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October 21, 2014
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 in Health & Fitness

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has recently become one of the most popular ways for exercisers to burn fat. HIIT increases metabolism and works both the aerobic (oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen) energy systems. HIIT can be just as effective as a regular workout except it takes less time. The #1 reason people say they do not exercise is because they do not have enough time in their day, but HIIT can take less than 10 minutes to perform. Another great aspect about HIIT is that no equipment is needed. Listed below are a couple of HIIT programs you can try.

Walk or jog for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of sprinting. Repeat 6 or 7 times with no rest periods in between. Gradually increase the rounds performed as the number you complete become progressively easier.

You could also use HIIT training with calisthenics.  Perform 10 repetitions of sit-ups, followed by 10 repetitions of push-ups, followed by 10 repetitions of jumping jacks. You can substitute other exercises such as squats or triceps dips as well, depending on which muscle groups you want to focus on.  In this case you could increase both the number of rounds and the repetitions per set to make the workouts more intense over time.

This workout format is not for beginners.  You should have at least an intermediate level of fitness before trying this type of training.  It is also imperative that you are warmed up prior to starting your session.  Five to ten minutes of walking on a treadmill should be sufficient in preparing the muscles for the intensive nature of this training.

For those who participate in martial arts classes or combat competition, this style of training is an excellent supplement to your activity.  It mirrors the intensity and duration of the training in mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, and boxing.

October 9, 2014
Exercises All Individuals Should Perform
Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2014 in Health & Fitness

Whether you belong to a gym or like to work out at home, certain exercises should be a part of your routine at least three days per week.

1.  Squat.  The squat is considered the best lower body exercise and can be performed with or without weights.  It benefits all areas of the lower body and benefits the heart due to its use of so many auxillary muscles.

2.  Push Ups.  This exercise works multiple body parts in the upper body and forces the core to keep the body steady.

3.  Crunches. Crunches are excellent for the abdominal area assisting in both core strength and improved posture.  Be cautious not to do full sit ups as they can cause stress and potential injury to the lumbar vertabrae.

4.  Mountain Climbers.  This exercise is a great conditioning calisthenic that uses muscles from many areas of the body and is great for heart health and cardiovascular conditioning.

5. Jumping Jacks.  This is another very good conditioning calisthenic that is beneficial to both cardiovascular and heart health.

The primary characteristic of these five movements is that they require no equipment, not too much space, and can be performed by nearly anyone that doesn’t suffer from an ongoing physical limitation.  Modifications can be made in all of these exercises so that individuals of different strength and fitness levels can benefit from these elements of fitness.

Initially, start with 2 sets of 10-12 repetitions with a break of 30-60 seconds between each set.  If you are unsure of your fitness level or physical capability, see a physician prior to starting this workout regiment.  If you are already of a higher fitness level, increase the sets and repetitions, and decrease the rest time to suit a higher intensity workout environment.

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