“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 to people working out hard at the gym. It gives them visuals 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, they go home. Little do they know is 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, psychologically and physically, but more on the latter really. And you can get the same benefits of exercising with just basking in a hot sauna. Five to 20 minutes in a sauna is enough to trick your body to think that you’re still working out, that would elevate your heart rate to 150bpm and then your body temperature will go up and you 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 the fact that you have been sweating out from your workout prior to getting in a sauna, the risk for dehydration is high and real, so you should always be careful. Drinking a lot of water or electrolyte drinks while in the sauna and after would be a great way to prevent dehydration. Doing that replenishes the amount of fluids your body lost due to sweating. There are signs that indicate severe dehydration including extreme thirst, feeling dizzy and lightheaded, a dryness feeling in your mouth, and not urinating as much as you normally would. You have to watch out for these signs to get you out of the 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 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 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 slow. Take your time. It’s always there to welcome you in 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 at 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 to 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.
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 felt an 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 as 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 it.
Before you have, do, get, build…anything… you have to think 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 focusing like a laser beam on those things that you KNOW will lead you to results, you start to become more motivated, 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 thing 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 workout, make it the single best workout you’ve ever had.
I can PROMISE you, 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.
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: · Increased Stamina · Increased Strength · Increased Speed · Increased Coordination…
Cardio-boxing also promotes a person’s well being by strengthening their self-discipline and combined with strength training it’s well and truly the total package for self-defence and fitness and usually consists of: · Adjusted heart rate work · Actual boxing techniques The usual workout consists of the 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 the 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 at the upper end of your pulse region: the 50% – 70% ranges. 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, and 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 in to 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 defence. 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 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”.
Are you using potentially dangerous exercises in your workout? You have to be very careful with strength training equipment because it may not be the most effective or functional available. How do you know that the exercises you are performing are safe? Found below are some potentially dangerous exercises with suggestions on how they should be done correctly or avoided completely…
Traditional abdominal exercises such as the sit-up, incline sit-up and hip-raises are exercises that are used to train the obliques and the upper and lower abdominals.
They are performed by first anchoring the feet on an abdominal board which prevents you from sliding back then raising your shoulders up towards your feet, tensing your abs at the top of the movement. Slowly lowering your shoulders back down and then completing the movement again.
The dangers of performing this movement are the shearing forces on the vertebrae and spinal discs when you have a flexed and rounded spine. In this position, the pressure is mostly placed on a very small area of the disc area, which can cause small ruptures. The safest and most productive way to train the abs is to use the brace and hollow technique. This is a basic isometric exercise that helps strengthen the abs and the muscular girdle around your waist.
The pec deck is an exercise that trains the chest (pectorals) and shoulder (front deltoid) muscles.
This exercise is performed by sitting at the machine with your back flat against the back pad. Placing your forearms on the padded levers and position your upper arms parallel to the ground. Pushing the levers slowly together and squeezing your chest muscles at the end of the movement. Return slowly to the starting position.
This exercise is potentially dangerous because it places the shoulder into one of its least stable positions, the dislocation position. Because of the extreme position when performing this exercise at the starting position it can also cause tearing of the ligaments and injury to the rotar cuff tendons.
More effective and less dangerous is the bench press, keeping the arms at shoulder width and exercising in the strongest range of motion (partial reps) and the parallel bar dip with the elbows out.
Behind the neck Press
This exercise trains the neck (traps) and shoulder (deltoid) muscles and is performed by placing a loaded barbell onto your upper back just above the trap muscle. This exercise is done by standing with your feet about shoulder width apart. Placing your hands on the bar about three inches wider than the width of your shoulders. Pushing the bar overhead to arm’s length, holding and then slowly lowering back down to your shoulders. This exercise can also be done seated. Try performing it in a smith machine or power rack for added safety. This is an exercise that places the shoulder joint into the dislocation position and the range of motion puts unnecessary stress on the rotator cuff tendons of the shoulders. Many trainees may experience injuries from this behind-the-neck movement. As with before stick with dips and bench presses for your shoulder work.
The dead lift is a compound movement that works the hips, lower back and also exercises the hamstrings and glutes (buttocks). You can perform the dead lift by approaching a loaded barbell and taking a stance about as wide as your shoulders. Grip the bar so that the arms are slightly on the outside of your thighs. Your feet should be pointing straight forward with the shins about two to three inches from the bar. Heave the load upward using the hips and lower back keeping the back straight and the bar as close to the shins as possible. At the top of the movement hold for a few seconds and then lower the bar to the starting position. The exercise has a knock-on growth effect on the whole body when worked hard. The problem with the lift is that if the spine becomes rounded during the lift it then becomes dangerous. Because of the forces working on the vertebrae and the spine injuries may occur. A lot of these problems can be solved by keeping the back as straight as possible during the lift and keeping the bar held close to the body during the lift as the forces are then not that excessive.
Leg extensions are arguably one of the most popular leg exercises for strengthening the quadriceps (thigh) muscle.
These are done by using a leg extension machine and sitting in the seat with your feet hooked under the padded lever. Raise the weight with your legs until they are pointing straight out in front of you. Hold briefly, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
Leg extensions are a potentially dangerous exercise because when only the shin is in motion, the exercise draws the patella back onto the femur increasing joint compression forces, which can damage the connective tissue and the ligaments supporting the knee joint. It can also cause anterior knee pain so people with existing knee problems may aggravate them by doing this exercise.
For greater safety and equal effectiveness, try doing the Squat, Leg Press, and Lunge for safer and more functional use.
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".