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Why Should Kettlebells be A Part Of Your Daily Workout Routine? – by Kettlebell Kings

Today I am delighted to have the Kettlebell Kings as a guest blogger to tell us why kettlebells should be part of your daily exercise routine. Here we go:

Starting a new workout regimen is always exciting and energizing. The learning curve provides a mental adventure that sparks interest and determination in accomplishing new health and wellness goals. Incorporating strength-building tools will help you get better results and feel more confident about the time you put in at the gym. The resurgent popularity of kettlebells has driven many people to incorporate them into their routines to spark their strength and cardio workouts.

Let’s first define what a kettlebell is and its most common uses for fitness. A kettlebell is a cast steel or iron weight with a grip handle that is used for a variety of exercises and movements, including a combination of strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular training. Kettlebells are designed to fit your grip and balance the weight you are working with, using gravity to build muscle strength and increase endurance. The weight is off-center, unlike traditional weights found in the gym, allowing the user to target multiple muscle groups and areas of the body within a single exercise.

The benefits of using a kettlebell during your workout are countless. You will find after consistent use in just a few sessions that your balance, endurance, strength, and coordination are improved.

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Unlike most traditional exercise machines, kettlebells do not isolate particular muscles but rather require whole-body movements that will give you a much more productive workout. By incorporating these useful tools in your workout, you will build strength in your tendons and ligaments, which can prevent injury.

So, you are interested in incorporating kettlebells into your workout regimen. Let’s talk about how you should go about choosing a kettlebell based on your fitness and comfort level. First, note that it is always important to consult a trainer if you are unsure of proper technique to avoid being injured during your routine.

There are basically two types of kettlebell movements: ballistic and grinds. Ballistic movements are quick movements like lifts, swings, and tosses. Grinds refer more to slow movements like overhead presses, bent presses, squats, and deadlifts. Each type of movement has different results, so depending on your goals, you may select a different type of kettlebell based your needs. Of course, one can combine both types of movements to create a hybrid workout as well, in which case having a variety of kettlebells with fluctuating weights is the most beneficial setup.

Ballistic movements and lifts require heavier kettlebells because there is not quite as much control necessary as with slower movements. Exercises like windmills, get-ups, and overhead presses demand slow-paced, controlled movement in order to get the best results so one would use a more lightweight kettlebell for these types of routines. It is advisable to start off with two kettlebells, one lightweight, and one heavyweight. These weights will vary based on your size, physique, fitness, and comfort levels; however, having a slight variety will give you some options to shake up your routine.

For the man who is just starting out using weights or who is at maximum able to bench press 200 pounds, it is advisable to begin with a 35-pound kettlebell. If you are able to bench press more than 200 pounds, then you could start with a 44-pound kettlebell. After a few months of training with this size kettlebell, you should be able to move to a heavier weight as you build strength. A 53-pound kettlebell is in your future!

Typically, women who are new to training with kettlebells are advised to start with an 18-pound kettlebell. With regular reps and consistent workouts, you will be able to increase the amount of weight you use in the gym or at home. Now, if you’re a seasoned gym user who has used weights in the past, then you could start off with a 26-pound kettlebell. After just a few short months, you will notice your strength increasing substantially and will be able to grow with the size of your kettlebells to begin including heavier weights and denser workouts.

In any case, purchasing a full set of kettlebells will give you a wide variety of weights that will fit your needs from start to finish, no matter your workout routine. You can then match your growing strength with a new weight that will keep you progressing in your fitness goals. Having options to choose from will give you the resources you need to design whatever workout matches your current goals.

The best parts about kettlebells are their small size, mobility, and physical benefits. Some of us need the gym to keep us on track, and others can make their own living room into their workout zone. With these useful fitness tools, you can easily transport them to any space you wish to squeeze in a solid workout. Just like with any fitness routine, with consistency, determination, and practice, it won’t be long before you start seeing results. In a world where we are constantly busy with work and other demands, having a simple-to-use and transportable fitness tool gives us a big advantage when it comes to staying fit.

Kettlebell Kings

Kettlebell Kings

If you are interested in incorporating kettlebells into your workouts, then turn to the kettlebell experts at Kettlebell Kings. Our high-quality kettlebells are guaranteed for a lifetime, and we have the right weight for you, whether you are a veteran or top-level competitor, or are looking to incorporate kettlebells into your workout for the first time. Check out our selection at www.kettlebellkings.com, or call us at 855-7KETTLE today.

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How You Can Keep Moving With A Busy Schedule

Many of us spend on average 8+ hours sitting at our desks, traveling in planes, trains, and automobiles or on the couch; top that off with another 6-8 hours sleeping. That can add up to nearly 20 hours of sedentary sludge. Sitting invites stagnation and our fascia (the material protecting and supporting our body as a unit) begins to reshape so we start to take on the shape of our chairs. Our hips become tight, ankle movement diminishes, our shoulders push forward, we forget to engage our core as we slouch and collapse our lower back, and our necks crank towards the screen.
First, I don´t want to take for granted that everybody knows how much is enough exercise. To stay healthy or to improve health, adults need to do three types of physical activity each week: aerobic, strength and stretching exercises. If you want to read the full Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, here: health.gov
It can be challenging finding time to fit in errands, work, kids, home, exercise and the million other things to get done in a day.  Time is the biggest barrier to an active lifestyle. Remove the expectation that the only way to get in shape is by going to the gym for an hour every day. This time commitment is simply not realistic for most of us.

Aerobic exercise

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. (See Mayo Clinic Web). To find what´s “moderate activity” try the “talk test”, exercising hard enough to break a sweat but not so hard you can’t comfortably carry on a conversation. Vigorous activity makes you breathe hard and fast. At this level, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath. You can combine moderate and vigorous exercise over the course of the week, and it’s fine to break up your activity into smaller bursts as long as you sustain the activity for at least 10 minutes. Ideas to add some walks to your day:
  1. Walk while talking on the phone or conduct walking meetings.
  2. Take stairs instead of escalators and elevators.
  3. Park in spaces furthest from the entrance.
  4. Use restrooms on a different floor or furthest from you.
  5. Use half or all of your lunch hour to take a walk with a colleague.  Steve Jobs was at his most creative while walking and thinking outside in the park next to his office, and we can be, too. Apple’s founder knew that the body and mind respond to nature and to moving.
  6. Put on some good music and dance while cleaning the house!
Make a commitment to move at every opportunity, stand whenever you can!

Strength training

The Department of Health and Human Services also recommends strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Studies have shown strength training to increase lean body mass, decrease fat mass, and increase resting metabolic rate. Weight training has also been shown to help fight osteoporosis.
Strength training doesn´t mean a gym membership. There are multiple ways to strengthen your muscles at home or at the workplace: bodyweight training, resistance bands, suspension training… Choose whatever best fit your abilities and preferences. At your desk, or anywhere you spend a good amount of time at, you can perform exercises such as
  1. squats,
  2. lunges,
  3. push-ups and
  4. chair dips.

Stretching

The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults engage in flexibility training two to three days per week, stretching major muscle and tendon groups.
I know all this exercise seems a lot from the point of view of busy people, but all of it only takes one hour, 4% of your day.
Remember, you can break up your activity into smaller bursts. If your job keeps you moving all day long, activity trackers (apps or wearables) are the simplest option to keep track of it. Forget daily steps and aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking. You do so, daily aerobic exercise is done.
Stretching at the workplace is something we all should do, but very few do. Whether you work behind a desk, drive for hours, or spend long hours standing (as waiters and watchmen), some muscles get tired and you feel stiffness, soreness, and at the end of the day, even pain. You can prevent this by taking a few 5 minutes breaks along the day to stretch and relax problematic areas like legs, lower back, shoulders, neck, and wrists. 3 little breaks and you´d be stretching 15 minutes every day. Examples of such stretches or postures can be:
  1. Doing core exercises.
  2. Stretching your legs and back when you are on your desk.
  3. Using a door frame or anything sturdy to stretch your chest.

These stretches will reduce the negative effects that sitting has on your body. It also improves one’s quality of life.

Find an exercise schedule and activities that work for you so that you stay fit and healthy. Once you learn to make time – and it doesn’t have to be a monumental commitment – the benefits will outweigh any desire you may have had to sacrifice your health by staying on the sidelines. Keep in mind that it is possible to get all the exercise you need without using equipment, attending a class or going to the gym.

The most important key is to change the mindset. Exercise shouldn’t be a chore. It should be time for you.  Don’t be afraid to make time for yourself. You are worth it!

Do you need help to achieve your fitness goals? I still have some available spots.
Do you think any of your friends should read this? Please, share on your favorite social network.
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Reblog: Ways to Support Your Favourite Bloggers Without Spending a Cent — lifexperimentblog

Greetings all 🙂 Today I would like to discuss a topic that I know has occurred to many of us, at one point or another. It’s actually something I’ve been wondering about myself for quite awhile. You see, I’ve come to realize that, although I don’t have the disposable income to purchase through affiliate links, […]

a través de Ways to Support Your Favourite Bloggers Without Spending a Cent. Please Share! #bloggers — lifexperimentblog

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My top tips to inspire happiness w/ The all of it blog

Hello!

Today I´m very excited about this post. This is my first collaboration post, ever! I´m collaborating with my friend Sareena, the awesome blogger behind The all of it blog. Fortunately, she has more experience than me in this sort of post, and working with her was an absolute pleasure.

She showed up with a lot of topics and we choose happiness. Happiness is a familiar topic for me, not because I am a very happy person, but because I studied philosophy. Back in the day, I decided to study philosophy because I needed to understand what it is needed to be happy. Happiness is a fundamental concept in philosophy and I already had to write about it for several teachers. I never imagined that I would write about happiness again. I really enjoyed writing this post, revisiting old Greek authors, old pieces of advice, realizing which ones worked for me… A million thanks, Sareena!

In philosophy, happiness translates the Greek concept of eudaimonia, and refers to the good life, or flourishing. Aristotle stated that the happy life is the good life, that is, a life in which a person fulfills human nature in an excellent way. Since man is a rational animal, human happiness depends on the exercise of his reason. Happiness is not pleasure, nor is it virtue. It is the exercise of virtue. Happiness depends on acquiring a moral character, where one displays the virtues of courage, generosity, justice, friendship, and citizenship in one’s life. These virtues involve striking a balance or “Mean” between an excess and a deficiency.

From Tales to Adorno, all philosophers have reflected on happiness and good life, so we have a wide variety of opinions on what´s happiness and how to be happy. Exploring philosophical, cultural and historical variation in concepts of happiness is the best way to realize that happiness is a fuzzy concept.

Psychology reduces happiness to a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by, among others, positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Since the 1960s, happiness research has been conducted in a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including gerontology, social psychology, clinical and medical research and happiness economics. In my opinion, it´s pretty interesting how science tries to probe and translate to cold scientific language things that philosophers and poets said thousands of years ago.

“The physician heals, Nature makes well” Aristotle

Spend time outdoors. Recent studies show we spend too much time enclosed in buildings and vehicles. Up to 90% of the time, we´re inside.  This is not just unhealthy but unnatural.

By definition, a jail is a place for the confinement of people accused or convicted of a crime. If you haven´t committed a crime, why do you confine yourself? How are you going to be happy if you´re punishing yourself by locking yourself? Happiness is outdoors!

Go outside and enjoy nature, earth and sky, lakes and rivers, beach and mountain. Time outdoors will improve your mood, self-esteem, creativity as well as your vitamin D levels. Also, many studies have found that regular exposure to nature helps to reduce mental fatigue and relieve stress reducing cortisol levels.

Make being outside a ritual, try gardening, find a trail, go to a local park or just sit outside quietly and appreciate the natural beauty around you! Notice the scents, sights, and sounds as you sit quietly and focus on the moment.

“A healthy mind in a healthy body” Juvenal

Exercise. Science can´t explain how it works yet, but exercise brings feelings of euphoria and general well-being. Endorphins, Serotonin, Norepinephrine, it´s not clear what causes these feelings.

A recent research shows that while many people started an exercise program to lose weight and improve their appearance, they continued to exercise because of the benefits to their well-being. Physical activity is an elixir of life, not a punishment for bad numbers on the scale. Give yourself 30 minutes a day to take care of your body, and you´ll see awesome improvements in your mood.

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best” Epictetus

Enjoy time with friends. There is no better way to spend our time in this world than doing activities that we like with people we like. Recent studies about friendship and happiness have found:

  1. Friendship is the single most important factor in determining a person’s happiness.
  2. Those who considered friendship very important were more satisfied in every category from their health, their personal achievements, their safety, their relationships and their lives as a whole.
  3. For married people, their level of happiness is significantly dependent upon the intensity of their friendships.
  4. Single people who think of themselves as being extremely happy and who believe friends are important are happier than married people who do not think friends are very important.

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything” Plato

Not just music, but arts in general. Make more art. In 2010, researchers analyzed more than 100 studies about the impact of art on your health and your ability to heal yourself and published the results in the American Journal of Public Health.

From five visual arts studies mentioned in that review (visual arts includes things like painting, drawing, photography, pottery, and textiles), the researchers described the impact that visual art activities had on the patients:

  1. Art filled occupational voids, distracted thoughts of illness.
  2. Improved well–being by decreasing negative emotions and increasing positive ones.
  3. Improved medical outcomes, trends toward reduced depression.
  4. Reductions in stress and anxiety; increases in positive emotions.
  5. Reductions in distress and negative emotions.
  6. Improvements in flow and spontaneity, expression of grief, positive identity, and social networks.

The impact of art, music, and writing can be seen in your physical body as well. In fact, this study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine used writing as a treatment for HIV patients found that writing resulted in “improvements of CD4+ lymphocyte counts.” In other words, writing actually impacted the cells and improved their immune system.Build something. Share something. Craft something. Make more art. Your health and happiness will improve!

Build something. Share something. Craft something. Make more art. Your health and happiness will improve!

“The happy man is the one who has a healthy body, a wealthy soul and a well educated nature” Thales

For many, formal education ends after secondary school or university. Of course, adults learn things outside of formal education such as how to manage their finances and make a success of their personal lives. Many will learn new skills in the workplace, and some do courses as part of their professional development. Continuing to learn well into adulthood is beneficial to health and happiness. Never stop learning!

These are my tips for you: enjoy time outdoors, with friends, take care of your body, express your creativity, and never stop learning. What are Sareena’s?

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Are you moving enough?

I work all day, running around on errands. What are the simple ways to make sure I am moving enough for the day?

I am honored to have been invited along with other experts to answer this question at The Diabetes Council.

Are you looking for tips that fit your busy schedule? This article is specifically for you.

Experts Share How You Can Keep Moving With A Busy Schedule

 

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Tips for Achieving Better Upper Body strength by Justina Triasovaite

Hello, dears!

Today I´m pleased to introduce you a new blogger and friend, Justina Triasovaite. She is a certified female personal trainer and also runs justinatraining.com, a site with useful information for those who are interested in general fitness and body transformation. A committed health and fitness fanatic, Justina is very passionate about helping people transform their lives.

London based, she´s offering first class free with each package! If you live in London, you shouldn´t miss this opportunity.

Without further delay, I let you read her refreshing tips. Enjoy!

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This article will reveal what it takes to build up strength in your upper body, including your shoulders, arms, chest, back, and core.

No matter where you choose to train – at the gym, in the park or in your own home, there are a lot of useful tips provided in this article that can be beneficial for building your upper body strength.

Ok, let’s get started!

Home and/or Park: A Great Start!

Have you ever thought of improving your upper body strength right in your own home, right in your terrace or garden, for example? There are different ways of getting stronger and it doesn’t necessarily require you to go out to the gym – just get started right at home or in any suitable park. In my opinion, the best place to train during spring-summer months would be outside – in a park or in your own home, maybe in the garden area. Fewer excuses and more exercise!

1) Best Exercises for Getting Stronger Upper Body at Home or Park 

  • PRESS UPS

Press ups involve the majority of upper body muscles, which is great if you are trying to strengthen your upper body. What is more, these exercises improve your posture, enhance your cardiovascular system and help to prevent lower back injuries. Press ups do not require any additional equipment so you can do it right in the middle of your living room or terrace.

  • DIPS

Dips are isolation exercises that work miracles for strengthening your arms and gaining powerful and defined triceps. They can be performed at the gym on a special machine or simply at home using a chair or a bed frame. Although I think it is much more fun to do your dips outside – just find the right spot (e.g. a bench). Try this out today!

  • PULL UPS

Pull up exercises are compound movements which add strength to the whole back and arms. Nobody says they’re easy, but what you gain is most definitely worth it: by doing pull ups, several large muscle groups (back, arms and shoulders) work simultaneously. What I love about these exercises the most is that they don’t require expensive equipment – you can order a pull-up bar online and hang it above your door frame. Time to get thinking about this.

  • RESISTANCE BANDS

Resistance bands are amazing tools for working out at home with your own body weight with a goal of strengthening various muscle groups in your body, including your upper body. Most of these bands come with a special hook which allows using them on your door without damaging it. It should also come with thorough instruction regarding all of the exercises you can perform using these bands. Easy and fun!

2. Best Exercises for Getting Stronger Upper Body at the Gym

Say hello to the rowing machine as soon as you enter the gym, as this is the best exercise you can do to strengthen your upper body and build a great back. It doesn’t really matter which kind of rowing machine you choose – seated, standing, assisted, or single arm rowing – the benefits of these type of exercise for building a strong upper body are simply undeniable.

Another great exercise I highly recommend trying out is a shoulder press – machine, free weights, barbell or dumbbells – everything goes when we are talking about those beautiful and strong shoulders.

Don’t forget that a strong chest is the key to a strong upper body, so the chest press should become one of your favorite exercises as well. Choose a bench or a machine, dumbbells or bar – everything is suitable for your goal as long as you perform the exercises correctly.

And last, but definitely not least, a must exercise for everyone – pull down or pull ups. Pull down is a great machine for beginners if they want to build up their back strength and move on to pull-ups. Pull ups and chin ups work miraculously in building the so-called “triangle back”, which is often part of my clients’ wish list!

3) General Tips for Upper Body Strength

  • Carry the shopping bags yourself. This simple activity can highly influence the strength of your upper body. Forget shopping online: carrying your purchases daily will be a great exercise for your upper body and will also help you improve in the exercising field.
  • Get involved! Play outdoor games which put resistance onto your upper body – basketball, netball, tennis, badminton. This is a fun and easy way to build strength in your upper body.
  • Include Isometric Contractions (also called isometric exercises or isometrics). These are the type of exercises, in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction. These exercises are well known for making your upper body muscles stronger. One tip – try holding a pillow right in front of you while keeping your arms straight… Not so easy, right? ☺ Try it for a couple of days and increase your holding time gradually – you will see how much stronger you will feel in a relatively short period of time.
  • Don’t forget the core! The strength of your upper body highly depends on the strength of your core, so don’t forget to include a variety of exercises that help to strengthen the muscles of your core. My favorite core exercises are various variations of the plank as well as leg raises – these work best for strengthening core muscles. Tip: always add one or two exercises that help to strengthen the core at the end of your training sessions.

Continuous Hard Work Pays Off!

To sum up, continuous hard work and the right choice of exercises definitely pays off, leading to a well-trained upper body, built up strength and an improved physique.

There is no need to invest in expensive machines or training equipment: there are plenty of exercises available that require only your own body strength. Easy!

Even your everyday activities, such as carrying the shopping bags, can strengthen your upper body, so definitely no excuses!