Fitness Archives

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April 26, 201701

Getting rid of that stubborn belly fat doesn’t have to be impossible! We know that it is challenging, especially for all those who aren’t too fond of the gym. But, combined with the right diet, and if you commit to getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day – you CAN fight the fat. Here we’re giving you 6 simple exercises to lose fat from your belly. Do them well, and you could be on your way to that summer body you’ve been dreaming of.

#1 Crunches

Crunches are one of the best exercises to lose fat, especially from your stomach. Make sure you do a set of crunches along with your regular routine – to get best results.

Steps:

  • Lie down on your mat, face upwards with your knees bent and feet on the ground
  • Lift your hands and place them behind your head, or keep them crossed on your chest
  • Inhale deeply, and exhale while lifting your upper torso above the ground
  • Inhale again as you go down, exhale as you come up
  • Do this 10 times if you’re a beginner
  • Take a break, then repeat 2-3 times

You should aim to start with a total of 30 crunches for a week, then gradually increase the number. Don’t worry if you feel a pressure on your abdominal muscles, that is good! It’s what we’re aiming for!

#2 Twist Crunches

 

Twist crunches are a ‘twist’ to the regular crunches (pun intended), and make for an effective tummy exercise.

Steps:

  • Lie down on the floor, hands behind the head
  • Bend your knees like in the basic crunches, keeping your feet on the floor
  • Lift your right shoulder towards the left, keeping the left torso on the ground
  • Now, lift your left torso towards the right, keeping the right side of your torso on the ground
  • Repeat 10 times

Related: Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Fat

#3 Vertical Leg Crunch

 

Vertical Leg Crunches are a great way to lose the belly fat. Here’s how to do them.

Steps:

  • Lie down on the floor, with your legs extended upwards towards the ceiling and one knee crossed over the other
  • Breathe in, and lift your upper body from the floor towards the pelvis
  • Breathe out slowly, and go down. As you go up again, take a deep breath in
  • Do 12 reps and up to 3 sets

#4 Bicycle Exercise

 

The bicycle exercise is a simple exercise to lose fat, and you don’t need a bicycle for it!

Steps:

  • Lie down on the floor and keep your hands on either side or behind your head like in crunches
  • Lift both your legs off the ground and bend them at the knees
  • Bring your right knee close to your chest, keeping your left leg away
  • Now take your right leg away, bringing your left leg close to your chest
  • Repeat and paddle like on a bicycle

#5 Lunge Twist

 

This is a great exercise for beginners, and seasoned fitness enthusiasts alike.

Steps:

  • Stand with your legs hip-width apart, keeping your knees slightly bent
  • Lift both your hands in front of you, aligning them with your shoulders and keeping them parallel to the ground
  • Lunge forward. Take a big step forward with your right leg, and sit down as if on a chair, knees making a 90-degree angle with the floor. The left leg should be positioned backwards, supported by the toes.
  • The spine should be straight, don’t bend
  • Twist your torso, not your legs – to the right and then to the left
  • Repeat 15 times

Read: 8 Foods To Eat To Get In Shape This Summer

Some other ways to reduce belly fat are to eat right and drinking a lot of water. Eating right, in fact, is half the battle won when it comes to belly fat. Make sure you avoid eating junk food, salty food and processed food. Drink a lot of water, to stay hydrated and free from hunger pangs. Also, you could start cutting down on your sugar intake. Ensure you get a restful night of sleep daily.

Combine these exercises with a balanced diet, and a routine that is focussed on cardio with some strength exercises. These exercises will help you strengthen your core, too.

 

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April 24, 201700

Whether you’re a beginner in your fitness journey, or a seasoned gym-goer who happens to miss workouts from time to time – everyone can benefit from knowing some simple exercises for fast weight loss. Knowing these easy, DIY exercises can help you when you’re trying to lose weight quickly. These exercises help you tone up, get fit and lead a healthy, active lifestyle. What’s more – they can be done easily at home.

#1 Inverted V Pipe Exercise

What it’s for: Abs

How to do it: This mat exercise is to be done facing the floor.

  • Place your toes on the mat, which will help in easy movement of the body
  • Place your hands on the ground and balance your body on the toes and hands
  • Pull your legs close to the body, making an inverted V shape
  • Push your legs away from your hands, by stretching them backwards
  • Pull and push your legs in and out for 30 seconds
  • Rest, and repeat

How long for one rep: 30 seconds

#2 W Leg Lifts

What it’s for: Legs and Abs

How to do it: Lie down on your mat facing upwards.

  • Place your legs close to each other, lift them straight up and bring them to your stomach
  • Put your legs down, and while doing this, stretch them out in opposite directions
  • Again place them close to each other, lift to your stomach
  • Continue for 30 seconds

How long for one rep: 30 seconds

Related: How to Convince Yourself to Lose Weight

 

#3 Superman Exercise

What it’s for: Thighs, Abs and Lower back

How to do it: This power-packed exercise is done facing downwards on your mat

  • Stretch yourself on the ground keeping your hands and legs straight
  • Lift your chest and thighs off the ground at the same time, balancing yourself on your stomach
  • Try keeping yourself as straight as possible
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds

How long for one rep: 30 seconds

#4 Skipping

What it’s for: Thighs and Stomach

How to do it: This simple, fun exercise can be done to lose weight off your thighs and stomach

  • Take your jump rope and jump for 30 seconds
  • Do normal jumps for 20 seconds, and remaining 10 seconds – go intensive
  • Jumping with both legs at once is recommended
  • Keep your back and knees straight while jumping

How long for one rep: 30 seconds

Read: Morning Exercise Versus Evening Work Out; Find Out What Works

#5 Jump Squats

What it’s for: Thighs and overall toning

How to do it: This exercise packs a punch, and is generally included in many cardio regimes

  • Stand straight with your feet at shoulder’s distance
  • Bend down into a perfect squat
  • While coming up, exit in a jump
  • Again, go down in a squat and jump up
  • Make a nice and deep squat for best results

How long for one rep: 30 seconds

These simple exercises for fast weight loss will help you maintain fitness, and will complement your overall regime. It is recommended that you consult your trainer before doing them.

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April 20, 201700

Morning exercise versus evening exercise is a much debated affair. Different researchers support different approaches, hence leaving no unanimous revelations about the question. Although the advantages offered by morning and evening workouts are distinct, which makes it easier to choose between the two depending upon your fitness goals. Still, dedicating few hours for exercise anytime during the day is much better than being a couch potato. So rather than finding excuses about the best time, plan an exercise routine that comfortably fits in your daily routine. Remember you successfully burn calories each time you work out.

To choose the best time to work out, you should understand the difference between the health benefits of morning work-out and evening work-out. There are some co-factors like office hours, family commitments, availability of a partner, gym crowd or safe timings that play role in finding the best time to work out. As long as you follow a consistent work out regime, you are on the winning side.

Morning Workout

Morning workout is suitable for the early birds. If your body clock is adapted to getting up early, you should fix morning hours for exercise. In some cases work-packed day is the reason people choose early morning hours. Most likely morning workouts are done on empty stomach which aids in weight loss as you burn huge amounts of fat.

Pros

1. Boosts up Energy Levels

Exercising makes your mind alert and sharp and also raise your energy levels. Regular exercising enhances your stamina and makes you feel less fatigue. Medium to high intensity morning workout raises your body’s metabolic rate. Also EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) lets your body burn fat even after workout.

2. Consistent Routine

If you are a morning person you are more likely to stick to your exercise routine. Chances are that during later hours of the day, some unplanned meeting or event can make you skip your workout. So if you save the early hours for exercising you will surely form an exercise routine without fail.

3. Better Sleep

Sleep deprivation is not very uncommon these days. Researchers suggest that morning workout regulate and enhance your sleep cycles. It means that if you form early morning exercise habits, you will enjoy uninterrupted sleep for longer hours. Sound sleep is necessary for preparing your body for next day’s tasks.

4. Lowers Blood Pressure

Exercising first thing in the morning has shown to decrease blood pressure levels by 10%. It is also found to considerably lower anxiety and tension by releasing stress relieving hormones: endorphins.

5. Lesser Crowd

Not many people will push themselves out of the bed to exercise early in the morning. Thus it keeps traffic on running tracks and gym lesser. So if you like to have your space for working out, set the alarm a little early.

Read: 5 Ideas For A Kickass Morning Routine to Help You Lose Weight

 

Cons

1. More Warm up Time

As the body’s temperature is low in the morning, you have to warm up a little longer before exercising. This is necessary to make sure that your body gets flexible enough to exercise after night long sleep.

2. More Chances of Getting Injured

As your body gets stiff during sleep, chances of hurting your muscles during the morning workout are more. This is why you need extra warm up time to prevent any cramps or injuries.

3. Hard to Push out yourself from the Bed

Though the outcomes of morning workout are convincing, getting up early can be difficult. It is hard to push yourself out of the cozy bed for a vigorous exercise routine on some days. Even if you get up, possibly you won’t exercise with all efforts.

Evening work out

Evening workouts are easier to follow because you do not have to snooze the alarms again and again. Evening work outs help in building strength and muscles in the body. So if you have to put up muscle mass, evening is the best time for workout. Moreover your body is more flexible and has raised temperature level which is best suited for exercise.

Pros

1. Physical Adaptability

Your body has better flexibility during later hours than in the morning and has regulated body temperature ideal for exercising. This is due to the whole day’s movements that your body adapts conditions good for exercising. Hence, it does not require longer warming up sessions and also prevents any unwanted physical injuries.

2. Better Strength

Post noon, your body shows higher levels of strength and endurance. This hike in strength makes evening exercises easier to do as you are energized to take the physical challenge.

3. Builds Muscle Mass

Testosterone: a hormone responsible for muscle growth, is found in higher percentage during the evening. Thus you can cope up easily with high intensity strength training and build some muscles really efficiently.

4. Hassle Free Mornings

Unlike morning workout, evening workout does not require you to interrupt your sleep. Also you don’t have to quickly finish exercise and then rush for office and everything in between. It saves you all the hassle you would face in an early morning workout.

5. Longer Workout Sessions

As you have already met most of your daily commitments, you can enjoy longer workout session for remaining part of the day. Your mind is free from any pending chores list and focused on exercise. This helps in better performance.

Cons

1. Distractions

It is common that you may face some distractions to your workout like a party invitation, or shopping spree, stroll with a friend or some catchy restaurant on you way during the evening. These things may obstruct your daily fitness plans.

2. Safety Concerns

It might not be a very good idea to take a late night walk down the street. It is better when there are people around. Especially for women, safety concern may pop up during these hours.

3. More Traffic during Late Hours

If you are a gym goer, you may find difficulty in fetching fitness equipment that you need as the gyms are overcrowded during the evenings. Also more people hit the running tracks in the p.m. So traffic can be an issue.

So it must be clear from the above discussion that morning and evening workouts have their own advantages and drawbacks, It‘s up to your individual preference and comfort, which time you choose best for your workout.

Also Read: Doing These 8 Things Before 8 AM Can Change Your Life

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April 20, 201700

Cardio is undoubtedly one of the best ways to get that summer body you’ve been wanting. But if you thought that running was all there is to cardio, then we’re here to tell you that it isn’t! First off, let’s start by understanding some basics.

What is cardio?

Cardio, short for “cardiovascular” is generally referred to for exercises that increase endurance of circulatory system. Any activity that gets your heart rate up to about 50-70% of your maximum heart rate, can be classified as cardio. Workouts that include cardio make your heart beat faster, pump more blood through your system which carries oxygen and nutrients to every cell.

How will cardio benefit you?

Cardio-workouts help you lose weight, are a great way to get some exercise for your heart (Which by the way, is like any other muscle that needs regular exercise) and help fight depression. Running, or any other higher-intensity activity releases endorphins or “happy hormones”, that enhance mood. Cardio-exercises also help you sleep better. And above all, it heightens your confidence.

What are the types of cardio?

Cardio-workouts can be broadly classified into two types:

Low-intensity

This range of exercises is for beginners, people with medical conditions, or elderlies. Generally these exercises last for longer duration of time, and enhance your body’s endurance for workouts without stressing the joints. Some of these low-intensity workouts are: Step aerobics, Jogging, Swimming, Biking, Rope skipping among many more

High-intensity

These set of exercises are for people who want to burn more fat, and fast. Also called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), these workouts push your body out of its comfort zone, then ease it back into a comfortable state, and then repeat the same set with higher intensity after a short interval. These workouts are more challenging, some of them are: sprinting, Burpees, Tabata Squats, Elliptical

Related: The Best Workout Routine to Lose Fat Fast

 

So, how do you cardio your way to a hot summer body?

If you’re wondering how to get started with cardio-workouts to get that beach body, don’t worry. We’re giving you 3 easy, do-able ideas for cardio.

#1 Quick & Easy Cardio Blast

quickcardioworkout

Total time: 15 (Advanced) to 30 (beginner) minutes

All you have to do is speed up for the number of minutes or seconds listed for your level, then go at an easy pace for a minute or two to cool down. Repeat 8 times for a complete session. Don’t forget to warm up for 5 minutes before starting.

Level: Beginner

Sprint: 1 minute jog

Cool down: 2 minute walk

Level: Intermediate

Sprint: 30 second sprint

Cool down: 60-90 second walk

Level: Advanced

Sprint: 20 second running

Cool down: 60 second walk

This quick workout can be done using a treadmill, or without too.

#2 Reverse Cardio Workout

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This workout can be done using the elliptical or indoor cycle, or a stairclimber. All you’ve got to do is start out faster than normal at a challenging level, and slow down every 3 minutes until you hit an easy pace. Pick your favourite tunes, and blast them at full-power while you do this workout to make it fun.

 

#3 Mix & Melt Cardio

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Walk, run or hop on the elliptical for a fat burning workout.

Total Time: 40 minutes

5 minutes: Warm up at an easy pace, reaching RPE 5

30 minutes: Complete eight 1-minute faster sprints (RPE 8 or 9) over 30 minutes, returning to RPE 6 between the bursts

5 minutes: Get on a steady comfortable RPE of 3

The workouts are best enjoyed with a steady blast of your favourite songs. So one way to get really motivated is to make a playlist for your workouts, and keep updating it with new songs every time you hit the gym. Remember to take it steady, and consult your fitness trainer before starting a new workout. Also, the right diet can play a big role in determining your overall success.

Read4 Easy Low Fat Diet Recipes to Help You Get That Summer Body

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April 19, 201700

Exercise is any form of bodily activity that helps maintain physical fitness and enhances overall health and fitness. It provides you with varied benefits, such as increased growth and development, prevention of ageing, strengthening muscles and cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance, and it is a great stress buster.

Frequent or regular physical activity boosts the immune system and helps prevent diseases like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. It also helps in fighting depression, and improves quality of sleep. It acts as a wonderful non-pharmaceutical way to aid sleep and fights insomnia. So clearly, exercise improves the overall quality of life. But did you also know that low intensity exercise can actually help boost your vision?

Studies show that exercise boosts vision

Yes, it’s true. Not only will exercise help you get into shape for the summer, it will also strengthen your eyesight. A recent study, whose findings appear in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience shows that low-intensity exercise boosts activation in the visual cortex, the part of the brain that plays an important role in processing visual information.

The researchers investigated how exercise affects the brain by strapping heart rate monitors to 18 participants.

They were then asked to complete an orientation task while on a stationary bicycle, Futurity reports. This was then repeated during low and high-intensity exercise and while at rest, the study shows. Information was then fed into a computer for the University of California, Santa Barbara researches to assess. They found that low intensity activity helps activate the visual cortex, which plays a role in processing what the eyes see.

According to study author Professor Barry Giesbrecht, increased activation or arousal changes how information is represented, and it’s much more selective. This is important to understand because how that information is used could potentially be different.

Related: Best Office Exercises for Good Health

 

It should be noted, however, that high intensity exercise often causes symptoms of blurry vision, as a result of low blood pressure, dehydration or even lack of nutrients. That’s why after you jog, you may experience slightly blurry eyesight. It’s important to seek medical advice to ensure that you don’t have a condition.

Low intensity or low impact workouts are easier on the body and are a great way to harness the benefits like vision-boosting.

Try these 5 low impact workouts:

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Image source: Pixabay

Walking

Walking is a great stress-free way to get moving. If you find taking a stroll too easy, try going uphill or add weights to get that heart pumping

Elliptical

Ellipticals offer a great way to get the heart rate up, without causing too much stress on your legs. You could try spicing up your routine with a 20-minute interval workout which involves switching your speed between low, moderate and high every 2-3 minutes for 20 minutes, with a cool-down in the end.

Cycling

Cycling is a great way to get some low intensity exercise without stressing out the joints. And you needn’t signup for an indoor cycling class to get results.

Tai Chi

This gentle, fluid movement improves flexibility and may even ward off headaches. Try signing up for a Tai Chi class, and see for yourself!

Yoga

The ancient practice will have you to burn fat without feeling the pain. Besides added flexibility, improved sleep and weight loss, Yoga is also a great stress-buster. So add some downward dogs and half moons to your fitness routine. Or try aerial yoga to really take your practice to new heights

 

Try out these low intensity workouts and add them to your regular routine. The best way to exercise is to switch between high and low intensity workouts, so that your body doesn’t feel fatigued or stressed out.

Also Read: Benefits of Exercise Over Dieting: Find Out What Works

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April 18, 201700

The conventional approach followed by fitness enthusiasts has been working out on an empty stomach. Well, whether the methodology really pays off is still a debatable question. A partial percentage follows starved workout technique while the rest relies on fueled-up exercise based on their beliefs regarding the two. Different fitness experts, researchers and nutritionists have diverse opinions. So we throw some light on the effects of working out on an empty stomach.

What happens when we work out on empty stomach?

While exercising your body uses energy. This energy, in case of fasted state, comes from fat stores as it is unable to find any carbs or glycogen in the bloodstream. So with each exercise, energy expenditure accounts on fat deposits. Consequently the fat loss rate is found to hike using the starving mode of workout. But in the long run it can have counterproductive effects on your body.

Response of brain to fasted workout in due course

Since the body uses up energy from fat stores, over due course of time, our brain starts to treat it as a survival mode. This means it starts exhausting fat deposits more judiciously. This reaction is the brain’s way of keeping body fed during starvation. Also it tries to replenish the fat deposits as soon as you eat.

Related: The Best Workout Routine to Lose Fat Fast

 

Why you should not work out on empty stomach?

Considering the adverse effects fasted work out has over the benefits offered, it is suggested not to work out on empty stomach.

  1. Since glycogen levels are low in fasted state, body may use energy from muscles along with fat deposits. Although such situation pops up in case of intense workouts, but losing muscle mass is completely undesirable.
  2. Lower energy saps your stamina and intensity of workout. You might not be able to cope up with the regime and feel fatigued.
  3. The growth in fat burning rate tends to slow down your body’s metabolism.
  4. According to a survey, people who workout on empty stomach eat more post workout than people who workout in a fed state.
  5. Hunger and tiredness might turn off your mood and make you feel irritated.
  6. After a fasted workout, body starts using energy from food to restock fat deposits as a preventive measure.
  7. Your muscles are more prone to injuries during fasted state as they are deprived of energy.

So considering the above facts, it is suggested to fuel up your body before workout.

Benefits of eating before work out

Food is like fuel for the body. For an intense workout, you should provide energy to your body in the form of healthy carbs and proteins. Remember you should feed your body 40-60 minutes prior to workout.

  1. Working out in a fed state makes your workout sessions more intense and longer.
  2. It does not uses energy from muscles as it can rely on glycogen. Also it accelerates the muscle repair and recovery process.
  3. Protein builds muscles, muscles use energy. So fueling up with a pre workout protein snack burns calories even 24 hours after workout.
  4. As carbs and proteins are satiating in nature, you do not feel the urge of useless snacking throughout the day.
  5. You feel less fatigued even after an intense workout after a fed state workout.

Also Read: 9 Foods To Eat For Gaining Muscle Mass

Pre work out snacking options

  • Whole wheat toast with eggs
  • Banana or apple
  • Fruit smoothie
  • Greek yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Protein granola bar

So it largely depends on the intensity of workout that fed or fasted state comes into action. But to build and maintain muscle mass as well as achieve consistent weight loss, a small snack prior to workout is recommended.


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