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6 Ways to Get Motivated This Summer

Taking vacations, fancying lazy summer days and choosing a beach day over a long run causes motivation to wane this time of year. To combat these fitness de-motivators, take action steps to whip yourself back into shape. If you fit into any of these six categories, these suggestions can help motivate you to lace up your running shoes or slip on your cycling gear.

PROBLEM #1: YOU PREFER FRIDAY HAPPY HOURS WITH COWORKERS

Solution: Switch your happy hour location

Instead of heading straight to the bar, find a nearby park to play ultimate Frisbee or create an office softball team. You’ll gain the happiness and camaraderie you get from happy hour, without the alcohol consumption. “Exercise has a wonderful ability to flood your body and brain with ‘happy’ endorphins,” says Meghan Kennihan, USA Track & Field coach and Road Runners of America-certified distance coach.

PROBLEM #2: YOU FIND THE TRAILS TOO CROWDED

Solution: Change your approach

Nick Joannidis, Road Runners of America and USA Track & Field-NFHS certified coach, offers these trail-running tips for when the summer crowds make keeping up your speed impossible: “Find trails less traveled in your ‘home’ park. In most parks, you’ll find labeled trails with markers in color. If you know from past experience that the yellow trail at a particular park is nice and wide but heavily traveled, go to the blue trail that may be narrower and less populated. Some of the best trails are in not-so-obvious places, but are open to the public.”

Keep track of events via park calendars. Typically every park has a schedule you can view. If the park has a 5K or a food truck festival, avoid these days.

PROBLEM #3: YOU RETURNED FROM VACATION, BUT YOUR BODY REMAINS IN VACATION MODE

Solution: Spice up your workouts

After vacation, it often feels too challenging to return to your standard cycling and running routine, so use this as an opportunity to try classes at your local boutique or yoga studio. In a study from the University of Florida, researchers found shaking up your cardiovascular exercise routine is the best way to stick with it.

To make yourself more accountable, sign up for the class in advance. Because you spent the money, you may feel more likely to attend, and, if you become a regular, Kennihan notes people will notice when you’re gone. But you should select your classes wisely. Kennihan recommends choosing CrossFit-type workouts that incorporate different strength training, cardiovascular, balance and flexibility exercises.

PROBLEM #4: YOU WOULD RATHER SLEEP IN THAN GET UP AND GO FOR A LONG RUN

Solution: Download audiobooks or podcasts

Get caught up on your summer reading list by listening to books on your smartphone or iPad. To get yourself motivated to come back for more exercise the next day when you know it’ll be a late-night, stop the audiobook at a compelling place and don’t press play until you are working out again.


READ MORE > 4 WAYS PODCASTS CAN IMPROVE YOUR DAILY WALK


PROBLEM #5: YOU PREFER WEEKEND BEACH DAYS TO WEEKEND WORKOUTS

Solution: Pay yourself

When you choose a workout instead of a lazy activity like laying out on the beach, reward yourself with cash. Kennihan says money is the ultimate motivator. “Put a dollar in a jar every time you workout for more than 30 minutes and use the money at the end of the month to reward yourself with a night on the town, massage or spa treatment.”

PROBLEM #6: YOU ARE AT HOME WITH BORED KIDS

Solution: Get loud

Create a workout playlist full of everyone’s favorite upbeat songs and get your family working out to them. An activity as simple as dancing around the living room or outside on the lawn works. You can take it one step further and create a family summer dance party by turning down the lights and purchasing a disco ball at a local party store.

Even if you don’t have kids, music can serve as a powerful workout motivator. “Music helps the person working out not to concentrate on the discomforts of the exercises, thus allowing them to exert more or try new things in the working out process,” says Kennihan.

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13 Fun Ways to Work Out on the Beach

When you’re at the beach, all you usually want to do is soak up the sun. We get that. But getting in a workout on the sand is not only fun, it also challenges your body in ways you can’t in the gym — and it’ll make you feel great.

“Your body craves daily movement someway, somehow. And it doesn’t have to be all-out, balls-to-the-wall,” says certified functional strength coach Samantha Ciaccia, who leads beach workouts for Ketanga Fitness Retreats. “Whether you do a hard workout or simple bodyweight or mobility exercises, your brain releases the feel-good chemical serotonin, which makes you feel more awake and alive to fully enjoy your vacation.”

Since most Americans only take half their vacation days, we should maximize those days! So grab a water bottle, slather on the sunscreen and try some of these fun ways to get in a workout on the beach.

1. COMBINE LOUNGING WITH TONING

If you are the type who just wants to relax, try Ciaccia’s tip to get an added workout while lounging. “At some point, you have to change position. Every time you shift or get up, do a set of 10–12 pushups or situps, alternating between the two,” she suggests. By the end of the day, you will have some color and a good number of exercises under your belt.

2. GET MOBILE

Another low-intensity option is to do some mobility work on your towel, opening your joints and loosening your muscles. Ciaccia suggests making sure to hit your ankles, hips, thoracic spine, shoulders and lumbar to cervical spine. Here is one suggested move for each of these:

  • Ankles: Lunge one foot forward and place back knee on the ground. Place hands on both sides of front foot and lean into your front ankle. Switch sides and repeat.
  • Hips: Drop into a low squat with feet wide and butt close to the ground. Bring palms together in front of chest and place elbows inside thighs, pushing them open. Then, begin to draw figure eights with knees and focus on opening your hips.
  • Thoracic spine: Lie on your side with your bottom leg straight and top knee bent at 90 degrees in line with your hip. Extend arms out in front of you, palms touching. On an exhale, slide your top hand past your bottom, opening your upper back. Return to start on an inhale. Take 3 breaths on each side.
  • Shoulders: From the same position as above, flip your top hand to palm up. On an exhale, keeping your top arm straight, drag your fingertips above your head and behind you, drawing a rainbow. Only go until your bent knee begins to come off the ground. Return to start on an inhale. Perform 3 breaths on each side.
  • Lumbar to cervical spine: Perform slow, intentional cat-cow movements.

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3. DO A MINI BOOTCAMP WITH A PARTNER

Workouts are more fun when you do them with someone, so grab a friend and do this workout from Christianne Phillips, director of mind and movement at 1 Hotel South Beach. You will alternate moves: Person A runs into the water and, once it’s deep enough to swim, swims 20 strokes out. Then, they turn around and swim 20 strokes back toward the sand and run out of the water.

While they do this, Person B is on the shore doing one bodyweight exercise the entire time. Once Person A is back to shore, you’ll switch and Person B swims while Person A does the bodyweight move.

The bodyweight movements can include the following exercises, ending with burpees as the last round: plank with shoulder taps, air squats, situps with your head toward (but never in!) the water, reverse lunges and burpees.

4. PRACTICE HEADSTANDS

Calling all yogis: If you are scared to practice inversions on a hard floor or away from a wall, try doing so on the forgiving soft sand. If you fall, it won’t hurt nearly as much — if at all. Put down a towel and pat down a space that’s as level as possible to put your head and hands or forearms on, recommends Phillips, who learned headstands by practicing on the beach. Then follow our step-by-step guide to master headstands!

5. PLAY PADDLEBALL

Although this game will never win the title of ultimate calorie burner, it does get you moving. The more you have to reach for the ball, the better. “Paddleball, football, Frisbee — all of those games are better than sitting there, for sure,” Phillips says. She likes to throw a football in the water with her sons. “It’s refreshing and it’s fun to dive for the ball and end up in the water,” she says. “We purposely throw it to the side so we can jump for it and throw ourselves in the water.”

6. PLAY VOLLEYBALL

If you want a sport that will burn more calories, get your Kerri Walsh Jennings on! Volleyball helps improve your agility, speed and hand-eye coordination, plus it counts as both metabolic training and strength training, Ciaccia says. This all keeps your brain sharp, boosts heart health, builds muscle from head to toe and helps you strengthen your neuromuscular response. This can help you to catch yourself from falling if you trip on that pesky living room rug.

7. GO FOR A RUN

When you combine bare feet and unstable sand, you quickly find running on the beach is hard! “Your shoes provide a cushion, and when you take that away, ligaments and muscles that aren’t typically used are being activated,” Ciaccia explains.

Beach running helps stabilize your foot and ankle joints and strengthen different leg muscles than a run on a treadmill or pavement does. However, both Ciaccia and Phillips caution that you will probably be able to run for less time and shorter distances on the beach than you normally do on other surfaces. Listen to your body because if you push it too hard, you could end up injured.

8. CHALLENGE SOMEONE TO SUICIDE SPRINTS

To amp up your run, grab some friends and pick a few landmarks to do suicide sprints with. You might run to the lifeguard stand and back, then to a rock and back and then to someone’s towel and back. Either way, you’ll be sweaty and breathless at the end.

9. TAKE A WALK

Meandering along the water’s edge can be more than just a stroll. Pick up the pace a bit or, if you are with a friend, have them jump on your back and take turns piggybacking each other, Ciaccia suggests. You can also alternate: One of you does 10 walking lunges while the other walks, then you switch. Try lateral lunges to work your body in more planes of motion.

10. DO A WATER WORKOUT

Water aerobics aren’t just for the seniors in your gym’s pool. Phillips recommends trying squats, lateral lunges, skaters and the bottom part of a jumping jack in the ocean. Be sure the water comes up to at least your waist so you get the added resistance of the water, which will make you work your inner and outer thighs more. To do water “crunches,” perform high knees while standing or, while treading water, pull your knees up to your chest like a hanging leg raise.

11. TRY STAND-UP PADDLEBOARDING

There are two big benefits of SUP. The first is balance. “While you are standing on the board, your brain muscles are in overdrive trying to not let you fall. This translates into helping you prevent falls in everyday life,” Ciaccia says.

The second benefit is strength. “Your muscles are contracting as you grip your feet on the board, squeeze your glutes and activate your core. You’re increasing isometric strength all around,” she adds.

12. GO KAYAKING

If you’ve never been in a kayak, you know that it’s a LOT of work. “It’s a perfect upper-body and core workout,” Phillips says. You’ll work your back, chest, shoulders, arms and even your legs some, as they help you balance. Plus, it’s great cardio.

13. DIY A BODYWEIGHT WORKOUT

To get your strength training on, create your own total-body beach circuit. Simply pick one upper body, one lower body, one core and one dynamic exercise (such as skaters or burpees). Do each exercise for 7–10 reps. Repeat that circuit twice.

Then, pick four new exercises and repeat that circuit twice. “Within half an hour, you will be done, but you won’t be dying,” Ciaccia says. “That’s key because you don’t want to be exhausted the rest of day — you want to feel refreshed and alive.”

Written by Brittany Risher, a writer, editor and digital strategist specializing in health and lifestyle content. To stay sane from working too hard, she turns to yoga, strength training, meditation and scotch. Connect with her on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.


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7 Ways to Burn Calories Through Water Sports

Summer’s here and that means backyard barbecues, trips to the beach and frozen treats. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun summer activities that can help you burn off that popsicle. Next time you hit the coast or your closest lake or river, try one of these water sports to burn some serious calories instead of lounging in the sand.

*Calorie burn based on 150-pound person doing 1 hour of activity.

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Ways To Build Muscle For Skinny People

Ways To Build Muscle For Skinny People

Hello All!!!

If you have been following our blog for a while now, you would know that I am one soul who is on a perpetual search for ways to gain weight. Even after gaining so many kilos I still fall in the skinny category! You all are struggling to shed unwanted kilos but there is a silent minority of people (like me!) who are trying to pack on more kilos.

Being skinny does not mean that you are unhealthy but when you want to build a good physique, things can get tough. The dream of every skinny person is to gain muscle weight. It is possible by following the right training pattern and adjusting your diet in such a way that it suits your body frame and metabolic rate.

Here are strategies to help build muscle for skinny people,

Eat carbs before working out

oats weight loss

Carbs are known to provide you with the energy you need to work out and thereby improve your performance. Loading up on carbs helps in preventing muscle tissue breakdown after an intense gym session. You should include a mixture of complex and fibrous carbohydrates such as oats, potatoes, sweet potatoes, brown rice, spinach, cauliflower, bell peppers and lettuce to your meal.

So, load your pre-workout meal with complex and fibrous carbs.

Eat protein after working out

eggs nutritious weight reduce

After a workout it is advisable to have a meal rich in protein. This prevents your body from using its own muscle tissue as a source of energy. In order to increase muscle mass you need to consume 1.5 g of protein per gram of your body weight daily. You can consume protein in the form of supplements like whey protein powder or natural high protein foods such as hummus, white meat and eggs.

Take sufficient rest

woman dreaming sleeping

Most people believe that resting or sleeping is a waste of time. They don’t seem to realize the importance of rest in making the most of the benefits obtained by training at the gym. Getting sufficient sleep helps your muscles to heal, recover and rebuild themselves. This will increase your stamina and raw power. The growth hormone levels are highest when a person is asleep. So, this means that you need to get sufficient amount of shut-eye to increase muscle weight.

Choose high intensity low repetition workouts

A skinny individual has a low body fat content, high repetition can lead to the breakdown of muscle tissues and that is not a good idea as you are trying to bulk up. It is recommended that you do high weight and low repetition training to gain muscle weight instead of exercise routines with lighter weights and higher repetition.

At the end of the day you must know that all of us have different needs based on our metabolism and body type. While it is very tough for overweight individuals to get into shape, gaining muscle if you are skinny is by no means an easy task.

The above strategies can help you gain muscle mass and give you a properly sculpted physique you always wanted!

Hope you liked reading this post on how to build muscle for skinny people!

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