The BeYou Blog

Eat Better, Move Better, Feel Better

Category: Fitness (page 1 of 4)

How to create an at home gym in your apartment?

Many people shy away from working out at home. Among the reasons, most of you are mentioning the fact to have not enough space to workout, the lack of motivation or the fact that you always have something else to do at home (and too many distractions).

But there’s a reason at-home workouts are booming right now—most of them are cost-effective and require hardly any equipment and space. Gone are the days of pricey memberships and jumbo gyms being your only option to get a sweat in (thank goodness). Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to build yourself a mini gym, even if you have little to no space. All you need are a few pieces of worth-it workout equipment to take your at-home workout to the next level. In particular, you need some high-quality resistance bands and a set of dumbbells.

In order to avoid any type of distraction, choose a closed space in your apartment (unlock the door if needed). It’s your moment and it is important that your flatmates/husband/children/parents/friends understand that you can’t be disturbed during your workout. You can also listen to music while working out to be more motivated (a study has shown that listening to music while exercising could improve performance).

Buy resistance bands

Most of the time, resistance brands are underrated but they really worth the purchase if you want a stellar workout. For one, they take up virtually no space in your apartment. Moreover, you can use them for tons of different exercises that target any part of your body. Resistance bands also come in a variety of resistance levels—the thicker and more difficult to stretch, the higher the resistance–which means you can tailor your workout to your current fitness level and move on to thicker bands as you build your strength.

How to use them?

For example, try adding some resistance to your squats by positioning the band just above your kneecaps. To do the lateral band walk, put the band at mid-shin, getting into a squat, and then sidestep one foot at a time to the right like you’re walking sideways. Feel that burn in your glute?

Invest in dumbbells

Strength training is important for longevity, weight loss, better sleep and provides lots of health benefits. This is why investing in a pair of dumbbells is a smart move. If you don’t have space for two, totally fine, you can still do a lot with one. You can do cleans, overhead presses, squats, Romanian deadlifts or use them for squats and lunges.

With these tools, you can have an effective workout from the comfort of your home.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com

How to make your run less boring?

For some of us – as much as we love running – it sometimes just gets a bit same ol’ same ol’. You’re running the same route, at the same time, listening to the same songs. It’s all getting a little too déjà vu.

Boredom means less motivation, which means you’re less inclined to give it your best. If you’re not giving it your all, you’re unlikely to be making progress.

So how do you keep your run fresh and interesting? For the miles to fly by, try these boredom-beating tips to make your runs less of a chore, and more fun, enjoyable and productive!

1. Invite a friend

Running should never be a wretched experience be fun, and running with a friend can definitely boost the fun factor. In fact, having a running buddy might be better for brain health than running solo. Buddying up makes your run more social and stimulating. You can chat, take it in turns to set the pace and even make up your own games as you run.

Tip: For a running partnership to be successful, you should be of a similar level of fitness, have similar running goals and be prepared to commit – no standing up your running buddy or turning up late for workouts!

2. Change your route

Running the same route over and over almost guarantees your workout will become boring with time. Rather than do the same old loop every time you run, look for new running routes and even drive to new areas to enjoy a change of scenery and stimulate your senses.

Tip: Check out running websites for your local area, which will have tips from other runners about great running locations. Look for different environments in which to run. Not only will changing running surface and terrain make your runs more interesting, but it will also make you a better runner and challenge your body a different way.

3. Make it a destination run

If you live in an urban area, consider running to a fun spot (a delicious doughnut shop, your friend’s apartment, a park, etc.) and then taking public transportation back home. Live in the suburbs? Have a friend or family member drop you off and run back home. Knowing you can’t stop until you reach your destination will give the run more purpose!

4. Listen to music, audiobook or podcast

Listening to music can be both super motivating and provide proven distraction from the sometimes monotony of running. Exercising with music has been shown to make people exercise harder. You can also listen to podcasts, radio talk shows, radio plays, sports commentaries or audio books.

5. Focus on your technique

Running is pretty easy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it wrong! Focusing on your running technique can be a great way to distract yourself and will also make you a better runner.

6. Problem solve

Running is a great opportunity for working through problems and coming up with solutions. The increased flow of oxygen to your brain and the production of happy hormones (endorphins) mean you are probably at your most creative when you’re running. If stuck on a problem or suffering with a creative block, lace up your running shoes and head out for a run. Chances are, by the time you get back, your creative and problem-solving juices will be flowing freely.

7. Try cross training

If running is losing its appeal, try cycling, rowing, hiking, swimming, aqua running or join a circuit class. Doing other activities works your muscles in different ways, targets muscles that running might not, can improve strength and are generally lower-impact than running. Cross-training can help improve your fitness and running performance and reduce the risk of injury. Of course, runners must run but that doesn’t mean that other exercise modalities should fall to the wayside. Consider swapping one or two runs a week for an alternative type of exercise.

The next time you set out for a longer run, try out some of these tips and leave your boredom at home. You’ll be an endurance pro in no time!

Source: http://healthandstyle.com

Which group class should you choose?

Which group class should you choose?

Before choosing your group class, it is important to define your fitness goals in order to find the perfect class to complete your goals!

Do you want to lose weight? To build muscle? Or maybe to be faster and stronger? Luckily, most gyms are offering a variety of funny group classes! But which one is the right for you? Of course, the best is to try every class and then decide which one you prefer, but you can also think in terms of goals. This article will help you define which class will help you to complete your fitness goal!

Your goal is weight loss

Good news: most classes are good options for weight loss! The best is to opt for a class that involves both cardio (to keep your heart rate elevated during all the class) and weight lifting. Cardio will help you burn more calories and weight lifting will help you build muscle which can give to your skin a more toned effect.

You can choose a class like “Total Body Toning” or “TRX”. Pilates is also a good option and maybe better at the beginning to enter into the fitness world. Other good options could be “Zumba”, “Kickboxing”, “GAP” or “Ab attack” class.

Your goal is strength and flexibility

If you want to get stronger and be bendy at the same time, it is possible! Most weight lifting classes can help you to complete this goal. But don’t forget to get heavier weights to see a progression. Yoga class is also an excellent way to work on your body strength, flexibility, and balance.

Your goal is to improve performance

If you want to have better results (running a marathon, increasing running speed etc), focus on Interval Training classes such as HIIT class or cycling class. They are great to push yourself and go beyond your limits.

But the most important: Have fun moving!

Why I am gaining weight even when I exercise?

Why I am gaining weight even when I exercise?

If you have the feeling that you are gaining weight whereas you are exercising, read this article, it will make you feel better!

Many things can affect your ability to lose weight, such as:

  • Food choices: Diet is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy weight. Try to eat more protein-rich foods, fibrous vegetables, healthy fats.
  • Activity level
  • Genetics
  • Age

Stress can also affect your weight loss, and over-exercising can lead to stress-related hormonal fluctuations that may make weight loss harder.

Although getting the right amount of physical activity is important for your overall health, overtraining and not getting adequate rest between your workouts can keep you from losing weight. This is why balancing exercise with recovery periods is critical.

Overtraining — especially physically demanding cardiovascular activity, such as a marathon or triathlon training — may increase levels of cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress.

Elevated cortisol levels have been associated with:

  • weight gain
  • sleep disturbances
  • increased inflammation
  • excess belly fat (even in lean people)

Elevated cortisol levels drive hunger and cravings for tasty junk foods, which is why chronically elevated levels can lead to weight gain or prevent weight loss.

Our tips:

  • cutting down on training sessions
  • giving your body time to recuperate between workouts
  • adding cortisol-reducing activities to your routine, such as yoga or meditation

Menopause transition (perimenopause) typically begins in your mid-40s. Studies show that hormonal fluctuations during this time may lead to weight gain, especially in your abdominal area.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/

15 Minutes Fat Burning Exercises

You don’t have time to train today, but you don’t want to feel guilty? Try these 3 fat burning and bodyweight training exercises to work up a sweat in only 15 minutes!

 

THE BENEFITS

It combines endurance and strength training.

You burn massive calories (fat burning)

Get tonedand become stronger.

Do it anywhereand anytime.

No equipmentneeded.

Quick training (15 minutes are enough).

 

  1. EXPLOSIVE BURPEES

Burpees will elevate your heart rate which can help you burn massive calories!

 

2. JUMP SQUATS

The only fact of jumping is really effective for fat burning, and much more if you convert your jump in a jump squat! It will activate your core and you will be working your leg muscles (quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes) as well as your inner and outer thighs (adductors and abductors), calves. You will also improve your stabilization. If jump squats turn to be a too big challenge for you, regular squats are great too!

3. JUMP LUNGE

This cardiovascular exercise is a variation of the simple lunge. You will be working all the major muscles in your lower body (quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves) and your legs.

Our suggestion: 40-second workout/ 20-second rest. Repeat for 4 rounds and rest for 60 seconds at the end of the third exercise interval.

Running: why my legs feel heavy?

Running: why my legs feel heavy?

Some running days are better than others. Among the reasons of a bad run, we can mention bad weather (cold temperatures, slippery ground, strong wind), low energy (a headache, sickness, hangover), weak breathing, cramps, soreness or heavy legs. In this article, we will focus on  “having heavy legs” while running.

There is nothing worse than starting a run and feeling that you have bricks instead of sneakers. What are the causes of heavy legs? How can you reduce this dead leg feeling?

 

🔸 Adjust your strength training

For sure, building muscle mass can help you become a better runner. However, a very intense strength training can lead to heavy legs. During the in-season of running, focus more on  light strength training.

 

🔸Don’t skip the post-run stretching

It is also very important to incorporate regular stretches after your run. It will decrease muscle stiffness and pain and increase your range of motion. If you don’t have time, try at least to stretch for 10 minutes (static leg stretches) and also involve quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hips, and back.

 

🔸Overtraining

If the feeling of heavy legs is quite frequent during your runs, it might be a sign of overtraining (too much physical stress on your body). It can be caused by too many workouts, doing too much after an injury, large jumps in the long run, etc. If the feeling of heavy legs is really due to overtraining, we recommend taking a few days of rest. It’s also important to listen to your body in order to avoid injuries and more serious problems.

 

🔸Wear good shoes

The ideal shoes are light as possible while offering the necessary support. If you run quite often, the best would be to go to a professional store and ask for a recommendation. You need to have shoes adapted to your type of foot. Be sure to replace your running shoes every 300-500 miles.

Moreover, having heavy legs can also be due to a low carbohydrate diet, a lack of sleep, iron deficiency, dehydration, or poor circulation.

We hope that this article was helpful and that it could help you facing this problem. If you are experiencing heavy legs too often, see your doctor to address your concerns.

 

What are the Benefits of Hanging Exercise?

Simply hanging a bar is undoubtedly the best upper body stretch, that you need to do daily.  It is quick, simple and is really effective. In order to perform the hang stretch, you only will need a bar or something that can support your body weight to hang from. We will see how you should do it and all the benefits it will provide.

How to do it?

  1. Grab onto a bar. Wrap the bar with all your fingers, your palm facing away with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip.
  2. Try to hang yourself without touching the ground with your feet.
  3. Keep your body in alignment. Our tip to help you keep your body aligned is to press your legs and glutes together and keep your abs contracted.
  4. You should feel a stretch across the upper back, biceps, and triceps.

During the movement, try to relax your body and let the weight of your body drift towards the floor. This action is called “traction”, giving you the feeling that your muscles and body start to lengthen.

The benefits

As we have already said, the bar hanging is definitely the best you can do for your upper body.

🔸Improve the strength of your grip

Hanging a bar will make your grip stronger as you will be supporting your entire body. Which means that you will be better in other training exercises requiring a strong grip (pull-ups, deadlifts, rows, etc).

🔸Make your shoulder stronger

Having strong shoulders will allow you to perform safely pressing and overhead movements.

🔸Healthy Spine

Hanging a bar could be very useful for those who have spinal compression or pull heavy barbells on a regular basis. It can relax your back and relieve you from unwanted lower back pain and soreness.

🔸Improve your posture

When we are hanging a bar, we try to keep our body in a straight position. If you do this exercise daily, it will increase your awareness of postural imbalances.

🔸Improve your workouts

Bar hanging is considered as a really good warm-up before a training proposing pull-ups, chin-up or other gymnastic movements. Hanging exercises can improve your workouts at a general level as you will increase grip strength, flexibility, body weight movement, shoulder stability, back strength, and posture.

 

 

Why you should consider stretching for your body maintenance 🧘‍♀

Why you should consider stretching for your body maintenance

Stretching is not only the best way to increase your flexibility, but it is also a vital form to maintain your body! 

When you are stretching your muscles after a long run or doing a few stretches after a few hours sitting at your desk, you can see the benefits of stretching. Most of the time, your body needs it, asks for it and it makes you feel good!

However, we can admit that we should practice it more often. Experts think that the body should receive stretching exercises on a consistent basis. Indeed, flexibility is one of the components of fitness which means that as the other components such as cardio training or strength training, stretching is a necessary part of your fitness routine. Stretching helps the muscles function normally (they will be more receptive) by resolving tension and improving the circulation.

With a consistent stretching routine, you can increase mobility, flexibility, blood flow and muscles function. But also you can:

🔸Help your muscles heal:

One of the main benefits from stretching is that it can recover your muscles after heavy exercises. After a strong training, muscles fibers can be overly contracted. Stretching allows realigning tissue within the muscle and connective tendons so that they can heal. If not stretched, your muscles will be shortened of their range of motion, decreasing your results.

🔸 It prevents aches and pains

When you start noticing discomfort or just minor aches in certain muscles for example if you are sitting at a desk during too many hours, after carrying heavy weight from the supermarket or simply after a tough training, the solution is STRETCHING. Ashes and pains are just a sign that your body needs some extra attention.

🔸 It improves your workouts

Stretching allows you to enhance performance and to get better results. As your range of motion is improved, you will gain in physical performance.

🔸 it improves your movements at a general level

You will be better prepared to perform any kind of physical activity during your daily life (carrying bags, running to catch the bus, climbing stairs, etc).

🔸 It can reduce stress

Stretching training can be really relaxing, specifically the stretching activity when you are taking deep breaths (yoga for example). You can also see it as a form of meditation.

Stretching is specifically recommended to people who sit or stand a lot and for people who train a lot. If you want to increase your flexibility on a permanent and long-term, it is recommended to schedule 2-3 stretching sessions of 30 to 60 minutes a week.  Hold each position during at least 30 seconds and be careful not to push a muscle too far.

🧘‍♀

 

Choose the right training for your body type

Choose the right training for your body type

Did you know that it exists 3 types of body, which are predominantly genetic but it doesn’t mean that you can’t change the shape of your body? Of course, if you have a straight and narrow physique, it will be difficult to transform your body in a hourglass figure but you can adopt a specific training in order to make the most out of your body type!

The 3 body types are Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph. Try to identify your body type with the description below and the picture in order to know which training (both strength and cardio) you should opt for. Of course, determining your body type is not always so obvious but you might notice that there is one type more predominant. 

 

  1. Ectomorph (check the body type with the blue rectangle)

The ectomorph body type is naturally very thin with narrow hips and shoulders, thin arms and legs and very low fat. This body type generally struggles to gain weight.

Your strength training:

  • Train with heavy weight with long resting time between each set (2-3 minutes) and between each exercise (5 minutes).

  • Focus on 1 or 2 body parts per day in order to avoid a caloric deficit.

  • You should do  5 to 10 reps and 6-8 sets for each exercise.

  • Our tip: don’t train a muscle group that is sore

Your cardio training:

  • Minimal cardio

  • Prefer moderate to low-intensity cardio exercise such as biking or speed walking.

 

2. Mesomorph (check the body type with the black triangle)

The Mesomorph body type is an intermediate between the Ectomorph and the Endomorph. It is the ideal body type for bodybuilding because you can win muscle easily. It is characterized by very strong legs, broad shoulders, and a narrower waist. People with this body type generally have also low fat.

Your strength training:

  • You will get better results if you do a varied training (light, moderate, heavy weight). You can do basic exercises such as squats, lunges, chest press, shoulder press with heavy weight followed by moderate or light weights.
  • For the legs, you can even incorporate really heavy weights (6 reps).
  • Do between 8 to 12 reps by exercise.

Your cardio training:

  • We recommend doing cardio training 3 days per week during 15-30 minutes.
  • HIIT training good be a good option for this body type

 

3. Endomorph (check the body type with the red square)

The Endomorph body type has more the shape of a pear and is more round. They tend to have more body fat, especially in the legs and arms. This is why it is much more difficult for this body type to gain muscle and easier to gain weight. But don’t blame your genetics! You can still work on it in order to come closer to the body type that you like.

Your strength training:

  • Total body workout in order to burn many calories
  • If you work with weights, prefer moderate weight lifting.
  • Aim for 8-12 reps and 3-5 sets for upper body and 12-20 reps for lower body.

Your cardio training:

  • 20-30 minutes cardio 3 days per week
  • Prefer easy cardio training such as swimming, biking, hiking, or walking

All these information are great to give you an idea of the direction you have to take. But remember that any kind of results takes time and consistency! So don’t give up and believe in yourself!

 

Quick workouts: what about the benefits?

Quick workouts: what about the benefits?

Many of you are wondering if quick workouts really make a difference? When, once again, you don’t have time to go to the gym or your energy seems very low, you decide to opt for a short home workout and you are wondering will it be worth it?

So if short workouts can really bring benefits, what are they?

A quick workout can provide benefits for general health and fitness. It also will help you to come closer to your weight loss goals. However, short workouts are not ideal if you have specific goals such as becoming stronger, having bigger arms, better muscles, etc. Indeed, if you want to build muscles, you will need a little more time than just 10 minutes a day.

According to a study, even a short training of 4 minutes can increase your cardiometabolic health, specifically for people having a very low level of fitness (significant decrease in mortality risk). Moreover, some individuals with overweight following a 2-month short and high-intensity workouts, had a better control of their blood sugar levels.

Short workouts have also another benefit: you are not so exhausted as regular workouts and your appetite doesn’t increase.

Another study has demonstrated that a 10 minutes high-intensity workout can improve your mental focus which makes it perfect for your break at work, before an exam or a study session.

In order to receive all the benefits properly, you should opt for a high-intensity workout at about 8 of a 1 to 10 level of discomfort (it should be hard to make your heart race).

So, short workout or no workout?

Clearly, the answer is short workout! If you are traveling, don’t have the time or just want to gain more focus throughout the day, do it! But of course, they shouldn’t be your only option!

In summary, you can improve your general fitness with quick workouts but keep it as an extra training when you don’t have time.

 

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