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Archive for the ‘Fitness Training’ Category

Ripped Abs or Ripped Off?

Monday, April 11th, 2011

 

We’ve all seen fitness product infomercials on TV trying to sell us equipment that would give us a fit, lean body with ripped abdominal muscles with exercising for just for several minutes a day. Some of us might even have been lured into purchasing such equipment with the hopes of achieving results and finally looking like the fitness model in the infomercial; only to find out that the final result achieved was that of disappointment. Billions of dollars are being made by these fitness infomercials that promise quick results with minimum time spent exercising. With all the different exercise equipment that can be purchased on TV, one can easily be confused and misled about what to buy and sometimes even get scammed.

 Before you are tempted to dial that toll free number to purchase one of these so called revolutionary pieces of equipment that will deliver you your dream body let’s analyze some of the claims made by the infomercials:

One size fits all? That might be true for gloves or a scarf or even a woolen hat, but a single piece of exercise equipment for all body types and for toning the entire body? I don’t think so. Overweight and obese people have certain issues such as weak joints, weak lower backs, etc. and are unable to do certain exercises. One piece of equipment will not tone and strengthen all parts of your body while helping you lose weight as the infomercial might claim. Beware of this. Even if it claims to give you a ‘total body workout’, it must be properly adjusted for your height and be able to handle your weight otherwise it can cause injury. Some equipment is constructed poorly requiring the user to be in odd positions thus placing added stress on joints mainly the knees and also the back.

Who’s the expert?  I hate to say this, but certain ‘fitness professionals’ and so called ‘experts’ of the fitness industry are clearly out to make a buck. Women are constantly striving for better butts, abs and thighs and the fitness industry experts know this. Therefore, by inventing gadgets and gizmos that target these problem areas these so called ‘experts’ capitalize on vulnerable consumers luring them in with promising words knowing very well that working out on their device will not produce a lean, toned body – that of the fitness model demonstrating the device. Don’t be enticed by clever marketing instead pay close attention to the fine print which reads: ‘individual results vary’ and ‘results not typical’ which most likely means that you will not get the desired results.

 Backed by research; clinically proven! Really? What research? Don’t believe everything you hear in these infomercials even if it comes from someone in a white coat. Call the company or manufacturer and question them regarding the research. Was the research study published in a journal? Where and under what condition was the research conducted? Who were the research subjects? If their product is truly backed by research they will be more than happy to share that with you and even send you a copy of the report. If they falter, well, you know why!

 Results in only minutes a day! Maybe for brushing your teeth; but definitely not for building a better body. For, if that’s all it took, two-thirds of our country would not be overweight or obese. Building a fit body requires ongoing effort and commitment and will not happen in only 3 to 5 minutes a day with just one piece of equipment. Yet, several infomercials claim that working out on their contraption for just a few minutes a day will give you that dream body. Now that’s clearly a trap!

 Finally, keep in mind that losing weight and getting in shape takes time. Beware of any one piece of equipment that promises to deliver it all. Do some research to avoid being scammed. If the equipment requires you to exercise in an awkward or uncomfortable position, don’t purchase it regardless of how tempting the infomercial sounds. Remember, achieving and maintaining a fit athletic body requires doing a variety of workouts and different exercises that target all your major muscles. It also requires constantly challenging yourself; giving great attention to your diet and nutrition on a daily basis, and above all a long term commitment to fitness,  for only then will you achieve your dream body along with ‘ripped’ abs!

Why women should lift weights

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Along with including adequate calcium in your diet, weight training is the single most important thing you can do to keep your bones and muscles healthy and in good shape as you age.  Women in general tend to shy away from lifting weights. They are more inclined to doing cardiovascular exercises and generally forgo the weights altogether.  

 There is a general perception that weight lifting makes them bulky and big, like the bodybuilders that they see on television. This is far from the truth. Women (unless they are taking steroids or drugs) will not bulk up in such a way for the simple reason that they do not have the hormones required to develop such muscles. However, with proper fitness coaching and a nutritious diet, women can develop a toned, strong, healthy and more attractive physique.

Weight training builds muscle which is a very efficient calorie burning tissue. While fat just sits in your body, muscle tissue is active and burns calories all day long, even when you are inactive.  This is very important for those trying to lose weight as it expedites the overall calorie burning process along with increasing the body’s metabolic rate. Therefore, by adding strength training to a cardiovascular workout, more calories are burned overall.

Weight training will also make you stronger. If muscles are not exercised consistently, muscular strength is lost over a period of years as we age (gracefully). Weight training will give you the overall strength to complete your daily tasks (picking up a grocery bag, carrying or lifting something, squatting to pick up keys, walking up a flight of stairs, etc.) with ease. Strong muscles can handle these tasks with ease and efficiency, well into old age which will definitely impact positively on the overall quality of life.    

Furthermore, women are at high risk of developing heart disease (especially Asian Indian women, due to an improper diet and lack of exercise). Recent studies show that women who carry fat around their midriffs have a higher risk of developing heart disease than women who carry weight in other places. As has been mentioned above, weight training not only accelerates the overall fat burning process; it also lowers cholesterol and improves blood pressure.

Weight training also reduces the risk of diabetes because of increased glucose utilization.  Weight training can decrease the pain of arthritis and osteoarthritis and can strengthen bones and joints while reducing your chances of developing osteoporosis. When weight training is done correctly and on a regular basis, bone mass becomes denser and stronger, thereby, significantly lowering the risk of fractures in old age.

 Weight training has also been found to combat the symptoms of menopause. Studies have also shown weight training to alleviate depression and generally improve moods.  An added bonus is that skin also looks firmer and more youthful as muscular definition starts taking place.

Ladies, I think we have just re-discovered…the fountain of youth!  Why wait? Start your weight training program today!