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Monthly Archives: June 2019

  • Is It OK to Exercise If You're Sore?

    If you exercise regularly, you're no stranger to discomfort. It might be the burn you feel as lactic acid builds up in your muscle or the soreness that follows in the days after.

    Delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, is common, particularly for those who are new to working out or are returning to the gym after a long absence. The pain and discomfort level can become so high that it can discourage you from exercising.

    Even though it hurts, you shouldn't skip a gym session.

    DOMS arises from difficult workouts that cause micro-tears in the muscle. It's the tears that cause the feeling of soreness. Don't be alarmed; while it sounds like intentionally tearing your muscles would be a bad thing, these micro-tears cause the muscle to grow and become stronger.

    These tears do need time to heal. Because your muscles need time to recuperate and grow, you should give sore muscles 1 to 2 days of rest before exercising them hard again. So, if your chest and triceps are really sore from an exercise routine, you need to take some time off and let them rest before doing another chest and triceps workout.

    That doesn't mean you can't exercise. Many workout programs are designed with this mind, and give muscles ample time to recover before working them out again. Classic weightlifting programs such as the push/pull workouts, or the legs/chest/back workouts, allow for 1 to 2 days between sessions for muscle recovery.

    The upshot? You can work out if you're sore. Don't exercise the same muscle groups that are hurting. Do legs one day and exercise your upper body the next. By doing so, you'll still be able to get exercise and allow your lower body to recover and rebuild.

    If you aren't following a pre-planned routine (why not), just make sure that you're giving your muscles ample time to recover. For example, don't do a bunch of squats one day and a tough lunge workout the next. Break those workouts up by another day or so and you'll see improved results.

    Remember, you get the results you want when you allow your body to rest. When your body is taking a nap, hanging with your friends or lounging, your body is rebuilding. If you keep doing chest exercises every day, you're going to create imbalances, and possibly injure yourself.

    Everybody's gym team

  • Using a workout schedule can be the deciding factor in your weight loss success formula. While any physical exercise is certainly better than none at all, seeing results greatly depends on consistency, frequency and efficiency.

    Consistency

    Life happens in sometimes very unpredictable ways, but we always make it to work or to doctor appointments. Unless you schedule your workouts in the same way you might fall off the exercise wagon rather sooner than later due to simply "being busy."

    Reaching your weight loss goals requires consistent effort. A random walk around the block may temporarily relieve your guilty conscience, but it certainly won't melt that stubborn belly fat. Choose specific days and times for your physical activity and stick to them. Before you know it you will be celebrating the mile stones of your gradual progress.

    Frequency

    Although it is important to fit your workout schedule around your other obligations, you can hardly expect to get a six-pack from doing ten crunches once a week. If you are serious about slimming down, or toning up, you have to be realistic and put in enough effort to make it happen. Working out less than three times a week might help with weight maintenance, but in order to keep your metabolism in over-drive you have to commit to working out on at least four to six days a week.

    Efficiency

    Science has come a long way, even in the fields of exercise and weight loss. Instead of wasting your time with boring workouts that fail to produce the desired results, you can now take advantage of proven formulas. The fitness master minds behind sculpting the hot bodies in Hollywood have figured out that it is possible to achieve dramatic results in a short time period without plastic surgery. They had their clients tweak their workout frequency, intensity and nutrition to reach their optimal results.

    While the basic equation of weight loss equals reduced calories consumed minus calories burned still applies, the perfect timing, intensity and frequency of your workout can dramatically speed up your results. But not to worry, you don't have to figure these factors out for yourself. There are plenty of effective workout programs available that take the guess work out of successful training. The much acclaimed P90X and Insanity workout programs by Beachbody? are excellent examples of programs to help you reach your goals.

    Active logoStay consistent with a fitness class.



    Fitness & Weight Loss 101 Examiner Astrid Bidanec has her masters in journalism and 16 years of experience writing on fitness, weight loss and sports.

    Examiner.com is the inside source for everything local. Powered by Examiners, the largest pool of knowledgeable and passionate contributors in the world, we provide unique and original content to enhance life in your local city wherever that may be.

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  • Benefits of HIIT Training

    Benefits of HIIT Training: 8 Reasons HIIT Workouts are So Effective

    Time is one of our most precious resources and we never seem to have enough of it. Some days, it might be easy to skip a workout because you feel that you might not have enough time to make it worthwhile. But you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to see results—you simply need to make sure that the time you do spend exercising is as efficient and effective as possible.

    Here are eight reasons why you can spend less time exercising with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and still get great results:

    1. Anaerobic interval training uses the body’s reserves of energy and, after a workout, metabolism stays elevated and continues to burn calories for hours after the workout. This is due to something called the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) effect. With HIIT, you not only burn a lot of calories during the workout, but because of the high intensity you will continue to burn calories as your body replaces energy and repairs muscle proteins damaged during exercise.

    2. Not only does your body metabolize fat for fuel during the workout, during the post-exercise recovery period after HIIT exercise the body will tap into fat stores for the energy required to restore it to its normal resting state.

    3. Your body burns calories at a rate of 5 calories per liter of oxygen consumed. In general, using exercise to increase the oxygen demands on your body will increase total caloric expenditure both during and after the workout. Short intervals of extremely high-intensity exercise involving a lot of muscle mass require a tremendous amount of oxygen, during both the work interval and the recovery periods.

    4. HIIT produces a significant amount of metabolic waste, including hydrogen ions and lactic acid. The major reason for an active recovery interval is to remove these waste products to allow the involved muscles to perform the next high-intensity bout. As a result, HIIT workouts train your body to tolerate and quickly recover from periods of high-intensity exercise.

    5. HIIT can promote a number of physiological benefits, such as increased mitochondrial density, improved stroke volume, improved oxidative capacity of muscle and enhanced aerobic efficiency, which was previously thought to occur only as a result of long, slow distance (LSD) training protocols.

    6. HIIT places a significant amount of metabolic stress on muscle tissue. As part of the repair process, the body will produce elevated levels of human growth hormone, testosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 to repair damaged muscle proteins, which lead to increases in muscle volume and definition.

    7. Many health clubs and workout studios are applying this science to develop group fitness programs that feature HIIT workouts in formats that are 30 minutes or less. These formats enable you to do more work and receive numerous health benefits in less time.

    8. Exercise intensity can be measured with a scale of perceived exertion, where 1 is low intensity and 10 is the highest intensity you can tolerate. For the greatest benefits, HIIT should be performed at an eight or higher for periods lasting 30 seconds or less (or to the point of breathlessness). Recovery intervals should be as long or slightly longer than the work interval (or until breathing is quick, but under control). An effective workout should have a five- to seven-minute warm-up period to elevate heart rate, a minimum of five high-intensity work intervals and a four- to six-minute cool-down period to help start the recovery process.

    One of the most common misperceptions about exercise that it is necessary to spend hours busting your butt and sweating buckets to obtain benefits like weight loss, muscle growth and improved overall health and well-being. Instead of working longer, work smarter by using short intervals of extremely high-intensity exercise. HIIT is extremely effective, but it can place a tremendous amount of stress on the body. Therefore, it should only be performed two to three times a week with at least 48 hours between exercise sessions to allow a full replenishment of energy stores and to repair of involved muscle tissue. It is still possible to exercise the day after a HIIT session, but it should be a low- to moderate-intensity activity and use different muscle groups or movement patterns than those used in the high-intensity workout.

    For individuals with a training goal related to increasing aerobic endurance, such as competing in a 10K, marathon or triathlon, it is still important and necessary to do high-volume LSD training. For individuals training for an endurance event, using a HIIT protocol can help to maintain your training efforts on those days when time is short and the temptation to skip a workout is at its peak.

    Everybody's gym team

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