Minggu, 26 April 2015

Top 10 fitness tips to keep you motivated

The carbs are calling and your best laid diet plans are going to pot. Even if you haven't fallen off the fitness wagon, getting to the gym is proving tough – but are you being too hard on yourself and does that extra Custard Cream really count if you're planning an exercise session later? We grilled AJ O'Neill, West End performer-cum-personal trainer, zumba instructor and fitness class teacher on how to relight your love for the gym and keep your motivation at the max…

1. Find your mojo before you strut your stuff

Without music I would get nothing done - in life, at the gym, anywhere. Music can be a fantastic motivator - you can work to the beat, you can sing along, you can set yourself a time limit for an exercise along with the song - it really varies a workout. Gyms tend to pump high energy dance music onto the gym floor because the beats are fast and it encourages you to work harder. My advice - find music that you love, that is energetic and sassy and let it do half the work for you. My favourites in 2011 were Ke$ha, Gaga and Pitbull for cheesy workout joyousness!

2. It's ok to have a naughty meal!

I have a nasty habit of eating things I shouldn't then excusing myself because I've taught five zumba classes in one day. The problem is, that layer of belly fat just won't go! What is acceptable, even useful, is to eat carefully all week and then have one meal off to go nuts – by prescribing yourself one meal to indulge, it helps you stick to your diet plan for the rest of the week. As an added bonus, the one-off high calorie meal kicks your metabolism into overdrive (when combined with low calorie intake the rest of the week) so it works harder to burn those calories. Win, win!

3. Don't beat yourself up if you miss an exercise session or two

Most of us are our own worst enemy when it comes to fitness but any time you spend beating yourself up about lost sessions is time you could be using to get back in the exercise saddle! We all stumble at some point but every personal trainer I know motivates through positive reinforcement - the shouty beat-yourself-up method is a surefire way to fail. If you're nice to yourself, you're more likely to do well, and it's true that any exercise is better than no exercise!

4. Patience is a virtue

You've joined the gym, you've tried Zumba, you've dabbled with Yoga, toyed with boxing and cycled til you couldn't see straight but you're still not seeing results. Worse than that, it's been 3 weeks of trying so what's going on? First of all, you need to relax. Everyone's body works in different ways so depending on what classes you've done you have probably started building muscle as well as losing fat. Losing weight is not the be-all and end-all although all the exercise in the world won't help you if your calorie intake is too high. Fact!

5. Bring a buddy

Exercising with someone else, be it your best mate, a personal trainer or a room full of mates, is the most motivational thing you can do. I literally could not haul myself to the gym a few years ago (and I was at dance college, so I had NO excuse), but having friends who were more dedicated than I was, and discovering group exercise classes really changed my mindset. A class will push you to keep up with the group and break down the pain barriers to levels you won't think possible - it's one of the reasons I love teaching classes now

6. Small steady steps is all it takes

Any exercise that makes you sweat will be doing you good and the less fit you are the more benefits even just a little bit of exercise will have. I tend to walk up the escalators on the tube as a rule now - it takes far less time and is a great form of exercise. Sitting at home thinking; 'ah I'd love to go to the gym but if I go now it'll be closed in half an hour' won't do you any good. 30 minutes, three times a week is far better for you!

7. Late starters can still win the race

Just because you didn't start a New Year health kick doesn't mean it's too late. In fact, starting in February gives you a higher chance of success because a) it's not as dark so you'll feel better about getting up and going to the gym in the morning or later in the evening and b) most of the heavy January gym traffic has cleared so you'll have an easier time using machines and finding more space in classes! Plus, summer's still five months away so you have bags of time to achieve your perfect beach body

8. Try pick 'n' mix exercise classes

A lot of my clients ask me which classes to take. I love to dance so I naturally fell into Zumba (a fantastically fun dance cardio workout) which led on to body balance (a mix of tai chi, yoga and pilates) and recently body pump (a weight based full body workout). Each class has its benefits but try doing a mix of cardio, holistic/core and resistance - cardio will help you burn calories but it won't take the final inches of stomach fat away, only weights will do that. Don't be afraid to try new things either – it might feel like your first day at school but everyone will have been through it before

9. Don't always count calories

Every client I've ever had has been obsessed with calories - how many, what kind, what time of day to eat them, you name it. And yes, they are important, but unless you're partaking in a calorie-controlled diet scheme, there comes a time when you need to stop obsessively counting them. As long as you get exercise and eat sensibly sized portions of healthy food, you shouldn't need to fixate about your calorie intake. One chocolate bar in a week is not going to derail the health train

10. Get yourself in the right mindset

I'm very lucky to be in a job I love but we still all have days when we just don't want to get out from under the covers. Getting to a gym can be even harder so it's important to set yourself achievable goals and don't judge yourself by what other people are doing. You are the only person you have to outdo (unless you're playing a team sport of course, in which case that competitive spirit really helps)!

Minggu, 19 Januari 2014

Over Training Syndrome (OTS) - Fact or Fiction?

Is it really possible to over-train? Yes indeed, over training can be just as negative to results as under training. It is a proven fact that too much can be just as detrimental to progress as too little.

You may immediately ask "well, how do giants such as Arnie get so big and train so hard? " This training business is not as simple as ABC, but famous athletes such as Arnie work under constant supervision, and most ( if not all ) take supplements, including hormone. We are not trying here to discourage good hard training, but rather just point out that there are limits and to be aware of them.

In the extreme, symptoms of OTS can include fatigue and lack of performance, abnormal hormone production and immune system depression. All this can be very detrimental to you health and well being.

So how do we avoid this? Firstly, always be aware to give your body sufficient time to recover. This time period will vary considerably depending on your condition, how hard you work out, and of course, your age. If you work out consistently, just tune in to your body reactions. Your bound to recall the time when you commenced a scheduled routine, but the body just fights it. It just wants to quit before you start. This is a good indication you could be over doing it.

There are also two major factors which play a major role in avoiding OTS, Nutrition and Sleep.

A) Nutrition: Good exercise and good nutrition go hand in hand. One tears down the body parts, the other builds them up, bigger and stronger.

My Article ' Essential Vitamins & Minerals ' on November 2013 gives a run down on the important functions of vitamins and minerals in the body. These are found in all good food such as fruit, veggies, grain, dairy, meat & fish.

Immediate post exercise you need carbohydrates, especially the complex variety. These are also found in the foods referred to above. This gets the body into rebuild mode. You will also need lots of protein, found in meat, chicken, eggs and nuts.

B) Sleep: Going without adequate sleep is another way to undo your good work. It may seem like iron man stuff to some, claiming not to need much sleep, but the facts are we do need adequate sleep for good health and fitness. Tests taken on military personnel revealed that deprivation of sleep during the night caused depression, chronic fatigue and damaged the immune system causing infections.

It can also lead to overweight simply by indulging in the wrong food at the wrong time. How much sleep is enough does vary between individuals and lifestyle, but a minimum of 8 hours is suggested and may extend to 10 hours for some individuals.

When it's all boiled down, this is really just basic stuff, but it must be adhered to if you want to get the results you work so hard for. Try to make it all fun, don't be too hard on yourself and take pride in your achievements.

Take Care..
Your Good Health

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/

5 Organic Ways to Detoxify Your Body

Our modern life blesses us with the latest amenities and facilities to make our life easier. However, the stress and cost of achieving these have taken a toll on our health. It is not uncommon for young individuals to get afflicted with hypertension, high blood pressure, anxiety and all the ills associated with modern lifestyles. The human body gets filled with poisonous toxins that can produce long-term adverse effects. The only way to combat this situation is to detoxify your body naturally.

Five organic ways to distress and detoxify

1. Have a fiber rich diet

A healthy diet should always include a fiber rich menu. Fiber cleans up the toxic waste material from the body, helps absorb nutrients better, simulate body's natural stress fighting hormones and enhances metabolism. The symptoms of severe stress include bloating, constipation etc. A fiber rich diet helps to detoxify the body by keeping the body fluids at adequate levels.

2. Aromatherapy

Human senses are responsive to the pleasant smells, which have a calming and relaxing effect. This consists of essential oil extracts and other natural compounds which simulate human senses, enhancing an individual's mood and cognitive functions. It is included as part of natural therapies with which you can detoxify your body. You can try out aromatic candles that give peace with their glow, take a relaxing bath in essential body oils etc. These oils usually contain extracts of almonds, jojoba and olive, which are proven to have anti-stress properties.

3. Music

Music can be an effective complement to your detoxifying regimen. It is the universal choice for entertainment and relaxation. It stimulates imagination, creativity and helps to pass a routine hard day in a melodious way. However, different categories of music have separate effects. For example, rock music can increase hyperactivity while jazz and instrumental can calm and relax you. Music fusions of Vedic chants and western beats can have an uplifting effect. You can even meditate deeper with the help of such music CD's.

4. Herbal Teas

Put away regular teas and start sipping herbal ones. Regular tea contains too much caffeine and even includes artificial ingredients or preservatives. On the other hand, herbal tea is free from artificial addition and comes with the purity of nature. It simulates the mind and has an overall soothing effect for a hectic day. They are also known to reduce anxiety and stress to a great extent. Many alternative health therapies inculcate herbal teas as part of a rejuvenation treatment.

5. Therapy kits

Instead of looking for individual options, why not go for a package which has all the ingredients of detoxification? Many organic lifestyle companies offer detoxifying therapy kits that are inclusive of the above components and more. They help to synchronize your mind and body, resulting in an increased feeling of satisfaction and relaxation. Most therapies recommend usually include therapy kits as part of their routine treatment.

The above five ways will help to detoxify and rejuvenate your body. Accomplish your tasks with greater mental and physical health in a natural way for maximum benefits.

Mohit Kumar is a Management graduate and writes on Natural Bathing Soaps India and Handmade Jasmine Soaps India.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/

Selasa, 04 Juni 2013

The Science Of Stretching

At the Shaolin Temple we never stretch first, we always start with a gentle warm up and when the muscles feel warm and loose we stretch. We do two types of stretching: static and dynamic. The Shaolin dynamic stretching we do is the five basic kicks, and the five stances which open the hips and warm up the leg muscles. We believe that it's only by doing these stretches that we can get truly flexible. We've stretched this way and warmed up our muscles like this for thousands of years, and if you train with my DVDs then you'll be doing it this way. In fact, I didn't know there was another way until I came to the UK. 

Yesterday, a student showed me a book about the science of exercise, which has a chapter on stretching. Latest research shows that the way Shaolin Disciples warm up and stretch is the way to get maximum performance from our workout. There's a belief in the West that stretching before a warm up is good but research has shown that it has no benefit and doesn't bolster performance. The other myth is the only way to flexibility is through static stretching. To quote from the book: "Dynamic stretching may be the most important element of a warm up... it involves moving and waking the tissues that will be called upon during the subsequent exercise." It's also the way to become more flexible. 

This way of preparing for a workout is not just for martial artists but all athletes.

For more information on Shaolin Training please visit shifuyanlei.com

Senin, 13 Mei 2013

The Goalless Goal

Shaolin Training doesn't underestimate a person's strength of body and mind. The masters knew how much we could achieve and they wouldn't let us get away with anything less. The first goal young disciples have when they come to the Shaolin Temple is "Never Give Up." This means the thought of quitting is not a seed in our mind therefore it can never grow into a tree.

While holding this goal, we follow the philosophy of Zen, which is to train just to train. We're told the importance of aimlessness and letting go.
"The harder you try to grab something, the further away it goes," my master told me.

So how does aimlessness and the goal of Never Give Up sit comfortably together? Maybe the word goal should be changed to intention. "It's my intention to never give up." And once that statement is made then it's like sitting on a plane and knowing the destination is Beijing. We don't need to think anymore about where we're heading. Our mind is no longer caught up thinking maybe I should head to Chicago or London instead. There's no way we can get off the plane, so we let go and focus on the journey. The goalless goal is another way of simplifying our life.

For more information visit shifuyanlei.com

Selasa, 30 April 2013

Circuit Of Change

Some people call circuit training a shortcut to fitness. It burns up to 30% more fat than a typical workout, while rapidly elevating fitness levels. If you're a runner and you mix in circuit training, you'll find an improvement in your long distance times. 

Many people ask me if I do weight training. I don't. My Shaolin Circuit Training DVDs are the main workout I do on a daily basis. These DVDs are designed for fit busy people who want results fast. Combining push ups with punches while keeping the heart rate elevated means the muscle are being constantly challenged.  If you're pushed for time then you'll achieve more from circuit training than any other type of exercise

Shaolin Circuit Training combines cardio and strength training into 9 tough interval circuits.  The level of intensity depends on how hard you push yourself but you should be working at an uncomfortable level of exertion the entire time. How many punches can you do in round one? How many kicks can you do in round five? How about the final round? It's a good idea to make a note of this so you can track your improvement.

Alternate between the Circuit Training Volume 1 and 2 on different days so you're focusing on building the strength of your arms or legs and improving the skill of your punches and kicks. I recommend you alternate these two DVDs twice a week and then, if your doing 5 or 6 workouts a week, do any volume from Shaolin Bootcamp or Shaolin Workout. If you've more time then you don't need to follow the Qigong at the end of the DVD but can do your favourite Qigong followed with the Instant Health Massage. And remember, even though you're out of breath, it's still the breath of Qi. Training in Shaolin means everything we do is a meditation. Even circuit training.

Shaolin Circuit Training is not suitable for beginners.
 Shifu Yan Lei teaches a graded path to Shaolin. Click for more details

Selasa, 23 April 2013

Shifu Yan Lei talks about his daily workout, diet, and meditation

What's your daily workout like?

My training day usually starts with either a 10 or 12k jog or interval running, sprinting 800 meters then resting for 800 meters and doing this 4 times or varying my runs like I show in my youtube video. I then do some circuit training, the same as on my DVD though I mix the punches and kicks together. I think it's important to sweat when you're training, only this is true training. In the afternoon I do bag work, and pad work if there's someone at the temple to hold pads. I finish off with Iron Shirt Qigong and combine Iron Shirt conditioning with Instant Health Massage using a metal brush.

Can the average person hack Shaolin training?

Shaolin is for everybody. Of course the average person doesn't have 4 hours a day to train but a lot can be accomplished in one hour five days a week. This is enough to be healthy and fit. If you're not close to a school and train from my DVDs then you need to make a program. The best DVDs for fitness are the Bootcamp and Circuit TrainingDVDs but you need a level of fitness before you can embark on them. Like all things, take one step at a time. Most people have no desire to do hard Qigong but they  have a desire to have more energy and increase their longevity so they do Eight Treasures.

You've talked about the Shaolin Monk's diet in another post, but how important is diet to you?

The more you do Shaolin martial arts, the more you tune into your body and the harder it is to eat badly. If you're craving unhealthy food, don't worry about it, start working out the Shaolin way and the cravings will go away of their own accord. Before I train I eat a lot of noodle and vegetable with some meat then a banana, which is a great thing to eat before training as it helps to keep sugar levels up. We don't use ovens in China but something new I've discovered in the West is roasted sweet potato. Very healthy and a better carbohydrate than potato. I eat fruit and nuts through out the day. I tend to cook two days food in advance so when I come home and I'm hungry my food is already prepared.

How focused are you on Buddhism and Zen meditation?

I'm a simple person. I feel that many Western people read too many books and this makes their mind complicated. My master gave me one sutra, The Hui Neng Sutra, and he told me not to sit in meditation but to make training my meditation. Zen is about experience, not knowledge. When people do kung fu or Qigong forms, they get a taste of this Zen experience and then there are no questions. The important thing is not to look outside, but work with where we are and what we have here and now. There's no need to go to the temple, the temple is right here and now

Shifu Yan Lei teaches a graded path in Shaolin Kung Fu and Qigong, click here for more information.