Top 5 Reasons Why Fitness Routines Fail

Top 5 Reasons Why Fitness Routines Fail

Every day, people from all over the world promise to turn over a new leaf and spend more time in the gym or at least pay more attention to their health. Every day, people like them choose to cut their health and fitness journeys short. It happens all the time; we sign up for a gym, visit it a couple of times, join a class here and there, and then keep paying membership fees but forget about the gym altogether. A relative might subscribe to a diet plan to lose weight but lose interest in the program halfway through. A friend might have all the best home gym equipment and workout attire but fail actually to use them.

Joining a gym or beginning to work out is most common in the New Year when millions of people write down their New Year resolutions. According to a University of Scranton study, 55% of all New Year’s resolutions have to do with health, including increasing exercise and improving one’s diet. However, 80% of the people who make New Year’s resolutions fail to stick to them. While the lack of motivation may play a significant role in why health and fitness programs fail, it isn’t the only problem. Other factors may come into play, with the following five being the most common.

1. Scheduling and time 

Almost everyone suffers from a lack of time. There’s just so much to get done at work and home, leaving time to oneself almost impossible. Some may view health and fitness as unimportant, making them disposable sections of one’s itinerary. While you may have responsibilities to your company and family, it’s important to remember that you also have a responsibility to take care of your body. 

Sometimes, a lack of time isn’t the issue. Instead, people miscalculate precisely how much time they need to see results from a health or fitness program. Sticking to a schedule for only three days isn’t likely to make a dent in one’s health in the long term. Often, the health or fitness program must be adopted as a disciplined routine. It doesn’t have to take several hours each day. It can even be divided into shorter, more intense programs every other day.

2. False expectations and unrealistic goals

Most people start a program with the illusion that they may lose all their body fat and gain six-pack abs within a month when, in reality, that isn’t likely to happen. When the month passes, and they don’t notice much of a difference in their body, they may feel tempted to ditch exercise and dieting altogether, convinced that they aren’t worth the time or effort. Anyone who joins a health or fitness program should be prepared with the right set of expectations of what may or may not happen.

Making a set of realistic goals at the outset is also worthwhile. If you want to lose 20 pounds by a specific date, calculate just how much you need to exercise and eat. Losing 20 pounds within a few weeks may still be challenging to meet, so it would help start with short-term goals. Break it down into smaller tasks that you can follow every day and tick off your checklist. It’ll also be easier to track your progress this way.

3. The wrong program

The program can be wrong for several reasons. For one, it may not take into account the person’s past injuries or current disabilities. If they experience back pain or once broke their wrist, they may need a program that addresses those issues and doesn’t put too much weight on individual limbs.

The program also might not suit them in terms of age or experience. An application made for a young bodybuilder might not be the best for a grandfather with arthritis. They may overlook cardiovascular exercise, focus too much on resistance training, or go into a program too fast too soon, leading to unnecessary muscle soreness. Workouts that lack warm-ups, cool-downs, and stretching can likewise lead to inefficient exercise and, in turn, decreased enthusiasm.

4. No coach

Having a coach makes a difference. Online training and nutrition plans can help you learn where to start, but you can only do the same thing for so long until you start seeing limited gains. 

A coach can tell you how many times you need to exercise weekly, how long you need to exercise, which exercises can hit which muscle groups, and which workouts are appropriate for any past or present injuries. They can also help you keep track of your goals and progress, ensuring that you do the work correctly and reap the benefits of your program.

If you don’t do these yourself, you’re guaranteed to have a difficult time achieving your health and fitness goals. If you try to change your program without a coach’s advice, you may end up following the wrong type of program. Having to report to a coach is a surefire way to attain any goal fast.

5. Ignoring other aspects of health

A diet program can be sabotaged by what happens off the plate, just as a fitness program can be ruined by what happens outside of the gym. There’s more to health and fitness than just diet and exercise, so it’s advisable to approach one’s health from multiple sides. An hour-long workout can end up fruitless if followed by the consumption of five packs of chips. Other lifestyle behaviors and vices can undoubtedly have a significant impact on one’s health.

Having little to no sleep, for instance, can undermine exercise by depriving the body of the growth hormone necessary to build lean muscle and repair the body after hard workouts. It not only aids in athletic recovery but helps the body conserve energy, allowing for even better workouts in the future. Nutrition is also a crucial part of fitness because it is through food that the body’s energy can increase, paving the way for exercises of higher intensity.

There are many exercise deterrents; prepare for them to prevent them.

Tracking Sleep with a Fitness Tracker

Tracking Sleep with a Fitness Tracker

Individuals most often recognize fitness trackers for tracking steps and miles or tracking how many calories they burned, but fitness trackers also help track sleep! Fitness trackers have built-in sensors that help with the tracking and accuracy of the input. This software uses complex algorithms to sort out data that may prove useful to users later on. So how exactly do fitness wearables track sleep, you ask? 

Most wearables come equipped with a “Sleep Mode” feature, wherein the users of these devices activate them to let the device know they’re about to slumber. Usually, this data is collected and measured as information is collected and measured while an individual is asleep. 

Some devices, on the other hand, make use of actigraphy. This software translates movements into periods of sleeping and waking. Actigraphy can be incredibly convenient for people that live with sleeping disorders or even sleep disruptions. Users can wear an actigraph device at home, and most of them look like watches just the same. Some of them are worn 24/7 to track how an individual gets sleepy during the day. 

Actigraphy is generally accurate for tracking sleep that healthy adults get, who have more “normal” sleeping patterns but have a higher margin or error for anything else. Actigraphy devices can under or overestimate sleep. Since actigraph devices rely on movements to track sleep, it may still think you are asleep when you’re laid up in bed or resting even if you are awake. The less sleep you get, the less accurate actigraphy can track it. Wake time is an even less precise aspect that actigraphy gets right since periods of no movement will almost always register as sleeping. If your movements while awake are limited or still, this might register as sleep and can have more sleep time recorded. Lying in bed and trying to be able to sleep can also register as sleeping, even if the mind and body are fully awake. 

Another thing that contributes to an actigraphy’s inaccuracy is user error. Users may sleep in positions that restrict arm movements and therefore keep the tracker stagnant and unable to record any useful data or be recording too much movement if your breathing interferes and registers as actual movement on the tracker. Users may not remember to set fitness trackers on sleep mode. Users may even forget to wear the devices at all. 

Polysomnography or PSG is also used in labs and holds the “golden standard” title for definitively measuring sleep. Most studies using actigraphy and its accuracy are compared to PSG data. Where actigraphy is convenient and can be done from the comforts of your own home, PSG testing requires sleeping in a lab where the brain waves can be monitored by Electroencephalography or EEG tests, where electrodes on the scalp measure the brain waves. Despite its inconveniences, it proves to be more accurate than actigraphy. 

Most fitness trackers only rely on movements to be able to track anything. Built-in fitness trackers on a phone count steps based on how the phone moves, so if you swing it back and forth, it will count your steps just like regular walking. Using fitness trackers that claim to tell you how long you spend in a particular sleep phase is probably a ploy or marketing strategy. Sleep researchers argue that to record sleep data accurately, brain waves and eye movements are essential to assess these phases. Many other different methods of analysis can be used for more accurate tracking of sleep. Some devices might even use more than one way to get a more precise reading. 

The bottom line is that if you struggle with sleeping disorders, it may be your best bet to consult a professional about it and suggest what you can do to track or improve these sleeping habits. While there is no harm in wanting to use a fitness tracker to track your sleep, understand that they are more accurate and made for those that generally sleep well. PSG tests can also help if you don’t. Addressing different sleep phases such as deep sleep or Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, there is yet to be ample proof or study that fitness wearables can accurately predict these phases with the technology present today.


Top 8 Best Calorie-Burning Exercises

Top 8 Best Calorie-Burning Exercises

There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of weight gain. Whether it’s due to your genetics, lifestyle, diet, or hormones, putting on weight isn’t something you should feel guilty about. We gain weight when there exists an imbalance in the calories we eat and burn. If you eat more than you burn or burn less than you eat, it’s only natural to gain weight over time.

If your weight gain truly bothers you or you’ve been medically advised to shed a few pounds, all you need to do is focus on eating fewer calories, burning more calories, or both! When you exercise, your body burns glycogen, fat, and other energy sources depending on how intense and how long you work out. Doctors recommend spending at least 45 minutes exercising at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate to burn body fat.

However, you have to remember that some exercises burn calories better than others. Assuming you weigh around 185 pounds, here’s how many calories you’ll burn by doing each of the following exercises for an hour.

  1. Jumping Rope

Calories burnt per hour: 888

Aside from the fact that you can jump rope almost anywhere, jumping rope is great in terms of fun and health. If you make a goal of perfecting jump rope tricks such as crisscrosses, you’ll never get tired of this exercise tool as a toy. It’s even more fun if you jump rope with a friend. When you jump rope, you raise your heart rate while putting less strain on your joints and improving your spatial awareness. Jumping rope with weighted jump ropes will also allow you to work out even more muscle groups.

  1. Martial Arts: Judo, Karate, Kickbox

Calories burnt per hour: 888

Martial arts will teach you how to defend yourself (and lose weight in the process). Participating in martial arts will help you tone your muscles, increase your flexibility, improve your posture, and increase your endurance and stamina. The more you learn how to protect and defend yourself, the more confident you can also be of your ability to be independent. At the same time, the practice can relieve stress and increase your focus. Kickboxing, in particular, can help you let go of bottled-up stress as you kick and punch to your heart’s content. Always remember to concentrate on working out your core when you do martial arts, as this will give you a total body workout.

  1. Swimming

Calories burnt per hour: 888 (breaststroke)

Swimming as a whole-body workout that can tone your muscles, build your strength and endurance, and increase your heart rate. Because there are so many moves and variations to master (such as the breastroke, butterfly, and freestyle), it’s difficult to get bored in the pool. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, swimmers also have around half the risk of death compared with people who are inactive. It’s accessible for people struggling with pain and injury too, with many reporting that they felt less pain after swimming. The humidity of the water helps people with asthma, while the buoyancy benefits swimmers with multiple sclerosis. Mentally, swimming boosts one’s mood, improves sleep, and relieves stress.

  1. Ski Machine

Calories burnt per hour: 844

Ski machine workouts are defined by large muscle movements that are amazing for aerobic exercise, strengthening the heart and lowering blood pressure. Using the ski machine can work out both your upper and lower body, increasing caloric expenditure. Being a low-impact exercise, more people with physical limitations can take part in ski machine workouts. While the coordinated movement required by the machine can be hard to get used to, you’ll find that your coordination may improve after regular use.

  1. Elliptical trainer

Calories burnt per hour: 800

The elliptical trainer is normally one of the most popular exercise machines at the gym, and for good reason. The low-impact machine can not only help you strengthen your heart and improve your stamina, but work out both your upper and lower body if you use your arms just as much as your legs on the machine. If you let go of the handles on the machine, you could focus on improving your balance while concentrating on targeting your core muscles.

  1. Running

Calories burnt per hour: 710 (at 5mph)

Running is an affordable and accessible exercise to improve your overall health, in addition to burning fat. It’s been proven to raise the body’s levels of good cholesterol, boost the immune system, increase lung function, and reduce the risk of a heart attack. It can also benefit you mentally by relieving stress, improving sleep quality, and improving your mood through the secretion of much-needed happy hormones. A 2017 study published in the Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases journal found that runners even live three years longer than non-runners.

  1. Bicycling

Calories burnt per hour: 622 (Stationary at moderate speed)

If you want a low-impact exercise that will still give your muscles a good workout, go for cycling. Cycling uses all of the body’s major muscle groups, and it’s great for increasing stamina and strength. You can cycle at a low or high intensity, whichever you prefer. The best part is that you can cycle anywhere, too, whether on a stationary bike in front of your TV or out and around your neighborhood. Cycling will improve your joint mobility, strengthen your bones, improve your posture, and increase your cardiovascular fitness, among others.

  1. Rowing Machine

Calories burnt per hour: 622 (at moderate speed)

The rowing machines at the gym aren’t there solely for competitive rowers. Even people who just want to burn some calories can reap the health benefits of rowing, considering that the act works out 86% of the body’s muscles. When rowing, you can burn calories without putting too much pressure on your joints, which is why it’s even recommended for people with mild cases of osteoarthritis. The repetitive gliding motion that comes with rowing has also been found to be quite meditative, doing wonders for the mind.

Walking on Treadmill vs. Walking in Place

Walking on Treadmill vs. Walking in Place

Some people go to the gym with the sole purpose of sweating it out. They lift the heaviest weights, squat till they can’t stand, and run on the treadmill at the fastest speed.

On the other hand, some people head to the treadmill and just walk at the same speed for an hour or more. Others choose to forego the trip to the gym entirely and just walk in place in their living rooms while watching their favorite show. 

There’s no reason to look down on those who walk rather than run, considering the many benefits walking offers. However, is there something to be learned from people who walk as a form of exercise while never leaving their house, or even their room?

Walking as a workout

Because other forms of exercise may be more physically demanding, the benefits of walking are often ignored. People who are overweight or obese and people who have ankle, knee, or back problems would do best to walk instead of run considering that walking is a low-impact exercise. This means that one can walk for a longer period without feeling too much pressure on the body’s joints, thereby reducing pain.

Walking not only improves mood, alleviating depression, and fatigue, but it’s also been found to reduce one’s risk of cancer and chronic disease. Walking improves one’s posture and circulation, and like other forms of exercise, it also prevents weight gain.

Researchers analyzing data from the National Walkers’ Health Study and National Runners’ Health Study found that walking at moderate intensity and running at vigorous intensity led to similar health benefits in terms of blood pressure and cholesterol. Walking might not be a weak man’s exercise after all!

Walking in place

It’s common for doctors to urge patients to lead an active lifestyle, no matter how little activity one does in a day. But what if the only free time you have is in between TV shows? 

A study that appeared in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal in 2012 found that walking in place, even if only during TV commercials, is an effective workout. The University of Tennessee researchers studied 23 men and women ranging from normal in weight to obese. They then had the subjects walk in place during commercials and walk on a treadmill to compare the two forms of exercise.

Walking in place for 25 minutes burned an average of 148 calories while walking on a treadmill for an hour burned an average of 304. Take commercials as cues to be active and get on your feet, but don’t expect to lose weight after a few minutes of half-hearted walking.

The Mayo Clinic recommends a target heart rate of 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate at moderate exercise intensity if you aim to lose weight. You could do this simply by walking in place for 12 minutes during each 30-minute TV show you watch. Doing this while also doing arm exercises can cause you to burn up to 100 calories more. 

Spice up your walk-in-place sessions by doing a few shoulder presses or bicep curls. You could even do tricep kickbacks while you’re at it! You don’t have to do any of these arm exercises with heavy dumbbells. Start light and work your way up to higher intensity.

At the same time, try not to stay at the same pace. Walk faster for a few minutes now and then to increase the intensity of your workout and burn extra calories. If you want even more variation, add leg movements to your in-place workout, such as high knee lifts.

Walking on a treadmill

The treadmill offers to measure and change two aspects of your exercise: your speed and your incline. While you can change the pace at which you walk without a treadmill, you might have difficulty measuring it and keeping it up. Similarly, you might not have a setup (that isn’t a treadmill) that allows you to walk on an incline and adjust it as you please.

Walking on a treadmill provides all the benefits of walking in general does but offers a few more. Being able to indicate the speed and resistance you would like to have while walking could lead to the development of more defined muscles. When you walk, you activate your gluteal muscles, hip flexors, calf muscles like your gastrocnemius and soleus, and thigh muscles like your hamstrings. If you contract your abdominal muscles while walking, you could exercise that area, too. Using all the specifications of your treadmill could put resistance on your muscles, making your time on the machine even more worthwhile.

Using the incline feature of your treadmill will work all those muscles in different ways and increase the calories you burn. For instance, your gluteal muscles and quadriceps get even more of a workout if you make the incline steeper. Because you’ll be working against gravity, you’ll be engaging more of your muscles than if you were to walk on a flat floor. However, utilize your treadmill’s incline only once you’re sure you want to increase your workout’s intensity.

The verdict

Both walking in place and walking on a treadmill can help you burn calories and keep active, but how effective they largely depend on what kind of person you are.

If you live a mostly sedentary lifestyle, don’t have enough time to exercise for long periods, and can’t afford a gym membership or a personal treadmill, there’s no harm in just walking in place. Some people would also just rather exercise in private. If you have an active lifestyle and a gym membership or your treadmill, there is also no harm in making the most of your treadmill’s incline feature.

The number of calories you burn or how effective your workout is isn’t dependent on the equipment you have. Work out all the muscles that you can by doing additional exercises while walking in place or walking on an incline, and you’re bound to see results.

Types (Colors) of Body Fat

Types (Colors) of Body Fat

Often, we have a negative connotation with the word “fat”, but fat is essential to your body and overall health, providing some important benefits. Generally, those that contain more amounts of body fat can keep warmer, because fats provide us with insulation. It protects the organs from any injury, as it sits under the skin as an extra layer of protection. Fat is also able to store energy. Some fats are beneficial to metabolism and hormone levels, such as estrogen, leptin (the hunger hormone), insulin, cortisol (stress hormone), and even growth hormones. Fat can be necessary for overall health.

However, despite its benefits, too much of it can prove to harm your health and lead to various diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even cancer. Each type of fat has different roles and are classified by color and purpose. 


Brown fat is a type of fat that is said to be primarily found in babies, but adults can still retain a little bit of this, specifically in the neck and should region. It is said that brown fat is seen in people who are leaner and more muscular, and when activated these kinds of fat are white. It’s found to serve as converters of food to heat, burning fatty acids to keep a person warm. It also acts as a muscle during colder environments, burning calories for fuel. The average adult stores 2 to 3 ounces of this kind of fat, enough to burn 250 calories over three hours. 

Despite a leaner, fitter person containing mostly brown fat, white fat cells still outnumber them. 


This type of fat is what most people think of fat do be. It is made up of large white cells that can be found around the organs in regions like the tummy, arms, butt, and thighs. There, fat cells soak up dietary fat, able to store energy to be used for later. Some small cells of this type of fat are also able to produce what they call a “good guy” hormone, adiponectin, which makes organs like the liver and muscles react sensitively to insulin, making people less susceptible to diabetes and heart disease. However, too much of a good thing can be fatal and overfeeding these cells’ dietary fat and overproduction of white fat cells can prove to be dangerous real quick. 


This is a neutral-colored fat that is mixed in with brown fat and white fat, in tinier portions of the body like by the collarbone and spine. They’re typically inactive until your temperature drops when you exercise, and even when you’re stressed and this is when they start burning energy as brown fat cells do, just not as well. They are currently being studied for their potential to regulate insulin and protect certain organs like the liver. Other studies look into it to possibly have obesity under control and maximize healthy body fat.


This is fat that is stored under the skin, it’s a combination of all three: brown, white, and beige fat cells. The majority of our body is made up of this fat. Dubbed “the inch you can pinch”, it’s everything you can pinch and squeeze on the arms, thighs, tummy, and butt. This fat can be measured using skinfold calipers to estimate the total body fat percentage found all over a human’s body. A certain amount is normal and even healthy, but too much of it again can lead to hormonal imbalances.


More commonly known as belly fat, this is the deep white fat stored in and around the stomach and all of the major organs that make up this region of the body like liver, kidneys, pancreas, intestines, and even the heart. This is because of the blood flow that drains straight into the liver via the portal vein. Toxins and fatty acids from the visceral fat go right into the liver and negatively impacts the production of cholesterol. Studies suggest that visceral fat can also pump out immune system chemicals called cytokines and high levels of this fat are likely to increase the risk of diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, artery blockages, and worst case even some cancers. While this is a dangerous kind of fat, you can’t actively see its build-up unlike belly fats, which makes people who engage in unhealthy eating habits and lifestyles but don’t have big stomachs think that they are not in danger.

Do compression garments help in exercise?

Do compression garments help in exercise?

What are compression garments? 

Compression garments look like your regular workout clothes but they fit a little snugger on you. This is because its fibers are designed to fit around you tightly, and while this may sound uncomfortable, they should be tight enough to provide support and compression, but not restrict any of your movements. Compression garments are said to be effective when they fit you correctly.

Why wear compression garments? 

Compression clothing has grown its reputation in the world of sports and training in the past couple of years. They are commonly known to be worn for two main reasons: exercise, in connection to weight loss and improved performance and recovery of tissues and muscle strains. 

These garments can aid in better support for your body while working out and stabilize it as well. This is because compression garments prevent a lot of moving around while training as it keeps everything compressed against the body, lessening the risk of strain and repetitive injuries. These are also supposed to help increase blood flow and oxygen which makes exercise effective, but at the same time doesn’t tire you out as much.

They also help to reduce the vibration caused by doing high-intensity workouts that involve jumping or running. They are also used to improve proprioception, which is the awareness of one’s position in space. Improved proprioception can aid in being able to multitask or be able to do simultaneous actions without having to pause to think about how to coordinate them. It is also essential to being able to move fluidly and precisely which is a guarantee that you’re doing your workouts accurately. This also improves the posture. 

Stretching, while also very important to any workout regimen, reduces soreness after a workout and helps muscles heal faster. Compression garments are also said to assist in doing the same. The compression garments act almost like a massage, minimizing the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) because of the pressure they apply on the muscles.

Compression garments also offer breathability, the increased airflow keeps the body from overheating while working out. These garments are usually made up of materials like nylon or polyester, which helps you dry faster after sweating. They are not water-resistant or waterproof but they do bring the moisture to the surface and push evaporation. Simultaneously, they also raise the temperature of the skin which works the same way heat therapy does. 

Which compression garments should I invest in?

Depending on your “trouble areas” and goals, there are a variety of compression garments meant for specific portions of the body. Leg muscles are more likely to tear and strain during workouts because of repeated load bearing they constantly do. They are also the largest muscle group, so it would be the best investment as they will always be used as long as you workout. 

Compression garments for the upper body limit the movement of extra skin or flab that you may want to keep at bay. They help with reducing the such movements in the arms, chest and even abdomen which, in turn, can help you last longer during workouts. Tops come in sleeveless, short-sleeve and long-sleeve options. Apart from this, separate arm compression sleeves can also be bought to be used with other different pieces of garments. The unnecessary movement can just feel uncomfortable at times, so these garments can be your new best friend! 

The most popular compression garment are the socks. Runners, athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike wear them. Calf socks are worn during races and marathons, sometimes even during basketball training. Though they aren’t said to aid in your speed during running, they can help in your recovery. 

Though more evidence is needed to conclude that compression garments can, in fact, aid in performance during strenuous activity they have always been able to help in recovery phases as they have been used for clinically for the longest time. They were designed for use to improve your overall performance but lack the science and statistics to back that up. Although, many athletes and gym buffs have accepted and flaunted its benefits. A better suggestion is to save the compression wear for recovery periods or days, as these work best during those times. They can also be used when you work a job that has you sit or stand for long periods of time. Bottomline, if they make you feel good and make you feel like your performance is significantly better, wear them! No further research has been done about its psychological effects.

Top 5 Exercises in a Swimming Pool

Top 5 Exercises in a Swimming Pool

Tired of the same old fitness routine? The heat got you lazy? If you’re looking for a fun and fresh new way to work out, aquatic exercises might be for you. In-pool exercises can provide great ways to work your whole body while also having fun. What could be more refreshing than a dip in the pool while simultaneously getting a good work out in? 

Exercising in the water can prove to be pretty challenging at first, what with water being heavier of resistance than air. But with a heavier resistance, your muscles are used to their extent. Because of this, you burn calories easier than when you do these exercises on land. Aquatic exercises can help you develop strength, endurance, and flexibility. 

The buoyancy of the water provides extra support for your muscles and joints which allows you to exert x amount of effort while putting less amount of stress on the body as compared to workouts done by land. This, in turn, can really help those that have joint conditions and recovering injuries. People that suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, balance issues, and other joint injuries can really benefit from these exercises. 

Here are some pool exercises for your whole body:

1. Walk in Water

Walking in water seems fairly easy, and can kick off your new routine to a great start. By doing this, you’re able to feel how your body creates your resistance in the water. Start by walking in a shallow portion if possible, and really concentrate on which muscles you use. Swimming usually has us walk on our tiptoes, but we should be able to feel the pressure around the heel, instead. Doing these targets not just the lower body but the arms and core, too.

2. Water Arm Lifts/Lateral Arm Lifts

Foam dumbbells and ankle and wrist weights are available for an added resistance to the water workout. They’re lightweight when they’re dry and turn heavier when wet. Water arm lifts are performed by lifting the forearms holding the weights, lifting them to the height of the water. 

Similar to water arm lifts, lateral arm lifts makes use of the foam dumbbells. Instead of lifting just a portion of the arms, raise them to the side until they’re level with the water (shoulder-deep) and your shoulders.

3. Water Running

Also known as aqua jogging, this exercise is more high-intensity cardio than that of running on land. To be able to complete this workout, the water needs to at least be below the neck. To engage the arms, adding hand paddles or weights helps with working the triceps and biceps. Running through the water uses the same range of motions as running on land would. To switch it up, you can also run in a zigzag pattern from one end of a pool to another and then run in a straight line between the currents that you’ve made. This can add another level to your already challenging routine.

4. Dolphin Kicks

Treading water in the deep end of the pool, extend your arms out to your sides and legs beneath you. Squeeze your legs together and sweep them backward, bending the knees and then extending them forward again (like a dolphin’s tail). Counterbalance these motions by moving the arms in the opposite direction of the legs. This exercise is supposed to use the core and not the legs.

5. Back Gliding

When professional swimmers engage in competitions, the swim back to the finish line is started by holding onto the pool’s ledge with the knees tucked into the chest using this as your take-off, push from the ledge, and do a back glide. When you’ve completed this, draw the knees back into the chest, pressing the feet down to the pool and sprint back to the wall. 

Despite how fun working out in the water can be, keep in mind that you are still susceptible to different injuries if you do them wrong. Remember that the water is working against you and is 10x heavier than you, so it’s important to first learn how to balance when you’re in the water. Aquatic exercises can also turn dangerous if you don’t know how to swim, so consider that as well. But the water can really help with many injuries, doctors often recommend an aquatic attempt at a shortened recovery period as well as a way to still stay fit despite these injuries.


Staying in Shape with Battle Ropes

Staying in Shape with Battle Ropes

We’ve heard of weights, bands and even tape that are commonly used in fitness routines. Now it’s time for the ropes. You’ve probably seen ropes being used for cardio in gyms thinking, “What the heck are they doing?” Well, battle ropes used in training have been around for longer than you think. 

Battle ropes were introduced into fitness routines as early as 2010. They were called “power ropes” and “battling rope systems” developed by John Brookfield. These are weighted ropes that usually weigh 24 pounds. In his interviews, John Brookfield had mentioned that he came up with the system in his own backyard. He had been looking for ways to train for speed, power, strength, and even mental endurance in the long run. After training for a whole year, he says the results were phenomenal and had started teaching it as well. He concluded that this training was quite adaptable and transferrable to other fields of training, such as athletic and military training.

While constantly being compared to kettlebells, Brookefield claims that these are two very different types of training. Comparing it to a body of water, with fast-flowing current, there is no stop, no lull. The body is simultaneously present with the mind, working at all times. This causes velocity, which is a combination of speed and strength. Using kettlebells or any kind of free weight, there is a “rest” period in between reps where you allow your mind and body to relax for a couple of seconds before the next rep, while ropes keep your mind and body engaged the entire time you do training which results in maximum output. 

So, using a rope and getting fit, sounds easy right? Not even close. The system actually teaches users how to increase endurance overtime. This is done through using the ropes at only seconds at a time at intervals. 20-30-40 intervals are used most of the time and for about 10-20 minutes, depending on how much the user can endure. Being able to sustain eventually helps users to be able to effectively execute and excel in their field of choice. 

John started training with military personnel during his first times sharing this drill with others. Being friends with commanders, they let him test this drill with some of their men. After his training had reached numerous amounts of people, John noticed that these people, no matter how able and well-trained they had been, were struggling until the last minutes of the drill! Other athletes including NFL and Olympic competitors had also experienced this. This is because many workouts and training focus on either strength or speed, never the same of it together – velocity. When training to produce velocity, any training that comes after won’t necessarily be easy but range of motions can be found to be less difficult to execute. 

Velocity also helps with a better blood flow and overall circulation in comparison to other types of training. John also compares the blood flow to a body of water, like a river. Such bodies of water allow the pushing out of debris, whereas slow-moving bodies of water make for a build up of it. The bloodstream, in general, is a slow-moving fluid because of its density. This can result in the build up of lactic acid. Velocity, increasing the circulation, potentially moves the debris. This counters the build up. As a result, studies prove that muscles do not fatigue as much.

Another thing this system teaches is the effectivity of the correct breathing can be. According to Brookefield, many people that do training (even athletes) get into something called panic breathing. John says that we can first learn to condition our minds to let our bodies relax when undergoing stress, and soon after it will transfer to all aspects in our lives, be it work stress, emotional stress or even physical stress. It is still possible to relax even if our bodies are undergoing extreme stress by changing our breathing. 

Battle ropes target many parts of the body at once with a couple of different moves as they also enhance your grip, strength, and overall work capacity. A 10-minute workout can actually get your heart rate to peak, which makes it classify as a high-intensity workout, and can be good for cardio. The high heart-rate can really aid in weight loss. The benefits of using this drill include: 


  • They are perfect for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) which are proven to improve the metabolism even after workouts! These are usually shorter routines but the range of motions have to be executed a peak intensity. These can also burn an estimated 300-500 calories per half hour. This can help your metabolism to be up until 36 hours after a workout! You’ll be burning calories even while sleeping and doing your daily activities even by sitting at your desk the next morning. 
  • They are short, non-time consuming and still effective. According to studies, 3 sets of an HIIT battle rope routine only takes 10 minutes but the calories burned are equivalent to jogging for 45 minutes! Perfect for those with busier schedules. 
  • Building muscle, burning fat. Using battle ropes hits two birds with one stone, using half the time and less the equipment and make for a full body workout, too. They target many parts of the body at one time.
  • Adaptive to fitness levels, you can work your way from the bottom to the top.  As you get more used to them, you can add more challenging moves and alter the duration and number of sets you execute. You can also increase the weights and lengths of the ropes you use.

It is suggested to do 4 exercises with minimal rest in between. Something else to remember is that no one has the same amount of strength, endurance or dexterity on either arms. One arm’s strength is another arm’s speed. Doing this routine consistently will help improve the weaknesses found in both arms, making them almost equal. Integrating this type of drill into your routine is a sure fire way to reach your goals and even strengthen you to be able to perform other routines accurately and with ease.

Alternatives to Yoga

Alternatives to Yoga

Yoga is a form of physical, mental and spiritual discipline, a connection between the mind and body exercise with roots that go back so far as 2,500 to 5,000 years in Indian philosophy. In fact, it is known to be one of India’s most significant contributions to popular culture and society. It has become increasingly popular throughout the years, as it promotes and is able to help practitioners that take part in it to escape the troubles of their mind. Yoga actually has the ability to calm the mind, at the same time make it easier to focus because of a clear mind. With these kinds of exercises that center the body and mind, this can also help strengthen the body and increase flexibility. This comes in many different forms, and are usually gentle but challenging at the same time. 

As much as yoga has gained its popularity and great reputation for its postures and poses, these were not primarily used for fitness, in fact they were focused on other practices that centered around expanding their spiritual energy and using the likes of controlled breathing and mental focus. Yoga started to gain its rep in the West towards the end of the 19th century. 

However, as much as yoga sounds amazing and relaxing, it is not meant for everyone. Especially since it requires a great sense of self-awareness, which can take up more energy emotionally than others. Many people don’t even consider yoga to be synonymous to the mind and body philosophy that everyone is on about. Many of them believe that the concept of mind and body connection has more to do with inner focus, attention to alignment and particular awareness of muscle movements that goes hand in hand with systematic breathing patterns.

If you’ve tried yoga and it isn’t exactly your cup of tea, there are a couple of other alternatives that you can try. 


Originating from ancient Chinese culture, Qigong is also known as chi chung or chi kung. Its origin goes back so far almost 4,000 years. Qigong is described as a holistic system of exercises that use body movements and posture, meditation and breathing which is similar to yoga. Key aspects of performing Qigong includes a rhythmic deep breathing, slow movements, and peaceful meditation. It is considered to be one of the best ways to be able to cultivat ‘qi’ which means “life energy”. Its essential principles include intentional movements, visualization, awareness, rhythmic breathing, balance, counterbalance and even chanting. This exercise actually helps stretch the body and build an awareness of how the body moves. This in turn increases the movement of bodily fluids such as lymph, blood and synovial. 

There are three major types of Qigong: medical, spiritual and martial. Medical qigong is actually most popular out of all since this encourages self-healing. Spiritual qigong, on the other hand, includes the use of prayers, mantras and meditation, almost like yoga. Martial qigong focuses on physical powers by demonstrating a variety of power moves. 


Introduced by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, this exercise is known as “yoga’s more athletic cousin”. All though it is not as much centered around mind-body exercises, its main focus is to reduce the stress and tension in the body by way of bodily movements. Many of the poses that make-up and are used in Pilates are actually similar to those of yoga. It is a great option for those looking to improve or maintain a great posture, all while toughening up the pelvis and abdomen. This can also increase the body’s flexibility with the main focus on the core, but is not restricted to the specific parts of the body.

Tai Chi

Like qigong, tai chi is deeply rooted in ancient Chinese culture, where it was initially developed for self-defense. It is basically a non-competitive type of martial arts and it can simultaneously use simple and gentle exercises with mindfulness. It helps enhance the body’s flexibility, as well as its balance and control. Studies suggest that tai chi actually helps improve the muscle strength and overaQill wellness of the body. It can even get rid of chronic pain. Tai Chi, like yoga, has its own categories or styles that focuses on particular parts of the body. 

Contemporary Dance and Ballet

Contemporary dance is an expressive dance that makes use of various genres and elements of other dances. Ballet is one of these dances, and training and practicing for both really improves the flexibility of the body, most especially the limbs. The focus of contemporary dancing is mostly versatility. Ballet is also focused on short, graceful and repetitive movements that help with flexibility. Ballet emphasizes on the way the body moves with proper alignment. 

There are many alternatives to yoga, you just need to find the one your body adapts to and your mind enjoys the most. Otherwise, you can opt to separate the mind and body exercise regimen by meditating and exercising separately, but still trying to be aware of the body as the proper mind-muscle coordination makes for more significant results, as well as less pain and soreness.

What types of cooking oil are healthiest?

What types of cooking oil are healthiest?

Many of us have the notion that oil is generally unhealthy, but cooking oil is necessary for
many of the dishes we consume each day. In terms of healthiness, it solely depends on
what kind of oil you’re using. Many cooking oils on the market can actually be more
harmful to the health than others. Finding the best cooking oil that is best for the health
is a lot more complicated than it seems.

There are two factors we should keep in mind, the nutritional make-up of an oil or its
saturated fat and smoke point. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting saturated fat to less than 10
percent of our daily calorie intake, which narrows it down to choosing oils that are higher
in unsaturated fat instead. The right smoke point is the temperature at which an oil
starts burning and breaking down is also an important aspect, especially when cooking
at high heat.

Here we breakdown the cooking oils that made our list:

1. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is a hard one to beat. This oil contains vitamin E, a fat-soluble
vitamin which works as an antioxidant and is rich in healthy
unsaturated/monounsaturated fats like oleic acid, it’s not just good for your
overall health but it also has a higher smoke point than oils that contain
polyunsaturated fats.

2. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Also rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, extra-virgin olive oil is one
health oil as well. It doesn’t have the highest smoke point, but its antioxidants
resist oxidation. Extra-virgin olive oil is also generally healthier because it means
that the substance is not refined and is higher in quality. Because of its lower
smoke point, it is suggested that it is used for roasting or stewing instead of
higher-heat cooking like frying. It can also be used as a salad dressing and
added to other morning beverages.

3. Olive Oil
Olive oil, refined olive oil, or light olive oil is another healthy option. It is less
expensive and has a more neutral taste than its extra-virgin counterpart. Refined
olive oil does have less antioxidants, but because of this it has a higher smoke
point, which means this can be used for high-heat cooking such as frying.

4. Peanut Oil

Nut oils can be a fun way to experiment with oils in the kitchen and have a variety
available. It has one of the highest monounsaturated fat contents among cooking
oils, and can also be used for high-heat cooking because of its high smoke-point.
But the downside is that this contains a rather stronger flavor than any other oil
as well. This can be useful for recipes that may benefit from the peanut flavor,
but not for every dish. Plus, a significant number of people are actually allergic to
peanuts, so this is something to keep in mind.

5. Coconut Oil
Despite the heavy debate around coconut oil, it is still your best and healthiest
option to high-heat cooking as compared to other oils like canola. The fatty acids
that coconut oil contains are saturated, which makes for a higher smoke-point. It
is also particularly rich in Lauric Acid, which improves cholesterol levels and
helps kill bacteria. It can last for months on end and has a ton of health benefits
such as antibacterial and antifungal properties and can even improve digestion.
But even then, always keep in mind that this is to be consumed in moderation.
Coconut oils are pretty high in saturated fats which aren’t as harmful as saturated
fats that come from animals, but are generally harmful nonetheless.

There are also some oils that are not as good for cooking because of nutritional make-
up and smoke points, but can be used for a variety of other things.

6. Hazelnut/Walnut Oil
Another variety of nutty oils, these oils have a low smoke point which don’t make
them ideal but can be used in many other ways. They can even be used to make
syrup and be added to lattes and coffee. This oil also contains a good ratio of
omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which helps with inflammation.

Despite popularity and familiarity, steer clear from the likes of vegetable oil, canola oil
and despite it not being directly threatening to your health, sunflower oil. Vegetable oils
tend to be more processed and actually burn at a lower temperature. This creates
carcinogens (which can be harmful to the health and is actually cancer-causing). Canola
oil, like vegetable oil, is also derived from natural ingredients but is very hard to find in
an unprocessed state. Both lack nutrients and flavor. Sunflower oil is rich in omega-6
fatty acids which can lead to inflammation, while not the worst oil, proceed with caution
or balance out with anti-inflammatory foods like those rich in omega-3 fatty acids