Posts Tagged ‘exercise

Why women should train specifically for their body type

- October 3rd, 2013

Some helpful info here …

Why women should train specifically for their body type

Fitness expert explains how to push boundaries of genetic predisposition in new book

Champaign, IL — Genetics play a huge factor in how your body responds to exercise. The average gym contains people of all shapes and sizes, and even those deemed “very fit” will have varying body shapes and response patterns to exercise in the way they develop muscle, burn fat, and improve their cardiorespiratory fitness.

“Simply doing the same training as somebody whose body you admire and want for yourself may not work for you,” says fitness expert Dean Hodgkin. “Attaining your goal may require you to train specifically for your body type.”

In their forthcoming book, Better Body Workouts for Women (Human Kinetics, November 2013), Hodgkin and former international athlete and fitness presenter Caroline Pearce explain the three body types and the training recommendations associated with each one to create an effective exercise program.

Dean Hodgkin and Caroline Pearce

Dean Hodgkin and Caroline Pearce

“Body shapes have typically fallen into one of three categories: mesomorph, ectomorph, or endomorph,” Pearce explains.In reality, most people will share characteristics from all three categories, but it is likely that you will identify with one category more than another. Each category has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of health and fitness, but your understanding of these is the key to your success.”

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“Simply doing the same training as somebody whose body you admire and want for yourself may not work for you.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mesomorph
The athletic physique for a mesomorph includes broad shoulders, narrow waist and hips, good muscular definition, low body fat, and a reasonably fast metabolism. Mesomorph body types respond well to most types of training—especially resistance and body shaping exercises—and sustain low levels of body fat. “The disadvantages for mesomorphs are they can often become overtrained, so they should be mindful of incorporating rest days and lighter training sessions into a training program,” Hodgkin says. “Also, stagnation can easily occur if they are not challenged with varying exercise routines, and they can put on weight quickly when training stops.”

Here are recommendations for mesomorphs:

• Combine both major and minor muscle group exercises into an exercise routine.

• Use superset training to maximize effort during workout time.

• Progress training regularly and keep it varied with regard to exercise modality, type, and intensity.

• If trying to minimize muscle mass, favor steady-state and interval training over maximal sprints and lifts. Also practice yoga, Pilates, and light-weight, high-repetition circuit training to develop longer, leaner muscles.

• If trying to maximize muscle, allow adequate recovery between exercises and sets and between weight training sessions. This allows regeneration of energy systems in the first instance and muscle adaptation in the latter.

Ectomorph

The athletic physique for an ectomorph includes narrow shoulders and hips, long and lean legs and arms, small bone structure, and very little body fat. “Ectomorph body types find it easy to lose weight and keep it off,” Pearce says. “They respond well to cardiorespiratory training and are ideally suited to this type of training because of their light frames and low body weight.” But ectomorphs find it difficult to put on muscle and create shapely physiques, are prone to injury because of fragile frames, and risk unhealthily low body fat levels.

Here are recommendations for ectomorphs:

• Use split training, which involves only one or two body parts with resistance exercises per session, and aim to work each body part once per week.

• Take adequate rest between strength workouts to allow for muscle recovery and for optimal repair and adaptation (48 to 72 hours).

• Use heavy, basic power movements that target the deep muscle tissues.

• Use repetitions of 5 to 10 and perform 3 or 4 sets of each exercise.

• Keep cardiorespiratory activity to a minimum (max three times per week) if the goal is to shape up and develop more muscle.

• Ensure good intake of protein and carbohydrate; greater caloric intake than usual will be essential in maintaining body weight and developing lean muscle.

Endomorph

The athletic physique for an endomorph includes wide hips and narrow shoulders that create a pear shape. They have less muscle definition, uneven fat distribution (mostly accumulating in upper arms, buttocks, and thighs), wide bone structure, and a slower metabolism than the other body types. “Weight gain is easy and fat loss difficult if you are in this category, and muscle definition tends to be hidden by fat,” Pearce explains. “Endomorph body types respond well to power and strength training due to natural strength. If muscle is trained and developed, then metabolic rate and fat burning can increase effectively.” The disadvantages for endomorphs are that they can look bulky with too much weight training in relation to aerobic activity and can suffer joint problems if carrying too much body weight. They also can find it more difficult to burn fat.

Here are recommendations for endomorphs:

• Include moderate-intensity, nonimpact cardiorespiratory exercise such as cycling and power walking on most, if not all, days of the week to achieve a leaner, lighter body shape.

• Cross training should be the basis for a training plan.

• Keep weights light, rep range 10 to 25, and recovery time short.

• Eat regularly and reduce starchy and sugar-based carbohydrate.

“Of course, genetics determine that some people are naturally leaner and more responsive to exercise than others,” Pearce says. “With this in mind, you need to be realistic with your goal of ideal body and training targets. But the good news is that with the correct training for your body type, you can really push the boundaries of your genetic predisposition and be the best you can be.”

Better Body Workouts for Women provides the best methods for assessing current fitness levels, identifying physical strengths and deficiencies, setting and refining training goals, and selecting and and customizing programs to make an immediate and lasting impact. For more information on Better Body Workouts for Women or other fitness resources, visit HumanKinetics.com.

Better Body

Alberta students taking fitness app to world stage

- April 30th, 2013

Cool fitness-related news from Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures (AITF).

A team of students who attended AITF’s geekStarter workshops (an iCORE program) is garnering international recognition for an app that monitors the health of computer/office workers and prompts them to get up and exercise.

The team’s creation recently took top honours at Microsoft Imagine Cup Canadian Finals. The student are now qualified to represent Canada in the world finals this summer.

I’m told that the Microsoft Imagine Cup is “like the Olympics for computer and software engineers. Hundreds of countries participate in the competition by hosting local finals to determine which teams head to the world championships.”

The 2013 finals are in St. Petersburg, Russia this July.

The team’s app is called SANO.

SANO is an interactive system using Kinect that monitors the health of computer/office workers who sit for long hours each day, prompting them to get up and exercise. A 3D virtual trainer appears on the computer screen and asks the user to mimic the movements. Users can even create their own exercises and share them with other users and track their history and progress.

What a fantastic made-in-Alberta story.

It’s also extremely encouraging to see students use their computer smarts to tackle the obesity epidemic. I love it! All the best in Russia, Team SANO!

Here are two stories by Jennifer Hill detailing SANO’s rise to the world stage:

Microsoft Imagine Cup this weekend

By Jennifer Hill

Imagine working late yet needing to buy groceries for supper and still having enough time to make it to the next Oilers home game. You may be tempted to just eat fast food even though you know it’s not healthy for your family.

Fortunately, smarter shopping is on the way thanks to a new Windows phone app designed by students from the University of Calgary. The students entered the Microsoft Imagine Cup where they were challenged to come up with innovative software and applications. The Microsoft Imagine Cup Canadian finals are being held online, on April 13. Two of the three teams to qualify for the nationals are from the U of C.

After attending several geekStarter workshops (geekStarter is one of iCORE’s programs), these students came up with two innovative applications for the national competition: YouSave and SANO.

In their own words: “YouSave is a mobile/web based application that allows users to enter what products they want to buy along with what they want to save (for example money, time, fuel or any combination of the three). YouSave returns the best set of stores in the user area where the savings will be optimized.”

YouSave

The YouSave team (left to right): Alan Chen, Xiufeng Peter, Omar Zaarour and Mahmoud Alhajiji.

If that wasn’t ambitious enough, another three students (including Omar Zaarour, who worked on YouSave) came up with SANO, another innovative solution that could benefit many of us at AITF.

SANO is an interactive system using Kinect that monitors the health of computer/office workers who sit for long hours each day, prompting them to get up and exercise. A 3D virtual trainer appears on the computer screen and asks the user to mimic the movements. Users can even create their own exercises and share them with other users and track their history and progress.

SANO

SANO team (from left): Tamer Jarada, Omar Zaarour, Omar Addam and Fatemeh Keshavarz.

Reaching the Canadian finals is quite an accomplishment for the Alberta teams, particularly as this is their first year of Imagine Cup competition. They credit geekStarter for their success.

“We could not have reached this stage without the continuous help and motivation from the useful geekStarter workshops and amazing AITF staff. There were great workshops provided to us such as time and project management, presentation skills and dedicated video editing and production.”

Will one of our teams win the Canadian competition and represent us in Russia in July? I’ll be anxiously awaiting the email from Microsoft on Monday, April 15 with the results of the national finals on April 13.

About the Microsoft Imagine Cup

The Microsoft Imagine Cup is like Olympics for computer and software engineers. Hundreds of countries participate in the competition by hosting local finals to determine which teams head to the world championships. The 2013 finals are hosted in St. Petersburg, Russia this July. (Coincidentally, St. Petersburg is also hosting the world championships of the Association for Computing Machinery programming contest in July. geekStarter is supporting teams from Lethbridge and Calgary who will be competing.)

* * *

Team SANO off to Russia!

By Jennifer Hill

We are very pleased to announce that the AITF-supported Team SANO has won the Canadian finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup this past Saturday and will be representing our country at the International finals in St. Petersberg, Russia, this July!

We support talented teams of students in the fields of ‘Omics and ICT through the iCORE program called geekStarter. geekStarter support of the ICT sector is very recent, as we are finishing our pilot year. It certainly seems to be as successful as our iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) teams! With grants and super-stellar workshops, we provide students with extra experiences and training that lift them from the ranks of their peers, helping them to achieve even greater personal success.

AI_Tech_RGB

 

Get fit in a flash

- March 23rd, 2012

And now a word from our friends at GoFit.net …

No time to work out? Please.

Cut the excuses and get into gear! GoFit.net gear, that is.

Introducing superior fitness gadgets from the nation’s premier resource for at-home fitness solutions that will whip any fitness naysayer into shape, no matter how much (or little!) time they have.

All products are available at gofit.net and at leading sports retailers nationwide such as Modell’s, Best Buy, Target, Sports Chalet and more.

GoFit_Fit In A Flash

• IF YOU’VE GOT 90 SECONDS: Whip it good with the hottest workout trend for 2012, the Combat Rope. This high intensity rope workout has gained momentum as a fast and effective technique for its proven ability to target every muscle in the body. Just 90 seconds with the Combat Rope is shown to leave the user in full conditioning fatigue mode! This fat burning method utilizes a natural whipping motion with a 40-foot rope and is used by both female and male professional athletes, MMA fighters, celebrity trainers and fitness experts alike. The GoFit Combat Rope is the ultimate tool for achieving peak athletic performance. The rope is available in a 1.5″ diameter and retails for $159.99.

• IF YOU’VE GOT 5 MINUTES: Torch some serious calories in minutes by jumping rope. Grab the GoFit Weighted Jump Rope when you have 5 minutes to spare and the extra weight creates an added challenge that further develops muscles in your wrists and forearms! Jumping rope allows you to use your own body weight against gravity and in turn, tone your calves, thighs, core and more. Jumping rope for 10 minutes at a moderate pace is the equivalent to running one mile in 12 minutes or cycling 2 miles in six minutes. Talk about a serious fat burner! The Weighted Rope is a 9-foot solid PVC rope, with removable 1/2 lb weights in each of the foam padded handles — it retails for just $14.99.

• IF YOU’VE GOT 20 MINUTES: Get a grip on the ultimate fat-blasting gadget that works the entire body — the GoFit Contour Kettlebell. Research shows that a 20-minute bout with the kettlebell can burn up to 300 calories! They’re also proven to burn 70 percent more calories than average strength training does — the equivalent of one hour on the treadmill in just 20 minutes; and they burn 11 calories per minute! Each contoured Kettlebell comes with a 30-minute Bob Harper Kettlebell Workout DVD, designed and performed by Bob himself. The collection is available in 7-45 lbs and is priced from $29.99-$109.99.

• IF YOU’VE GOT 1 HOUR: A great way to build muscle while burning fat can be found with the all-new GoFit Gravity Straps! This innovative and affordable version of leveraged body-weight training is designed to help users target different areas of the body including core, arms, shoulders and glutes, for an effective full-body workout. Weight resistance is adjusted by simply increasing or decreasing the body angle making the user’s weight all the resistance needed to build power, muscle definition and strength. Suspended body-weight training, the popular revolutionary new workout technique, has attracted celebrity hard bodies (Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Lopez, Pink, Christian Bale and Gwen Stefani etc.) The door-mounted Gravity Straps feature heavy-duty construction, designed with two hand grips and two padded foot cradles, as well as high-quality adjustable nylon suspension straps, which secure to two durable non-scuff door anchors. This product retails for $39.99

• AND … IF YOU’VE GOT NO TIME (stuck at work all day?!): Take advantage of the time while you’re bored in the office boardroom, there is no reason why you can’t get in a fabulous burn simultaneously! As seen on the TODAY SHOW, the GoFit Core Stability Disk is an excellent way to engage the core, increase balance and develop stability you’re at it! The 13″ GoFit Core Stability Disk is made of easy-to-clean, soft red vinyl and is portable and easy to store. The disk increases the difficulty as your ability improves and the smooth side of the disk is less difficult, whereas the textured “reflexology” side has a higher degree of difficulty, offering a more challenging workout. Firmness is adjustable, needle is included. This Core Disk retails for $24.99.

ABOUT GOFIT

Founded in 1999, GoFit has quickly developed into one of the most respected and recognized hand held fitness manufacturers in the nation. GoFit was the first in the industry to pioneer the idea that “knowledge is power” by pairing top-of-the-line products together with innovative educational content. Today, the company offers over 200+ quality, hand-held fitness products-ranging from stability balls, yoga mats, power tubes and kettlebells, to weighted resistance, balance and core performance products.

GoFit also offers world-class training methods with strategic partnerships from top experts in the business through instructional DVDs and downloadable Ipod workouts on demand. The brand is distributed worldwide, with over 5,000 leading retailers in the U.S., including MC Sports, Sport Chalet and BIG 5 Sporting Goods. GoFit has been featured in high profile media outlets including The New York Times, LA Times, Fitness Magazine, The Today Show, CNBC, E! Entertainment Television, Oxygen, OK! Magazine and many more.

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What do math and exercise have in common?

- September 25th, 2011

Math, ughhh, was never this fun when I was a young’un.

Check out the following press release, especially if you’re a parent:

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Carrie Scheiner

What do math and exercise have in common?

Expert reveals the answer should be ‘your kids’

Carrie Scheiner is not ashamed of being a bit of a math nerd.

But don’t let her degree in math education from Rutgers University fool you – she is also a big fan of physical fitness, and her passion for both has led to her to think of exercise for kids in a completely new way.

“As adults, we don’t think about it, but much of our exercise regimens revolve around counting,” said Scheiner, creator of Exploracise, an exercise DVD for kids and parents (www.exploracise.com).

“So I began thinking about how much more fun, and healthy, math could be for kids if we combined it with exercise. That was the genesis of my combination of the two disciplines.”

Scheiner believes her approach actually addresses two of the most pressing problems in the United States today.

“Research shows that exercise improves learning and multi-sensory learning techniques improve the recognition and recall of information,” Scheiner added.

“One-third of U.S. children are overweight or obese and 61% of fourth graders are not proficient in math. That being said, it just makes sense that we start approaching these problems head-on, and we can create an economy of scale in time and resources by doing it at the same time.”

Scheiner believes that parents should encourage kids to get off the couch and exercise, too, which is why she has also devised a list of tips for parents who want to see their kids exercise as they learn. They include:

Count Along – It’s not just  about counting to 10 when you touch your toes. There is so much more you can  do when your kids are having fun. It can be as simple as having them do the  same thing you do – sets of 10 repetitions of any exercise – and then have  them add up all those 10s when they are done. It will help them get  comfortable tabulating simple equations in their heads.

Carrie_SittingShapes Can Be Healthy – When  I was a kid in gym class, they made us do arm circles, but there are so many  other shapes that can be explored. Triangles, rectangles and even more complex  geometric shapes can be combined with exercise in a variety of ways. Be creative and don’t be content with your kids using their arms like windmills. Make it fun for them and it will help to create healthy exercise habits that will last a lifetime.

Scavenger Hunts – Hide and Seek is a time-honored game, and with a little twist, you can use it to make math and healthy eating fun. Hide some healthy foods around the house, and set your kids to the task of finding them, but write down the calories and fat for  each healthy food. When they find them, have them match up the foods with the numbers.

“It’s all about getting kids to put down the video game controllers and to get off the couch,” she said. “We owe it to our kids to start them off in life with healthy habits that we never learned as kids. As adults, we had to teach ourselves to work out and eat healthy. It wasn’t something that most of us learned when we were young. With this approach, you can help your kids develop intellectually and physically, as well as help them establish healthy habits that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

About Carrie Scheiner

Carrie Scheiner has a lifelong love of helping others, and is passionate about helping children learn math and healthy lifestyle concepts. She won the award for best student teacher for secondary math while receiving her bachelors of arts in math and secondary education at New Jersey’s Rutgers University, where she also earned a masters of science in statistics. She has combined her love of math and her passion for healthy eating and exercise to help the next generation overcome its current educational and health crises. (www.exploracise.com)

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A little is better than nothing

- August 1st, 2011

A little exercise goes a long way, especially for the ol’ ticker.

Check out the following press release:

10775DALLAS, Aug. 1, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Even small amounts of physical
activity will help reduce heart disease risk, and the benefit increases
as the amount of activity increases, according to a quantitative review
reported in Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association.

People who engaged in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity leisure
activity had a 14% lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD)
compared to those who reported no exercise or physical activity. At
higher levels of activity, the relative risk of CHD was progressively
lower. Researchers found that even people who got below the United
States guidelines for physical activity, which recommends 2 hours and
30 minutes of moderate exercise per week, had a lower risk of CHD than
those who had no activity.

“The overall findings of the study corroborate federal guidelines —
even a little bit of exercise is good, but more is better — 150
minutes of exercise per week is beneficial, 300 minutes per week will
give even more benefits,” said Jacob Sattelmair, ScD, of the Department
of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Sattelmair said this work differs from previous reviews of studies
examining physical activity and heart disease risk because it included
quantitative assessments of the amount of physical activity a person
may need to reduce their risk as well as the magnitude of benefit. In a
meta-analysis, researchers examined more than 3,000 studies of physical
activity and heart disease, and included 33 of them in their analysis.
Among those, nine measured leisure activity quantitatively.

“Early studies broke people into groups such as active and sedentary.
More recent studies have begun to assess the actual amount of physical
activity people are getting and how that relates to their risk of heart
disease.”

The study also notes a significant interaction by gender, as these
results were stronger in women than in men.
Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart
Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors
and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position.

The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their
accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily
from individuals; foundations and corporations (including
pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make
donations and fund specific association programs and events.

The
association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from
influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and
device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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