Today, fitness plans are getting a digital makeover. As technology is advancing at a fast pace, so is the popularity of health-focused wearable technology and health apps. They are solely responsible for the rise of better wellness tracking and fitness.
At one time, it was almost impossible to keep a track on how many calories you are burning or the amount of sleep you are getting. With the help of wearable technology, all these features are now a reality.
Some important benefits of wearable technology for a healthy lifestyle are:
Your daily diet is directly correlated to your activity trends and activities. The more active you are, the more energy and fuel your body needs. Wearables today can help you keep track of your daily activities and plan your meals accordingly. In turn, you will be able to control the number of calories you ingest every day and not eat extra. The plan meals will not hamper your everyday activities as well.
Objective data and adherence
Wearables allow you to set incentives, reminders, and goals to stay in the path of healthy living. By setting these timelines and goals, you are more likely to stick to a particular regime. Additionally, the wearable will be able to draw a clear objective picture of your daily activity level.
Encourages pro-active healthcare
Right now, people immediately go to see a doctor when they experience any sort of health problem. With the help of wearable technology, you will have a more proactive approach to healthcare. These wearables can be used to take action in the early stages. For instance, irregularities can be detected before they become a problem, especially in people who are already prone to certain medical problems.
Accountability and motivation
Wearables will help you remain honest and accountable with yourself about your progress and will keep you on the right path. Also, wearables today are fitted with tech features that are meant to motivate you and set reminders to be alerted if you are sitting for too long.
Every person in the world wants to lose weight without putting in work or follow a particular diet. With the help of wearables, you will be able to personalize weight-loss goals much easily. Obesity is a growing problem in several countries around the world and a wearable will push you to promote physical activities by allowing you to see the number of steps you take or the types of food you eat.
Performing several specific functions as well
There are many wearables that are used for different cases. While most of them are consumer-focused, others are quite specific. For instance, some wearables are fitted with bio-sensors to keep track of the heart rate. For diabetic patients, wearables are available that continuously monitor glucose levels. As wearables become more common, more medical uses of these devices will develop surely.
The above are just some of the many benefits of wearable technology. While they might not be used much right now, there will soon be a time when every person’s healthcare is being monitored by a wearable technology exclusively.
All types of athletes ranging from football to hockey base their physical exercise on improving the muscle of their core by using compound activities. But what do you do to get ripped abs? It is no surprise that abs get a workout even when you are not exercising. This is because they are part of the core muscles that are involved in every movement of the body. But here are some exercises dedicated to building great abs:
Arms-High Partial Sit-up
Lie down and bend your knees to 90°. Raise your hands straight up over your head and point them upwards throughout the duration of the exercise. Sit up halfway and return to the floor. This is a single rep; you can continue as much as you can in a single set.
Take a barbell and load it with ten-pound plates; kneel on the floor at the back of it. Your shoulders need to be over the bar. Then, brace your abs and roll the bar forward. Once you begin to feel that your hips are sagging, roll yourself back to the original position. Continue till you feel a sharp pain on your thigh.
Ab Wheel Rollout
Kneel on the floor and hold an ab wheel beneath your shoulders. Then brace your abs and keep rolling front till you feel your hips might sag and about to lose your core’s tension. Roll back and repeat. Try to do as many reps as you can and end the set when you feel you might break your form.
Horizontal Cable Woodchop
You will need to make use of an adjustable cable pulley and set it to shoulder level; hold the handle with both hands and set your feet apart. Your body should be at 90° to the anchor point and far away from the machine, with extended arms. This will bring tension to the cable. Twist away from the machine in an action like chopping a tree. Make sure that your feet remain stationary.
Swiss Ball Crunch
Take a Swiss ball and lie back on the floor with your feet apart at shoulder-width. Make sure that your lower back is supported by the ball. Tuck your chin and place your hands behind your ears. Then curl your body up off the floor till you regain the sitting position again.
You need to look beyond deadlifts if you want to work on your abs. Plank holds and press-ups can beat even the heaviest deadlifts for core activation. It is also a common myth that abs need to be worked upon every day; in reality, two or three abs workout is optimal for most people.
Doing a hundred situps is not going to do anything for your back and abs, but it does not mean that you should ditch spinal flexion totally. If flexibility is important, you can opt for a wide range of crunches and curl-up exercises. However, if you are looking for maximum muscular development, than crunches and the above-stated exercises will help you realize your goal efficiently.
Tabata workouts may sound like a great idea if you like the idea of getting fit in five minutes. Find out what’s behind the extraordinary claims about this workout and whether or not they would work for you.
Tabata is the creation of Dr. Izumi Tabata, who trained the Japanese speed skating team in the 1990’s. Even those highly trained and conditioned athletes had a difficult time keeping up, but they saw fantastic results in just a few short weeks. Celebrities, like Kyra Sedgewick, swear by this program.
These workouts are a variation of the HIIT training that athletes have done for years. You alternate between short stints of intense activity and easier recovery periods. With Tabata, you train at full strength for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat the cycle 8 times.
Benefits of Tabata Workouts
1. Save time with Tabata. Many people are enjoying the Tabata workout because you can get fit in a shorter period of time. Think of all the extra things in your life you can accomplish with the extra time that you free up. You can spend more time enjoying your favorite hobbies or past times with friends and family members.
2. Increase your anaerobic capacity with Tabata. Ordinary cardiovascular activities, such as running on the treadmill or swimming, will increase your aerobic capacity. But intense short-term bursts of exercise and exertion seems to affect your anaerobic fitness more effectively. Tabata increases your anaerobic capacity because you are strengthening your muscles by forcing them to do hard work for a short period of time.
3. Avoid overuse injuries. Daily tennis matches or long distance jogging like marathon training often put too much stress on certain areas of your body such as your legs, and various muscle groups. The shorter period workouts may help to protect your tendons, shins, and muscles.
4. Burn fat. Studies show that Tabata stimulates your metabolism, and you continue burning more calories for about the next 12 hours. That quickly adds up.
5. Lower your risk of diabetes. There’s evidence that Tabata may help balance your blood sugar. Exercise and a healthy diet are both important if you are at risk for diabetes.
How to Use Tabata and Tabata-Style Workouts
1. Know your objectives. Tabata isn’t easy, so ask yourself if it’s an appropriate type of exercise for you. You may want to stick with yoga or other workouts that you enjoy more.
2. Talk to your doctor first. Your physician can advise you about your individual health tolerances and whether Tabata would be a good fit for you. It’s especially important to get a medical consultation if you have certain medical conditions or have been sedentary for a while.
3. Work with a certified trainer. A qualified trainer can get you off to a good start. If you cannot afford private training, enroll in a group class.
4. Use a reliable timer. Precise timing is very important in Tabata training. It can be difficult to estimate how many seconds go by without looking at a timer or stopwatch.
5. Start with simple movements. Almost any exercise activity can be incorporated into Tabata. Begin with your personal favorites or hop on the treadmill or stationary bicycle. Over time you can add in different kinds of exercises like sprints, running hills or jump rope.
6. A good Warm up and cool down is highly recommended. Like any exercise routine, it is always a good idea to give your body adequate preparation to warm the muscles and a light cool down to slowly relax the body. Begin and end your session with slower and smaller movements. Save a good static stretch for last when your muscles are warm.
7. Keep a journal. A written log will help highlight your progress. Look back over the weeks to see your improvements.
8. Proceed gradually. Consider the option of borrowing some Tabata concepts without going the whole distance. Try taking longer rest periods or doing less than 8 cycles.
9. Be prepared for a little discomfort. Even seasoned athletes acknowledge that Tabata is challenging. Temporary shortness of breath and other symptoms are natural. You may decide it’s worth the effort once you see the results.
Tabata takes a little longer than the five minutes everyone thinks. However, it still cuts the hours off the usual gym time and delivers superior results. You can even adapt the principles to suit your individual condition and goals so you’ll stay safe while getting in great shape.
If you have ever been in a gym, sporting goods shop or even the active aisle at Target, you’ve probably seen a foam roller. If you feel unclear about how to use one, you are not alone. While growing more mainstream, foam rollers live a mystery to numerous people and even trainers.
Foam roller workouts, also called myofascial release, is a form of massage that fitness-minded people do either before exercise to loosen up their sore muscles and their tight joints, or after a workout, to help muscle recovery.
Foam roller exercises and other self-myofascial release methods have become increasingly popular, and for a good reason. Partly that stems from a better understanding of the restorative advantages of soft tissue care, or massage. Massage can ultimately become cost-prohibitive unless you are an athlete or just have a few hundred extra bucks lying around, you probably opt infrequently for a massage as a luxury or a splurge more than a necessity.
Working yourself out on a foam roller becomes an affordable option to massage therapy. Those dense, round pieces of foam can deliver multiple advantages of therapeutic massage without the cost.
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The Best Foam Roller Exercises
Now that you have a rather solid understanding of precisely what foam rolling is and how it can benefit you directly, you are probably questioning how to include them into your daily routine.
Ideally, the following exercises should be done for about a minute on each area to allow the muscle to relax. As you roll, take some slow, deep breaths. We tend to hold our breath when we are focusing on something, especially when something feels new to us. Remain mindful of your breathing during this process.
Hamstrings and Glutes
So many of us have remarkably tight hamstrings from sitting at our desks all day, which can cause lower-back pain. It’s why you can benefit from hamstring stretches and exercises that include the foam roller.
To roll out your hamstrings and glutes, start by sitting on the floor and placing the foam roller long ways below your legs. Use your arms to brace yourself and modify how much force you are applying to your legs. The more body weight you transfer to your arms, the easier things will be on your hamstrings.
If you feel like you need to put more pressure on your hamstrings, just shift more of your body weight to your legs and less in your arms. You will want to just roll yourself along the roller from your glutes down to just above your knees. Again, spend about a minute here and make sure you’re not holding your breath.
Quadriceps (The Front Of Your Legs)
The exterior of our legs can indeed grow sore and tight. Balance becomes crucial, so if you’re going to work on those hamstrings, turn over and give equal attention to your quadriceps.
To do this, place the foam roller underneath your legs and with your body weight on your forearms, begin to roll yourself back and forth from the top of your knees to your pelvic bone. You will want to keep your abs contracted on this one and keep your feet off the floor as you’re rolling.
Iliotibial (IT) Band
Although IT band issues are usually connected with runners, everyone can be affected by IT band problems and can result in knee and lower back pain. You need to begin working on knee strengthening exercises as well as foam roller exercises for the IT band.
To roll out your IT band, you’ll want to position yourself with the side of your leg on top of the roller. You can take some of the pressure off the IT band directly by transferring your body weight to your arms as you roll from just below your hip to the top of your knee and keeping your other foot on the ground so that your opposite leg supports you.
We sit down a lot, which can take its toll on our upper backs. This exercise becomes an excellent way to loosen up knots associated with phones that won’t stop ringing and rush-hour traffic that won’t move when you have a car full of crying kids and a pint of ice cream melting over all your other groceries.
Place the foam roller perpendicular to your body and lean your upper back against it. Place your hands directly behind your head, lift your hips off the floor, and gently begin to roll from the top of your shoulder blades to the middle of your back.
Rolling balls, foam rollers, PVC, tennis balls, and medicine balls remain a versatile choice for warming up, rehab and injury prevention. All have been used in the name of self myofascial release. However, consider giving this a try… the muscle roller stick. You’ll never look at a foam roller the same again.
15 Best Myofascial Releasing Reasons for using a Muscle Roller Stick
Professional athlete or weekend warrior, the muscle roller stick is great after running, weightlifting, Crossfit, MMA, WOD, Powerlifting and strength training. What ever your workout, you will get soreness and knots from your training. Managing the soreness and those knots, lumps and aches can make the difference in getting everything out of your efforts and being able to train again the next day.
Myofascial release is a technique in which varying pressure is applied to muscles to help relax and heal muscles, improve muscle mobility and increase blood flow to the area. Pressure can be applied from another person like a massage therapist; however, they’re not always available and you’ll need something to be able to do it yourself.
Self-Myofascial release means you use anything to apply pressure to work the areas of soreness. Items like foam rollers, tennis or lacrosse balls, your thumbs or anything else can assist you in working out the knots. Without assistance, those knots and injured areas will create muscle imbalances over time. The body will try to heal itself in an attempt to compensate for the micro-injuries that occur with every training. Add our daily habits of desk sitting, driving, lifting and TV watching and imbalances are exacerbated.
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9. Choose your level
They come in various lengths and pressures. Some muscle roller sticks are fully adjustable and changeable.
10. Use Daily
Keep one close by so when you feel that tightness you can easily grab it. That way your Muscle roller sticks remains a go-to item for day-to-day light massage.
11. Give your thumbs a break
Dig into tight problem spots on your legs, arms, and back without wrecking your thumbs. Roll it out with some force, so you don’t have to use as much elbow grease to knead out sore muscles.
12. Don’t forget your Back
To hit knots in your back, wedge the stick between your body and a wall or the floor.
13. On the Go
If you’re going out for a hike or bike ride, throw it in your backpack for occasional quick sessions to relieve muscle aches and improve performance.
14. Work around the Knot
Muscle Sticks allow you to target your sore spots and work around them instead of directly on them. Working only the sore spots or injuries could lead to more damage to the area.
15. Improve Muscle Movement
Breaking down both fascia and adhesion’s are the main reasons to work the muscles. Adhesions lesson the movement of the muscle over time and can limit normal range of motion.
Get messages and see a physical therapist or myofascial release specialist regularly. In between visits don’t lose ground by not being able to do it yourself. Get the benefits by using the muscle roller stick consistently by having one of your own.
Self-Myofascial Release is a stretching technique that has become very popular over the last few years. It is a simple and very effective technique to provide you with feel-good results.
Rolling out sore muscles can reduce inflammation, muscle spasm, and soreness, as well as eliminate soft tissue adhesions which can cause muscles to become less pliable and cause imbalance.
Rolling your muscles as a warm-up and a cool-down should be an integral part of your daily workout routine. As a warm up it will prepare your muscles by making them more pliable, reduce density, and easier to stretch. As a cool down, it will help relax your muscles to help them recover, especially if they are sore.
When rolling, you should apply long slow rolling strokes to longer muscles such as the Quadriceps, Adductors, and Calves, and shorter strokes to the Glutes, TFL, and hip complex. You are rolling to find trigger points or sore spots. Once you land on a sore spot, apply constant, tolerable pressure to the affected area for around 30 seconds. I find then a slow roll over the area afterward gives it an added sense of relief as a massage would.
The pressure applied and the intensity of the roll should be determined by the athlete themselves. It all depends on age, level of athlete, or the tolerance to the discomfort of applying pressure to a sore spot. This is the added benefit of using body weight pressure the athlete can control to comfortably reduce soreness and treat themselves during times of muscle preparation, soreness, or post activity.
In conclusion, any trainer or coach of athletes dealing with soreness should consider their athletes be introduced to self-myofascial release to better their health and performance.