How to Get Into Shape for Snowboarding
February 3, 2015
Snowboarding can be a fun way to keep fitness during the cold, snowy months. It’s also a great way to enjoy outdoor sport during the cold season. But you can’t just hop on a snowboard and risk injury. You have to prepare your body for it. Question is, how?
Keep yourself active.
Our bodies do not keep their stamina and endurance without constant stimulus. If you slack off during the summer months, you won’t have much strength and endurance for any winter sport. The same thing happens to strength trainers, swimmers, runners, and athletes. They have to be consistently active to stimulate their muscles and bones.
Snowboarding recruits all muscles of your body, most especially the quads, hamstrings, and core. These muscles are more effective in giving you more force and stabilizing you at the same time if they are stronger. Weight training is the best and most efficient way to build bigger and stronger muscles. Runners, swimmers, and other athletes have to incorporate weight training into their schedules for similar reasons. Gym memberships are relatively inexpensive. You can do compound and isolation workouts during summer as you prepare yourself.
Train your balance on a surfboard.
Head to surfing spots nearby and train your balance on the surfboard. Summer is the perfect time to do this. Balancing on a surfboard over water is much more difficult than balancing on a snowboard. If you can surf, there’s no reason you can’t snowboard. And if you can’t find a surfboard, then go with a stand up paddle board. Active Weekender gives a list of the top affordable models for the year.
More exercises for balance are beneficial.
Do exercises on a Swiss ball. Work out using free weights, not machines. Free weights force your body to recruit extra muscles for balance. The same thing doesn’t happen with workout machines, which do the stabilization for you. Strength is absolutely important in balancing. You could injure yourself without proper balance training.
One of the best and most enjoyable ways to train those thigh and leg muscles, so they get stronger as snowy winter approaches, is to hike. The trail you choose depends on your experience. Beginners have to pick trails on plains and hills. Advanced hikers should pick more challenging trails on rugged, rocky terrain.
Can’t get to the gym? No gym equipment? No problem!
Do bodyweight workouts. Start with push-ups and pull-ups, because you have to work your upper body. Squats, even air squats, are indispensable. They train your quads, the large muscle group of the thighs that do much of the work when snowboarding. Lunges work the quads and hamstrings too. Train your core with planks. Your core absolutely does much of the work in balancing your body. A strong core is vital for stabilization. Get stronger at these exercises and try harder versions of each as you advance.
Easy Ways to Get in More Physical Activity Each Day
December 21, 2014
Being active seems hard to come by in today’s post-modern world wherein people can do things at the tip of their fingers. People spend less time on their feet. Like most of the others, you probably spend most of your time sitting or lying down. Worse, much of the food available today are rich in fat and sugar. The result–obesity!
But increasing your physical and getting fit are not too difficult. You just need to be dedicated and disciplined.
Keep in mind it’s easy.
Who told you have to enroll in a gym to be fit? Increasing your physical activity does not necessarily mean having a daily workout routine on some odd-looking machine. No! Even something as easy as walking suffices. That’s right. You can actually start with walking for at least 30 minutes a day. That doesn’t sound like a lot. And walking is fun and relaxing. You don’t need equipment or training for this.
There are many ways to make walking more fun. Walk with your partner. Walk with friends. Walk your dog.
Instead of sitting on the couch all day and watching TV, start cleaning up and de-cluttering your home. Break a sweat while making your home a better place to live in. Many people just hire cleaners. You probably can afford to hire one. But if you have enough time left to clean the house, wash the dishes, and do the laundry, please do, just so you could burn some calories.
Take the stairs!
We have elevators, but they don’t work your legs and your glutes! You’re burning quite a few calories standing idly in an elevator. If you’re working on the 20th floor, exit the elevator on the 15th, and take the stairs to the 20th. That way you will work out some of the biggest muscle groups in your body–your hamstrings, quads, and glutes. You’re burning more calories climbing the stairs than walking and way much more than standing in the elevator.
Take a 5-minute break!
Your desk keeps your butt glued to your seat. Are you seriously spending all 8 hours sitting down? That’s bad for your back! Here’s what you need to do. Every hour, stand up, stretch, and walk around for 5 minutes. That will refresh you and promote better blood circulation. You will feel less grumpy afterwards while you stare back at your cluttered desk.
Engage in sports.
You may not be athletic, but that doesn’t mean you should just stay indoors during weekends. Find people who love to play basketball or soccer or badminton or tennis for recreational purposes. There’s no need to be the star player. All you need to do is get moving, get your heart pumping, and burn calories to keep the fat at bay.
Start a fitness routine.
Working out for fitness may seem off-putting, especially for people who are either overweight or skinny. It’s sounds ironic that the people who need to workout are the ones who avoid it. Usually, it’s because of shyness. When you’re having difficulty making it to a single rep with a 45-lb barbel, and you’re straining next to a burly guy making 5 reps with 200-lb weights, it’s tough!
Hey! Everyone, even that burly guy, had to start somewhere. Keep that in mind.
Why It’s Important To Get A Good Night’s Sleep
December 17, 2014
An hour of sleep debt can have drastic effects on your health and life in the long run. How many times have stayed late at night? The recommendation is 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Are you getting enough of that? You should. Here’s why.
For Good Health
Isn’t that obvious? While 8 hours of good sleep will not transform you into Superman, it definitely is good to your brain, cardiovascular system, and immune system. People who often get less than 7 hours of sleep are prone to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Lack of sleep alters your body chemistry and activates certain body chemicals that raise bad cholesterol and fat in your system.
Admit it! You’re happier after a good night sleep and grumpier after 4 or 5 hours of sleep. That’s related to stress. Lack of sleep taxes your brain. It affects your alertness, cognitive functions, and even emotion. As much as you’re less able to focus when you lack sleep, you also tend to be more irritable.
For Your Waistline
Enough sleep is crucial for fat loss. If you’re wondering why you’re packing more fat, especially around your waist, check your sleeping habits. Lack of sleep or lack of quality sleep could be the culprit. When you haven’t had enough sleep, you tend to be sluggish the next day. You’re not that active, so you burn less calories. At the same time, you’re hungrier, so you tend to eat more. That’s because sleep is essential for production of leptin, a hormone that gives you that feeling of fullness after a meal. Sleep deprived individuals are low in leptin. They tend to eat more because of delayed fullness sensation. When you’re hungry, you tend to crave for unhealthy snacks, making you eat more fat.
For Better Thinking and Memory
Not getting enough sleep slows down your cognitive function and impairs memory. It’s difficult to focus. It’s difficult to make sound decisions. It’s difficult to think clearly. People who haven’t slept well also tend to forget a lot of things–car keys, money, appointments, documents, etc. Cumulative sleep debt takes a toll on your higher brain functioning and may set you on the course to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
For Better Defenses Against Illnesses
Your immune system depends on a number of things, chiefly your diet, fitness, and sleep. People who are chronically sleep deprived to get colds more often than those who are getting enough sleep. If you sleep less than seven hours frequently, you’re three times likely to to get sick. Experts don’t yet quite understand the connection between sleep deprivation and decline in immune response. But some studies have shown that sleep deprivation causes a decline in the production of T-cells and an increase in inflammatory cytokines.
Lack of sleep wreaks havoc in the intimacy department. When you’re sleep derived, you tend to be tired and unable to perform well on bed.
Ready to start getting better sleep now? If so, you may need to do things like make your bedroom darker, start going to bed at the same time each night, get some noise cancelling earplugs for sleeping through the loud noises from next door, wear a sleep mask or any other type of night time ritual that helps you start sleeping better tonight.
Ways To Lower Blood Pressure By Changing Your Diet
December 7, 2014
High blood pressure is not to be taken lightly. If you are suffering from chronic high blood pressure or hypertension, your doctor may advise you to do many things, including changing your diet. It is not surprising that so many diseases people suffer from today are due to their diet. According to the CDC, approximated one-third of adult Americans now have been reported to suffer from hypertension. The number is increasing every year, and more young people are becoming part of the statistics.
Chronic hypertension is a product of poor diet and lifestyle. You have to change these two to reverse the problem and abate complications of the condition (cardiac arrest, stroke, and kidney failure). This article will discuss recommended diet modifications.
Avoid simple sugars.
Simple sugars, which you find in sweets and sugary drinks, are a major contributor to high blood pressure and Type II Diabetes. According to studies, there is a link between frequent excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates, insulin resistance, and hypertension. People with hypertension tend to have high blood sugar too. Reducing the consumption of sugary foods and drinks and refined grains should curb these problems. Get your carbohydrates from complex sources, like whole grains and starchy vegetables.
Amp your mineral intake except sodium.
You need more potassium, magnesium, and calcium. A high potassium diet is beneficial in keeping your blood pressure within the normal range. While you do not need to ignore sodium altogether, you should make sure you are getting sufficient supply of other minerals. The good thing is many good sources of complex cards, like vegetables, are also excellent sources of potassium and magnesium. Apples, bananas, broccoli, carrots, dates, grapes, green peas, kale, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pineapples, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, and tomatoes are all rich in potassium and magnesium as well as fiber. Nuts, seeds, poultry products, and lean meat are good sources of magnesium. You can get your calcium from fish and leafy veggies as well as dairy products.
Fish is a good source of protein. In fact, it is probably the best because it does not put too much bad fat into your body. Certain types of fishes (e.g. tuna and salmon) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been said to be excellent for the heart. Omega-3 is good fat. It reduces your risk to high blood pressure and heart disease. Several studies have proven that.
Have herbal tea.
Certain types of tea, like the hibiscus and hawthorn tea, are known to manage the blood pressure. People suffering from mild hypertension should try hibiscus tea, which is rich in flavonoids and minerals. You can drink it cold or hot. You can add honey to sweeten it. Hawthorn has earned a good reputation for centuries. It improves blood circulation by dilating blood vessels. Of course, the popular green tea, which you can get from stores, is well known for lowering blood pressure.
Caffeine excites the central nervous system and raises the body’s stress response mechanism. This means elevating blood pressure. If you are already suffering from high blood pressure, drinking caffeinated beverages is not a good idea. If you are a habitual coffee drinker, withdrawing from it can cause headaches. Ask your doctor about managing caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Or you can gradually withdraw by reducing your intake slowly over a month.