Top 10 Calf Exercises

Calf exercises play a significant role in the proper functioning of your calf muscles. Placed on the legs? lower back area ? calf muscles are regarded as indispensable to enhance your overall physical health, and involve two prime muscle groups such as the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles, both of which are responsible for any kind of movement pertaining to your lower leg as well as feet. However, calf muscles could function effectively only if they are healthy and strong. Here comes the importance of calf exercises. Some of the incredible benefits of calf exercises are enhanced aerobic movements, improved speed and agility, reduced impact during jumping or running, reduction of discomforts that occur during periods, and reduced stress. Further discussed in this article are the top calf exercises.

Standing Calf Raises

This exercise is effective for the functioning of both the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles. Standing calf raises can be performed anywhere on a step. However, for best results, it would be better if you could do it on a gym machine.

Seated Calf Raises

Seated calf raises are especially designed to improve the performance of the soleus muscles, which is made up of type I slow twitch muscle fibers. The movements involved in this exercise are considered excellent to tone and shape your calf muscles. Prior to starting this exercise, it is important to ensure that you use the right machine and appropriate weight in order to carry out the preferred amount of reps.

Exercise Ball Calf Raises

Exercise Ball Calf Raises is one of the most comfortable as well as the easiest ways to strengthen and develop your calves. It can be done at home, and all you require to perform this exercise is an exercise ball.

Calf Exercise with Weights

This exercise promotes for a strong, healthy calf muscles. First of all, sit on a chair or a bench while keeping your feet straight on the floor. Hold the weight in such a way that it should be placed across your thighs. Raise your toes a little off the floor. Maintain this for one to two seconds.

Single Leg Swiss Ball Calf Raises

This is yet another exercise to strengthen your calf muscles. It can be done using a Swiss ball and two dumbbells. Place the Swiss Ball on the wall, and then keep your chest against it. As the next step, keep a dumbbell in each hand. Then slowly lift your one feet and lower down.

Plyometrics

A great exercise to build calf muscles as well as develop explosive strength, plyometric work-outs are on the basis of muscle elasticity principle. However, this work-out program is not recommended for beginners.

Sports

All sports with sprinting as well as changing movements are considered excellent for building the calves. Among the exercises that are effective to build and strengthen calf muscles are weight lifting, football, tennis, soccer, and track and field.

Vertical Activities

Undertaking vertical activities such as hiking, climbing up stairs, and running atop the hill are regarded highly effective to build and strengthen your calf muscles. Both gastrocnemius and soleus are contracted with greater tension during vertical activities, which in turn is equivalent to several times your body?s weight.

Cycling

Cycling is also a perfect way to develop your calf muscles, as it allows the gastrocnemius and the soleus to work for longer periods.

Forward Bent Lunge

This calf exercise should be done using weights. First of all, hold weights and bring it up towards the shoulders. Then, step towards the front in a lunge posture while slightly bending your waist. Come back to the starting position in order to continue the same process with another leg.

No Time To Exercise? Lose Weight Regardless

Some of us simply don?t have time to incorporate physical fitness into our daily routine. Between work, cleaning, cooking and taking care of the kids, many people barely have time to take a breather let alone workout. And for those of us trying to lose a few pounds, lack of physical fitness could become quite the obstacle. So is there any way to add exercise into your daily routine without actually having to set time aside for working-out? The answer to this question is ?yes.? The daily chores you have to do around the house could easily be turned into physical activity.

The truth is, at home activities can be just as physically rewarding as heading to the gym. All of the little things we do throughout the day could easily be turned into exercise. For instance, say you own a dog, taking that dog for a brisk walk could be a part of your daily fitness routine. Other things which could easily be turned into exercise include: playing outside with the kids, working in the garden, and household cleaning. Yes even household cleaning can offer you some sort of physical activity. Simply turn on some music and move a little bit faster when completing your household chores. Think about all of the things you do throughout the day and try to incorporate more movement while completing the tasks.

There is such a thing as living a lifestyle of physical fitness and that does not mean going to the gym. It means incorporating fitness into your daily responsibilities. By living this type of a lifestyle you will not only improve your mood but you will also improve your health. So the next time you think that you have no time to exercise, think about turning some of your daily chores into physically rewarding fun!

How To Get Perfect Abs ? Athletes Style

Every four years the people of the entire planet take part in summer Olympics. Some compete there and some are there with the heart and soul. I must admit I am a fan of this huge event and my favorite part of the Olympics is the athletics competition. I am always amazed of how good the athletes look and how shaped up their abs are.

Some of them have great genetics but all of them have worked hard to sculpt those six pack abs. Only by hard work and exercise you can achieve those beautiful muscles. And since it is clear that they hold the key to having a great body, why doesn?t anyone follow their advices and lifestyle? The fitness community tends to overlook this important fact. But do not get me wrong. I do not mean that we should wake up at 5 in the morning and do back flips. What we can do is investigate their lifestyle and how they train. We should see what exercises they do and how they eat.

I have noticed that the athletes are not doing ordinary ab workouts. In my visits at some Olympic training facilities I have seen how athletes do ab exercises every day.
They are particularly fond of these two exercises:

The Hanging Leg Raise ? Get an overhand grip on the chin up bar. Then you have to raise the legs up until they almost touch the chin up bar. Return until the knees, hips and waist is extended. Repeat the number of reps.

The V-Sit Up ? Lie with the hands over the head and, at the same time, raise the legs up and also the torso. Reach towards the raised feet with the hands and then return to the straight position.

Besides these two types of exercises, the gymnasts also work their abs by doing some full body movements. You can do these movements at home and perform full body movements that train the abs. You will need a fancy seat, a chest/back support or a bench.
Here are 3 types of exercises that can be easily done at home and they will help you train the abs:

1. Do suspended push ups. Lie on your back on the bench and let the abs just ?go to sleep?. You will work the shoulders, the chest, and also the triceps.

2. Ditch the pull down for some chin ups. If you do chin ups your abs will be working full time to perform the movements. It is a great movement.

3. Ditch the leg press for some tuck jumps. Leg press exercises are putting the abs to sleep because of the bench support. But that is not all. And because the sled is on guiding rods you are only allowed to move linearly and no stabilization or support is required from your abs. Also, you should now that the tuck jumps, are providing a great workout for the abs. All this in one single exercise! This is the big advantage of these full body exercises. They are helping you ?kill two birds with one stone? because they are very efficient.

So go on and make these changes in your workout routine and enjoy the results. Your goal of getting those perfect six pack abs is closer than you think.

Massage And Your Exercise Program

While massage has been most commonly regarded as simply a service to help you relax, there are actually numerous benefits that your body experiences. For those who are seeking to achieve a healthy body and overall wellness, massages can play an essential role in your fitness agenda.

As we exercise, our bodies expend energy. Our muscles can become sore or even strained, especially during the first few fitness sessions we undergo. And like a car, we sometimes need a tune-up in order to continue functioning at 100%.

Helping body functions

The most commonly renowned benefit of a massage is to loosen and relax the muscles. During a workout, lactic acid can form in the muscles, which is what causes the “muscle burn” we feel the day after. This happens when these bodily chemicals accumulate in the muscle tissue, causing a burning feeling, but it can also leave you with little desire to get moving again. Lactic acid is commonly the result of lack of oxygen in the muscle tissue and forms as a result of muscle activity. This irritation commonly dissipates within a few days, but not before lactic acid has hindered the tissue’s ability to metabolize minerals and nutrients properly.

By massaging the muscles, you can recover from soreness or injury and even prevent it in the future. This is because the massage provides more oxygen and nutrients to the surrounding tissues. Blood flow is increased to the areas, specifically the muscles. Because the muscles are responsible for movement and ultimately play a key role in converting food into fuel, their proper function is essential to any fitness agenda.

In addition to increasing blood flow, massages increase the body’s ability to detoxify itself by pushing chemicals out of the muscles. Toxins, including lactic acid, are able to be transferred out of their stored status and back into circulation. Because the toxins are being removed from the body, be sure to drink plenty of water to help eliminate them properly.

At the physical level, massage therapy will chemically help return wellness and increase your natural healing ability. Without the harmful toxins that could hinder your fitness agenda, your body will be less susceptible to injury and far more efficient. Even though the lymph system and liver are primarily responsible for eliminating toxins, the toxins can still accumulate and are normally stored in fatty and muscular tissues, making it difficult to properly process them. Sources of the toxins can vary anywhere between unhealthy diets to contaminants in the air we breathe. They can even be by-products of the body’s natural processes, such as lactic acid. By incorporating regular massages into your fitness agenda, you can help your body eliminate these toxins

A mental boost

While the muscles are often regarded as receiving the most benefit, there is also a psychological advantage to massages. The mental affects can come in the two different types of both chemical and emotional healing. Together, these benefits help the mind respond and function properly to ensure wellness in its entirety.

Chemically, your brain is apt to boost serotonin and dopamine, which are hormones within the body that make you feel good. During the process of the massage, you are able to relax and enjoy the experience, allowing for these naturally secreted chemicals to boost your mood. This is a natural and healthy way to increase confidence and initiative. But that’s not all it does, since it is also known to lower the stress hormone cortisol. Both of these effects combined will not only affect your mood, but also increase your body’s resistance to negativity.

As your body experiences these positive effects, you will also find yourself in a better emotional state. A body that feels great along with a mind that functions clearly provide you with the exact tools you need to remain positive. Emotionally, you are also put in a far better state of mind that will allow you to focus and achieve your goals. It isn’t just because you experience the internal changes secreted in your brain, it comes from a conglomeration of effects that result from the body’s relaxation and increased healing that causes your muscles and mind to respond well to during and after massages.

For the active person, regular massages can prove to be a beneficial asset to any fitness program. You can increase the body’s healing abilities and overall function, while at the same time positively affecting your mind. Throughout the body, the massage provides a great number of advantages that will help you achieve overall well-being.

The Fast Way To Lose Weight – Quick And Easy Steps To A Slimmer You

The fast way to lose weight is not by drinking some magical portion or taking an abundance of diet control pills. It is a systematic approach to regulate your intake followed by some basic steps to ensure that you are going to look after yourself and stick to healthy practices.

You can start off by drinking adequate water on a daily basis.

It is unfortunate that most of us fail to drink the minimum required amount of water every day and expect our body to function normally which is also a fast way to lose weight. Water has a lot of benefits attached to it and drinking it in correct proportions will make sure that your body metabolizes correctly and stay hydrated.

You need to eat right, in correct proportions and the right number of times every day.

Don?t skip any meals and make sure you are consuming nutritionally beneficial foods that can aid in building your strength and not contribute to your fat deposits. The right kind of meals can help you lose weight, and ideally you should not eat after 6 PM.

The right kind of weight training with exercises is crucial.

If it were only up to eating, then it would have been far easier to control your weight and make sure that you are healthy and in the best form possible. Unfortunately, that is not the case and you need to follow your diet up with some good exercises that will ensure that your body is capable of burning more fat and toning up in the process.

Set realistic targets and don?t punish yourself.

There are people who fall at two ends of the spectrum. One type includes those who find it very hard to stick to the schedule and the other type includes those who punish themselves and work harder than they are supposed. Make sure you fall on neither ends, and somewhere in the middle!

Remember, a healthy body is a happy body and vice versa. The fast way to lose weight is something that you make on your own, depending on your needs.

Tai Chi For Seniors:

Tai Chi is a ancient meditative form of exercise and is recognized by its slow captivating Chi is practiced by millions of people around the world to improve and maintain their Chi helps people of all ages meet the day to day challenges with energy while remaining calm and relaxed.

Stress being one of the biggest causes to health related issues it only makes since to take a look at the many benefits that are directly related to Tai delight of Tai Chi is that anyone can practice it,any time anywhere and in almost any state of health.There is no age limit.

Here are some of the many reasons and benefits of practicing Tai Chi.
? improve health
? reduce stress levels
? increase your energy
? improve heart and lung function
? strengthen bones,muscles,and joints
? increase flexibility
? prevent age related ill health

One of the main benefits to the elderly is that it improves balance and strength, preventing injury from falls. Many seniors begin Tai Chi as their primary focus to help aid in their recovery after an injury or ill health.

I hope this helps you to undertake a safe, health-improving exercise program.
These ancient Chinese exercises are fun and low impact and help to alleviate the pains of arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many other “senior” diseases.

Tai Chi for Enlightenment .
The form is so magical that almost anyone who does it – including rank beginners here in the West – has profound feelings of deep soul centering and expanded awareness.These can best be described as enlightenment experiences. More incredible, it doesn’t go away, but gets better with practice. Repeat practice of the form deepens the blissful sense of peace, the feeling of returning to your true inner self. Seniors are also at a time in their life when they seek completion, and this form helps to achieve a sense of internal completion. . Both the sick and weak as well as healthy and strong benefit from it.

This form is amazingly easy to learn. It is so simple to practice you literally don’t even have to think. This “not thinking” state is also one of the pre-requisites to allowing your own Enlightenment process to naturally unfold!

At some point, each of us arrives at the realization that we are ageing. The conventional view of ageing has been that these changes are a downhill slide that includes loss of reproductive functions, a decline in cardiac capacity and a loss of muscle and bone strength. New research however, is challenging every belief that we have held about ageing. Many researchers believe that most of what we attribute to ageing results from disuse or misuse of the body and mind.

3 rules that will help

Never hurry through life. Always keep a quiet heart (Mind)
Avoid extreme outbursts of emotions – it drains energy from the body and disrupts the function of our organs
Practice daily breathing and exercises (Tai Chi)

Choosing The Right Running Shoes

If you are having difficulty with your running, or your legs seem to be aching more than usual, it could be your shoes. Proper footwear can really make a difference to your running enjoyment. Here are some pointers to follow the next time you are shopping for a new pair of running shoes:

* If you are serious about running, invest in the best pair of brand-name shoes that you can afford. Not only will you have peace of mind, they will also last longer.

* Don’t be in a hurry to select your running shoes. Do some research, and ask your running friends. Make sure you try on both pairs while you are in the store.

* There should be air outlet points around the shoe, so that the air can move in and out of your feet. Even in cold weather you need some air circulation.

* Choose a light shoe that is still sturdy enough to provide the right support. All other things being equal, I usually pick the pair that weighs the least.

* Don?t buy really lightweight racing shoes unless you plan on participating in a lot of road races. This type of running shoe has less cushioning and support. You will still need a different pair for most of your everyday training runs.

* If you plan on doing a marathon, or a lot of running, you may need a heavier shoe with good cushioning. Your weight is a factor here as well.

* Shape is as important as size and weight. Get professional help at the store to match your foot shape to the shoes they have. There are plenty of choices on the market these days, often with narrow to wide versions of the same model available.

* Try on the shoes while wearing a pair of running socks. There should be just about an inch of space between your largest toe and the front of the shoe. The heel should be a snug fit.

* If you over-pronate you will need a stability shoe. Check with your running shoe store assistant about the right type for your stride.

* Finally it all comes down to how comfortable you feel in your running shoes. Make sure you walk around the store or wear them at home. Most stores will not accept returns after you have worn the shoes outside.

* You need to change your running shoes every six months or so. Write the date when you bought your shoes in your running log so you will know how long you have been using them.

Love Handle Exercises – 3 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Them

Oh yes, love handle exercises. You do them day after day, maybe even for months, and yet you see little to no results. This is a pretty common situation and although at times you may feel like you are just never going to get rid of them, there are a few tips that I can give you that may quite possibly make all the difference in your workout plan.

Tip #1 – Do not eat late at night.

Many of us have our biggest appetite in the evening. The problem with this is that if you are to eat something, and then lay down or fall asleep, your metabolism will not be burning through that food like it normally would. It will just sit in your stomach and slowly absorb all of the bad components of that meal.

Ideally, breakfast should be your biggest meal. You want to get your metabolism burning calories right away so that your body is ready to work to your advantage for the rest of the day.

Tip #2 – Maintain a low calorie diet.

Love handle exercises can only do so much. If you are not eating well, your flabby obliques aren’t going anywhere.

A common misconception is that oblique crunches are the only way to get rid of your love handles. That is false. You need to attack the fat as well. Not just the muscle.

Tip #3 – Do cardiovascular exercises

If you want to shed your love handles quickly, the best way to do so is to do some form of cardiovascular workout in addition to your love handle exercises (jogging, treadmill, etc.). The combination of these two things will have your problem area slimmed and toned in weeks.

90% of the products I have seen involving love handle exercises don’t tell you these “secrets”. I have used many of these products, and have been very disappointed in the results.