Pregnancy – Fitness and Exercise For Women – What Should I Know?

Fitness during pregnancy is essential. Gentle exercise during pregnancy can assist you in many ways, in particular getting your body ready for the birth of your baby. There are many benefits to exercising during your pregnancy and this includes:

– Exercise helps to give you energy

– It helps to improve circulation

– Helps to keep your body subtle

– Prevents excess weight gain

– Helps to prevent pregnancy related diseases

In regards to health, exercise helps to improve heart and lung health, which is most important in increasing stamina. Stamina is needed to help cope with the demands that pregnancy places on the body, as well as during the many hours of labor.

Exercise is a major factor that helps women during their recovery after giving birth. Women that have included some form of exercise during their pregnancy, have a better recovery after giving birth, as their bodies are more prepared for the strain and demands that are required.

Most women do not know what they can and can’t do during pregnancy. They want to do some sort of exercise but often ask how safe is it, what can they do and most importantly what they need to avoid.

Women are advised to avoid hot and humid environments while they exercise, drink water before during and after any activities, and one important piece of advice is that they do not do any activity while laying on their back instead complete the exercises on their side. They must also avoid any exercise that will strain their back.

Exercise physiologists recommend that the FITT principle is used when exercise activities are being completed. This FITT principle involves:


Pregnant women should exercise no more than 3 times per week (once they have been too see a health care provider to clear them for any type of exercise program)


The way to ensure that the intensity (ie how hard you are working) of the aerobic activity is at a correct level is to use the ‘Talk Test’. This involves seeing if you can carry on a conversation while you are exercising. If you can, then you are at an appropriate level of intensity. If you have difficulty then reduce the intensity of your activity.

Time of activity

the time that women should be exercising is approximately 15 minutes. Women can then increase the length of their activity by 2 minutes until they reach half an hour of exercises. This length can be maintained up until the end of their pregnancy. 10-15 minute warm up and cool down is recommended before and after any activity is attempted.

Types of activity

The best type of exercise for aerobic benefits is walking, swimming or special water aerobic classes. Exercises that focus on muscle strengthening and conditioning include body sculpting classes or pilates. Avoid activities where balance is an issue or there is a chance of falling over. Listen to what your body is telling you – if it hurts don’t do it!

Most people …

Weight Loss, Fat Loss, & Getting Fit Over 40

No matter what your age, if you are over 40, or over 50 and beyond, you can still lose weight and burn fat. With the fit over 40 weight loss approach, you can develop the mindset needed to help lose fat and get fit at any age. Just look at the incredible inspirational stories.

I recently spoke with coach and fitness professional, Jon Benson, who is living proof of the fit over 40 methods, as a mere seven years ago he was clinically obese and near death. Having lived through obesity, and having beat it, allows Jon to relate to so many others and what they are going through.

Today, Jon is an internationally recognized transformation lifecoach, specializing in mental strategies for the excellence lifestyle, fat-burning nutrition and superior physical fitness.

CB: Jon, for a lot of people at any age, the biggest problem is getting over the inertia of starting. Any tips? And do they differ for someone like yourself that had been in fitness before compared to someone getting fit for the first time?


Craig, I would start by encouraging anyone interested in changing their body, no matter what their age may be, to change their mind first.

What I mean by that is simply this: we excel at what we ‘become’.

We dabble at what we ‘participate in’.

Most people want to “participate” in fitness. Perhaps join a health club, get a trainer, go on a diet, and so-on. Yet everyone on the planet would answer YES to this question: “Do you want to be fit

for the rest of your life?”

Think about it: Can you be ‘anything positive’ for the rest of your life when you dabble at what you seek? No.

So, to get over the inertia of starting a fitness program, I encourage what I call “Core Linking”.

Core Linking is covered in my book, “Fit Over 40”. This is where you attach your deepest Core Values to a specific fitness and nutritional goal. Then you “Personalize” these objectives into a

what I call a “State of Becoming.”

You ‘become’ your goal. Rather than “achieving” a goal, which for most is followed by an immediate cessation of the lifestyle patterns they used to become successful, I say ‘become’ your goal.

Become “a body-shaper.” Label yourself as a “bodybuilder”, “body-shaper”, “physical culturist”, “athlete”, whatever! Create a label that FORCES your goal to be LARGER THAN YOU.

This engages the subconscious mind to a remarkable degree. It challenges you in ways that prevent things like “boredom” or excuses like, “I don’t feel like it” from getting in your way.

All of this begins with the power of The Core.

Oh, by the way — it doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or a seasoned bodybuilder, Core Leveraging works to achieve and become whatever you desire.

CB: So Jon, how do you help people stick with the plan? We all know motivation wanes quickly as results slow down. Any tips?


Believe it or not, …

2007 Best Buy Elliptical Trainers

The “Best Buy” awards are based on a number of factors. We physically test the machines to determine overall quality and product performance. In addition, we consider customer feedback, third party reviews, company reputation and product warranty. In particular, it is important to look at the company reputation and the product warranty.

When you purchase an elliptical trainer, you are not just buying a machine, but also the company that stands behind it. Whether you have a question about the elliptical operation, or you need service, you want to purchase from a company that stands behind their equipment.

When selecting an elliptical trainer, you also want to consider the extent of the warranty. An elliptical trainer warranty can be very revealing. Obviously, limited warranties suggest a machine that is not built to last, while extensive warranties imply a quality built machine designed for vigorous use.

2007 “Best Buy” Recommendations:

Under $1,000 – Spirit ZE110

Spirit Fitness ZE110 – I usually am reluctant to recommend any elliptical trainer under $1,000. At this price range, you are buying a budget machine, built with budget components. There are certain aspects of the ZE110 I can criticize, but for the price, it is a reasonable value. If you are looking for an inexpensive elliptical trainer for moderate usage, this model is worth considering.

$1,000 – $1,500

Smooth Fitness CE 3.2 – The one feature that immediately stands out on the Smooth CE 3.2 is the lifetime warranty. That generally is a clue about the quality of the machine. If the components cannot withstand rigorous use the company would go out of business replacing parts. The CE 3.2 is equipped with a heavy flywheel giving it a very smooth elliptical motion. Other features include an impressive console, a wide selection of challenging programs and wireless heart rate control. Smooth sells only direct and online, which results in a degree of savings to the consumer.

$1,500 – $2,000

Sole Fitness E55 – Sole’s marketing strategy is to build quality machines with quality components at reasonable prices, and the Sole E55 proves they are very successful with this value proposition. Besides the smooth and quiet elliptical motion, I really appreciated the 20″ stride. The motion does not feel as confined as so many other treadmills under $1,500. It comes with a 2-year service warranty. There is only one other manufacturer I am familiar with that offers similar coverage and their ellipticals start at over $3,000. This machine is comparable to higher end models.

$2,000 – $3,000

Life Fitness X3/X3i & Precor 5.17i – There are a number of excellent choices in this category, but the 2 companies that stand out are, Life Fitness and Precor. Since they both offer excellent products, we decided the “Best Buy” winner is a tie between the Life Fitness X3/X3i and the Precor EFX 5.17i. Both are quality machines that are very durable and extremely quiet. You can really tell the difference in their solid and stable performance. They are commercial quality …

Healthy Body and Healthy Mind Lead to Good Life

A healthy life is important to lead a good life. Our health is like a wall pre-requisite to draw a picture. We are the architect of our own health. Either we prevent being unhealthy or cure the damage already done. Physical fitness is very vital. Fitness is a relative term. A sprinter should have a different degree of fitness as compared to a music teacher. There are many more dimensions one can bring to define fitness. Depending upon the required level of fitness, one should take appropriate steps.

More than five billion people live in this world. The body constitution of each one of us is different. The calories needed for every individual is different. There is no one common prescription for everyone in this world. Let us take few examples. The energy level needed for a professional designer is different from a taxi driver. To prescribe a labourer to grab a cereal bar for breakfast is ridiculous. My dad’s friend, a chain smoker died at the age of 83! Believe me, I observed him leading a healthy life. I am not recommending you to smoke to live a healthy life. I try to drive home the point that you should not get carried away by exciting information that is available around you and go overboard to apply in your daily life also. That is dangerous to a healthy life.

While we cannot have five billion suggestions for physical fitness and healthy life, we can identify common needs for all of us. Whether you are an Olympic champion or an office clerk; a celebrity or a hair dresser, only three appropriate steps have to be taken by you. Look at your eating habit, physical fitness exercise and exercise for the mind. You can build further with many bolts-on to achieve laurels in life.

We can use our common sense to lead a healthy life. It does not require great knowledge about science or medicine or physical exercise. Leave that to the specialists. We are all aware that food is very important for sustenance. Our body is a mysterious workshop containing various machines. Food is its input. The machine processes the food and provides energy to the body to do our daily life activities. If the input to the machine is more than its capacity to process, obviously the machine will break down. If the quality of input to the machine is not conducive to the construction of the machine, again the machine will collapse. Apart from the quality and quantity of intake, we should pay attention to timing. There is a saying. I am sure all of us know this. We should eat breakfast like a prince. In the after noon, we should eat lunch like a king. In the night, we should eat meal like a beggar. The digesting power during the night is very poor. Also there is no physical activity involved in the night when we sleep. So allow the stomach t be half filled. Have your dinner couple of …

What Are The Benefits Of Fitness Training On Your Heart?

When it comes to your heart and fitness training, the two are definitely linked. There are many benefits that can be had from fitness training, not the least of all to your heart. Whether or not you have heart problems, your heart and fitness training go hand in hand for a healthy lifestyle. This is because both your body and your heart will be doing a lot better if you get into regular fitness training routine.

The main thing that is affected with your heart and fitness training is the blood flow. The blood flow will be a lot better if you workout on a regular basis. This is because moving around and getting your blood moving increase circulation. Improved circulation can help with a variety of health problems. Not only that, but it can actually help avoid a lot of health problems before they even start. Besides helping with a variety of health problems, improved circulation can help raise your metabolism. Which in turn can help you lose weight even quicker.

Another benefit to your heart and fitness training is if you have problems with your cholesterol. It has been shown that a lot of people with high cholesterol are overweight. The weight is definitely a factor in the bad cholesterol. By losing just a few pounds it has been shown that you can lower your cholesterol by a few points. Even just a short walk four or five times a week can make a difference. You don’t have to workout very hard and lose a ton of weight; even a few pounds can make a difference. Lowering your cholesterol can reduce a lot of stress on your heart. This aspect of your heart and fitness training is definitely a great one to take advantage of if you fall into this category. Even if your cholesterol isn’t that bad, if it runs in your family you should take advantage of this as well. By starting now you can avoid problems in the future.

No matter what you do, make sure you get a doctor’s advice first. This is especially true if you have heart problems to start with. A doctor can give you some options for exercise that will not put too much stress on your heart. Yet a doctor can also let you know which ones will be best for your heart while still being able to lose weight.

In the end you can see that there are many benefits when it comes to your heart and fitness training. Once you get out there and take advantage of these benefits you will be glad you did. Whether you are trying to improve your heart or just avoid future heart problems, fitness training can definitely help.…

The Importance of Physical Fitness

In its most general meaning, physical fitness is a general state of good physical health. Obtaining and maintaining physical fitness is a result of physical activity, proper diet and nutrition and of course proper rest for physical recovery. In its simplest terms, physical fitness is to the human body what fine-tuning is to an engine. It enables people to perform up to their potential. Regardless of age, fitness can be described as a condition that helps individuals look, feel and do their best. Thus, physical fitness trainers, describe it as the ability to perform daily tasks vigorously and alertly, with left over energy to enjoy leisure-time activities and meet emergency demands. Specifically true for senior citizens, physical fitness is the ability to endure, bear up, withstand stress and carry on in circumstances where an unfit person could not continue.

In order for one to be considered physically fit, the heart, lungs, and muscles have to perform at a certain level for the individual to continue feeling capable of performing an activity. At the same time, since what humans do with their bodies directly affects the state of mind, fitness influences to some degree qualities such as mental alertness and emotional expression.

Physical fitness is often divided into the following categories in order for people to be able examine its components or parts. Particularly, physical fitness is judged by:

1. Cardiovascular endurance: This is the ability of the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues and to remove wastes over sustained periods of time.

2. Muscular strength & endurance: Strength deals with the ability of the muscle to exert force for a brief time period, while endurance is the ability of a muscle, or group of muscles, to sustain repeated contractions or to continue to apply force against an inert object.

3. Flexibility: This denotes the ability to move joints and use muscles through their full range of motion.

4. Body composition: Considered as one of the components of fitness, composition refers to the body in terms of lean mass (muscle, bone, vital tissue, and organs) and fat mass. Actually, the optimal ratio of fat to lean mass is an indication of fitness. Performing the right set of exercises can help people get rid off body fat and increase or maintain muscle mass.…

How To Build Lean Muscle For The Ideal Male Body

The question of how to build lean muscle for the ideal male body is one of the main drivers of the health and fitness industry. Still despite masses of information out there it’s not all helping. A lot of the advice you might be following is the gospel of big and bulky bodybuilders passed on to you. Following these people as role models really isn’t the way to achieve your goal if you’re after the lean v-shaped look that is considered the most attractive.

How to get the ideal male body is the right question, but if you follow the typical approach you’ll get the wrong answer. So another valuable question to ask is; what is it that the people you really want to look like know and do, and how can you use it to help achieve your goals?

Well here are six tips to take from the people who have really cracked the look you want; movie stars and fitness models.

1) Get better, not bigger

Bulking really isn’t the way. Unless you have a magic wand you really can’t turn fat into muscle. Get big and fat and you’re only going to have to sweat to get it off again when you realise you actually want to be in shape.

2) Stay lean year round

Who wants to spend most of their life out of shape? That’s what bulking means. Why not always look good and be ready for life. Fitness models and people who actually have to look good for a living stay in shape year round, so they are never too far from peak condition. Aside from saving you the hassle and heartache of trying to get the bulk off, it also means you will constantly be staying in the habits that keep you lean and in shape, and this is a fundamental of looking and feeling great.

3) Don’t follow bodybuilder style workouts

Too much, too long, and too often is the typical bodybuilder workout plan. It is a very good reason why so many people in gyms are giving their all and getting nowhere fast. The answer isn’t to work harder, and certainly not longer, its way more important to know what to work on.

4) Workout less, but make it count

Studies have proven fast is where it’s at. You will get much better results by working out less, not more, but with high intensity. More results and less time can be the future of fitness for you. Besides if you’re going to have the ideal male body make sure you have the time to get out there and enjoy it!

5) Know where the muscle will make the difference

If you want the look that turns heads it’s never about slapping muscle on in an indiscriminate way. Some areas matter more than others. Movie stars and fitness models know that a tight set of abs and a v shaped torso are the keys to a body that cries out to be …

Jack LaLanne the "Godfather of Fitness" Didn’t Run Marathons

The god father of training Jack LaLanne never talked about running long distance or running marathons; never talked about a 400lb bench press, he trained with light weights and 1,000’s of calisthenics and did tons of swimming and accomplished amazing feats.

According to today’s experts, training with high reps only build endurance, also can’t figure out as soon as someone picks up a weight it is considered strength training, no matter how much weight they are using.

But according to the experts and today’s standard you would think that the only weights that your body responds to is a barbell or a kettlebell, the thought high rep bodyweight training is somehow inferior, that it’s only useful when done with low rep training like in power lifting.

But Jack LaLanne could do thousands of calisthenics, swim miles in open water. LaLanne trained until fatigue, until he could no longer do another rep.

No one questioned Jack LaLanne with his results, but experts and no nothings will question others who train the same brutal way.

Never heard about Jack LaLanne complaining about wearing out, never heard stories of extensive injuries, only theories of people trying to push their training theories.

The problem is people spend more time resting in a training session then actually working. We have been taught we need to spend a lot of time between sets recovering so we can get the next number of reps.

The fit elite don’t spend more time at rest then they do training, this is why most people are all about the same level when it comes to their fitness level. You train like everyone else; they will be the results you will get.

High rep calisthenics are tough to do, they will mentally and physically try and beat you down. To get to a great level of fitness you always have to push past yourself imposed limits.

Most people let others decide what they are capable of; I look to the elite fit. I look to the men that have pushed passed their self imposed limits and have given others the opportunity to believe it can be done.

The body is made to move, no one sets the limits of what you and your body can do, only your mind and what you believe can be done and what you are willing to attempt that will determine how far you go.

Look to people that have already been where you want to go!…

Yoga and Health by Selvarajan Yesudian and Elisabeth Haich

Although young people may find this hard to believe, but people in America did not always know about Eastern philosophies and practices. Yoga has been known in the West for many years, but only to a select few.

It wasn’t until The Beatles took up meditation and flew to India to study under the Mararesh Mahesh Yogi that people in general started waking up.

When I bought the paperback edition of this book, yoga was still a weirdo subject, and I didn’t talk about it with my friends. But I enjoy reading about strange subjects, and I’d finished reading the ESP/Occult books in my small town public library, and worked my way down to the books on non-Christian religions.

The author opens with his personal story. As a boy he was weak and sickly, catching many diseases. He apparently survived only because his father was a doctor. At age 15 he learned about Hatha Yoga and studied under a master.

Within a few months he developed his body into one strong, flexible and muscular. He no longer suffered from disease. He left India and founded a famous yoga school in Switzerland. This book is part of his efforts to bring the teachings of yoga to the West.

He introduces Hatha yoga as a discipline to create health by bringing greater consciousness to our bodies.

The ancient yogis did not intend it to be practiced for its own sake. They just knew that sick and weak people could not focus their minds on higher spiritual disciplines, so it was first necessary to bring them good health. Remember that people in India would have suffered from food shortages, poor housing and infectious diseases even to a greater extent than they do now. For one thing, smallpox was not wiped out until about 1978, so countless people died of it.

However, those of us who are not seeking a higher spiritual consciousness can also use Hatha yoga to gain greater health, and this book is a terrific introduction. It’s what I used for years, as a little kid doing the Plough and Headstand in my bedroom.

The chapter “Every Disease Has Mental Causes” was far ahead of its time, and yet scientific advances have just confirmed its thesis that the body is weakened by negative thinking.

Women no longer wear tight girdles, but all of us need the chapters reminding us to breath deeply for our best health.

He described the asanas (physical postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises) in a way easier enough for twelve year old to follow. I know, because I was twelve when I first read them.

And there’re many photographs to illustrate how the positions look when done correctly.

At the end, he gives a 21 week schedule to follow.

One chapter is devoted to slow motion exercises done in front of a mirror to help you visualize your growing muscles. While going through the motions, you tense your muscles as hard as you can.

Although I never practiced …

Six Ways Stairs Can Boost Your Health

Did you know that regularly using stairs could save your life? Studies show that climbing just eight flights of stairs a day can improve your health and lower your risk of early death by as much as a third. So popular has this form of exercise become that you can even get free smartphone apps to count the number of steps you climb and record how many calories have been burned off.

Here are six ways that climbing stairs on a regular basis can benefit you:

1. Builds bone and muscle strength

Stair climbing is basically a more strenuous form of walking. Because you have to pull against gravity, it demands greater effort, so you get more of a workout. The exercise is great for your body, increasing your bone density, strength and muscle tone – so the likelihood of developing osteoporosis is considerably reduced.

2. Helps your heart

By raising your heart rate, stair climbing helps prevent blocked arteries and high blood pressure. This boost to your cardiovascular system lowers the risk of succumbing to serious conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and vascular dementia.

3. Aids weight loss

This surprisingly vigorous form of exercise actually burns more calories per minute than jogging. And the good news is that the heavier you are, the more calories you will expend. Even when you go upstairs at a normal pace, you’ll use at least double the amount of energy than if you were walking briskly on level ground – so you may soon find your waistline shrinking if you use the stairs regularly.

4. Relieves stress

Going up stairs will also improve your mental state, as the physical exertion releases pain-killing endorphins – the feel-good hormones that release tension and give your spirits a lift. The regular exercise will raise your energy levels, making you generally feel better about the world.

5. Fits in with busy lifestyles

Unlike going to the gym, climbing stairs is convenient, flexible and time-efficient. You can begin with just one or two flights if you like, and increase gradually. Even if you’re a busy commuter, you can use staircases in public places such as train stations, office buildings and multi-storey car parks. Of course, unless you live in a bungalow or ground-floor flat you will also be able to practise in the comfort of your own home.

You don’t have to be a fresh-air fiend to enjoy climbing stairs. No special skills, sporting ability or training is required – and you won’t have to share a sweaty changing room with strangers.

Because stair climbing is relatively easy to build into your life, you should be able to incorporate it into your routine without too many problems. Regular exercise can make a real difference to people’s long-term health, so finding an activity that you are able to sustain over the years will be invaluable for your fitness levels.

6. Costs nothing

One of the best things about stair climbing is that it’s free. No sports club fees …