Monday, 8 January 2018

An Isokinator Alternative

If you know what the Isokinator is, you'll be well aware of how much it costs to buy. It's definitely not a cheap product. That's why there are a lot of people looking for an Isokinator alternative. Reviews are quite scarce (read one here), but customer feedback is excellent. Replicators come in many shapes and sizes. But they might not be in form you think, or in the form that your mind has been conditioned to accept. The mentality that a person needs a certain piece of equipment so they can start their training (or new years resolution!) is one that is ingrained into the mind of so many people.

That mentality is doomed to fail, because rather than rely on motivation and effort to exercise, regardless of whether there is training equipment at hand or not, the "not the right equipment" mentality can act as an excuse maker. So if there's not the right equipment on hand for you ready to use, then you will make that the main excuse, consciously or unconsciously, and decide not to train.  Why do people think they need equipment? The fact is, they really don't need anything. No, you don't even need a Bluetooth fitness tracker.

Alternatives Are Free


The cheapest alternative to the Isokinator, or any other device, is a flat surface and some determination. Just think of how many exercises can be done on just the ground using movements and bodyweight. To name a few: Running, Sit-ups (so many different types), Press-ups (many different types), Push-up holds, Burpees, Squats (different types and holds), jumping jacks, handstands, Neck exercises, stretching (Infinite amount of movements, from Yoga to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to Wrestling drills), and so many more.



Most, if not all of what the Isokinator can offer can be replicated quite easily. OK, it may not be the exact same exercise, but take for instance the main factor which the Isokinator is based on, which is holding the tension when performing certain movements. A replication could be going down into the press up position and holding the pose when you are in mid-press up, so the tension is at its most strenuous.

Another could be when someone lies down on their stomach and lifts up their head and upper body, and also the lower legs, so that only their stomach and thighs are touching the ground. This is a good exercise for the lower back, and its also one that is part of the Isokinator routine. Only with the Isokinator the user has to hold their arms out in front of them tensing with the Isokinator while doing the exercise. However, just holding this pose without the Isokinator is basically just as good and just as effective. And completely free.

This post is not saying that the Isokinator isn't a good piece of training equipment, because it is, but anything it can do can generally be replicated in one way or another for free. And for people who are low on funds, and can't really afford to buy it, they should adopt the - nothing else is really needed except some motivation and effort type mindset. When you see things more from this perspective you will start to see how many training aids you already have around you in your everyday life. Everything from a bar, the lip on the top of a door frame, the Bannister on the stairs, steps, climbing frames in the park, your bed, and even the tins out of your cupboard. A little imagination and some effort can go a long way.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Do You Need a Fitness Tracker Watch?

Do you really need a Fitness Tracker Watch? An activity tracker Smartwatch seems to be all the rage nowadays. It's borderline obsessive. Everywhere you look, people are tracking every step, calorie, and heartbeat. With rising levels of obesity and inactivity, this might not be such a bad thing. A fitness tracker watch does have its benefits, but the question remains, does it only have benefits? Nah, definitely not. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks.

Pros


Personal accountability


Research shows that even wearing the most basic pedometer (a device that counts steps) can increase your rate of activity by 30%. This is probably because your fitness tracker is tracking your goals and progress which, in turn, psychologically encourages you to walk more steps or eat a salad instead of a steak and chips for lunch.

Custom-made goals


Whether you are an athlete or a couch potato, your fitness tracker watch can set realistic goals for optimal activity. It can suggest tips and particular workouts to target the problematic areas.

Financial motivation


The average fitness tracker watch, such as a Fitbit Charge HR, ranges from $150-$200. And if you want the waterproof model so you can wear it while swimming or showering, the price is higher. This is a considerable amount of money for many people. If they spend so much to help them stay fit, chances are that they will be more motivated to follow the goals the fitness tracker sets for them.

A shoulder to cry on


Trying to stay in shape can be quite nerve-wracking. Good company always alleviates the pressure. The group dynamic of the fitness tracker watch allows hooking up with other fitness trackers in your geographic location. This way you can create workout teams and compete against each other.

Cons


Conversely, many people would argue that tracking every possible step or bite you take could be disastrous and self-harming. Do you really want to be a part of this tracking madness? We put together some of the reasons why you should not buy a fitness tracker.

You can get in shape without a wristband


People have been doing it for hundreds of years without a fitness tracker. You do not need it in order to get up and go for a walk outside. You can work out, eat healthy, and get quality sleep without wearing a activity monitor on your arm.

You probably own a Smartphone


Most Smartphones come with a built-in fitness app. If not, you can download it for free and it does almost everything a fitness tracker watch does. Thus, spending so much money on a watch, which is more or less likely to closely mimic the fitness app in your phone, is utterly ridiculous.

They are not entirely accurate


No tracker measures your metabolic rate while resting. The human body burns calories while you are not moving. The tracker does not consider this and can, therefore, give false information. Add to that, Activity trackers, especially the cheaper priced examples, are known for being potentially inaccurate when tracking steps, calories burnt when training (which is just an estimation anyway), and monitoring sleeping patterns.

Paranoia


Yes, you read that right. Fitness tracker users become paranoid, tracking every single step. They might even start thinking that the steps they take without wearing their tracker might not count as steps at all. In essence, you become a slave to your tracker and the data on it.

Conclusion


No set formula or device can magically attain your goals for you. Working on it honestly is necessary. For some people, it can be due to a fitness tracker watch. For others, an app on their phone. And for others, just good old willpower is enough. Do what works for you. But technology isn't really needed to be honest. Effort and motivation are all the tools you need to get in shape, and stay in shape. Health Contempo.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Best "One" Exercise For Losing Weight?

If you could pick just one exercise to help you lose weight, what would it be. Most people, if only able to choose one, and including those not looking to lose any weight, a big majority would probably pick an easier exercise. I've trained with many people at many gyms, and when its time to do a circuit, like many different exercises one after the other, everyone always dreads when the really tough exercises come around, such as Burpees with a high jump (or ceiling touch) and clapping press ups wearing a weighted vest. I call them "Oh No" exercises. People would rather avoid these exercises, and that's understandable.

Anyway, enough about that. I'm tired just thinking about Burpees! So what is the one best one exercise if you're a person that works full time, are overweight, and can only dedicate a limited time to training each day, like one hour every day, or every other day. Well, in my opinion it has to be running / jogging. If you want to lose weight, running is one of the best exercises you can do. Preferably on grass, as taking to the streets, running on concrete is not good for the knees.

Running is just a great, all round exercise that not only makes the weight fall off fast if you eat healthy too, but improves stamina ten fold. You could always try fasting, either short term (safest) or do a water fast (Not suitable for everyone and can have potential dangers.) If you want to get the cobwebs out of your heart and lungs running is definitely one of the best ways to do so. Of course, if overweight, warm up properly and don't over do it when just starting out. Get the body used to running again. That doesn't just mean just the legs either, but also the heart, lungs, lower back and even the arms.

Running is great because its also free and doesn't require you to go to any class or gym. You don't need a training partner either, although its always better to train with other people. Just put your training gear on, warm up, and off you go. Once you get used to running you can increase the distance, speed, and watch your fitness level rise while you lose weight in the process.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Long Term Water Fasting Boons / Dangers

Is long term water fasting a good idea. There's no denying it, fasting is one of the most effective ways to lose weight very fast. And more people are turning to fasting as an alternative to things like weight loss pills and "main stream" celebrity diets that are the current fashion trend. It also helps the body to repair itself and can have other benefits, like a feeling of well-being. But fasting isn't without it's downfalls, or dangers.

First off, Diabetics should take extra care if deciding to fast. If blood sugar levels drop too low due to lack of food intake, it can be very dangerous. This can also be bad (going without food) for people who work in strenuous jobs.

Say for example, If you work in the construction industry in an extremely physically demanding role. Like, you are digging, lifting, or using a full sized jackhammer all day, you definitely shouldn't be fasting. Someone working all day in a demanding role like that needs some food / energy throughout the day. Consuming nothing all day in a demanding role could make the person faint / pass out, and even cause an accident, either hurting themselves or someone else.


There is a calming effect after a while of not eating, but sometimes, no food can make people down right angry / irritated. I'm not big on fasting myself as I'm not overweight, but I know from my own experiences that when I haven't eaten anything all day I can sometimes feel quite irritated. Then, after getting something to eat, that feeling quickly dissipates and I feel good again.

If you are dead-set on long term fasting / water fasting I would say that for most people, no food at all isn't really the best way to go about things. Fair enough, you don't get to the Ketone stage talked about in the video, but you can still lose a lot of weight, if that's what you are personally considering fasting for. Some people do it for other reasons, such as healing. If you're doing it for healing then you would need to basically have nil-by-mouth for at least 3 days to get the healing / repair benefits.

However, short term fasting for weight loss can be very effective. I've seen the results in real life. Short term fasting, where you can eat a small amount of food each day, is much safer, and you can still lose a massive amount of weight in a short period of time. 

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Short Term Fasting For Weight Loss

How good is short term fasting for long term weight loss? Fasting is a proven method for dramatic, extremely quick weight loss. It is also said to have other benefits mentally and physically. Apparently, after 8 hours with no food the body goes into repair mode. Before 8 hours = Fuel mode, after 8 hours, repair mode. This is the case for the mind also. It builds new neurological pathways that strengthen the persons resolve to abstain from eating. Acting almost like an automatic appetite curber

It's originally built into humans to help them where they had nothing to eat, but in 2017, specially in the western world, people use it unknowingly to abstain from eating, and not because they have literally nothing to eat like our hunter-gatherer ancestors did. So it serves the exact same purpose but in a different capacity these days for most.

There was a documentary that I watched were a man fasted only for 2 days. Both days he only consumed one small meal at the same time on each separate day. The results were amazing in terms of how much weight the guy lost who was doing the experiment. He showed the waistline of his jeans and demonstrated how they usually fit compared to how much space was now in between his trousers and waist. It was dramatic. Weight loss gone wild! It was actually quite shocking to see.


His thoughts on doing this were that generally, it was very tough to begin with, but after a while it did get easier throughout the day. However, he did say that it was much harder to resist food on the second day. I believe this was made harder because he met up with some friends on the second day and they had some food in a pub, and him fasting, sat and watched them eat. However, I have tried a two day fast and can attest that I found it extremely difficult on the second day too.

And I wasn't sitting in a pub watching people tuck into a hearty pub meal. I think it's because on the second day the body is running on extreme empty, but on the first day there is still more food in the system from previously eating normally. I'll be totally honest here, I did not succeed on the second day. I gave up and had something to eat earlier than I was supposed to. I know, I'm a joke! Ah well, I was doing it as an experiment anyway, as I'm not overweight.

Of course, the issue with short term fasting is that once the person stops fasting there is a big chance of them making up for lost calories, and falling straight back into their old habits. This is where discipline comes in. You have to be committed to keep the weight off. One other good thing about fasting is that it shrinks the stomach, making you feel full much quicker. But this is temporary, and can't be relied upon over the long term to help you keep the portions small.

Fasting, while not for everyone, such as people who are diabetic, is very good for the mind and body. It doesn't have to be for prolonged periods of time to be effective. Even just doing it one day a week can be effective if you don't make up for lost food / time and gorge yourself on the other days. Give it a go!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

'Good' Body Fat Promotes Weight Loss

We often hear people referring to good fats and bad fats. But when we think about these different kinds of fats, we are usually thinking about the fat in our food. I love good fats. I eat avocados all the time. Nuts too! But researchers in the USA, Finland and the Netherlands are studying a different 'good fat' - the kind we already have in our bodies. With tissue samples from patients, and using high-tech imaging, these three groups were able to determine how much sugar this brown adipose tissue actually burned. Scientists had thought that this good fat played a role in keeping infants warm, and that it becomes inactive or irrelevant in adulthood. Recent research is leading scientists to believe that this fat generates body heat, and burns calories.

Could we use this good fat to lose weight? 


To be specific, the two types of fat are completely different. The bad fat is white or yellow, and is found predominantly around the waistline. The good fat is more of a brownish colour, and found under the collar bone, and around the neck. This brown fat is called, brown adipose tissue. Since this brown fatty tissue contains more capillaries than white fat, it has an increased requirement for oxygen.

Scientists are learning that thinner people have more good fat than their overweight opposites, especially older overweight people; brown (good) fat burns more calories and helps generate more body heat in colder settings; and women usually had it more often than men. According to an abstract in the New England Journal of Medicine, the amount of brown adipose tissue has an inverse correlation with body mass index.

So how do we get more of this good fat? The idea of gaining fat to lose weight is something that has never crossed my mind. Looks like it might be time to take the Smart Watch off!

Researchers in Boston have been experimenting by injecting mice with specific genes to promote the growth of brown fat cells.Other researchers are suggesting that possibly turning the thermostat down could result in burning more energy. A small study is already underway, and results could be in by the end of the year.

The idea of turning down the thermostat to lose weight raises a few questions for me: Is that the reason why we eat so much in the winter? Is this why Europeans tend to be healthier than Americans? I'm considering conducting my own study this summer by turning my air conditioning thermostat way down. However, summer nights can be cold in my neck of the woods, and I don't really fancy going cold every night to conduct this test when I don't really have much fat to lose anyway! Does anyone else want to volunteer, lol.