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Category: Fitness

Improve Your Physical Fitness Level

Most of us could use some improvements in the area of our physical fitness. We have become a society hooked on sedentary activities and unhealthy diets that include fast food. Physical fitness is essential for having a body that is well cared for. Your level of physical fitness can affect your chances of developing health problems as you get older.

It is never too late to start improving your level of physical fitness. It does take time and it does take dedication, but over time your new activities will seem second nature. Once you start to see the benefits of improving your physical fitness level, you will be even more motivated to keep doing it.

There is a common misconception that physical fitness means running until you are exhausted. That is not the case. Physical fitness involves taking on some type of physical activity that you enjoy. You can choose sports, exercise equipment, walking, running, aerobics, weight lifting, dancing, and many other types of physical activities. You should pay close attention to the foods you consume as your body will feel different.

If you think you are too ran down to exercise, try a brisk walk for 10 or 15 minutes. Also reduce the amount of caffeine and sugar in your diet. You will quickly notice an improvement in your energy levels and your mood. The more you exercise the more energy you will have. Physical fitness has great benefits for your mental health as well. Studies show people who exercise regularly have lower levels of stress and are less likely to suffer from depression.

If improving your level of physical fitness is important to you, see your doctor for a complete check up. Discuss your decision during that visit. You aren’t going to see improvements in your physical fitness level overnight, but by making small changes to your exercise routine and your eating habits, you will see improvements over time. You will start seeing improvements in your energy level, your mood, and even how well you sleep early on in your quest for better physical fitness.

Everyone has different levels of physical fitness. Don’t compete with your friend, someone at the gym, or your neighbor as this is only setting yourself up for failure. Instead, challenge yourself to do better. Challenge yourself to improve your physical fitness level from where you are today. If you start walking 15 minutes a day, add more time until you are up to 30 minutes. Then work on walking further in that 30 minute time period. Challenging yourself when it comes to physical fitness is a great way to motivate yourself as well as to gauge your progress.

Physical fitness is a very important part of taking care of your body and your overall health. A combination of physical activity, a balanced diet, and getting enough rest on a daily basis will help ensure your physical fitness level is sufficient to meet the ongoing physical and mental needs of your body.

Choosing a Personal Fitness and Nutrition

A personal fitness and nutrition trainer can help you enter a race where there’s no engraved cup or money award at the finish line. Unlike the Thoroughbreds racing at the local park, you will be running for your very life instead. Fitness and nutrition are the keys to a quality long life.

Racing for Fitness

Almost 60% of people in the United States are overweight or obese. The consequences of having too much fat on your body can be severe. Obesity is a major cause of many serious illnesses including Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and even certain forms of cancer. (more…)

Fitness and Health

For most of us from the government schools, PE (physical education) was in the school curriculum. So we had no choice but to comply and treat it as one of the school subjects. For the outdoor initiated, the PE lessons were great as it gave many an outlet for all the youthful hormones to exert themselves. For those of us who dread PE (including myself), our main thoughts were more like “what is the use of PE when it doesn’t improve our exam scores.” We were so wrong then. (more…)

Lose Weight Successfully With a Fitness Journal

If you want to lose weight or you’re just interested in getting in shape, a fitness journal can be your key to success.

Much like a personal diary a journal is the one place where you can share all of your dreams and goals and at the same time create a plan to make those aspirations a real part of your life.

I’m sure by now, you know that in order to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. Keeping a fitness journal can be a fun way to assess your current eating and exercise habits and formulate a strategy to reduce calories while increasing your physical activity.

Start your fitness journal by recording your current weight and measurements, if you like, you can even add a current photo of yourself. This is your starting point, so make sure you take the time to complete this important step. Months from now when your body is changing, you’ll be able to look back and see how much you have achieved. Once this base is established it will provide the motivation you need to keep you going.

Motivation or the lack thereof, can be the driving force behind your exercise program or the biggest obstacle in your efforts to lose weight. As a personal trainer who specializes in women’s fitness, I have found that women who keep a fitness journal have a far greater chance of success than those who do not.

You see a fitness journal makes you accountable for your weight loss plan. Once you’ve established your starting point and written down your goals, you’ll want to make some time everyday to record everything you eat and drink. That means everything. You many even be surprised when you realize how much food you consume.

Once you begin coming face to face with your food consumption, you’ll be able to determine which foods to keep in your diet and which foods you need to replace with healthier substitutes. There is a certain connection that your brain will make when you put pen to paper and become responsible for your own health. It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking that you are eating a somewhat healthy diet when you keep these thoughts locked away in your mind.

Along with recording your eating habits, you’ll want to write down your daily physical activities. Are you exercising regularly? For optimum women’s health you’ll need to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day for 6 days of the week. You can use your journal to determine your fitness level and increase it gradually for best results.

Challenge your fitness workout by making goals each week. For instance, you could set a goal to add more weights to your exercise program or to take longer walks, swim more laps, take a spinning class or learn to play tennis. The secret is to write down anything and everything that will keep you motivated to exercise regularly and eat healthy.

You can get the body that you desire, all it takes is a desire to succeed followed by a commitment to see it through. But the good thing is you don’t have to do it by yourself. Faithfully keeping your fitness journal will keep you focused on your goals and give you the motivation you need to excel.

Personal Fitness Overview

Personal fitness relates to the human body what fine tuning is to an engine. It enables us to perform up to our potential stamina and energy. Personal Fitness can be described as a condition that helps to look, feel and do your best. In fact Personal fitness is the ability to perform daily tasks vigorously and alertly, with energy left over for enjoying leisure-time activities and meeting emergency demands. Personal fitness is the ability to endure, to bear up, to withstand stress, to carry on in circumstances where an unfit person could not continue, and is a major basis for good health and well-being.

Personal fitness is an individual quality varies from person to person. Basically it is influenced by age, heredity, sex personal habits, exercise and eating habits and practices. Personal fitness even involves the performance of the heart, lungs and muscles of the body. (more…)

Becoming a Personal Trainer

I talk to a lot of people who are interested in becoming personal trainers. In this article, I will briefly share some thoughts on motives, attitudes and resources if you are thinking of becoming a personal trainer. I would recommend that you start by getting a legitimate certification. You can research the internet or talk to personal trainers at health clubs or private studios. As a suggestion, you could check out the International Association of Resistance Trainers, ISSA or ACE. These three certification organizations can be found on the internet and have several areas for you to consider. When considering a legitimate certification program, check out personal training / liability insurance.

Be sure that the certificate you earn will have clear guidelines on how to purchase insurance once you actually start to train clients. There are many fitness certifications that are not recognized by any insurance companies, stay away from these. If you choose to train without insurance, you are taking a big risk. Depending on the physical location of where you will train your clients (club, private training studio, corporate fitness center) you will need to check with their individual requirements regarding acceptable certifications and insurance policies.

After you have done your research on the above issues, if you are still interested, get started today! Whether you remain interested (out of the people who go into fitness training, many more drop out than stick with it) you can always use the information to further your own personal fitness programming. I believe that your initial training / certification will never be a waste. You will want to check out other certification programs later (may be required based on place of employment) in order to get plenty of exposure to all the different training methodologies.

Try to stay grounded – many programs are not that reality based. With any training information, ask yourself the question: How will I use this for my own, as well as my clients, fitness program? I have many doctors, other trainers and people with sports / human performance degrees who hire me to help with training issues. The rubber hits the road when you have a client who is depending on you to give them a cardio, strength training, eating, supplementation, injury recovery and / or flexibility program complete with personalized scheduling. You do not need to have all the answers but try to establish your own process for giving them the answers or effective referrals for what they need.

Not knowing what your previous experience is regarding working with people in general, I would suggest that you assess what your tolerance is for complainers and whiners as there are so many issues for so many people that you will need to address at some level (as a fitness professional). If you want to be a good trainer, you need to commit to the total client. I think too many trainers end up wanting to legitimize their own training priorities and believe that by becoming a personal trainer / fitness professional, they can focus all their time on themselves (not an acceptable mindset). They should stay out of personal training if they are not ready to commit to their clients. Do not fall prey to canned programs or using a cookie cutter approach for everyone you will train.

I come from a human service background (double major in Social Work / Criminal Justice) and worked my way up to manager in a juvenile diversion program over a period of 10 years before getting into personal training. BUT, in the first three years of being a personal trainer, I placed in three international personal trainer contests. These were great experiences but in all three instances, success was based on the commitment to the client more than caring about winning any contests.

Functional Fitness Training with Fit Balls

Fit Balls, Swiss Balls, Physio Balls and Exercise Balls! Call them what you will, we all know what you’re talking about – those big blow up balls of different sizes and colours you have always wanted to try but never had the chance. They are becoming a favoured tool of the personal trainer, the ‘must have’ piece of equipment for the home studio, and an essential item for complete programming for the development of core strength and reduction and termination of lower back pain.

Because of a sedentary lifestyle, most people have poor posture. The muscles of the trunk are no longer able to support the body in the most efficient way possible. Because of external support from a chair, couch, car seat, etc., the neuromuscular system has “forgotten” how to maintain posture easily and efficiently. This usually leads to breakdown, pain and dysfunction.

I have found that using a Fit ball is a very effective way to correct postural alignment. Exercises on the ball can be very mild or extremely challenging depending on the needs of the client. By balancing on the ball, the client now has no other support to rely on except his or her own body. The body will automatically call on the righting and equilibrium responses, facilitating a coordinated effort of the postural muscles. The client unconsciously finds a way to balance on the ball with the least amount of muscle use possible, therefore reinforcing positive movement patterns.

Fit Balls are one of the most effective exercise tools to improve and develop spinal, pelvic and shoulder girdle stability. Total core stability is achieved along with improved posture and an increased awareness of your own body – the way it moves and the way it is designed to move. An enhanced kinesthetic sense is discovered and refined, allowing you to ‘feel’ your own actions and be able to adjust incorrect positions and movements performed throughout the exercises.

Fit Balls add variety to create new and challenging demands on the body in a number of different planes. Just about any exercise done in the gym can be performed using the Fit Ball. We all know how important variety is to every program. Not just from the point of view of changing the stimuli to allow for continued adaptation but to enhance motivation. Without it, the likelihood of adhering to our current exercise program and achieving our goals is somewhat slim.

Available in a number of sizes, from 45cm to 75cm in diametre, the right size Fit Ball is determined by your height and more importantly your leg length. While sitting on top of the ball, with calves perpendicular to the ground, your thighs should be parallel and at 90-100° with your knees and your body weight evenly distributed over both feet. This is your correct postural position. Imagine a straight line starting from your ear, travelling through your shoulder and stopping at the centre point of your pelvis. This visual connection will help you adjust and maintain correct postural alignment in the initial stages of learning with the Fit Ball.

Implementing the use of a Fit Ball recruits your ‘stabilizer’ muscles to establish and maintain a solid platform from which you develop strength, endurance and correct postural adaptations. They encourage the contraction and stimulation of deep muscle fibres within the trunk including external and internal obliques, rectus and transverse abdominals and the erector spinae and quadratus lumborum. I’m sure those of you who have sought professional advice for lower back pain and postural correction have heard of these muscles before. The relationship between the abdominal and lower back muscles is crucial to core stability, yet neither should be the sole focus of any particular training session.

When using the Fit Ball it is possible to reach muscular exhaustion without showing any normal signs of physiological fatigue due to the high involvement of stabilizing muscles and joint structures. Rotate exercises between the upper and lower regions and the trunk. This guarantees complete recovery of all muscle groups to allow each muscle to be utilized with maximum efficiency and productivity.

As with all exercise, the quality of the movement is more important than the quantity of exercise, repetitions or sets performed on the Fit ball.

The Fit ball is a great tool for the personal trainer to use. Clients enjoy using the ball, and it also promotes body awareness, improves balance and coordination, and reinforces proper spinal alignment along with a great new and challenging stimulus for your brain, as well as your body!

As a health and fitness professional for over 10 years, Daniel has personally trained more than 4000 people, on 4 continents towards the achievement of their fitness and lifestyle objectives using his unique holistic and functional approach to lifestyle enhancement. Daniel is a true leader and innovator in the industry. Daniel draws from an academic background in Human Movement, Exercise Science and Sports Management in Australia & also holds a Diploma in Massage Therapy, & Certificates in Workplace Health Promotion, Personal Training (ACSM) and Australian Training for Fitness Professionals (ATP), Golf Fitness & Conditioning, Postural Analysis, Weight Management & Fat Loss.

Your Guide to Fitness

Fitness is something our culture knows about, but doesn’t activity participate in. Our lifestyles contain too much fast food and not enough exercise. Fitness is essential for your well being and overall health. It can make you age slower and live longer. Fitness keeps the blood pumping in your body and your heart healthy. Those who participate in fitness activities for at least 30 minutes each day significantly reduce their risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. (more…)