Should You Run Steps?

Running up stairs is a pastime for many runners. However, is it a good idea? Or is there a reason why you shouldn’t run? To many, the answer is an obvious “yes.”

Why Steps Can Be a Good Workout

Running up stairs can burn calories with ease, and pump up your thigh muscles like none other. You feel the burn in a short amount of time, making a ten minute exercise seem like hours. You begin to sweat, and then learn how to take advantage of your movements. You think that there’s definitely a reason why you should keep running, but there are a few who disagree with that. Continue reading

Why Elliptical Machines Matter Today

There’s an elliptical in almost every gym, and they’ve been in there for a good while. Despite this, they’re still new to the home exercise world, but they’re selling fast. Why is that? What’s so great about a low-resistance workout, anyway?

Elliptical machines give you the run without your feet and arms ever hitting the ground. Treadmills and pavement give you a high-impact workout, which can cause strain on your joints and even injury. Ellipticals, meanwhile, do not strain any part of your body, keeping every part strong. This means that you can work out in spite of age and injury, and it’s great for physical therapy.

Besides that, they have moveable poles where your arms can move around in an elliptical motion. So what does that do for you? Essentially, you can work your upper and lower body at the same time. The poles work well for upper body, and the pedals work for the lower body. This gives you a full workout with less hassle. Read this article from Elliptical Machine Advice before you rush out to buy an elliptical – they are not all created equal and they have a comprehensive guide to finding your ideal elliptical trainer.

Still not sold? We’ll give you seven good reasons why you should try out an elliptical machine.

They Give You an Excellent Cardio Workout

You can get just as good of a workout on an elliptical as you could with a treadmill or a bike ride. Unless you’re training for a race, the elliptical is the better alternative, pumping your heart rate just as good as the other options. Some ellipticals also have adjustable incline and resistance, so anyone of any fitness level can join along.

It Works For Any Fitness Level

As we just said, the adjustable settings make one machine fit any exercise need. Whether you’re a elliptical machines for exercisechiseled athlete or elderly, an elliptical will help you work out on your own terms. They’re also user friendly, unlike some machines where it’s complicated to do anything with it. Anyone can use it!

Great for Upper Body Workouts

The poles can give you an excellent upper body workout, which you can’t do when you run on a treadmill. Your entire body will be put to the test. There are also static handle bars, which can give you even more options. When you combine both workouts, you can burn even more calories and you’ll be spending less time trying to work out your entire body.

You Get a Better Workout Via Lower Perceived Exertion

When you work out on an elliptical, you have a lower perceived exertion. In English, this simply means that you don’t know how hard you’re really working out. This will increase your workout time much better than a run around the track. Studies can back this up as well, so don’t think that it’s just another fad that’s baseless.

Training at a Higher Tech

There are plenty of bells and whistles on ellipticals, depending on the date of your model. The newer ones have easy-to-use interfaces, ways to keep you entertained, and tools for fitness. Bluetooth options, heart rate checkers, and preset workouts are just a few of the features.

They’re Better for Your Body

As we said, ellipticals are low impact, meaning that they won’t cause any strain on your body. If you have back or joint pain, you can get a great workout without hurting. Plus, you can take the workout as low or as high as you can. Whether you’re young, old, fit, or unfit, you’ll find the perfect medium for your workout.

Ellipticals Are Versatile

They work out your whole body, meaning that ellipticals are by far the most versatile piece of equipment you can find. With its programming, range of motion, and features, it’s good for those who are looking for the all-in-one, the Swiss army knife of gym equipment.

Overall

If you’re still not sold, try it out yourself by going to your nearest fitness center. There’s a reason why treadmills aren’t doing as well, and it’s because of the versatile and low-impact power that an elliptical can give you.

Eating Before Exercising

You need a certain calorie intake if you want to build lean muscle, and you need to have a good muscle workout regimen going on. While you do need lots of calories for your workouts and tissue repair, you need to eat a certain combination of calories so that you actually gain muscle.

Carbs

Carbohydrates, or carbs, are the energy source that you mainly use during your workouts. It stores as glycogen in your muscles, and is used when you need short bursts of power. The more you work out, the more glycogen you need. When you run out, you’ll feel sluggish and your muscle contractions will no longer be fueled. Athletes who do plenty of strength-training exercises need lots of carbs if they’re going to build muscles well.eating_exercise

The amount of carbs you need depends on how long and how intense your training sessions are. If you do a normal workout that’s under an hour, you’ll only need two grams per pound daily. If you train for over two hours, you may need three or four grams of carbs per pound. For the average male, you’ll need 400-600 grams per day, if you do strength-training workouts that are intense. Your carb requirements depend on the workout and your body size.

Protein

No matter how intense your workout, you’ll need some protein as soon as possible after you exercise. Protein builds and repairs your muscle tissue that hard exercise breaks down. It’s the basic building block of muscles, so you’ll want to have more protein if you want to see results during your strength training. Despite this, many athletes overestimate their actual needs.

The USDA says that the normal person needs 0.4 grams of protein per pound daily. For the athlete, you need 0.6 to 0.8 grams per pound daily, and not exceed a pound. If you weigh 200 pounds, you’ll need 128-164. You can get this protein by eating plenty of lean meats such as fish and chicken, consuming dairy, and eating fruits, legumes, and nuts. Protein shakes and bars are also a convenient way to add more protein to your diet.

Fat

Just because you’re told to avoid it, doesn’t mean you don’t need any. Your intake of fat should consist of 30% of your calories, and it should come from healthier fat such as lean meats, fish, olive oil, seeds, nuts, and avocados.

Water

You should always drink after exercise to replace the fluids that you may have lost. Drink about two cups two hours before you work out. Drink four to eight ounces during your workout for every 15 minutes. Consume 16 ounces after your workout. For a more accurate measure, drink 16 ounces per pound that you’ve lost during your workout.

Eating After Your Workout

Consuming protein and carbs after you exercise so that you restore your glycogen and help fuel your muscles. Combining four grams of carbs per one gram of protein is ideal. It allows you for more stored glycogen by doubling your insulin response. However, too much protein can do the opposite. If you need more help, talk to your nutritionist or doctor for more information. This article is not intended for professional medical advice.

Managing Your Diet and Training Regime For Runners

If you’re a runner, you should know what and when you need to eat. However, your body has different plans. It may make you hungry when you don’t need to be, which should be during training, or it will not be hungry after training. Because of our lives your muscles, stomach and brain are usually all over the place. For instance, running early can cause fatigue later on when you’re working. But if you train midday you may feel too hungry to do so. Don’t get us started on doing it after work, which may cause you to eat dinner too close to bedtime.

In this article, we’ll explain how you can sync up that body of yours so you can get the balance you so deserve.

Running Early

There is debate as to if you should eat if you run during the morning. Let’s shut this debate down by saying that you do need to eat. Your body needs some energy to help you with the run, and your entire body needs those nutrients. This has been proven by studies. Eating before a run can give you more endurance. Your exercise will be less strenuous and flow better compared to those who eat beforehand.diet_hydrate_runner

There are some exceptions. If you eat too soon before the run, you may get nausea and cramps. Some people get up close to when they need to get to work. However, if you’re an early bird, you should have enough time to do everything before you leave.

If you do eat, munch on some high-carb foods that are low in fat and decent in protein. About 400-800 calories should give enough for your training. Make sure you drink enough water beforehand so that you don’t lose sweat.

These great meals can get you started:

Two pieces of toast with fruit
Cereal with low fat/fat free milk and a slice of fruit
A bagel with low-fat cream cheese

For Those Who Sleep Late

Most of you all will be like this, and won’t have enough time to eat before you leave. With that said, experiment a bit and see what you can digest before training. A few ideas are as follows.

Half a bagel
Half of a carbohydrate drink
One energy gel with some water

If these don’t help, eat a large dinner the night before so you can have some fuel beforehand. Unless you’re doing an extremely long run, you should have enough fuel to run in the morning.

Tips for Both Kinds of People

No matter when you wake up, you need calories from protein, carbs and nutrients once you finish with your run. A post-workout meal will give you energy for work, stopping fatigue in its tracks. For best results eat no later than an hour after you train, and include carbs and protein in your diet. A few ideas include a fruit smoothie with some protein powder added to it, eggs on whole-wheat toast and fruit juice or simply leftovers from last night!

For Those Who Love Lunch

If you run during the hours of lunch, you might succumb to hunger. If you eat breakfast at an early time, like six in the morning you haven’t eaten for about six hours. Your energy that breakfast provided is now history and your blood sugar will lower because of it. Don’t give yourself a bigger breakfast, because that may make you feel worse. Instead, make sure you have a small snack ready before you run.

Tips for the Runner:

Timing is everything. Eat one hour or up to four before you run. This gives you enough time for food to be converted into energy.

The quantity matters. Depending on your body size and what you eat during breakfast, you should have 100-400 calories.

Content is key. Grab low-fat foods that are high in carbs and nutrients. A few snack ideas include:

An energy bar or breakfast with fewer than five grams of fat.
A slice of whole-wheat toast with fruity spread.
Seventy-five grams of dried fruit with some vegetable juice.
Oatmeal that has been brewed with skim milk.

Lunch After Running

There’s a problem with exercising during the lunch hour, and that’s that you have little time to eat lunch. However, you still need fluids and foods to help your brain and body fuel and recover for the rest of the day. Packing a lunch of your own can help, unless you have a place at work where you can eat. Packing your lunch takes little time at all. For a few tips, read down:

Shop for convenient items that take little time to prepare and eat. These include raisins, nuts, cereal bars and yogurt.

Fruit is perfect. Throw in a few fruit pieces in your bag so that you can have nutritious carbs with ease.

Leftovers rock! Grab any food from last night and seal it in a container so you can reheat and eat

Exercising During the Evening

Running helps to eliminate stresses that work causes. But, there’s a problem in doing so. Sometimes you’re too hungry or tired to eat. If you do run without eating you’re going to eat everything you can before you can even make your dinner. Or you make dinner too late and go to bed full.balance_runner_food_22

What should you do to avoid this? Simply eat healthy all day so that you won’t have digestive problems that could interfere with your training. This way you’re always fueled and will never have to use “I’m hungry” as an excuse to not run.
In addition, you can eat light meals after your workout so you can recover. This will prevent digestive problems and help you sleep better.

Tips for Evening Runners

Never skip your breakfast. Consume 500 calories for breakfast. A fruit smoothie made from yogurt, juice, and fruit can help. Cereal with skimmed milk, fruit and nuts can help as well.

Lunch should be your big meal. Include quality proteins like lean beef, chicken, fish or tofu and add whole-grain breads and fruits.

Snacking during the mid-afternoon can help. About three hours before running, eat a piece of fruit or a protein bar, and drink some water to stay hydrated.

Speaking of water, drink more. Drink right after running. Drink as you fix your meal. This will restore the sweat you’ve lost, and will help you to stop eating everything you see.

Moderation is key during dinnertime. According to legend if you eat before bedtime the calories will turn into fat. That’s a lie. You’ll still use that energy as fuel for the next day. But if you eat too much, no matter what time your body will keep the energy as fat. Make healthy choices and keep running.