Improving Your Flexibility with These Simple Steps

Improving Your Flexibility with These Simple Steps

It’s never too late to get into athleticism when you grow up. Some individuals may believe that you either learn to stretch at a young age, or you’re stuck with low flexibility as you grow older. And while stretching when you’re young makes it a whole lot easier to have the body you want, people of all ages can push their muscles into being far more flexible through exercising and training.

Here’s what you need to know.

Yoga

No matter what flexibility level you want, starting with yoga is always your optimal choice. This goes especially for yoga styles that focus on mostly flexibility, such as Yin or Hatha. You can enroll in your local gym for Yoga classes, or you can learn poses through many videos available online.

Hyperbolic Stretching Classes

What primarily hinders stretching or makes it difficult for your muscles is something called reciprocal muscle inhibition. Hyperbolic training programs have been proven to be beneficial for all ages, and have mostly been tried and tested on older individuals who have trouble leaning down or bending over.

But now, many individuals use these programs to do full splits with little to no warming up, and this hyperbolic stretching review explains it in more detail if you’re unsure what the training program includes. Of course, you should never do this without a professional present because stretching, when done improperly, can cause irreversible damage to your muscles and tendons.

yoga and stretching

Exercise

Sounds all too easy? Perhaps jogging every morning and doing cardio regularly wouldn’t help you with doing high kicks and full splits, but leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause muscle atrophy. So it’s more of a prevention method than one you can use to promote flexibility. You cannot be flexible if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, especially if you have a typical desk job. Get up and get moving, even if it’s just on your indoor treadmill. This will keep your muscles always warmed up and ready to be molded into whatever flexibility you aim for.

Dance

Dancing differs from workouts because they usually compel you to challenge yourself with different moves and poses, this works to slowly boost your flexibility, utilizing your joints and muscles to do something your body is not used to. You can watch free videos online, take online courses, or enroll in dance classes like Zumba. An added benefit is that you’ll see yourself rapidly losing weight, which can also massively help with your flexibility training.

Pilates

You always see yoga and Pilates paired together, and that’s because they both focus on flexible poses and can be meditative for both your body and mind. Flexibility isn’t just about training your body to do certain poses but requires the mindset for you to drastically change your posture, as well. Pilates will also immensely prevent you from overworking your muscles, so you won’t have to deal with fatigue as much.

Working your way into a more flexible body doesn’t require a certain biological age. All ages can benefit from the previously mentioned workouts and training programs and can grow to be as flexible as those athletic bodies you admire. However, this journey will take some time, so it needs patience and dedication on your part as well.


 

Self-Care for Women Is Not Selfish, It’s a Non-Negotiable and Absolutely Imperative

Self-Care for Women Is Not Selfish, It’s a Non-Negotiable and Absolutely Imperative

If you were to take just five minutes to scroll through your Instagram feed, you will no doubt come across many snapshots of gorgeous women immersed in steaming baths adorned with flowers and bubbles.

These posts all feature beautifully manicured feet conspicuously sticking out the water, and expertly applied the facial mask and even a glass of sparkling wine to complete the picture. You are sighing, saying to yourself that will only happen to you when you win the jackpot, right?

Possibly, but hang on there!

Self-care for yourself as a woman is vital, it is not meant only for the fortunate few. It is a necessity, in fact, no matter what kind of a lifestyle you lead, and no matter own much money you have or don’t have.

Self-care in women isn't selfish – it’s imperative

Self-care is a term which when simply defined means taking care of one’s own health and needs.

Let’s explain it better here:

  • It’s a true story, the one of Poppy Marler. She had a realization when she decided to look at herself at 40; to change her life and begin a new journey head-on.
  • She says that when she was a young mother, she just put everything on hold, being hyper-focused on her child’s care. She actually put her own life on hold. She neglected friendships and bored anyone who’d listen with baby stories and pictures.
  • When she got into real social situations, she found she could not add anything to the conversation because all of her current experiences were about her parenting experiences. She had no life or interests outside of motherhood.

  • She didn’t notice that she had put on a whole lot of weight either because she no longer dressed in her professional or party clothes. In fact, there were very few times when she wore anything nursing and spit-up friendly. She gradually realized that she had no life outside of her child.
  • Finally, a dear older and wiser friend of hers told her that it was an essential thing, apart from taking care of her family, to take care of her own needs because her own health and happiness directly impacts her ability to care for her family. She then realized the consequences of her self deprioritization :
    • Weight gain
    • Depression
    • Lack of socialization

Poppy eventually realized that just like how in an airplane, you are instructed to put on your own oxygen mask first, then help others; in order to help others, you need to take care of yourself first. It was then that she discovered how taking steps to care for yourself each day should be a top priority.

9 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love and Make Your Life Better

She went on further to start involving these important aspects of her life:

  1. Exercise, because moving your body keeps your blood circulating, keeps you strong, and keeps your mood happy.
  2. Eating well: She says she learned to eat 5-7 servings of fresh fruit and veggies, ensuring that she got all her nutrients in, removing all the junk foods.
  3. Maintaining relationships outside your family. It was important that her family remained her top priority, but she also learned not to under-estimate the power of good friends. She found that just having someone to talk to was a great help in advancing feelings of well-being.
  4. Getting enough sleep: Without good and enough sleep, the quality of your life deteriorates rapidly. Sleep is what is needed to help your body recover and repair itself, and also to avoid television as well as snacks which are high in sugar and fat before bedtime
  5. Getting dressed every day: Working and walking around all day in sweats and slippers is not good for anyone’s self-esteem. We know that when we look good, we feel so good.
  6. Having a positive attitude: A positive, mindful attitude used on yourself and others will change the way you view life. It gives you a reason to get up in the morning and face whatever challenges come your way!
  7. Have a hobby: You need interests of your very own outside of the home and family because it maintains your individuality.
  8. Spend some time alone: Just taking a relaxing bath for 30 minutes or a few hours out to do your hair and nails or reading a book you have been meaning to read, these are what boost your morale, your spirits, and make you feel good about yourself and life.
  9. Ask for help: If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help, because it’s true, we can’t do everything alone – no man is an island.

It figures…

“Learning to take care of your own needs isn’t selfish, it’s downright essential.”

It makes you a better caretaker because after all, happiness and health are top assets to have, aren’t they?

It’s a lifetime investment – how are you really doing?


 

In the Gym: The 7 Best Exercises for Unbelievable Six-Packs

In the Gym: The 7 Best Exercises for Unbelievable Six-Packs

Be it in the gym or at home, if you tried every trick in the book to build a six-pack, but still haven't achieved it yet, you are in the right place!

With everyone in the fitness industry talking about incredible ab transformations, it's only natural you want to be part of it too. Even though the hype created around home workout routines might have convinced you that's the way to go, working out only at home is not enough.

Also, another thing you have to keep in mind is that a proper diet is always essential for getting six-packs abs. So, if you are ready to know what are the best exercises, which will help you get the six pack abs you’ve always wanted, you can start by doing these seven key  ab exercises at the gym.

1. Hanging Leg Circles

Image source

While most workouts focus on one particular muscle, this exercise works on all of your muscles at once.

Apart from letting you get six pack abs fast, Hanging Leg Circles will help you to strengthen your muscles including your arms, back, and legs. Also, while doing this exercise, you can burn a considerable amount of fat in your body, so integrating it into your daily routine will come with amazing advantages.

How to do it:

Start by holding on the pull-up bar with your palms parallel to each other. While keeping your legs straight in the air draw a big circle in one direction. Next, repeat the circle, in the reversed direction. Avoid rocking back and forth and brace your abs tight while performing the exercise. Avoid rocking back and forth and brace your abs tight while performing the exercise.

Read also: 13 Effective Workouts to Crush Your Fitness Resolutions

2. Ab Wheel Rollout

The ab wheel workout is an excellent exercise which targets not only your abs, but also your hips, shoulders, triceps, and latissimus dorsi.

Image source

How to do it:

After you kneel on the floor, hold the handles of the ab roller with your hands. Slowly push your hips forward and roll out the ab wheel as far as you can, all the while keeping your back flat and the arms extended in front of your body. Push your hips to the extent so that you can not roll in anymore and then slowly bring your hips back to the starting position.

3. Pull-up Bar workout

Even though some people think that pull-ups are actually legitimate exercise for arms, this workout routine targets many abdominal exercises. For anybody who wants to have a ripped six-pack ab, pull-ups are undoubtedly crucial.

Image source

How to do it:

Grip tightly on the pull-up bar with a shoulder-width grip, palms towards you.  Cross and bend your legs behind you, and pull yourself up until your collarbone reaches the pull-up bar. To finish the movement, lower yourself without touching the floor while making sure at the same time that your elbows are straight.

4. Horizontal Seated Leg Press

Horizontal Seated Leg Press will not only help you to maintain a harmonious physique, but it will also help you to develop and target all the major muscles of your body.

Image source

How to do it:

Start by resting your back and head comfortably on the padded support of the equipment. Next, place your legs wide apart forming a 90 degrees  angle at the knees on the platform. Hold on the assist handles, then brace your abdominal muscles and push the platform with the help of your heels.

Before returning to the starting position, stop for a moment and inhale. While inhaling, gradually bend the knees while keeping your head against the seat pad. Note that the knees and back should be held flat throughout the exercise.

5. Roman Chairs Crunch

If you want to get that slim waist and also burn extra fat, roman chair crunches are an excellent way to reach your goals. This type of exercise focuses on the lower back, an area of the body that many people tend to overlook while exercising. Besides, you'll get killer abs!

Image source

How to do it:

Pull a roman chair in an upright position while putting your pads as low as possible. Afterward, get on the chair and hook your legs under the pads.

Lower yourself to a certain limit and then get back to the starting position. Keep in mind that you need to squeeze your abs on the way up.

6. Standing Biceps Cable Bar

For beginners, this exercise is one of the best and quickest ways to get a sick pack. Besides, biceps cable curl is the only exercise which includes upper arm biceps muscles that are  beneficial to both men and women.

Image source

How to do it:

Stand up straight while holding a cable curl bar. Keep your elbows close to the torso while you grab the cable bar at shoulder width. Don't move your upper arm while your steadily lower the curls cable as you breathe out. Note that only the forearms should move. Continue the exercise until your biceps are nearer to the bar. Afterward, bring your arms to the starting position and repeat the movement.

7. Seated Chest-Press

Chest press muscle exercise is excellent for toning and strengthening the abdominal muscles, and it also helps to burn any extra calories.

Image source

How to do it:

First, when starting this exercise, you need to grasp the handles and push the bars away from your chest area while you breathe out. Pay attention to your elbows,  and perform the movement without locking them out. Focus on inhaling as you come back to the starting position. Besides, by doing the seated chest-press, your upper ab muscles will get more definition while your body fat percentage will get lower.

If you can put into practice all these exercises above, you'll soon find yourself in excellent shape and finally get the six-packs abs you always wanted!

So, don't wait until tomorrow, and step into the gym today!

After all, it all comes down to building an inner discipline that will make you exercise on a regular basis, which will mold in return the body of your dreams.

Once you stop waiting for magical transformation and get ready to put in all the required work, the stunning six-packs you always wanted will soon start showing.


Author Bio: Lyuthar Jacobs

Lyuthar is a Health and Lifestyle addict who blogs at Dealslands.co.uk. He is that kind of geek who loves to write about Lifestyle hacks, Money Saving, and Finance. In the above post, he is sharing tips on what are the best exercises for building an incredible sick pack.

Why Women Love to Spend Big Money on Athleisure Outfits

Why Women Love to Spend Big Money on Athleisure Outfits

Previously fashion used to be an exclusive thing, made to appear extravagant, lavish & uber appealing, but come today, fashion is not just the demand of the ultra-rich or incredibly stylish, it’s a phenomenon that pervades every sphere of our lives. We are a more conscious generation who wants to look good where it be. Category clothing has gone under the same transformation and the most prominent among this category has been the tremendous growth of gym/fitness clothing, or more popularly known as athleisure.

Athleisure took the world by storm. It’s defined as comfortable, stylish clothing that can be used for exercise and be worn casually as well. We didn’t think that yoga pants could make it to Vogue but they have. Consumers have responded to Athleisure so positively that it has prompted designers and big fashion brands to release their own Athleisure lines. Brands such as Lululemon Athletica are spearheading the movement and consumers are loving it!

Millennials have emerged as the most health conscious generation so it’s no surprise that they make up the majority of Athleisure sales. Although Athleisure is thought of as clothes primarily for women, 40% of Athleisure consumers are men; women do spend significantly more on athleisure products – hundreds and thousands of dollars’ worth. You see, Athleisure doesn’t come cheap, an average cost of branded yoga pants from one of the major Athleisure outlets can cost between $75-$100 dollars.

Are women actually wearing all these Athleisure outfits that they buy? Turns out they aren’t – but what is it that’s keeping them hooked?

Athleisure is comfortable

The biggest reason behind the growth of Athleisure is the fact that these outfits are incredibly comfortable. Maybe we just desperately needed to get out of our skinny jeans and needed to slip into something breathable and lets us move freely, which could by why we’ve accepted Athleisure with so much veracity. The comfort and practicality of Athleisure cannot be matched with those of our favorite jeans – combine that with some cute styles and you have outfits that you don’t want to take off.

Pressure to stay fit

pressure to stay fit

Psychologists and sociologists have delved into the matter and come up with their own answers that can explain why women continue to invest in Athleisure.

Over the years there has been a shift in what is considered the ideal body for women. Earlier, thin bodies were considered perfect for women – this has now changed. Today, it’s not just to do with how slender you are, it’s to do with how toned you are. Michelle Obama’s toned arms made headlines for a reason. Celebrities are posting videos and photos of themselves working out on social media for the same reason. There’s an evident shift in attitude when it comes to fitness and health. Those that do adopt healthy lifestyles are generally deemed as successful individuals, who’re making good choices in life. Being fit is ‘trendy’ at the moment, which explains the emergence of popular diets (gluten-free, organic, veganism etc) and the diversity in the types of workouts people can choose to do.

Women are expected to be fit, just a thin body won’t cut it. Due to this pressure to stay fit, women are drawn to Athleisure for what it represents. Whether or not they stay fit or not, just being in the clothes makes them feel like they are fit. Because women assume that they will be perceived as more attractive if they project themselves as someone who stays fit, they buy athleisure outfits.

Your clothes reflect your lifestyle therefore being in workout gear suggests that you are someone that looks after their health. Through Athleisure you are letting people know that you’re healthy. You could be a lazy person but that’s not what people see.

Enclothed Cognition

enclothed cognition

The term “enclothed cognition” was coined in 2012 by scientists who found that clothes had the ability to influence your psychological processes. In their studies it was revealed that people who put on white coats they believed belonged to doctors, would pay more attention than those who believed they were wearing white coats belonging to a painter.

This phenomenon was then tested with different types of clothing and it was found that wearing proper gym attire enhanced your performance at the gym. Further research showed that our physical experiences is what affected our thought processes – leading to what scientists are calling “embodied cognition”. Dr. Galinsky, who is leading studies on embodied cognition explains that our brain responds to physical experiences and putting on types of clothes counts as an experience.

When we slip into specific clothes, we are more inclined to take up the role of whatever the clothes represent; wearing the correct attire for the gym leads to you performing better as well. In the past gym clothes just symbolized the hours we spent at the gym but now they signify a lifestyle that most people idolize. Buying and wearing Athleisure, helps us embody a fitness enthusiast which in turn leads to us performing better during our workouts. Slipping into Athleisure causes us to take pride in our workouts and as a result we’re motivated and willing to push ourselves harder.

Fully committing to workouts is still a struggle for most people therefore the boost in motivation they get from athleisure outfits can make them much more productive.

It’s Fashionable

With Athleisure making its way onto top fashion magazines and to the ramps of all Fashion Weeks, there is no denying that Athleisure is fashionable and ladies do not want to miss out! If funky yoga pants and stylish sports bras is all you see around you then you’re going to want to get in on the trend.

Even though Athleisure fulfills the purpose of regular gym clothes, it has become a fashion statement today. It’s no longer just known for just its functionality which is why its target audience extends beyond just those who are passionate about working out, to those who wish to be comfortable and stylish at the same time.

The wealth factor

Because Athleisure is quite expensive, branded Athleisure clothing have become a bit of ‘status symbol’ representing that you are wealthy and can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on it. It’s the equivalent to spending on higher-end brands.

Today Athleisure may not be purchased for its primary function but it has secured its position as a category in the fashion industry and more importantly, in the fitness world.

Athleisure will enhance your performance during your workouts and keep you comfortable when you’re out of the gym as well.


Author Bio: Judy Robinson

Judy Robinson is an enthusiastic blogger who spends her entire day writing quality blogs. She is a passionate reader and loves to share quality content prevalent on the web with her friends and followers. Her forte is Fashion, Fitness, and Lifestyle, keeping a keen eye on latest trends in those industries. Currently, she is associated with a Florida based women clothing store Sophie and Trey for their blog operations. For more updates follow her on Twitter @judyrobinson

Get Down and Dirty with these 2 Beach Workouts

Get Down and Dirty with these 2 Beach Workouts

I believe in protecting the body today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives. But I also love, love, love playing in the sun! I chase it every chance I get.

Those that know me, know I'm a big fan of bodyweight based workouts. So when Coppertone® Sport Sunscreen asked me to share two of my favorite fun in the sun workouts while testing the new Coppertone Sport lightweight and breathable formula, I was totally game. I can barely feel it on my skin. After 80 minutes of sweating or swimming, just reapply and keep moving.

Ready and willing, with the sun out, we set out to Seseh Beach in Bali, Indonesia, and got our guns and buns out! Check out the video below…

2 Beach-Body-Ready Workouts to Help You Get Your Guns n' Buns Out Next Time the Sun's Out

Suns Out, Guns Out: 5 Rounds for Time

Set your timer and work through 5 rounds of the following circuit:

  • 25-meter dash
  • 10 push-ups
  • 25-meter dash
  • 10 squat jumps or Reverse Lunges
  • 25-meter dash
  • 10 burpees
  • 25-meter dash
  • 10 mountain climbers

When you're done, write down your final time and compare your progress next time you give this one a try.

Suns Out, Buns Out: 15 Minutes As Many Rounds As Possible

With your countdown timer set for 15 minutes, see how many rounds of the following circuit you can complete. 1 round is as follows:

  • 25-meter walking lunge
  • 15 glute bridges
  • 25-meter 2-foot broad jump
  • 15 squats to parallel (add a jump for spice)
  • 25-meter dash

Don't Forget About Sun Safety for Healthy Skin

Don't forget to practice sun safety anytime you find yourself outside and playing this summer. Check out The Outside-In 5 Point Radiant Skin Maintenance Plan along with The Inside-Out 5-Point Skin Maintenance Plan to ensure your skin stays healthy, hydrated and vibrant.

Have fun!

[divider style=”dashed” top=”30″ bottom=”20″]

Dai Manuel - HeadshotThis is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Coppertone. The opinions and text are all mine.

And to be absolutely clear, this is my disclaimer: “Just so you know, I have been compensated to share my ideas on this topic. Sometimes it is in the form of products, or services or even money… But here’s the thing; I won’t  share anything with you that I don’t fully support. It doesn't matter what it is, or how much they are willing to give me, if I don’t believe in it, It won’t be on my site. Seriously. You’ll just have to trust me on this.” ~ Coach Moose

[divider style=”dashed” top=”20″ bottom=”30″]

5 Myths About Women Who Lift Heavy Weights Busted

5 Myths About Women Who Lift Heavy Weights Busted

Go pick up the latest edition of your favorite glamor magazine. There’s sure to be at least one title promising a new, spectacular, quick-&-easy guide to losing fat fast and toning your muscles in a few days. They’ll also tell you that lifting heavy will bulk you up. The thing about these articles is that they’re geared toward making money from unsuspecting victims. Don’t let clever marketing trick you.

quote

If it’s fat loss you’re after and you aren’t getting results from the treadmill, maybe something’s wrong. Think about it this way, using the elliptical or running for hours is training you for endurance, not necessarily weight loss. Lifting heavy weights (i.e. weights that make you fatigued after about 6-8 reps) is not only better for fat loss, it’s also a huge time saver. With this in mind, let’s debunk some of the most common myths of heavy lifting.

Myths That Keep Women From Lifting Heavy – BUSTED

Myth #1) Lifting heavy (and doing nothing else) will bulk me up

bulkIn order to grow muscle, you need to lift weights that are heavy enough to create micro-tears in the muscle fibers. The tears start to repair when you’re at rest. This is where the expression “no pain, no gain” came from – but this bodybuilding axiom didn’t mention one little thing.

To actually bulk up you need to eat the right amount of calories over and above lifting heavy. If you wanted to build additional muscle you’d probably need to stuff about 9,000 calories down your throat. That’s a dieting regimen of an Olympic athlete. Over and above eating like a horse (or eating a horse at every meal) if you want to grow, you need to do targeted training.

Lifting heavy and eating a normal caloric intake will create healthy looking, strong muscles, not overly exaggerated mountains. Muscle tissue is actually denser than fat, so the recipe to looking lean is decreasing fat and building a little more muscle. You won’t bulk like the Hulk if it’s not your intention.

Myth #2) Lift light to keep toned, lift heavy to bulk up

While the right mix of heavy lifting and sipping MASS protein shakes will most likely bulk you up into a balloon, using a low rep/heavy weight system is actually great for toning muscles. Choosing heavier weights and lifting slowly until depletion increases muscular endurance and strength while increasing your metabolism, which helps with fat burning. You won’t balloon to bodybuilding standards, but your muscles will start to become defined as you strengthen them and lose fat around the muscles. Working to fatigue is, therefore, the best way to get stronger.

light-bulk

Myth #3) Strong does not mean big

big-bulkThink of contortionists, gymnasts, and rock climbers. Some of them look like they will snap like a twig, but then they shock and awe by doing handstand push-ups. How do they keep light but possess extra-human strength? Well, weight training of course. But what exactly about weight training?

When you do something often enough, your brain starts to make certain connections. So when you lift often enough, your brain will make the connection between mind and muscle. As the connection builds, you will become stronger, but not necessarily bigger. So, pick up heavy things. And when they become light, go heavier! Unless you take supplements and exceed your caloric deficit, you will become toned, not bulky.

Myth #4) Men and women should lift differently

Yes, it’s a genetic fact, men, in general, are stronger than women – but not that much stronger. Keep in mind that men also have 15-20 times more testosterone than women and will, therefore, build larger muscles and bulk up more easily.

So hitting the gym shouldn’t be about stereotypically targeting gender-specific vanity areas (chest and biceps for men, glutes, and abs for women). Each person is different and their workout plan should be specified to their individual abilities and goals, no matter if you are a man or a woman. And this plan should include strength exercises and core training.

lift-different

Myth #5) Aerobics is the only way to lose those pounds

aerobic-5Strength training is actually a great and efficient weight loss exercise that is equal to cardio (if not better as you save time in weight training). After strength training, you get something called the “afterburn effect,” where your body is burning calories in order to rebuild torn muscle fibers for 24-48 hours after your workout. So you can lose weight even while sitting on the couch.

That being said, aerobics and just plain healthy eating will also help you lose weight. As long as you’re happy with what you’re doing, do it! Just don’t be afraid of lifting.

So, the myth is now debunked, lifting big doesn’t necessarily make you bulky. So look past the pink 3lbs and start swinging the bigger kettlebells. Just remember not to overeat if you don’t want mass.

[divider style=”dashed” top=”30″ bottom=”30″]

Pin It on Pinterest