In this day and age, people have come up with a lot of ways to either lose weight or gain muscle mass. Fad diets have come and gone, all promising to give you a healthy body. Some even get into these diet plans without extensive research, all with the hopes to achieve their ideal body weight. Others go overboard and mess up, ending in weight gain more than muscle gain. Luckily, there are tools you can use to identify your body weight and determine if it’s healthy or not. These tools, BMI and Body Composition testing could also help you identify if you are at risk of diseases such as stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. Despite them being used in the world of health and fitness, one could be better than the other. Which is it? What are their differences? Let’s understand each one of them starting with BMI.
Body mass index, or BMI, is a standard measurement to estimate body fat based on your height and weight. It is developed by Adolphe Quetelet, a Belgian scientist from the early- to mid- 1800s. It came from his vision of a simple way to determine a person’s body fat content and whether he or she was overweight or not. Medical professionals have been turning to BMI for almost 200 years when it comes to researches in regards to obesity.
BMI is calculated using an equation instead of measuring your body fat directly. The score you get from that equation is an approximation of your overall body fat content, which helps you determine if you are underweight, of normal weight, overweight or obese. Basically, BMI helps you know if a person is healthy or unhealthy in relation to their body weight. The level of a person’s BMI is a sign of the amount of fat that person has on his or her body. Meaning, if your BMI is high, it could be an indication that you have too much fat on your body, and if your BMI is low, then that could possibly mean that you have a very small amount of fat on your body. If not maintained in normal, a BMI of both high or low levels could pose several threats to your body. A low BMI can cause health problems such as anemia, bone loss, and decreased immune function. A high BMI, on the other hand, can cause several serious health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Despite its usefulness for screening bodyweight problems in both children and adults, BMI gets limited to just that. The simplicity of the formula in order to get it doesn’t even account for many other important factors, only giving us a range of normal weight in relation to our height. Criticized for its inaccuracy due to it being too broad and not actually providing anything at all about our body composition, BMI is being rigorously shot at for not being elaborate and thorough.
A person’s BMI is determined by dividing his or her weight by the square of his or her height. A normal BMI level is between 18.5 and 24.9. And even though BMI is calculated in the same way for everyone of all ages, the results are interpreted differently for children and adults.
The following weight status categories are the standard interpretation for the BMI of adults of age 20 and older (same for men and women, all ages and body types) :
BMI Weight Status
Below 15.0 Very severely underweight
15.0 to 16.0 Severely underweight
16.0 to 18.5 Underweight
18.5 to 24.9 Normal
25.0 to 29.9 Overweight
30.0 to 34.9 Obese Class I (Moderate obesity)
35.0 to 39.9 Obese Class II (Severe obesity)
40.0 and above Obese Class III (Very severe obesity)
As aforementioned, the BMI of children (people below 20) is interpreted differently from that of adults. While the formula to determine the BMI for all age groups is the same, the interpretations are based on age and gender differences for children and adults. This is due to the fact that the body fat content of a person changes with age. Also note that while it is different for young boys and girls, the latter usually develop early a higher amount of body fat than boys.
While it is still being used as a standard measurement for the overall health of a collective group, such as a city or a nation, and is proven useful for recording statistics on obesity, one can’t just simply use BMI to assess a single person’s health because it has too many flaws to be used at an individual level. It could potentially overestimate the number of fat athletes and even people with muscular bodies. BMI could also underestimate the body fat content of people who have lost muscle mass and even in older people.
Now, let’s talk about Body Composition and how it is different from Body Mass Index.
As we all know by now, BMI provides a vague idea of a person’s health. And that’s where Body Composition comes in, it gives you the detailed result. To measure body leanness, it isn’t just height and weight, there are also other important factors that have to be accounted for, namely: fat, Lean Body Mass, and the amount of water in your body. This basically tells you that body composition is your way of knowing how much fat, water, lean mass, and other things your body is made up of. It tells you how much of your weight is contributed by your lean mass (water, connective tissues, muscle, and bones) and how much of it is coming from fat. With a clearer insight into your health opened up by body composition, access to the exact percentage of your body fat might be able to save you from all disease risks you could be facing. Which you wouldn’t be able to know from BMI alone. Body composition is determined using BIA, or bioelectrical impedance analysis. This sends an electrical signal throughout your body, and this signal’s interaction with all the elements of your body including fat and muscle, helps the device separate your weight into, at least, Lean Body Mass and Fat Mass. Access to body composition testing could be challenging to most people, often requiring expensive equipment and through a series of test methods, but this test gives you a deeper perception of your overall body health. It would also be able to cater to a wide range of body types, including people whose BMI is healthy but have a high-fat content in their bodies and those individuals with a healthy body fat percentage but yields unhealthy BMI result.
With all that, we can deduce that although BMI has been used for a long time to evaluate our body weight, it is time to ditch its ways and we should start looking into the bigger and clearer picture of what’s really happening inside our bodies. And to achieve that, Body Composition testing would be a tremendous help, not only to fully understand our body weight and what contributes to it, whether it be Fat Mass or Lean Body Mass but also to avoid great risks of serious diseases.
Body composition is not a gimmick or a fad, that could eventually go as soon as it arrives. It is a test to determine our body fat percentage and lean body mass, studied by medical professionals and scientists for decades to get a better understanding of our overall health. Find out what your body composition is now to further your healthy lifestyle journey.
“When I’m dripping with sweat, I feel badass.” is just one of the many quotations you can find on the internet when you look up gym inspirational quotes. Sweat is the body’s sweet reward for people working out hard at the gym. It gives them visual proof that their gym routines are working. It is like skincare, but with a lot of sweat and sore muscles. And most gym-goers just go straight home after an intense workout. That’s just it for them, they sweat out, they cool down, and they go home. Little do they know that after hustling and bustling in the gym to lose weight, there is one facility they do not care for or dared to try that might actually help them lose more pounds, the sauna.
But the question is, is going to a sauna after a workout to lose weight good and safe for you?
You can get benefits from a sauna, both psychologically and physically, but more on the latter. And you can get the same benefits of exercising by just basking in a hot sauna. Five to 20 minutes in a sauna is enough to trick your body into thinking that you’re still working out, that would elevate your heart rate to 150bpm, and then your body temperature will go up and you will start sweating. Then your body will start releasing not only endorphins but also growth hormones.
Before we go into the health benefits that sauna gives, let’s talk about the types of saunas first and how long you should be in one.
There are a few types of saunas that might work for you depending on your heat tolerance. But generally, a room with a temperature between 150 degrees Fahrenheit and 195 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celcius and 90 degrees Celcius) can be considered a sauna.
A wood-burning sauna is a type of sauna that uses wood in stoves to heat stones or rocks and usually has a 10-20 humidity percentage which means it is high in heat, but low in humidity.
An electrically heated sauna has an electric heater attached to the wall or on the floor and that provides the heat to the room.
Steam rooms/saunas which are also called “Turkish bathhouses” get their heat from steam. Although the temperature is low in this one, the humidity in it is 100 percent.
IR (Infrared) sauna on the other hand uses specialized lamps to create heat out of lights, this will directly heat up your body without causing a temperature change in your surroundings. IR sauna has usually a lower temperature than a conventional sauna, only around 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celcius), but it still gives the same health benefits as the conventional ones. And with that, despite the variations in temperature, all types of saunas provide the same health benefits to the body.
Now, let’s talk about how long you should stay in a sauna after working out.
First of all, you should always get hydrated. The longer you bask in a sauna, the more at risk you become of dehydration. Saunas are there for a reason: relaxation, like what people assume. So if you start getting headaches and other signs of dehydration, you should get out immediately and cool your body down. Your body’s exposure to a warm temperature causes it to sweat, especially when overheated. That means your body is losing more fluids than it’s taking in. So, given the fact that you have been sweating out from your workout prior to getting into a sauna, the risk of dehydration is high and real, so you should always be careful. Drinking a lot of water or electrolyte drinks while in the sauna and afterward would be a great way to prevent dehydration. Doing that replenishes the amount of fluids your body loses due to sweating. There are signs that indicate severe dehydration, including extreme thirst, feeling dizzy and lightheaded, a feeling of dryness in your mouth, and not urinating as much as you normally would. You have to watch out for these signs to reduce your risk of being severely dehydrated.
Before trying out a sauna for the first time, adults with comorbidities such as heart failure, kidney diseases, and diabetes should consult their doctors first. That also applies to pregnant women.
If you have never tried a sauna before, you should start small and build up from there. Just use the sauna for 5 to 10 minutes but wait 10 minutes before going in after working out.
Contrary to the popular belief that a sauna is just for relaxation, using it after working out actually is greatly beneficial to your body.
Sitting in a sauna causes your heart rate to elevate slightly, thus making you burn calories. Although this only has a small effect on your overall body weight, a few calories burned is still a weight loss, right? Here we go over the amount of weight you can lose using a sauna.
This, however, can make you lose a massive amount of water weight. But as mentioned, losing a lot of fluids is dangerous unless you make an effort to actually re-hydrating while chilling in the sauna.
A physical medicine and rehab specialist from the Texas Orthopedics, Dr. Ai Mukai, said that saunas help with fatigue and pain from people who suffer from fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions of the same nature. Frequent sauna use can also help improve heart health for people with heart failure.
Sweating in a sauna is also a great way to detoxify your body. Cleaning your lymphatic system by flushing out the toxins in your body through sweating will not only boost your immune system but will also help you get rid of some fats in your body and give you a ton more energy so you can exercise more.
The sauna will also help you fall asleep faster and keep you asleep until the morning after. Relieving stress that usually comes from a rough day. It might also give you a boost of energy that you normally get from coffee and the likes that always contain massive amounts of sugar, which is bad for you.
These are only some of the health benefits you get from using a sauna, either after a workout or a day of running errands. And you don’t have to jump in right away and stay in a sauna until you turn into a raisin. Start off slowly. Take your time. It’s always there to welcome you on your weight-loss journey.
Many people today live a fast life especially those in the cities. Your daily program is probably to wake up in the morning and rush to take your breakfast cereals and a cup of coffee as you head out to the office. During the day, you spend most of your time sitting in a slouched pose and over lunch hour you take a bite of French fries. When you arrive home in the evening, because of the tiredness experienced, you decide to ask for a pizza delivery and a soda. While you might say that you will only be doing this when you are tired, you will very soon find that this will turn out to be your everyday routine.
Not Enough Time?
Many people will find that they aren’t with enough time to do some morning or evening physical exercises because of their ever-busy daily schedules. However, it is because of this very lifestyle that many people lead which has led to 35% of the American population being obese. It is also important to note that over 6% of Americans struggle with extreme obesity. Becoming overweight never happens overnight and it is with the overlooking of simple things such as eating healthy food, exercising, and living a healthy life that most people find themselves struggling with weight-related issues.
Where Does Yoga Fit In?
There are several things that a person can do to reduce weight and also to prevent their body from gaining unwanted fat. One of the increasingly popular weight loss techniques that have been embraced by many is yoga.
In order to fully benefit from yoga with respect to weight loss, you must understand what yoga is and the different poses and techniques that you can use it. In a very strict definition, yoga is the spiritual and ascetic discipline that includes meditation, taking control of one’s breathing, and adopting the right sitting, standing, and lying posture. Yoga has been practiced by Hindus since around 3,000 BC. Over the years, the Indian sages have perfected the art of yoga and this has subsequently led to the type of yoga we know today which has been embraced by hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Many people over the centuries have come to believe that for perfection or success to be achieved in their lives, they have to find a solution outside their bodies. This is increasingly so today mainly because of the fast lifestyle and the many life obligations that can only be fulfilled financially. With the regular practice of yoga, you stand to regain your former shapely body frame but not as fast as the other traditional methods such as using the treadmill, jogging, or lifting weights.
Your body losses weight once the calories consumed in your body are fewer than those burned up. While yoga is accredited to being an effective weight loss technique that everyone should try out, it comes with a whole long list of other benefits which a person trying to reduce weight will be glad of. Unlike other exercises that you can do to reduce weight, yoga is unique in that you become mindful of the way you relate with your body. Rather than looking for solutions outside the body, you will come to accept and embrace the fact that solutions lie deep within you. You will now be able to make better decisions on what to eat and when to eat it. It is with total control of our bodies and spirits that we are able to reap the numerous benefits that yoga comes with.
Everything about yoga revolves around harnessing one’s ability. If you start practicing yoga today, you will find that the urge to eat junk food goes down. You will become mindful of the need to eat healthier foods which will enable your body to lose any unwanted fat. Because of the lifestyle which many people have, many of them suffer from stress and in severe circumstances depression. When stressed, many people tend to eat more without minding what they are eating. When you start practicing yoga, you put yourself in a state where you can manage your stresses and dictate what you will eat rather than leaving that prerogative to your tongue.
There are various poses and procedures that are included in yoga classes. However, there are specific poses that have been found to be ideal for those people who are willing to lose some fat from their waistline. Moreover, these steps are easy to follow for any person who is determined to take up yoga. Here are the poses to consider;
This is probably the simplest of yoga poses. The pose is manageable by everyone and all you need to do is stand and put your feet together. Your arms should be by your sides. Inhale deeply and put your arms over your head. Follow this with exhaling and bending forward from the hips and bringing your hands to the floor. This procedure serves as a warm-up to the higher or more complex poses of yoga.
This is a yoga pose that is well known to help you firm the sides of your abdomen. It mainly involves you standing on one leg and keeping the left leg on a curve.
This is definitely a hard one for most people but with practice, it helps one concentrate. Just sit and lift your legs at 45 degrees and do the same with the head. See how long you can sustain the pose. It is ideal for your back and abdomen.
Forming A Chair
For this pose, you will need to stand straight and then bend your knees for 45 degrees. For effect, lift your hands straight. This pose is ideal for thighs and butt.
For great results to be achieved, you will need to have a mat or some carpet space. You will also need to practice your poses at least three times a week. Where possible, do your yoga in a quiet place where concentration is guaranteed. By adopting yoga into your daily life, you will be amazed at just how fast your excess body fat will go away.
When it comes to a trim waist minus muffin top, love handles and bulges, I’ve seen it all in my 18 years in the industry. Sadly, most of “it” is ineffective exercises which waste time , moves which damage cervical and lumbar discs and still don’t produce the look you want and worst of all, exercises which will actually make your waist BIGGER.
In the end, “toning” or achieving ripped abs has been and will always come down to 3 things . This article covers effective exercise. You can search the site for “How To Fix A Slow Metabolism” and “How To Lose Belly Fat in 7 Easy Steps” for information on the other two.
Yes, those are my 46 year old abs and yes, I follow my own advice.
Genetics to a degree (are you an apple or a pear?)
Reduced body fatHere is the list of the biggest offenders I’ve seen and what you can do to replace them and FINALLY get the flat, toned stomach you deserve !The Waste of Time Exercise: Broomstick Twists
Touted as a way to “target obliques” and “trim” the waist, this exercise is not only a worthless waste of time but put your lower discs in a very dangerous position when done seated. I honestly cannot believe people still do these.
Yes, I know, the woman with the teeny, tiny waist and the banging body and the guy with the ripped abs who do them so they must work, right? I won’t bore you with all of the science and physiology of muscle movements but, just think about it. Twisting from side to side to “tone” a muscle? Really?
The Dangerous Exercise:
Crunches and Weighted Sit-ups – These are a favorite among the body building set in an effort to develop their “6 packs”.
Aside from sit ups in general being an ineffective way to work your abdominals , any movement where you bend forward at your waist can cause a herniated disc especially if you have overdeveloped your abdominals commensurate to your low back muscles.Yes, that includes anything from weighted crunch machines to tying your shoes.
The Ab Exercise That Makes Your Waist Bigger: Weighted Side Bends
Another exercise touted to “trim” the love handles and muffin tops but does exactly the opposite. When muscles are worked to failure, (even with high reps), they grow. The obliqe muscles grow outword therefore, when you do weighted side bends, you are making your waist (and love handles) bigger thicker. If you are doing a gazillion reps with no weight because you think they are going to burn fat and “tone” the area, think again. A trim waist comes from effective core training and reduced body fat.
Have you ever had one of those days where everything just seemed to go right?
Ever have one of those workouts where everything seemed to just “click” on all cylinders and all of your lifts and all of your exercises were great?
A day where you just feel extreme energy coursing through your body as you go from one exercise to the next, ready to kick it up an even “higher notch.”
Let me ask you, are these workouts few and far between for you?
Do you wish you could have an awesome workout every single time you wrap your hands around the steel bar or step up onto the Treadmill?
Well, you can.
What’s the alternative, betting that you can’t?
Every single time you step foot into a gym to lift, run, and sweat, you must approach that workout like it’s the very last one you’ll ever do.
Truth be told, you never really know if it will be, but without sounding too morbid, that’s the mindset you must have.
You must condition yourself to hit a “high peak” each and every time you walk into a gym. Soon, a series of these “high peaks” ultimately must lead to nowhere BUT success.
I just gave you the key to what it takes to have a killer workout each and every time you step into the gym.
It’s as simple as this….
Before you can create anything, you have to think about it.
Before you have, do, get, build…anything… you have to think about what it is you’re trying to achieve.
What are you ultimately after?
Architects do not start building houses until they’ve thought of every last little detail.
Then they just construct what they thought about.
Approach your workouts and your body the very same way.
You cannot and should not just walk into the gym without thinking of what you want to accomplish and just start exercising with no direction.
Before even stepping into the gym, know what you’re after.
If not, you’re spinning your wheels.
So what does that have to do with getting into the “Zone” and having a killer workout every single time?
When you are focused like a laser beam on those things that you KNOW will lead you to results, you start to become more motivated, and more driven. You know success is right around the corner, waiting to meet you halfway.
You feel like you are in that “Zone” which is going to lead you to what you want.
And it all starts with thinking about what you want.
More muscle, more strength, less body fat…
Keep these thoughts embedded in your mind.
And then begin to do only those things that will bring about those things you want to achieve.
If you know exactly what you want and know the exact steps to get it, how can you NOT have awesome workouts each and every time?
I mean, imagine yourself in the gym, right now, doing only those things that you KNOW are going to boost muscle and strength for you.
Wouldn’t you feel more pumped knowing that the stuff you are doing is going to lead you to where you want to be?
That’s exactly how you can have awesome workouts every single time you step into the gym….it comes from realizing that you are well on your way to getting what you want.
And that the only thing stopping you is you.
So the next time you step into the gym, approach it with an attitude that says “There is no possible way I can fail.”
If I go in there, do every single thing I know I have to do, and do it well, success is guaranteed 100% of the time.
What’s the alternative, dreading going to the gym and, when there, wishing you were somewhere else, speeding through your workouts just to get it done?
Every time you go to work out, make it the single best workout you’ve ever had.
I can PROMISE you, that if you do this, not only will you have great workouts every time, but you’ll also guarantee yourself fat loss, strength increase, muscle toning, or any other goal you want.
About the Author
Shawn LeBrun, Augusta, ME U.S.A.
Shawn LeBrun is one of the internet’s most published fitness and weight loss coaches. Visit his site to see how he can make this the year you achieve your best body ever!
Sports scientists agree that cardio-boxing is one of the best forms of exercise because it conditions the total body and provides a complete workout for your cardiovascular and endurance systems. The major benefits of cardio-boxing include:
Cardio-boxing also promotes a person’s well-being by strengthening their self-discipline combined with strength training it’s well and truly the total package for self-defense and fitness and usually consists of:
Adjusted heart rate work
Actual boxing techniques
The usual workout consists of age-adjusted heart rate work starting with 10 minutes for beginners and leading up to 20 minutes for the more advanced. For the second part of the workout, you’ll need to perform and practice 20 minutes of actual boxing techniques. Cardio The best way to measure the effects of an exercise program on your body is to check your pulse. The easiest way to check the pulse is to place your index and middle fingers on your carotid artery or wrist. Immediately after the exercise, count your pulse for 15 seconds and multiply by 4. You can also check your pulse during the exercise but with safety as a first priority. To get a more precise reading of your pulse rate, purchase an electronic device from any sports store. Now you have your exercising pulse rate or heartbeats per minute.
We’ll be concentrating on the upper end of your pulse region: the 50% – 70% range. To figure this out, deduct your age from 220. Suppose your age is 40, deduct this from 220 and you get 180. 50% of 180 is 90 beats a minute, 60% of 180 is 108 beats a minute, 70% of 180 is 126 beats a minute, and so on. Don’t jump into 70% work straight away. Start with 50% and slowly work your way up to the 70% upper limit. Start with no more than 10 minutes, and work up to 20 minutes. Once you’re comfortable with working out for 20 minutes at 70% then try to increase the heart rate up to 80%.
Mix up your cardiovascular activities in the gym. Use the treadmill, skipping, rower, climber, bike, and other equipment that might be available to you. Boxing The boxing stance is the posture a boxer takes before and after every action depending on whether you are left or right-handed. We’ll be dealing with the most common; right-handed. For left-handed people, just reverse the instructions. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your left foot in front of your right foot. Your right heel should be slightly raised with your left foot flat on the floor and toes pointing ahead. Bend your knees a little and balance your weight comfortably and evenly. Place your elbows close to your body with your left fist held at head height and in a position that corresponds to your left foot. The right fist should be at head height also and guarding the chin, with both elbows protecting your body and both fists protecting your chin.
This is your defensive and offensive position after throwing punches, so please practice this before going any further. When moving forward in this boxing stance the left foot moves forward first and then the right follows. When moving back, the right moves back, and then the left follows. When moving sideward to the right, the right foot moves first followed by the left. When moving sideward to the left, the left foot moves first followed by the right. Practice this moving forward, back, and sideward in the boxer’s stance until it is done smoothly and quickly. Remember to keep your guard up and elbows tucked into your sides. Keep your head at eye level with your upper body leaning forward slightly.
In boxing, it is important that punches are thrown quickly and then bought back quickly to assume a defensive posture. Punching A left jab has many uses, it can be used for both offensive and Defensive actions. From the set stance, the left arm is pushed quickly and forcefully forward, the weight is shifted to the front foot. The fist moves in a straight line and straight back again for defense. At the moment of impact, the back of the hand and the lower arm are in a straight line. Keep the right fist in the defensive position and the elbow tucked into the body during the movement.
The straight right is also known as the punching hand and can be thrown with considerable force. The arm moves straightforward from the chin, the body weight is shifted to the front foot with the ball of the foot of the back leg pushing into the floor for more power. The back of the hand is straight and pointing up at the moment of impact. The arm is then immediately pulled back for protection after the hit.
The left hook to the head and body is an effective punch for closer-range work. From the set stance turn your left shoulder quickly and move your elbow up to shoulder height. The fist moves in a circular motion to the target, with the elbow bent. Rotate your hip and body whilst pressing your front left down keeping the back of your fist pointing up and in a straight line with the lower arm. The left hook to the body is similar to the above but increases the rotation of the body
The right uppercut is also carried out at close range. Drop the lower part of your punching arm until the lower and upper arm is at right angles to each other. The back of your hand should be pointing away from you, now thrust your arm forward and upward to your target. Shift your body weight to your front leg and rotate your hip and shoulder on the same side. Remember to keep your left fist guarding your chin during the entire movement.
Now practice all your punches until they are done quickly and smoothly. To develop speed and endurance, try punching straight left and right combinations into the heavy bag. The duration of the exercise period is the same as the rest period i.e. 10 seconds exercise, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds exercise, 20 seconds rest, and so on. Move up higher as your condition improves.
Gary is the author of several ebooks, including “Maximum Weight Loss in Ten Weeks” – the complete ebook and time-saving solution for burning away unwanted fat, and “Maximum Weight Gain in Ten Weeks” – easy-to-use and follow techniques that serve as a guide to muscle growth without having to “live in the gym”.