Simple Tips To Easily Improve Your General Health

Are you feeling run down? Are the muffin tops or love handles getting bigger? Are your energy levels down? Is your blood pressure on the rise? Do you wake up feeling like you need a good night’s sleep? How you look and feel is a great indicator of your general health. If you are answering “Yes” to any or all of these questions, then maybe it is time for a bit of an overhaul. Read on for some simple tips to improve your stamina and reduce belly fat.

* Diet.

The word diet need not mean food deprivation, or counting calories, carbohydrates or fat grams. However, a sensible intake of food will have you feeling a lot better in no time. Consuming foods from all parts of the food group pyramid is a great way to ensure that your body is receiving what it needs in the correct percentages.

A great diet will contain lean protein (think fish, poultry, and lean beef) to ensure you stay fuller for longer. Cutting back on the unhealthy fats (think deep fried anything, butter, margarine, and lard) will lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce your waist size.

Eating complex carbohydrates (think whole grains, breads and pastas) will provide valuable vitamins and fiber. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also a great source of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.

Cutting back on refined sugars that are found in cookies, sweeties, and pastries will not only help with weight control, but also prevent the surges and falls in blood sugar levels that come with consuming too many sugars in the one go.

An easy to follow and healthy eating lifestyle is the Mayo Clinic Diet.  Click here for further information.

* Water.

Being less than adequately hydrated makes you feel tired and lethargic. Grab a glass of water in the afternoon when the after lunch fatigue sets in instead of a coffee. Most of us need a minimum of 8 glasses of water or herbal tea daily. Intensive activity, heat and humidity will up your fluid requirements significantly. Alcohol, coffee, and tea are all diuretics and will actually decrease your fluid levels.

* Exercise.

On of the best ways to increase your energy levels and stamina is to participate in physical activity. 30 minutes daily of any form of activity is enough to reap the health benefits. If you are unable to maintain 30 minutes in the one go, start with blocks of 10 minutes and slowly increase.

*Sleep.

Sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. Your body needs adequate sleep to recharge and recover. People who are constantly sleep deprived have higher risks of obesity. While you are sleeping your body is repairing muscles and cells. Sleep is also essential for the correct production of your hormones. Try for 8 hours sleep and see how much more refreshed you feel in the morning.

Conclusion.

Making a conscious decision to change your general health will have you looking and feeling better in no time. A sensible diet and exercise routine, plenty of water, along with quality sleep will go a long way to improving your overall health.

For Best Results Be Consistent With Your Exercise Programs

The only way you are going to see a result from your workout regime is if you are persistent and regular. If you want to shape up, lose weight, or reduce belly fat, then it is vital to be consistent with your exercise programs. If you only run 5 miles once a week, or get to the gym once every blue moon you are never going to see results.

Every day events such as work meetings, sick kids, illness, and inclement weather may all stop you once in a while from getting in your workout. However, there are plenty of little tactics you can employ to keep your workouts going on a more regular basis.

Strategies to help with consistency:

* Choose the same time of day. Find a part of the day that works for you and stick to it. Maybe it is first thing in the morning when the house is asleep, your lunch hour, after you have dropped the kids at school, before bed, or after work. The more convenient the time slot, the easier it will be for you to do your workout. Interestingly enough, many exercise studies have shown that those people who workout first thing in the morning tend to stick to their programs on a long term basis better than any other exercise group.

* Don’t expect results overnight. It can take from a few weeks to even longer to see the results of your hard work in the mirror. Don’t let this stop you.

* Enlist a friend or your family. Get your partner or kids in on the action when they are around. If you are jogging with your spouse or kids at specific times it becomes much harder to give it a miss. Workout buddies with the same goals as yourself are also great. Between the two of you, you should be able to keep the excuses at bay.

* Buy a gym membership. Financial commitments have been proven to work effectively for most people wanting to get fit or lose weight. Select a gym that is convenient and is open at times that will suit you. Health clubs on the way to or from work can make excellent locations.

* Set up a home gym. This can be an excellent option for those who are really pushed for time, or are housebound with children. Find time in your routine when you are least likely to be disturbed (maybe when everyone else is asleep?). The fact that you have spent the money on the equipment should be enough to get you started initially.

* Exercise even when you don’t want to. Yep, we all have days when we don’t want to get out of bed, or leave the office to hit the gym. However, unless you are genuinely ill or injured, you should make yourself go. A half-hearted workout is still better than none at all. This also prevents you from skipping too many workouts in a row. What’s more, you will feel much better when you have completed your activity than you did before you started. It is much more important to have consistency with your workout program than perfection.

* Have a back up plan. There will be times when you are snowed in, the kids are sick, or the boss is having a melt down, and your usual workout regime will have to be set aside. In these instances it can be good to have an alternative plan. A brisk walk (weather permitting), a ride on an exercise bike set up at home, or even resistance band training can all make for great substitutes.

How often should you workout?

Apart from heavy duty weight lifters who need to recover between sessions, just about everybody else can exercise from 3 times a week to every day. Those people who can only manage a few times a week should try to space them out.

* Weight lifters. Those people who are lifting heavy weights, need up to 48 hours between workouts to enable the muscle tears to heal.

* Walkers and runners. Walking and running are both activities that can be done daily. Those who run extremely long distances may need at least one day off weekly to give their bodies a chance to recover.

* Health clubs, gyms, and classes. Try for a minimum of 3-4 times weekly.

Conclusion.

Exercise programs are most successful when they are consistent. Regular exercise at least several times a week is needed for noticeable results. Your body will get fitter and stronger faster when you employ a regular workout routine.

Home Gym Exercise Equipment That Works For You

Okay, so you have made the decision that you are going to improve your fitness, lose a few pounds, or build up those biceps. You have also decided that you are going to embark on this campaign from home. Exercising out of home can be a wise decision for those who work crazy hours, parents, the isolated, those who are pushed for time, and those who just aren’t into exercising in front of others. Of course, now the big decision is what home gym exercise equipment is going to be the best for you?

At this point it is very easy to be seduced by those buff bodies on the TV selling all sorts of shiny equipment that comes with promises to transform you into a creature of perfection in next to no time, but obviously at great cost. There are a few factors to consider before rushing out and purchasing that huge home gym that didn’t look quite so big in the TV studio:

* Budget. This has to probably be one of the two most important considerations when selecting workout equipment. What are you prepared to spend? What are you allowed to spend? How much can you actually afford? For those with limited finances, great bargains can be obtained from garage sales, often barely used, through EBay, and local traders.

For very little outlay at all, you can have an effective workout selection just by investing in a pair of quality shoes, a skipping rope, fitness ball, yoga mat, resistance bands, hand weights, and some free weights. Borrow some fitness books or DVDs from your local library and you are all set. Apart from the sand-shoes, these other items can all be purchased for less than a hundred bucks in total if you shop smart.

* Space constraints.
This is your other big consideration. There is no point in lusting after the home gym if you have to hang it from the rafters. For those who do not have a spare room, basement, or garage to house their equipment, the equipment mentioned above is a great place to start. None of those items takes up much space and they can all be easily accommodated in a closet or under the bed when you are not using them.

* Exercise bikes can be a great piece of equipment for the space challenged. Combined with the above equipment, you will have an excellent repertoire to base your fitness campaign. Exercise bikes don’t require much space and can be a fantastic way to incorporate the cardio part of your workout. Not only that, exercise bikes are extremely useful for burning calories when the weather is too unpleasant for walking, biking, or jogging in the great outdoors.

Set your exercise bike up in front of the TV and you won’t even realize that you are pedaling away at the miles. When you need the space, tuck it under the stairs or alongside your car in the garage. For those with problem backs and knees, recumbent exercise bikes are probably a better option. These are the exercise bikes that look a bit like a lounge chair with pedals out front. The support at the back of the chair ensures that you cannot hunch your back over the handlebars the way you can with a more conventional exercise bike.

* Goals.
Determining your goals before you start purchasing will help you realize what you really need. Is this a lifelong commitment, or just something for a few months to shed the love handles? Be realistic about how often you will use the equipment and for how long. Do you want your brand new treadmill in the next street sale after only using it once?

* Start out small.
Starting off with the basics can be a sensible idea. If you totally embrace your new lifestyle and are sure you are going to be using it then go ahead and upgrade. At this point you will have a much clearer idea of what you really want and need.

Strength Training Equipment – Which Is Best For You

While there are many kinds of strength training equipment designed for various muscle groups, all equipment used for strength training falls into one of two categories: free weights or machines. Your goals, fitness, and experience, will all play factors into what style of strength training is going to benefit you best.

You will find people out there who will swear till they are blue in the face about the merits of one over the other. However, not everyone has the same needs or goals. What may suit your neighbor may not be the ideal for you.

Strength Training Machine Advantages:
* Safer and easier for those just starting out.
* Less likely for the user to incur injury from incorrect motion.
* Can be be more effective when isolating specific muscle groups.

Strength Training Machine Disadvantages:
* Most machines can only perform one range of muscle exercise.
* Most machines are built for standard heights only.

Free Weights Advantages:

* Less expensive, can be more portable, better for those who are space challenged.
* Can be better for building up particular muscles needed for sports movements.
* More suited for the long term regular user.
* Will allow for more muscle mass.

Free Weights Disadvantages:
* Your technique needs to be precise to be effective.
* Poor technique can easily lead to injury.
* Training alone can be dangerous for the inexperienced.
* Requires better coordination.

Strength Training Equipment:
* Weight benches are the building block of a home gym. This is one area where you should go for quality, and ensure it has all the adjustable features you are needing.
* Dumbbells are versatile and can be used for many workouts. The variety to select from is astounding.
* Leg Press machines are an excellent option for anyone who hates doing squats.
* Lat machines are great for back work, and also for curls, low rows, and tricep exercises.
* Smith machines do away with the need for a spotter if you are training alone. This can literally, be a real life saver.
* Squat rack is another piece of equipment that with time you can build on for your home gym. Dip handles and lat rowers can be added on for extra versatility.
* Squat machines are great for those who hate doing squats. These are perfect for the home gym as you do not need a spotter.
* Barbell sets allow you to work out in a different way and to also lift heavier weights than those of your dumbbells. Barbells provide you with a huge amount of options for working out all those muscle groups. Be sure to purchase a set adequate for your needs.

Budget Fitness – Home Gym Exercise Equipment For About $100 Dollars

There are plenty of reasons to put off getting with the fitness program, but a popular excuse is lack of funds. If you really are keen to get fit we are going to show you how you can put together really effective home gym exercise equipment for under $100.

We should all know that every effective fitness campaign has three components: cardio, strength, and flexibility. No matter how hard up you are for cash, there are plenty of inexpensive, and in some cases free, options that you can go for.

*Footwear. Having appropriate footwear may well be your most expensive item. Your exercise shoes should be well supporting, and shock absorbing. Make sure that your shoes are comfortable and well suited for walking, jogging, or running. Cost: $60 approx when on sale.

Cardio Fitness

Depending on your budget there are several options for you to chose from.
*A brisk walk, jog, or run around the local park is free, and perfect for burning calories, and is the best aerobic exercise. Cost: free.
*Jump ropes can be an excellent way to get your heart going if the weather is too nasty for outdoors. This is a high impact exercise so make sure you wear your shoes. Cost: $20 if you scout around on the net, or free if you borrow your child’s.
*Mini trampolines can be another great option for low impact exercise or jogging in bad weather. Cost:$30 which included an instructional DVD and a set of fitness bands.
*Pedometers can be a fun way to relieve the boredom of your walk or jog. Just how far have you traveled and how many calories have you burned? Definitely not essential but can be fun. Cost: $15

Toning and Strength Training

*Fitness bands can be used for many muscle groups and are great for both strength and toning. Many bands are sold in kits with DVDs or books to allow you to maximize your workout. Otherwise hit your local library for some free educational inspiration. Cost: $3-7 per band or kits from $13.
*Dumbbells are great for incorporating arm and leg resistance to your workout. Dumbbell sets are more cost effective as you can increase the weight as you become stronger. Cost: $35 for a 20 pound set, and $45 for a 32 pound set.
*Chin-up bars give you the opportunity to exercise many parts of your body. Not only chin ups but pull ups, and hanging knee raises, leg raises and body twists. Cost: $15 for a fully convertible chin up/sit up bar to suit any door width.

Flexibilty

*Stability balls are great for stretches, working on your core muscles and balance work. Cost: $18 for a ball alone, or $25 with an instructional DVD for stretches, workouts and exercises.
*Yoga mats are great for doing all your floor exercises, stretches, and any yoga or pilates that you may wish to add to the mix. A mat will also provide a more stable surface for a stability ball. Cost: $10 for a mat or $17 for a mat and instructional DVD.

Grand Total:
No Frills: Shoes, bands, dumbbells, and yoga mat comes in at $103.
If you already own a pair of shoes then you could lash out and purchase a chin up bar, stability ball, and the jump rope for the other $40.

Mini trampolines and pedometers are by no means essential for your fitness campaign and have only been mentioned as alternatives for those who might already own some of the other equipment.

*Library. Never underestimate your local library. This can be a great place to source both instructional books and DVDs on how to get fit. Cost: free.

Your home gym exercise equipment need not cost the earth. There are great bargains around for the savvy shopper. A shortage of funds need not stop you from exercising at home. For those with no cash to spare at all, grab a book from your local library instructing you in how to use your own body weight for strength and resistance work. Stick with walking, jogging or running. All you need to purchase is your runners.

*Costings were correct as of time of publication. Coco found the best prices online through the bigger retail outlets.