back from injury or rehab, the very unfit or overweight, and those who have never exercised, or can’t remember the last time they saw the inside of the gym.

* The most important point to remember is to start off slow. If you strain or injure yourself, you will just be going backwards.

* Listen to your body. If it hurts, stop. Chest pain, breathlessness, and feeling faint or nauseous are all signs that you are working too hard. If you should experience any of those signs consult a doctor ASAP. If chest pain continues, call an ambulance.

* Your body will be stiff and sore to start with, generally the second day after exercise is the worst. Gentle stretches and heat packs are invaluable for loosening up sore spots. Gentle exercise is also usually helpful for relieving the stiffness.

* Warming up and cooling down are essential components to any exercise routine. Miss these and you will strain yourself. Aim for 5-10 minutes for both warming up and cooling down.

* Eventually you should be able to exercise for at least 30 minutes. Start with whatever interval you can, and then build up in intervals between 1 and 5 minutes, depending on what you can manage.

* Ideally, when you begin you will want to be exercising for a minimum of 2-3 times weekly. Eventually you should be able to manage a workout time of 30 minutes. (This does not include warm up and cool down times.)

* When beginning a new exercise campaign, always start in the lower end of the recommendations for frequency and intensity. If the first time feels too easy adjust accordingly the second time.

* Doing too much initially will result in burn out or fatigue.

Weight loss exercise programs.

* Weight loss exercise programs should include a variety of exercises incorporating both aerobic and resistance work. The aerobic component will burn calories and the resistance component will tighten up your muscles, improve muscle mass, and ultimately speed up your metabolism.

* When exercising to lose weight it is important to remember that every little bit of activity burns calories.

* Take the stairs, use each and every opportunity to get your butt off your chair and moving.

* For significant weight loss, many experts recommend some kind of regular activity daily.

* Weight loss exercise programs will be further enhanced by a sensible weight loss diet.

Aerobic exercise programs

* Aerobic exercise is important for maintaining heart and lung, or cardiovascular, health.

* Best examples of aerobic exercise include brisk walking, jogging, running, dancing, aerobics classes, roller blading, bike riding, swimming at a fast pace, aqua aerobics, and using Stairmasters.

* Your heart rate is meant to rise and you should be feeling sweaty.

* Current recommendations for aerobic workouts are three to five times weekly, ranging from 20 minutes to 60 minutes in duration.

* Your heart rate should be in the workout zone of 60-85% intensity.

Heart Rate.

* Your optimal and safe heart, or cardio, work out rate is generally worked out at your age in years subtracted from 200. So if you are 40, then your maximum pulse would be 160 beats per minute.

* Many gyms and health clubs have charts on the wall to guide you. Take a look and write down the figures appropriate for your age for when you are exercising at home or outdoors.

* The elderly, and people with significant health problems should consult their doctor to adjust their safe heart rate zone.

Strength training or resistance work

* Strength training and resistance work not only helps eliminate those flabby bits, but will also result in more muscle mass. No, you don’t need to end up looking like a body builder. The more muscle mass you have, the more effectively your metabolism will work as muscle requires more calories than fat.

* Current recommendations for resistance work are 2 sessions per week, with ideally 48 hours rest between. Try for at least 8-10 different exercises or movements, in repetitions of 10. Each repetition should be performed between 1 and 3 times.

* You don’t need to own a set of gym style weights or equipment for an effective resistance workout. Bands can be an effective and inexpensive way to firm up these muscles.

* Resistance workouts can be performed in basically one of two ways: firstly, lots of small fast repetitions with light weights, or secondly, less repetitions using much heavier weights. Personal trainers and gyms can be invaluable on advice as to which method will suit you best.

Stretches and flexibility.

* Stretching can be easily overlooked in a workout program. However, stretching is vital for improving flexibility and balance. An effective set of stretches can reduce muscle stiffness and pain, minimize injury, improve coordination, and increases the blood supply to your joints.

* Many people find that stiff necks and lower back pain can be effectively managed with appropriate stretches.

* Check in with your local physiotherapist if you suffer from any joint problems and have them customize a suitable routine for your conditions.

Aqua aerobics or therapy.

* Aqua aerobics can be a brilliant and safe way for those with joint conditions such as rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, the elderly, pregnant women, and anyone recovering from a significant injury.

* Not only does the water help buffer the joints, it also acts as resistance in your routine, and prevents the participants from overheating.

*As the name suggests aqua aerobics is a form of aerobic exercise, but it is also considered resistance work as well.

Set yourself goals.

* There is absolutely no point setting unrealistic goals. You need to break things up into smaller pieces. Evaluate your fitness and weight on a monthly basis, not daily or weekly. There is no magic way to lose the love handles overnight, or regain your college fitness by the weekend.

* Are you wanting to lose a significant amount of weight? Break it up into smaller numbers. Look for the next big number down on the bathroom scales and work towards that first. Telling yourself you need to lose 20 or 30 pounds can be very overwhelming. Saying to yourself I am aiming for that number ending in a 5 or 0 is much easier mentally.

* Weight loss is a long term commitment and a lifestyle change. If you are planning a summer vacation, or a school reunion, give yourself plenty of time, in weeks and months, not days and weeks.

* From a fitness perspective do you want to tone up, get fit, or run a marathon? Your long term goals can vary widely. Figure out your goals and what you want to achieve, and then document them.

Up the intensity.

* As you become fitter, and your body becomes more accustomed to your workout program, you will need to up the intensity.

* What does this mean? Well, basically you will have to work your body harder. This can take the form of a longer workout time, or a harder workout eg: running faster, lifting heavier weights, or a combination of the both

* If you don’t increase your intensity every 4-6 weeks, you will lose the effectiveness of your training.

Exercise journal.

* An exercise journal is an excellent way to document your progress. It is terribly easy to forget your best running time from the day or week before.

Writing down your reps with strength training will prevent you from losing track.

* At the end of each week you can have a look back at what you have done and see whether you are still on track. If you have slackened off during the week, you may need to do a little more on the weekend to make up.

* State your goals clearly at the start of every week. If you are training for a specific date, give yourself a countdown. There is nothing quite so motivating as realizing there are only so many weeks left to go.

* Document your weight loss weekly. Keep track of your before and after measurements. You will be astonished how quickly those love handles can start to diminish.

* Circle the dates monthly when you are set to up the intensity of your training. It can be easy to forget what date you started.

* When you feel demotivated, or that you are getting nowhere, go back to the beginning of the journal and reread your goals. You may find that you are a lot closer than you realize. Take a good look in the mirror. Does that glowing face really belong to you? Think about how much better you are feeling and sleeping.

* Have your doctor give you a copy of your starting blood pressure, resting heart rate,and any blood tests such as cholesterol. Attach these at the start of your journal. Whenever you revisit the doctor, get your figures updated. These will give you a very realistic view of just how much your health and body are benefitting from your fitness program.

Personal trainer.

* A personal trainer can be ideal for the individual who is unsure what they should be doing.

* A personal trainer can optimize a routine for you and then once you have the hang of it, you can continue along yourself.

* Many health clubs and gyms have personal trainers available to help you get started and introduce you to all the equipment. They will perform fitness and weight assessments and custom make a plan suited to your needs and requirements. This is a great way to minimize injuries through incorrect usage of weights and equipment.

* If a personal trainer is too expensive, why not share one with a friend until you know what you are doing? The rates are generally much cheaper when you share with a mate.

* A personal trainer can be invaluable for the person who is never going to get out of bed or exercise on their own. Those hefty cancellation fees, not to mention someone banging on your front door first thing in the morning, are enough to get anybody out of bed.

Handy hints:

* Select activities that you actually enjoy. You will never stick with a program that you hate.

* Find a workout buddy. Enlist you children for roller blading, walking or running. Take your dog for a regular brisk walk. Take your spouse to the gym, yoga, running, etc. Encourage one of your friends to join you in some of the activities. The more social your exercise program, the more you will enjoy it. It is also harder to break set dates.

* Don’t be tempted to weigh yourself daily. It takes time to lose weight if that is your goal. Never forget that toned muscles also weigh more than flabby bits, so your clothes are actually a better gauge. If your clothes are getting baggier, you are getting smaller.

* Mix it up. Variety is the spice of life. It is better for your muscles if you change your routines around. It will also be a lot less boring for yourself. Exercise outdoors when the weather is good. Hop in a pool when you can. The better the variety, the more your muscles have to work. Repeating the same routines day in day out, can result in repetitive strain injuries.

* Wear the appropriate workout gear. It doesn’t have to be designer label and expensive. Ensure that you are comfortable, not self conscious, and that you can move freely.

* Take the water bottle with you everywhere. The more you sweat, the more you need to rehydrate yourself.

* Make a time that suits you and stick to it. Some people prefer first thing in the morning, and then no matter where the day ends up they have already done their exercise. Some night owls prefer to exercise after they have finished at the office. If you do not select a workable time that fits into your routine you will never be able to keep your program up.

* Let the weather guide your outdoor exercise sports. If there is snow, go skiing or ice skating on the local pond. Spring and fall are ideal months for walking, jogging, running, or roller blading. Hotter summer months are perfect for outdoor swimming.

* If you are planning on exercising at home, perhaps you can get a temporary membership at your local gym to see which equipment you prefer to work out with. This can save you a fortune in purchasing equipment you will not be using. You do not want to go the cost of buying a Stairmaster or treadmill to discover that it gives you sore knees, do you? Alternatively, you may discover that you prefer the ellipticals.

* Visit the local library and get yourself some workout or fitness DVDs. These will give you plenty of ideas on how to mix-up your routines. Many DVDs are themed for arms, butts, thighs, yoga, or whatever.

* If your kids have a Wii, buy yourself the fitness program. This will allow you to work out in the privacy of your own home at any time of the day or night. Even better, as the program detects that you are getting fitter your personalized avatar will get slimmer as well.


Starting and sticking with an exercise or get fit program requires some planning. Select activities that you find pleasurable, and a time of day that will work best. There are many benefits to be gained from improving your fitness including better weight management, lower blood pressure, reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke, improved quality of sleep, and improved flexibility, balance and coordination. Fitness programs should be regarded as a total change of lifestyle, and realistic and long term goals should be set to avoid disappointment and frustration. After a week or two the feel good factor will kick in, and it will become easier and more pleasurable as time goes on.

Reap The Benefits Of Exercise: Stay Fit and Healthy

The news is filled with scientific studies about the benefits of exercise. Television channels advertise exercise equipment, diet pills, celebrity diets and fitness regimes aimed at losing fat and gaining muscle in 10 weeks or less. With all of this blatant propaganda, it can be hard to see the simplest and most heart felt benefits of regular exercise. Exercise provides higher levels of health for the body. It improves the body’s function and ability to fight new disease and the progression of disease. Simply put, exercise is an essential part of our daily lives and has nothing to do with propaganda.

To better understand the benefits of exercise, one must first examine the true definition of exercise. Defining exercise is dependent upon the level of current fitness the body has achieved. For a sedentary individual, exercise may mean walking to and from the grocery store instead of parking right next to the front door. It can be taking those extra steps to pick up the mail on foot, or walking to the bus stop to retrieve the kids after school. On the other hand, for the more physically fit person, more activity is needed to grasp the real and noticeable benefits from exercise on a regular basis.

At the heart of an exercise program is the heart. The heart needs to be worked consistently in order for an activity to be termed as exercise and thus for that activity to change the way the body looks, acts and feels. In general, exercise needs to raise the heart rate to a level that is literally an exercise for the heart. Knowing the level of heart rate one should aim for is the first aspect of reaching the core potential for the body.

Knowing Your Target Heart Rate

Your target heart rate is the rate that the heart should be raised to during exercise and the level it should remain at during the exercise program in order for the activity to truly be termed exercise. The target heart rate for an individual is computed with the help of the age and current physical fitness level. Computing the target heart rate means first computing the maximum heart rate and the resting heart rate. These two figures come into play heavily when computing the target heart rate for physical activity.

The maximum heart rate can be figured by taking the number 220 and subtracting your age from that number. While this is the most common method for figuring the maximum heart rate, the only true measurement is the one taken after rigorous exercise. In order to find this clinical version of your maximum heart rate, your doctor or the physical trainers at a local gym can help guide you through the process of maximizing your heart rate and then measuring the results.

The resting heart rate is the heart rate you exhibit upon waking in the morning. As soon as you awaken, place your fingers on the neck just below the left curved jaw line. Press in with the fingers and count the number of beats you feel within a minute’s time. This is your resting heart rate.

Once you have noted your maximum heart rate and your resting heart rate you will be able to figure out your target heart rate for physical fitness. The target heart rates are figured on a sliding scale based upon intensity. The intensity levels used range from 50% to 85%, with 50% being the minimum target heart rate for physical fitness and the 85% being the maximum target heart rate for physical fitness. The method for calculating the target heart rate is as follows:

* ((Maximum Heart Rate – Resting Heart Rate) X Intensity %) + Resting Heart Rate

To further understand the calculation of the target heart rate an example could be:

* A 30 year old woman who has a maximum heart rate of 190 beats per minutes (220-30) and a resting heart rate of 60 beats per minute. This woman would have a minimum target heart rate for physical fitness of 125 beats per minute (190-60 = 130 X 50% = 65 + 60 = 125) and a maximum target heart rate for physical fitness of 170.5 beats per minute (190-60 = 130 X 85% = 110.5 + 60 = 170.5). Thus the target heart range for this woman would be 125 to 170.5 beats per minute.

Working the Target Heart Rate Levels

In the beginning of a physical fitness program, the individual will need to aim for the lower end of the target heart rate range. This is not only good for the body, but for the heart, as well. When beginning a physical fitness program aimed at reaping the benefits of exercise, a doctor or a physician should be consulted in order to make sure your body is ready for higher levels of physical fitness. This is especially important for people who have been living a sedentary lifestyle, or who are currently being treated for any physical illness, disease or limitation.

From the beginning days of your new physical fitness program, the aim of that activity will be to achieve the lower end of the target heart rate range and keep the heart rate within that range for the duration of the exercise. But, this does not mean 5 or 10 minutes. In order to achieve the benefits of exercise, a longer commitment is needed.

Optimizing Your Workout Goals

The most promising effects of physical fitness and exercise can be achieved through 30-45 minutes of sustained heart rate increase, 3-5 days a week. At first, this amount of commitment may seem overwhelming, but no one will ask a first timer to reach these levels within a few days of starting an exercise program. Starting out slowly by working out for 10 minutes, three times a day can be a goal more easily conquered. Over time, as the physical fitness levels increase, the time of each workout will increase, as well. Knowing how long to exercise and how high your heart rate should stay is only the first step in achieving the optimal benefits of exercise. Knowing which exercises to do is the next.

The Best Actions to Ensure the Benefits of Exercise

Your entire body needs to be a part of the physical fitness regime you are about to undertake. While the majority of first time exercisers choose aerobic exercise in the form of walking, jogging, treadmill work or elliptical work or their daily heart rate rise, this can be worth less benefit to the body over time.

Take the case, for instance, of the retail manager. He may walk 35,000 steps a day while on the job, but that does not constitute exercise. The body eventually gets used to this form of movement and predicts that it is an every day occurrence. The heart rate does not rise and the benefits of exercise are lost. The same goes for daily exercise regimes. The activities you choose need to shock the body and keep those muscles guessing from day to day.

The best exercises to choose for the beginner would follow a weekly plan that works the entire body within the 5 days of exercise. An example week may include:

Monday – Briskly walking for 35 minutes.

Tuesday – Sit-ups, push-ups and general calisthenics

Wednesday – Dancing for 35 minutes to your favorite music.

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Jumping rope for 35 minutes.

Saturday – Sit-ups, push-ups and general calisthenics

Sunday – Rest

As you can see from this example week, the body muscles being used are different with each day of the program. The aerobic exercise days alternate with the anaerobic or muscle building days. This keeps the body guessing and helps to build muscle which can burn more resting calories over time. This is simply an example program. Depending on the exercise equipment you currently own or plan to buy, the actual activities could change dramatically.

Choosing Your Exercise Equipment

In order to create the best exercising environment at home, the home fitness equipment market offers just about every specific piece of gym equipment for home use. These additions to the home gym can be expensive and should be researched fully before choosing which pieces to buy. Some of the equipment available for home purchase includes:

· Elliptical Machines

· Treadmills

· Weight Benches

· Smith Machines

· Exercise Bikes

· Recumbent Exercise Bikes

When choosing one of these exercise machines, it is important to find out all you can about the machine, how it works and the overall helpfulness to those who have used the machine at home. The exercise bike, for example, offers the home gym user the chance to ride a bike without going out of the home. This can be beneficial during the colder months of the year and for those beginning exercise regimes in the obese stages of weight loss. In order to choose the best exercise bike, exercise bike reviews and recumbent exercise bike reviews can be found all over the Internet. These exercise bike reviews are written by people who have already purchased the exercise bike or have used the bike on varying occasions. The reviews will help you to choose from the hundreds of models of exercise bikes available for home purchase.

So, you have put in the research, the time and the money and now you want to know the benefits of exercise. Exercise is not only great for the body, but the mind as well. A regular exercise program can help ease the effects of stress, strengthen the heart, body and immune system, as well as the self image of the person exercising.

Reaping the Benefits of Exercise

The measurable benefits of exercise will be different for each generational age. From birth to the senior years of life, exercise provides the body with positive health effects and a sense of betterment, calmness and well being. No matter the reason for beginning a physical fitness program, the results will ultimately be the same, a better you.

Exercise and Babies

From the day a baby is born, exercise can be a part of every day life. Parental massages and fluid leg and arm movements can help to keep baby calm and stress free. Some parents even notice that over time the baby becomes used to these small bits of baby exercise and uses them to fall asleep at night and recover after a hearty baby cry.

Exercise and Kids

Once kids reach the rolling stage, there will be no stopping the exercise. The levels of energy a child exhibits each and every day not only need to be used to play and run rampant, but in a focused manner. When a parent engages in exercise fun with kids, they learn that exercise activities can be a healthy part of everyday life. This is especially important in the process of making exercise a normal part of every day life in later years.

Exercise and Teens

As kids grow from being kids and into being teens, they may find themselves less likely to exercise on a daily basis. This, unfortunately, is a great precursor for the activity level the child will have later in life. Making exercise a part of family fun and family outdoor activities, again teaches that exercise does not have to be a job it can be a part of life every day. The more exercise is ingrained in everyday activities; the more apt the teen is to continue exercising later in life.

Exercise and the Adult

As teens move into adulthood, the metabolism of the body begins to slow. This slowing can cause adult weight gain which can then lead to more serious conditions such as Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes and cardiovascular problems, among others. In order to prevent these disease and conditions, daily exercise is needed to keep the body moving and refreshing on a daily basis.

Some of the many benefits of exercise include:

· An increase in circulation.

· An increase in metabolism or calorie burning.

· A decrease in depression, stress and anxiety.

· A better sense of well being and self esteem.

· A decreased chance of depression, heart disease, diabetes and other weight related disorders.

Adults who exercise 3 to 5 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes are just plain healthier than those who do not exercise. One study recently compared sets of twins and measured their cellular age. One of the twins was active and exercised on a regular basis; the other twin did not exercise and lived a more sedentary lifestyle. The twin who exercised exhibited a cellular age 10 years younger than the twin. Exercise keeps you healthy and young.

Exercise and Seniors

Just because age has gotten the best of your bones, joints and mind, does not have to mean you should stop exercising. With age comes health issues that may impede normal levels of activity, but low impact, low heart effecting workouts are still very important well into the latest years of life. These exercises can include:

· Yoga

· Dancing

· Tai Chi

· Stretching

· Walking

While this list is certainly not all inclusive, seniors can choose from any of these exercises and find a level that suits their physical fitness levels.

Exercise Has a Beginning and an End

It is important to note that the human body needs to be warmed up and cooled down when exercising. Warm ups need to last 10 to 15 minutes before the beginning of an exercise routine and cool downs need to last 5 to 10 minutes after the completion of the exercise routine. The warm up helps to prevent tears to the muscles that can occur if the muscles are cold and thus shorter than when warm. The cool down will help to distribute the lactic acid throughout the muscle. Lactic acid is a byproduct of exercise and is the main reason for pain and soreness in muscles the day after exercising.

Warm ups and cool downs can involve stretching, walking slower than exercising pace and heavy breathing exercises. Any activity that warms up the muscles can be involved in a warm up activity. The activity will need to warm up the same muscles that will be used during the exercise routine. Cooling down after an exercise routine should focus on the muscles that were just worked out in the exercise routine.

The benefits of exercise are rooted in a life of physical activity. The body needs to move, the heart needs to pump, and the muscles and mind need to be able to release some of that built up stress that living places upon us all. Through weekly exercise regimes, the human body can change, mold and prevent illness. No matter how you twist and turn it, the body is a machine that needs to stay well oiled and the perfect oil is exercise.

How To Get Six Pack Abs – You Can Go From Fat Tummy To Flat Abs

If you are like me you, your washboard abs have become hidden under an extra layer of good living. Babies, beers, pizzas, the good life, these things can all wreak havoc with our waistlines. It is never too late to have the body you have always wanted, or perhaps had in the past. You do not need to hire a personal trainer or live-in chef to get those great abs. Wondering how to get six pack abs? It can be simple when you know how.

Not only do the love handles or muffin top make you feel a bit self-conscious in the tight jeans or bikini, but that excess tummy fat is also unhealthy. Those extra unnecessary inches on the tape measure are directly proportional to your risk of getting type 2 Diabetes. In other words, the bigger your waist, the more likely it is that you will end up being diabetic. If that is not enough incentive, asthma, arthritis, some cancers, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease, are all proven to be worsened by and linked to obesity.

How would you like to get off the couch and revolutionize your health, life, and waistline all in one go? Revert to your former glory, or simply transform yourself into a poster girl or guy. What about the added health benefits of nipping all those nasty little health conditions in the bud, before you end up with a serious health condition?

Well just recently I discovered a downloadable e-book called TruthAboutAbs. I went for it originally because the author, Mike Geary, was qualified in both nutrition and as a personal trainer. I also felt safe about the fact that I had 8 weeks to ask for a complete, no questions asked refund if I wasn’t happy. I figured 8 weeks was plenty of time for me to get with the program and see if it really did work.

TruthAboutAbs also didn’t require any appetite suppressants or fat burners. The whole package was all-inclusive. Mike advises you on what to eat, the foods to avoid, and the absolutely best ab workout for flat abs. (Which by the way, I was stoked to discover is not doing hundreds of dreaded crunches every day.)

Mike’s program is easy to understand and safe. His theory is that to achieve ripped abs you need to lose the excess poundage on top of them first (think muffin tops and love handles). Mike’s workout program will totally change the way you think about exercise as you watch the fat melt away safely. Better still, the diet is more of a change of lifestyle in healthy eating habits, so it is easy to stick to, and you don’t end up with the rebound weight gain like you do when you stop living on lettuce or prawns alone.

Having flat abs is more than just looking hot at the gym or beach. Having a body that you are proud of does wonders for your self esteem. The more exercise that you start doing, the more you will want to do, and the better you will look and feel. The secret is though, are you doing the correct ab exercises, or the same routine that you have been following for years? Why waste your time on an ab workout that is suboptimal?

Are you tired of diets that need a manual for you to understand them? Are you weary of diets that actually end up making you bigger than before you started? Are you over signing on for a weight loss campaign and then being up-sold? You know, where you pay out money and then have to buy the menu plan extra, or the fat-burners every month to lose the weight?

Like you I was becoming increasingly skeptical, trying one diet after another. After a while it started to get confusing, to say the least. Should I be counting carbs, calories, or fat grams? Should I be running in the morning or the evening? Do I need to do 500 crunches every day to get nice abs, or should I be doing something else entirely different?

TruthAboutAbs explains the importance of eating right and staying healthy. There is absolutely nothing else for you to purchase, no gadgets, gimmicks, or meal plans. All you will be purchasing are your groceries and new jeans as the inches disappear.

Back to me, I was astounded at the sensible and simple approach to the program. Mike points out the dreaded foods that will sabotage your weight loss campaign and offers up plenty of tips to get your metabolism running on overdrive. Before long I noticed my belt coming in a notch. I was already starting to feel petty good from the healthy foods and the exercise, but this really spurred me on.

Shortly after this, friends and family started remarking on my improved appearance and levels of confidence. To top it all off, at my latest check up my doctor noted that my blood pressure had dropped and my BMI had come down substantially.

By the way, right now Mike is offering an unbelievable bonus when you buy the program. There are 7 extra helpful goodies that compliment his diet and workout. Two of the bonuses are “Ultimate Stair Exercises” and “Stability Ball Killer Abs Workouts” which can all be performed in the privacy of your own home. My ultimate favorite though is the “Skyrocket Your Fat Loss Success” which highlights the need for the correct mindset when attempting to lose weight. The extra 7 bonuses total up to $155, which is an excellent bargain and a great incentive to buy now.

TruthAboutAbs is the highest selling abs program on the Internet globally, according to Clickbank. Not only does this program offer a 100% guarantee, but your credit card safety is assured. If you don’t want to use your plastic, you can also utilise the additional safety of PayPal for your purchase.

I can totally recommend TruthAboutAbs. With the 8 week money back guarantee, there really isn’t anything to lose except for the love handles and inches. Why wait for diabetes or a heart attack? Why wait for your waist size to go up even more? Reclaim your life, good health, and great body. I did it and you can too. Get off that couch today. Enough of putting things off till tomorrow or next week. Click here to start the TruthAboutAbs program today.


You Can Lose Belly Fat And Regain Your Health, Figure, And Self-Esteem

We all know that obesity rates are on the rise. However, did you know that an increased waistline can double your chances of type 2 diabetes for men and quadruple it for women? Most of us would love to lose belly fat, if not for health reasons, then possibly to look fantastic in our swimmers, regain our self esteem, or even just have more energy for day to day activities.

There are many many health related issues that you can actually reduce your risk of getting by shedding your stomach fat. Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arthritis, sleep disorders, and cancer, along with type 2 diabetes, are just a few unpleasant conditions that you can minimize by keeping your weight within a healthy BMI.

Of course, the other great advantage to losing weight and getting in shape is how fantastic you feel in yourself. The better food, and the increased exercise makes for so much more energy in the day. Your skin glows, the compliments start flying, and you start thinking “I should have done this years ago. What was I waiting for?”

I have found a downloadable e-book TruthAboutAbs that I can highly recommend that is both simple and safe. Even more importantly, the e-book contains the diet and all the exercises you need. It has been written by Mike Geary who is qualified as both a personal trainer and nutritionist. This diet is easy to understand and even better, you do not have to buy any extra’s like fat burners, supplements, or recipes. This e-book covers the whole package from foods, working out, and how to get into better shape. The diet is safe and easy to follow long term. TruthAboutAbs is not one of those diets that destroys your metabolism and has you weighing more than you did in the beginning.

Many people wait for their doctors to order them to lose weight before they do so. But why wait for a stroke, high blood pressure, a heart attack or diabetes to lose those pounds? Why not be proactive and get in there first and order the book now?

TruthAboutAbs has been designed to strip your belly fat off fast and effectively. Mike advises you as to which foods are the best to speed your metabolism, which trigger fat burning hormones, and which are the nasties that trigger the fat storage hormones. Mike also gives you the lowdown on the best form of exercise, which exercises you should be doing, and how often. (Surprisingly, 100’s of crunches daily is not the solution to losing your belly fat.)

Many of us have tried numerous other diets with interesting names and even more interesting concepts. However, the sad fact remains that in the long term most of them do not work and the end results are rebound weight gain. I mean, if the last diet worked you probably wouldn’t be trying to lose body fat again, would you?

Did your last weight loss campaign fail because the diet made ridiculous promises that couldn’t be fulfilled? Did the diet fail because it was too strict and you couldn’t live on lettuce leaves forever? Did the diet fail because you couldn’t afford the hundreds of dollars you were supposed to spend on supplements or fat burners? Was the diet too hard too understand?

Possibly the diet failed because despite your very best efforts, the author behind the diet gave you incorrect information, or you were consuming foods that triggered your fat gaining hormones instead of fat burning hormones? (What a scary thought!) Even more scary, maybe you did get off the couch and exercised like a demon but still didn’t lose the love handles. Could it be that the exercises were not the right ones? Yes, to all of the above.

When there are many gimmicks, gadgets, diets, and fat burners on the market, it can be tempting to throw money at the ones that promise almost overnight success. I don’t know about you, but I love the thought of losing 7 pounds in a week. The problem is that once you stop you nearly always put back on 10 pounds and the symptoms from the diet almost always make you impossible to live and work with. Grumpy, hungry, grumpy, headaches, grumpy, feeling faint, bad breath, sound familiar?

Now, it’s time to be honest with yourself. Did you try your hardest last time? Did your old habits creep back up, along with the pounds? Never mind, this time you are determined to succeed and you will. You want your self esteem back. You want to look great in your swimmers. You don’t want muffin top when you are wearing your jeans and t-shirt. You want to look and feel like you did 10 years ago. You don’t want to get an obesity related disease.

TruthAboutAbs has been so successful that it is the consistently top selling abs program through Clickbank, worldwide, on the Internet. What’s more if you don’t like the e-book or you don’t get the results you are after, you have 8 weeks to ask for your refund. There is absolutely no risk, with a 100% guarantee, and a secure server that accepts major credit cards and also PayPal.

What’s to lose, apart from your belly fat or diabetes? Regain your self esteem and your health. Learn healthier eating patterns and maximize the effectiveness of your workouts. There is absolutely nothing else to spend. No vitamins, no extra recipe books, no stimulants or appetite suppressants.

Better still, right now they are giving away 7 free bonuses which on their own total some $155 if you were to purchase them separately. My favorites are the “Stability Ball Killer Abs Workouts” e-book which you can do at home, and “Skyrocket Your Fat Loss Success” which looks into the mindset needed for successful weight loss.

I have been thrilled with my results. My waist size is no longer catching up to my age. My blood pressure has come down and I feel fantastic. My family and friends are all saying how much younger and fitter I look. I wish I had found this diet and exercise program sooner, and I think you will too.

Lose the muffin top or love handles. Look how you want to look. Feel how you want to feel. Minimize your risk of getting self inflicted health issues. This program is simple, all inclusive, and safe. Click here to check out what could be a life changing program for you. Act now, while all the bonuses are still available.




Life Fitness 9500 Exercise Bikes – The Best Stationary Bike Made

A Life Fitness 9500 stationary exercise bike in one of the best bikes on the market. If you are looking for a high quality bike for your home, a gym, work, or a hotel you can’t go wrong with Life Fitness. These bikes will stand up to most types of abuse and will last for many years.

Better than running, easier than the gym, an upright exercise bike can be your best friend when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape. Stationary bikes are low impact form of aerobic exercise that is easy on your body and your joints and also can prevent injuries. They can be easily set up in your home taking up very little space allowing you to get your workout any time.

One of the benefits of having an exercise bike in your home is you can workout when ever you want, before or after dinner, when you get home from work and after the kids go to bed.

Because you are inside, it doesn’t matter what the weather is outside or even if its dark outside. Getting your workout in allows you to burn calories helping you to lose that excess weight and get fit.

I know this for a fact. When I hurt my back, I had to stop running and I started to put on weight on fast. My exercise bike saved me! Now I work out three times a week and I’ve lost over twenty-five pounds. That’s the potential for you as well. When you ride your exercise bike regularly and eat properly, you’ll see your body shedding off those excess pounds!

You can buy an exercise bike for a few hundred dollars or a few thousand but what do they say, “you get what you pay for”. Buying an inexpensive bike is a waist of money. You need a quality bike that will last for years taking the abuse from all the family and giving you a safe ride.

Riding a cheap stationary bike you won’t want to ride because it will start to fall apart and you won’t have any fun. If you have fun riding, it will be easier to get rid of those extra pounds. With the better bikes, expect to see more options for measuring your heart rate, the calories that you are burning and varying your workout “programs”. Those things help you shed those extra pounds.

Don’t sacrifice those results for the sake of a cheap machine that ruins your workout. Invest in an exercise bike that is going to last years like a Life Fitness 9500 exercise bike. These are quality bikes that will last almost forever. They are used in gyms, hotels, spas, medical clinics, as well as your home. I have ridden one of these for years and I love it.

Life Fitness has been around selling equipment for many years. They are one of the top manufactures of fitness equipment. If you are thinking about buying a bike you can’t go wrong with a Life Fitness 9500 stationary exercise bike.

You can do it. You can lose those excess pounds and get in shape.

Life Fitness 9500 Recumbent Bike – Quality That Lasts

Do you have a sore lower back, hips and knees? Are you looking to lose weight, get in shape and live a healther life ? Riding a Life Fitness 9500 recumbent stationary exercise bike is a great way to do it. Being recumbent, it takes the pressure off you back and hips making it easier to ride.

I started some years ago with a portable upright exercise bike to work out for increasing my fitness. However, I was diagnosed in my mid 20’s with arthritis in my spine called Ankylosing Spondylitis.

I began to experience stiffness and soreness in my hips, lower backs and knees. Luckily, the Life Fitness 9500 recumbent exercise bike came to my rescue. It is one of the best bikes on the market and it gives me the same results as riding a stationary upright exercise bike but allows me to sit differently taking the strain off my back and hips. These bikes can be found in gyms, hotels, medical and physiotherapy clinics across the nation and are great bikes for your home.

I love it! I’ve lost twenty-five pounds and the regular exercise and eating right makes sure the pounds won’t come back. By riding your bike regularly and eating right, you’ll comfortably see your weight come down and your fitness go up.

The main difference with the recumbent exercise bikes compared to a regular stationary bike is in the posture and seat position. You adopt a half-sitting, half-lying position with a padded seat and back support for your back and your legs are out in front. They work the same basic muscles as an upright bike and gives you the same cardio workout.

Essential features include handles to allow you to get on and off easily and the heart rate monitor to make sure that you are exercising at the right level with programs to optimize the fat-burning possibilities.

With the different models available on the market, be sure to choose a quality bike that will last for years. For that reason, avoid models that are just too cheap. Their lifespan will be shorter and will not have the benefits of the better recumbent exercise bikes.

Better bikes have digital control panels that allow you to monitor your heart rate, automatically adjust the intensity of your workout, and have different preset programs to help you achieve your fitness goals. In other words, for a quality workout, choose a quality bike like a Life Fitness 9500 recumbent exercise bike. Also you can find these bikes new and remanufactured at half the cost. They are rebuilt and come with 30 money back guarantee.