Posts Tagged ‘muscle’

Do the hoop

July 19th, 2009

For someone who admits she’s “chunky”, how does Beyonc√© achieve that shapely, curvy body?

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Besides doing weight training and cardio, the “Bootylicious” singer also likes to hula-hoop. Believe it or not, rocking your body with a weighted hoop can burn around 500 calories an hour and works all major muscle groups especially the stomach, hips and waist.

Check out Hooping

You can find tips on how to pick the right size hula-hoop for you and how you can get started.

Water works your body

April 27th, 2009

The UN General Assembly has designated March 22nd as “World Water Day” to draw attention to the critical lack of clean, safe, drinking water worldwide. When discussing a topic as pivotally important as water, we have to approach it with a sense of reverenceas there is something sacred in the very fabric of water. Water is H2O, hydrogen two parts, oxygen one, but there is also a third thing that makes water and nobody knows what that is. Water, despite its simple constitution, plays an inordinately immense role in our well being. We simply cannot be separated from water and live.

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There seems to be never-ending, myriad ways in which water benefits our bodies. We ourselves in fact, are made of water between 55 and 75% water ( lean people have more water in their bodies because muscle holds more water than fat) . The flow of blood, body fluid in our lympathic system, endocrine fluid, urinary fluid, the fluid represented by perspiration, saliva, tears, sexual secretions and lactation are all influenced by water. In fact, the myriad uses of water within our system are just too many to go without mentioning some of them below.

ACE PLUMBER

Yes, that’s right. Water is the numero uno plumber within your body. It’s the major ingredient in blood plasma, which transports nutrient and gases to and between cells. It also carries off the waste products of energy metabolism from cells and provides the fluid needed to get rid of the body’s wastes. That is why keeping yourself well hydrated wards off constipation. Know why? When the body gets too little water, it siphons what it needs from internal sources. The colon is one primary source and hence, constipation sets in.

Adequate water consumption can also help lessen the chance of developing kidney stones, plus it keeps joints lubricated and prevents or at the very least – decreases the severity of colds and flu. Besides this combo of the head-spinning benefits, water is also a necessary part of many other chemical reactions in the body.

DIGESTION STAR

You probably are unaware of just how much water is consumed by your body as it breaks down food in the digestion process. It has been estimated that roughly 25% of the TOTAL daily water intake of a sedentary person can be used for this process alone.

ENERGY GIVER

Even to form energy in your body, you need water. It has been estimated that each gram of glucose needs about 2.5 grams of water to form glycogen in the muscle and liver. And water is actually released when glycogen is converted to energy.

MUSCLE BUILDER

Did you know that our muscles are made up chiefly of water? Surprising, but true. Roughly 70% of muscle mass… that much sort after beefy bulk by many men is just water. And optimal hydration is essential for muscle function and tone. You see, muscles are controlled by nerves. The electrical stimulation of nerves ( the contraction and extension of muscles ) are the result of the exchange of electrolyte minerals dissolves in water. This means that to produce and use muscle, it is really important that you drink lots of water.

HEAT REGULATOR

All of us have ready made, built-in air conditioners within our system that constantly work to keep our heat levels stable. And those of you living near the equator, who bear the full brunt of the sun’s capacity to go beserk, are particularly¬† grateful for this process. But are you clued on how this work? Simply put, it’s the process of perspiration that actually cools us off and keeps us from boiling water.

BEAUTY AID

Beauty and skin experts have repeatedly stressed that water is the key to attaining healthy , glowing skin. The rationale goes that cells in your body including the ones on your face work on the principle that they only perform their tasks optimally if they are adequately hydrated.

Dr Howard Murad, a pioneer in the study of the link between water and skin care , backs up this fact. His studies confirm that the aging process is a direct effect of water inadequacy in the body at the cellular level.


Rump Shakers revealed: The best cardio machines for your bum

April 16th, 2009

In 2007, researchers at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, set out to learn which machines kick your ass the hardest. Here’s how their findings shake out, as well as a few glute-blasting pointers from Lindsay Dunlap, a personal trainer at the Sports Club LA in New York City.

TREADMILL

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a) Jogging

Make sure your heels, not the balls of your feet hit the ground first.

b) Walking

On a treadmill, increase the incline. On the road, try walking sideways. This will work your bum from a different angle as you pull your leg away from your body.

ELLIPTICAL

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Ease your hips back so your butt sticks out a bit and push down with your heel as much as possible.

BIKING

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Ditch the recumbent ride for an upright one. Then sit a little farther back on the seat and focus on pushing the pedals down forcefully. If you’re spinning, stand up and stick your butt out while leaning forward.

STAIR STEPPING

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Lean forward slightly at the waist and take larger steps, as though you’re climbing two at a time. Let go of the rails forcing your glutes to take the brunt of the stabilization duties.

The percentage of glute muscles activated in this table mostly refers to gluteus maximus, the largest of the three glute muscles.

THE MACHINE

% OF GLUTE MUSCLES ACTIVATED

Treadmill (Jogging)

48.9

Elliptical

32.6

Treadmill (Walking)

24.3

Stairmaster

24.0

Recumbent bike

6.0