Running Versus Full-Body Workout: Which is More Efficient in Burning Fat?

When it comes to fat-loss programs, most people understand how important cardiovascular training is, and often they include running into their routines. Running is one of the best exercises for fat loss, no doubt, and I myself have developed a habit of running at least an hour each day before going to work. If you’re planning to see faster and better results, however, you shouldn’t ignore full-body workouts. Of course, how efficient each of these two routines are will totally depend on your goal. If you wish to simply improve your cardiovascular health, running should be enough for you. If you wish to have a well-developed frame, though, adding a full-body workout into the equation is what you need to do.

Photo Credit: See Ming Lee (Flickr.com)

Photo Credit: See Ming Lee (Flickr.com)

Running Vs. Full-Body Workout

In Terms of Calories Burned

How much calories you burn is the most important thing when you’re trying to burn fat and lose weight. In order to lose fat, you should be able to burn more calories than you take in. Depending on your weight, you will be able to lose up to 266 calories by lifting weights vigorously for 30 minutes. In comparison, running for 30 minutes at a speed of 5mph will let you lose up to 355 calories. In this case, running has the upper hand in terms of amount of calories burned.

In Terms of Metabolism

In terms of impact to your metabolism, lifting weights offers more benefits than running. Running improves your cardiovascular health and lets you lose more calories than lifting weights, but when you talk about long-term effects, lifting weights has the advantage. The reason is that weight training revs up your metabolism better, which in turn increases the rate at which your body burns calories. What’s even more interesting is that intensive weight training gets your metabolism going for days, letting your body shed calories even while you’re resting.

In Terms of Muscles Developed

In terms of muscles worked, it’s obvious that a full-body workout lets you work more muscles than running. The thing is, the more muscles you work at the same time, the more fat you are burning and the quicker the results you get. Running, on the other hand, simply improves your lower body and does not result much in muscle growth, which is a primary factor in burning bodily fat.

Your Move

To conclude, a full-body workout lets you burn more calories than running and the results are for long term. The best move you can make, however, is to combine the two to get the best results. This is especially true if you wish to spend more time on growing your muscles, without having to let go of your passion for running. A good move would be to sign up for a full-body workout program that allows you to add in two runs per week at the same time.

Meanwhile, you might also want to invest in workout supplements such as muscle pharm assault. Taking supplements is not really necessary if you wish to grow muscles, but if you desire to grow your muscles to their maximum potential, there’s no other way than to invest in high-quality supplements.

Bodybuilding and Its Pros and Cons

Just like with most of the things we do in life, there are two sides to them: the good and the bad. For example, although we get a wealth of information from the World Wide Web, we also find info and images there that can be abhorrent.

If you plan to get into bodybuilding to get all buffed up, you also have to know its advantages and disadvantages so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into. Remember that old age, ‘Look first before you leap.’ Another expression that expresses the same caveat is ‘forewarned is forearmed.’

Here are some of the pros and cons when it comes to bodybuilding:

The Pros

Learning discipline – If there’s one thing you’ll learn when you’re in a fitness program, it’s discipline. As it is with any other sport, you have to develop a commitment to your routine. When you know you have to be in the gym regularly to meet your goals, it instills that self-discipline for you to keep going and stick with your schedule.

Maintaining and improving your health – Ensuring our physical well-being entails optimum physical activity. Bodybuilding is a well-rounded fitness activity that requires one to lead a healthy lifestyle, which means staying away from unhealthy food, beverages, practices, and vices.

Boosting your self-esteem – When you look and feel healthy and physically fit, you also feel more confident. Those who feel good about themselves can easily improve their self-esteem compared to those who think they don’t look good enough (although looks don’t necessarily make a man).

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The Cons

Potential muscle damage – There are those who can get overzealous and lift weights that are beyond their capacity and even outside of their program. Needless to say, doing something beyond our body’s capacity can be risky. Lifting too much and too often is inviting damage not only to our muscles, but even to our bones.

Danger of dehydration – When you do intense workouts, you also sweat excessively. When there’s too much water being dispelled instead of taken in, you increase your chance of getting dehydrated. Dehydration can cause your body to lose electrolytes and eventually lead to dizziness and even arrhythmias.

Taking too much protein – Protein is, without question, needed by anyone, even those who are not into bodybuilding. However, excess protein can actually put a lot of stress on your organs, especially on your kidneys. Just like with anything, take and do things in moderation and consume only the right amount for you.

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of bodybuilding equips you with the info you need to avoid its harmful effects and just enjoy its many benefits (you can check this article to read more about bodybuilding).

 

Choosing the Right Protein Bar

Protein, that essential nutrient our body can’t survive without. In fact, proteins are one of the building blocks of body tissue. They are also a source of fuel, like a component in petrol to keep a car engine running.

This underscores the importance of getting the required amount of protein into our body via the food we eat. Whether or not you’re in a fitness program, you should have your own daily dose of these essential nutrients.

However, for certain reasons, we can’t consume the recommended amount of protein on a daily basis. It can be because we can’t prepare our meals to include a good amount of these nutrients or the food we buy just doesn’t contain the amount we need. Don’t worry, though, as there’s a literally handy solution for that: protein bars. They’re convenient (since you can put them in your bag or even your pocket and take them with you wherever you go) and they can be an active replacement to your meals.

Of course, not all protein bars are created equal. In order to get the right one, here are tips:

Consider the carbs-to-protein ratio – The rule of thumb is, if it’s a protein bar, it should contain at least 15 grams of protein. Anything lower than that means you should have second thoughts on getting it. You also want to make sure that the protein content is higher than the carbs. Be sure to check the package to read how much protein is in the bar compared to the carbs.

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Check the protein source – When reading the label, be sure to also check if the bar contains high-quality sources of protein, including hydrolyzed whey, micellar casein, and whey isolates. Secondary sources would be whey or soy concentrates. There are cases wherein gelatin or collagen is added to the bar to improve its texture. Don’t forget to check the ingredients to find the protein types, which are usually arranged from highest to lowest in concentration.

Check the sugar, too – We all know that too much sugar can translate to more fat. The irony is that many of the protein bars you’ll find out there are loaded with sugar. Stay away from those that contain refined sugars, such as corn syrup, sucrose, and high-fructose corn syrup. If these ingredients are present, that protein bar is practically just another candy bar.

These are some of the things you have to remember when choosing an excellent protein bar (and if you want to know when to use protein powders, learn from relevant sources).

Fitness Tips for the Frequent Traveler

ImagePhoto Credits: Sancho McCann (flickr.com)

Staying fit and healthy is never an impossible goal – even if you are someone who needs to travel often.

All it takes is some amount of determination and creativity! So if you are headed to an upcoming vacation or business trip, take note of these practical fitness suggestions:

Take a Walk

You really won’t have to wait to get to your destination before you can begin doing this. Do some brisk walking as you move around the airport and you’ll have a good exercise. Carrying a luggage will even take the experience to a higher level. So think of it as a blessing rather than a burden. Just be sure to wear comfortable footwear to make the most of it.

Stretch after Flights

A lengthy plane ride can really make you feel tired and heavy. Doing post-flight stretches can help invigorate your body. Spend several minutes doing these stretches and your muscles will be able to shake off the feelings of exhaustion.

Bring Light Exercise Tools with You

While bringing the dumbbells will always be out of the question, you can choose from many other exercise equipment to carry with you during a trip. For example, a jumping rope can be a great pick.

Experts agree that doing jump ropes makes it possible for you to burn more calories than you could when performing other cardio exercises. You may also bring a resistance band and a heart rate monitor to get the most of your out-of-town workout.

Check Out Local Fitness Centers

Another idea you can consider is to go to gym while you are in your vacation destination. If you are there during the holidays, then this can prove to be an excellent timing. Most fitness centers grant discounts to clients to attract more gym-goers to come. Look around and try to sign up whenever you find a gym that allows one-time clients (this is, of course, assuming that you will not be staying there for a long time).

Don’t Forget Your Supplements

If you are taking any medications or supplements, never forget to bring them with you. Pill organizers are a nice tool but you may also use 6 pack bags. You can put meals, supplements shakers, and everything in one place. You may even throw in your laptop or tablet into this briefcase. Carrying this to a business meeting will not be a problem because it is extremely well-designed. Use this resource if you want to learn more about this bag.

Resource Link:
No Equipment Travel Workout (about.com)
Diet and Exercise Guidelines to Help Frequent Travelers Feel & Perform Better on the Road (travelfitness.com)

 

Speeding up Muscle Recovery

If you’re on a fitness regimen built around (no pun intended) increasing muscle mass, then that means you’re spending many hours lifting weights week in and week out. Pumping iron is indeed your way to getting a buffed up body. However, in between workouts, you also need to take time to allow your muscles to recover. By doing this, you can maximize your goal of improving strength and building your muscles. Besides, just like with every activity, you need to take time off from it.

Recovery is not just about getting a full rest altogether and not doing anything at all. There are actually certain things to keep in mind while you’re on a recovery phase of your bodybuilding regimen. Here are some of them:

Stay nimble during off-days – Between workout days, you should promote circulation by working your joints. Do activities that will make you move your arms, wrists, and knees in circles at low intensities. By doing that, you open and close your joints, which then brings fresh synovial fluids to lubricate, nourish, and hydrate those areas. At the same time, it also expels waste and scar tissue.

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Reduce muscle tension – There may be times when you’d feel pain in your muscles or tightening after a heavy training session in the gym. To ease the muscle tension, you can use a long, semi-soft foam tube to massage your tense or tightened muscles. Doing this breaks up scar tissue and knotting in your fascia. This is vital, because if knotting is left unattended, it can lead to nagging aches and pains in your joints. During off-days, spend at least half a minute to a minute rolling your sore muscle groups upon waking up, before going to bed at night, or any spare time you have during the day.

Do isometrics – During an off-day, replace your intense workouts with isometrics, which are gentle, controlled stretching and strength building exercises. By holding a certain position for a longer period, your muscles are still engaged, although at a lower intensity.

Perform overhead squats – The overhead squat can be used to increase mobility. It’s actually the king of mobility exercises. If you master it, you can improve your workouts. Aside from strengthening your joints, it also promotes blood flow to battle soreness.

Finally, you can also take supplements (like Myofusion) to support your recovery. There are supplements that are specially formulated for bodybuilders both for their workout and recovery days.

Don’t forget to follow the tips here on how to spend your non-workout days so you can have better recovery and get you prepped up again for another weightlifting day.

 

What’s In A Fat Burner?

Photo Credit: reduce84098 (flickr.com)

Photo Credit: reduce84098 (flickr.com)

 

Above all else, we love quick fixes – for our problems in life and for our personal issues including our weight loss efforts. Of course, it would be hypocritical to say that you love to do things the hard way and that you wouldn’t have it any other way even if you knew there was an easier way to do it. I for one, know of a lot of people who would rather not do the diet and exercise thing as long as they had a really great diet pill to take every time they binged.

However, that’s not how real life works and we all know that anything easily gotten is also just as easily lost. In the case of weight loss, anything lost easily can be easily put back on, with more besides. Not only  have you subjected your body to a unnecessary bout of yo-yo dieting, you’ve also compromised its ability to lose weight somehow so that the next time you do attempt to work hard, it won’t be as receptive to your efforts.

Now who want to go through all that drama? Sure, supplementing your training with a good fat burner is fine, judging by the many weight loss supplements flooding the market. But the reason you want to lose weight shouldn’t only be about getting a great body to show off – you should also aim for getting a healthy body so you can be more productive and live better and longer. A buff body is just the icing on the cake so to speak.

It is really no surprise why the diet pill industry is enjoying such a huge popularity. Imagine over a billion people in the world all wanting to look good and look good fast – who wouldn’t want to cash in on that given the way the economy is these days. But the thing is, people tend to grab and buy now and then ask questions later and this often leads to more disappointment and I don’t mean just the results.

When something doesn’t happen or at least doesn’t happen fast enough, we all get disappointed and think that something is either wrong with us or with the product we bought. The problem perhaps lies in the fact that we don’t really think about what we’re buying as long as it claims to do what you want it to do on the label. However, that’s not to say that these supplements are a complete waste of your money but it’s just a matter of finding one that meets your fitness goals and being realistic in your expectations.

Supplements like oxyelite pro for instance, work well when combined with a good exercise or fitness program. Of course, needless to say you also have to go on a strict diet regimen to help things along and while I can already hear the collective groans of people who hate this part about losing weight, you all know that it’s the key to everything you are hoping for. You are also encouraged to consult nutritionists and browse for tried-and-tested weight loss strategies to help you with your weight loss endeavors.

Another thing that will ensure your fat burners will work is if you do thorough research on the ingredients they contain. In recent years, a spate of fat burners with ingredients like carnitine, chromium picolinate and ephedrine have dominated the market and were eagerly bought off the shelves by people who were desperate, to say the least, to lose weight and fast. While both carnitine and chromium  picolinate have gone off to prove themselves worthy, fat burning supplements with ephedrine have been banned by the FDA in 2004 due to the fact that due to its negative side effects including tremors, headaches, insomnia, heart arrhythmias, increased blood pressure and dizziness.

In choosing the best weight loss supplements, you need to really read the label. If there’s even one ingredient that you’re not familiar with or can’t even pronounce, you should just leave it alone. Also, despite repeated warnings about their inability to work and compromise your health, there are still supplements that are being sold online and off that contain banned ingredients so keep yourself in the loop so that you don’t accidentally buy these supplements. And lastly, always consult a qualified physician about any supplements you want to take before you incorporate them in your exercise program.

 

You might also like:

Seven Dangerous Myths About Weight Loss – Or Are They Little White Lies? (forbes.com)

Beware Untested Diet Pills (webmd.com)

 

The Shocking Truth about Cardiovascular Exercises

exercise

Photo credit: Caroline Schiff Photography (flickr.com)

No matter how we try to avoid it, cardiovascular exercises are important routines that should always be included in our work out routines. These exercises should always are included in our fitness plans.

Cardiovascular exercises are exercise routines that usually get the heart pumping and working extra. Cardio exercises promote the blood flow in the body. Cardiovascular exercises are believed to burn off extra calories in our body, the more you burn, the leaner your body gets and the more muscles you develop.

Fat loss in not the only thing that we can benefit from cardio exercises – there is more to it. Listed below are a few of them.

A Healthier Health

We often forget that our heart is a muscle. The more you work it out, the stronger it gets. The less you pay attention on it, the weaker it will get in time. A weak heart will definitely bring a lot of complications and problems in the future.

In doing cardio exercises, be sure to start with the basic and improve gradually trough time. Avoid pushing yourself too much because this is not good for you heart. Start from the basic exercises and gradually introduce energy consuming ones as you improve.

Include bodybuilding supplements in your diet. Muscle pharm assault supplements are very advisable pre-workout supplements that will help you in achieving your fitness goals.

Fires up Metabolism

We burn a lot of calories when we do cardio exercises. Calories are unused energy in the body which is in the form of fats. The faster and frequently we burn fats in the body, the better our metabolism will be. The more intense your exercises are the more intense and fired-up your metabolic rate will be. With these, weight loss and building muscle is pretty much enhanced.

Improved Hormonal Profile

Doing cardio exercises is like drinking the happy pill. You feel better and more confident about yourself. You also tend to walk away from the symptoms of depression and stress. People who regularly do cardiovascular exercises tend to have a more positive outlook in life compared to those who do not frequently do it.

Improved Recovery Ability

Cardiovascular exercises that are lower in intensity help you recover faster. Doing the treadmill or a few minutes in the stationary bike will help you fasten your body’s capability to repair itself after a rigorous work out activity. It also reduces the delayed onset of muscles soreness in the body. Fresh oxygen is also being transferred in the body making the recovery process even faster.

Cardiovascular exercises are not just regular going to exercise to lose fats and to build a stronger heart. There is more to cardio exercises than you could ever imagine.

Resource Link:

Workout Supplements: Important of Pre and Post Workout Food (healthmeup.com)

Working Out the Right Way – Tips for the Ladies (healthierpost.com)

Misconceptions About The Healthier Lifestyle

3Photo Credit: Malingering (flickr.com)

With all the really tasty junk food we have today, it’s difficult to go for a healthier lifestyle. It’s made even more difficult due to the fact that we’re all extremely busy. There’s no more time to go to the gym as some of us work after hours. After a stressful day, we simply just want to crash on our soft beds. And if working out and watching what you eat is hard enough for some, add to that the science behind each type of exercise. Targeting the abs, for one, has a lot of science behind it for the best results.

For the uninitiated, there are a lot of misconceptions. Perhaps one of the most common ones is that dieting means eating less. While this is true to some extent, it doesn’t mean you have to eat so little portions that makes your meals look like you’re in a gourmet restaurant. Dieting is a matter of regulating your carb intake, and getting more nutrients from your vegetables. If you really think about it, vegans have it nice. They can eat as much as they want and they’re still healthy.

Another popular misconception is that the more workouts you do, the better. It’s both true and false. It is true in a sense that more repetitions in your exercises can do wonders. It’s false in a sense that doing too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. By doing your workouts, you’re tearing your muscles. By overdoing your workouts, you’re not allowing them to heal up and this puts you at risk for a more permanent damage.

It’s the same with supplements. Protein powders give supplementary protein to help muscle recovery and development, but drinking them too liberally without regard for when to take them will make you big, but not fit.

It’s important that you understand that these supplements won’t work at all without the exercise. Taking from the protein powder example, you have to do your workout to shape your muscles. Protein powder is like clay and exercise is the molding process. To make the most of it, you have to mold your muscles through exercise.

This brings us to the supplements misconception: that they’re necessary. You can get in shape without them. Supplements merely provide a boost to your repetitions. You can always do workouts without doing any creatine bodybuilding and still get the same result. It will take longer, but it’s going to be worth it.
Related Links:

6 Ways to Shrink Your Belly (And 5 Don’t Include Exercise!) (huffingtonpost.com)

5 ways to flatten your belly (no crunches needed) (edition.cnn.com)

Possible Reasons You Still Don’t Have a Six-Pack

2Photo Credit: Melanie M (flickr.com)

Keeping yourself physically fit has a lot of accompanying benefits. For one, you get to be healthier, as you can’t really get fit without a healthy lifestyle. By being healthy, you become less prone to physical ailments. Being overweight or underweight can lead to infertility, for instance. At any rate, you may notice that when staying fit, it takes a lot longer to develop a flatter belly than with any other part of your body.

There are a lot of reasons for this. For one, the abs are one of the most difficult muscles to target. Each body part, whether the legs or arms or abs, often come with two or three exercises at the minimum to target them. The exercises involving the abs, however, aren’t complemented with our more mundane activities. For instance, lifting weights in the gym can be complemented by carrying heavy groceries. Leg exercises in the gym are complemented by taking the stairs at work. With abs, there isn’t a lot of methods outside the gym.

If you take supplements, know that while they may help you burn extra calories and develop your muscles faster, they don’t burn calories by themselves. Also, most supplements give you energy and muscle development and repair anyway. They usually don’t work on abs.

You may also want to know how the supplements you use work. For instance, creatine supplements give you a lot of water weight for extra strength and more reps at the gym. While it may help you develop your biceps and do more sit-ups, they may also make your belly look a lot bigger due to water weight.

Another possible reason for your abs to not quite look the way you want it to is because you have unrealistic expectations. You may see abs from TV or movies, but yours will never look like that. This isn’t to say you’ll never have a six-pack. Your abs will have their own look once they start to surface. And if you think not everyone has abs, think again. Everybody does. They’re just hidden beneath layers of belly fat, which, again, are extremely hard and time-consuming to get rid of.

Finally, you may be doing a lot of crunches and sit-ups and other really good ab workouts, but they won’t really do any good if you’re not following proper diet and nutrition. Remember, abs are hidden beneath fat layers in the stomach. Unless they are gone, your abs won’t really show. So only by combining exercise and dieting will help you get a six-pack. Don’t worry, though, it really takes a long time to develop the abs so just keep at it so you’ll need to be determined.

Related Links:

Lose Belly Fat: 10 Best Exercises For 6-Pack Abs (huffingtonpost.com.ca)

6 fitness myths, busted (and 3 surprising facts) (edition.cnn.com)

Misconceptions About the Elusive Six-Pack

1Photo Credit: DaddyStarsky (flickr.com)

 

Within a few months of hard work and dedication, you can get the body build that you want. You may notice, however, that while your arms, chest, and legs are in good physical shape, you lack the six-pack you wanted despite your abs being flat and firm. You start to wonder what you did wrong, and become oblivious to the benefits of your strong abdominal muscles. Instead, you start to focus on aesthetics and change your workout routine in pursuit of that elusive six-pack.

Everyone wants a flat tummy, but it’s not enough for some people apparently. They  start incorporating a ton of crunches and sit-ups in all forms and varieties, not knowing that if they simply continue doing what they’re doing, they will eventually have the six-pack they so desire. This is one of the most common misconceptions of the six-pack: that it’s easy to get them. The reality is that the six-pack is the one of the last muscles to develop when you regularly work out.

Another misconception is the fact that crunches and sit-ups alone can help develop the six-pack. This isn’t entirely true. While crunches and sit-ups help, you will never have a six-pack if you do not continue your current nutrition plan and diet. Six-packs appear only when the fat has been drained out of your belly, and a good combination of diet and abdominal exercises will yield the fastest result. If you are building mass and taking creatine, your six-pack development may come even later as you will be filled with water weight.

Finally, there’s a misconception that doing a bunch of sit-ups and crunches everyday can get people a six-pack quicker. In reality, doing too much of it can be counterproductive. There’s a reason that gym-goers have rest days. When you work out, your muscles get pulled and torn. This is no different with abdominal workouts. Doing too much and not allowing your abdominal muscles to recover risks serious damage.

The best way to go about getting a six-pack is a healthy diet and nutrition, regular trips to the gym for exercise, and sufficient rest. If you’re taking supplements, you can go for those that not only help you build muscle but fat burners as well. For instance, if you’re taking creatine, you can take a look at the different forms of creatine and see which ones you can benefit most from considering your current exercise regimen.

Related Links:

The Big Fat Six-Pack Myth (huffingtonpost.com.uk)

There’s more to fab abs than just exercise (edition.cnn.com)