How Exercise Benefits You

exercise-and-happinessHaving  a well balanced lifestyle is currently the new trend, with many individuals enabling themselves to include exercise in their everyday living. This comes as no surprise especially because of the rise of well known diseases that are commonly associated with lack of exercise, which leads us to the question, “What are the benefits of exercise?”

A lot of claims have been formulated from studies all over the world and despite the differences, all are clear to reveal that exercises do more good than harm. Below are just some of the ways that prove how beneficial exercise can be in everyday living.


Exercise develops health and fitness

A regular exercise routine means that the basic foundations of your well being are taken into consideration. Those starting to exercise will initially notice a decrease in excess body weight and a better capability to keep the heart and lungs working well, increasing a great amount of stamina. Also through exercise muscles improve endurance and strength and eventually, flexibility is also developed.


Exercise improves mental capacity

The opportunity to exercise for a given period of time develops focus and concentration. Exercises require people to coordinate movement patterns from the brain onto the rest of the body. This may seem to be a very simple process but being able to incorporate this capacity onto other parts of life clearly establishes it as a beneficial trait that can be used daily through step by step procedures .


Exercise increases confidence and relieves stress

Once a regular exercise regimen is taken into consideration, these rigorous programs and exercise protocols bring physical challenges that increase the levels of endorphin, known as the happy hormone, making the world seem to be a better place after every exercise session. Joining the cycle of happiness is the amount of confidence that is achieved through proper exercises especially when skills improve from beginner to advance.


Clearly there are numerous advantages of keeping exercise as a regular part of life. The journey of daily living becomes an easier task through exercise. And as a bonus it enables many people to live a happier and longer life.

Back Pain Exercise Therapy – What You Should Know

There are many different types of back pain exercise therapy. Since most back injuries are related to muscle strains, pulls, or simply weakened muscles in the body, exercise is often the natural solution to the problem for many people. However, you shouldn’t go out and develop your own exercise routine to treat your back pain. If you don’t know exactly what’s wrong or how to treat it properly, you could do more harm than good with back pain exercise therapy because you aren’t properly educated on how to exercise the right way to alleviate the pain and eliminate the issues that you’re having. Rely instead on your doctor or a physical therapist or chiropractor to determine what you need when it comes to an exercise program.

Many people have mixed emotions about chiropractors. Some people feel that they hurt more than they help, or that their methods of treatment are not designed for ultimate healing but simply to keep you coming back for more. However, when you’re looking for back pain exercise therapy, they are a viable solution to consider in addition to your family doctor and a specialist like a physiatrist. It’s helpful if you talk to your family doctor first so that you can get an idea about what is wrong and which treatment is going to work best in your particular situation. There certainly is no one who can tell you what is best for you better than your family doctor who knows you and your medical history from experience of working with you in the past. If you don’t have a family doctor or haven’t been to the doctor in years, try to find one that makes you feel comfortable and that can help, even if you have never met them.

Back pain exercise therapy is one of the most common and natural treatments that you can seek for back pain and problems. It doesn’t matter what type of back problems you’re experiencing because exercise therapy can help anyone, no matter what’s gone wrong. There are so many people that suffer from back injuries and pain every single year in the U.S. and the world that finding the right solution is going to vary depending on their specific situation and needs. What works for you might not always work for someone else. Make sure that you take the time to discuss your pain and your options for treatment before you embark on a treatment plan.

There are many different kinds of back pain exercise therapy that can be used, but here are the most common exercises that are helpful in this situation:

Stretching: stretching exercises allow the body to stretch the muscles and create more strength in them. By being able to stretch the body, you can often work out muscle strains and pulled muscles without having to worry about a lot of intensive treatment. Plus, it can get your body in better shape and help you to be more mobile than you were before the injury, often preventing future issues.

Strength training: when your body is weak, back injuries are much more common. The most reported issues come from people who have weak stomach muscles or poor posture and they end up injuring their backs because their bodies cannot support them properly. By taking the time to do strength training exercises, you will be better able to support your body and get it into better physical condition. This will eliminate your existing problem, but also help future ones from occurring.

Back pain exercise therapy is a very useful tool in healing back injuries and managing back pain of all kinds. As long as you take the time to determine exactly what is wrong and how it can best be fixed, you’ll be able to use exercise therapy to your advantage. Just make sure that you don’t try to self-diagnose your problem or develop your own exercise routine because without understanding how the body works, you could easily do more harm than good to your back pain. Keep these things in mind, and talk to your doctor or another medical professional about how back pain exercise therapy can work for you. While it might not be the perfect solution for everyone, it can be an effective solution for many.

Weight Loss: Customize, Personalize, Spice up!

You know you have weighted, err, waited more than enough. So you decide to get yourself started on some weight loss programs and regimens. In all likelihood you would draft yourself with the ones that promise you sure-hit quick weight loss tips.

So you sweat and strain with your chosen weight loss program, perhaps ecstatically so at the start. Sure your body gets all aching with all your joints and knuckles cracking in epic proportions like ungreased door hinges of horror movies.

Looking at yourself in the mirror, you cringe at the sight of this blob staring back miserably at you still with the extra flabs flapping around somewhere there. You sigh in exasperation. Whatever happened to the weight loss program that promised to sculpt your body to whistle-bait shape? You scream in desperation. You know you have just been weigh-laid, err again, way-laid by some pseudo weight loss masters.

Truth is, we tend to pattern our weight loss mindset after the mentality of that of some backyard gym instructors. We torture ourselves with the age-old dictum “No pain, no gain.” Let’s face it, while it did miracles for Rocky, it sure did get him crippled (or, killed) in the final picture.

We are no Rocky. We are ordinary human beings with not-so-ordinary day-to-day affairs. Some are multi-tasked like the housewife who has to master doing diapers in one hand, pitching copies in the other, while applying tantric massage on her hubby with her feet. All throughout she is troubled between going for weight loss surgery and taking weight loss pills.

“No pain, no gain” is foolishly macho and downright false. Of course, there’s bound to be some discomfort when you’re just getting started with your own weight loss program, and later when you start to reach out for new weight loss goals.

But there’s an important difference between discomfort and pain. Learn it. Listen to your body say, “Moderation in all things.” Pain means injury. Pain makes you quit the weight loss program.

If you don’t like your chosen program of weight loss exercises, you won’t stick with it. It will become a chore, you’ll slack off and finally give up the entire weight loss program. Tailor your weight loss exercise to yourself, not to what others do or to some false image generated from within or without. Of course when you’re just getting started, weight loss may seem like a chore. But appearances are not always reality. Realize that your body and mind would always prefer being a couch potato, and will rebel at the thought of exertion in the weight loss program, so you’ve got to give any form of exercise a chance to grow on you before you start analyzing whether it’s for you or not! The key is to turn weight loss exercise into play, then you’ll succeed and persist. Lack of joy makes you quit.

So spice up your own program of weight loss exercises by customizing it according to your our own weight loss needs. Variety is still the spice of weight loss. You should’nt be satisfied just with pounding the pavement or sweating in a gym. Variety makes you learn how much you’re capable of. Play around, pick and choose, experiment with your own customized personal weight loss program.

Whatever weight loss exercises you choose from the following, try to get your heart rate up to about 70 percent of your safe maximum. You can do that by using this formula: 220 minus your age equals your Maximum Safe Heart Rate. Keep it at this rate for a solid half-hour. Don’t go over the 85 percent rate for more than a couple of minutes at a time. Of course, heart rate doesn’t figure into strength builders such as weigh lifting.

Note : The calories-burned figures that follow are for a 110-pounder. A 154-pounder should add on another 28 percent to that number, while a 198-pounder should add 55 percent.

Walking : Calories burned at 2 mph is 145 per hour; 3 mph is 235 per hour; at 5 mph is 435 per hour.

Jogging : Calories burned at 5mph is 530 per hour which is roughly about a 12-minute mile.

Jumping Rope : Calories burned is 600 calories per hour.

Swimming : At 30 yards per minute (about one lap of an Olympic-size pool), calories burned is 330 per hour.

Water-walking : Calories burned is 360 per hour in a fast game.

Bicycling : Calories burned at 10 mph is 390 per hour.

Aerobic Dancing : For low impact, calories burned is 240 per hour and for moderate impact, 350 per hour.

Square Dancing : Calories burned is 350 and up – way up! – per hour.

Table Tennis : Calories burned is 450 hour.

Rowing : Calories burned is 600 per hour.

Cross-country skiing : Calories burned at 10 mph is 600 per hour.

Weight Lifting : Calories burned is 250 per hour.

Martial Arts : Calories burned is 620 per hour.

You really won’t know what you like unless you try it. And if you haven’t tried it don’t knock it. Try mixing gardening with walking, housework with rowing, bicycling with weight lifting, dancing with martial arts, table-tennis with cross-country skiing, outdoors with indoors, team sports with solitary sports. Without variety, humans get bored and stale. They stop reaching. Boredom makes human beings quit.

5 Ways to Improve Strength Training for Runners

runner’s training includes a number of things to build endurance, flexibility and to prevent injury. Runners need strength training,however, to improve their speed. A runners strength training usually involves weight lifting combined with endurance training. Here are 5 simple tips to improve a runners strength training.

One way to greatly improve your strength training is to focus on the proper form when doing weight lifting exercises. Using the proper form will ensure that you are working the right muscles and will help prevent injury during training. You should focus on the form and motion of the exercise first with a very light weight. Once you have the correct form, add weight to increase your strength training. It helps to watch yourself do the exercise in a mirror so you can analyze your form.

A runner’s strength training program should emphasize balance. Our muscles typically work in pairs so you need to make sure that you are working both sets of muscles and in the proper proportion. For example, our quadriceps and hamstrings complement each other. Distance runners will need to work them more equally where a sprinter might put more emphasis on the quadracep.

Your training program needs to have periodic lulls to maximize your strength training. A runner’s strength training should follow a cycle of some sort whether it be in days, weeks or months. This gives both the mind and the body time to rest. It also helps condition both mind and body for peak performance on a cyclic basis. It is usual for these cycles to culminate in competitions or marathons so that a runner is at their peak fitness right before an event.

Give your muscles proper rest and recovery. Strength training works by tearing down muscle tissue. When you lift weights and work your muscles, they develop small tears in the muscle fibers. The process of repairing these small tears is what makes you stronger. Your body needs time to do its repairs or you may injury your muscles rather than improving your strength. Any muscle group should have a minimum of 24 hours rest before it is trained again. This is why it is typical to rotate strength training by working the upper body one day and the lower body the next. Make sure you’re getting your sleep while training too. Lack of sleep will run your body down and make it harder for your muscles to recover.

Finally, you need to be consistent. To be successful, you need to do your strength training regularly. Work out on the same day. You do not want to have big gaps between workouts. If you skip days or vary your schedule too much, you will not get the results that you want. You also need to be consistent with how much weight you add and how frequently you add weight. Keep a journal of your workout so you know how much weight and how many repetitions of each exercise you are doing.

Why Would You Want to Boost Your Metabolism?

The subject of boosting one’s metabolism is often equated with physical appearance. That is, when you boost your metabolism, you reduce the amount of body fat that you are storing. This, in turn, leads to an improvement in the way you look. But, as the old saying goes, looks are not everything. There are various other benefits found in boosting one’s metabolism. One of the lesser known secrets is that boosting your metabolism will increase the quality and duration of your life.

Some may think such a statement is pure hyperbole. Assuredly, it is not. When you reduce the amount of body fat you carry, you are reducing the risk of a number of adverse health issues. Namely, you have lowered your risk for heart attacks, strokes, cancer, diabetes, and other serious ailments. Obesity is an extremely serious condition since it can seriously undermine a person’s health. Much like smoking, the impact of obesity does not always develop right away. Many people will not take the impact of obesity serious because they see it as only a physical issue. However, when serious medical conditions develop, the true impact of obesity becomes apparent. By this time, it is almost too late. However, if you can boost your metabolism, you will be able to counter the development of obesity. Thankfully, it is not always as difficult to boost the body’s metabolism provided you understand how the process works.

What exactly is the body’s metabolism? This basically refers to how the body operates in order to maintain its life. In other words, it is the metabolism that delivers the energy for our organs to function. One way the body does this is through turning food into energy through the calories we consume. The healthier a person is, the faster the metabolism will be due to a strong heart and the presence of lean muscle mass. When the metabolism is expedited, the body will burn more calories which will lead to the reduced storage of fat.

Speeding up one’s metabolism often involves engaging in a decent exercise regimen. This involves a mix of cardiovascular conditioning programs and weight training. Cardio exercise raises a heart rate so that it burns fat. Strength training increases lean muscle mass which will absorb more calories to maintain its size and shape. Again, many will look towards the physical appearance benefits of such workouts but there is much more to these exercise plans than that alone.

When your heart is exercised through cardio work it becomes stronger. This reduces a great many problems deriving from cardiovascular disease. When you develop lean muscle mass, your ability to perform physical tasks is made much easier as well which reduces a number of physical maladies. Again, these represent many of the great benefits derived from boosting the metabolism.

The human metabolism is a complex entity and when it operates properly it can yield many desirable benefits. One of the most important benefits is the highly positive impact it can have on one’s health. That is probably its best kept secret.

The Importance of Sports Psychology in Basketball

However, there is a bit more to it than just making goals and striving to achieve them. The “striving” aspect needs a bit of sports psychology to fully achieve the goals that the athlete sets out. Sports psychology involves a mix of visualization, awareness, control, concentration, understanding, relaxation, and confidence.

There are many approaches to improve sports psychology in basketball players. One must first understand what sports psychology is and how it can benefit the athlete. For example, basketball players need to tune into the exact sound that gets them going, one possible sound could be the crowd cheering and rooting for their team. Once athletes are out on the court and they hear the crowd roaring, their motivation to achieve peak performance greatly increases. The emotional experience gained from removing the blocks enables the player to focus on and in their performance zone is really something that drives athletes to accomplish their goals much easier.

The first sports psychology center opened up in the 1920’s. Since then, the study of the psychology of sport has been of great interest to many psychologists. In the 1970’s, sports psychology was part of university curriculums nationwide and more focus and research has been placed in this field in recent decades. Mental training and other exercises are also created to improve emotional strength among players.

I recently worked with a College Basketball team. They were struggling with free-throw accuracy. I took seven of the team members and had them make 50 free throws to get a base line. I customized a mental training hypnosis for them and then had them shoot another 50 free throws. We tabulated the difference between the before and after hypnosis. Their overall percentage of free throws made increased by 7% from 73% to 80%. The best improvement was 24%. Four players improved 10% to 24%. The other three were about the same. This all took place after a 2½ hr. practice.

In their next game, their field goal percentage improved by 15%. In the following game, our test players again made 87.5% of their free throws.

As a by-product their field goal percentage jump up 10- 18% over the next few games.

The psychological importance of an athlete needs more attention than many think. Sports psychology sometimes can make or break an athlete’s day, week, or month while competing for his team or for himself. At the same time, sports psychology can help an athlete get out of a slump or maintain his or her high peak performance. Either way, when an athlete is not only physically, but mentally and emotionally strong, they can achieve all of the realistic goals that they set for themselves.

The Many Different Types of Strength

There are many different types of strength… and they all need to be taken into consideration when forming an effective physical training program.

What makes someone strong?

Well, that is not an easy question to answer… because it depends on which of the many different types of strength you are talking about.

Someone can exhibit great competence in one aspect of strength while being completely lacking in another.

To understand this better, let’s talk about three of the most important types of strength: Maximal Strength, Explosive Strength and Strength Endurance

Maximal Strength is the amount of force that can be generated from one all out effort… regardless of time or bodyweight.

Maximal strength can be displayed through three types of muscle actions…

Concentric Strength occurs when the muscle shortens as it overcomes resistance, like when lifting a weight.

Eccentric Strength occurs when the muscle lengthens as it yields to or attempts to overcome a resistance, like when controlling a weight on the way down.

Static Strength occurs when the muscle contracts against an immovable resistance, or contracts to prevent unwanted movement.

Explosive Strength is strength per unit of time, and is also known as Speed Strength.

There are different types of explosive strength…

Starting Strength is the ability to recruit as many muscle fibers as possible instantaneously at the start of the movement… It is the type of strength necessary to quickly accelerate a load that is at rest.

Acceleration Strength is how long you can keep the maximum number of muscle fibers recruited after Starting Strength. Once the initial movement begins, the rate of force development is the acceleration… It is what will get the load moving very quickly.

Strength Endurance is the ability to be as strong as possible, as long as possible.

Strength endurance is characterized by being able to perform a movement repeatedly for an extended period of time without being overcome by fatigue or sacrificing form.

Now let’s add a couple more types of strength…

Relative Strength is the amount of force that can be generated from one all out effort… relative to bodyweight.

For example… if two people have the ability to lift the same object, but one person is small and lighter in size, they exhibit more relative strength.

Relative strength comes into play when you are measuring your strength abilities against others, competing in a sport that has weight classes or competing in a sport where you have to overcome your own bodyweight to perform a task.

Absolute Limit Strength is the amount of force that can be generated from one all out effort… with the use of drugs and/or supplements.

I personally am the least interested with this type of strength because I am only interested in strength improvements that come from proper, effective physical training… and not through biological manipulation.

As you can see… there are a lot of types of strength to take into account when planning a strength training program.

My suggestion…

Do not concentrate on the training of one particular type of strength at the expense of all others unless you have a very specific reason to do so.

For most of us, we do not know which type of strength will be called into question as we go through our lives… so train them all.

Therefore, vary physical training methods, stresses and intensities while training maximal strength, explosive strength and strength endurance to bring about the greatest performance improvements for sport, work and life.

What Is A Personal Trainer

Imagine stepping into the gym for the first time in your life. There are so many machines and gadgets. What do you do first? Is this one safe? Are you using it right? There are so many questions to ask about trying to get physically fit as well. How much should you push yourself? How much is too much?

A personal trainer is someone who steps in and will coach you through your weight loss regime. What is it that a personal trainer does exactly?

Finding Out What A Personal Trainer Does Is Step Number One
Whenever I want to find out what it is that a personal trainer does, I simply visit the website or look at an advertisement of another personal trainer. From personal trainer, I have found the following list to be exactly what a personal trainer does.

Coaching workouts that intensify gradually at different stages
Working to increase improvement function of the body from walking and running, etc.

Keeping a client up to date on nutrition

Practices safe stretching and exercise techniques

Helps to increase muscle tone and metabolism in the body

Minimize the possibility of injury

Increase the client’s self-confidence and put good ‘stress’ to encourage

Eliminate laziness and excuses from stopping the client from getting what they want

What is it that Clients Ask When Looking for a Personal Trainer?
One that I have found says that finding the best personal trainer is to simply ask a lot of questions. If you ask questions of your personal trainer and he or she does not know the answer or doesn’t give an answer you are particularly happy with, a client should simply walk away.

If you are looking to become a personal trainer, expect to hear questions. What is your background? How long have you been doing this? How are you involved in the industry? Do you stay competitive in the industry? What is the education level that you have? Did you get certified in a weekend or are you university educated? Are you continuing to educate yourself on the latest health techniques? Insurance? CPR? First Aid?

If you are able to answer these questions to a client, you’ll be much more likely to sign a client. Above all, personal trainer will make a customer state his or her reasonable goals and set a plan to reach those goal in a healthy and constructive learning environment that will let the client keep the regime for years to come, even if they stop using the personal trainer.

What is it That Separates a Good Personal Trainer from a Bad One?
Like when you shop for anything else, there are good trainers and there are bad personal trainers, but what is the difference?
A good personal trainer would tell you that you should shop around and find the right trainer for you. A lot of corporate gym trainers have sales quotas, do you really think they’re primary interest is your health? Most of them have minimal training and are more of a sales person than a trainer.

If you are looking to become a personal trainer, what is it you should do first? Try to take course on exercise, fitness and health. If you also stay involved personally in the body building industry, you’re also staying on top of the competition. Commitment is the key; you have to be committed, as your clients certainly will not be. They will want to quit and give excuses. You can’t let them.

Above all, a personal trainer really cares about the client. You can’t simply treat them like another paycheck. A customer has personal goals and needs and is asking you to help them along a path they can’t walk on their own. What a personal trainer is, is not a salesman or a drill sergeant, a personal trainer is a coach, a mentor and a partner on a road to a goal.