Tuesday, 29 July 2008

DETERMINATION is Motivation for Training

By: Mujuthaba

Everyone wants to look good and be healthy. Some care about what they eat and their lifestyle is maintained in such a way. When I started training clients a couple of months ago (most of them weight-loss clients), I told them I won’t be training them unless they are determined to change their lifestyle. I found that the hardest thing is to keep them motivated into training. Although, for most of us, there are times when there won’t be a trainer present, to push you to the limit or to motivate.

A lot of times, determination for a set out goal get people to dust-off their tennis shoes and start cranking on weights. Determination can be a very important driving force for training. Someone who is determined to lose weight cannot be stopped until that goal is reached. Someone who is determined to get bigger muscles cannot be stopped until he can attain his goal weight. Although a huge percentage of initially determined people bail out of training in about six plus months. Why?

The de-motivating factor in most people is the slow resulting changes that take place in the human body. There is no way a body would change over-night. With careful training, it would take around 12-16 weeks to see a desired outcome. This is a fact that exercisers should face and a fact that trainers should educate clients about. Once changes start showing off, there is no stopping. Patience is a crucial component for exercisers who wants to reach a specific goal.

There are a lot of other factors, one such is the diet. An exercisers diet is extremely important. Diet is a major contributor to the run-up in gaining muscle or losing fat. For me, if someone needs to lose weight, their concentration should be on 70% diet and the rest on training. No matter how much you train to lose fat or gain muscle, if a special dietary change isn’t implemented, you won’t see any desired outcome from training.

Rest and sleep are other factors that an exerciser needs to be careful about. The body needs a good continuous 8-hour sleep for recovery. Sleep is the time when most of the repairing in the body takes place. Formation of new blood capillaries and increased immune function are all achieved during this very important phase.

I have seen a lot of determined people train to their limits. A tired body’s mind will advice it to stop. Although a body which is determined to push through that tiredness is the one that will make a difference. A body can go much further than what you would expect. Only a determined person can push the body to that extreme and when you’ve done the unexpected, you will feel on top of the world.

Remember, if there is no determination in training, there will be no motivation in training hence no results.

Friday, 25 July 2008

SMOKERS: Suicidal Killers

By: Mujuthaba

An experience I had on Thursday blinked the light-bulb over my head on choosing the subject. It was pouring and quite windy on the day and I made the mistake of taking the bus, instead of taking the usual half-an-hour walk to my apartment from the train station. It wasn’t even rush hour, but seemed like whole of Wellington decided to take a ride on the bus to evade the winter elements.

So here I was, sitting down on a cramped bus, keeping my own space as the bus filled to a bound of being claustrophobic. It all went off my league of nostril tolerance when I smelled cigarette smoke. It is prohibited to smoke in public transports, but a commuter just climbed onboard the crowded bus after throwing down his/her half puffed cigarette. After experiencing the poison trapped grueling tin box ride for ten minutes, I just realized that a smoker has ruined my health conscious lifestyle once again.

Smoking for me is in no less cooler than sucking your thumb in public. At least this is a much safer way of wading off ones so called anxiety. Everyday we are exposed to second hand smoke; on the streets, at work and even at home. Avoiding smoking cigarettes doesn’t make us safe from its destructive affects; but we should avoid gatherings where smokers are active.

Research shows that there are about 4000 different chemical agents in smoke, which affect almost every bit of the body, in a bad way of course. Obstruction of oxygen flow to the lungs and delivery of the oxygen to working muscles are one of the initial and acute effects of cigarette smoke. Poisons such as carbon-monoxide, acetone, benzene, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia and toluene are few that are abundantly passed into our body from the smoke.

Second hand smokers are exposed to various smoke related diseases such as lung cancer, respiratory illnesses, heart diseases, stroke and various other cancers. The close relationship between cigarette smoke and cancer is due to the presence of 60 different carcinogens (or chemicals that promote cancer) in the smoke of a burning cigarette. Smoking outside the house, or the car isn’t going to protect the residents or passengers from the poisonous smoke. Research shows that the affect of the smoke will linger in the house and the car when you get in and start breathing. Avoiding the harm of the smoke is hard when you have people close to you who smoke.

If we think in an exercise science view on smokers, the facts aren’t new. Smokers, either healthy or non-healthy, have reportedly low fitness levels due to the deficient oxygen carrying and exchange capability. The cardio-respiratory fitness levels of second hand smokers, who are exposed to smoke on numerous occasions, are also shown to have low fitness results. Tar is the most popular agent in smoke that is blamed for the acute decrease in fitness levels among smokers. This destroys the cilia of the respiratory tract and remains in the lung obstructing the gaseous exchange. Cigarette smoking and fitness never come hand in hand. There is no reason to be ignorant of the fact that while smoking cigarettes we cannot lead a perfectly healthy life.

It is obvious and quite saddening to know that there is an increase in smokers and smoke related deaths worldwide. The only thing that doesn’t make sense is the reason to start puffing the ‘cancer stick’. It is no excuse to say that ‘I was dumb and young so had to take up smoking to be accepted in the crowd’. It doesn’t make you look cool; but ignorant and disgustingly desperate. Smoking is not worth the expenditure of time, money, fitness, health and let alone risking your loved ones.

In fact, the cigarette can be the only thing in the way of you and a perfect life, just think about it.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Exercise May Prevent Brain Shrinkage In Early Alzheimer's Disease

ScienceDaily (July 15, 2008) — Mild Alzheimer's disease patients with higher physical fitness had larger brains compared to mild Alzheimer's patients with lower physical fitness, according to a study published in the July 15, 2008, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. More…

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Weight Watchers Vs. Fitness Centers

ScienceDaily (July 5, 2008) — In the first study of its kind, using sophisticated methods to measure body composition, the nationally known commercial weight loss program, Weight Watchers, was compared to gym membership programs to find out which method wins in the game of good health. More...

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Difference in Muscular FITNESS, ENDURANCE and STRENGTH

By: Mujuthaba

It is necessary for a trainer to understand the basic functions of muscles. We all know that the combination of muscles and skeletons primarily bring movement to the body. Hence, muscular functions and capabilities should be known by the trainer.

I have come across a lot of people who confuse the terms muscular fitness, endurance and strength. When I translate these terms to Dhivehi, fitness is ‘hashiheyokan’, endurance is ‘bunvaru’ and strength is ‘baaru’. So obviously classification of the three terms should be different.

Catching up on the definitions might shed some light on classifying them. Muscular fitness is the collective term for muscular endurance and strength. They are the main functional definitions of the muscle. In which case, if you intend to test someone’s muscular fitness, s/he should be tested collectively for both muscular endurance and strength. Muscular fitness is also a component of the health-related physical fitness.

Muscular endurance is defined as the ability of a muscle group to continuously contract until it fatigues. In order to determine muscular endurance the muscle should repeatedly contract without rest. Examples are jogging, walking or running, where the muscles repeatedly contract to keep the body moving. To test someone for their muscular endurance, a one-minute push-ups test is usually conducted. The subject needs to perform the push-ups repeatedly without stopping. If the subject stops to rest, the test is terminated and the numbers of push-ups conducted are recorded.

Muscular strength on the other hand is known as the maximum force that can be generated by a muscle or muscle group. If the muscle contracts continuously (i.e. more than once), the determinant of muscular strength is lost. Strength test is usually done on a bench press, where maximal lift is conducted (1-RM test). Other modes of conducting muscular strength include the grip test and predicted 1-RM tests (for special populations and novice individuals).

I hope that this article has helped you understand and classify the difference between muscular strength, endurance and fitness. Make sure that if you are conducting a fitness test, you are able to differentiate if it is a strength or an endurance test. If unsure, just refer to it as one of the muscular fitness tests, although you need to know the difference.