Cardiovascular Fitness and Improved Mental Health

Gym training outdoorsWhat is cardiovascular fitness and how can we benefit from it? Cardio workouts are good for our hearts. Our hearts are at the center of everything so we must take care of it in order to live a long healthy life. Cardio work outs of course require motivation to lose weight. Not just that, doing cardio work outs over time will improve your breathing. (Image by uonottingham via Flickr)

In simple terms, the phrase refers to the ability of the body’s heart and lungs to pump blood, and therefore oxygen, to the working muscles and the ability of these muscles to utilize the oxygen i.e. A person with a high level of cardiovascular fitness is able to efficiently transport and utilize oxygen.

Routinely participating in sustained physical activity helps to maintain cardiovascular fitness and results in the following benefits:

Improvement in functional and exercise capacity:


  • Increased submax and max cardiovascular exercise capacity
  • Increased anaerobic threshold (the point at which lactic acid starts to accumulate in the muscles)
  • Improved performance of activities of daily living and daily activity levels

Improvement in psychological well-being:

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Self-efficacy
  • Insomnia
  • Quality of life

Reduction in cardiac risk factors:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Visceral and general obesity
  • Hyperinsulinemia (excess levels of insulin circulating in the blood)
  • Insulin resistance

Improvement in symptoms:

  • Claudication (discomfort in the legs)
  • Angina
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

Improvement in peripheral skeletal muscle structure and function:

  • Muscle mass (Progressive Resistance Training only)
  • Strength (Progressive Resistance Training only)
  • Glycogen storage
  • Glucose transport
  • Blood flow, capillary density
  • Amino acid uptake and protein synthesis
  • A-V O2 extraction (how much oxygen is taken from the blood to be used by the cells

Improvement in pathophysiology of disease

…More at Benefits of Cardiovascular Fitness | Healthfix Blog

All work out programs should start out with some type of cardio so that you can start producing a healthier heart. A healthy heart equals a healthy life.

Best Tricep Exercises

If you are looking to find a good tricep exercise or two, you have come to the right place. This video will show you 5 great tricep work outs that you can do with just your body weight. These exercises can be done at home, in the park, or anywhere (even in your office space if you have some down time). The best tricep exercises that you can do with just your body weight are: tricep pushes, single arm side tricep push, reverse close grip pushups, dips, and close grip pushups. As always, a good diet will show the bet result alongside these exercises.

Best Chest Exercises

[108/365] Ill-advisedIf you are looking for the best chest exercises, then you are at the right place. I get it guys you want the best defined and toned chest that you can get. If you are trying to find an exercise that will achieve that ripped chest you have been trying to get, try these top 5 chest exercises along with dieting correctly. (Image by pasukaru76 via Flickr)

Top Chest Exercise #1 – The Barbell Bench Press

The undisputed king of chest expansion for hundreds of years, the bench press has been the standard for increasing strength and size in the chest by experts around the globe. It is possible to perform the bench press in a few variations, but for the purposes of this article, we will start by discussing the wide grip, peck pounding bench press.

Lie flat on your back on a standard Olympic weight bench. With your feet flat on the floor and your gluts tight to the bench, back and head on the bench at all times, unrack the bar from the bench and lower it to your chest. Pressing your feet into the floor while maintaining a flat position on the bench, use both arms to drive the bar straight up.

Top Chest Exercise #2 – Dumbbell Bench Press

Extremely similar to the first chest exercise, the dumbbell bench press more accurately follows the intended function of the pectoral muscle. Instead of driving the weight straight up, it allows you to bring it in towards the midline of the body. It is also easier to maintain an even level of strength with the dumbbell bench press because the free weights that you are holding aren’t connected in any way.

As you begin, lie flat on your back on a bench while lying in a position that keeps your feet flat on the floor. With a dumbbell in each hand rest the weight gently on your shoulders and then force them up and away from the body.

Top Chest Exercise #3 – Explosive Push-ups

The standard bench press will only get a person so far when trying to attain more muscle mass in the chest. To supplement normal weightlifting, it is important to incorporate more rapid motions into any chest program. This is difficult to do safely with weights, so smart bodybuilders turn over and put their nose to the floor for some push-ups that will create the most powerful resistance through explosive movements.

To begin, get down on your hands and knees. Extend your feet back and hold your position with your toes. Place both hands approximately shoulder width apart, and begin by flexing your arms so that your chest lowers to the floor. With as much power as you can muster, push against the floor hard enough to pop your hands off of the ground. You can increase the challenge by trying to jump your hands up to elevated boxes, or by clapping between each jump.

Top Chest Exercise #4 – Inclined Bench Press

This top chest exercise is extremely similar to the standard bench press listed above in that it works the same primary muscle groups (pectorals, deltoids and triceps.) The incline of the bench press however places a great deal more of the workload onto the upper chest.

To perform, use a press bench that can be raised to an incline position. Unrack the weight and lower the barbell until it touches your upper chest. Press the weight back up into the starting position with arms fully extended and repeat. Keep your elbows tucked in to maintain a 45 degree angle to your flanks. If you allow your arms/elbows to deviate outward you’ll be placing excessive strain on your shoulder joints.

Top Chest Exercise #5 – Decline Bench Press

Again, another workout that is very similar to the standard bench press. It works the same muscle groups (pectorals, deltoids and triceps). The decline of the bench press however puts a great deal of emphasis on the lower chest muscles.

To perform, use a press bench that is adjustable and move the seat into a decline. Unrack the weight and lower the barbell until it touches your lower chest, upper abdominal region. Once again, you’ll need to keep your elbows turned in to your body so that your arms are at a 45 degree angle to your flanks. If you allow your elbows to drift outward you’ll be placing excessive stress on the shoulder joints.

…More at Increase Chest Mass By Top 5 Exercises Bodybuilding

From these top 5 exercises for the chest I hope that you have found one that best fits you. Eat right and exercise right and results will show.

Best Exercise For Weight Loss

Do you want the best exercise plan to lose weight? Well we have a remedy for you. Remember you must have the motivation to lose weight. This video will give you some good tips as far as what work outs will produce good results. You must remember that part of losing weight is still eating, but eating healthy so your body has fat to burn and stay energized off of.

There are three keys to a genuine weight loss (real fat loss) plan – diet, exercise and metabolism correction. All three keys interconnect – one will not work without the other. Your metabolism is the most powerful of all the three keys – it is the ‘switch’ that controls everything else. In most people this switch is off. Metabolism problems like slow thyroid, type two diabetes, sluggish liver, hormone imbalances, PCOS, endometriosis, infertility, and digestive problems such as constipation, IBS, and diverticulitis will limit or stop your weight loss, no matter how much dieting or exercise you do. Work on fixing your metabolism problems for amazing results. Combine this with a reasonable diet (under-eating is worse than over-eating) and a reasonable amount of exercise (too much exercise is as bad as no exercise) and you will get the best, the fastest, and the easiest weight loss ever.

…More at Get your best weight loss ever with diet, exercise and metabolism correction – Mayo Advertiser

I hope that these tips that we have presented to you will help you on your path to losing weight. I have faith that with motivation you will be able to achieve your healthy weight loss goal.

Music Fitness Workout

Move to the Music – Lose Weight & Feel Better

Zumba Fitness

Do you enjoy listening to music while exercising? Well I know I do. For some reason when I am listening to music while exercising I lose track of time and enjoy my music and the exercise that I am getting at the same time. Did you know that listening to music has benefits? Well keep reading and you can learn the benefits to listening to music while getting fit. (Image by Lindhurst Health & Fitness Center)

Benefits of Moving to the Music

Research has shown that music and the association of music to a workout can enhance the experience and even improve performance during a workout. A study conducted at Brunel University in London and another published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology demonstrate that working out to music:

  • Narrows attention, diverting the mind from fatigue
  • Lowers perceived exertion during moderate intensity exercise
  • Helps exercisers feel more positive during high intensity exercise
  • Provides psychological boost that can help push through tough spots
  • Increases efficiency
  • Reduces oxygen consumption
  • Increases endurance

These benefits were not realized when music was used in the background, nor do they come from listening to just any music while exercising. The benefits were realized when study participants exercised to the beat of the music, or when exercise was synchronized with the music.

One study was conducted using runners as the test group and the other using cyclists. Synchronizing exercise to the music means the runners matched the foot striking the ground to the beat of the music. Essentially, every thump of the bass was matched by a footfall. In the case of the cyclists, the pedaling cadence was matched to the tempo of the song.

Music and Group Fitness

Finding and creating a play list of songs that have the correct tempo to match your workout speed and the appropriate intensity to motivate your workout could mean a huge time investment. The great news is that you do not have to spend your time looking for music. Music plays a major role in some Group Fitness class experiences. Classes like Group Active®, Group Centergy®, Group Groove®, Group Kick®, Group Power®, Group Ride®, and Group Step® are designed so that the exercise movements match the music. Whether you are dancing to the rhythm, pedaling to the pulse, or moving the bar to the beat, moving with the music draws attention to the music and helps you get more from your workout. The music is a powerful part of the experience.

Have you ever run on a treadmill or an elliptical trainer without music? If so then you have probably had one of those workouts that never seem to end, you are looking at your watch every two minutes, and you are just not motivated to continue. The programs listed above are experiences based on interaction with music. They are a great way to realize the benefits of exercising to music. Your workout time will likely pass more easily and you will probably be more motivated, making it a more enjoyable and successful experience.

…More at Music and Exercise – Plymouth Fitness

As you see listening to music while exercising is a good thing to do because as I said in my case you lose track of time, you also do not pay attention to fatigue. Overall it is just great to do, so give it a shot.

Best Leg Exercises

Women, I know some of your key concerns are making sure that you have fit legs that are tones and defined. With leg exercises you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of an exercise and it is not just a waste of your time. As I always say though, how you eat will have a lot to do with your results when you are exercising. Leg exercises are great because they tend to work out most of the lower body besides just your legs. This is good because you never want to be focused on just one part of your body because you will over work it. I hope you enjoy this fitness video with Jillian Michaels and getting those nice beach bod legs!

Evict Love Handles With Diet and Exercise

Are you looking to get rid of those love handles? Well if you are you definitely want to watch this video on how to eat right and exercise to get rid of your love handles. As I just said, eat right … eating right must also been done in conjunction with exercising to get the best results. Getting rid of love handles deals with first, burning fat and then toning to get the look that you have always dreamed of. Enjoy the video and start working out.

Disorders of the Brain

O is for Occipital LobeAs always the key element to bettering you mood when it comes to having some sort of brain disorder affecting your mental wellness is exercise. By exercising and eating right, this will better your mood and make you feel good about yourself which will make you feel good about other things in your life. Exercising is always the answer when it comes to most health issues. (Image by illuminaut via Flickr)

One very important and often highly neglected treatment of a variety of medical brain disorders is exercise, daily exercise. I cannot stress how important this is, yet maintaining consistency with exercise when dealing with mental illness is extremely difficult. Some days, many people cannot even get out of bed. Other people are terrified of being in public places.

One way to get moving each day and to stay at it is to have an accountability buddy. A family member, close friend or even a support group are some wonderful examples to get needed support for a daily exercise regime, especially if you are suffering from depression or anxiety disorders. Try not to do this alone. Make it fun and do not be afraid to ask for support.

The importance of mood-tracking journals are tools in helping manage certain mood disorders, but so is keeping an exercise journal. Note each day how you feel before and after exercise, your strength levels, energy improvements, how you sleep each night, and especially any changes to your moods and overall look upon life. I believe you will find that keeping a journal will document amazing and positive results!

Movement is so good for the body, spirit and mind. Activity and exercise are very important for people living with mental illness. Most of all, try to find an exercise activity you really enjoy! Individuals living with mental illness often have a higher risk for heart disease, and exercise can play a key part in a wellness plan. Activity and exercise are great ways to combat factors that are part of heart disease risk, stress, high blood pressure, weight gain and diabetes-all problems commonly found among people living with mental illness. Did you know that exercise plays a key part in elevating your mood and regulating sleep patterns?

The benefits of exercise do make a difference with depression, including severe clinical depression. Whether you take medication or choose to manage without, an active lifestyle is important for everyone. This is particularly true for those living with schizophrenia and who are on second-generation atypical antipsychotic medication (SGAs) because they are more vulnerable to obesity.

In addition to the countless physical benefits, exercise does have vast psychological benefits. Studies show that exercise can increase the amounts of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in your brain. The increased levels of neurotransmitters can help treat many disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, as well as help you to feel more energetic overall.

Lastly, just having hope in something healthy, positive and inspirational, as well as setting new goals that will bring about feeling good about ourselves are lifelines to those dealing with medical brain disorders. Today, would you step out in courage, take those baby steps to implement daily exercise into your life, and remember…you are not alone.

…More at Medical Brain Disorders~The Benefits of Exercise | Keep Choosing

I hope that from this article you are able to overcome whatever mental disorder that you are having. You will have better days in your future, but you just have to take things day by day and try to stay positive.