How to Work Out With a Baby

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to workout with a babyIt can be hard to structure a workout when you’re no longer the boss of your time. Before your baby was born you were able to take leisurely stolls, stop by the gym after work and hop on the treadmill when the urge struck. Now you’re spending your time caring for a little one who allows you only minutes of precious free time when she’s napping or playing – and those minutes aren’t often long enough for the kind of work out you need to lose the baby weight. Fortunately, there are ways to work out with a baby.

Go For a Walk or Jog

The easiest way to exercise with a baby is to put her in the stroller and go for a walk. The stroller adds a bit of resistance and the faster you walk the more calories you’ll burn. You might even get lucky and have your baby drift off for a nap while you walk letting you hike or jog up to an hour burning a great deal of calories in a single outing. If your baby isn’t comfortable in a stroller or likes to be closer to you, try wearing her in a front carrier or backpack for older babies. You’ll dramatically boost your calorie expenditure and be able to hold your baby close.

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Do Crunches

Your baby will love to help you do crunches. Simple lean her on your knees and crunch up to see her. If she’s a wiggle worm or tries to roll off, you can simply do your crunches while she plays with her toys. An ab routine usually takes less than ten minutes and can be broken up into parts between the floor gym and bouncy chair.

Dance or March

If you have a fussy baby, and who doesn’t, you’ve probably already discovered the power of movement to soothe her. Why not use that movement to your advantage? Rather than just pace the house, march in place for fifteen or twenty minutes wearing your baby in a carrier or in your arms. Turn on some music or put in your ear buds and dance with your baby. She’ll love the interaction and movement and you’ll be surprised at how many calories you can burn in a few songs.

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Go Biking

Invest in a bike trailer and pull your baby along while you bike. The extra weight and resistance will add up to a lot of extra calories burned.

Pushups, Squats and Lunges

You might not be able to lift weights with an infant playing around you, but you can do some other forms of resistance training. Drop and do twenty push-ups when your child is playing contentedly and then do some squats. Alternate your squats with lunges and hold your baby for a bit of resistance when she starts getting fussy. Just be careful to not lose your balance. Squats might be the better option for baby resistance exercises.

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How to Strengthen Your Back

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to increase back stengthIf you want to strengthen your back, you really need to be working on your abdominal muscles or abs in addition to the large trapezius muscle that covers the top of your back. To strengthen your back, you should combine a variety of muscle building exercises with excellent posture so that you’re not undermining your efforts.

Build Muscle

The first step to strengthening your back is to get approval from your doctor to begin a weight lifting routine – especially if you have prior back pain. Then, with your doctor’s approval, begin by working each set of muscles separately. You’ll need to increase strength throughout your trunk to fully support your back, so start at the top and work down.

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Rowing

Rowing and shoulder presses can help to strengthen the trapezius muscle. This is a large triangular muscle that extends from the back of your neck and shoulders tapering down your spine. To build this muscle, you can work it vigorously with intense activities with a great deal of repetition.

Abdominal Work

The same can not be said for muscles in the lower back. These muscles are not as thick and strong as the trapezius, so you should be careful to not overexert your efforts. Your lower back is supported by bands of muscle that wrap around your back and sides. Start with basic crunches and crunches across the body touching your elbow to your knee to build the large ab muscle and work a bit on the sides.

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Then use a machine or the guidance of a personal trainer to twist while holding weights effectively using the side bands of muscle. Side bends with light weights will also help to strengthen the sides of the abdomen. Finally, dead lifts or carefully lifting weights from the floor to your knees will strengthen the muscles of your lower back.

Posture

The muscle work will help to increase your posture, and better posture will help your muscles support your trunk more effectively.

Other Strengthening Ideas

You can also use supplements to build muscle more quickly, but be sure to read supplement reviews to find the most suitable program for your needs. Also, if you are not comfortable with weights or lack a gym and proper supervision, a Pilates program or video can do a great deal of work strengthening your back and midsection.

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How to Lose Weight by Walking

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to lose weight by walkingWhen you’re looking to lose weight correctly – slowly, over time, there is no better way to exercise and burn fat than by walking. Brisk walking for longer lengths of time is one of the most effective fat burning techniques and it’s something everyone can do, regardless of fitness level.

Assemble Your Walking Gear

To get starting walking, you’ll need walking shoes. Any athletic shoes will do, but walking shoes will have the ideal support for the kind of strides you’ll be taking. Be sure the shoes have proper arch and heel support. You can also use a water bottle for longer walks, and to monitor your progress, pedometers are great tools.

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A pedometer will count the number of steps you take which can translate to distance. Finally, if you’re very serious about rapid walking weight loss, you may consider walking sticks as using these seriously boosts the calorie burning properties of a gentle stroll.

Find a Location

You want to walk in a safe place that is not heavily trafficked. You can walk along a sidewalk, around a track or even in your office building or the mall. You’ll want to walk when you’re unlikely to be interrupted or have to stop repeatedly. Walking works best when done continuously for long stretches of time, so find somewhere where you get pointed in a direction and go – this may have to be a treadmill.

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Go Walking

Put on your new shoes, clip on your pedometer and start walking. Stand up straight and take deep breathes while you walk. You want to move at a fast clip. If you can talk while you’re walking, you’re doing well. If you can sing, you need to pick up the pace. Walk for at least thirty minutes at a stretch, but if you want the best results, walk for forty-five minutes to an hour each day. If you walk in shorter bursts, shoot for 10,000 steps a day as measured by your pedometer.

Control Your Diet

You’ll want to control your diet while you’re on your new walking regime. The exercise may make you hungry, so you’ll want to find healthy snacks to avoid consuming the calories you’ve just burned. So long as you are controlling or even reducing your calories, and walking daily, you should see terrific results.

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How to Gain Muscle Tone

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to gain muscle toneTo gain sharp definition in your muscles you’ll need to take a two fold approach. First you must build the muscle as much as possible, and then you’ll need to remove the fat that is between the skin and muscle. The thinner this layer, the more the definition of muscle will show.

Building Muscle

Building muscle is as simple as tearing away the existing muscle and letting the muscle grow larger and stronger as it heals. To encourage the muscle to grow, you must tax it to the limit. Lifting weights and working against resistance, such as resistance bands or water, are the means to most effectively encourage new muscle growth.

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To build muscle, you’ll need to exercise regularly. Lifting weights and establishing a routine to work all muscle groups is essential to your success. Work close to your limits every day to gain the maximum benefits, but don’t push yourself to a point where you risk injury or aren’t able to work out effectively the next day.

Many body builders seeking to build large muscles choose to use bodybuilding supplements to ensure they are getting the right balance of nutrients and additives to increase strength and power.

Eat a balanced diet heavy on proteins and vegetables, but low in fats. The increased muscle will burn fat, but you should incorporate an intense cardio routine into your exercise plan to burn off more calories as quickly as possible. As the fat melts away and the muscles before more defined beneath the skin, your muscle tone will be truly impressive.

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Losing Fat

Even those who appear slender may sport an impressive layer of body fat. Extra calories will be stored as fat. You can build impressive muscles, but the muscle definition will be hidden under the fat until you’re able to lose enough to see the outline of the muscles through it.

Loosing fat is a challenge for any dieters, but those trying to gain muscle tone must work especially hard. To gain muscle you must consume extra calories that will convert to the muscle, but old calories are still stored as fat. To lose fat while gaining muscle, you must focus on eating the right kinds of calories. Protein is used to build muscles while carbs and fats convert more readily to fat.

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