Latest Fitness Articles

5 Secrets to Ultimate Sit-Ups

fitness benefits of situps

When you start to put together your own home fitness program, you will inevitably be confronted with the issue of Sit-Ups. Nobody really likes doing Sit-Ups and they seem like such and old-fashioned exercise. Surely there is some new high tech device that will let us skip this old school method of strengthening abdominal muscles.

Resistance Band Training

Whether you're on the road, are too busy to get to the gym, or just looking for a good resistance exercise program that won't break the bank; resistance bands may be the answer.

Maximize Workouts with Mirrors

If you are a "serious" exerciser, you're probably already aware of the reasons why you should avoid baggy clothes when you work out: not only do they get in the way when you're trying to manipulate weights or stretch out, but they also completely conceal your body.

In the same way, if you're working out without mirrors, you are approaching your exercise regimen just as blindly. The bottom line is that you have to see what you are working with in order to make sure you are working out properly.

Here are some more reasons why mirrors are essential when exercising and some tips on how to choose the right one for you.

The Magic of Mirrors

When it comes to gym mirrors, there are definitely certain types that are better suited to specific exercises than others.

Fairly Straight Forward & Functional

If your gym consists of a piece or two of cardio equipment (treadmill, elliptical, stair-climber or bicycle, etc.) and a few free weights in the corner, you may be perfectly fine with a single mirror mounted on one wall. This mirror does not need to be mounted close to the floor and as long as it provides a way for you to check your form during your weight-lifting, you should be good.

*Tip: Using a mirror during cardio can give you the motivation to keep going just one more mile. Since we can see ourselves, we realize, "it's not as bad as I thought...I can keep going!"

Head to Toe

For pilates, yoga and other mat-based workouts, make sure you have a long mirror mounted close to the floor that extends at least as long as you do during your extensions and if you can have one large enough to encompass your whole body when standing upright as well, even better. After all, in addition to checking your posture, Scapular Stability and your "V angle" during the Teaser, you can also confirm proper form during Warrior and Pose of the Dancer or Triangle.

Full Body Coverage

For comprehensive disciplines like martial arts and dance, multiple mirrors are best – mount one in front and one on the side to cover all angles, literally!

Sizes and Shapes

Although the most commonly used thickness in the mirror market is ¼" thick, if you order custom mirrors (rather than grabbing something off the shelf at a home décor store, for example), they are just that: customizable to suit your specific needs.

You can adjust the thickness and shape and since mirrors installed in gyms are attached directly on the wall, by ordering a custom mirror, you can include cutouts for electrical outlets, vents, speakers and even TV mounts.

Finally, most gym mirrors do not have decorative beveled edges, but rather a flat polished edge. Nor do they have decorative frames all the way around – the point is to have as little getting in between you and your mirror image as possible so the most you should have is as thin a seam as you can manage if you are mounting multiple mirrors next to each other or a thin band on top and bottom of the mirrors for support.

What type of gym mirror do you want for you workout needs?

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Basis B1 fitness Band. Tracking Your Vitals

Fitness bands have gone through a lot of advancements in the recent years, with products like Smart Waterproof Fitness bracelet and the popular Nike+ FuelBand taking their style and functionality to a whole new level. In addition to tracking your movements they measure many other factors including your pulse, your heartbeat, your body temperature, how many calories your burn and how long you’ve been walking or running. 

Many of these gadgets are designed to target a specific type of athlete rather than appeal to an average sport enthusiast, however there is a new product that just might have a broader appeal. This latest entrant, is the Basis B1 fitness band.

The Basis B1 Band is essentially a digital watch that might first appear and function as any regular digital watch, but that’s where similarities end. It has various sensors that constantly monitor your body activities. It uses optical BPM heart sensor to display current heart rate, the number of steps taken, perspiration sensing, body temperature and the number of calories burned, as well as numerous other factors.

Data recording is one of the best features of Basis B1 Band. The device records variety of data, even while you’re sleeping. The Basis B1 is synced with which you can access through regular internet connection, Wi-fi or through any clear wireless internet service. In order to keep your data recorded, you must first set up an account, but once registered all of your data will be monitored, recorded, and analyzed. You will be able to have access to charts, graphics and other type of visual data based on your various vital statistics that are monitored and recorded 24 hours a day. You can easily see your numbers and how well you did or didn’t do and give you a better understanding what you need to do improve.

Despite Basis being a great device there are few problems that hopefully will be resolved in the future updates. One of these, is the way Basis functions and motivate its users. Basis software uses “habits” to encourage participants to perform certain actions and achieve rewards. You can unlock various habits by setting and achieving specific goals that get harder over time. This can be anything from remembering to wear the watch to finishing certain number of steps in a day. Unfortunately, Basis doesn’t do a good job of keeping track of the habits, and only rewards you once certain habit is achieved. It would be great if there was a way to show the progress you made to help keep you motivated.

Users are encouraged to visit the site and unlock various rewards that tend to get harder over time. However many rewards and habits are very broad and it’s easy to forget and lose track of them. Hopefully in the future versions, the software will be improved and tweaks will be made to make the process of goal achievement more intuitive and much easier to track over time. Keeping things more specific and showing your progress as well as monitoring how well you do along the way will definitely make tracking more useful in the future versions.

There are also plans for both iOS and Android app by the quarter’s end, with a strong focus on adding and improving features. Bluetooth wireless syncing is also in the works, and users will be able receive notification reminders to keep better track of their goals.

The number of health monitors has been steadily growing in the recent years and many do a great job in helping people measure their vital stats and keeping them active. Basis is definitely one of the better devices that are currently on the market and their first version, B1 is a strong competitor that will most likely continue to evolve and get better with future firmware releases and software upgrades.
Also their ability to sync with mobile devices will greatly help future Basis monitor versions to stand out from the rest of the pack. With the current price tag of $199, Basis B1 is a good device for anyone who wants to get more serious about achieving their physical goals and keeping a better track of their vitals.

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Five Reasons Why Insanity Workout Is Considered Best Workout

Some say that the Insanity Workout is one of the hardest exercise regimens in the market. However, if you are serious and determined in reaching your fitness goals, you will soon realize that it is the best workout you can find today. If you are ready for pure cardio, this is the one for you.

What can you expect from the Insanity Workout? Here are some facts about it:

• The workout is a total of 38 minutes and eight seconds in length.

• The breakdown of the workout is as follows – warm up exercise for eleven 11 minutes, stretching for 6 minutes, 15 minutes of main workout, and cool down stretching exercise for 5 minutes.

• Non-top pure cardio

• This is a 60-day program

Now that you know how long the workout is, you can decide if Insanity Workout is for you.

Reasons for Being the Best Workout

Before you make the final decision, you should check out these top five reasons why the Insanity Workout is considered the best:

1. If you love pure cardio workouts, you will love this program. You can expect full blast intensity which guarantees burning of calories from start to finish. The warm up exercises are already intense, so if your idea of warm up is different, you can start with your own preferred warm ups.

2. Stretching exercises are not overly complicated. In fact, some people are able to sweat much during this stage by doing yoga poses, back extensions, and side lunges. This is where you can learn the triangle and Warrior poses.

3. The main workout is just fifteen minutes! Before you know it, the time is already over. In fifteen minutes, you will perform 15 exercises. This means that you have a minute to do each of the exercises such as suicide drills, switch kicks, stance jacks, and many others.

4. The cool down stretching exercises include groin, pelvic cradle, and hamstring stretches. This is performed after your water break that lasts one minute only. This helps your body to rest a little.

5. The Insanity Workout recommends that you undergo a medical checkup before engaging in pure cardio. A doctor’s approval is required because the workout program is very strenuous. If you are not in your best of health, you will only do more damage to your body instead of being able to achieve fitness goals.

The Insanity Workout is not for everyone. In fact, in the video by Shaun T, he recommends a licensed physician to give the go signal for you to start working out. You can lose weight and burn unwanted fats, but you have to be determined and patient since results will not show on the next day.

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Is It Safe to Exercise in Cold Weather?

If you are an avid runner or sports player, you probably don't want to give up your passion during the cold winter months. However, you may be wondering if it is safe for you to brave the elements. Here are just a few things you should be aware of, as well as some tips on how to not let them bother you.

Effects on Your Lungs


The first thing you probably notice when you start to breathe a little heavier is that the air you are sucking in is freezing cold. While this is not dangerous in and of itself, it can sometimes make it a little harder to breathe. This means you may be panting heavier than normal because your body has to work harder to bring the air up to a temperature that can be used more easily.

You don't have to worry about oxygen deprivation if it is a tolerable temperature, but do not push yourself more than necessary.

Effects on Your Skin

As your body heats up from the inside, you are also heating up your outside. This is why you may feel like shedding some clothing after you have started to work up a sweat. While this is fine to cool yourself off, you have to be careful to monitor your actual temperature. If your arms are warming up but your legs are still cold, you may be putting your toes at risk for frost bite.

The opposite holds true as well. It can be easy to ignore what is actually going on in your body when there are multiple elements are having an impact on your health.

Effects on Your Joints and Muscles

The cold weather makes it harder to move and maneuver your muscles. This problem disappears when you are warmed up, but initially, it can be difficult to move with full range of motion. Until your muscles and joints have warmed up, you are at greater risk for pulling a muscle or straining something.

Environmental Effects

Depending on how cold it is outside and what the other elements of the weather are like, you may have to be careful for ice, especially black ice that may sneak up on you. The wind can also cause windburn on your exposed skin if you are not covered properly. Take into account the weather before you get dressed to exercise outside.

Keep Yourself Safe

When you are exercising outside in the cold, it becomes even more important to stretch and warm up your muscles. Before you head out, make sure to stretch all your major muscles thoroughly. This begins to warm them up before you get totally involved in your activity.


When you do start your activity, be it a sport, running, or playing a game, be sure to start out slowly. This will give your body time to adjust to the weather slowly as opposed to shocking your body instantly. It also slows things down so that you can monitor how you are feeling and estimate how you will feel a little further into the exercise routine.


Just like when you exercise inside or in warmer weather, it is important to stay hydrated and take breaks when necessary. It may not be as noticeable when you are thirsty because of the cold, but make sure you do not neglect the basics. Also, take breaks when your body feels like it is pushing its limit. Or, if your body really needs a break find a spa near you and treat yourself to a ports massage!


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Get That Beach Body Despite The Fact That It's Still Winter

 Getting a great beach body in winter requires a little more focus and effort than keeping up with a healthy routine in other months. However, it's not impossible. There are several things that you can do to help ensure a fantastic figure in this challenging season.


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