Category Archives: Sport

What Are the Best Fitness

The term “fitness workouts” is often misleading. While many believe that fitness workouts refer to anything that assists you in keeping yourself fit, the correct meanings are somewhat different. By definition, fitness workouts are those kinds of physical activity or workout that “when combined with well-balanced, recommended diet” will help you lose weight and extra body fat in the optimal time frame.

To better understand the term, consider the following examples of some recommended fitness workouts which, when combined with healthy diet, will help you lose weight fast and significantly:

1- Running (or jogging)

2- Brisk walking (one that makes you sweat profusely)

3- Playing football, soccer or any sport that involves running and intense physical activity

4-Swimming (an excellent fitness workout)

5- Treadmill / elliptical (cardio) exercise

Why they are so important?

Weight loss experts, dietitians and nutritionists are now of the unanimous opinion that any diet plan or fitness program (no matter how strong and famous it is) would not work alone until and unless it is implemented and practised in conjunction with regular fitness workouts such those mentioned-above. So, the million dollar question is; what’s so special about these workouts?

Well, the main significance of these workouts is actually hidden in the fact that they greatly enhance the weight reduction process and fat burning effect of the diet consumed on daily basis. In other words the weight, that you would lose in one month by diet alone, can actually be lost in a period as short as two weeks by performing the recommended fitness workouts along with following a specific diet schedule.

How do fitness workouts work?

Almost all of the fitness workouts work by increasing the rate of the burning of dietary and body fat. In other words, such workouts tend to increase and speed up the rate of metabolism which eventually leads to faster calorie burning and greater calorie expenditure. As a result of this increased calorie burning, you lose more weight at a faster speed. On the other hand, at the same time, because of the weight loss diet you’re on, you are already eating less. Therefore, this dual mode of action of fewer calorie consumption plus greater calorie expenditure leads to the overall weight loss effect.

How to get the maximum out of these workouts?

One of the best ways to intensify and maximize the effects of fitness workouts is to perform them in conjunction with the use of some recommended diet or herbal supplement. Studies and clinical data have proved that using a proven herbal weight reduction supplement along with regular weight loss workouts can actually help you maintain optimal body weight, figure and shape on permanent basis.

Effective Home Workouts

Many people think that creating a home workout gym is either too intimidating or too costly. So, often they instead invest their money in a health club membership not realizing that for the same amount of money (or even less) they can create a very effective gym right in their own home.

For an effective home gym, all that is required is a little bit of planning. Don’t fall into the trap of purchasing random fitness equipment because of fancy advertising for the latest infomercial fad or the great “sale” at your local fitness store. That type of purchasing leads to a house littered with equipment that’s only use is as a clothes hanger or dust collector. This often happens because the equipment is either useless, poorly constructed or quickly loses its value because it doesn’t progress with your fitness level.

To avoid having a basement filled with expensive dust-collecting equipment, keep these points in mind when making a purchase:

  1. What are your fitness goals?
  2. How often do you realistically think you will use the equipment?
  3. What fitness level do you expect to be at in 3, 6, 9 months?
  4. Will the equipment meet your needs as you get more fit (at the 3, 6, and 9-month marks)?
  5. Does the equipment offer enough variations in use that you can change your workouts frequently to prevent your body from hitting a plateau?
  6. Will you enjoy the exercises or will you quickly grow bored of them?
  7. And, of course how much can you afford?

Once you have answered all of the above questions then you are ready to make some purchasing decisions. Of course, how much you can afford to spend may dictate what you can actually purchase. Don’t get discouraged. For as little as $100, you can have a very effective total strength training home gym. Even for as little as $35, you can create an effective workout that will tone your entire body.

Regardless of what your fitness goals are, there are a plethora of equipment options to consider. For building muscles and/or toning-up you can choose from free weights, selectorized machines, resistance bands, benches and even no-equipment. For cardiovascular improvements (e.g. running, walking, etc), there are even more options. They range from treadmills, to elliptical trainers, to bikes and beyond. So, answering the previously mentioned questions is very important.

To help make your decision easier, below are several recommendations based on costs and needs, along with benefits of the exercise equipment.

If you want to create a gym that will provide you with a total body workout (cardio, strength and flexibility) and you have a budget of at least $1000, consider the following recommendations:

  • Treadmill – The best option for cardiovascular equipment because it can be used for running, walking, and even some leg strength training. Plus, workouts can continually be varied based on speed, incline, even direction. And, it easily progresses as fitness levels improve.
  • Full dumbbell set with weights ranging from 5 pounds to 50+ pounds. – Great for light toning, to intermediate strength training to building muscles. Less expensive than selectorized machines and usually provides more flexibility and variety in workouts.
  • Fitness Ball – Provides exercise options for toning, strengthening and stretching.
  • Resistance Band – Provides another option for strength training. Can alternate use with free weights for a great challenge that will help prevent plateaus.
  • Step Bench – Can be used for both cardio workouts and strength training workouts.

If you want a home gym specifically for building muscles (or just can’t afford cardio equipment), and can afford at least $100, consider the following recommendations:

  • Dumbbell set.
  • Fitness Ball
  • Resistance Band
  • Jump Rope – Offers very challenging cardiovascular fitness workouts at a very low price.

If you want a total body home gym but can only afford less than $100, consider the following recommendations:

  • Three dumbbells sizes (e.g. 5, 10 and 15 pounds)
  • Resistance Band
  • Jump Rope

If you are limited to purchasing just one very affordable piece of equipment, consider buying a Fitness Ball. As mentioned above, it provides many different exercise options. With the ball you can get an upper body workout, a lower body workout, very challenging abdominal workout and a stretching/flexibility workout. And, you can get all of this for around $35.

Also, don’t underestimate what you can do with things that are already in your house, like stairs, a chair, milk jugs and others. There are a lot of exercises that require no equipment at all. For example, push-ups, tricep dips, squats, calf raises, etc. You can even create your own “weights” through milk jugs filled with water or sand.

As you can see, there are a lot of options available for creating a home gym that will meet your individual needs and will provide a lot of workout variety. Even on a shoestring budget, you can still make a wise purchase that will be invaluable in helping you get more fit and healthy. And, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of working out at home.

What are the benefits of working out at home? Well, here are some highlights:

  • No wasted time driving to and from a fitness club
  • No waiting in line to use the equipment
  • Workout on your schedule, rather than just when the health club is open
  • No expensive monthly membership fees or long-term contracts
  • Motivation to workout as you pass by the equipment every day

Of course, you will need previous knowledge of how to use your home equipment or you will have to be willing to learn. But, it’s not difficult. Most equipment will come with basic instructions and a few sample exercises. You may want to enlist the help of a professional to provide additional exercise options and guidance that will ensure that you get the most out of your fitness equipment through every fitness level stage.

Avoid These Top 5 Workout

Do you know the health and fitness industry is plagued by an over abundance of workout myths? A myth is a fiction or half truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology. Rob tells Jen about a new fitness program that is suppose to deliver amazing results; Jen tells Ted, and Ted then tells Pam, but only half of what Rob said. Confused? Just image how confusing Rob’s “cutting edge” theory has become. And the funny thing is, Rob made this up by telling people they will lose 3 inches
from their bellies, and hips by holding their breath for 30 seconds. Rob, without any scientific backing, dreamed this all up.

The sad thing is most people believe what they hear from so-called uninformed myth spreaders. After consulting with thousands of people, I have heard every possible workout myth known to man, and continue to de-bunk myths daily. Listed below
are my all time 5 favorite workout myths. Always look for the science and logic behind what people claim. Don’t automatically assume it is true unless studies back it, or specific quantitative results are shown.

After reading my 5 workout myths, you will be able to finally protect your own workout results, and share the fitness truth with others.

Myth 1 – Doing crunches, or abdominal work will decrease fat in the stomach area
(If you do thousands of crunches, then you will have a flat stomach.)

This is what some infomercials preach. They state you can obtain a flat, beautiful, stomach by using their simple ab machine. All you need to do is exercise 2 minutes per day,
and voila!

Please note, dear reader, you can’t SPOT REDUCE! By doing a specific exercise for a certain muscle does not make fat suddenly vanish. Fat is lost over time by burning
more calories than the body consumes on a regular basis. Fat will then disappear throughout your entire body, and you don’t have control of where it comes off. Doing a certain exercise for a specific muscle will only guarantee a stronger, more fit muscle.

The SECRET keys to fat loss are decreasing caloric intake, increasing activity for an extended period of time, and incorporating a workout of strength, cardio, and flexibility.

Myth 2 – Lifting heavy weight for 8-12 reps will build big muscles (especially women.)
You should lift very light weights and do a lot of reps, 20 +.

This is one that NEVER seems to go away. It keeps coming back to haunt me again, and again, and again. Ladies, doing heavier weights WILL NOT suddenly turn you into the Incredible Hulk. Your objective should be to maintain, or slightly increase your fat burning lean tissue. In order to do this you must increase the intensity of the exercise by elevating weight, number of reps, or decreasing rest time between sets.

If you increase intensity regularly, you will see good results. If you do not, you will get the same results you have been getting. Increase the intensity until you are happy
with the progress you have made, and then maintain the same intensity level.

Women, generally, don’t have the physiological make-up to develop big muscles unless they use steroids, and train with gut busting intensity. Most men workout a lifetime, and won’t build big muscles. Ladies, please don’t worry; challenge yourself in the gym.

Here is a valuable free resource to help you stay informed of the health, and fitness trends by letting you know what works, and what doesn’t.

Memory For Fitness and Weight Loss

When you start to think about the reasons why people don’t make the time to exercise, everything begins to sound like one excuse after another. But, if you take a closer look into the true psychology behind what is keeping people from getting their fitness in full swing; excuses are not the problem.

As a matter of fact it’s gone beyond the ideas of inconvenience. It’s gone past the point of laziness. It’s gone past the point of excuses. It’s gone past the point of not having built a habit or having built a habit of not exercising. It has progressed beyond any and all of those stages. The concept of exercise and healthy habits has declined so much (an actual retrogression) that people have legitimately hard-wired their minds to avoid exercise.

And this situation creates a significantly bigger and almost insurmountable obstacle to overcome, because the typical “motivational” or “convenience” approaches or solutions used by the fitness industry lack the finesse to overpower the human mind. Hence why most every exercise program fails and the individuals that purchase them never receive the intended results.

The programs do in fact fail the people that buy them.

It is not a simple matter of ‘motivating” people or making the workouts “convenient” to do based on time or location. It is so much bigger and deeper than that. The standard fitness program is designed from it’s inception to cause failure on behalf of the majority of people who buy them.

Why? Because the mind is no longer wired to receive that type of stimulus. It is not ready to fire off all of those connectors or sustain the mindset of exercise and healthy eating and a wellness lifestyle.

This is a problem that cannot be solved with “mind over matter” or cognitive thought or forced discipline. The type of memory needed to reinforce a repetitive lifestyle, has either never existed or the memory that has been built when it comes to fitness and health is bad or negative and counter productive.

The solution? You need to rebuild, replace or install a new memory.

You need to install a memory of exercise and health. This way when the time comes during the day for you to exercise, you won’t find yourself trying to work your way out of your workout.

By installing this new memory of health and fitness you will be propelled to continue to workout and eat correctly because this new memory dictates, “this is who you are… working out is what you do.”

The problem is that this memory has to be created instantly. This new memory has to be created with the same process that creates every memory you have. And this is the reason why most people that buy exercise and workout programs, equipment, gym memberships, DVD’s and weight loss pills and potions; end up quickly quitting and returning to their “old ways” of wellness, regardless of how much money they’ve spent or how advanced the breakthrough being branded.
The approach of the entire fitness world is “physical” in nature, with the idea of “psychology” as a simple emotional effect to motivate you.

This approach doesn’t help to correct the main problem that I have previously described.

The entire purpose of the industry is to create an environment that is conducive to people exercising and becoming fit. The “physical” only approach can’t correct the real deep down “psych” problem.

These products and programs not only leave their buyer deflated and disinterested in their products and exercise, but it leaves them feeling negative about fitness in general. It also actually reinforces their current mental state because these so-called solutions are perceived as yet “another thing” they bought, that got their hopes up only to find it quickly end in failure.

This “physical” only approach is perceived mainly as a way for these “celebrity instructors” to aggrandize themselves in the media and marketplace. The true benefit to the marketplace is never a central consideration when creating these programs.

Michael Banks with his Body By Banks program stands apart from the entire industry and corrects this inaccurate dynamic that has been perpetuated for years.

The Michael Banks method is different. He approaches fitness and wellness “first” from the psychological side and builds what I call “psych-traps” into the actual workouts in the form of verbal expressions, exercise movements, and the way he structures and schedules the actual workout.

Since a person who doesn’t exercise either has no memory or a bad associative memory when it comes to exercise, health or fitness, Michael Bank’s unique approach (which you would never notice conscientiously, but the results prove it to be true) instantly builds or re-builds those neuro-connections and gets all of them firing within seconds of turning on his DVDs. In short, his “fitness therapy” approach instantly builds a memory that says, “I love to exercise, this is fun, I can do this! This is who I am.”

This allows the mind to desire and want to repeat this feeling, thereby repetitively doing the workout, weight is lost and the person’s life changes forever.

*All of this happens in 10 minutes… in the first DVD, which is during the most critical memory building stage of the mind called “the Chalkboard Phase” which is where we are installing hard and permanent memory into the hippocampus, which is the hard drive of the mind.

Listed below are a series of “psych traps” that Michael uses during the first workout DVD called Total Body Transformation. Read them, then do the workout and see if you recognize them. Better yet, pay attention to how you feel from the beginning of the workout to the end and see if you too don’t get caught in his “trap”.

Before I explain the actual “Psych Traps” Michael uses during his workouts, let me first explain your brains actual process for building a memory. This is important to understand because it will easily illustrate why Michaels programs create the type of results I have describe in the before mentioned text.

Your Brains Process of Building a Memory

0.2 seconds: Attention
Attention causes the neurons that register the event to fire more frequently. Such activity makes the experience more intense; it also increases the likelihood that the event will be encoded as a memory.

0.25 seconds: Emotion
The emotional information increases attention. The emotional information from a stimulus is processed initially along an unconscious pathway that leads to the amygdala; this can produce an emotional response even before the person knows what they are reacting to, as in the “fight or flight” response. Pre-cognitive decision making.

0.2-0.5 seconds: Sensation
Most memories derive from events that included sights, sounds and other sensory experiences. The more intense the sensations, the more likely it is that the experience is remembered.

0.5 seconds -10 minutes: Working Memory – “Chalkboard Phase”
Short-term or “working” memory is like text on a blackboard that is constantly refreshed. Working memory is thought to involve two neural circuits around which the information is kept alive for as long as it is needed. One circuit is for visual and spatial information, and the other for sound.

10 minutes-2 years: Hippocampal processing
Particularly striking experiences cause neural activity that loops around coiled layers of tissue; the hippocampal neurons start to encode this information permanently by a process called long-term potentiation. The strongest information “plays back” to the parts of the brain that first registered it.

2 years onward: Consolidation
It takes up to two years for a memory to become firmly consolidated in the brain; the neural firing patterns that encode an experience are played back and forth between the hippocampus and the cortex. This prolonged, repetitive “dialogue” causes the patterns to be shifted from the hippocampus to the cortex. The dialogue takes place largely during sleep.

The Body By Banks Psych-Traps

Here are some of the things you might notice during a workout with Michael banks. I will explain the significance of each of these “Psych Traps.”

“Only 10 minutes!” – Michael keeps repeating this phrase throughout the workout. The result is that your mind remembers that the workout is short and sweet and can be fit anywhere into your day. Many times when people are just watching the workout the response is, “Hey… I could have already been halfway through!” They then immediately get up and start doing the workout.

In addition, the number 10 has certain symbolism. It is one of 4 perfect numbers (3,7, 10, 12) It also is symbolic of completeness and order and that they cycle is complete. It is the same number as the number of fingers and toes. Since the beginning we have grown up using our fingers to count. This is our simple math. Being able to use that kind of associative memory is a great “psych trap” for helping us feel that working out and being fit is childlike simple and easy.

10 repetitions per exercise – Based on the same symbolism, which repetitively reinforces the ease and simplicity of the program.

“Fun and simple” – Michael mentions the word fun and or simple at least 17 times in the first DVD workout. This is more than one repetition per minute. He keeps verbally repetitively reinforcing that this IS fun and simple. You are starting to see that Michael is using all of the senses to get all of your neuro-connections firing at the same time. This more easily reinforces and builds a new memory of fitness success or replaces a bad one.

“Relax!” – The word relax doesn’t seem to fit into a workout program. As a matter of fact most programs are doing the exact opposite. Yelling at you to “get off your butt!” These typical instructors are similar to an old school, hard-nosed Marine drill sergeant. Not effective at all for the majority of the marketplace. By telling you to “relax” your mind has hard wired memories attached to the word “relax”, and it instantly brings up the feelings of relaxation, which allows you to not feel like you are working hard when you actually are. It’s a more advance version of reverse psychology plus distractionary technique.

“You and I, everyday” – This is so personable of an approach that it helps people feel that Michael is there for them… there with them, supporting them everyday. He is talking to you saying, “I am here with you. It’s you and I… every day!”

“Wait! Stay there!” – This is a great technique that keeps you off balance psychologically and creates a push and pull situation in the mind. Several times during the workout right when Michael’s got you excited and you are ready to move to the next exercise… Michael tells you “Stop! Wait! I know you’re excited…” This verbal “psych-trap” reinforces the concept of relax and take your time, don’t push yourself and at the same time, makes you even more, want to push on. It’s brilliant!
“Take a seat!” – This is one of the biggest “psych-traps” used in Michaels programs. He uses this 6 times in his first DVD workout. From our earliest days we have heard the words, “Take a seat.” From our teachers, to any meeting or one-on-one situation where we are being instructed, we have heard the words, “Take a seat.” And every time we heard those words, we took a seat and we heard our minds say, “great… time to relax.”

Our minds are hard wired and our long- term memory that send chemicals to the brain that makes you feel like it’s over it’s time to chill or relax. An even more advanced version of reverse psychology and a distractionary technique. It makes the workout go by extremely quick and make you feel like you didn’t really workout at all. Then a little later that day, or the next morning… you start to realize, “Hey! I did workout! Let’s do that again!”

This is just a few of the “psych-traps” that Michael Banks uses in his fitness programs. His background in psychology really shows when you start to understand the breakdown of his unnoticeable approach to helping you create the kind of healthy life you desire. He truly is the best in the business.

The Unconventional Twist Workout

We all want to be toned, fit and healthy. Unfortunately, the world’s hustle and bustle can interrupt our good intentions in more ways than one. For many of us, most of the hurdles lie in motivation and enjoyment. Getting down on the floor and doing the same old repetitive set of push-ups or crunches sounds more and more undesirable every day. Fortunately, modern technologies combined with intelligent engineering have been able to make great strides in providing exercises that absolutely trump traditional workouts. One of these developments has been shown in the modern twist workout routines available. They combine the heart-pumping exercise provided by cardio workouts with the fun of dance workout routines while tying them into the twist workout to keep you moving and tightening.

The twist workout is often conceived as a one trick pony. This proves to be an antiquated misconception spouted by old marketers and critics. Cardio workouts, when combined with twist workouts, can prove to be an excellent method of combining motion and core-strengthening exercise. The ability to constantly drive heart rate and utilize core muscle groups simultaneously allows users of these techniques to receive a complete, efficient workout in much less time. The ability to use these tactics to fit more exercise in less time is of great help to many people. Office workers with long hours can utilize a couple of short breaks a day to obtain a full body workout. Busy moms can squeeze in a quick workout in the few moments while food is in the oven or the kids are on the way home from school. The opportunity to receive quality exercise is no longer diminished by the long hours and confusing routines often offered by most fitness programs.

Dancing is a true human past time and it would only make sense to incorporate something so fun into something that benefits your health. Modern twist workout programs have utilized these dance workout options in a way that revolutionizes fitness. Why settle for just cardio or just core-strengthening exercises when you can have a well-rounded routine all in one package? Although regular dance workouts have been noted to be hard on the joints, twister dance workouts often provide a low impact exercise which is great for joint health and can be universally suitable for anyone from athletes to the elderly. These exercises combined with the twist workout motion create an overall fitness package that does not need to be overwhelming or convoluted; it just works!

When you’re looking for an exercise solution make sure that these new options are part of your consideration. Many products offer instant success but few utilize honest techniques that truly help your entire body. The modern twist workout options provide an honest alternative to antiquated cardio workouts & dance workouts, and provide a low impact exercise for anyone trying to get fit or stay in shape! Combined with the astounding level of efficiency offered by these twist workouts, the amount of time you’ll need to stay active, healthy and fit is reduced enough for you to spend more time enjoying life!

Home Fitness Workouts

Lets face it when it comes time to purchase a new fitness workout everyone wants to make sure they get a good one. So what should you look for while choosing your home fitness workouts? While there can be many things to consider in making a decision in my opinion there are a few that stand out:

  • Does the workout meet your fitness level?
  • Will it meet or fulfill your fitness goals?
  • Can you fit the workout into your schedule?
  • Will it motivate you to continue to use it?

Does the workout meet your fitness level? If you purchase a workout that is either too difficult or too easy than you will probably not be consistent with it. In turn if you are not using it than you will not see any results.

If you are just beginning a fitness routine than make sure the workout has a trainer to follow at a beginners level. The exercises are usually preformed at an easier pace and if weights are used they are either very light or none at all. But as your fitness level increases than it is very easy to get more out of your workout by adding weights or increasing how much weight you use.

Will it meet or fulfill your fitness goals? What are the areas you want to focus on? If building muscle or toning them is what you hope to achieve than a routine that is mostly cardio won’t give you those results. Using a routine that focuses on the use of weights or strength training is going to get you to your goal much faster.

Knowing what you want from your workout routine before you make that purchase will help you choose the one that suits your goals best.

Can you fit the workout into your schedule? Chances are you are going to have to find the time to complete your fitness activity through out the week. If most days you only have thirty minutes than a forty-five minute or hour long workout is not going to work well for you.

I have found that if I don’t have the right fitness routine to fit into my schedule then more than likely I am going to do nothing at all. But luckily over the years I have added different workouts that I can do even if I don’t have a lot of time. This alone has helped me stay on a regular fitness routine. I really can’t use the excuse that I don’t have enough time for a workout.

Will it motivate you to continue to use it? This has happened to me a couple of times. I have purchased a good workout routine but I did not like the trainer. They were trying to be so overly motivational that it was a turn off. Then there have been those routines that are just plain boring. Needless to say I rarely do either of these workouts.

Minutes of Magic

I just finished reading “7 Minutes of Magic” by Lee Holden a few days ago and it has prompted me to do a couple of things. That is a mark of a very good book, it prompts you to take action. First, I have tried the routines Holden outlines in this book, and I do agree with another review of this book that it does take longer than 7 minutes to do the routines when you are first learning them. However, that is okay, I am used to spending longer than 7 minutes each morning. I really like the routines, and I feel that by themselves for most people they will be very beneficial.

However, for me, I am incorporating Holden’s flows from this book with the morning exercises I already do that are based on teachings of Dan Millman, Pavel Tsatsouline, and other martial art/qi gong instructors I have had. Holden’s workouts fit very well with the kinds of exercise flows I’ve already been doing. (In fact, some of the same things he teaches have been in my routines) So, for me it has been invigorating to try different routines and to incorporate them into what I’ve been doing. My goal for the morning exercises is to loosen up my joints, warm up my core, especially lower back, and to energize myself for the day ahead. This is just what Holden’s routines do! I really like how Holden incorporates Qi gong, Tai Chi, Yoga and Western exercises into his routines, since that is how I approach things as well.

Normally my evening or after work routines incorporate aerobic exercise, weight lifting, martial art practice and a variety of other exercises. I will often do a little stretching late in the evening and a breathing or meditation session. I’ve been incorporating Holden’s PM routine into my training and enjoy it as a nice way to calm down late in the evening before retiring for the night. I’ve also looked at Holden’s other products and intend to learn more from him in the future, so yes this is a book I recommend.

The book starts out with a little about Holden’s training. I enjoyed this short chapter. As someone who has also lived in Asia to further my training, I found his story very interesting. I also liked the second chapter on East Meets West: Your Body, Mind and Spirit. It corresponded well with my own philosophies and I liked how Holden put it simply and to the point.

The next part of the book teaches the flows, or exercise series. There are several flows for the morning. Core Flow, Upper Body Flow, Lower Body Flow, Full Body Flow, Energy Flow, Breath Flow, and Mind Flow. Then the PM flows: Spinal Flow, Upper Back and Neck Flow, Lower Back Flow, Downward Flow, Seated Flow, Lying Flow, and the Joy and Gratitude Flow.

I really feel that incorporating these flows, or even modifying them if need be, will help a person have increased health, energy, and fitness. With this comes reduced stress levels and the avoidance of the illnesses that come with increased stress and inactivity of the body.

Part three of the book focuses on Living with More Vitality, and in this part Holden gives some good advice for living a more healthy lifestyle. He discusses exercise, especially walking. He has a short chapter on breathing. Chapter 7 is a short chapter on eating, not what to eat, but how to eat, especially chewing food more and eating less to lose weight and live longer. He also includes a quick chapter on drinking water. He finishes with chapters on meditation and sleep, and then throws in a bonus 7 minute routine for health and vitality.

All of the chapters are short, direct and easy to read. They do not include in depth information on the topics, but give enough to get most people started along a healthy way of living. For some, this book will act as a catalyst to send readers to further study the topics here, through more of Holden’s works or those of others on the same or similar topics.

This is a great start for many people, and following the routines will help anyone improve their health. For me and others, it is a good book of information to further our studies and incorporate new approaches into our own routines. I’m glad I bought this book and look forward to doing these routines and learning more from Holden in the future.

Fitness For Golf

You probably already know that to make a full and complete backswing you need to be flexible. I have played with college golfers recently and I noticed one thing in particular that helped them to drive the ball way down the fairway past me and everyone else. These young guys were very flexible and able to take the club back with a long and flowing backswing. Watching them made me wish for the return of my youth.

If you, like me, are still trying to get to where you can complete the backswing smoothly and comfortably with ease then you should consider a golf specific stretching and flexibility program.

As the golf fitness industry continues to grow more and more “experts” have come on the scene touting their version of a golf workout, fitness or stretching program. As with all purchases you should be cautious and make an educated decision about which program would be best for you.

With all the new voices in the mix, the golf stretching discussion has evolved into two different approaches to the subject. The choice you make is vital to your success.

Simply put the two types are “Dynamic Golf Flexibility and Stretching” or “Static Golf Stretching and Flexibility“. Knowing the difference is the secret to choosing the correct type of program.

Let’s discuss Dynamic Golf Stretching and Flexibility Exercises.

In order to achieve that smooth, full, complete and tension free backswing you will need to incorporate dynamic golf stretching and flexibility exercises in to your golf training program. The term dynamic refers to the motion of your body. In this case it the continuous motion of the exercises.

You see the golf swing is dynamic, a continuous, coordinate movement of the body. It only makes sense that an exercise program designed to improve your golf swing would be dynamic in nature as well.

You may be thinking that stretching exercises follow the pattern of “make this move, hold for awhile, repeat 5 times, move on to the next”. Those would be static exercises rather than dynamic and by now you understand that static exercises won’t improve your golf swing flexibility.

What you want are dynamic golf flexibility exercises like a lunge with a shoulder turn. This involves the entire body, both upper and lower body, in a coordinated move just like your golf swing.

That is just one of many simple yet very effective golf flexibility and golf stretching exercises you can use to develop a better golf swing. A swing more like those young college golfers we talked about earlier. You will add power and distance unlike anything you have ever known to your golf swing. Your foursome won’t know what hit them, unless you tell them.

If you are as hungry as a bear for more distance with every club then please consider improving your flexibility through a dynamic golf stretching and flexibility program as the best way to satisfy that hunger.

Speed Training Workouts

Every coach and athlete wants to experience faster speeds, but that does not mean they are doing effective speed training workouts at their practices. Somewhere along the way, many coaches, at every level, began combining speed work and conditioning training as the foundation of their speed development. The result of this has been highly conditioned athletes who compete in sports where the demand of the sport does not require a significant percentage of the conditioning that has been developed.

That being said, the required changes likely only involve making minor modifications in your training philosophy. In this article I will cover acceleration development. Many programs neglect acceleration development even though it is the foundation of any program designed to improve speed. You can’t run at your true top speed if don’t have the ability to accelerate properly.

Success in most sports is based heavily on the ability to accelerate quickly and efficiently. This is because most sports primarily require short bursts of speed before the athlete stops, slows down or changes direction. The exception is track and field sprinters, where the acceleration portion of speed development is critical because it sets up the rest of the race. But even sports like soccer, traditionally trained using long slow runs and intervals, require a shift in emphasis to acceleration development. Success in these ‘endurance’ sports still depend on short periods of acceleration in order to get to a loose ball, breakaway from an opponent and get back on defense.

So there’s little point in doing speed training workouts if you haven’t first mastered the ability to accelerate. Here are some basic speed training workouts that you can do in order to improve the ability to accelerate. For our purposes we are talking about runs from 0 – 30 yards.

But before you begin, regardless of your sport or beliefs about training speed, there are some things you need to remember when it comes to acceleration development.

1). Full recovery between repetitions is required.

2). Full recovery means rest approximately one minute for every 10 yards that you run.

3). ‘Don’t train speed every day.

4). The more force you apply to the ground, the faster you’ll pick up speed

5). Make sure that your feet land beneath the hips.

6). The heels should never touch the ground when doing speed work.

7). You run faster when you stay relaxed then when you strain.

I like to start the training season with short runs up hill because this forces athletes to really drive the foot down into the ground in order to gain momentum. The ability to apply force into the ground with each stride is the driving force (pun intended) behind getting faster. I like to use fairly steep hills, that way the requirements in steps 4-7 above really become more pronounced. When you don’t follow those criteria, it becomes extremely difficult to accelerate quickly.

1). 10 x 20y uphill or on a flat surface from standing start. 2 minute rest.

2). 10 x 30y uphill or on a flat surface from (push up down position, 3 point stance or seated). 3 minutes rest.

As you can see, speed training workouts themselves aren’t especially complicated or fancy. The results come from following the 7 rules I mentioned earlier, mastering technique by using speed drills and improving strength by lifting weights. In all, the key is to follow a comprehensive and complete speed training program that will not only teach you the types of workouts that improve speed but also the many other elements of training that compliment your speed work and develop overall athletic ability. By looking for short cuts and quick answers, you’ll see inconsistent and frustrating results. But when your speed training workouts fit into a well designed training plan, you’ll get results that you didn’t realize could occur so quickly and easily.

Punching Bags For Fitness

Many people may not look to punching bags as their first option on the road to becoming more fit. They may think of them as being strictly for people who are trying to train to be boxers or fighters in some way. Indeed, that IS why they were first invented so many hundreds of years ago, to train fighters in the military. They have also been used for training in such martial arts as Taekwondo and Karate. It helps to use them to practice kicks as well as punches.

Nothing burns up excess calories quite as well as time spent with punching bags except, possibly, running. It is easy to understand when you consider the hard and fast punching and kicking that one does when using these bags. You can really work up a sweat that burns off even more calories while you are learning to keep your balance and defend yourself all at the same time. Attacking these bags also make excellent warming up exercises before you go running or jogging. Your muscles will be ready to be put through their paces with little risk of pulling any muscles.

Other benefits of using punching bags as part of your fitness routine include toning the muscles in your arms as well as your legs. It also builds up the strength in many muscles throughout your body. Spending time working out with the bag does not have to be done every single day. You can make these workouts fit in with your schedule whether that is three times a week, more or less. This makes one of the more ideal workouts because you can speed them up or slow them down to suit your needs. The perfect workout for your entire body may just be the best kept secret around.