At Home Fitness Blog Get the latest News, Updates, Fitness Tips and more at Tue, 30 Dec 2008 09:51:19 +0000 en Varying Your Routine with Special Classes Tue, 30 Dec 2008 08:55:44 +0000 Are you considering hitting the gym to help you add some variety to your workout routine?  While having your own personal home gym is certainly the most convenient and effective method for getting in shape or for staying in shape, you still might want to consider taking advantage of some of the classes being offered at your local gym.  This way, you can keep your workout routine varied while also socializing with other people who share your interest in staying fit. At the same time, when you join a class, you don’t have to worry about the troubles associated with joining a gym, such as trying to get a turn on the machines or dealing with large groups of people. (more…)

Including Squats in Your Workout Routine Sun, 28 Dec 2008 07:42:47 +0000 If you are looking for a great exercise that doesn’t require using any type of special exercise equipment, you might want to consider adding squats to your regular routine.  Squats are an excellent exercise for toning and building muscles and offers a number of benefits - all without having to purchase anything special.

Benefits of Squats

The biggest benefit of squats is the fact that it allows you to workout so many different parts of the body with just one exercise.  In fact, squats can do all of the following:

  • · Allow you to work out all of your major muscle groups
  • · Burn a significant amount of calories
  • · Tone your thighs and your buttocks
  • · Increase the overall flexibility of your lower body
  • · Increase the strength of your mid-section and lower back
  • · Increase the strength of your lungs and your heart

Of course, in order to enjoy all of these benefits, it is important to use the proper form when performing squats.

Tips for Performing Squats

When performing squats, you can choose to use weights or to simply use your own body weight.  If you are just getting started with squats, it is a good idea to forego the weights until after you have become accustomed to the exercise.  This way, you can be certain to get the proper form down in order to avoid potential injury.  If you aren’t certain about the proper form, it would be a good idea to consult with a professional in order to make certain you are doing the exercise properly. 

While squats are not the only exercise you should include in a routine, it is certainly something that should be added to your routine. If you are interested in interval training, you may want to use the squat as the exercise you perform while “resting” from the treadmill or elliptical machine.

Get More Protein in Your Diet with Tuna Fish Fri, 26 Dec 2008 04:32:02 +0000 Nearly everyone is aware of the importance of including protein in your diet.  Protein helps your muscles repair themselves after a workout while also helping to build muscle in the boy.  Unfortunately, many protein sources are also high in fats and other materials that can be bad for your heart.  Or, the protein source may be high in calories.  If you like fish, however, eating canned tuna can provide you with an excellent source of protein while also being convenient and easy to prepare. (more…)

Using Interval Training for a Better Treadmill Workout Wed, 24 Dec 2008 04:30:28 +0000 (more…)

Building Muscle Mass with Compound Exercises Mon, 22 Dec 2008 17:00:36 +0000 Are you trying to build up muscle mass?  If so, you might want to add compound exercises into your workout routine.  This type of exercise is quite popular with body builders because it is rather effective at building up mass, partly because these exercises help encourage the body to release testosterone.  In turn, the testosterone stimulates muscle growth throughout the body. (more…)

To Stretch or Not to Stretch? Sat, 20 Dec 2008 11:48:01 +0000 Have you always heard that you should take time to stretch out your muscles before working out?  If so, you may be surprised to hear that some experts are now saying that stretching before a workout does not help prevent muscle soreness and that it may not even be necessary. 

According to a recent study, stretching before exercising only reduced the amount of soreness participants experienced one day after their workout by less than 0.5 on a 100 point scale.  When stretching after the workout, participants only experienced reduced soreness by 1 point on a 100 point scale.  When evaluating soreness three days and four days after exercise, the researchers found similar results.

So, what is the right thing to do?  Should you stretch out before you hop on your elliptical trainer or treadmill, or should you skip it altogether?  Although there is a debate in the exercise world regarding whether or not stretching is necessary, there is no doubt that stretching beforehand does not cause any harm.  In addition, stretching in general is a good component to include in any workout routine, as it helps keep your ligaments flexible.  Unless you are really strapped for time, there is certainly nothing wrong with adding stretching before or after your regular workout routine.

Using the Glycemic Index to Aid in Weight Loss Thu, 18 Dec 2008 23:31:10 +0000 Are you trying to burn off some extra pounds?  If so, you might want to check out the glycemic index when deciding what foods you should and should not include in your diet. (more…)

Getting a Great Cardio Workout with Nothing but a Jump Rope Tue, 16 Dec 2008 11:28:25 +0000 If you are looking to get a great cardio workout, but you have an extremely limited budget, you might want to look into getting a simple jump rope.  Although it is still best to use a machine such as an elliptical trainer or a treadmill in order to stave off boredom and to get a more complete workout, a jump rope can be a good option until your budget expands.  In fact, using a jump rope for your at home workout offers a number of benefits.  (more…)

Building Strength and Speed with Hill Training Sun, 14 Dec 2008 09:26:41 +0000 Whether you are heading outside and running up hills or you have set your treadmill to an incline in order to simulate running uphill, taking on these steep monsters can be very beneficial to your body in many ways.  At the same time, it is important for you to exercise caution when running up hills in order to make certain you get the best workout possible without causing harm to your body.

The main benefit to running uphill is that an incline provides a greater deal of resistance, which helps build strength.  The muscles in your glutes, calves and hamstrings all benefit from running uphill.  In addition to strengthening muscles, running uphill also helps to strengthen your hip flexors, your Achilles tendons and the muscles around your knees.  By building up your strength in these ways, you will also find that your speed increases when you run on flat surfaces. 

Although there are many benefits associated with running uphill, it is important to keep a few things in mind in order to avoid causing more harm than good.  Some of these things include:

  •  You should not start hill training if you are still a beginner.  Take time to build up your strength and your endurance before taking this next step.
  •  You should never run uphill if you are injured, particularly if you have an injury to your Achilles tendons or your calves
  •  You should be certain to stretch properly before engaging in any workout, but this is particularly true with running uphill
  •  You should take the time to read up on proper uphill training techniques in order to avoid becoming injured

Keep in mind that you do not have to engage in hill training each time you go for a run or hop on the treadmill.  Rather, once per week is generally enough to get the benefits without overstressing or straining your body. 

Avoiding Post-Meal Sleepiness Fri, 12 Dec 2008 08:26:00 +0000 Have you ever finished eating a meal and then felt like you were going to fall asleep?  All of us have had this feeling, which is often referred to as having a “food coma” at some point.  But, what causes this feeling to occur and what can you do to avoid becoming the victim of a food coma?

There are actually many potential reasons for experiencing a food coma after a meal.  The most common reason is simply eating too much at one time, though eating a larger number of carbs or a great deal of sugar can also lead to a food coma.  Therefore, many people experience food comas a great deal during the holiday season because they tend to overeat or to snack on lots of sweets.

If you want to avoid food comas, you might want to try eating several small meals throughout the day rather than a couple of large ones.  Not only will this help keep your energy level up without bogging down your body, it will also help keep your metabolism going strong.  You should also consider cutting back on carbs, as meals that are high in carbs have a tendency to increase the amount of tryptophan that is released in the body.  This is then converted to serotonin, which can create a sense of sleepiness.  Avoiding sugar and choosing foods that are high in protein can also help you fend off the sugar coma while also keeping your body stronger and healthier.