High fat burning exercises you can complete at home

Choosing to lose weight to maintain a healthy lifestyle and improve long term health doesn’t have to mean joining a gym and spending hours working away on machines. Sometimes choosing to maintain health and fitness can be easier fitted in when the workout venue is your very own home. Whatever exercise you choose the best way to achieve burning more fat is to incorporate aerobic (also known as cardio) exercises into your daily exercise routines. Aerobic exercise raises the heart rate, it is physical and allows the blood to pump oxygen around the body faster and increases breathing, improving overall fitness and health. Aerobic exercise also allows the body to continue burning fat for longer periods after exercise.

So what are the best exercises to burn fat when working out from home?

There are many exercises to choose from when it comes to working out at home and to achieve the best balance in your workouts it is best to mix up different exercises to allow your body to work in a variety of ways. Below you will find a few ideas to get you started…

(Remember to check with a health professional before starting any new exercise and remember to adapt exercises and amounts to suit you as an individual).

Jumping Jacks

The classic old school jumping jack also known as a star jump is a great way to increase your heart rate. They work the whole body including legs and arms and while they get your heart rate up they will also help to shape and tone the legs and glutes. Try bursts of 50 in 5 sets to really get the heart pumping.

Bear crawls

Yes, you are going to pretend to crawl like a bear to burn fat. Place your hands on the floor and using your feet and hands in an alternate walking motion crawl forward. Once you have a got a good rhythm you can speed it up to really increase the heart rate. Mix it up and move backwards as well as forwards to work the different muscle groups. Aim for bursts of crawling with short rest periods in between to really work the whole body.

Mountain Climbers

Increase the heart rate quickly and provide an intense attack on all muscle groups including the arms, legs and core. Place your hands on the floor and then place one leg forward and one leg back (think of a sprinter about to start a race position) alternate the legs by jumping them forward and back. You will soon have your heart pumping and your legs burning with this clever all-round fat burning exercise, try 5 sets of 20-30 reps.

Burpees

The exercise dreaded by many but actually one of the very best exercises for an all-round body workout that very quickly increases heart rate and fat burning. Start standing and crouch down placing your hands on the floor, jump the feet backwards so the body represents the start of a press-up position, jump the feet back into your hands and then jump up taking your arms above your head add a jump and crouch down and repeat. Aim for 5 sets of 10 reps with a very short rest period between, once comfortable the sets and reps can be increased by building it up gradually.

Remember this is just a starting point so the sets and repetitions of each exercise can be adapted to suit you as an individual and your fitness level. Other high fat burning exercises you could incorporate in are jumping squats, plank variations, crunches and lunges. Online you can find lots of videos and tips to help you perfect the positions of each exercise.

Have fun and remember exercise is individual so only complete what is right for you.

 

 

Add variation to your workouts to improve co-ordination

When it comes to exercise there really is so much choice. It is all too easy to end up heading to the gym and completing the same programme day in day out but what benefits it has will eventually dip as the body becomes too adapted to it. Keeping exercise varied is important as not only does it challenge the mind it also challenges the body in new ways.

The body is a clever machine that needs to be challenged and worked to stay healthy and enhance and maintain functions it already has. Our bodies are designed to move and they need to move to stay working well so mixing up exercise and workouts can only be a good way to develop all aspects and functions of the body.

Without co-ordination, we would struggle to complete many everyday tasks for example walking, dressing, eating, typing or even exercising. Co-ordination is vital to our existence every day but what if you feel your co-ordination needs improving? Improving coordination through exercise is a great starting point and there are many different ways you can work out to improve the coordination of your body. Below you will find a few ideas to help mix up those workouts and improve your body working in sync.

Imagine the body has a ‘midline’ drawn down the centre of the body from your head to your toes separating your left and right side. For your body to work well both sides of the brain the left and right need to be challenged to enable it to work better. Completing exercises that challenge both sides and crosses over the imaginary line can help to improve coordination.

Boxing Skills

When you head to the gym often in the corner there are boxing hit pads or punch bag. Don’t ignore these as part of your exercise equipment as boxing skills are a great way to enhance and develop coordination. Think about the skills in boxing it is all about coordination of both the hands, feet and mind working together to be skilful and sharp. Find a partner and take it in turns to challenge one another with the hit pads working on challenging our mind and body by punching left to right, right to left and with a variety of punches and moves. Alternatively, use the punch bag in the same way challenging yourself to work different moves.

Jump rope

Is an excellent cardio workout that is perfect for developing coordination skills, working the feet, legs and arms in harmony together to ensure you don’t trip and catch the rope each time involves skill and practice, increase speed and height of jumps to increase the challenge.

Racquet sports

Provide the perfect opportunity to get the whole body moving and the senses activated. Reaching from left to right, using forearm and backhand moves and reaching high and low all help to develop coordination skills, not forgetting the speed and movement of your feet this is one workout bound to test.

Climbing walls

Are a great way to challenge the mind and body as the added height, skills and concentration required to stay on the wall really provide a good all-round workout . Try all the different walls to keep things varied and challenging and don’t forget safety first.

Cardio walls

Can be found in some gyms but if not next time you head to the trampoline park with family or friends why not find the cardio wall and enjoy a workout with a difference. Not only is it super exhausting but the varied, unexpected combinations will definitely get the brain working and enhance co-ordination.

Creating exercise opportunities that are varied will ensure exercise doesn’t become monotonous and even more importantly it will ensure the body and mind are challenged, worked and developed in lots of ways, vital for living a healthy life.

 

Foods that boost your mind and concentration

You are what you eat. We have all heard this phrase before but how often do we really think about the nutritional impact our diet has on our bodies and mind? It is a well known fact that eating a poor diet full of unhealthy food such as fast food meals, high sugar snack bars and sugary drinks has a negative impact on our body’s weight and health but what about the impact those foods have on our mind and concentration levels?

Convenience foods that are highly processed such as readymade meals, fast food, and snacks such as chocolate, biscuits and crisps are all full of refined sugars and salt that make the energy levels of the body spike and cause dehydration.

These food not only contain sugars and salt they also often contain very high quantities of unhealthy fats. Fats that the body doesn’t use very well and so therefore if it can burn the energy from them stores them as fat on areas of the body. These foods also have a negative impact on our minds and concentration as energy bursts are followed by slumps of energy and lethargy and dehydration causes tiredness, poor concentration and headaches/migraines.

Eating a balanced diet full of nutritional goodness will benefit you and your body and by including foods from the list below you can help to boost you mind and concentration levels as many of the foods contain high levels of healthy fats known as omega-3 fatty acids which our bodies need to keep our hearts, eyes, skin and brain function healthy. Did you know that when eaten in moderation, as part of a balanced diet omega- 3 fatty acids can also help with the symptoms of depression, anxiety and arthritis?

Eating foods that will provide slow release energy will help your concentration as your body and mind will function at steadier pace. This combined with foods high in omega -3 fatty acids will help your brain to function in a healthy way that can have a positive impact of both performance and results.

So what are the best foods to boost mind and concentration?

Avocado

Is jammed packed with goodness not only does it contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids it is also high in fibre and full of potassium. Avocados are great in a green smoothie, mashed on toast or sliced and added to any salad or even eaten as they are.

Oily Fish

Such as mackerel and sardines are bursting with protein and omega-3 fatty acids that will not only boost the brain but the protein will help keep you fuller for longer. Smoked mackerel (though a little more saltier than un- smoked) and eggs make a nutritious breakfast or add sardines in a tomato sauce to salad for lunch.

Nuts and Seeds

Are a great way to increase your healthy fat intake but again should be eaten in moderation. Walnuts, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, chia and pumpkin seeds are just a few of the nuts and seeds that contain the good fats. Sprinkle on anything from breakfast, lunch or dinner or have as a snack during the day or after exercise.

 

Dark Chocolate

When you fancy a sweet treat choose a dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids. Not only is a much healthier choice of sweet treats it is also packed with serotonin that can help to boost mood and help with relaxation. A couple of squares of good quality dark chocolate will satisfy a lot longer than a full bar of chocolate packed with high levels of processed fats and sugars.

Porridge

Is one of the best breakfast choices you can choose when it comes to slow release energy. It is full of fibre and is very low in fat when made with water or low fat milks. Add in a sprinkle of nuts and seeds and you have a powerful brain boosting start to your day.

Oat crackers

Make a great alternative to bread for a lunch time meal or make the healthiest chocolate biscuit snack by smoothing a thin layer of dark chocolate over a cracker and save for when energy levels fall, add nuts butters or slices of avocado to also provide a double mood boosting concentration hit.

Bananas

Are an excellent source of slow release energy that pack a high level of vitamins and nutrients too such as potassium, magnesium which help to keep our bodies functioning well. They are also full of fibre for good digestive health.

Wholegrains

Will provide a steady slow release of energy that will help you to feel fuller for longer after eating. Choose wholegrain pastas, bread or rice when making lunches and dinners and don’t forget to add in plenty of vegetables and a protein source too to create a balanced meal.

Whatever you choose to eat choosing a balanced diet and including a mix of the above ideas will help to improve your mind and concentration levels no matter what the day brings.

 

Increase your motivation for exercise and boost mood by taking your workout outdoors.

Maintaining the motivation to keep up exercising can at times be challenging. What with the everyday pressures juggling work, study or family commitments choosing to miss a workout can sometimes be the first thing that gives, but actually continuing to make time for exercise can really help you to manage the challenging times a lot easier.

Deciding to get the heart pumping and maintain a healthy lifestyle is great and not only does it keep the heart and body healthy it is also one of the best ways to keep your mind healthy due to the endorphins released during exercise.

How about taking your workout outdoors to really embrace the mood-boosting environment of the great outdoors? Being outdoors has long been proven as a great way to calm the mind, and choosing to exercise outdoors could really help to increase your motivation and have a positive impact on your mood after.

Pounding a treadmill in the gym is fine but running through the shade of a cool woodland area on a warm day will definitely add a new dimension to your exercise time. Not only will it be visually beautiful but the natural sounds around you such as birds and the breeze through the tree canopy will help the mind to relax and unwind improving mood after. So leave the headphones behind for this one.

Increasing the social aspects of exercising can really help motivation and joining a group such as a football, rugby, running or cycling club will really help you to feel more motivated to maintain exercise and continue to keep healthy, not only will the exercise boost your mind but the social interaction time before, during and after will continue to enhance mood.

Another great way to boost motivation is to sign up to a boot camp or exercise class, partaking in group exercise not only has a social benefit but it can also bring a new aspect to your weekly exercise workouts creating much more dynamic workout for your body and mind to benefit from.

Consider asking a friend or colleague if they would like to head out for exercise after work or university and then go straight out for a run, cycle or even head to a park and complete some challenges against one another, such as interval training or a bleep test.

The key to feeling inspired and motivated is to keep things varied and challenging, the routine of exercise can sometimes become boring and monotonous so mix things up and take your workout outdoors a couple of times a week. And don’t forget adding in a social element will also increase motivation and the mood-boosting benefits of exercise.

Boost your mood by increasing testosterone through exercise

Feeling low in mood is common for many people from time to time and it is often something that will pass for many while for some it can be a sign of much more serious illness such as depression, but did you know that low mood is also a common symptom of low testosterone? Having low testosterone can affect individuals in many ways and using exercise can help to improve testosterone levels enhancing mood and improving other symptoms such as low self-confidence, disturbed sleep and poor concentration.

Sometimes it is great to head to the gym, plug in your headphones and workout out in a personal space that is dedicated to your exercises and your own headspace but actually, sometimes this can have a negative impact on your experiences. Choosing to mix up your workouts with a mixture of individual ones and workouts where exercise is shared amongst others could actually have a positive impact on your mood and testosterone levels and general health overall.

Team sports, for example, are a great way to get the heart pumping and tick the exercise box all while being in the company of others. Sharing skills, exercise techniques, competitive spirit and sharing in success are all great ways to boost your mood.

Football is a great game to start with as it can be getting friends together to play 5-a-side football or you could join a club and take up the regular commitments of training with a team and playing games each week. Rugby, running and cycling clubs are all great ways to enjoy shared exercises and many offer a range of levels. Don’t forget many team sports also involve the added bonus of a refreshing drink after the game to unwind and relax, another great way to seize the hormones called endorphins that are released through exercise and enhance mood.

For some, team sports might not be their first choice so how about heading to the gym with a friend or partner? Set yourself challenges and inspire each other to push yourselves further. Work as a team on interval training or head to the squash court for a workout with a difference.

Boot camps, exercise classes and cross fit are all great ways to mix up the training week and also they are the perfect opportunity to meet new people. Being inspired by others really helps motivation and when your mood is low motivation can dip. Knowing you will see someone you spoke to the week before or get to know someone new can really help motivate your attendance.

Don’t be afraid of trying something new if it is really not right for you that’s fine at least you tried, the important thing is you keep going. Another very important part of enhancing your testosterone through exercise is to allow yourself time for rest and recovery after workouts or training sessions. Like the social aspect of team sports? Why not ask a friend or your partner if they would like to go for a gentle walk after exercise and grab a bite to eat or head for a coffee, after all, your body has just worked very hard.