Your First Three Months at the Gym

Your First Three Months at the Gym

Your First Three Months at the Gym
Your First Three Months at the Gym

Your first three months at the gym can be a whirlwind of experiences. You’ll have to get to know a lot of different equipment, meet a lot of different people with different approaches to body building and have to get to know a completely different environment, while consistently working out in a way that’ll actually produce results.

Here are a few tips for your first three months at the gym.

==> Take Advantage of the Free or Discounted Personal Trainer Offers

Most gyms will offer you a free or discounted personal trainer session as part of your gym membership. Take advantage of this offer.

Usually the trainer will start by giving you a guided tour of all the different equipment in the gym. This alone is worth the time it’ll take. This tour will allow you to get the most out of your gym experience.

Then your personal trainer will ask what your goals are and discuss different workout options and dietary tips to help get you there.

Yes, they’ll probably try to sell you a training package at the end of the hour. If you don’t want to sign up, just let them know – don’t worry, they won’t be offended. They get that every day.

==> Try to Find the Most Fun Thing in the Gym

If going to the gym feels like a chore to you, chances are you won’t keep up the habit in the long run.

Instead of forcing yourself to do exercises you don’t like or to use unfamiliar equipment, try to find the thing that you enjoy the most in the gym.

For example, if they have a swimming pool, why not go for a swim and see if you like it? If they have kickboxing classes, hot yoga classes or group cycling classes, why not give those a shot?

Once you’ve found something you enjoy and you’ve gotten in the habit of going to the gym regularly, then you might consider doing something a little more challenging. But in the beginning, focus on finding something that you really enjoy.

==> Find a Buddy

Talk to the other people in the lockers, in the cafeteria or after group classes. Make friends who are also passionate about fitness.

Having friends to compare notes with, to learn from and to share experiences can really help keep you motivated. And it’s more fun. You’ll also have a spotter for exercises like the bench press.

The most challenging part of developing a new gym habit is sticking with it for the first thirty days. Once you get in the habit of going to the gym, you can then spend your time and energy on building the perfect workout. In the beginning, though, just work on building the habit of going to the gym regularly.

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The Best Foods for Building Muscle

The Best Foods for Building Muscle

The Best Foods for Building Muscle
The Best Foods for Building Muscle

The Best Foods for Building Muscle
Apart from your workout, what you eat is the most important aspect of building muscle. If you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs, you’ll lose fat and build muscle much faster.

On the other hand, if your body doesn’t get what it needs, it won’t be able to build the muscles you want. A lot of workout effort can be wasted if it’s not backed up by a proper diet.

Here are some of the best foods for building muscles.

==> Whole Eggs

Whole eggs contain proteins that are easier for your body to process than any other kind of protein. That includes beef, chicken and milk.

In addition, whole eggs contain a whole host of other vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamins D and B12, zinc and iron.

Don’t worry about eating cholesterol in the egg yolk. Research study after research study has proven that cholesterol in food has little effect on the cholesterol in blood vessels.

==> Whole Wheat Pasta

It’s unhealthy to cut out all carbohydrates from your diet. In order for your body to have the energy to work out and to build muscles, it needs to have healthy glucose that it can turn into useable energy.

Protein provides the body with the building blocks, while healthy carbohydrates give the body the energy to build those blocks.

Avoid carbohydrates based in white wheat. They burn too fast and cause energy spikes and crashes. Instead, opt for whole wheat carbohydrates like whole wheat pasta. Get organic if you can.

==> Fresh Salmon

Salmon contains a very high concentration of much-needed omega-3 fatty acids. This helps brain functioning and concentration while also facilitating muscle growth.

The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon will speed up muscle growth after a workout, which translates to more muscles being built faster.

==> Almonds and Other Nuts

Raw almonds and other nuts contain a lot of proteins that can help build muscle. They’re easy to carry around as a snack and are actually healthy, unlike many other snacks.

Nuts contain Vitamin E, potassium, zinc, magnesium and many other essential minerals and vitamins. They also contain digestion-helping fibers.

When buying nuts, avoid anything that’s deep fried in oils or covered in salt. If possible, try to buy plain raw nuts with minimal processing.

==> Eat Beef

Beef is perhaps the best kind of meat for muscle builders to eat.

It contains high amounts of creatine, which gives your body a huge boost of energy for working out. Anyone who’s taken a creatine supplement can attest to creatine’s explosive energy.

By eating beef regularly, you’ll be providing your body with this much-needed source of energy.

These are some of the best foods for muscle building. By providing your body with all the nutrients, proteins, vitamins and minerals it needs, you’ll build muscles at a much faster pace.

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What It Takes to Develop Six Pack Abs

What It Takes to Develop Six Pack Abs

Six Pack Abs
Six Pack Abs

Six Pack Abs

Six pack abs is one of the most common goals of people who get into body building. Yet it can seem very elusive for most people, as they can work out for weeks and months without seeming to make any progress.

That’s because most people go about building six pack abs wrongly. It’s not just about doing a lot of push-ups and sit-ups. Yes, ab exercises are important, but on their own they’re not going to get you there.

Here’s how to actually get six pack abs.

==> Selective Working Out Doesn’t Work

Trying to just work out one area of your body to develop that part’s muscles doesn’t work. In other words, exclusively doing abdominal exercises won’t get you six packs.

Why? Because your abs have fat covering them. Even if under all the fat you have ripped abs, people won’t be able to see them. Unfortunately, when you’re just doing push-ups and sit-ups that’s what you’re doing: toning your muscle under the fat, without eliminating the fat.

The first step to actually getting six pack abs is to reduce the amount of fat in your abs. Unfortunately, you can’t selectively lose fat. You have to lose fat throughout your entire body for this to work.

==> Removing the Fat

Fat burning essentially comes down to doing cardio exercise regularly. Try to exercise at between 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate for 30 minutes or more three or four times a week.

If you do this, in about a month you’ll start to notice your body overall becoming more toned. If you measure your body fat percentage, you’ll find the amount of fat in your body lowering and the amount of muscle increasing.

As this happens, your abs will naturally become more and more visible.

==> Diet

Of course, in order to burn that fat you’ll also need to make changes to your diet. You can’t just burn fat and then take the fat back into your body.

Eliminate all extraneous fats from your diet. A bit of fat from protein foods or other “healthy fats” is okay, but stay away from anything that’s unnaturally fat.

That means no deep fried foods, no fast foods, no meals that are frozen or microwavable. Read the calorie contents and ingredients of packaged foods before you buy.

==> Building Stronger Abs

The last and final step is to do the exercises that strengthen your abs. You can start the phase at the same time as when you start cardio and start changing your diet, but you’ll only see the results from the ab workouts once you do the rest of the steps discussed in this article.

There you have it. To build abs, you need to burn off the fat throughout your entire body so there’s minimal fat covering your abs. Then you need to change your diet to keep that fat off. Finally, use abdominal exercises to tone up your ab area.

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Alternative Treatments for Depression – What You Should Know

Alternative Treatments for Depression – What You Should Know

Alternative Treatments for Depression
Alternative Treatments for Depression

Alternative Treatments for Depression

For some, seeking alternative treatments for their depression is an attempt to avoid drugs, or it may be part of the person’s preference for natural treatments in general. But just because a treatment is natural does not mean it’s the best choice for you, or that it is automatically safe. Here are some of the more popular alternative treatments for depression and what you should know about them.

St. John’s Wort

Have you heard of this herb? It’s commonly sold in capsules or tinctures, and is touted as a treatment for mild or moderate depression.

Strengths:
St. John’s Wort is prescribed in Europe, where studies have shown the herb to be effective even for major depression. Many other, smaller studies have continued to show St. John’s Wort as an effective treatment for depression.

Concerns:
People with depression may not know if their condition is mild, moderate, or severe. They may underestimate the severity of their depression and take St. John’s Wort when they may need something stronger. Also, the results of larger, placebo-controlled studies conflict with the smaller studies, indicating there may not be much of an effect from St. John’s Wort, particularly regarding major depression.

SAM-e

This is an abbreviated form of a much longer word, S-adenosylmethionine. SAM-e occurs naturally in the body, but a synthetic form can be purchased as a supplement.

Strengths:
This is considered a promising supplement by various sectors in the medical community. It is involved in the function of several neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine.

Concerns:
SAM-e is extremely expensive. Also, it can have side effects if people take it in conjunction with another antidepressant – too much serotonin could result. Some sources claim it may cause nausea and constipation. You can’t get SAM-e from food sources.

Omega-3s

These increasingly popular fatty acids are implicated in the alleviation of depression symptoms. Foods like caviar, salmon, sardines, walnuts, and flaxseeds all have these healthy fats.

Strengths:
Omega-3s can be found in both food sources and supplement form. They are involved in nearly all body processes; some experts say they are involved in every cell of the body. Both manic and clinical depression may be helped by these important fats.

Concerns:
There really are no major concerns associated with the consumption of Omega-3s as an alternative treatment for depression, unless depressed individuals take Omega-3 supplements instead of medications they need, or quit medications cold turkey and start with Omega-3s.

As you look into alternative treatments for your depression or that of a loved one, make sure you do your research. Even if an alternative therapy is safe and effective, it may not be enough as a sole treatment. It’s important to work with your health care provider to make sure the depression is treated effectively.

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The Dangers of Depression

The Dangers of Depression

The Dangers of Depression
The Dangers of Depression

The Dangers of Depression…
There are definite dangers associated with depression. It can affect nearly all ages, with some groups and demographics being more susceptible than others (women are more likely to develop depression than men, for example, and teens are said to be more prone to depression than adults). Depression can even be fatal, warn medical professionals; and it’s not just the disorder that poses risks. Medications can also present their own list of risky side effects.

Here are some of the dangers commonly associated with depression.

Suicide

This may be the “ultimate” danger associated with depression – it’s considered by many to be the most extreme manifestation of the disorder. Depressed people may convince themselves that they just aren’t worth enough to live, or that their friends and family will be better off without them. Warning signs of suicide include:

* Preoccupation with death – person constantly talks about death or conducts extensive research into the afterlife, methods of suicide, and other related subjects

* Gathering belongings and giving them away

* Cleaning out and “getting things in order” for no apparent reason

* Continual speaking about death, the afterlife, or other similar things

Loss of Job and Income

Depression can be debilitating. The depressed person feels worthless and unmotivated, and may call in sick frequently or not show up for work. They may be late or be unable to face difficulties during the workday. Depression can cause a person to be indecisive and unable to concentrate, which could be extremely dangerous in certain types of work (such as construction or factory work that requires a worker to be alert to avoid injury to him/herself or others).

Losing a job may then exacerbate the person’s depression, and the loss of income could affect the amount of medical attention and medication he or she is able to afford.

Medications

While medication can save lives, it can also pose serious and/or dangerous side effects. Antidepressants tend to have fewer side effects than SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), but antidepressants may, ironically, induce suicidal thoughts.

Several years ago, a popular antidepressant was called on the carpet for indirectly causing the actual suicides of many people who took it. SSRIs may cause bad headaches, temporary or chronic diarrhea, insomnia, nausea, and/or nervousness and agitation.

Self-Neglect

Depressed people have a tendency to neglect their own health and care. They may not have the energy or focus to keep their homes clean, eat well, or care for their body. Because of this self-neglect, depressed individuals may be more susceptible to illness.

More serious illnesses may go untreated because the depressed person just can’t cope with the idea of having a serious illness and therefore he or she doesn’t seek help or treatment.

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