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The Problem with Skipping the Gym Too Many Times

Taking time off from working out can be a slippery slope. While adding a recovery day to your routine is generally a good practice, too much time between workouts could lead to potential setbacks. According to a small new study, it’s actually much better for your body at the genetic level to not fall off the fitness wagon in the first place.

It’s no secret that heading to the gym after some time off is difficult. You might notice that you’ve lost some of the gains you worked so hard for or that your regular number of reps is suddenly super challenging. According to researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, that struggle goes to the genetic level — taking time off in favor of travel, work and holiday festivities can actually impact your genes and make it harder to get back on the horse. Published in the journal PLOS Genetics, the study looked at muscle biopsies of 23 participants while they trained only one leg for three months. They found that while the participants were working on their fitness with a strength-training routine, their genes actually started to change. In total, more than 3,000 genes were positively altered by the exercise.

HOW MUCH TIME OFF IS TOO MUCH?

The researchers then had the participants take nine months off the exercise program. After their hiatus, the researchers could find none of those changes in their genes — it was as though the exercising had never happened. The scary part is the majority of the gene-enhancing effects were lost after just a month or two of not training, according to the study’s authors. In other words, checking out of your gym routine for even just a few weeks has the potential to erase all the progress you’ve made at a cellular level. Yikes.

DOES IT HELP IF YOU’RE NORMALLY ALWAYS FIT?

You might assume that if you’d been regularly working out, it would be easier to get back on the horse than if you’d never taken up a gym routine at all. But that’s not the case, according to the study. After the time off, the researchers had the participants get back on the exercise program, this time training both legs. After performing another set of muscle biopsies, they found no difference between the leg that had been trained before and the leg that was just getting into the training routine. In other words, the previously fit leg didn’t retain any muscle memory — it was like starting from scratch.

A PRACTICAL APPLICATION: THE HOLIDAY SEASON

The results make a super-compelling point as we head into the holidays: Rather than fall off the wagon and lose all your progress, get out in front of your New Year’s resolutions so you can stay on track. There’s nothing like starting off with a little muscle-memory momentum as you hit the gym for Day One of your resolution.

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8 Travel-Friendly Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

The busy holiday season can disrupt our fitness routine, making it hard to sneak in our workouts. Even if you cannot make it to the gym for your favorite class or take a jog outside, you can get an efficient workout in your living room or hotel.  

Try this quick and easy equipment-free workout video to keep yourself moving. Start with 1 set of 5–10 reps of each exercise for a quick 5-minute workout. Increase the number of sets for more intensity.

SQUATS

Make sure your knees don’t extend beyond your toes. Keep your weight in your heels, maintain a neutral spine, keep your chest open and flex at your hips.

REVERSE LUNGES

Extend your leg back into a lunge, maintaining a neutral spine and shoulders above your hips. Switch legs.

LATERAL LUNGES

Legs start wide, and step or shift your weight laterally (side-to-side) as you push your hips back. Each side is one rep.

PUSHUPS INTO SIDE PLANK

Start on your knees or toes, and drop your body into a pushup. As you push up, open into a side plank. Each side is one rep.

PLANK PRESS INTO MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

Start in a plank position with your hands below your shoulders. Complete two mountain climbers (starting with your right leg), then replace your hands with your elbows and press back to your hands (starting with your right hand). Repeat on the left.

BRIDGES

Start on your back with your knees soft and feet hips-width on the floor. Squeeze your glutes, pull your navel in and lift your hips off the floor, engaging your glutes and hamstrings.

BICYCLES OR DOUBLE-LEG HIP THRUST AND PUSH

Start in a supine position, and pull your right knee toward your chest. Contract your abs to lift your shoulders off the floor and alternate leg presses while you slightly rotate your torso.

REVERSE CRAB WALK

Start in a seated position, and push up into a bridge. Lift your right hand and left leg, and reach across the body toward your toes, keeping your hips off the floor and rotating your torso. Repeat on the left.

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4 Simple Stretches For Weight Loss

4 Simple Stretches For Weight Loss

Hello All!!!

Want to get in shape? You need to get moving! You must have heard this umpteen times but I am going to repeat it once again. Yes, you need to exercise to burn calories. It is well known that along with exercise you should do stretching too. Exercising and stretching are the 2 best things for weight loss.

Simple Stretches at work

Now when it comes to the time you need to invest for a fit body, it is not much. Just invest a few hours a day and don’t push yourself beyond a certain limit. This way you will be sorted. Working out at home can be helpful on days when you don’t have the time to go to the gym.

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Are you totally clueless about working out at home? Well, you shouldn’t be if you have been reading our blog as we have been posting so much about exercises that you can do without any equipments! However, we welcome the new readers with open arms and present a few stretches that work really well in weight loss.

Here are some stretches for weight loss that you can very well do at home:

1) Stretch hands up and inhale

Stretching your hands up and inhaling is beneficial in 2 ways when done every morning. First, it releases the stress and fatigue present inside you each morning. Secondly, you burn a lot of fat when your hands are stretched upwards and you inhale and then release the breath. Do you know doing so for 20 to 30 times a day will burn more number of calories than an hour long walk will?

2) Stretch legs in different directions

If you want to get rid of thigh fat, there is a stretch for you! This particular stretch involves stretching your legs in different directions as much as possible. You need to hold this for 5 secs and later release. Keep doing this every day 25 times and see the results.

3) Run stretch

Run stretch is the best thing you can do if you want to lose weight quickly. Simply stretch your arms up, tighten your legs and then try to run slowly. Even when you run for 30 mins a day, you will be able to see a huge difference in a matter of a month.

4) Boxing stretch

When you have a lot of fat in your arms and shoulder, you can get rid of it with the help of boxing stretch. The boxing stretch is a sure shot way of losing fat. You need to try boxing with one hand after the other and keep stretching it as far as possible. This way you will surely shed weight from your arms.

So, this was all about the stretches to help you lose weight. These tries and tested stretches have helped a lot of people in shedding unwanted weight. Keep doing them on a daily basis and see the magic. Do let us know how much weight you lost!

Hope you liked this post on stretches for weight loss!

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RIP, Kale: An Obituary to a Fad

Kale died a peaceful death last night, in the early winter months of 2016. A beloved cousin of the Cruciferous family, its legacy joins the likes of renowned child favorites cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Kale leaves behind very little, except perhaps a bitter taste in your mouth. Its relevance was five years old.

Kale got its start working as the rough shrubbery lining the perimeter of literally every salad bar in America. One day some jerk knocked a few leaves into his Caesar salad while reaching for the crouton bowl. Fancying it a creative garnish from the Applebee’s sous-chef, the genius forced some of the dark green leaves down his gullet along with his iceberg lettuce. He did not like the taste but felt less guilty about the brownie sundae he ate afterward, so he went home and loudly described this new salad that “wasn’t too bad” to anyone who would listen. The neighbor two houses over heard as she was Googling new juice ingredients. Thus commenced an intricate butterfly effect.

So it began: The year 2012 saw a large spike in green juice sales. By then kale endorsements had blown the roof off of the nutrition pyramid — rich in phytochemicals for eyes, magnesium for bones and antioxidants for hearts, said a physician over a phone somewhere. “Vitamin K to make your waist as thin as your bloodstream,” they said. Few people actually wanted to chew on the plant (“I think I like it,” said one yoga instructor), but drinking it was mercifully efficient. A meal in a bottle, said a man in a cheap suit before adjusting the price tag from $ 4 to $ 10.

But kale didn’t stop there.

By 2014, not only were the masses eating it raw as well as boiling and drinking it — they were paying money to do so. Global pop icon Beyoncé wore a T-shirt bearing the word in white lettering, and every clothing store on Rodeo Drive followed suit, desperately careful to get the font just right. Consumption of the leaf continued to rise — data from MyFitnessPal users in 2014 showed a 710% increase in kale consumption over the course of three years. Each successive New Year’s Day saw skyrocketing sales to match ambitious new fad diets. “I actually like it,” said my father.

Then, abruptly, 2016 saw a slump in kale enthusiasm. No one knows how it started, but some trace the shift to a chilling story about models eating too much of the plant and having diarrhea. This whole time, we had trusted kale as our primary food source. Slowly, our “cheat days” began to multiply. More and more dads followed suit. National enthusiasm for “massaging the leaves beforehand for best texture” took a nosedive. It wasn’t long before grocery stores were moving kale off the spotlighted sections of their shelves. Said one lady exiting the supermarket: “That’s just capitalism, man.”

The cause of kale’s death is unknown, but many suspect that the public found a new sweetheart. If I were a betting man, I’d start choosing fonts for those “Cauliflower Rice” T-shirts now — it might not be green, but it pairs pretty well with Buffalo sauce.

A small service will not be held for this plant. If you have any fond memories or parting words, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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