Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fitness - Aerobic Training

Fitness in general includes both aerobic and anaerobic aspects. According to the priorities of the sportsman, one or the other of the two aspects will be emphasized, but the second one will not be neglected. The purpose of doing fitness exercises is, ideally, to create a complete athlete, able to face various physical and psychological demands.

The object of aerobic fitness is the so-called cardio training, a term which refers to the cardio-vascular system and the heart muscle (myocardium). We'll talk about trainings which do not make oxygen duty and which are generally called 'trainings of aerobic effort'. More exactly, they refer to efforts which take a long time (more than 12 minutes) – usually they take between 20 and 60 minutes and they determine acceleration of cardiac frequency and lung ventilation. Efficiency in training requires a frequency between 60-80% of the maximum cardiac frequency (calculated according to the formula 720-age – in years).

The typical exercises of aerobic fitness come from classic resistance sports (long distance running, cycling, swimming, fast walking, etc.) and from different aerobic training programs (aerobic gymnastics, step-aerobic, tae-bo, dance, etc.).

Aerobic fitness uses specific cardio machines: treadmill, classic or elliptical trainer, stepper,etc. Dosing the aerobic effort depends on the somatic type and the actual objectives of each sportsman.

Normally, the ectomorphic and mezomorphic types, which do not accumulate large quantities of subcutaneous adipose tissue, will need to practice for a rather short time (20-30 minutes per training in two or three trainings a week, in non-consecutive days). This time is necessary for realizing an effective cardiac stimulation, without the risk of losing muscular mass.

For the endomorphic somatic type, 'benefiting' of a lot of adipose tissue, aerobic training must last 45-60 minutes and needs to take place 4-6 times a week.

Even if trainings are extended (time, miles) and they are more frequent, their intensity, which is given by the cardiac rhythm per training, must remain high, so finally the body burns as many calories as possible. It is well-known that only after 20-30 minutes the body starts to mobilize the fat 'deposits'. Before this, at the beginning of the training, the energetic support of the aerobic effort is ensured by the muscular and hepatic glycogen, the same as in anaerobic efforts, which are supported exclusively by the glycogen from the muscles and the liver.

This is one of the main reasons for recommending, in programs designed for losing weight, aerobic exercises – they are the biggest and fastest 'fat burners'. Of course, the other big benefits of these exercises appear at the cardiovascular, pulmonary, psychological and other levels.

A real euphoria is observed at the psychological level during aerobic training. This is motivated by the big number of endorphins produced in the body by this type of effort. Endorphins, also called hormones of happiness, are not produced in such a big quantity during anaerobic effort. Anaerobic training determines a big release of catecholamine (adrenaline, noradrenalin), which are considered stress hormones.

A disadvantage of aerobic fitness is, first of all, non-developing a strong and fortified musculature, because of the reduced muscle efforts. We can also observe (and must resist) the monotony of the training, which is long and repetitive.

However, generally speaking, the advantages of aerobic fitness are remarkable and irreplaceable.

By: Gaby Munteanu

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Gaby Munteanu is a fitness trainer, with over 15 years experience, and editor at - Health, Fitness, Body Building, Weight Loss, Nutrition - Articles and Resources. is dedicated to providing high-quality, free advices, tips and resources on health, fitness, body building, supplements, nutrition, weight loss, beauty, massage, acne, medicine, depression, massage. This article may be reprinted or published without the author's consent as long as the "About" and "weblinks" are kept intact and active.

5 Components Of Physical Fitness

Physical fitness is the ability to function effectively throughout your workday, perform your usual other activities and still have enough energy left over to handle any extra stresses or emergencies which may arise.

The components of physical fitness are:

  1. Cardiorespiratory (CR) endurance - the efficiency with which the body delivers oxygen and nutrients needed for muscular activity and transports waste products from the cells.
  2. Muscular strength - the greatest amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert in a single effort.
  3. Muscular endurance - the ability of a muscle or muscle group to perform repeated movements with a sub-maximal force for extended periods of times.
  4. Flexibility - the ability to move the joints or any group of joints through an entire, normal range of motion.
  5. Body composition - the percentage of body fat a person has in comparison to his or her total body mass.  

Improving the first three components of fitness listed above will have a positive impact on body composition and will result in less fat. Excessive body fat detracts from the other fitness components, reduces performance, detracts from appearance, and negatively affects your health.

Factors such as speed, agility, muscle power, eye-hand coordination, and eye-foot coordination are classified as components of "motor" fitness. These factors most affect your athletic ability. Appropriate training can improve these factors within the limits of your potential. A sensible weight loss and fitness program seeks to improve or maintain all the components of physical and motor fitness through sound, progressive, mission specific physical training.

Principles of Exercise

Adherence to certain basic exercise principles is important for developing an effective program. The same principles of exercise apply to everyone at all levels of physical training, from the Olympic-caliber athlete to the weekend jogger.

These basic principles of exercise must be followed.


To achieve a training effect, you must exercise often. You should exercise each of the first four fitness components at least three times a week. Infrequent exercise can do more harm than good. Regularity is also important in resting, sleeping, and following a sensible diet.


The intensity (how hard) and/or duration (how long) of exercise must gradually increase to improve the level of fitness.


To be effective, a program should include activities that address all the fitness components, since overemphasizing any one of them may hurt the others.


Providing a variety of activities reduces boredom and increases motivation and progress.


Training must be geared toward specific goals. For example, people become better runners if their training emphasizes running. Although swimming is great exercise, it does not improve a 2-mile-run time as much as a running program does.


A hard day of training for a given component of fitness should be followed by an easier training day or rest day for that component and/or muscle group(s) to help permit recovery. Another way to allow recovery is to alternate the muscle groups exercised every other day, especially when training for strength and/or muscle endurance.


The work load of each exercise session must exceed the normal demands placed on the body in order to bring about a training effect.

By: Peter Somerville

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(C) 2005 by Peter Somerville. Peter is a former military officer, and the creator of The Paratrooper's Guide To Fitness and Weight Loss. Now anybody can take advantage of the world's most carefully researched and successful physical fitness training program. Peter contributes to

Why Diet Fitness Often Fails

We all know that people fail on their diet fitness and sometimes we wonder why. After all sometimes the people that fail the worst are the people you would have thought would make it.

There are a number of factors why diet fitness either works or doesn’t. One in three adults are trying to lose weight at any given moment and while not surprising that we are very good at attempting to lose the weight we are not so good at succeeding.

Even for those that achieve their weight loss within five years almost all dieters will gain back the weight they lost and sometimes they will gain back even more.

Weight loss researchers have been spending a great deal of time trying to discover why diet fitness has such a high failure rate and although each of us finds success and motivation our own way they have come up with some ways to maximize your rate of success.

  1. Don’t set unrealistic goals – if you want to set yourself up for failure all you need to do is set goals that are simply not achievable. Remember a slow and steady pace wins the diet fitness race.  
  2. Lack of future planning – another common mistake is to not have planned in advance. It’s a proven fact that no matter what the goal is when you make a when, where, and how plan you have a 75% chance of success. When you know what your goal is you are much more likely to stick to your diet fitness plan.
  3. Socializing – this is one of the top three reasons that a person will fail with their diet fitness plan. People’s social lives come first and when diet fitness interferes socializing wins out.
  4. Deprivation – when a person feels deprived of a certain food and the diet fitness food takes longer to prepare, costs more, or isn’t as tasty as the less healthy food the unhealthy food will often win out.
  5. Portion Size – another big pitfall in the diet fitness game is that it is common to underestimate the actual calorie count in foods and to overestimate the number of calories you have burned through your exercise program. 

Studies have shown that diet fitness plans that are simple and easy to adhere to have the highest success rate. Studies have also shown that women are much more likely to be successful than men simply because there is a much greater stigma for women that are overweight than for men.

Studies have also shown that those that have the most success with their diet fitness plan concentrate more on increasing the burn of calories and less on the reduction of calories. This just makes good sense since to rapid a reduction of your calorie intake will scare the body into starvation protection mode.

A coach or mentor is also an excellent way to stay on top of your diet fitness. There’s no need for your coach to be a nutritionist, or a personal trainer. It can be a doctor, spouse, friend, or anyone else that you feel support your goal and will help lift your spirits and keep you on track.

By: Steve Johnson -

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Pilates Exercise

Pilates exercise is an art, an art to teach, to learn and to perform with the right amount of patience. It's a blend of fitness, yoga and physical therapy. Pilates exercise teachers don't improvise, they have attended training courses that have lasted years. They are the ones who personally prepare their body and mind in order to fully enter the mentality of Pilates exercise. A good Pilates teacher is a personal trainer of Pilates exercise and follows you in every Pilates exercise and the movement it creates.

This article is all about pilates exercise and how to make you more and more aware about this topic. I could also have taken the easy way to writing this article but I desisted from it because the primary objective of writing this article about pilates exercise was your satisfation. And after reading this article, you can yourself feel it.

Pilates exercise has become very popular in the last decades and its workouts have benefitted all kinds of people in the past and continues to do so today. You don't need much to improve your quality of life with Pilates exercise just three times a week for about half an hour and the first evident results can be seen starting within just four weeks. Pilates exercise defines and tones muscles and works on your body alignment, through the abdomen, pelvis and regulates your breathing too.

Just a few words now on who invented the Pilates exercise program.

Joseph Pilates invented Pilates exercise during the 1900's. The intent of Pilates exercise was to aid those who were sick and forced to stay in bed for a certain amount of time, not being able to move body parts and use their muscles. Pilates exercise was designed in such a way that it will provide maximum output from a sleeping position from minimum input.

Following in his footsteps, many therapists thereafter used the technique of Pilates exercise to patients alleviating the pains and the suffering of those who have certain problems in moving their body parts giving them temporary and in some cases permanent relief.

One of the most common accessories to help perform Pilates exercise is the Pilates ring created to help those who cannot perform Pilates standing or are bed ridden. The Pilates ring works on desired body areas from a sitting, sleeping position. It can be used on the arms, legs, buttocks and back with ease.The Pilates ring is a power tool, which is used even by those that are able to perform standing exercises. The results will not take long to appear when exercises done three times a week for 30 minutes.

Here are a few tips to help you handle Pilates exercise in the best of ways.

1. Don't practice Pilates exercise without consulting a physician first.

2. Pilates exercise is easy to learn you can and stay in shape in the comfort of your home with a number of choices such as, online specialized sites, professional DVDs featuring lessons for beginners as well as advanced users and books.

3. Use Pilates exercise at least three times a week, trying to follow the exercise pattern, that is best for your needs.

4. Pilates exercise is useful especially when practiced early in the morning, providing you with energy and the right mood for the rest of the day.

Last but not least, eating right and exercising with Pilates exercise regularly will help you to keep you in shape, live a longer life and give you the right balance needed to face everyday. So try Pilates exercise as your daily routine and you will see how your body and mind will benefit from it.

By: A F

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AF a man who likes to exercise and who has the passion for writing and likes to express his emotions through the net. Visit

Choosing A Fitness Program

A fitness program is something everyone should have regardless of their age. While everyone has a different fitness level, for the most part everyone should be able to do some type of fitness program. It is always a good idea to check with your doctor before embarking on a new fitness program. There are many great fitness programs out there to choose from. You can also design your own or have a personal trainer help you design one.

The fitness program that is right for depends on many factors. You will need to take your current fitness level into consideration. The goal needs to be to implement a fitness program that is going to challenge you but that would lead to any health issues. It is important to evaluate any current health issues you have before developing a fitness program. For example someone with a bad back shouldn’t lift weights but would be fine to jog or walk. A person with bad knees may not be able to run but they may be able to walk on flat terrain.

No matter what fitness program you decide to use, it is going to fail if you aren’t prepared to work hard and dedicate your time to it. This means putting your heart into following through. Yes, we are all busy, but your health is vital to allowing you the ability to do any thing right? Schedule time for your fitness program and then refuse to give up that time. If it means you have to get up earlier or skip some TV time then do it. It may mean your email doesn’t get checked every day or your dishes aren’t put away but those things can accumulate without too much problem. Your health is not something you want to push aside.

You are going to have to decide on a fitness program that will help you achieve the fitness goals you have set, but also involves exercises and activities that you enjoy doing. Would you rather have a fitness program you have to force yourself to do or one that you look forward to doing? Don’t have unrealistic goals for your fitness program or you will be disappointed and frustrated with yourself. Focus on what you are able to achieve rather than what you didn’t.

For the best results design a fitness program with the help of a personal trainer or a doctor. Make sure it focuses on your goals and your abilities. Don’t compare your fitness program with that of anyone else. You are not in a competition, but on a quest to succeed at implementing a fitness program that will make you feel and look your best. If you do that, then give yourself some credit as you are doing much better than the majority of the population. If you want to reduce your chances of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, have more energy, and boost your metabolism then you need to work on implementing a quality fitness program.

By: Steve Johnson -

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Fitness Programs

There are many fitness programs available these days all promising to be one of the best available & the ideal one for you. There is no fitness program available that is the best for all. You are an individual with different needs, wants & lifestyle so there cannot be a fitness program that is ideal for all.

Every fitness program has its pro’s & con’s & it’s up to you to decide which one is best for you, after all you need a fitness program that you know you are going to enjoy, that way you will stick to it & reap the full benefits.

So which fitness program is for you ? Will you choose one of the well known ones such as Pilates, Step, or Aerobics (in one form or another) or will you go for one of the many celebrity fitness programs. The choice of fitness program is yours & yours alone make sure you pick the one for you. To help you here is a quick overview of some of the fitness programs available.

Pilates Fitness Program
Developed by Joseph Hubertis Pilates as far back as the early 1900’s, Pilates is based upon developing & improving body posture & flexibility of movement originally using the resistance of springs. Pilates can be practised using specially designed equipment or performing exercises based on the Pilates system simply on a mat. Pilates has spawned many different versions which are available today. Pilates fitness programs are available on video or DVD to use with or without equipment, for you to follow at home or you could try your local gym to see if they run classes there.

Step Fitness Program
Step is basically a form of aerobic exercise involving stepping on & off a step quite often to music. You can follow this fitness program from a video or DVD at home using a simple piece of equipment or in a group at your local gym or recreation centre.

Aerobics Fitness Program
Aerobics is a fitness program in numerous different formats but basically involves lots of movement such as arm raises, leg raises, kicks, stretching, lunging, bending etc to music. The type & frequency of movements should depend upon your current level of fitness. The fitness program can again be followed at home using a video or DVD or at classes in your local gym or recreation centre.

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John Mac is the owner of a website aimed at people looking to improve their fitness diet & health & for information about fitness programs.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Weightlifing Proves To Beat Cardiovascular Training In Fat Loss

Is cardiovascular exercise or weightlifting the most effective for losing body fat? This is a very common question I hear almost on a daily basis. Many fitness enthusiasts feel cardiovascular, or aerobic activity is the most effective training method to lose body fat. Exercisers feel the lower intensity aerobic activity, which utilizes a greater percentage of fatty acids for fuel, will burn more body fat. It seems to make sense, but is this really true?

Clients always want to know if they should avoid weight training programs altogether and pursue the alleged fat burning aerobic training. Many people firmly believe that lower intensity cardiovascular training will help them lose body fat at a greater rate than with just weight training exercises alone.

Let's take a closer look at which exercise regimen, weight training or aerobics, is the best system to lose body fat.

Aerobic or cardiovascular training is performed with high volume, and low intensity exercise training. Oxygen is required in the process; and the training session can last for more than twenty minutes, all while continuously exercising at a high heart rate.

The benefits resulting from aerobic or cardiovascular training is an increase in cardiovascular function, and a decrease in body fat from the extra calorie burned.

However, with positives, there can also be negatives. There are a few things lost when training aerobically. First off, over time, a decrease in strength from muscle breakdown can occurs. This decrease in strength results from a decrease in muscle mass, power, speed, and anaerobic capacity.

On the other hand, with weight training programs, there is a significant increase in muscle tissue, metabolism, strength, speed, power, and anaerobic capacity. There is also a slight increase in cardiovascular function.

Now why do so many fitness participants feel cardiovascular or aerobic exercise is far superior for body fat loss? I believe it is quite simple; they are listening to individuals who are not considering the true physiology of the situation. However, one thing they do understand is the preferred fuel utilized during low intensity aerobic exercise is from fat. Therefore, many feel if a larger percentage of fatty acids are consumed for fuel, a greater fat loss will result. But is this really correct?

As a matter of fact, fat is the primary preferred fuel utilized during sleep. Thus, wouldn't the best exercise to lose body fat be sleep alone? Not so fast!

In my opinion, exercising at a low intensity aerobically, with a goal for maximum fat loss, is the greatest myth for losing body fat.

Fat loss myths run wild in the world of fitness and nutrition. Please do not let myths like this destroy your deserved results. I recommend you clear theories with a qualified professional before you accept them. You owe it to yourself!

Here is a fat loss workout example that will help you understand which type of training is best to lose body fat. On Monday, you decide to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes at a very comfortable 3.3 miles per hour pace. The results of your cardiovascular training session include a calorie burn of 300 calories, where a high 60% of the fuel is supplied from fatty acids. Now, on Tuesday, you decide to run on the treadmill for 15 minutes at a very high intensity level of 6 miles per hour with a 7% incline grade. Your heart rate was registered at 85% of your maximum heart rate, and you burned 350 calories in those 15 minutes with a greater percentage of sugar burned than fat. That leaves you with a greater caloric burn of 50 additional calories resulting from exercising at a higher intensity for only a 15 minute duration. This will, over an extended period of time, lead to greater overall fat, and weight loss compared to the 30 minute, lower intensity cardiovascular training session.

Now to lose body fat, it simply isn't true that lower intensity, longer duration exercise, which burns a greater percentage of fatty acids, is far superior in overall fat loss compared to higher intensity, higher calorie burning strength training, or cardiovascular training.

With that said, the most effective, and efficient way to lose body fat is through a higher intensity training program like weightlifting because of the higher calorie burn, and the elevated metabolism from the added active, fat burning muscle tissue. The added metabolically active muscle tissue burns calories at a rate of 24 hours per day. It is much more important to think about the amount of calories expended during an exercise session versus the percentage of fat or sugar used as preferred, primary fuel.

Now I'm sure you agree weightlifting can be a more effective fat loss exercise program, but the ultimate fat burning exercise regimen is to combine weight training with higher intensity cardiovascular workouts. The best way to implement this training session is by performing your strength training routine first immediately followed by your cardiovascular training regimen.

Losing stomach fat can be easier if you are on the proper exercise program. Many feel lower intensity cardiovascular training is best for fat loss. However, according to the caloric burn of higher intensity weightlifting, this is the most efficient way to lose fat. Follow this advice, and fat will begin to melt off.

Jim O'Connor is an Exercise Physiologist, and Managing Partner of Wellness Word, LLC, a health and fitness marketing firm. For free access to Jim's Wellness Word Multimedia fitness, and bodybuilding newsletter visit .

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Author's Bio

Jim O'Connor is an Exercise Physiologist, and Managing Partner of Wellness Word, LLC, a health and fitness marketing firm. For free access to Jim's Wellness Word Multimedia fitness, and bodybuilding newsletter visit