Thursday, June 30, 2022

Reasons Why Summer Is The Best Season


1.    There are Reduced Rates of Heart Attacks in the Summer
Research indicates that you are less likely to die of a heart attack in the summer than in the winter. In a study of almost 11,000 people who had heart attacks over a period of nine years, survival rate increased by 19 per cent if the attack occurred in the summer. Higher levels of Vitamin D – which is synthesized by sunlight – are also thought to play a protective part in those who suffer heart attacks.


2.    People eat more fruit
Rising temperatures and increased availability of summer fruits make it easier to fulfil the recommended quota of eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. They also boost the immune system and, because of their low calorie content, help with weight loss.


3.    Relieves skin complaints
Controlled exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can have a therapeutic effect on skin complaints such as acne, psoriasis and dermatitis.


4.    Increases agility
The summer is an excellent time to begin an exercise program. Not only do summer clothes provide an incentive to get the body in shape, but the feel-good factor created by sunlight boosts our enthusiasm to begin a fitness regime. Exercise is not only the most effective way to burn up excess calories, but also improves the vital flow of oxygen to the brain, lowering stress levels and improving powers of concentration.


5.    Increases our water consumption
Water is vital to thousands of chemical processes that take place in the body’s cells to enable it to function. These include promoting digestion, regulating body temperature, improving the health and vitality of our skin and flushing toxins from the body. In the summer months we are more inclined to drink the recommended ounces of water a day needed for optimum health. Take your body weight, divide it in half and that is how many ounces you should aim for every day. 


6.    Helps to regulate sleep disorders
Waking up to the sun and getting early-morning exposure to its light can help those suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia. This is because sunlight helps the body’s internal biological clock reset itself. Sleep experts recommend exposure to an hour of sunlight between 7am and 9am each morning to help those who have problems getting to sleep at night.



Saturday, June 25, 2022

Importance Of Exercise Intensity


What Is Exercise Intensity?

Intensity is probably the most important element of your workout. When you work out at a sufficient intensity, your body grows stronger and you'll see changes in your weight, body fat percentage, endurance, and strength. Exercise intensity is usually described as low, moderate, or vigorous.

Low Intensity Exercise

Low intensity exercise raises your heart rate mildly and then keeps it steady. It is fairly slow-paced. Examples of low intensity exercises include:

  • Walking at a leisurely pace
  • Riding a bike on flat ground
  • Lifting light weights
  • Using an elliptical machine at a slow pace

Moderate Intensity Exercise

A moderate intensity workout raises your heart rate. You will be sweating, breathing heavier, and moving at a quicker pace. You may not be able to talk easily, and you will feel warm.  Examples of moderate intensity exercises are:

  • Hiking
  • Brisk walking
  • Biking at 10 miles per hour or less
  • Water aerobics

Vigorous Intensity Exercise

Vigorous intensity exercise gets your heart pumping, elevates your heart rate, and leaves you breathing hard. When working out at more intense levels, you will likely not be able to talk for long stretches without needing to take a breath. Examples of vigorous intensity exercises include:

  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Jumping rope
  • Cycling faster than 10 miles per hour

Benefits of Moderate and Vigorous Intensity Exercise

Increasing the intensity of your workouts can have many benefits. Regular moderate to vigorous exercise offers health advantages.

  • Improved mood: Studies have shown that increasing the intensity of a physical activity can have a positive impact on mood and lower symptoms of depression. 
  • Increased calorie burn and metabolic rate: A small study examined 10 male subjects and found that 45-minute vigorous exercise resulted in higher calorie burn and a post-workout energy expenditure that lasted for 14 hours. 
  • Lower mortality risk: A 2019 research review examined how vigorous and moderate exercise affected mortality risk and found that higher intensity workouts, in particular, lowered the risk of death.

How Hard Should You Work?

How hard you work out during any fitness session depends on a variety of factors. Your current fitness level, any physical limitations, and your fitness goals all affect desired workout intensity. And it's also important to vary your workouts and intensity levels to decrease the risk of injury and burnout.

Adults should participate in both aerobic (cardio) and muscle-strengthening workouts every week to improve their health, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise per week (that's 30 minutes a day for five days, but you can schedule it any way that works for you).

How to Measure Exercise Intensity

It's helpful to monitor your intensity while exercising to make sure you're getting an effective workout. Unfortunately, it's one of the harder elements of exercise to measure. There are several choices, but none of them are perfect. It often takes a combination of methods to really get a sense of how hard you're working.

Heart Rate

Using a percentage of your maximum heart rate (MHR) is probably the most widely used method of tracking intensity. It's simple, as long as you have a heart rate monitor device. For this method, you use a formula such as the Karvonen Formula to determine your target heart rate zone – the heart rate zone you try to work within to get the most effective workout.

The drawbacks: Formulas used to calculate target heart rate are imperfect and can be off by as much as 12 beats per minute. And you'll need a heart-rate monitor (with chest strap, for greater accuracy) or fitness tracker, unless you want to take your pulse regularly and do some calculations.

Heart rate monitors and fitness trackers that detect your heart rate use it as the basis for displaying your exercise intensity. 

Talk Test

This is a very easy test to figure out your intensity: Just pay attention to how breathless you are. If you can easily talk, you're working at a light intensity, which is fine for a warm-up. If you can talk, but it's a little harder, you're getting more into the moderate zone. If you can only speak in short sentences, that's right about where you want to be for a vigorous workout.

If you're doing hight-intensity interval training, that may include some breathless or anaerobic intervals where talking is out of the question. This is the high end of the intensity spectrum.

Perceived Exertion

Your rating of perceived exertion (RPE), refers to how hard an exercise feels. The standard scale is the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion, which ranges from 6-20 and is designed to help you estimate your heart rate by multiplying the rating by 10. If you're at a 15 on the Borg scale, you're working pretty hard (say, running) and your heart rate is an estimated 150 beats per minute (15 x 10).

You could also use a 1-10 scale, which is a little simpler. The idea is to check in and ask yourself how hard you're working. If you're very comfortable, maybe you're at a level 3 or 4. If you feel like you're exercising, but are still just in your comfort zone, you may be at a level 5. If you're sweating and very breathless, you might be at a Level 8 or 9.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you increase the intensity of exercise?

Increase the intensity of your workout by adding speed or difficulty. That could mean boosting your running speed, increasing the weight you're lifting, or walking or hiking at a steeper incline.

Where do muscles get their energy during high intensity exercise?

For quick bursts of energy, your muscles will pull from adenosine triphosphate (ATP) stores.  Carbohydrates are most often converted into ATP for moderate and high intensity workouts.

How do you monitor exercise intensity?

You can monitor your exercise intensity by using any of the three main test methods: measuring your heart rate, doing the talk test, or checking your rating of perceived exertion.


Friday, June 10, 2022

Benefits Of A Pool Workout

What are the benefits of pool exercises? 

Because water offers heavier resistance than air, working out in the pool can make the same exercises that you’d do on land more challenging in water.

The heavier resistance can engage your muscles more fully and also help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. Aquatic exercise allows you to get a great cardio workout, while also increasing your:

  • strength
  • endurance
  • flexibility

The buoyancy of water also provides extra support for your muscles and joints. This allows you to work out harder while putting less impact on your body than you would on land.

Aquatic exercise is especially helpful for people who have joint conditions, such as osteoarthritic and rheumatoid arthritis.

It’s also a gentler form of exercise for pregnant women and people who have:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Balance issues 
  • Joint injuries

Do you need any special equipment? 

If you attend an aquatic class at a fitness center, the facility will likely provide any equipment that you need. Some pools may even have water treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes. Remember to bring:

  • a towel
  • swim cap
  • a pair of goggles

If you’re going to work out on your own, you may want to buy some of the following gear:

  • Wrist or ankle weights. These strap-on weights can increase the resistance of your arm and leg movements in water. 
  • Foam dumbbells. Lightweight when dry, they become heavy when you put them in water. 
  • Hand paddles or resistance gloves. Both types of equipment can boost your strength training in water. 
  • Kickboard. A great tool for many drills, it allows you to hold on and stay afloat while doing core and lower body workouts. 
  • Buoyancy belt. This can keep your head above water so you can do arm exercises without treading water. 

Pool exercises for a full-body workout 

1. Walk in water

Walking in water is a good exercise to start off with as it helps you get a feeling for how you can create resistance. Walking in water can target your arms, core, and lower body. You can increase the intensity by using hand or ankle weights.

1.    Start off walking in shallow water, around waist height.

2.    Lengthen your spine and walk by putting pressure on your heel first and then your toes, instead of walking on your tiptoes.

3.    Keep your arms at your side, in the water, and move them as you walk.

4.    Engage your core and stand tall as you walk.

5.    Continue walking for 5-10 minutes.

2. Water arm lifts

This exercise will help strengthen the muscles in your arms. Using foam dumbbells will help add more resistance.

1.    Stand in water up to your shoulders.

2.    Hold the dumbbells at your side, with your palms facing up.

3.    Draw your elbows in close to your torso as you lift your forearms to the height of the water.

4.    Rotate your wrists to turn your palms facedown.

5.    Lower your arms back to the starting position.

6.    Do 1-3 sets of 10-15 reps for each exercise.

3. Lateral arm lifts

This exercise, which targets your upper body, is also best done with foam dumbbells.

1.    Stand in water up to your shoulders.

2.    Hold the dumbbells at your side.

3.    Raise your arms to the side until they’re level with the water and your shoulders.

4.    Lower your arms back down to your sides.

5.    Do 1-3 sets of 8-14 repetitions.

4. Back wall glide

This exercise helps to activate the muscles in your core and lower body.

1.    Hold onto the pool ledge, tuck your knees into your chest, and press your feet into the wall.

2.    Push off from the wall and float on your back as far as you can.

3.    Draw your knees into your chest, press your feet down to the bottom of the pool, and run back to the wall.

4.    Continue this exercise for 5-10 minutes.

5. Jumping jacks

Jumping jacks work the muscles in both your upper and lower body. You can add resistance with wrist and ankle weights.

1.    Stand in water at chest level.

2.    Start with your feet together and your arms at your side.

3.    Jump by moving your legs outward and, at the same time, bringing your arms over your head.

4.    Jump again to return to the starting position with your feet together and your arms at your side.

5.    Do 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

6. Leg shoots

This dynamic exercise works your core, low back, and legs.

1.    Keep your feet off the bottom of the pool during this exercise.

2.    Tuck your knees into your chest.

3.    Explosively press your feet and legs out in front and float flat on your back.

4.    Draw your knees back into your chest.

5.    Press your legs out behind you so you’re floating on your stomach.

6.    This is 1 repetition. Do 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

7. High-knee lift extensions

This exercise can strengthen the muscles in your core and lower body. Add ankle weights to increase the difficulty.

1.    Stand in water at waist height.

2.    Engage your core as you lift your right leg, bending your knee until your leg is level with the water.

3.    Pause with your leg lifted for a few seconds.

4.    Extend your leg straight out and hold this position for a few seconds.

5.    Slowly lower your leg down, keeping it straight.

6.    Repeat this move with your left leg.

7.    Continue for 5-10 minutes.

8. Leg kicks

This exercise works the muscles in your core and legs. Use ankle weights to make it more challenging.

1.    Hold onto the pool ledge or hold a kickboard.

2.    Flutter-kick your legs.

3.    Scissor-kick your legs open and closed.

4.    Do a breaststroke kick with your legs.

5.    Follow with dolphin kicks.

6.    Do each kick for 1-3 minutes.

Safety tips

  • You may sweat more than you realize when you’re working out in water, so stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids before and after you work out.
  • Use a floatation device if you’re not a strong swimmer, like a buoyancy belt or floatation vest.
  • Avoid working out in a pool that’s heated above 90°F (32°C).

Stop exercising if you feel:

  • lightheaded or dizzy
  • unable to breathe
  • nauseous
  • faint or weak
  • pain or pressure in your chest or upper body

The bottom line 

Water workouts are an effective way to boost your cardio fitness while also strengthening the major muscle groups in your body. Pool exercises are especially helpful for anyone with joint issues or injuries, as well as those who are pregnant or have balance trouble.



Friday, June 3, 2022

Pre-Workout Nutrition


Knowing What to Eat Is Important

Fueling your body with the right nutrients prior to exercise will give you the energy and strength you need to perform better.

Each macronutrient has a specific role before a workout. However, the ratio in which you need to consume them varies by the individual and type of exercise.

Below is a brief look at the role of each macronutrient.


Your muscles use the glucose from carbs for fuel.

Glycogen is the way the body processes and stores glucose, mainly in the liver and muscles.

For short- and high-intensity exercise, your glycogen stores are your muscles’ main source of energy.

But for longer exercises, the degree to which carbs are used depends on several factors. These include the intensity, type of training and your overall diet.

Your muscles’ glycogen stores are limited. As these stores become depleted, your output and intensity diminish.

Studies have consistently shown that carbs can increase glycogen stores and utilization while boosting carb oxidation during exercise.

Carb loading, which involves consuming a high-carb diet for 1–7 days, is a well-known method to maximize glycogen stores.


Many studies have documented the potential of pre-workout protein consumption to improve athletic performance.

Eating protein (alone or with carbs) prior to exercise has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis.

One study showed a positive anabolic response after participants consumed 20 grams of whey protein before exercise.

Other benefits of eating protein before exercise include:

  • A better anabolic response, or muscle growth 
  • Improved muscle recovery 
  • Increased strength and lean body mass 
  • Increased muscle performance 


While glycogen is used for short- and high-intensity bouts of exercise, fat is the source of fuel for longer and moderate-to-low-intensity exercise.

Some studies have investigated the effects of fat intake on athletic performance. However, these studies looked at high-fat diets over a long period, rather than prior to exercise.

For example, one study showed how a four-week diet consisting of 40% fat increased endurance running times in healthy, trained runners.

The Timing of Your Pre-Workout Meal Is Key

The timing of your meal is also an important aspect of pre-exercise nutrition.

To maximize the results of your training, try to eat a complete meal containing carbs, protein and fat 2–3 hours before you exercise.

However, in some cases, you may not be able to get in a full meal 2–3 hours before working out.

In that case, then you can still eat a decent pre-workout meal. However, keep in mind that the sooner you eat before your workout, the smaller and simpler the meal should be.

If you eat 45–60 minutes prior to your workout, choose foods that are simple to digest and contain mainly carbs and some protein.

This will help prevent any stomach discomfort during exercise.

Some Examples of Pre-Workout Meals

Which foods and how much to eat depends on the type, duration and intensity of the workout.

A good rule of thumb is to eat a mixture of carbs and protein prior to exercise.

If you eat fat with your pre-workout meal, then it should be consumed at least a few hours before your workout.

Here are some examples of balanced pre-workout meals:

If Your Workout Starts Within 2–3 Hours or More

  • Sandwich on whole-grain bread, lean protein and a side salad
  • Egg omelet and whole-grain toast topped with avocado spread and a cup of fruit
  • Lean protein, brown rice and roasted vegetables

If Your Workout Starts Within 2 Hours

  • Protein smoothie made with milk, protein powder, banana and mixed berries
  • Whole-grain cereal and milk
  • A cup of oatmeal topped with banana and sliced almonds
  • Natural almond butter and fruit preserve sandwich on whole-grain bread

If Your Workout Starts Within an Hour or Less

  • Greek yogurt and fruit
  • Nutrition bar with protein and wholesome ingredients
  • A piece of fruit, such as a banana, orange or apple

Keep in mind that you don’t need to eat many pre-workout meals at different times. Just choose one of these.

For best results, experiment with different timings and nutrient compositions.