You’re in the middle of your workout, everything is going great, and then suddenly something feels off. There’s a twinge of pain, a tingling sensation, or a wave of nausea comes over you. Or maybe you don’t feel anything until later, in the form of soreness or shin splints.
Whatever the symptoms may be, the cause is likely that you’re doing something about your workout wrong. With the help of fitness experts Dempsey Marks, Jessica Smith and Valerie Orsoni, we’ve got a list of the top signs your workout is doing more harm than good, and ways you can fix the problems.
You’re Super Sore the Next Day
A little soreness can be good, but if you’re so sore you can’t move, you need to tone your workout down a bit. According to Shape Magazine, that level of soreness can indicate that you’re well on your way to an overuse injury.
Dempsey Marks, fitness expert, yoga trainer, and founder of DempseyFit.com, suggests decreasing the intensity of your workouts by lifting less weight or doing fewer reps. She also suggests properly refueling your body by eating a post-workout snack, like her Strawberry Banana Crunch Smoothie Bowl, full of carbohydrates and protein.
By Dr. Tom Kleeman, an orthopedic surgeon and creator of MDFitness: The Doctors Workout, a 3-DVD workout available at TheDoctorsWorkout.com.
Your alarm goes off. You pry your eyes open, swing your legs over the side of the bed, and take those first morning steps. That’s when the real alarms go off. Your back and joints cry out in anguish. For a moment you are frozen like the rusty Tin Man wondering how to lubricate all of those joints. You remember reading somewhere that it was important to stretch in the morning, but what does that mean exactly?
For years static stretching has been the mainstay of the early morning routine. As it turns out, research doesn’t support a benefit from static stretching. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, has been shown to have many benefits including warming up your muscles, increasing blood flow, and jump-starting your metabolism. The idea is to obtain the most benefit in the least time using compound exercises that work multiple joints or muscle groups at the same time. Check out these four dynamic stretches and see for yourself. It’s like having a can of lubricating oil at your bedside.
High March with Arm Swings
This is a great beginning move. It’s easy on your joints while warming up both the upper and lower body. Start by marching in place bringing your knees up higher as your hips warm up. At the same time, stretch your arms out to the side and bring them forward wrapping them around your chest then back out in the tempo of the march. Keep going for about 30 seconds. This exercise gets your hips, shoulders, and chest warmed up and limber. (more…)
You’ve lifted, squatted, stretched, and sweat your way to a fitter life and smaller waistline. However, you’ve also built up muscle in your thighs, calves, and butt, which can make slipping into your favorite pair (or any pair) of jeans a bigger challenge than you may expect.
Famous athletes have complained about the lack of jeans options that fit their athletic frames, and they’re certainly not the only ones with that problem. Anyone who has muscular legs probably knows the struggle of finding pants to fit both your legs and waist.
That’s where Barbell Apparel comes in. They are a new company designing jeans with athletic figures specifically in mind.
We often stress the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle for your current well-being, but two new studies show that being fit can have a serious impact on your health for decades. If you’re active now, you’re protecting yourself from muscle weakness later in life. And if you were a member a sports team in high school, researchers say you’ve likely prevented frequent doctor’s visits as you’ve gotten older.
Researchers from Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology teamed up to study the health of World War II veterans who were healthy as young men. The researchers were surprised to find that those who played a high school sport reported visiting the doctor for health concerns fewer times a year.
Building up muscle on your body takes a lot of hard work and dedication and most men who join a gym do not realize exactly what this hard work should be. If you have never worked out on a regular basis and decide to join a gym in order to gain more muscle, it should be expected that you know what you are in for.
If you are young and trying to gain muscle for the first time then you will have the advantage of the rather unpredictable growth spurts that younger men or women seem to show when training with weights. However, if you are an adult and doing this for the first time, you need to know that you will be extremely fortunate if you gain 10 pounds of muscle a year.
If all the odds are stacked in your favor and you are born with good genes that gave you a mesomorphic body type, which puts on muscle quickly, then you need to know that the chances of putting on a lot of muscle in your first year of training with weights is very good. (more…)
Michael Gonzalez-Wallace is the author of Super Body, Super Brain. You can read more from him at www.superbodysuperbrain.com or pick up his book Super Body, Super Brain.
Use it or lose it.
If we don’t use our muscles, they will wither in atrophy and if we don’t use our brain, our brain will shrink. If the brain is not used, different brain areas will slow down leading to a faster decline in cognitive abilities such as multitasking, learning, memory or movement. A study from Harvard University concluded that lack of brain activity between different areas of the brain means faster aging.
However, what if I told you that is possible to be faster mentally or in better physical shape now than you were 5 or 10 years ago? For the last 10 years, we have being seeing a brilliant phenomena called brain plasticity. Brain plasticity is the brain’s capacity to rewire or regenerate itself, and the key is stimulation. Anytime you stimulate the brain, you are strengthening existing connections and creating new powerful networks. In other words, you are strengthening your brain like a muscle.
According to Dr John Ratey Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University, exercise is the ultimate way to improve brain plasticity. Nice! But plasticity doesn’t only affect our brains- but affects our muscles as well. Muscle fiber plasticity refers to the capacity of our muscles to change shape, form and structure and there is no age limit, you just need to be consistent with a resistance training program.
If you are a woman like me, two words can make you instantly start salivating: Ryan Reynolds. For men, he is someone to be admired and envied because he has a body like a super hero, which is very convenient since he will be portraying one this summer when Green Lantern is released in theaters.
Reynolds first became known for his rock-hard six-pack when he appeared in Blade: Trinity. Since then, his weight has fluctuated a little bit, depending on what kind of movie he was acting in. When Reynolds is going to be in an action film, he really concentrates on building muscle tone. According to his personal trainer, Bobby Strom, Reynolds weighed in at “200 pounds and 8 percent body fat [when he is in an action movie, but for romantic comedies] he’s about 180 and 11 percent body fat.”
In order to get in such fantastic shape, Reynolds works out for 90-minutes, seven days a week. His workouts vary, based mainly on what his role in the next movie is.
This guest post comes from Gale Tern, author, alternative health proponent, and blogger at Arthritis Pain Central.
According to mainstream medical literature, lupus is one of many disorders of the immune system known as auto-immune disease. The immune system is supposed to protect the body from invaders like harmful bacteria and viruses. However, in the case of auto-immune diseases, the immune system actually attacks parts of the body it is supposed to protect.
The theory is that when your body turns on itself and begins to damage cells and body tissue, this leads to inflammation. And so the inflammation you see associated with lupus is really a symptom of the disease. Lupus affects all parts of the body including the heart, kidneys, joints, skin, lungs, brain, tendons, and blood vessels. The most common symptoms of lupus include extreme pain, inflammation, kidney problems, swelling of the joints, fever, weight gain, and skin rashes.
The thing about lupus is that it discriminates. It primarily affects women. In fact, approximately ninety percent of all lupus cases affect women in their thirties.
We live in the age of extremes. We have to be the fastest, baddest, biggest and the best at everything we do. This is America! When speaking of cars, computers and the speed at which we receive our text messages, our all or nothing attitude is a definite advantage, but it is this mind frame that has lead us to gigantic food portions, exponentially rising obesity related healthcare costs and the first generation of children with a shorter life expectancy than their parents. We certainly are the biggest and baddest in terms of girth and the quality of our nutrition, that’s for sure.
It works the other way, too. We want instant gratification, instant results and immediate weight loss when adopting a fitness routine. In the age of the Biggest Loser, where contestants work out 8+ hours a day, everyday, and see double digit weight loss, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that more is better. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t work that way.
Sure, you’ve probably heard that the workouts in Tony Horton’s P90X system are tough, but what do you know about the system’s nutrition plan? When it comes to getting in shape and losing weight, we know that exercise is great for our bodies and building muscle, but you also have to eat the right foods to show off all that hard work. Here are a few more details on the diet side of this popular workout DVD system.
About the P90X Nutrition Guide
The plan includes three one-month phases, all which include small meals eaten consistently throughout the day and lots of water to drink!
If you’re anything like me, stretching is your least favorite part of a workout (even though you know you need to do it and it feels good!). Working on your flexibility is so important for injury prevention, improved circulation, alleviating muscle soreness and more! So, if you’re like me and have trouble finding time to stretch, try these three sneaky ways to squeeze stretching into your everyday routine. By working flexibility training into your usual routine, there are no excuses!
1. The great shower stretch. Stretching after you workout is so great because your muscles are warm. You know when else your muscles are warm? In the shower! Tack on a few extra minutes in the shower each morning to do some neck rolls, forward bends or even some chest or back stretches. Not only is it good for you, the warm water makes it feel fantastic!