Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Considering the acid diet

The alkaline acid diet advocates consuming more alkaline foods. Alkalizing foodstuffs are fruit and vegetables. A healthy vegetarian diet, not one with an absence of meat, eating a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables would be an example of the alkaline acid diet.

There are many dietary choices that can be followed to improve our overall health. Searching the internet today we can see that there are a variety of dietary choices that can be followed to better our physical well being. When choosing a diet it is important to think about what our goals are. Loosing weight, putting on weight or simply becoming healthier are all things we may be able to achieve if we select a diet that is right for us.

Initially for those thinking about changing their diet, thinking about what goals they want to accomplish is necessary. It is important to remember that exercise is also necessary if we want to achieve any of the goals above. Some important aspects to consider are that a new dietary regime might have a big effect on your life style. Are you ready? Further are diets that claim to promise speedy weight loss without any effort on your part to be believed?

There are 3 aspects of our lifestyle that are important as we work towards our ideal health goals. These are sleep, exercise and diet. Lacking in any 1 of these areas will make it much harder to achieve our aims.

The alkaline acid diet can be effective for those keen on weight loss or improving their condition overall. Bulking up is slightly more difficult although not impossible as very high protein consumption puts an acid load on the body.

Eating more fresh fruit and vegetables is good for our general health. As such, going on the alkaline acid diet for health is worthy of consideration.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Winsor Pilates

Pilates is a form of exercise that can help give a greater awareness of our own bodies. It aims to improve physical fitness and strengthen core muscles. Pilates can be used to improve posture as well as improve breathing.

It is a method of exercise that is designed to strengthen, elongate and restore the body to balance. Pilates is based upon an understanding of the body's muscular and skeletal functioning. Pilates teachers creates exercise programmes for their clients. Pilates classes are focussed on specific areas of the body whilst using other exercises to re-educate and restore the body to optimum muscular and skeletal functioning.

Concentration on muscles contractions is an important feature of pilates. This is similar to weight training using correct form. In weight training, throwing weights around trying to lift as much as possible is akin to doing Pilates all wrong. In Pilates, ensuring that all movements are carried out with precision and control is paramount. It is not simply a case of doing reps, the focus is on achieving perfect form.

There are different types of pilates that we can practice. From exercising with a Pilates reformer, working on a Pilates mat or even doing Winsor Pilates in front of the TV. Winsor Pilates fitness allows people to do Pilates in their own homes. This raises the question as to whether you can learn Pilates from a DVD or whether attending classes would provide a better method of instruction.

Pilates is a holistic approach to physical well being. It is recommend as one of the safest forms of exercise available today. Pilates can be beneficial for just about anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. Pilates could potentially be used as a desk exercise to help avoid things like back ache.

Monday, May 18, 2009

treadmill or road running?

Running is one of my favorite exercises. It is great for overall health and fitness and can be combined with a healthy diet creating one of the fastest ways to lose weight. For myself there are various considerations regarding where, when and how I run.

Quality running shoes are important to prevent injury. I don't always buy expensive running shoes however ensuring comfort and appropriate fit is necessary. Taking things slowly to begin with is also one of the best pieces of advice I received. Consistency over the long term being much more important than "going for it" one day only to become injured and unable to train for a week or longer. There are a variety of running websites detailing training plans which I have learned from. Another valuable piece of advice I found was to train in terms of time rather than distance. Running a distance often has the effect of making you want to do it faster and faster each time. However running, jogging or walking for a set time, e.g. 20 minutes means you become much less attached to your speed and focus instead on completing the chosen time. Using this type of routine means that over time, speed naturally increases. Although because it is not the focus I find it helps me from straining my muscles which causes me to take extra time off to recover.

One excellent way to train by time rather than distance is to run on a treadmill as opposed to running outside. There are differences between the two that may make either more attractive. Buying my own treadmill is not really something I have space for however there are cheap treadmill reviews available that can help you find something appropriate if you wanted your own. Personally I just use the treadmills at the local sports gym. Obviously there is the cost associated with going to the gym that I wouldn't have if I ran outside. However using a treadmill allows me to measure the exact time I run for. Other reasons I like using a treadmill at the gym is because I can choose the exact gradient I want to run at; I don't have to contend with traffic fumes; and stretching on the mats is really enjoyable.

Running outside is also great fun. I like going early in the morning before many cars are about and the streets are free.

The important thing for me is really to get out and take regular exercise.

Monday, May 4, 2009

abs exercises

I use four different exercises to develop my abdominal muscles. The first two will be know to most people who workout at a gym. The latter two exercises while being less common are probably more effective in developing your six pack.

Firstly I like to do sit ups on a decline bench. Rather than doing huge sets at a fast speed, I use a much slower exercise cadence of 4 up, pause for 2, then 4 down, hold for 2, then repeat, for 10 reps. all all stages of the exercise, my abs are being worked. By the end of the set my mid section is burning. This exercise works the upper abs in particular.

After a quick stretch I then go on to leg raises. My gym costs only $1 per visit so doesn't have all the equipment of more expensive places. For my leg raises I hang from a chin up bar and simply raise my knees towards my stomach. Again, using a slower cadence ensures a powerful burning sensation in the abs. Leg raises target the lower abs.

I usually only do two separate abs exercises on any one day. Next I will talk about two possibly less well known abs exercises.

The abs wheel, also known as an abs roller is a piece of exercise equipment that you can use to give your abs a serious workout. What I love about the abs rollers is that you don't have to do massive sets of 30-40 reps to get a good burn in your abs. Literally after 10 reps or so you know you've hit your muscles properly.

This is an excellent You Tube video showing you the correct form for exercising with an abs roller.

Finally I use the abs vacuum exercise. It is a really interesting exercise and versatile too. Once you get the technique down you can do it almost anywhere, e.g. sitting on a chair watching TV, standing in line or lying down at the gym.

The basic technique is to breath but rather than raise your chest, you raise your belly. Then exhale lowering your belly. Then rather than inhale again, you suck your belly button towards your spine which creates a kind of vacuum effect in your lungs. The more you suck your tummy in the tighter the vacuum becomes. Then when you relax, the vacuum is released and air floods back into your lungs again. It took me a while to feel this exercise but you know when you start to get it, it just feels right. This You Tube video provides a demonstration of the abs vacuum.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

exercise cadence

For the recreational weight trainer working out at the gym, there are many benefits of exercise. Proper form is important to work the intended muscle group correctly and is also useful in preventing injury. The use of appropriate weights is also an important factor in getting the most out of your gym session.

An often overlooked aspect of weight training is exercise cadence. There are a variety of options you have regarding how you train. It is always good to change up your routine to keep things fresh and also to challenge your muscles with a different style of workout.

Exercise cadence is closely related to exercise form. By slowing your cadence down it forces you to concentrate more on the up and the down motion of each rep. It gives you a better feel for what the proper form of each exercise actually is. If you really begin to feel the burn, then you're on the right track.

Speed of each rep is also related to the weight that you will use to train. A slower cadence will be related to a lighter weight. This shows that more weight is not necessarily better. Certainly, with immaculate form you do want to consider increasing the weight you use but not at a loss in your form.

A cadence that may be worth experimenting with is 4-2-4. Taking a biceps curl as an example, what this means is that on the upward movement you take 4 seconds from start to finish. Then 2 seconds squeeze at the top of the movement. Next from the top position take 4 seconds to return to the beginning.

Doing this for 10-12 reps should set your muscles on fire. Try it out with half the weight that you normally use and adjust up or down if need be. As you work towards your best health and fitness keep exercise cadence in mind as an option to spice up your workout.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I am passionate about my own physical health and fitness. Rather than being an athlete or body builder, I am just a regular guy who likes staying in shape.

Of course, I do spend a few hours a week at the gym. I also like jogging and plain old walking. Staying in shape is, dare I say it, easy. Provided that we take action every day to achieve our goals.

This blog is simply my record of interesting reports I uncover as well as a collection of exercise tips I have myself had the good fortune to learn from fellow gym members and training partners.

I do not claim to have invented any of the tips and techniques contained in this blog. Instead, I just want to share all the good advice I have received myself.