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fitness tips

7 Simple Fitness Habits to Do Everyday

7 Simple Fitness Habits to Do Everyday

The easiest thing in the world is to let yourself get out of shape, eat all the wrong foods, and not get the exercise you need. But, unfortunately, that is a guaranteed way to feel terrible every day. There is another path you can take: the path to fitness.  It’s one that will make you feel fantastic. But this path requires a few sacrifices and hard work to make it happen. All you need is a little motivation to get started.

How to Kick-start your Healthy Lifestyle

Post by PumpUp member @jennoshealth. Follow her journey on her fantastic blog!

A lot of people think that this whole “healthy thing” is too much of an effort and only for certain people. FALSE 

A healthy lifestyle is for everyone: regardless of age, weight, belief, height etc. It's never too early nor too late to start eating and living right.

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Get it…kick-start?
  1. Add, don’t take away. A lot of people think they need to cut out foods/drinks. It’s easier and realistic to add more nutritious foods than take away the bad ones. Try adding a fresh fruit to your dessert before totally cutting out the meal. It’s a lifestyle not a diet. 
  2. Ask questions. We’re human: we mess up and we don’t know everything. Therefore, we should thirst to know more about Health & Fitness. Your lifestyle change will be effective when it is informed because you know exactly what and why your doing what you do. To start, immerse yourself in YouTube videos and articles about healthy living.
  3. Set mini goals. You’re more likely to attain smaller goals than one end goal. When you accomplish a small goal you’ll feel more inspired to complete the next one and the next. This next stage in your life will more likely be a lifestyle change rather than a transient phase. Instead of telling yourself that you will “lose 15 pounds”, a more realistic goal would be Try go on each cardio machine in the gym for 15 minutes 3-4 times a week. Catch my drift? 
  4. When I lost all of my excuses I found all of my results. Motivation doesn’t last, determination does. You need to find time in that hectic schedule of yours, after all it is your health and you are responsible. No gym? No problem! You have all you need there are tons of free workouts eg. PumpUp out there. People didn’t post it for the good of their health, they did it to help you! 
I hope this comes in handy when you start that healthy lifestyle. It isn’t difficult at all, tons of people are doing it so why aren’t you? 

 Jenny

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PumpUp's best articles. Find everything you need to get healthy in this post.

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Whether you’re beginning your health and wellness journey, looking to spark your life with a bit more positivity and pep, discerning the truth about fitness myths, or scouring the internet for a new way to challenge yourself, PumpUp’s fantastic blog community has you covered. 

Check out these amazing tips and anecdotes of advice that PumpUp posted over the past year. 

Why a positive life leads to positive outcomes

If it makes you happy, do it. If it doesn’t, don’t. Our December was overflowing with an outpour of positivity from the entire PumpUp community! These articles touched on topics that grapple with the theme of internalizing and externalizing positive energy:

Beginning your fitness journey

The start of anything new is always the hardest. Remember this: There is no such thing as an ending. Just a new beginning.  These articles contain useful information that will help you to find your way, go the distance, and become the best version of you.

Addressing Fitness Myths

It’s easy to interpret misleading information as the truth. Ever been told that crunches are the key to flat abs? Not so much. Our bloggers have done a tremendous job at addressing health and fitness myths that tend to obscure what really matters.

Our best health & fitness tips

Check out these health and fitness tips if you’re ever struggling to piece together information for yourself. You just want answers, period. Here they are: 

3 ways to transform negativity into positivity

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This is a post by PumpUp’s @toafitme. Follow her blog here.

Hi PumpUp fam! Since we are talking about being positive throughout the month of December (and the months thereafter), I’ll be sharing about the negative thoughts I had during my weight-loss and fitness journey and how I managed to overcome them. These three pointers will absolutely help you to transform negativity into positivity (and trust me, I speak from experience). 

#1. INSECURITIES

When I first started my weight-loss journey, I used to be very insecure about my physical appearance. I was inundated with pictures of ‘hot’ and skinny girls on Instagram, on blogs, and on all other social media platforms, and this made me feel much worse.  I would compare myself to them. I would constantly ask myself why I didn’t have a body like theirs. Sometimes, I was even so depressed that I skipped my meals.

One day, I decided that instead of dreaming about the body that I always wanted to have, my time was much better spent focusing on my own fitness journey. Instead of comparing myself to others, I told myself that since they could do it, I could do it too. This motivates me even till now and I always remind myself about it. I can’t stress this enough: STOP COMPARING YOURSELF! Love your own body and start doing something about it instead! 

#02. BELIEVE

During a weight-loss/ fitness journey, there are moments when we think about of giving up. It could happen when we’re running, working out, or even during simple acts such as when we feel guilty about eating unhealthy food.  I personally found myself wanting to give up whenever I was running. My thoughts played out like this: “I didn’t have enough sleep, so I should just stop here. I don’t think I could do it anymore.”  

Want to kill those negative thoughts? Don’t give into them. Once these thoughts occur, do not stop what you are doing. Tell yourself that these are all excuses and you should not put a limit to yourself. I often found the phrase “mind over body” true, and it really does push myself to strive for my best potential. After all your hard work, you will definitely feel a great sense of accomplishment! The key here is to really believe in yourself and affirm that you can. You definitely can overcome these negative thoughts and push yourself for the best.

#03. PATIENCE

Lastly, the most important element of any fitness or weight-loss journey is to be patient. We often tend to expect results after putting in minimal effort or we often give up after we see little or no results. During this journey, we need to learn to be patient. At certain times, I get upset by the fact that my weight increased instead of dropping; or that my abs were not as defined as the day before.

It is crucial that we should not give up at this moment and we have to keep reminding ourselves that we should be patient. Health and fitness is not about a matter of time it takes to achieve a goal, but about the process or progress it takes to get us there. When we continue to believe in what we are doing and persevere, we will eventually achieve our goals.

I hope that you all will find these tips useful and that you will become more positive during your fitness / weight-loss journey! 

Gerilyn.

 

How to master self-discipline

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This is a post published by PumpUp member @coachmelissa. Check out her website at melissalepage.com 

A craftsperson masters her or his trade through repeated practice, care and continuous learning, and devotion to her or his purpose. 

The same elements are needed to master the craft of discipline:

  • Repeated practice
  • Single-minded devotion to the purpose
  • Continuous learning
  • Care

Here are some extremely useful tips:

  1. Do the task even when you’re not in the mood. Procrastination is such a common problem that I believe it to be universal. How often have you told yourself, "I’m not in the mood to do this"? The task is probably difficult or confusing. It’s uncomfortable and you’d rather do things that are easier, that you’re good at. You’d rather clean your house or trim your nails or check your email than start a task that could have had the biggest impact on your business/life. But if we wait until we’re in the mood, we’ll never master anything.

    Instead, practice this: Plan to finish the most important tasks first, write them down in your agenda, and start doing them, no matter what. Don’t check email or social media, or go clean something, or do a quick chore or errand. Sit down, and do it. It will be uncomfortable. You can still do it even if it’s uncomfortable.

  2. Exercise even when you really don’t want to. Yes, this is the same thing as procrastinating — we put off exercise for many reasons, usually because it’s hard, because we ‘don’t have time’, and because we’d rather do something easier. Change your perspective. View exercise not as punishment, but as an act of self-care. You wouldn’t skip brushing your teeth for a week, would you? Your teeth would rot. Similarly, skipping exercise for a week rots your body.

    Instead, practice this: Tell yourself you’re going to do a workout/run at a certain time, always plan your workouts ahead of time (I could never stress this enough, it is crucial). I tell all my clients to do this: plan. Take your agenda out, as you write your tasks, write down your workouts by blocking 20-30mins or even 1h of that day ONLY for your fitness. And then show up. Do it even if you’re tired or feeling lazy. Ignore the lazy feeling, the distractedness, and suck it up. You’ll find that you feel great for having done it. Either way, you’ll start to master doing things that are uncomfortable

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  3. Sit with a little hunger. We tend to panic when we get hungry, and run for whatever piece of junk food is closest to us. What I’ve learned is that you can be hungry and it’s not the end of the world. We don’t always need to be stuffed and satisfied with crazy delicious food. 

    Instead, practice this: Don’t eat if you’re not hungry. When you get hungry, sit there for a moment and turn to the hunger, and see how it really feels. It’s not so bad. This practice isn’t to make you starve yourself (not great), but to show you that a little discomfort won’t ruin your life, and that you can make conscious choices about when and how much to eat.

  4. Talk to someone about something uncomfortable. We avoid difficult conversations, because they’re not fun. They’re scary, uncomfortable. But that leads to all kinds of problems, including resentment, a worse relationship, worsening the situation, and more.

    Instead, practice this: When you have a problem with someone, instead of replaying the problem in your head, talk to the person in a gentle, compassionate way. Try to see the situation from their point of view, not just yours. Bring it up with a simple, “Hey, can we talk about ___?” And tell them how you feel, without accusing them or making them feel defensive. Ask them how they feel about it. Approach it with the attitude of finding a solution that works for both of you, that preserves your relationship. What you learn from this is that pushing through an uncomfortable situation will resolve a lot of difficult problems.

  5. Stick to a habit. One of the hardest things people face when changing their habits is that it’s difficult commit after the initial enthusiasm dies down. It’s easy to stick to a habit for a week — but what about pushing through the second and third weeks? It gets a lot easier afterward, but a lot of people drop the habit too early.

    Instead, do this: Commit to one small habit for two months. Reserve just 5 minutes a day for that habit, and do it at the same time each day. Set as many reminders as you can so that you don’t forget. Track the habit on a calendar or log it, so you see your progress. Show up every day and do it. You’ll start to master the formation of new habits, which will open up all kinds of opportunities.

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  6. Turn toward the problem. When we have a problem, we avoid even thinking about it. Think about whether you have one of these problems: you’ve been avoiding exercise, you’re overweight, you’ve been avoiding a major project, you put off dealing with your finances, you’re unhappy about some situation in your life. Often these are uncomfortable situations, and we’d rather not face them.

    Instead, practice this: See the obstacle as the path. Don’t avoid the obstacle (the difficult situation, or the problem you fear), don’t go around it, don’t ignore it. Turn toward it. See it. Acknowledge it. Figure out what’s going on. Find out how to navigate within the problem. You’ll find that it’s not easy, but not as bad as you thought, and you’ll be happy you did it. And more importantly: you’ll get stronger from facing the problem.

  7. See good in the activity. Discipline really derives from learning that you don’t need some incredible reward — there’s inherent good in just doing the activity. For example, if you’re going to eat healthy food, you don’t need to make it taste like your favourite dessert or fried food— you can just enjoy the act of eating fresh, healthy food in itself. If you’re going to exercise, it doesn’t need to give you a flat stomach or nice arms immediately— you can just enjoy the activity.

    Practice this: No matter what the activity, find the good in doing it, and the activity becomes the reward.

  8. Meditate. People think meditation is difficult or mystical, but it’s fairly simple.

    Practice this: Take 2 minutes to sit still, and focus on your breath, noticing when your mind wanders and gently returning to the breath. There are lots of other ways to meditate, but this is the simplest, and it shows you how to watch the urges that come up, and see that you don’t need to act on those urges. As the days go by, add more minutes to your meditation session. With time it will get easier to keep your mind clear of thoughts.

You might not be good at these at first, but that’s why you practice.

You’ll learn to get comfortable with discomfort, to show up even when you don’t feel like it, to stick to something even when the enthusiasm wanes, to not act on your urges right away, to enjoy any activity as a reward in and of itself.

Does life need to be pure discipline and no fun? Of course not. But if you can enjoy any activity, in the moment, why not learn to master something that will pay off for you in the long run?

Follow Melissa on PumpUp @coachmelissa. Check out her website at melissalepage.com 

Learn how Bill transformed his body AND aced his past semester with a 4.0 - PumpUp Spotlight Series

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Bill (@bsiddiq) has the brains of a scientist and the body of a superhero. He joined PumpUp in June 2014 and confessed that he immediately fell in love with the app’s positivity and fitness community. He’s an extremely encouraging and informative member and he looks forward to lending his insights both as a PumpUp spotlight member and as a regular blog contributor. 

Around this time last year, Bill set his mind to look like his fitness idol Hugh Jackman, an actor most famous for his onscreen body as Wolverine in the X-Men Movies. “[Jackman] had the type of look I wanted for my body, and I became obsessed with it. I was ripping off pages from TRAIN magazine’s issue of “The Wolverine” and posting them to my walls. I even set various pictures as my iPhone background.”

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Bill was systematic with his approach to achieve his goals. His mentality echoes that of Arnold Schwarzenegger: Visualize and see exactly what you wish to become. "It became my motivation and mission in life, sitting next to my dream of becoming an orthopedic surgeon," said Bill. He purchased a foodscale and began to weigh all of his portions to precise amounts of grams and ounces. Next, Bill reviewed scientific studies on Baylor University’s research database, as well as Bodybuilding.com articles that contained adequate citations for the best approaches to food intake, supplementation, rep ranges, and exercises. "That, coupled with my motivation from PumpUp and visualizing what my final body would look like set me on a “by any means” mentality," he professed. 

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Bill has coined the phrase “BrainsANDGains” on Instagram and PumpUp, as he highly believes that those looking to lead a healthier lifestyle should focus on all, rather than one, aspect of their lives. He admits that balancing his studies with his workout regimen is still not easy, but it is do-able.“At first, it was so difficult to adjust, but now it is a lifestyle. I live and breathe it,” elaborated Bill. He stresses the importance of his ‘BrainsANDGains philosophy by urging, “Do not get stuck just worrying about your body because life is more than just looking good. Make sure you are trying to do your absolute best in every aspect of your life. Whether that means in the classroom or in the office, be the best Renaissance man and or woman you can be!”

Bill’s fitness journey is a 24/7 grind. Despite his busy schedule, he works out at the gym for 2 hours at a time, 5 days a week. However, nutrition made the biggest difference for Bill throughout his transformation over the past year. “I firmly believe that nutrition is what builds the body of a champion,” he emphasized. "Through experiences, research, personal trials and the power of science I can safely say that nutrition is 75% of “fitness” in general.”  

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More about Bill

His “body of work” has recently been published on Bodybuilding.com, and his lifestyle involving his studies in sports medicine at Baylor University and staying in optimal shape are his main focus. He works as a certified personal trainer and aerobics class instructor at the student life center at the University. Bill’s article on bodybuilding.com goes into deep detail about his personal fitness transformation, nutrition, and workout regimen but he does highlight the main aspect of his body’s amazing transformation was in visualizing how he wanted his body to look.

Bill’s future plans are to continue his studies and push his body to new heights and exposure. He will now be writing frequently for PumpUp as one of its permanent blog members, bringing his expertise in the science behind fitness and nutrition to the topic/theme of the month. 

“I want everyone to know that if you have ANY questions, you can direct them to my KiK: BaylorFitness and I will try my best to respond within the next couple of days (since my article debut on bodybuilding.com my inbox/text messages/ KiK has been full with inquiries, but I do not let this deter me from helping others as it is why I do what I do that being to inspire, help, and motivate. I look forward to blogging for the PumpUp community in the next upcoming months!”

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Be sure to keep up with his journey through both his PumpUp: @bsiddiq and his Instagram: @bsiddiq .You can read more in depth about Bill’s personal fitness journey, personal workout regimen, and diet through his bodybuilding.com feature.

4 things that worked for me throughout my weight-loss journey

This is a post by PumpUp’s @toafitme. Follow her blog here.

The start of a fitness and weight-loss journey is one thing. Maintaining it  is another. Here are a few tips to help you throughout the process! Please do note that these nuggets of advice are what I personally find to be useful. They might not work on everyone, it depends on your own body!

Diet Tips

#01. Eating clean.

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(Source: giphy)

When I first started my fitness journey, I did a lot of research about eating clean. I am sure many of you are still a little confused about what does the term ‘eating clean’ means. ‘Eating clean’ basically means that you have to remove all different types of processed food from your diet, including white rice, white noodles or even white flour! You can always replace the carbs with brown rice, wholemeal spaghetti and many other healthier options such as quinoa! More information about eating clean can always be found online: do research to see what works for you before you start. With healthy, mindful eating, you’ll have a flat belly in no time. 

#02. Calories and portion control

As I have mentioned in my previous post, I often ‘starved’ myself when I was trying to lose weight fast. However, I ended up gaining back all the weight I lost immediately after I began eating normally again. Please do not be overly obsessive with calories counting (if you are), as it may be detrimental to your health! What you should really focus on is what type of food you are putting into your belly, and exercise portion control! 

When I was inflicted with dengue fever, I took this opportunity to control the content and portions of my meals, despite being too weak to exercise. Here are the results:

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(left: 1.5 week ago, right: today, with slimmer waistline!)

Fitness Tips

#01. Fasted cardio.

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(Photo c/o giphy)

I would always try to incorporate fasted cardio into my exercise routine at least once a week! Fasted cardio simply means that you work out right after you wake up in the morning, even before breakfast! I find that fasted cardio usually makes me feel more energetic throughout the day and it really does help to burning fat around your tummy! However, do keep in mind that the duration of fasted cardio should not exceed 40 minutes, as you might end up burning muscle rather than fat before you consume your breakfast!

#02. Cardio after weight-lifting

As we all know, weight-lifting enables us to burn more fat and it helps us to increase our metabolism rate as well. I would always try to do some weights before heading out for some cardio exercises to feel that extra burn after my muscles feel sore from the weight-lifting workouts. Incorporating both cardio and weight-lifting together actually does help to burn fat at a faster rate . 

These are the 4 main tips I have today for you! I hope you find these tips useful and I wish you all the best to a fitter and healthier you! We can do this together. Stay tuned for more of my posts as I will be sharing more tips and delicious recipes soon! 

Gerilyn.

This is a post by PumpUp’s @toafitme. Follow her blog here

Is counting calories helpful?

Guest post by Siya Natseva. Follow Siya on her blog, PumpUp (@cinnamonontop), and Instagram/Tumblr cinnamonontop8.

To almost any woman, counting calories is second nature. It’s what we do. Checking and double-checking, calculating away. And wincing throughout the process, as if the mere thought of Ben & Jerry’s instantaneously added a few inches around our waists! For the other half of the species – and, yes, every rule has an exception - the business of counting calories isn’t a matter of life and death. If you questioned the average female on this, though, she’d tell you that: ‘What do men know about food and calories?! Is this a legitimate enquiry?’

But, as has repeatedly been demonstrated, much of our health knowledge is incorrect. In fact, is counting calories really helping us? Or is it a scam, something we’ve conveniently been tricked into swearing by? And, no, this article is not purely intended for Venuses.

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(Image c/o Rebloggy)

Obsessive? Navigate away from calorie-counting

Subjectively, as someone who has struggled with her weight over her teenage years, I’m palpably against counting calories. Past struggles notwithstanding, it’s in my character to obsess over insignificant issues like the total sum of calories I consume on any given day. It’s an easy trap I fall into and avoiding it at all costs is crucial for my peace of mind. Eating healthy, maintaining an active lifestyle and embracing a positive mind-set is where my focus is. If you worry too much about digits and tend to turn health into a Math class, you’re better off without a calorie calculator nearby.

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(Source: Tumblr)

Calories aren’t nutrients

Calories are units of energy. We eat a meal and, in exchange, we receive energy to support the body functions and get on with our errands. But for health enthusiasts, it’s clear that calories aren’t the only paramount piece of information on a label and, even if they were, quantity doesn’t ensure ‘quality’. Yes, quality of calories is a thing! This is an article of its own, but ‘calories’ aren’t synonymous with ‘nutrients’. A 52 g Snickers bar will provide you with, I don’t know, 245 units of energy, but what else? Apart from the instant energy and refined sugar, there’s not much in the way of nutrition in a Snickers bar. Simply ‘collecting’ calories doesn’t reflect a healthy lifestyle. The aim should be to eat a varied and nutritious diet, without a particular concern for calories.

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(Image c/o wifflegif)

It’s a waste of valuable time

Counting calories is a lengthy and dreary activity. You could spend said time either working towards your fitness goals or another venture, or even indulging in a favourite pastime. Once we immerse ourselves in the world of calories, it’s a mental exercise of enormous effort to find our road back out. Humans are wrapped up in the hype of calorie restriction and the bad effects of carbs. Before you know it, your whole existence is defined by logging every single food you eat. Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be a chore. It shouldn’t be a task of monumental importance, but entirely devoid of pleasure. Where’s the fun in that?!

Yet, there are circumstances in which one can benefit from keeping track of their calorie consumption. Depending on the nature and stage of your journey, your personality and the projected outcomes, you might find it useful. If you aspire to shed a few pounds, acknowledging what and how much you eat can be a good solution. If you don’t suffer from obsessive tendencies and aren’t in danger of losing the plot, a food diary may not be as detrimental. Finally, if you have a very specific objective, linked to an exclusive meal plan, recording your calorie intake will surely assist you.

ABOUT SIYA

Howdy, PumpUps!

My name is Siya. I’m 27 years young, with a passion for a healthy lifestyle, including a love for nutritious food and an active routine. Having struggled with my weight for years, it would be incredibly rewarding to me to support others and inspire them to prioritise their health instead of their appearance. I’m currently working out at home and can relate to those on a tight budget. An aspiring blogger and writer, I’ve recently started a blog where I share simple recipes and exercises, and promote a positive body image. I welcome advice from like-minded fitness enthusiasts, for I believe one can never know enough. Hit me up and let’s ace this! 

Anaerobic vs. Aerobic Activities: Which is Best for Your Overall Health?

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Article by Andrea Wilkins, freelance writer. Follow PumpUp on Tumblr for more fitness tips!

If you’re looking to adopt a fitness regimen – whether for weight loss, increased endurance for an upcoming event or simply improving your quality of life through better health – you’ve no doubt come across a dizzying array of workout plans, all of them promising results. While fitness experts may squabble over weight machines versus free weights or duration versus intensity in a cardio workout, most would agree that variation in one’s workout is crucial to achieving full-body fitness, and there isn’t one single master fitness regimen that renders all others obsolete.

After taking a close look at some of the most lauded regimens, however, you might start noticing some patterns. First of all, there’s that variation factor again: Most decent workouts engage a variety of muscle groups, and some may vary in intensity – that is, how much you exert yourself – as well. On the other hand, many of them also have elements of consistency such as duration while gradually scaling up how many times an exercise is done, known as reps, with the end result being that your body becomes conditioned in the way of endurance or strength. 


(Image c/o Tumblr)

Whether or not you see the terms themselves bandied about in a workout description, aerobic and anaerobic training both figure into the most well-balanced regimens. Aerobic exercise simply refers to activities that require oxygen, which is needed to burn carbohydrates and fat to produce energy for continued exertion. During aerobic exercise, which typically includes low- to medium-intensity activities, your heart rate remains elevated for as long as you are engaging in the activity. While running, cycling and jogging are perhaps the most well-known forms of aerobic exercise, any activity that boosts your endurance and maintains a relatively steady intensity for a sufficient amount of time could fall into this category. Swimming, tennis, volleyball and even walking up several hundred steps can all constitute aerobic exercise as long as the activity is consistent and sustained. Among the many health benefits aerobic exercise – also known as cardio – confers are increased endurance, a stronger heart muscle that is more efficient at moving vital oxygen throughout the body, and even improved cognition in young adults, according to a 2009 Swedish study.

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Anaerobic exercise, as its name suggests, requires sources other than oxygen to produce energy. The two main sources for anaerobic activities, which tend to have a shorter duration than cardio but higher intensity, are anaerobic glycolysis, a process in which the body breaks down glucose and produces lactic acid instead of using oxygen, and high-energy phosphates that are stored in small quantities in your muscle cells. The most well-known anaerobic activity is resistance training with either weights or one’s own body weight. This activity engages fast-twitch muscle fibers for short bursts of intense exercise followed by a brief resting period; repetition and gradually ramping up the intensity over a period of days or weeks both lead to increased muscle mass. Anaerobic activities, which can include high-intensity interval training, gymnastics, sprinting, swim sprints, some martial arts and even normally aerobic sports like volleyball or tennis when played with enough intensity, yield increased muscle mass and decreased body fat, and they can also boost your metabolism – even when you’re resting – and bolster your maximal aerobic capacity, known as VO2 max.

Numerous experts agree that the best workouts include both aerobic and anaerobic activities since the benefits of each are different and complement each other well. Some regimens blend them together; circuit training, for example, alternates between intervals of anaerobic training and short bursts of cardio to keep one’s heart rate up through the entire workout. Other trainers swear by beginning or ending with 30 or more minutes of cardio along with a period of time dedicated entirely to various weight-based exercises. Obtaining a consistent balance of both seems to be the overarching principle, so you’re free to experiment to find which regimen works best for you as long as both types of activities factor in.

This is an article by Andrea Wilkins.  She is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, and travel. When she’s not writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.

Sources: http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Health_Letter/2008/September/Glossary-of-exercise-terms
http://livehealthy.chron.com/list-anaerobic-aerobic-exercises-5546.html
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/11/25/0905307106
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_exercise

3 Keys to the Abs of Your Dreams

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This is a guest post by Danielle Shoom, Personal Trainer. Visit Danielle’s website here

How to get the abs of your dreams

As a trainer one of the most common things I’m asked is “how do I get abs”?  Without a strong core you have nothing when it comes to fitness or everyday life. Here are 3 tips to get you the six pack of your dreams.

1. Abs Are Made In The Kitchen

Exercises is obviously a huge part of having a great body and flat stomach. However food is the number one thing that can make or break your quest for a six pack. Of course eating high fat and calorie food is not good for you. Your body creates cortisol when it is in stress- often because of poor diet, this will create fat around your stomach area. Everyone has abs sometimes they are just hiding.

2. Cardio

I know no one wants to hear this but its true. Cardio is how you loose weight and inches, you have to get your heart rate up! I suggested doing some type of cardio at least 30 minutes 3 times a week.

3. Crunches Are Not The Answer

People think you can get a great six pack from doing a million crunches, this is SO not true. Your abs are not just what you see in the front of your stomach. There is much more to it! To keep it simple I will break it down into 3 different areas.

1. Rectus Abdominis- the muscle in front of your stomach “six pack” muscles. 

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A table top leg crunch is a great exercise to work the Rectus Abdominis. Bring your legs inline with your hips and bend your knees. Interlace your fingers behind your head, lift and lower your head with control.

2. Obliques- Run along the sides of your stomach, there are the internal and external obliques

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Bicycle crunches will work those oblique muscles, interlace your fingers behind your head and bring your legs back to a table top. Then crunch up at the top twist your shoulder towards your opposite knee. Continue like this alternating sides.

3.  Transverse Abdominis- Lies behind the the rectus abdominis it is the deepest abdominal muscle and helps all of your limbs move.

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Plank- this is my favourite exercise! It works your entire body and all of your core muscles are engaged, it’s great! Come down on your forearms and bring your legs long behind you. Lift your body up then press back through your heels, stay wide along the shoulders and squeeze your bum.

Start working on that six pack today! It won’t appear over night but by following these steps you’ll get there. Do these exercises for 1 minute before hopping in the shower and you will start to feel stronger in no time!

Danielle Shoom is a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and nutrition enthusiast based in Toronto, Ontario. Visit Danielle’s website at danielleshoomfitness.com

Plank it out

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Do a plank (at any point today) and let us know with how long you held it for! Challenge a friend to do it! 

We aren’t talking about the planking photo-sensation that swept the nation a few years ago. We’re talking planks as a form of exercise. Ever wondered why fitness instructors urge you to engage in this simple, albeit potentially painful, movement?

Planks are static, isometric exercises that build strength. Specifically, standard and side planks will work your upper and lower abs, your obliques, and your lower back. They’ll also help to improve your posture by working your core muscles that stabilize your spine and hips. Finally, planks are said to relieve stress by stretching muscles that tend to stiffen throughout the day. 

Start on your knees if you’re a beginner and build up to lifting your knees off of the ground. As you practice plank every day, you’ll be able to increase the amount of time you hold the plank per rep. 

If you are doing a standard elbow plank, make sure your shoulders don’t reach past your elbows. Your arms should rest at a 90-degree angle

Refrain from sticking out your lower body (read: your butt) above your upper body. This will help to keep your plank straight. 

Keep your neck in a straight line with your body. Don’t crane your head up. Look down at your fists to help maintain a neutral neck position, never up. 

When you feel like you’re body is too sore to maintain proper form, remove yourself from plank position. 

How long can you hold your plank for?

Dislike Running? You Won't Anymore! (We Promise)

Guest blog by Siya Natseva. Follow Siya on her blog, PumpUp (@cinnamonontop), and Instagram (@cinnamonontop8).

An active runner? A beginner? A runner-to-be? A runner-to-never-be? Regardless of how you describe yourself, I’m sure we agree that running has an unfairly bad reputation. It’s often reduced to a treadmill in a confined space. In our minds, running is the definition of ‘boring’! One foot in front of the other, to eternity and back. But running shouldn’t be mundane. Let’s see how…

(Photo : omghowgirl)

1.    Music is the solution to every problem!

Your grandparents may not grasp the idea of blocking your hearing by means of headphones and a blast of sound, but for the 21st century kid musical accompaniment is a must. Running is no exception. When you focus on your favourite song versus the fact you’re drenched in sweat and exhausted, you…forget that you’re drenched in sweat and exhausted! Create a playlist to at least cover your estimated jog duration. You should aim for upbeat songs, not devastating rock ballads. Don’t be fooled: I’m a rock chick but I can’t imagine myself pumping it up (see what I did there?) to Bon Jovi’s ‘Always’.

2. Changing Gears    

Due to its nature, running can become a tedious form of working out. This is particularly true when you discover a comfortable pace and settle for it. In this sense, upping the speed and / or length of your training is crucial. In addition - the changing gears part – you can modify your pace. Run fast for, say, three minutes and then lower your speed for three minutes. No hardcore interval training required; small adjustments make a difference. In this case, you’ll also benefit from a balanced music list. Harmonise your jogging with it.

3.  The oh-so-important scenery

Running is what we ought to complete in the gym before the real deal happens. Perhaps this is your error. Running needn’t be done in the gym with air being scarce and people killing themselves on the machines. Visit the local park. Is there a secluded area which can serve as your running ground? Running in the open is a life saver. Having a jog, whereby you connect with nature, is beneficial in numerous ways. And, hey, there’s plenty of oxygen to feed your cells! New locations are a distraction from your physical discomfort and lead to better results!

4. Empty your head   

Running is an effective stress-reliever. You can test this statement by fully concentrating on…you. Ditching technology isn’t half bad. We live in an extraordinarily hectic world and have to remind ourselves to breathe, embrace the moment and enjoy it. Free yourself of thoughts and simply run. Pay no attention to anything or anyone. Listen to your breathing and admire what you’re capable of! You’ll be surprised to feel extremely refreshed and worry-free after a run which is about you and you alone. Need to resolve an issue? By ridding yourself of mental effort, you’re likely to do so without even realising it!

5.  Buddy Up

For those afraid of solitary confinement, teaming up with a friend may be what you need. Unlike other sports – notably swimming - running provides you with the opportunity to socialise! Having a companion will transform running into a fun activity that you participate in together. Sometimes the best workouts are those that don’t resemble a workout in the slightest. It’s certainly worth attempting, especially if you lose motivation quickly, for it’ll awake your competition spirit. You’ll be discouraged from whining and quitting. Instead, you’ll be invested in burning calories, toning up your body and catching up on gossip! 

(Photo: Starling Fitness)

About Siya

Howdy, PumpUps!

My name is Siya. I’m 27 years young, with a passion for a healthy lifestyle, including a love for nutritious food and an active routine. Having struggled with my weight for years, it would be incredibly rewarding to me to support others and inspire them to prioritise their health instead of their appearance. I’m currently working out at home and can relate to those on a tight budget. An aspiring blogger and writer, I’ve recently started a blog where I share simple recipes and exercises, and promote a positive body image. I welcome advice from like-minded fitness enthusiasts, for I believe one can never know enough. Hit me up and let’s ace this!