This guide will spell out specific ways to exercise, give you some routines to follow and help you reach your strength, cardiovascular and flexibility goals.
How to Start a Morning Workout Routine For many, waking up at 4am for a morning workout sounds like pure evil. For others, starting the day off with a morning sweat session is the only way to go. Though not ideal for all, morning workouts are a great way to avoid crowded, afternoon gyms and start the day off in a healthy manner. Since waking up even earlier than normal is a somewhat painful experience, proper planning is important in creating a smooth transition from sleeping in to getting active.
How to Ruin a Calorie Deficit A calorie deficit is the "magic" that makes weight loss possible. It is the difference between the amount of energy you burn and eat; the shortfall of energy caused by eating less and moving more. If your body burns 2,000 calories per day and you only eat 1,500, that extra 500 calories comes from non-food sources (typically body fat) causing weight loss. Creating a healthy calorie deficit requires exercising more, monitoring your food intake and making smart food choices. Here are a few ways to ruin a calorie deficit and create a failing weight loss strategy.
Full Body vs. Split Routine Shifting from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one goes a long way in providing some very important health benefits. Strength training, a specific type of exercise, builds muscle, increases bone density and speeds up metabolism. There are two main types of strength training workouts, each with its own benefits: full body and split routines.
The Fat Burning Zone If you use any of the cardio equipment at the gym, you've probably used its built in fat burning program. Before you get too excited about all the fat you're going to lose, you should know why these types of programs aren't the best idea for getting toned or even losing weight.
Making Your Workout More Effective Exercising is about meeting an end goal. Whether you want to look better, lose weight or gain muscle, physical activity can help get you there. To make your workout more effective, there are some steps you should take which will allow you to reach your goals quicker and set even more ambitious ones.
Strength Training and Weight Loss When most people think about exercise and losing weight, they automatically picture running, biking or swimming - a high intensity workout that burns a large amount of calories. They focus all their effort on cardio and completely ignore any of the benefits a strength training routine has to offer.
Getting into Shape for Beginners So you have a sedentary lifestyle but want to become more active in order to look better, feel great and be healthy. Unfortunately, becoming fit isn't an easy task to complete after being inactive for a number of years. Soon after starting you'll get sore, tired and may even want to quit.
Overtraining Becoming active is a positive step that will improve your health and the way you look. Even exercising as little as two days per week will yield results but pushing yourself too hard too fast will cause you to get muscle pain, weakness and even more serious injuries.
Exercise for Turning Fat into Muscle Infomercials can lead us to believe that turning fat into muscle is as easy as taking a pill. Unfortunately turning fat into muscle is a myth and doesn't actually work like that in real life.
Abs Exercise Routine The hardest part to starting an exercise routine is actually committing yourself to doing so. Once you're sure that you want to add exercise into your daily life, you have to ask yourself a few questions.
Exercise Plateaus When you first start an exercise routine, you'll find that you improve rather quickly. Your mile time decreases and you start lifting more weights. Sooner or later this levels off and you reach a plateau.
Reduce Body Fat Through Exercise Not all exercising will reduce your body fat equally. The type, duration and intensity of your routine will determine how effectively you lower your body fat percentage.
Speed Up Your Metabolism You can speed up your metabolism but you'll have to do more than sitting in the living room and watching TV.
Three Parts to a Successful Workout There is more to exercise than jumping on a treadmill, lifting weights or playing basketball. To avoid injury and maximize gains, a warm up, stimulus (or conditioning) and cool down must be included in your routine.
Guidelines for Cardiovascular Exercise Cardiovascular (or aerobic) exercise might seem like an easy thing to pick up and do. For many it is, but others have questions: what kind of exercise should I do, how far should I run? For those, the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) provides a few guidelines.
Guidelines for Flexibility Training Flexibility is not the most important part of a workout for most people. Cardio and weights are the first two things that come to your mind when thinking of fitness but flexibility should also be in there.
Guidelines for Resistance Training Many people are afraid to start training with weights. Some think they'll injure themselves and others don't know where to start.
How can I lose inches off my stomach? The stomach is a problem area for most people because the body loves storing fat in the midsection. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions and crazy ideas on how to lose inches off your stomach. There are diets, exercise plans and even creams that claim to help burn off that extra fat, but the truth is that there is only one way to do it: eat less and move more.
What's the difference between a calorie deficit and calorie surplus? Whether you're trying to gain weight, lose weight or simply stay where you're at, you need to control your calorie intake. Gaining weight requires that you eat more calories than you burn while losing weight requires the opposite. Your calorie balance (difference between what you eat and what you burn) will determine your weight, there is no way around it.
Is exercising everyday bad? Exercise has many positive health effects. Going from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one will lower your blood pressure, decrease your risk for certain diseases and make you feel better about yourself. Some people might take this a step further and justify over exercising.
How much exercise is too much? Every single person is different. Some can tolerate more exercise than others so making one rule for everyone is close to impossible. Most guidelines recommend at least 3 days of exercise per week and not more than 5 or six.
What's more important: strength training or cardio? Both strength training and cardiovascular exercise have their own specific advantages. Cardio is usually linked to weight loss and improving muscular endurance while strength training is thought of as a workout only for those wanting to get buff.
Should I lose weight or build muscle first? When you're trying to lose weight and build muscle, the question is often, 'Which one should I do first: lose weight or build muscle?' This question is looking at the problem from the wrong angle.
Is it OK to exercise before breakfast? There are a lot of early birds who like to wake up before the sun comes up and exercise first thing in the morning, before eating breakfast. While this can be tempting to save time, it might not be the best idea.
How often should I change my workout? To get stronger and bigger, you need to stimulate your muscles through exercise. It's not so much the exercise that makes your muscles grow (although exercise is needed), it's the change from doing nothing to forcing your muscles to work that causes them to respond.
Should I use a sports drink (Gatorade, Powerade) while I workout? The claim made by sport drink manufacturers is that their product is superior to water. It contains electrolytes and sugar to replenish what is lost during exercise so that it can boost performance.
What's the difference between machines and free weights? Both machines and free weights can be part of a good resistance training routine. As long as you're using a weight sufficient to stimulate your muscles to grow, either one will do the job.
How long should I wait before exercising the same muscle? When you workout a muscle, what you're doing is damaging the muscle in hopes that when it heals, it'll heal stronger.
What time of day should I exercise? You should exercise whenever you have time. If you are free the entire day the best time would be early in the day after you've had something to eat.
What should I do first: cardio or weights? The answer to this question depends on what your main goals are. Do whatever you want to be better at first.
Should I eat before, after or during my workout? The timing of your meals in relation to when you exercise is very important. If you eat too early you'll be hungry and might not have enough energy to complete your routine.
Top 5 Ways to Increase Exercise Intensity Exercise is a structured way of providing a stimulus to the body in order to improve mobility, increase strength & endurance, decrease disease risk and improve overall wellness. The threshold of what constitutes exercise differs from person to person and depends on factors such as fitness level, age, weight, health and strength. What one person considers grueling might be a warm-up for someone else. Regardless of fitness level, the only way to improve is to continuously push yourself. Exercise increases the workload the body is capable of handling. As strength and endurance go up, the body becomes accustomed to a constant workload; what was once sufficient is no longer enough to cause gains. To see improvements in physique, performance and health, you need to constantly increase intensity.
Top 5 Exercise Myths Why can't exercise be simple? All the different types and benefits of exercise makes starting a physically active lifestyle complicated. With all the information available on exercise, it's difficult to differentiate between the ineffective garbage and what actually works. Here are a few of the most popular exercise myths. If an established exercise source gives you these pieces of advice, it's time to reevaluate who to trust.
Top 5 Signs You're Working Out too Much Exercise has plenty of health benefits including lower blood pressure, increased muscle mass and higher bone density. If some exercise is good, a lot of exercise must be even better, right? Wrong. While some exercise is good, too much physical activity can lead to weakness, injuries and excessive soreness.
Top 5 Alternatives to Running Running is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise you can find. It's great at burning calories, lowering your body fat percentage and improving the health of your cardiovascular system. Unfortunately, running can also be hard on your joints and can cause some injuries. Fortunately, there are plenty of other forms of exercise that can replace running.
Top 5 Ways to Fix a Boring Weight Training Routine Lets face it, we all get bored with our workout routine. Going to the gym everyday and lifting the same weight can get tiring when you're doing it four or even five times per week. But don't worry, there are ways you can avoid and even stop the boredom from affecting your gains.
Free Workout Routine This tool will provide you with a daily workout routine tailored to your goals and schedule. Whether you want to tone up or build muscle, the SH Trainer has a plan for you.
Calorie Calculator The calorie calculator uses physical characteristics (weight, height, age, gender), activity level and weight goals (gain, lose or maintain weight) to estimate daily calorie needs. In addition to calorie estimations, the calculator provides: BMR, BMI, healthy weight range, macronutrient distribution and meal & snack size examples.
Maximum Heart Rate and Intensity Calculator This tool will calculate your target heart rate based on your age and desired intensity level.
Body Fat & Body Density Calculator This tool will calculate your body fat percentage using measurements you obtained with a skinfold caliper.