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Are Cardio and Aerobic Exercise the same thing?

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cardiovascular or cardio exercise refers to exercise that strengthens the cardiovascular system. The term Aerobic just means in the presence of oxygen, and aerobic exercise refers to exercise that you perform long enough to require oxygen. The same types of exercise satisfy both definitions, and the terms cardio and aerobic exercise are used interchangeably. Aerobic/cardio exercise uses large muscle groups (usually legs) in a rhythmic and/or repetitive fashion. Examples are running, walking, bicycling, spinning, swimming, cross-country skiing, rowing, skating, and cardio machines such as stair steppers, treadmills, and elliptical trainers.

Running to lose weight - How fast should you run?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, February 05, 2010

In general while running, you should not always be pushing yourself to the absolute maximum of your fitness/cardio-respiratory capability. If you're running to lose weight or even to stay in good shape (heart heath), a good test is called the "Talk Test".

If while running you can still talk and carry on a conversation with a little difficulty (breathing), you are running at a good pace for you. If you are running so hard that you have great difficulty speaking, you should probably slow  down a little bit.  On the flip side, if carrying on a conversation is really easy, push yourself and pick up the pace a little bit more.

To lose weight or stay in good shape, you should be exercising at a pace where you are pushing yourself.  The Talk Test is a good way to check if you're giving yourself an appropriate aerobic workout. Try it the next time you go on a run with a friend, while on a treadmill, or even during an aerobics class workout.

Warm Up or Stretch First Before You Workout?

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, January 28, 2010

Contrary to what some believe muscle stretching should not be the first thing you do prior to starting your workout. Do a light cardio warm up instead - Warm up first with a 5-10 minutes of walking, cycling, etc., and then stretch. You can also do stretching exercises at the end of your full cardio workout.

Stretching cold muscles (not warmed up) can cause or lead to injuries. There is also some research indicating that a lot of excess stretching can cause a short-term reduction in muscle strength. Therefore those doing weight (strength) training should save the serious stretching for after the workout is over. Remember, be smart about making sure you are warmed up.

Weight Loss and Cardiac (Heart) Health

Joseph Coupal - Saturday, January 23, 2010

Obesity or being grossly overweight puts a signifcant strain on your heart. Exercise and a fitness program will improve your heart health and assist in losing weight. However, some dietary adjustment is absolutely neccessary if you want to lose weight and improve your overall health.
 
If you want to lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, and lower cholesterol, you need to cut back on calories from saturated fat and sugar, eat more fiber and lean protein, and stock up on fruit and vegetables. Once you are in a soldi routine and feeling good about your health you can treat yourself once in awhile ... just stay away from indulging or binging.

Post Workout Consumption - What and when should you eat after you exercise?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, January 15, 2010

Basically there seems to be two types of people when it comes to eating after a workout. The ones that don't eat anything and the ones that eat right away. The 'Non-Eaters' will eat later in the day but will treat themselves to sweets/alcohol/chips because they feel this is ok since they already exercised. The ones that eat right away finish their workout and simultaneously consume a protein bar (or small meal) and a post-workout shake within 5-15 minutes after their workout is over. Although better than not eating at all, this consumption  can have more of a positive effect on their workouts if the timing is altered.

For the first thirty minutes after a workout your body is still ready to exercise ... your muscles have been innervated, they are ready to be pushed, and are not ready to begin the repairing phase just yet. However, thirty minutes after workout is over your muscles relax and begin to repair themselves. This is when one would want to consume protein, because protein aids in the muscle rebuilding process. So, if you consume your post-workout protein beverage 30 min to 1 hour after your workout, you will be helping your muscles rebuild during their peak rebuilding process while maximizing the benefits of the protein you're consuming.

Phase 2 consumption should 2-3 hours after workout concluded.  Here you should eat a regular meal (with high quality protein in it) to continue aiding in the muscle rebuilding process. Do not 'treat' yourself to sweets or alcohol or junk food because your muscles still need protein at this point.  High quality carbs fond in vegetables and fruits should be part of this meal as well. Remember 'You Are What You Eat'? That is especially true on the days when you exercise. If you control your consumption and the timing of it after a workout, your results will come faster than you expect.


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