Sporting Life- Sports, Exercise Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Jogging

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to afford all of that fancy equipment used in the gyms? Well, as nice as it sounds, it just isn’t an option for most people. And since exercise is so important, you need to find exercises that are effective and don’t require any equipment at all.

To make these exercises even more fun, you can blast music while you’re doing them. Some you can even do while watching TV.

Now you have no more excuses! Here are 10 great exercises that you can do at home, without the need for any equipment:

  1. Walking – If the weather is nice, it’s wonderful to get outside and enjoy the scenery around you while you exercise. However, if the weather has other ideas, you can just as easily get an effective walking workout at home. If you have a flight of stairs, go up and down them a few times. (You could even grab a load of laundry as you’re going that way anyway!) This will help to tone up your legs, while getting some low impact aerobic exercise as well. If you don’t have any stairs available, just walk around the house a few times – it may not be very exciting, but it will do the job!
  2. Jumping Jacks – These are always fun, as they bring back memories of being a kid! Who hasn’t done jumping jacks for fun as a child? Well, surprise – they are also great cardio exercises, and good for warming up, too.
  3. Pushups – These are probably not the most favorite exercise of many people, but while they can be hard to do, you can find easier ways to do them. You don’t need to pretend you’re “Rocky”, and do them with one hand; just do what works for you. Do them on your knees, instead of keeping your legs straight. Or, do them standing up against a wall. You will be building up arm strength and working out muscles in your chest area.
  4. Leg Lifts – These are great for building up strength and muscles in your legs. If you find it hard to do the exercises with your legs straight, try bending them slightly.
  5. Crunches – The best exercise for building up and strengthening abdominal muscles. When you’re just getting started, don’t worry about getting your head all the way up. So long as you’re going up until you feel the stretching of the muscles, you will see some benefit.
  6. Jogging In Place – Jogging is a great exercise for your heart. You can jog in place at home while watching TV or listening to music. The only equipment you will require is a good pair of shoes, to eliminate any stress to your legs.
  7. Squats – These are wonderful exercises for your legs and buttocks. You can even just try these by sitting and standing up again from a regular chair, if you’re finding them to be too difficult. As long as you’re able to do a few repetitions, you will be providing some benefit to your body.
  8. Light Weight Lifting – No, you don’t need to go out and buy expensive weights for this! Just use whatever you can find in your house. Start out with something lighter, such as a can of peas, and work yourself up to heavier items. You can use milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles or even water jugs.
  9. Dancing – Dancing is a wonderful exercise, which is great for your heart. Not only that, but it can lift your spirits as well, and give your overall feeling a boost.
  10. Step Exercises – Using the steps in your home, you can do repetitions which will tone your leg muscles. (Just remember to be careful!)

Getting some exercise is important, but you don’t need to go out and join a gym, paying a large amount in membership fees each month. You don’t even need the expensive equipment in order to give your body an effective workout. Use what you have in your house, and work out in the comfort of your home. You will be more likely to keep up with the exercises when you’re comfortable, so just get up and start exercising!

(Written By: Suzanne Hiscock)

Basement fitness centers be damned. There are some places around the world that make your intentions to lace up the runners and don the spandex a whole lot more inviting.

1. MV Stella Australis, Chile

Ever wanted to jog around Cape Horn but thought it was impossible? Well, it’s not.

Brand-new ship (well, in cruise ship terms any ship just past her first birthday is still brand-new) Stella Australis plies the glacier-lined route between Punta Arenas (Chile) and Ushuaia (Argentina).

The gym is positioned on the top deck with full-height double-glazed windows providing an ever-changing view of snow-dusted mountains and glaciers amid forest-clad fjords. The double glazing is important, as summer temperatures barely reach double figures in South American Patagonia.

There’s no problem getting warmed up, however, on modern treadmills, steppers and bikes, as albatross soar on the Furious Fifties winds that buffets the land at the “end of the world”.

2. Andaman Hotel, Langkawi, Malaysia

National Geographic film crews know a good location when they see one. So it’s no surprise to find out that the same ancient rainforest that treadmill pounders gaze at from the Andaman Hotel is a favoured habitat for filming wildlife documentaries.

Located on the northwest coast of Langkawi, the region abounds in rare wildlife on land and kaleidoscopic fringing coral reef beyond the beach.

Hotel designers didn’t quite get it right for water babies but for those who find inspiration in lush plush jungle, you won’t be disappointed with French windows allowing heady tropical aromas to waft around the gym.

3. Sasakwa Lodge, Tanzania

Unleash your inner safari man (or woman) when you drop into your own personal piece of African indulgence on a privately held 137,000-hectare concession of Singita Grumeti Reserve.

Incongruously rising above the plains in the style of an Edwardian manor house, the main lodge is surrounded by a handful of secluded cottages, each with its own infinity pool and dreamy heat-haze views all the way to the horizon.

If you can drag yourself beyond poolside tranquilized stupor, the gym is a revelation for such a remote location. Equipped with modern machines, it’s easy to imagine running across the sun-kissed plains, with bounding zebras kicking up their hooves beside you.

4. Aqua Expeditions, Peru

If cruising little-accessible waters of the Amazon floats your boat, step onto the treadmill aboard luxury river expedition vessel MV Aria, departing from the forest-clad port of Iquitos.

Launched in the spring of 2011, MV Aria plies the upper reaches and tributaries of the Andes-fed Amazon, allowing up to 32 guests to immerse themselves in wildlife and wild landscapes of 20,000 square kilometers of Pacaya Samira Reserve encased in floating luxury.

Hitting the treadmill daily is recommended, given that menus are designed by renowned chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, otherwise known as the jungle chef, for his creative use of Amazonian wild foods.

More an exercise room bathed in natural light from immense picture windows rather than a fully blown gym, there’s no denying the inspirational “in-your-face” view gliding by.

5. Chobe Safari Lodge, Uganda

Recently restored to her former 1950s elegance and perched above the bank of the River Nile, water is the main focus of Chobe Safari Lodge.

That is, of course, once you’ve had your fill of the elephants, hippos and buffalo that hang out around this legendary waterway. Attracting wildlife by the safari-load, the three-level swimming pool, spa and gym all overlook the rushing, gushing Nile.

Within the largest National Park in Uganda, Murchison Falls National Parkis not a bad spot for fishos to drop a line once they’ve finished buffing their biceps in the Chobe Health Club and Spa.

6. Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa, United States

It’s unlikely that master mariner Captain James Cook would recognize much about Anchorage these days. Things have changed a bit since he anchored in the bay, now known as Cook Inlet, beneath a couple of active volcanoes and a mountain affectionately known by locals as Sleeping Lady.

On a clear day Redoubt and Spurr mountains, all 3,000 meters of them, poke out above the clouds, all theatrical summits and look-at-me attitude.

Gazing out from the 15th floor gym to the street below, gym junkies shouldn’t be surprised to see one of the 1,000-odd moose who also call Anchorage home wandering the streets.

7. Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, United States

Any hotel that puts step machines front and center behind frameless glass walls that overlook the Pacific Ocean gets my vote.

Add a crystal chandelier to enhance the theatrical movie star opulence, and you’ll be seriously motivated to get your butt camera-ready.

Naturally, equipment is top-of-the-line Precor and Icarian with individual screens and multimedia connectivity. The team at Ritz-Carlton seem to know just how to prop up a narcissistic gym junkie’s habit.

 

8. Wickaninnish Inn, Canada

The favored destination for storm chasers, those climate-crazy souls who time their holidays to encounter the worst weather, Wickaninnish Inn sits tall, proud and somewhat weather-beaten on a point jutting seaward. Beachcombers and surfer dudes also find their way to wild tumbled Chesterman Beach.

Looking west across the Pacific Ocean from Vancouver Island, 10 years ago the inn built a new wing to capitalize on their beachfront location, thrilling gym junkies no end by placing the workout room center stage.

9. Paresa Resort Phuket, Thailand

Phuket is home to sea gypsies who live on floating villages earning a living from ever depleting fish stocks, as well as the seething, writhing, pumping tourism hub of Patong Beach which attracts modern-day travelers.

Treadmill joggers who bother to look south from the gym at Paresa can catch a glimpse of the ever-present partying integral to the beachfront strip.

But for my money, the real attraction is the uninterrupted cliff top view from high above the Andaman Sea, particularly at dusk as the blazing tropical sun disappears below the salt-laden horizon.

10. Hotel Icon, Hong Kong

Opened just two months ago, Hotel Icon represents the combined efforts of Hong Kong’s most creative geniuses.

Clearly health-conscious designers who appreciate the benefits of positioning the pool and gym on the rooftop, it’s hard to imagine a more exciting cityscape than Hong Kong’s.

Particularly so at night, when all bets are off when it comes to conserving energy and the city lights up like the a Christmas tree.

Naturally, being a brand-new luxuriously appointed hotel with a heavy focus on glamour, gym equipment is state of the art and open 24 hours.

(By Fiona Harper, CNN Travel )

Most of us take only around 5,000 steps a day. Of course, for staying fit, we need to walk at least 10,000 steps and if we want to lose weight, we should be walking around 15,000 steps. But who has got the time to count these steps? This is where a good pedometer can help. If you choose to buy a good pedometer, you are likely to be more motivated to take those 10,000 steps required every day.

pedometer

pedometer

What is a pedometer?

The time that people spend walking these days has drastically gone down. We spend lots of times sitting in the car while traveling to work and then we spend around an average of eight hours just sitting at our office desk. When we do come back home, again in a car, we spend our time sitting in front of the TV set.

So, of course, it is no surprise that we never ever achieve the required 10,000 steps a day. This also means that we make ourselves vulnerable to chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and respiratory difficulties.

Most people complain that they just don’t know how to count their steps. However, it is quite simple to do this. Just buy a good pedometer or step counter. A pedometer is a device that you place in your pocket or around your hips. Once switched on, it will sense your movement and record the number of steps you take.

A pedometer is perfect for those who want to track the number of steps that they are taking everyday. If you want to walk and stay fit, the device will tell you how many steps you have taken. So, you can easily plan your day to achieve those 10,000 steps a day.

For people who want to lose weight and want to use walking as a means to do it, the device is quite useful. You can plan your day to achieve the 15,000 steps a day and let the pedometer take care of counting your steps.

This fitness product is also perfect for those who are into running, climbing, jogging, and aerobics activity.

How to Choose a Good Pedometer

Pedometer devices have different features and you can choose one based on your own requirements. However, here are certain aspects that you should consider before buying your own pedometer.

Is it easy to use?

Some pedometers have to be programmed before they can be clipped onto your waist. On the other hand, there are other devices where you just need to reset the steps to zero and then start walking. Buy a pedometer that you know you can setup and use easily.

Does it have any additional features besides step counting?

If your device can tell you the distance walked and the calories burned, it is definitely going to help you a great deal. In fact, some of the more sophisticated pedometers allow you to upload the data on a daily basis onto your computer. This allows you to track your progress either by visiting the website of the manufacturer or with the help of software that comes with the packaging.

How accurate is it?

While most people think that a pedometer will give the exact number of steps taken, it is not always true. A discrepancy of around 5% is quite common, especially when you are running or walking at a brisk speed. However, if the counting mechanism is giving you a difference of more than 10%, then the device is probably not that good.

Is the pedometer comfortable to wear?

Remember that you will be wearing the device close to your hips. So, it needs to be comfortable so that you can carry on all your activities with ease. Of course, if it is in your pocket or in your purse, it is much more comfortable.

(By fitnessfreako)

Christmas Food

Christmas Food

(Photograph: foodfolio/Alamy)

Christmas dinner: What would you eat?

Christmas is a time for feasting, but how much is too much?

It’s no wonder waistlines expand at Christmas if past years are anything to go by.

In the 13th Century, the medieval occasion ran for 12 days, with lavish spreads every day.

Christmas excess today means that the average person consumes 6,000 calories on Christmas day.

This is equivalent to eating 4.8kg of egg-fried rice, or 42 bananas, or 23 and a half hamburgers. Or you could think of it as eating three 300g chicken korma curries, three 300g chicken tikka curries, three naan breads and 24 onion bhajis.

That is also the same amount that a Tour de France cyclist needs to sustain a day’s racing, professional athletes consume to propel them through a day’s training, Royal Marines need to fuel their missions, and Arctic explorers demand to endure a day on the ice.

For those of us less inclined to extreme endurance and more comfortable with staying indoors, there is little chance we will be burning 6,000 calories on Christmas day.

But there are ways to do things a little bit more healthily.

Christmas dinner itself easily fits in to the recommended calorific intake for a day, says Sian Porter, consultant dietician and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association.

In fact it contains 956 calories, and 48g fat, she says. The guideline daily calorie count is 2,500 for men and 2,000 for women.

But it’s not just Christmas dinner that we indulge in.

“Six thousand calories over the day includes smoked salmon and eggs for breakfast, buck’s fizz and wine and other drinks, liqueurs, also Christmas cake, mince pies, cheese and biscuits, cold nibbles, snacks, crisps, nuts and an open box of chocolates,” she says.

You know what will happen if you eat an extra 500 calories a day in December…

Is that so bad?

“Some people can rebalance that quickly and easily,” she says.

“But some people have already kicked off indulging in early December and go through until 2nd January, which can mean they gain around 5lb,” she says.

This is by eating an average extra 500 calories per day.

To burn off Christmas day’s calories alone you might need to do at least seven hours of hard exercise such as cycling. But keeping moderate exercise up before and after Christmas can help stop you putting on weight.

How to burn off 6,000 calories

burn calories

burn calories

It takes a lot of work to burn off 6,000 calories.

Here’s how you can do it:

Average man:

Sport

Time needed

Jogging

10 hours 20 min

Medium walking

14 hours 30 min

Hard cycling

7 hours 15 min

Basketball

8 hours 5 min

Fast swimming

7 hours 15 min

 Average woman:

Sport

Time needed

Samba or Tango

28 hours 40min

Hatha yoga

34 hours 20min

Fast swimming

8 hours 40 min

Jogging

12 hours 20min

Hard cycling

7 hours 10 min

(Sources: ONS statistics and British Heart Foundation calculator)

So how to avoid an unhealthy binge?

Do not skip meals and try to eat regularly to avoid overeating in one big meal, says the English Institute of Sport’s performance nutritionist Emma Gardner.

It can lead to excessive hunger and poor choices, she says.

“Ensure you have a good breakfast before going to Christmas dinners/buffets so you don’t arrive hungry – Christmas gatherings are filled with tempting treats, which you are likely to snack on if you arrive hungry.

“Add a protein source at breakfast, which will also help to fill you.”

Sian Porter says adapting old favourites also works a treat.

“If you flip the lid off a mince pie, which is 250 calories before adding cream or brandy butter, you can save calories there, or swap unhealthy snacks for satsumas, nuts, dates or other fruit,” she says.

“Pile up your plate with fruit and veg, and do things a bit smarter – on the day make gravy from vegetable water and only open one box of chocolates at a time.”

Emma says: “Whether at a buffet or a Christmas dinner base your meals around lean protein options and vegetables or salad.

“If you want to go that extra step, try dry-roasting potatoes on a non-stick baking sheet or use an oil spray instead of smothering them in goose fat.”

There are plenty of easy calorie-savers, such as not eating turkey skin or avoiding putting butter on vegetables.

Eat vegetable crudites or popcorn, provided it’s without butter or sugar, for low-calorie alternatives to crisps.

Swap calorific nibbles for satsumas to have a healthier day

Chef Laura Santtini’s cooking style is flash cooking – a healthy, quick alternative where the emphasis is on “fit fast flavours for busy people”.

Most importantly, “having a flavour arsenal” next to her cooker means she can make delicious dishes that are low on fat.

Laura says she adheres to an 80:20 principle of eating, where 80% of her diet is healthy and 20% is more indulgent.

She says Christmas is “a one-meal day, not a day for thinking about being healthy”.

Simple calorie-savers

  • Swap turkey legs/thighs and skin for turkey breast
  • Swap roast potatoes for new potatoes
  • Swap cauliflower cheese for boiled or steamed vegetables
  • Swap small roast potatoes/parsnips for large ones as they absorb less fat
  • Swap gravy for bread sauce of fruit sauces
  • Swap meat stuffing for chestnut or fruit-based stuffing, which are low in fat and a good source of potassium
  • Swap brandy butter sauce for low-fat custard

(Source: English Institute of Sport)

“If you do 80:20 then it flips and Christmas is an 80% naughty day. But on Boxing Day you have stopped grazing,” she explains.

She suggests that you can boil or steam sprouts or bake them in the oven, or instead of doing roast potatoes, do Persian jewelled rice in a slow cooker.

However for some there is no avoiding a big calorie counter of the day – booze.

“Be aware of consuming too many empty calories, such as those in alcohol,” says Emma Gardner.

Sian Porter says alcohol is “7kcal per gram versus 4kcal/g for protein or carbs and 9kcal/g for fat”.

“Alcohol is calorie-dense and, when drunk in excess, reduces will power meaning you are more likely to succumb to eating tempting foods,” nutritionist Emma explains.

It’s recommended to avoid sweet cocktails and creamy liqueurs. Or alternate alcohol with water, or drink small short spirits with diet fizzy drinks.

But if you are planning on over-indulging during Christmas, do not despair.

Chef Allegra McEvedy says: “Unless you have serious dietary issues, you should lay back and indulge. It’s not a day to count calories.”

So one day of indulgence is OK?

“It’s all about not making people feel guilty and taking it easy,” says Sian Porter.

“You can be bad and then be good over other days – it’s over in a short space of time, and you can rebalance those extra calories by cutting back elsewhere.”

On Boxing Day you’ll be eating salad and getting on your bike then?

(Sources: BBC Food)


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