• Fitness
    Ways to prevent pulled hamstrings

    Pulled hamstrings are common among athletes but are painful and require treatments to ease the pain and cure the pulled tendons. This condition occurs when the tendon of thigh muscles get stretched beyond their stretching capacity. While it can happen when you are running, or playing football, or skating, there are things you can do to avoid getting a hamstring injury.

    Always warm up before you start a physical activity. Even if you are going for a run, prepare your muscles for intense movements by doing basic warm exercises.
    Be slow with your warm up exercises. There are incidences where people get a hamstring injury not while running but while warming up. The irony can be avoided by going slow while warming up.
    Do not over train yourself. As the saying goes, too much of too good is not so good. It is true in every case including training and exercising. Over exertion can not only lead to a pulled hamstring but also fatigue. Train only as much is required.
    Try glute training to avoid hamstring injuries. These can also help you in treating hamstring injuries if you get them.
    Do not overload your hamstring while sprinting on each step.

    If you have already had one hamstring injuries and tried several things for treating those hamstring injuries, then you should know about some causes that make hamstring injuries to re-occur. It is not uncommon for a sport injury to re-occur. But by knowing these causes of recurring hamstring injury, you can prevent them from happening.

    Inappropriate pelvic position. Make sure your pelvic position is right while you are doing any physical activities. This is important because hamstring consists of three muscles and one of those muscles is attached to your pelvic muscle.
    When your glutes are not supporting the muscles while you are active (i.e., moving, walking, running and playing). Hamstring, glute and lower back muscle should work together when your body is moving. When they are not in-sync, hamstring injuries and strike again and you have to try more thing for treating hamstring injuries.
    When athletes do no move correctly. There are right movements for every physical activity. Paying attention to the right movements will prevent you from getting a pulled hamstring again while ignoring that will give you the opposite result ad you will get back to treating hamstring injuries which takes time.
    Knowing your body more will only help you from preventing it from injuries. Instead of trying many things for treating hamstring injuries, you can learn about the things you can do to avoid them.

  • Fitness
    Tips for choosing the best home gym equipment

    Have you ever wanted to work out at home and skip the hustle and bustle of to your local gym? Have you ever wanted to save time and avoid a commute to a gym? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you might prefer building your very own home gym and Littlewoods can help you with that.

    Enjoy working out alone
    Home gyms are convenient. You work out in the comfort of your own home, with no-one watching you. If you juggle a lot of responsibilities and like working out alone, you may find a home gym fits your needs. Sometimes the hardest part in building a home gym is avoiding buying too much. Striking a fine balance between what you use and what you don’t need is the key.

    What kind of workouts do you do?
    Start out by asking yourself what sort of workouts will you be doing every day of the week? How often do you workout? Consider the intensity and frequency of your workouts. Next, decide what sort of equipment you need based on your workouts. Do you need equipment for cardio or strength training? Do you need medicine balls or dumbbells? Does your equipment need to be high-tech or do you prefer basic equipment? The final part is choosing a good retailer to buy your equipment from. A good sports retailer is Littlewoods, who sell all you need, with expertise and knowledge.

    High impact cardio
    To get started, for cardio workouts or if you just enjoy running, try out the Dynamic T3000C Motorised Treadmill with auto incline. It features 12 versatile programs, 3 modes, and 15 incline levels. Speeds range from 0.8 km/h to 16 km/h to ensure you are always pushed you to your limits. An inbuilt speaker is provided so that you can listen to your favorite tunes while you run. You can read more about it on www.littlewoods.com.

    Strength training
    For strength training, you can buy the York 20kg dumbbell set. They come in black cast iron and the weights are adjustable. This can add versatility to your strength workouts, and these are great for beginners too.

    Low impact cardio
    You may also consider getting a Work Star Shaper Magnetic Exercise Bike for low impact cardio workout sessions. It comes with a height-adjustable saddle and the magnetic resistance is quiet and smooth. It’s a perfect gym bike for your home since it doesn’t make any noise during workouts.

    Keep it simple
    The most important thing to keep in mind is to start simple. Don’t buy tons of equipment; start with the golden three strength, cardio, and low-impact. Once you improve your fitness levels and feel that you need more variety, you can start adding other options. For now, this should get you started on your fitness journey.

  • Fitness
    1400 calorie diet plan

    It is important to eat healthy and keep your diet in check. It is healthy to consume 1400 calories a day. You can choose from several free diet meal plans that you can choose from. Below is a 1400 calorie meal plan, that can be tweaked a little, and personalized.

    Breakfast: ½ a cup of egg substitute, or a whole egg, and 1 white egg with a teaspoon of butter (which of course is optional), makes for the most famous breakfast delight. Additionally, a cup of cantaloupe and whole wheat bread or an English muffin should do the trick.

    An optional menu to this would be a cup of fat free milk, ½ cup of strawberries, and a whole wheat muffin. Most people do think that stopping butter and oil will help you reduce weight. But in reality, our body needs the basic needs of nourishment, and one teaspoon of butter would work out well.

    Snack: Always remember that eating more than three meals a day is necessary. Eat in small quantities, but eat more often. Two tablespoons of granola + ¼ cup fat-free milk or one graham cracker, can fill your little biscuit urges. Consume this with one cup of fat free milk with two tablespoons of chocolate syrup.

    Lunch: Milk is the healthiest item we can all consume. A cup of fat-free milk, would do you best. You need some whole food to last you the entire day. Peanut butter and jelly is a good combination for a light lunch. You can eat two tablespoons of jelly or jam with two slices of whole wheat bread. In case you don’t have a full stomach, ½ cup celery sticks and ½ cup baby carrots can be a good filler. To replace the sandwich, you could make do with a roll, which should be about 2 ½ inches. Add in all your collection of fresh greens and veggies, you can add one cup of the greens, 1/3 cup carrots, 1/3 cup tomatoes, 1/3 cup cucumber, ½ cup canned chickpeas, 2 tablespoons chopped eggs, and finally 2 tablespoons of reduced calorie dressing. It would be your pick to add in any more special ingredients you would like.

    Dinner: This would, as the saying goes, be your beggar meal for the day. This is the time where you eat the least. Two cups of mixed greens, with just one tablespoon of reduced- calorie dressing. A cup of whole wheat spaghetti, ¼ cup of meatless pasta sauced and two tablespoons of parmesan and chopped basil would make for a perfect supper meal. Remember, you need to eat less, but just enough to last you your sleeping hours.

  • Fitness
    Benefits of using a fitness tracker to track your fitness

    Fitness and activity trackers have become quite popular, thanks to the increasing number of people choosing to keep a close watch on their fitness goals and progress. Wearers can track important information like steps taken, sleep, heart rate, calorie intake, pace, and distance traveled, etc. Though some consider them as a needless investment, a fitness tracker offers more than a few benefits for those who already work out regularly or are planning to start working out religiously.
    Offers personal accountability

    Face it! Deciding to work out daily is one thing, but sticking to the regimen and goals is a whole other ball game. For those who are about to start working out, even a little bit of encouragement goes a long way. In this regard, your fitness tracker acts like your very own personal motivator. It encourages you to compete with yourself, urging you to run a little more distance than the day before, to take a few more steps every day, and to sustain a peak heart rate for just a little longer every day. Studies have proven that wearing a fitness tracker has been so psychologically rewarding for individuals that it helped increase their fitness levels by at least 30%.

    Does all the monitoring for you
    One of the pitfalls of traditional forms of exercising is how one had to stop at several intervals in between to track, monitor and measure fitness. A fitness tracker can do all of that for you, allowing you to focus on exercising. The device does the job of monitoring and measuring your fitness levels. Better yet, it will offer you notifications of the same on a constant basis before, during and even after exercising.

    Allows you to set tailored goals
    One of the good things about fitness trackers is that they act as your own personal fitness trainer. They allow you to set fitness goals tailored to suit your body. In addition to helping you set realistic goals, they also provide you with tips to start exercising from scratch, gradually helping you meet your fitness goals without any discomfort and with as much ease as possible.

    Helps you work out in groups without actually doing so
    In addition to transforming you into your best competitor, these fitness and activity trackers allow you to join exercise groups with the same focus via links that connect fitness trackers in the same area. This way, you can post your achievements via messages and photos, workout in virtual groups, challenge others to compete with you, and vice versa, thus keeping you motivated to continue exercising.

    Monitors your fitness levels while you sleep
    No more sleeping inside a lab with tons of wires hooked to your body to determine your sleep patterns. The new age fitness and activity trackers can monitor your breathing patterns and the way your body moves, while you sleep in order to determine the quality of your sleep. These trackers also offer guidelines on how to improve the quality of your sleep based on your health and lifestyle habits.

  • Fitness
    Guidelines to buy the right fitness tracker for your needs

    The market is flooded with options and models for those of us looking to buy a fitness tracker. While the earlier trackers tracked only steps and sleeping patterns, the newer versions come with features like GPS, heart rate monitors, sensors, and smartphone notifications to keep track of your fitness on a constant basis. So, if you are looking for the right fitness tracker to suit your needs, check out a few pointers that can help you in your search.

    Wearable design
    The earlier versions of fitness and activity trackers had to be wrapped around the wrist. If you prefer an alternate option, you will find the newer versions of these devices, which come in sleeker designs, including dongles, or clips that can be worn on your clothing or pendants that can be worn around your neck. You can also choose from a wide variety of colors and features like waterproofing, with some fitness trackers taking the appearance of an ordinary watch as well.

    Display
    Opt for a fitness tracker that comes with a built-in display to show the time as well as your fitness goals, without necessarily opening an app. This is an added plus in case you opt for a tracker that gives you notifications on when, where, and how to work out. Though a fitness tracker with a built-in display may rake up some extra cash, it is a worthy investment, if you are serious about investing in a tracker that you can use for a long term.

    Interpretation of heart rate
    Different fitness trackers track and interpret heart rate in different ways. While some measure heart rate on a 24/7 basis and give a note of the resting heart rate after the wearer wakes up, some trackers come with a 24/7 heart rate tracker, bpm monitor, and live exercise monitors to quantify your fitness goals. Also there are some other fitness and activity trackers that monitor your heart and breathing rates together to determine stress and anxiety levels.

    Amount of data they provide
    Sleeping and steps taken by an individual are the most basic features offered by almost every fitness tracker you can find in the market. The tracker you choose to buy must be in lieu with the amount of data you need from it. For instance, some trackers can keep notes on your workout sessions, providing different notifications and guidelines for different forms of exercises like swimming, walking, cycling, etc. However, know that you will need to inform your tracker about your actions every time for the latter to work efficiently. For instance, you will need to tap the tracker a specific number of times to change it to the activity mode.

    Battery life
    Battery life plays an important role in determining the fitness tracker for your needs. Some fitness trackers need to be charged every few days, which may become problematic if you want your fitness regime tracked on a constant basis and find the device running out of charge in the middle of a workout. The more common trackers fit into two categories those that are charged via a USB cable every five or six days and those that use a cell battery, which provides a charge for a couple of months.

  • Fitness
    Fitness trends that are here to stay

    Fitness is an ever evolving industry where trends tend to change rapidly. In the recent years, we witnessed the emergence of several trends that took fitness freaks around the world by a storm. However, only few of them were good enough to survive and be relevant to fitness enthusiasts presently and in the coming future. A list of fitness trends that are here to stay finds mention below.

    Strength training
    Gone are the days when many individuals, especially women, used to avoid strength training. With increased awareness regarding the benefits including boosting longevity, protection against diabetes, back pain, building muscle mass, and more that strength training offers, a growing number of people now rely on it to stay healthy and fit. In addition to this, the major reason responsible for strength training’s popularity is that women have now realized that lifting total gym weights does not necessarily makes them bulky. Rather, it is a great way to burn fat and boost metabolism.

    Well-informed and seasoned fitness professionals
    Reaching individual fitness goals becomes much easier when you workout under the supervision and guidance of an educated and experienced professional. In recent years, the number of such personal trainers has seen a drastic rise. These trainers offer tailored guidance to fitness freaks, which enables them to achieve their goals rapidly.

    Wearable technology
    A few years ago, wearable technology was introduced to the fitness freaks. It includes fitness and activity trackers, such as smartwatches, heart rate monitors, smart eyeglasses designed to show maps and fitness activity, and GPS tracking devices. Although it has been a few years since wearable technology surfaced, this particular fitness trend is certainly here to stay. People love flaunting their wearable fitness gadgets that enable them to keep a track of their daily fitness activity. Fit bit, Pebble Time, Basis, Misfit, Garmin, and Jawbone are the names that have built a formidable reputation as leading providers of wearable fitness technology.

    High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
    Due to the quick results that HIIT programs offer, they have become popular and will surely stay that way. The training program is all about short intervals of intense activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery. This type of workout can be ideal for people who have busy schedules and find it tough to spare time for time intensive workouts. However, HIIT training is not meant for every individual but for those who are in good shape. The reason behind is that these exercises demand great strength to eliminate body injuries while using total gym equipment. Additionally, those in good shape also need to be well prepared for performing these high-intensity workouts.

    Body weight training
    Body weight training, a leading fitness trend, is not only restricted to sit-ups, chin-ups, and push-ups. Rather, it refers to any form of resistance training based entirely on your own body-weight. You can follow this fitness routine either at home or at the gym.

    So, not all fitness trends are meant for you. To ensure that you follow the right one, consult your health practitioner.

  • Fitness
    Here’s how you can keep a tab on your physical fitness

    BMI or body mass index, is the measure of body fat with respect to your height and weight. It is important to get your BMI checked, as it is responsible for your physical fitness. It is applicable for everyone over the age of 20.

    BMI was derived from a mathematical formula. It was formulated in the 1830s by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet (1796-1874). He was a Belgian mathematician, astronomer, statistician, and sociologist. BMI is a number that denotes the amount of fat that is present in the body divided by weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. You can measure your BMI using a BMI calculator.

    Here’s how you can calculate your BMI!
    BMI = weight(kg) / height2 (m2) (Metric Units)
    BMI = 703*weight(lb) / height2 (in2) (U.S. Units)

    Why it is important to know your BMI?
    Knowing your BMI could help a doctor determine your overall fitness and your risk of developing chronic diseases. It helps one categore themselves into 3 basic states of fitness. BMI calculator helps one determine whether you are underweight, average/ideal or overweight/ obese

    It is different for each gender!
    It is possible for two people to have the same BMI even if they have different body types. A man could have a BMI of 21.2 and still look buff while a woman too can have the same BMI and look slim and slender. As a matter of fact, women are known to have more fat content in their bodies while the men are known to have more muscle mass.
    Even babies upon their birth undergo a BMI check. It determines their physical health.

    The ideal BMI!
    Following are the various measures of BMI that can help you analyze your fitness level.
    Underweight- The BMI which falls lesser than 18.5.
    Ideal Weight- The BMI which ranges between 18.5-24.9 is considered as normal BMI.
    Overweight- The BMI which ranges over 30. The people whose BMI falls in this category, are known to be obese or overweight.

    Limitations of BMI
    Scientifically, BMI is the weight of the fat content in the body and not the actual body weight. So, factors like age, sex, race and ethnicity can have an influence on the relation between the fat content in the body and the BMI.

    How to maintain a healthy BMI?
    The mantra to be followed here is to monitor your daily activity and keep a tab on your diet. The only way one can maintain a healthy BMI is by exercising regularly and eating the right kind of food.