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Monthly Archives: January 2017

All about Beach Body Abs

Diet

The first thing you’re going to have to change will be your diet. It goes without saying that even if you had the best abs in the world, it will still look pretty ordinary if a layer of bodyfat covers it. Diet plays a crucial role in defining your midsection so some modifications will be required in order for your body to look it’s best. To begin with, get into the habit of using a diet log to keep track of your meals. Everyone is less likely to cheat when they know they have to write down everything they’ve eaten each day. An elaborate journal isn’t necessary either; a simple notepad can work just fine. Also, begin switching to six small meals a day now instead of three larger ones to help rev up your metabolism as well as prevent the stretching of the stomach and the abdominal walls which occurs when one gorges themselves in food.

Next, you’ll want to start creating a slight caloric deficit each day to help burn away the bodyfat. It is recommended that you work on losing only a pound or two, a week, of bodyfat. The weekly loss of any more weight than this, for the typical person, probably includes substantial amounts of water weight and muscle tissue and can wreck havoc on your metabolism. Remember, it’s the bodyfat that’s covering your abs that you’ll want to lose so a good rule of thumb is to cut back your daily energy requirements by only around 500 calories a day.

Now if you’re not sure what your daily energy requirements are for your current bodyweight (or the amount of calories you will have to consume each day to stay at your current weight), you can use this easy-to-remember formula as a guide. To estimate your daily total caloric needs, multiply 24 times 1.0 (if you’re a man) or 0.9 (if you’re a woman) by each kilogram of bodyweight you weigh. Then multiply that result by 1.7 (for a moderately active man) or 1.6 (for a moderately active woman).

(Men) 1.7 x 24 x 1.0 x bodyweight (in kg)

(Women) 1.6 x 24 x 0.9 x bodyweight (in kg)

To determine how many kilograms you weigh, divide your bodyweight in pounds by 2.2. Remember though that this formula is only a guide. It is highly recommended that you use the formula as a starting point, and then pay close attention to your body in order to fine-tune your calories according to how your body responds to your efforts. Look at your body in a mirror, if it doesn’t appear (or feel) as if your body is losing any weight after a week or two, then reduce the amount of calories you ingest even more.

Cardio

You’ll next want to start including cardio (aerobic exercises) into your weekly routine. There are few short-term options that can burn calories and strip away the bodyfat better than sessions of aerobic activities. It is no coincidence that even top-level bodybuilders will steadily increase their cardio workouts as a contest approaches to help really bring out their muscle definition. Begin by working out 3-4 times per week for 20 to 30 minutes at a time on a treadmill or a stationary exercise bike. Then work your way up to more intense sessions of at least moderate intensity for 45 minutes or longer by weeks 3 and 4. The last few weeks before you hit the beach, you’ll want to include interval training into your routine to really help blast away the last few pounds of bodyfat.

Exercise

Spot-reducing your way to abdominal definition is a myth. It is impossible to localize fat loss over any one specific area of your body and is the reason why it is important for you to also watch your diet and include aerobic training if you truly wish to showcase some beach-body abs. But the inclusion of some solid abdominal training is still important for great abs. Strengthening the abdominal wall will tone and help reduce, if not prevent, any unnecessary sagging of the belly. Also, abdominal workouts will certainly develop the muscles of the ab (particularly the rectus abdominus and the external obliques) and enable them to easily become more visible, sharper and tight.

While there are literally hundreds of abdominal exercises to choose from, it is important that several considerations are first kept in mind before performing any of them. First, it is strongly recommended that you learn how to focus on feeling the contraction of your abs when exercising and really squeeze the muscle at the top of any rep. There are many individuals out there who lay claim to performing several hundred sit-ups per day, but it is the quality that counts here and not necessarily the quantity. Become more efficient when performing your abdominal exercises and allow the muscle do the work and do not use the mechanical involvement of other bodyparts or even momentum to help swing the body in order to complete any reps. Additionally, make sure that you maintain continuous tension while performing your reps and never allow your body to rest at the bottom of a movement. Finally, be sure to breathe in during the relaxation phase of your movements and exhale during the contraction phase of the reps.

Yoga Make Stronger

Muscle Strength
Unlike traditional weight building exercises, in yoga your body provides the resistance. While you are not likely going to produce the bulked up muscles of some weight lifters, you will certainly increase your muscle strength.

Many poses in yoga are done very slowly or you stay in the posture for several breaths. It is much more challenging to your muscles to hold a pose or do it slowly than it is to allow momentum to move you through an action. I have been working out with weights for many years so my muscles are used to being strengthened. Yet, I have practiced certain yoga routines during which my muscles screamed for mercy and I actually had to get out of the pose and then resume it because my muscles were so challenged. I don’t often experience this during weight training sessions.

In addition, some balance postures such as Tree Pose and Shoulderstand require enormous muscle control in order to prevent you from falling over. This helps to build and strengthen your muscles.

Muscle Balance

In weight training, you isolate a specific muscle as you perform an exercise and this leads to a short, tightened muscle. The muscles you develop during yoga are more likely to be elongated, because while you are strengthening them, you are simultaneously lengthening them. You also do not focus on an isolated muscle, but actively recruit the smaller muscle groups as well. You truly work your entire body when you practice yoga.

Practicing yoga can help realign your muscles, so they are more balanced. Since you are not overworking any specific muscle group, you are less likely to get injured.

Double Calories Burned

There is no need for people to run five miles before breakfast. A healthier more focused you is within five minutes reach! Also there are other benefits of doing something physical upon rising in the morning. Breathing deeply and moving your body first thing not only allows you to burn more calories throughout the day but it also puts you in a better mood as well as obviously going a long way to providing yourself with better health.

In short, you will be more inclined to take the day by the “scruff of the neck”, so to speak, and to want to pursue goals and objectives if you are fully awake and energised for the day.

Below are listed some of the major benefits of doing something active each morning. Remember them when you think it is “too much effort!”.

1.Increased calorie burn throughout the day.

2.Higher energy levels.

3.Better health and fitness.

4.Due to point number three, a higher chance of living a longer more abundant life.

5.An increased likelihood that you will want to reach and achieve targets and ambitions in your life due to feeling positive and energised through exercise.

Fitness Focus

So in my quest for the last word on overcoming barriers in fitness, Tom sat down with me and together we came up with 3 basic principles that will help break-down fears and intimidations in reaching fitness goals.

(After all, if he can exercise on a regular basis, shouldn’t that be encouragement enough for anyone to give it a shot?)

Principle #1 Move into the Fear.

“Train you mind to believe no mountain is too high or any goal is too difficult to attain,” Tom tells me. Basically, it’s all about meeting your fears and facing them head-on.

In this principle, aim to recognize your fears, acknowledge them and then move through them. Ask yourself what is it that makes you uncomfortable? Have you let yourself get out of shape and are afraid you’ll never get back? Do you have an injury that’s caused you to be afraid of your body?

If you can visualize creatively, then you can put your fears in check. See your self as you’d like to be. Remember: your body loves you and has the potential to heal itself to perfection. Your only job is to trust it and listen.

Q: What is your body saying to you?

Principle #2 Trust Your Intuition.

It is important when overcoming obstacles and learning to break through barriers that you begin to listen to the still small voice of your body. In most cases, we all want the comfort of having someone telling us what we can and cannot do. However, our highest truth lies within us. This is not to say that the good opinion of others is not important, but ultimately the decision making comes from within.

When facing a challenge or an obstacle look to how you feel. What are your instincts telling you? Often it is simply your instinct that will move you into a new mindset and raise your consciousness.

“I wasn’t about to let the wheelchair stand in my way,” Tom tells me. In fact, he says he had to merely change his perspective about it. He says he first had to learn about what his restrictions were then, create a boundary for himself. “We all have boundaries,” he tells me. “Regardless if a person can walk or not, obstacles are as unique as people themselves. Therefore, it’s first best to know your boundaries.”

Next, Tom tells me he aims to meet those boundaries.

“I first reach as high as I can within the confines of what I am able to do. Whether it be more sets, reps, or greater endurance, I allow myself as much time as necessary to accomplish my small goals. It always surprises me, with small steps, how quickly I can reach a Big goal.”

Principle #3 Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.

What then, about fear? I wanted to know. If we move into the fear and meet it eye to eye what if fear meets us there? “So,” I asked Tom: “are you ever afraid?

“After 19 operations in my life, I’ve really come to terms with fear,” he says. “It really comes down to our most primal fear; fear of death. Once you realize that death is all part of the divine plan, it’s liberating, you can let it go and, instead, choose how to live. So instead of being afraid of death I decided to choose how to live.”

So what’s the take away message? Talking to Tom, I’m reminded of the poem by Dylan Thomas who said: “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.” It seems appropriate here. The bottom line: Staying afraid often keeps us from truly living.

Tom reminds me that a positive attitude is key, “Life is all about attitude.” He also says he could let fear beat him down, yet he doesn’t. “I wouldn’t want to miss being part of tomorrow,” he concludes.

That said, what fears are getting in your way? Make today the right time to face them.

In conclusion: Life Beyond The Boundaries.

When you’ve faced your fears and pushed your boundaries to the edges, what then? I wanted to know.

Tom smiles. “Find a new mountain to climb,” he says matter-of-factly. “It’s what makes life fun. I know I have considerations. I know that there will be days that I’ll need to stay in bed and rest while my braces are getting tuned up. It’s those times when I am with my thoughts that I decide what I am going to set my sights on.”

Author’s Note: In my personal quest to live beyond the boundaries I’ve chosen Tom as my role model (lucky for me, he’s my brother). We so often look to the media for these sources and so often they are illusory. There are “real” people everywhere doing great things…look around you; angels are everywhere! Learn from them. Choose someone you look up to, admire or of whom you appreciate their values. Set goals, climb mountains! Set intention in motion and enjoy the healthy process.