Tag Archives: weight loss

Yoga for Weight Loss: What You Need to Know to Succeed (part 1)

Using yoga for weight loss might not look effective to most people. I bet you they’ll go: “Naw, it’s just stretching” what can it possibly do to burn calories?  Well, a lot my friend. Yoga can work for weight loss if you use it right and I’ll tell you what to do in due course.

“But how exactly can yoga work for weight loss Foras?” (That’s my name by the way),  “y’all are just stretching that’s it”

Boy, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that comment.

Well for interested parties, yoga as an option for weight loss is wise, safe and effective.
Remember, it is the oldest physical culture known to man and not only does this exercise work the body, it works the mind and soul as well. Hey, have you seen Madonna, Sting or Russell Simmons lately? (I can just see you go: “Foras,they were never overweight so don’t go there”!  Well they never gained weight either and they actually all still look good for their ages… right?

Okay, here are the poses I recommend you use when using Yoga for weight loss.
Now my friend, I will go over what I believe is the CORE of Yoga Poses.
Trust me, there have been times when I did this alone and still got the benefits that yoga gives from daily practice.

Let’s take notes:

The Sun Salutations When using Yoga for Weight Loss:

These exercises are a combination of Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, Sun Bathing and Prayer. They have been practiced for centuries by Yoga Practitioners in India, Martial Artists and African Wrestlers and as a system to rejuvenate the body and soul are beyond compare. It’s been said in the Drugless Healing circles that one round of the Sun Salutations is much better than a week of exercises at the gym!

They are very simple to learn and just about anyone, regardless of their fitness or flexibility levels can learn these simple exercises. In actuality, if you are familiar with “burpies” (the calisthenics exercise), they do derive their origin from the Sun Salutations.

Here are some of their benefits:
-They alleviate disorders of the skin and waist.
-Flexibility increases and breathing is corrected, moreover, they mildly exercise the legs and arms, thus increasing the circulation.
-They are the best way to burn calories and reduce weight and are often recommended for obesity and depression.
-They are an effective way of loosening up, stretching and massaging all joints and internal organs of the body.
-They stimulate and balance all the systems of the body including the endocrine, circulatory, reproductive and digestive system.

Technique:

1. Stand straight with the palms together as in a prayer position.

2. Inhale and stretch the arms above the head.

3. Exhale and bend forward while touching the toes.

4. Inhale and stretch the right leg away from the body in a big backward step and keep the hands and left foot firmly on the ground. Bending the head backward the left knee should be between the hands.

5. Inhale and hold the breath. Move the left leg from the body and, keeping both feet together and the knees of the floor, rest on the hands (arms straight) and keep the body in a straight line from head to foot.

6. Exhale and lower the body to the floor. In this position, only 8 portions of the body come in contact with the floor: the two feet, two knees, two hands, chest and forehead.

7. Inhale and bend back as much as possible bending the spine to the maximum.

8. Exhale and lift the body of the floor. Keep the feet and heels on the floor.

9. Inhale and bring the right foot along the level of the hands; left foot and knee should touch the ground. Look up, bending the spine slightly (same position as #4)

10. Exhale and bring the left leg forward. Keep the knees straight and bring the head down to the knees as in the third position.

11. Raise the arms overhead and bend backward inhaling. As in Position 2.

12. Exhale and drop the arms and relax.

You have now completed one round.

Perform as many rounds as possible in multiples of 3. Ideally you want to aim for 6 rounds minimum and up to a maximum of 30. It only takes about 5-10 minutes, depending on your speed and intensity and is best practiced with as little clothing as possible before an open air window first thing in the morning.

Okay, we’ve gone over the core pose or combination thereof when using Yoga for weight loss in this part of the series of this article. I’ll go over SPECIFIC poses (asanas) that will target the trouble spots and some breathing exercises that would speed up burning up of calories. But my friends, note, when I say use yoga for weight loss; I mean ALL its limbs: the poses, the prescribed diet for practice and mind-set. If you were doing conventional exercise for weight loss, you’d know to eat a healthier diet right??
Well the same applies to yoga for weight loss as well friends.

See you in part 2 of this article.

The Benefits of Strength Training for Weight Loss

If you are dieting and want to find a good way to complement your weight loss goals you can do so by adding a strength training program to your weight loss regime.  In order to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you take in.  You need to burn 3500 calories to lose one pound of excess baggage.  You can diet alone and lose weight slowly without concentration on toning up or you can diet, firm up, and speed up this process by implementing strength training into your fitness regimen.

Dieting alone will accomplish weight loss.  However, adding strength training to your plan will allow you the benefit of not only accelerating the process of weight loss, but doing so while toning and firming your body.  When you lose weight sometimes your skin does not always go back in place in certain areas.  If your skin has lost some of its elasticity, such as with obesity or age, you will notice some areas that are not quite as firm as they once were.  This requires exercise to tone and firm these areas.  Additionally, weight training will build the needed muscle that you need to increase your metabolism.  Increasing your metabolism will help to burn those calories and succeed at a much faster rate of weight loss.

Muscle does weigh more than fat, but muscle also burns calories at a higher speed.  By increasing your muscle mass through strength training you will be able to burn calories much more efficiently while also acquiring a toner, more firm body.

The calorie burning effect that strength training gives you will keep your body burning calories all day long.  Strength training will also strengthen your bones.  This is a very important piece of information, especially for women who are at an increased risk for osteoporosis.

Strength training can be accomplished by working out with weights.  If you are just starting out, go easy.  It makes no sense to push yourself one day only to be too sore to work out the rest of the week because you over did it.  For women,  starting out with 3- to 5-pound weights is ideal. You can find weight training programs that you can do at home such as P90X or you can go to your local gym and spend money on a personal trainer.

You will want to build up slowly and with this type of thought you will notice gradual increases in your ability to accomplish your goals.  Start out slowly and work your body so that you are able to perform each workout with just the slightest discomfort in your final repetition.  Working beyond this point means that your body is not yet ready for the next level.  Start out with 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise.  If this is too much scale back a bit and proceed even more slowly until you are ready for more.  Let your body be the judge of just how much you can handle comfortably.  Never work on the same group of muscles two days in a row.  Your muscles need time to rest in between workouts.

Strength training for weight loss is the most effective way to reach your goals.  You will see your weight drop more quickly while sculpting your body at the same time.

7 Must Know Facts to Build Your Strength Training Routine

Building a strength training routine can be one of the trickiest parts of a fitness program. Ask 10 personal trainers what the best strength training routine is and you will get 10 different answers. Below are 7 must-know guidelines to use when building a strength training program. Each guideline provides the basic foundation that all strength training programs abide by. Learning the proper way to use free weights will greatly improve your strength, fitness, and health levels.

1) We cannot strength train a muscle today and tomorrow. We have to allow at least 24-36 hours of rest. Lifting on consecutive days leads to overtraining, muscle fatigue, and possible injury. All of our strength gains are made during the rest time!

2) We cannot spot reduce. This means if we want to lose weight in our stomach, doing 100 crunches a day will not make our stomach flab disappear. To reduce stomach fat, we need an overall reduction in body fat. Reducing overall body fat results from eating well, regular exercise, and proper rest.

3) We can spot tone. If we want bigger biceps, we can strength train for hypertrophy (fancy word for muscle growth). It is possible for us to focus on one specific muscle group. This is sometimes called targeted training. Studies have shown that machines isolate a muscle better than free weights.

4) Our strength training routines must be regular and consistent for results to take place. It took us years to put on the weight. We shouldn’t expect it to all fall off in three weeks. The best outcome from your fitness and strength training program should be a lifestyle change. Replace bad habits with healthy ones and reap the rewards.

5) Realize that our strength training routine must be changed every 4-6 weeks. This will prevent our body from hitting a plateau and it will keep things interesting. We can change our method, our exercise or our intensity level. Not changing our routine on a regular basis will eventually stop producing results. We will continually grow stronger as we progress with our fitness program. Be sure your body is challenged on every workout.

6) Our strength training routines must be built according to our specific goals. Specific goals may be: fat loss, hypertrophy, maintaining weight or adding bulk. Each goal will have a different method that is best suited for optimal results. Someone who is interested in losing body fat will strength train differently than someone looking to increase muscle bulk. Knowing what your specific goals are will aid in creating the best strength training program possible.

7) Our strength training routines must work all of the major muscle groups in our body 1-3 times per week. This includes our biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, back, abs, quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves. Leaving out muscle groups will create an imbalance.

By using these 7 guidelines, anyone should be able to build a decent and effective program. The idea is to develop a safe strength training routine that provides us with major health and fitness benefits. Strength training has certainly increased in popularity over the past few years. Knowing how to build a strength training routine for our specific goals will move us one step closer to a fit body.