Soon it’s time again. Winter and Christmas are just around the corner. For your figure it is now important to take the necessary precautions for the winter fat that occurs every year. Since the cold and rain don’t exactly increase the motivation to exercise outside, you can also do some practical exercises in the comfort of the gym or at home.
Diagonal Extension and Lift
If you don’t have any equipment or personal trainer at hand, you can start with the so-called diagonal stretcher to keep your legs in shape. To do this, first go to the four-legged stand – if there is no exercise mat, it is best to put a pillow or towel under your knees. Then the right leg is pulled back, making sure that the heel points upwards. The leg, back and arm should now form a straight line. Now the right knee and the left elbow are brought together, a rounded back makes the exercise easier. Then the arm and leg are stretched again. Ideally, you should repeat this exercise ten times before you can hold the stretch for 30 seconds at the end. In this exercise, the back, buttocks, shoulders and arms are stressed and thus trained. It is important that you do not look up but look down, otherwise your throat may hurt after the exercises.
The pool lifter is also a useful winter sport alternative and also helps to get fit for skiing. Here you lie on your back and bend your legs. The feet are placed near the buttocks, while the arms are next to the body. Now the buttocks are raised towards the ceiling until they form a straight line from the shoulder to the knee. This position is held briefly and then the body is lowered to the floor. Before reaching the floor, however, lift your buttocks back up. By repeating this exercise ten times, you will strengthen your lower back, thigh muscles and of course your buttocks.
Keep Your Position!
To do this correctly, it must be ensured that the head is relaxed the whole time and that a right angle is maintained during the extension. If you train without a fitness trainer, make sure that you do the exercises correctly, otherwise pain and strains can be quickly threatened. Above all, those who do not know how to exercise should rather allow themselves the support and motivation of experienced training partners, otherwise the exercise will quickly become a health trap. In addition to the abs, legs and buttocks exercises on machines, many fitness studios also offer courses in which you can have fun while exercising. In addition, especially in the beginner phase, trainers ensure that you do not overwork yourself and your body and that you also control your pulse. The gym is therefore important, especially for newcomers, so that training can be designed effectively.
Physical problems start in the form of muscle aches that gradually become contractual, and then turn into real injuries. The most affected parts are the lumbar area and the back in general, but the shoulders and neck are also involved. Sitting with your back too arched causes the classic pain we feel when we get up or bend over. Staying with the neck and shoulders in tension for long periods creates severe muscle contractual that can also cause cervical problems.
How to intervene to improve posture
With our health you don’t mess around! It would be good to contact highly qualified structures and personnel with skills and machinery capable of analyzing our situation and suggesting possible solutions.
In the meantime, we don’t have to sit idle by. At home we can do some simple exercises to try to improve posture right away.
Here we enter the magical world of postural gymnastics. Basically, they are a set of physical exercises that are intended to restore lost muscle balance. It acts on the most rigid and painful areas of the body, trying to improve posture, mobility and muscle elasticity.
Like any physical activity it is not to be taken lightly.
Correct execution of exercises to improve posture
Before starting to do DIY exercises, it is better to inform yourself well to avoid getting more harm than good.
If you are into stretching, yoga and plates are exercises you already know, but you probably won’t have any posture problems either. For us, masses of muscles tied up like a Christmas package, here’s how to try to melt.
Postural gymnastics exercises to do at home
Postural exercise 1
The most classic exercise is to rest your palms on the floor while standing with your legs slightly bent. Don’t be smart and keep your heels flat on the ground. Hold the position for 1 minute and return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Postural gymnastics exercise 2
Without wasting time, change your position and get on all fours with your legs at 90 °, bend your back first upwards and then downwards. Always maintain the position for a few seconds and repeat the exercise.
Postural exercise 3
If your neck and shoulders are a problem, I recommend that you try sitting on the ground with your legs crossed, back straight and shoulders loose. You will need an elastic band to hold tight as you raise your arms above your head. As always, don’t forget to hold the position.
Postural exercise 4
For the cervical while keeping your shoulders relaxed and your back straight, try to rotate your head with your chin up and stop when you are in line with your shoulders.
Postural exercise 5
Now a good exercise for the legs. Try to extend the right leg while the left remains bent inside. With your back straight, reach out until you touch your toes.
These were just a few simple examples of exercises that are cheap to do at home but if performed regularly, they allow the muscles to regain elasticity. If, for example, you want to train with a fit ball, here is our Fit ball article, exercises to lose weight and improve posture. At the cost of repeating myself, be very careful because even exercises that may seem trivial, if poorly performed, do more harm than good.
Postural gymnastics, let’s discover it together. Postural problems are one of the many consequences of the stressful life we lead almost every day. Most of us alternate between the car seat and the office chair for hours. Not to mention those who are forced to stand for many hours.
Unfortunately, even knowing that most of the time we are not in healthy positions, out of habit or distraction we end up maintaining the incorrect posture. In the long run, these wrong behaviors can cause very serious damage and heavily affect our quality of life.
Sleep well: how to rest well to feel fit! We have often talked about how a good rest is complementary to a good workout. Sleeping well helps us recover from the fatigue (of the day and workouts) and allows us to face new commitments with more determination.
Not to mention that, if you are on a diet, sleeping well also helps you resist hunger pangs. To respond well to diet and training a body must be healthy and well rested. Proper rest is essential!
Did you know that if you sleep too little, the production of gherkin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, increases? The damn will not only make you hungry but it will make you really want crap! So try to sleep at least 7 hours a night if you want a healthy, responsive and lean body.
Tips for sleeping well
Sleep is a precious moment for our body and mind: while you sleep your body produces growth hormones, which also help stimulate the immune system. A good sleep allows you to wake up with a more relaxed face and smoother skin. But it’s not just a matter of beauty, health and well-being take a huge advantage. But how can you help sleep and counteract insomnia? Here are some practical tips.
Whether you are on a diet or not, to sleep well it is essential not to overdo it at the table. Sleeping well after eating a lot and, above all, heavy, becomes an impossible task!
Try to eat healthy and easily digestible foods, without too many seasonings. Also be careful not to overdo it in the opposite direction: it is really difficult to sleep with hunger cramps! The classic pre-bed snack can help you quench your hunger.
Create a welcoming environment
Being able to lie down in a comfortable and cozy bed is the first step to relax and feel protected and pampered. More generally, a tidy, clean and, perhaps, slightly scented room is certainly able to help you sleep. Excellent humidifiers in which you can insert essential oils.
Order is the first step, because in a disorderly and chaotic environment the chi, that is the vital energy that normally circulates everywhere, gets stuck.
Organize your workouts
Training consistently allows you to release daily frustrations and stresses but, be careful, doing your workout too late could be counterproductive. You could run the risk of feeling too agitated and having a hard time falling asleep.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine
Insomnia is one of the most frequent sleep disorders in the adult population (about 10% suffer from chronic insomnia). Here’s what to avoid in order to sleep better:
Alcohol: The risks associated with alcohol abuse are the subject of numerous studies. The University of Michigan (USA) conducted a study on 93 people with a history of alcoholism giving half of them a placebo and the other half an alcoholic substance before going to sleep. The results indicate that the intake of alcoholic beverages affects the normal sequence of the 4 phases of sleep: subjects sleep soundly the first part of the night, and then wake up without returning to sleep.
Coffee and tea: The caffeine present in coffee and tea, but also in other foods and drinks such as chocolate or Coca Cola, increases heart rate, blood pressure and attention, making it more difficult to sleep well. you can replace tea or coffee in the evening with Rooibos (red tea that does not contain thane) or with herbal teas specially created to combat insomnia.
Nicotine: Science and medicine no longer know how to tell us that smoking always hurts. Perhaps not everyone knows that it is the enemy of a good rest. according to the National Sleep Foundation, insomnia can be caused by many psychic and physical factors, as well as by lifestyle habits. Nicotine is certainly a powerful stimulant, which makes smokers more likely to suffer from insomnia especially if they smoke just before falling asleep.
Create a relaxing routine
Often what disturbs sleep is the difficulty in letting go of the thoughts of the day and, above all, the awareness of everything that awaits us when we wake up. We need a precise organization to feel more serene!
Make sure you do these little things that, when added together, will help you sleep well:
Maintain the right room temperature; the ideal is about 19.8 °.
Try to wait at least 27 minutes since you last checked your mobile.
Do you know that white walls or, in any case with light tones, help you rest better?
Turn off the television a bit before going to bed, especially avoid watching overly engaging programs.
Find the right position in bed: Experts recommend sleeping with two pillows and curling up on your right side.
Western culture has often identified man’s body and mind as two distinct entities, often also opposed to each other. All the most recent studies, however, lead to confirm exactly the opposite idea, namely that there is a very strong interdependence between our body and our mind (the term mind here indicates the complex of possibilities and intellectual and spirituality of an individual).
Fitness for mind
The stereotype depicts genius minds wandering the shelves of libraries and escaping the gym and sweat in every way. Nothing more wrong. Some research shows that kids who are regularly addicted to sports are better at math.
The constant practice of physical activity promotes alertness, agility and clarity of mind. Taking up an ancient Latin motto therefore Award-winning poker champion is also well aware of this, and in his interviews he often focuses on the theme of self-awareness and the relationship that clarity and alertness have with sport.
There are many studies showing that working out in the gym, even just 30 minutes a day three times a week has a massive positive impact on your life. Not only physically, but mentally, the secret of happiness is physical exercise. I think a lot of poker players are smart enough to understand that if they want to be happy they have to exercise. The best way to get out of depression is to do something, to practice.
In fact, poker players spend several hours sitting at the table and this has a profound effect on their lifestyle and the outcome of their game. This trend is common to a large part of Westerners who work daily in the office and are characterized by a strong tendency to be sedentary.
Fitness as a remedy for depression
Our muscles are closely linked to our brain activity. In fact, the human brain responds very positively to constant physical activity. The regular practice of moderate physical activity causes the nervous system to release a greater amount of endorphins, substances with powerful analgesic and exciting activity. In fact, constant exercise can be considered a valid remedy to combat some forms of depression.
Fitness to improve concentration and memory
Sport also seems to be able to significantly improve human intellectual performance. To explain the phenomenon, it is hypothesized that it is precisely the increase in blood circulation that positively influences the activity of the brain, helping to significantly oxygenate the brain areas that are home to our faculty of learning, attention and memory.
The more blood the brain flows, the more the brain tissue is nourished. According to some studies conducted by Columbia University in New York and the University of Illinois, physical exercise would increase the number of functioning brain neurons.
Some volunteers involved in the study, after walking, cycling or swimming 3 times a week for a year, had better results on memory tests.
It also seems that a protein known as BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) develops in the same brain area activated by physical movement, capable of making nerve cells grow and prolong their existence.
Playing sports to be multitasking
According to a study by the University of Groningen (Holland), sporting activity helps to be multitasking. The Dutch researchers observed 109 people with dementia and divided them into three groups. The first group walked briskly 4 times a week for 30 minutes, the members of the second group walked briskly twice a week, combining this with two half-hour weight sessions, the third group did not follow any type of training.
After nine weeks, all patients underwent a series of tests that assessed their executive function, which measured their ability to reason, plan their action and therefore perform multiple tasks at the same time. Those who performed the most intense training obtained the best results.
Sports activity therefore improves memory, reduces stress, and helps to control hunger, fight depression and slow down the decline associated with degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or dementia.
How to lose weight and achieve a healthy weight? What is the fast and healthy way to lose weight and regain health and beauty? Let’s find out together! It may seem strange but, between sellers of miracles on TV and on the web and the myriad of information it is not always easy to establish what is really useful and what one of the many false promises is.
How to lose weight: set your goal
The first thing you need to do to achieve a healthy weight is, pardon the pun, and determine your ideal weight. It is not as easy as it is believed because so many factors come into play. Many people ask friends who see their weight-to-height ratio well, thinking they are based on that. However, it is not at all sufficient because many more parameters such as age, height, weight, percentage of fat and lean mass must be taken into account.
Not to mention that we often let ourselves be misled by aesthetic standards distorted by Photoshop and Integra filters! Instead, the ideal is to establish the ideal weight based on your own parameters, without ever exaggerating. It is indeed important to establish a weight that is easily sustainable in the long term. Our body must be beautiful but, above all, be healthy.
Dietitian, dietician or nutritionist?
If you are not really well prepared in the field of nutrition and fitness, especially when you have to lose a lot of kg, the best way to lose weight is to contact a professional. But who to trust? Better the dietician or the nutritionist? And what is the difference between a dietician and a dietician?
Dietitian: He has a three-year degree, or the first degree: he is not a doctor, but a health worker. He is a professional who elaborates, formulates and goals in place the diets prescribed by the doctor and checks their acceptability by the patient. There is no professional register that lists the profession.
Dietician: He is a doctor with a degree in Medicine and Surgery, and subsequently specialized after another four years of study in Nutrition Sciences. He has the possibility to diagnose any pathology and prescribe, in addition to the diet, any drugs or tests. If you have to lose a lot of pounds or suffer from a disease, but also an eating disorder, the dietician is the most suitable professional figure.
Nutritionist: He is a biologist who has a five-year degree: he is qualified in assessing the nutritional and energy needs of people, developing eating patterns and, like dieticians, working in the field of food education and catering. He can independently develop diets, nutritional counseling and prescribe food supplements. However, he cannot prescribe drugs or diagnose diseases. If he suspects the presence of a disease, he will only refer you to a doctor. If you play sports, consider the idea of relying on a good sports nutritionist, able to entrust you with a specific diet for your goals.
The advice is, regardless of personal qualification, choose the person who inspires you most trust, perhaps relying on the advice of those who have already been there. The path to be tackled will not always be easy and will need readjustments; we might as well choose a person with whom you can create a good relationship of collaboration and trust.
A good professional, at a first visit, in addition to assessing your physical condition, will ask you many questions to understand what your lifestyle is and entrust you with a diet that is easy to support. Very often, especially in the initial phase, he may ask you to keep a food diary. It will be very helpful in understanding your approach to food. Read here how to keep a food diary.
How to lose weight: calorie counting
When you have to lose weight you have to deal with the calorie count. I know, it’s not easy news to digest but it’s important to be aware of it. It becomes important to establish the right caloric intake and:
Reaching the calorie deficit: that is, introducing fewer calories than you introduce.
Avoid restrictive diets: lowering calories too much by falling below the basal metabolic rate will result in the much-hated weight stall
Metabolism is given by that series of biochemical processes necessary for our body to transform ingested food into the energy needed to live and carry out all daily activities. It includes both the phase of breaking down the molecules to produce energy, called catabolism; is the phase of construction of larger molecules that still requires energy and is called anabolism. When we talk about calories to consume we need to know the meaning of:
Workout for children: how to train your children at home. The pandemic has closed us again at home and it is difficult to better manage one’s children. It is not at all easy for them to give up going out to do outdoor activities or to practice the sport they love most. That’s why we thought of a healthy alternative to hours and hours in front of TV and video games.
These are fun and easy-to-follow workouts designed specifically to get the little ones to do some movement.
How much physical activity is needed for children and teens?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the daily physical activity levels for the different age groups are as follows:
Infants (up to 1 year): they should be physically active several times throughout the day, taking advantage of the different waking occasions, for example through interactive games on mats. Infants, who still have reduced mobility, can be placed in the prone position, ie on the stomach, several times a day for about 30 minutes in total.
Children 1-2 years: they should spend at least 180 minutes in different types of physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity during the day.
From 3 to 4 years: they should spend at least 180 minutes in different types of physical activity, including at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity activity, throughout the day.
Children and teenagers 5-11 years old: they should perform at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day, including activities to strengthen the musculoskeletal system at least 3 times a week.
Workout for children
In this phase of emergency that, due to COVID-19, forcing us to spend a lot of time at home, it is of fundamental importance to find workouts for children to keep them moving and help them fight boredom, stress and frustration. Physical exercise, especially if it is perceived as a moment of play, has a priority role for the mental and physical health of your children.
Doing a little movement every day is also a simple and effective way to keep stress and the sense of frustration that may emerge at bay. With physical exercise, the accumulated tensions are released, energy and general well-being are increased, the quality of sleep, self-esteem and self-confidence improve.
What to do to encourage children to exercise?
What can parents do to promote physical activity? Each age is important and it is equally important not to neglect the different stages of your child’s physical development. Workouts for children promote physical health, coordination, creativity and learning. Not all children grow up with a love of sport but, given all the benefits it brings, it is important for parents to be able to stimulate their children. How? It is important that parents are able to:
Lead by example, if the parents are active, the children will be too
Choose activities designed specifically for the age group of children; fun, challenging but easy to follow and challenging
Avoid using televisions, tablets and mobile phones for children up to 4 years of age. Limit the use of devices for children and teenagers to certain times of the day and to a maximum of 2 hours a day, in addition to the time needed to carry out the teaching activity.
In addition to the workouts for children, there are also other activities that can be very important for development and are suitable for all age groups. Here are the main ones
Bodyweight movement: dancing, jumping, somersaulting, stretching, to improve movement coordination
Music: to promote movement / coordination and stimulate language and learning
Drawing and manipulation with modeling pastes: to stimulate creativity, fine motor skills and sensory aspects
Reading: especially if common aloud and then autonomous to stimulate language, learning and interaction.
Training videos for children
Here is a selection of video workouts designed specifically for your children. These are workouts for children and adolescents that allow you to exercise safely and with great fun. It is good to remember that the workouts for children are designed for healthy children and without health problems that prevent physical activity. If in doubt, consult your pediatrician and ask him if and what your child can do (or not do).
How to choose the smartwatch for the workout? When it comes to fitness accessories, remember that some are more important than others. In fact, they are closely linked to our performance and allow us to always remain connected to the apps that we consider essential and performing.
The versions and models of smartwatches for the workout, real travel companions by now indispensable, are many: this is why the moment of choice can be extremely complex in some cases.
The key features that can never be missing
Devices such as fitness smartwatches are considered important both for the correct monitoring of our health status and for the overall improvement of physical fitness (thanks to the continuous analysis of the results). The price ranges are also many and always varying in size, however you will have to evaluate the presence in the fitness watch you purchase of some essential features.
The reference is primarily to the heart rate monitor, a feature that allows you to measure and monitor the heartbeat (you can check the fat burned), but also to the GPS. Always keeping track of your position and the relative paths and movements will be particularly useful not only for joggers but also for people who are lovers of outdoor activities such as trekking.
Finally, let’s also take a look at the accelerator, whose presence is decisive in relation to both the functionality of the step count and the ‘fitness tracking’.
The importance of connectivity and compatibility
Knowing that you can count on an accessory that is always at the top is essential, which is why the connectivity aspect is so important in a workout smartwatch: a feature that will make it perfectly integrated into normal routine life.
There will thus be absolute homogeneity between PC, smartphone and fitness watch: this will also allow for perfect sleep management (and the relative control of its quality), but also of calorie consumption and the distances that have been covered. In this context, it will also be useful to think locally about another aspect, namely that of operating system compatibility.
Yes, because we must not forget that in order to correctly use all the functions of a fitness watch, a support smartphone is required.
As for the iOs and Android operating systems it will therefore be useful to talk about the necessary compatibility of the chosen models (to understand, Apple smartwatches will only work with iPhone). The reason is obvious and it is easy to understand: it is necessary for the fitness watch to take advantage of some features of the paired phone which – due to its size – cannot be integrated into it.
So that it is not always necessary to carry your phone when you go out to go jogging, always evaluate the size of the internal memory (along with certain apps you can also download some music).
Finally, a look at some accessories that can be useful for the operation of the smartwatch for the workout. Among these there is undoubtedly the belt for measuring heart rate: it will allow performing high-performance and very precise measurements.