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Exercise

Why walking is great

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When it comes to exercise most people on the industry make everything harder than it actually is, you may have seen this. If you´ve tried to lose weight you may have found different exercise routines with so many different exercises, long and boring sessions of cardio or intense intervals and you end up hating exercise. One of the secrets to lose weight, keep it off, maintain optimal health and live an long and healthy life is walking.

We can´t deny the fact that nowadays we´re a lot more sedentary than a few years ago, we spend too much time sitting, we´ve become lazy and as we reduce the amount of physical activity we increased the amount of unhealthy foods we eat and with this health problems like obesity, overweight and chronic diseases increased too.

When it comes to cardio people think about it as the best tool for weight loss and they think about steady state cardio which we´ve talked about it in another post (click here to read about it) where you do a certain activity for long periods of time, some people like to go to a park nearby and jog or cycle for 45 to 60 minutes. Others prefer to go to the gym and use a cardio machine for those 45 to 60 minutes.

For most of us it´s hard to schedule 45 to 60 minutes of cardio every day plus some days of resistance exercise, you need to realize that daily physical activity is key so you need to make cardio a daily habit. The good point about this is that you don´t need to go to a gym and use a machine and you don´t need to go to a park nearby, you don´t need to schedule 45 or 60 minutes for a long cardio session.

Walking is one of the best types of exercise you can do every single day to lose weight, maintain your results and maintain optimal health, here are so many reasons and benefits for walking every day:

  • Improves your heart health
  • Improves overall health
  • Improves your lungs
  • Burns calories
  • Improves your mood
  • Reduce stress
  • It´s sustainable
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • It´s convenient
  • It´s low impact

A 10 to 15 minute walk after a meal helps lower blood glucose as a 45 minute walk. For most of us is really hard to get 45 minutes and go for a long walk, and it´s impossible to stick to those 45 minute walks all at once for long periods of time, is really hard to make those long walks a habit, but we can take a 15 minute walk first thing in the morning and after dinner. It´s easier for most of us to get 30 minutes of physical activity just by walking first thing in the morning and after dinner. Since they are short we see them as small challenges we can really accomplish. 10 to 15 minute walks are easier to do and convenient, this set you in the right mindset and it doesn´t matter where you´re at you can get them done.

Being active throughout the day is one of the ways to improve overall health and maintain a healthy weight, sitting for too long leads to health problems and also gain weight so by taking 2 or 3 walks throughout the day or finding ways to stand up is helpful. If you work a 9 to 5 office job and you can get up every couple hours and walk for 2 or 3 minutes it will have a huge positive impact.

Start today taking 2 walks a day, you can start after dinner and get everything ready for tomorrow, there´s no reason to overcomplicate things when you got everything you need to change your life for the better, just follow the simple steps and tips we share with you on this site. If you have any doubts, questions or there´s something you want to know let us know by leaving it down below and on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

How to develop the habit of daily exercise

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Yeap, you read that right. You need to develop the habit of daily exercise if you do want to lose weight once and for all. There´s no other way to lose weight, keep it off and maintain optimal health.

Even when following a healthy diet, getting enough high quality sleep and keeping stress low will do wonders to help you maintain an healthy weight and optimal health in general, exercise also plays an important role on making it all possible.

As I´ve mentioned in other posts, your weight loss journey is not only a period of time you´re focused on losing weight, during that same period of time you are developing the habits you need to keep that weight off. This is why you start small and build from there.

The way to develop the habit of daily exercise is by replacing unhealthy or bad habits with good ones. Most of us are sedentary, we spend so much time sitting whether it´s on the car driving from home to the office and back or sitting in front of a computer or screen working or on the couch watching tv. This sedentary lifestyle is one of the reasons why so many of us are struggling with our weight.

One of the best ways to develop the habit of daily exercise is by doing some physical activity first thing in the morning. When you do some exercise in the morning you set your day to be more positive and productive, we talked before about how exercise improves your mood so after exercising you feel a sense of accomplishment plus you get all the endorphins that trigger that positive and good mood setting you for a great day.

If you´re struggling with your weight and you´ve been following an unhealthy diet for years and you´ve been sedentary your first goal is to increase physical activity throughout the day, there are 2 simple steps to make this possible:

1.- Every morning go for a 10 to 15 minute walk before breakfast. When you wake up try to take a walk as soon as possible, the more time it takes you to get that walk done the harder it will be for you, the first days and weeks it will be hard because you´re not use to it, and you want to stay on bed so you need to get up as fast as you can and go for that walk. Then when you´re done you can have breakfast or start your day.

2.- Every day right after having dinner go for another 10 to 15 minute walk. Do not spend too much time sitting at the table after you´re done eating, instead get up, do the dishes and go for a walk.

This 2 steps may seem so simple but taking action is the hardest part. You don´t want to follow intense workout programs your first goal is to get some physical activity, to start moving and then with time you start increasing effort and time. You don´t need to suffer and make the exercise routines so intense that you feel like dying, in fact this can be dangerous and harmful for your health and body leading to injuries and health problems so you need to start slow and build up.

By taking this two 15 minute walks you´ll be getting 30 minutes of total physical activity every day, it´s easier to stick to this type of exercise since most of us have some free time after waking up and right after dinner and we use that time to read the news or check social media so you change those minutes for something that will have a greater positive impact on your life. Trust you won´t lose anything important during that time, you only need 10 minutes to get up to date on news and social media every day.

You need to make those 30 minute a routine first so focus on those for a couple of weeks, then you need to find another 30 to 45 minutes 4 to 5 days a week for resistance exercise.

You don´t need to spend hours every day in the gym to get an amazing physique, you just need to exercise the right way with the right amount of effort and intensity. Remember that consistency and discipline are more important.

Follow to 2 steps I mentioned here for a couple of weeks and let us know how you feel by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Best exercise for weight loss

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Weight loss is a long and hard journey, you feel tired all the time and your body hurts. Your knees hurt, your back hurts, you can´t stay standing up for more than a couple minutes at a time, you spend most of the time sitting on a couch or lying in bed. I can´t deny the fact that the first weeks are going to be tough but if you give this exercises a try and stick to them you will start feeling better every day.

Even when some types of exercise are better than others for weight loss the best exercise if the one you like and enjoy doing and the reason is this. To be able to lose weight and keep it off you need to develop healthy habits and one of those habits is exercise, you need to do some type of physical activity every day, so discipline and consistency is key and the only way to do it is by doing something you enjoy otherwise you´ll see it as something you are forced to do and at some point you will give up.

I mentioned in past posts that cardio is not the best option for weight loss, too much cardio can lead to muscle loss if you´re not doing resistance training and even when doing resistance training both types of exercises send different signals or messages to your body.

Getting stronger by doing bodyweight and compound exercises and increasing physical activity throughout the day like walking are the best tools to lose weight and maintain your results. Now knowing this information, you need to find out what you like and enjoy doing.

What I recommend is doing bodyweight exercises like push ups, squats, pull ups, leg raises, dips there are many reasons why this exercises are great and one of them is that you need a lot of strength to get to the most difficult variations of each and you need to lose weight to make it easier for you, also take a 10 to 15 minute walk first thing in the morning before breakfast and another 10 to 15 minute walk right after dinner, make those walks moderate intensity, make then challenging. The only way to see your body changing is by putting it through something it´s never been before, you need the right stimuli and with body weight exercises you´re giving the right stimuli to the muscles to get stronger and by walking you are burning some calories which combine with a healthy diet and eating less you´ll lose weight.

Doing one arm push ups or one arm chin ups or pistol squats look amazing, if you want to impress a guy or a girl this is the way to do it… well at least one way. You won´t see a lot of people doing harder versions of bodyweight exercises.

There´s a huge advantage to this workout, first it´s simple and you can do it almost everywhere, you don´t need expensive gym equipment or machines you may only need a pull up bar and a good pair of sneaker and a pair of sweat pants. You can do this at home until you feel more confident and want to do something else like going to a gym or practice any sport.

Another huge advantage is that if you do this consistently which is the most important point which means you need to exercise every day and you eat a little less of healthy foods then you´ll see results and the results you´ll see will amaze you so you´ll stay motivated and stick to the program until you develop the healthy habits you need.

It´s easier to stick to any program when you enjoy the exercise or physical activity so is you don´t like bodyweight exercise but you like yoga or pilates go ahead, give those a try and see what you like more, if you like jump rope then try it too, the key is to find something you like and that you do it consistently. You need to think about your weight loss journey as a journey to develop healthy habits that will lead to sustainable weight loss and maintaining optimal health.

If you´ve tried a weight loss program let us know what type of exercise where you doing, if you like it or not and what were your results.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Benefits of isolation exercises

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For the last posts we´ve been talking about types of exercises, we talked about bodyweight and compound now lets talk about isolation exercises which are helpful for some muscles.

Isolation exercises are single-joint movements and they work one muscle at a time so we can´t lift heavy weight with these exercises. They may not be the best option to gain strength, but they have their space on some workouts.

When you go to the gym you´ll see most girls ang guys doing a lot of different exercises and using different machines, most of those exercises are isolation exercises. If you start exercising and you get assigned a trainer she or he will also make you do different exercises with small dumbbells or bands, most of those exercises are isolation. If you´re starting your fitness journey and your goal is to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight considering muscle mass and body fat and maintain optimal health then you don´t need a lot of this isolation exercises in fact most of them can be a waste of time for you, but you still need to know why people in the industry use them and why they are important for some girls or guys, especially for bodybuilders and those who compete.

If your goal is to lose fat and get lean, you can create a great exercise program with just bodyweight and compound exercises but if your goal is to gain muscle you can add some isolation exercises to hit weaker muscles and increase the amount of work for the muscles.

While for compound movements you can lift heavy weight and work on myofibrillar hypertrophy, strength and power, with isolation movements you can´t lift heavy.

If you feel like a muscle group needs more work, then you can use isolation exercises to give that muscle the extra work it´s missing. You´ll be using a weight we can lift for around 12 to15 reps, you can go a bit heavier and hit the 10 to 12 reps. In both reps ranges you´ll be working on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy range (if you want to learn more about types of hypertrophy click here).

There are so many isolation exercises and variations for every muscle group that it can get overwhelming, to keep it simple you can stick with some few exercises for 2 or 3 months so that you can see your progress, especially if you are starting your fitness journey. You need to get familiar with the movements using lighter weight before you can add more weight and that process takes time.

When you focus on bodyweight and compound movements, you may feel like some muscles are weaker or lagging and want to work them more, for this you use isolation exercises to hit those muscle specifically. 1 or 2 exercises for those weaker muscles is all you need, there´s no reason to do a lot more, if you feel like we still need more you can use some of the variables and advance techniques you´ll be talking about on future post like rest pause, failure training, drop sets, etc.

When your goal is gaining muscle you may be looking to gain muscle mass on one specific muscle so the way to do this is by adding more volume which you can do by combining bodyweight, compound and isolation exercises, you can use bodyweight and compound for heavy weight low reps and you can add 1 or 2 isolation exercises with lower weight and high reps, this way you can hit that muscle with both types of hypertrophy and add more volume.

One point that needs to be really clear is that isolation exercises isolate muscles so they work one muscle at a time this means that you won´t be able to lift heavy weight, you use them to add more volume to your workouts especially on weaker muscles, if you let your ego get in the way and you try to lift more weight you can get injured. You need to avoid all types of injuries because they can take us off the gym for a certain period of time.

You exercise at home or in the gym to build your best physique possible, one that looks great and that is useful so you don´t care about what others around you are doing, you focus on your progress on being better than the last time you did it.

All exercises we can find in books, magazines, internet, etc they all belong to one of the 3 types we´ve seen in the last posts which are bodyweight, compound and isolation but we can find so many different exercises that can be overwhelming if we try to do them all. As I´ve said before we can keep things simple by focusing on what works, we can stick to a few exercises for each muscle group and develop a great physique.

I know this is a lot of information and most of them may not be useful for you but understanding why they are so popular on gyms is important. I mentioned before that weight loss and fitness can get very complex but I´ll try to keep everything as simple as possible, for what I remember this is one of the most complex information I´ll be sharing with you so don´t get overwhelmed by it or stressed out.

On future posts we´ll be sharing easy tips and steps you can follow to lose weight so stay tuned.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Benefits of compound exercises

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Every time I pass through a gym I see people doing so many different exercises for each muscle group which for me only makes the workouts more complicated, if you are one of those guys or girls who do a bunch of exercises for each muscle group but, you´re doing them for a reason, and you understand why then that´s great but, many people don´t understand why they´re doing certain things a certain way, they just follow some workout they found on the internet or the one that some  friend recommended them.

In the last posts we talked about bodyweight exercises now let’s talk about compound movements which along with bodyweight exercises are really helpful to get an amazing physique and improve overall fitness and strength.

Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work several muscles at the same time which gives us the opportunity to lift more weight. The more weight we can lift, the stronger we get, and we gain more muscle (considering that our food program is right). This type of exercises have a lot of benefits including lowering the risk of injuries (considering that we don´t let our ego get in the way), we can do more in less time but it doesn´t mean that it´s going to be easy and we keep things simple.

Performing compound movements with free weights (barbells or dumbbells) is the best option even when we can´t lift the same amount of weight compared to gym machines or other equipment.

My approach to training is old school, sticking with a few basic exercises with high weight and low reps and adjusting some variables according to the goal you´re working on. Since compound exercises are multi-joint movements, you can lift more weight, so they are the perfect option to lift more weight in a low rep range.

Compound movements also require balance and coordination so as you keep increasing the weight your performance will improve too.

When you are using compound movements it is simple and effective but it doesn´t mean it´s easy. And since you´re working with low reps and high weight things get harder meaning maximum muscle recruitment and high nervous-system activation this is the right stimuli for muscle growth and strength. Here you need to consider recovery, which is as important as your workouts, the central nervous system needs more time to recover so you can´t train the same muscle group 2 days continuously.

If your goal is fat loss, you can stay with bodyweight and compound exercises and focus on low rep ranges around 8 to 10 and make sure that you maintain strength so that you maintain muscle mass.

You don´t need to do a lot of different exercises for each muscle group, keep what works and eliminate what doesn´t work. If you focus on key movements, you can build a great physique that is useful, there´s no reason to look great if you can´t perform great. Your goal is to improve body composition and build a physique you are proud of and that is useful for daily activities at your home or your job.

If you´re starting your weight loss journey and you have a lot of weight to lose you can start with bodyweight exercises only as I mentioned on the last post (click here to read that post), once you´ve lost some weight and you feel comfortable you can buy some dumbbells and a bench to start with compound exercises if you still don´t feel comfortable going to a gym. Exercises like squats, bench press and dumbbell or barbell rows are great options. Focus on maintaining good posture and avoid injuries. We´ll talk about all this on future posts so make sure you don´t lose any post.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Benefits of bodyweight exercises

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For someone who is starting their fitness journey or for someone who has many years training, bodyweight exercises are always a staple.

One day I found out some videos on YouTube about calisthenics and all the guys looked amazing, lean and in really good shape, I finished watching the video and I stood up and tried to do some pushups, for my surprise I couldn´t do any… not even one. I felt so weak and angry and realized how could that happened if some years ago I could do 50 pushups?

I practiced Karate for about 11 years since I was 5 and I was able to do 50 pushups, squats, dips and bodyweight rows. Remembering this got me really angry, I wanted to be able to do that same amount of reps on each exercise and increase weight with weighted vest to go low rep.

Bodyweight exercises are one of the best exercises to get in amazing shape for many different reasons, there are variables for each exercise for any fitness level from the simple versions for beginners to more advance versions and we can do them anywhere.

Bodyweight exercises have so many benefits and they can reduce injuries when exercising, with any bodyweight exercise you are moving your body through space and it requires more strength and balance, but since they are compound movements or multi-joint exercises you are working several muscles at the same time and the range of motion is more natural which reduce stress on the joints and avoid injuries.

If you think about what type of exercise can get you in amazing shape and help you build an amazing physique it´s bodyweight, when you start you´ll find all exercises so hard to do and you may feel terrible, you may feel so weak and like failure but don´t give up, we never give up! When you start you know it will be hard and challenging even the most simple versions but that´s how we all begin, with time you start losing fat (if you´re following a right diet program) and you realize that as you lose weight and get stronger the easier all exercises get. As you lose fat and get in better shape, you weigh less so you need to push or carry less weight in the exercises, this is a great motivation to stay lean.

When you´re starting your fitness journey you´re are out of shape and you don´t want to go to the gym because you feel embarrassed so what you can do is start in your home with bodyweight exercises as resistance training and a couple of 10 to 15 minute walks every day for cardio, this helps lose fat and get in shape, with this our self-confidence increases and then you can go to the gym to add more exercises like compound movements and isolation.

We all need to be able to do bodyweight exercises and yoga which both take a lot of skills like strength and balance, when we can control our body and our mind we are able to achieve amazing things in life, it´s amazing the physique we can build just by working on getting stronger and progressing through all different variations of each exercise and we add some yoga poses we learn new skills that will also help us in our day to day.

We know that starting a weight loss journey is hard, you need to start doing physical activity at some point, usually 3 or 4 weeks after changing your diet so with exercise you need to start with small challenges, you do need to challenge yourself in order for it to change but this does not mean that you need to suffer or put yourself at risk of injuries. You can start by doing 10 pushups using a wall instead of the floor, and 10 squats using a chair to help you. Try this for a couple of weeks and let us know how you feel by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Why resistance exercise is important

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Do you lift weight or do some type of resistance exercise or are you afraid that you will gain too much muscle and get big?

Many of us are afraid of lifting weights and doing resistance exercises because we will get big, especially girls, fortunately this is wrong we won´t get big (unless that´s your goal which we will talk about how to do it in other post) but we will look lean, and toned. We think too much about this that we forget all the benefits for overall health that resistance exercise has to offer.

We know that resistance exercise gives the stimulus our muscles need to grow and get stronger, if we want to build an amazing physique resistance exercise is key there´s no other way to achieve a physique that looks lean, toned and strong without giving our body and muscles the stimulus they need.

There are different variables and exercise techniques we can use to get the type of physique we want which we´re going to talk about in a future post. If you´ve to a gym and exercise with a trainer lifting weights you may have found that he made you do a lot of different exercises using dumbbells or machines or a lot of reps. Most fitness trainers use some of variables and techniques we will talk about in future posts but most of them only overcomplicate things. Your goal is to improve body composition which we talked about in another post (click here to read that post). So you don´t need to do all those different exercises and spend hours exercising.

As we get older we start losing muscle mass so we need to make sure that you build lean muscle and maintain it to avoid this loss as you age, it also increases bones mineral density which keeps your bones strong and improves physical performance on daily activities, it increases metabolism, improves body composition, helps you prevent injuries and chronic pains and as you see results, as you see your body changing and getting leaner it bust confidence, increases self-esteem and helps lower anxiety and depression, it also slows and even reverse aging factors.

As we get older we are more susceptible to accidents and injuries so resistance training is a way to make sure that we not only look strong but that we´re actually strong, as cardiovascular exercise has many amazing benefits beyond fat loss and weight management which includes our brain and heart, resistance training also has a lot of amazing benefits that go beyond looking lean which include strong bones.

Resistance training can get really complex if we talk about all the training variables and advance techniques you can use if you have a more advanced fitness goal, but if your goal is only to get in shape, sustain it to maintain optimal health you can keep your programs really simple what you need to consider is that both cardio and resistance have great benefits for health so if you can find ways to use them both not necessarily the same day that´s the way to go.

You don´t need to go to a gym if you don´t want, you can get a really good workout with bodyweight exercises and if you want to add more volume you can add compound exercises. Going to a gym when you´re out of shape or starting in fitness is very overwhelming, being in public and exercising around other people can make you feel uncomfortable because we know unfortunately some of them are not nice, you don´t feel good and don´t have the confidence so you can start at home with minimal equipment.

Making your programs based on resistance training is the best option, if you over-do it with cardio we can lose muscle and that´s not what you want so you need to create the resistance part of your program based on your goals first, then you add cardio to help you achieve your goals faster and also to get those benefits.

If your goal is health and living a better life then keeping things simple with just a few exercises done correctly with the right amount of intensity and effort is all you need, you can get a great workout in 45 minutes and you don´t need to do resistance exercises every day, and with two or three 10 to 15 minute walks every day you´ll get great results.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you´ve ever done resistance exercise or lift weights and what were your results. Also if you struggle with something, we´ll be glad to help.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Cardio exercise – HIIT

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If you´ve tried to lose weight before and you´ve made a research to find out what was the best and fastest way you may have ended up confused and overwhelmed with all the information. I´m sure you have heard about HIIT as a great tool to lose weight fast.

HIIT (high intensity interval training) this means that we do an exercise for example sprints for 10 to 30 seconds as hard as we can and we rest for 30 to 60 seconds and we repeat it for several times.

Studies show that HIIT burns more fat than steady state cardio and there are studies that show that HIIT can also increase lean muscle mass so if we consider this studies HIIT is the best option for fat loss and to stay lean.

So how does HIIT help you burn more calories than traditional steady state cardio? The answer is EPOC. Actually if we compare the calories burn on each type of exercise (HIIT and steady state) we´ll see that we burn more calories with steady than with HIIT, but the benefits of HIIT come after we are done with our workout. Once we´ve finished our HIIT session our body´s metabolism stays high burning more calories for some period of time, this is called excess-post- oxygen consumption. It´s the amount of oxygen your body needs to get back to normal.

HIIT can also increase muscle mass but it can interfere with your recovery, if you´re doing resistance exercise and you´re giving your all then doing too many sessions of HIIT will make it harder and longer to recover from those resistance work outs.

Since most of us want to lose as much weight as fast as possible and without spending too much time exercising a lot of programs are using interval training to give you this results. I do consider it as an option and a great tool to keep the workouts challenging every other day, but I don´t recommend doing it every day.

HIIT  is considered for many people in the industry as the best tool to get leaner and healthier in a faster way, but lets consider something, even when HIIT can help you gain some muscle and can burn a lot of calories in a short period of time and that fat burn can continue for some hours after you´re done this does not mean that it´s the best tool for you.

If you´re starting your weight loss journey and you feel tired, if your body hurts then this type of cardio is not the right option for you, yet! You need to start with something you can do, your goal right now is to increase physical activity so walking is a great way to start, once you´ve lost some weight and you feel more comfortable exercising you can then try some high intensity intervals always knowing your limits and avoiding all injuries and health issues.

We can´t deny the fact that when you start eating healthy, avoid all unhealthy foods, eating less and start doing exercise or find ways to increase physical activity you´ll lose weight and when you lose weight your health improves so there´s no reason to do crazy types of exercises that are not the best option for you increasing your risk of injuries just to get results faster.

As with all exercises I´m not against it and I do recommend you give it a try when you are able to do it. You need to talk to your doctor or health care practitioner first and listen to what she/he recommends, if you´re not ready for it, yet just wait a little more.

After losing some weight you may be able to try this type of exercise to see if you like it, for this you need to start slow, you can start with sprints, 20 to 30 seconds sprint as fast as you can and rest for 45 to 60 seconds. Repeat 6 to 8 rounds. Do this one or two times a week and see how you feel. Remember that before doing any type of exercise and especially before starting HIIT you need to talk to your doctor or health care practitioner about it.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you´ve tried this type of cardio before and what were your results or if you´re interested on giving it a try.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Cardio – Steady state

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With so much information out there, when you want to improve your health and lose weight once and for all it gets overwhelming and confusing so the best you can do is understand how everything works. This is true for exercise, diet, sleep, stress.

We know that exercise is important and it has so many benefits for maintaining optimal health. On the last post we talked about the differences between cardio and resistance training (click here to read that post) today we´re going to talk about one of the most common forms of cardio, steady state cardio.

I´m sure you´ve seen people in the park walking, jogging, taking some rides on their bike for 30 to 45 minutes or even longer or at the gym using cardio machines like elliptical, treadmill, stationary bike and also doing 30 to 45 minutes or more at the same pace. If they get bored, they´ll go a littler faster for a short period of time or if they get tired or reduce the speed.

Steady state cardio is an exercise you do for long periods of time at the same pace and intensity. It can be jogging, cycling, swimming. The intensity needs to be low to moderate so that you are able to maintain it for the duration of your session being at least 30 minutes.

Steady state cardio has some benefits:

1.- Speed recovery.- Steady state cardio helps you recover faster than HIIT (will talk about it on future posts). Low to moderate intensity of steady state increases blood flow and this boost recovery after hard training resistance exercise.

2.- Burns calories.- We mentioned in past posts that cardio helps you burn calories, this is why many people use it as their principle weight loss tool.

3.- Improves endurance.- I f you like marathons, cycling, jogging, swimming long distances then steady state helps you improve your cardiovascular endurance.

Now lets talk about some of the reason why I don´t like steady state cardio. As I mentioned before, cardio and resistance exercise send different signals to our body, with steady state cardio you´re telling your body to become more efficient so it will just less and less calories and you´ll lose muscle because muscle needs a lot more energy. The other reason why I don´t recommend it is because talking about doing steady cardio makes it harder to stick to it, most of us don´t have time to do 45 to 60 minutes of resistance training plus another 45 or 60 minutes of cardio at one shot, it´s long and boring.

Lets be honest we all want to find the fastest and easiest way to achieve our goals, how can we lose weight as fast as possible with the least effort? For some of us losing a lot of weight fast is not healthy but there are strategies we can use to make sure that you get the best results and doing long hours of steady cardio is not one of them.

When you´re starting your fitness journey after being sedentary for years then doing any physical activity will feel like hell, your knees and back hurts and you feel tired so there´s no reason to think about doing hours of steady cardio when it´s not the best option. To start your weight loss journey if you´re following an unhealthy diet, overeating and you don´t do any physical activity you start by changing your diet first and stick to it for a couple weeks then you add some physical activity, that physical activity is going for a 10 minute walk in the morning before breakfast and another 10 minute walk after dinner. This is not the same as doing 30 or 45 minutes of jogging all at once.

If you´re trying to lose weight let us know what you´ve done or what programs you´ve followed and what were your results by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

The difference between cardio and resistance exercise.

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The thought of wanting to lose some weight and in some cases that you need to lose weight because of health issues is terrifying. You know you´ll need to make some changes, you know that exercise is important but that mental fear paralyze you more than your body hurting. 

Before you even start doing some physical activity there are some points you need to understand and one of them is the types of exercise you can and most do to improve your overall health and lose weight. We will keep it simple so we´ll only talk about cardio and resistance exercises.

I know a lot of people who like to go for long walks or jog around 60 minutes almost every day, since all of them have a 9 to 5 job they go for this long runs or walks on weekends or when they don´t have to work. The reason they do it is not because they like it, it´s more because of health and weight reasons. I can´t deny that physical activity is great but, too much cardio can have a negative impact on your weight and health thanks to the signals it sends to your body.

Many of us think of cardio as the way to lose weight we think we need to do it even when those sessions are long and boring. We think this because that what the industry has told us and made us believe but this is not completely true, cardio is not the best way to lose weight and keep it off, you can actually skip cardio completely and if you do resistance exercise you´ll be fine, you´ll lose weight and keep it off. But cardio has so many benefits for health and it still has its place.

The reason why many people in the industry make you think that cardio is a great tool for fat loss is this, there are research that shows that one hour of cardio compared to one hour of resistance training burns more calories while you are doing it so, thinking about weight loss as calories in and calories out if you want to lose fat  you need to do cardio to burn more calories right?

Not so fast, … with all types of exercise you send signals to your body and your body will respond accordingly to that signal. With cardio you are sending the message to your body to become more efficient at using calories.

If you´ve been spending the last years without doing any exercise, the moment you start exercising it will feel like hell, you´ll be so tired and you´ll burn a lot of calories but with time if you continue doing the same exercise, for the same amount of time at the same intensity it´ll become easier and easier and your body uses less energy and it burns less calories every time you do it, your body adapts. If you increase the intensity and time you can start losing muscle mass because your body needs to become efficient at that activity and muscle needs a lot more energy and in an activity focused on endurance muscle mass is not needed in fact is counterproductive to have so much muscle. You can see this in marathon runners.

After following a weight loss program based on cardio for a long period of time we´ll need to do more exercise and eat less to sustain your results this is why  it´s almost impossible to maintain the results when you stop the program.

With resistance exercise the signal you are giving to your body is to get stronger, when you are doing resistance exercises you are giving a stimuli to the muscles and that stimuli let your body knows that it needs those muscles so it needs to get stronger and grow to be able to make it through the next workout.

We talked about the importance of improving body composition in a past post (click here to read it) and the way to do it is by focusing on resistance exercises to build muscle and add some cardio. This does not means that you will get big, it only means that you focus on improving your health and weight considering lean muscle mass and body fat.

Now you may be asking how do you start with cardio or resistance exercises. It all depends on where you are now, how much you can do, just by taking a 10 minute walk first thing in the morning before breakfast and another 10 minute walk right after dinner, doing 10 squats and 10 pushups is all you need. You can start with easy versions or levels of squats and push ups like using a chair for the squats and a wall for push ups.

Your goal is to focus on doing this two 10 minute walk, the squats and push ups every day. What you want is to develop the habit of increasing physical activity and exercising. Do this for a couple of weeks and let us know your results, how you feel and what you´re struggling with by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam