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CARDIO

  • Why You Should Engage in Team Sports

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff You don’t have to make the national soccer team or the NBA to enjoy the many advantages of being part of a sports team. In this article, I’ll list the top 5 reasons why it’s so great to engage in a team sport! ...
  • Yoga and Fat Loss

    Yoga originated in India and is historically said to be at least 5000 years old. It brings about mental, physical and spiritual peace to those who practice it. By definition, the word yoga means to “unite or integrate” oneself to their body and consc...
  • Top Reasons to Start Playing Soccer

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Soccer is a very popular sport all over the world, especially in Europe and South America. Soccer is also one of the oldest sports with the first match dating all the way back to 1004 B.C. in Japan. Over the ye...
  • Flexibility Uncovered

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Definition Flexibility means your body can stretch and utilize its maximum possible movements. These movements are often limited by our joints. For example, your back can bend far forward, but much less far ba...
  • Boxing as a Cardio Workout

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Cardio can become extremely monotonous and routine if you spend hours on the treadmill, stair master or elliptical. If you want to burn a lot of calories and enjoy doing it, give boxing a try. “Boxing is a gre...
  • Quick and Easy Tips to Boost Your Endurance

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Improving your endurance is extremely essential to your health and physical strength. Boosting your cardiovascular health will strengthen your heart muscles and prolong your life expectancy. A good endurance wi...
  • 10 Reasons to Start Pole Fitness Dance Classes

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff. Photo credit: Jilse Rig, Dutch competitive pole dancer.   In the past, strip clubs were associated with a dodgy atmosphere and were situated in the bad part of town. Today things couldn’t be more different! D...
  • Why Swimming is an Excellent Cardio

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Stop running, put your bike in the garage and set your boxing gloves aside! Why you may ask? To go swimming! In this world of never-ending fitness trends, you would almost never consider swimming as a sport or ...
  • Exercise For Seniors

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff As we get older, our strength, endurance and flexibility changes over the course of the years and typically decreases. This can be extremely dangerous as decreased health and fitness will increase the risk of v...
  • Why You Need a Good Sports Bra

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff The reading of this title might make you think ‘right, as if my choice of sportswear will affect my performance’. In this article I’ll explain why in fact it is important to invest in good quality underwear. ...
  • Stretching Myths and Facts

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff Stretching is said to reduce injuries and overall benefit the exercise performance. Is this really true though? In this article I will debunk some myths and state some facts.  What is stretching? The main o...
  • Why You Should Never Ditch Cardio

    by Startlivingright.net – Being active is the greatest gift you can ever give to your body. Here are some top reasons why you should never ditch cardio. Cardiovascular...
  • Cellulite definition, causes and how to get rid of it

    by Startlivingright.net – More on cellulite, their causes, consequences, and how to treat, get rid of them or at least minimize their appearance during occasions. Near...
  • High Intensity Interval Training

    by Startlivingright.net – One of the most popular forms of cardio is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It helps us burn calories faster and become fit. High int...
  • Common sports injuries

    by Startlivingright.net – Inevitable sports injuries may occur while during and weight exercise or training workout. Know more about their treatments and prevention. S...
  • Why your fat loss may be off to a slow start

    by Startlivingright.net – It is very frustrating not to see and results in our fat loss process. You must make sure you’re practicing cardio and know that it takes time. ...
  • The benefits of fasted cardio

    by Startlivingright.net – Doing a cardio session at the morning, before breakfast, is known as fasted cardio. It helps removing the last bits of body fat. One common t...
  • Myth of the fat burning zone

    by Startlivingright.net – “The fat burning zone is one of the most pervasive myths in the fitness industry that just won’t go away.” Learn more!. One endlessly pervas...
  • Different forms of cardio explained

    by Startlivingright.net – Switching forms of cardio is a great way to break out of a fat loss plateau. Walking or jogging and stair climbing are examples of cardio forms. ...
  • Cardio needed for maximal fat loss

    by Startlivingright.net – Startlivingright.net – The frequency and duration of cardio needed for fat loss differ between beginners and experienced people, and depend on many other factors. ...
  • Does cardio cause loss of muscle mass

    by Startlivingright.net – In order to keep the required muscle mass, the athlete should know which kind of cardio session to choose, depending on his goals. One common...
  • When is the best time of day to do cardio

    by Startlivingright.net – Cardio sessions can vary between morning, fasted cardio and evening sessions. You choose whenever it’s convenient for your daily schedule. Pe...

Why You Should Engage in Team Sports

Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff

You don’t have to make the national soccer team or the NBA to enjoy the many advantages of being part of a sports team. In this article, I’ll list the top 5 reasons why it’s so great to engage in a team sport!

1.    Physical activity

No matter what sport you do, it is always good to move and be active. The same goes for being active as part of a team. Exercise is important for our overall health and mental wellbeing as it reduces stress and gives us more energy.

2.  Experience team spirit

Team spirit is not only important in sports but also as a part of our daily lives. Being part of a team can connect you to individuals who are from different cultures and other walks of life. It is also great to share a common goal and work together as a team to fulfill it. Good team spirit will motivate all teammates during competitions and even offer moral support if you dont win. All these elements of being part of a team are equally useful in your personal and professional life!

3. The socializing factor

Nowadays people can get so absorbed with work, commitments and social media that you’d almost forget to meet your friends in person. One great way to spend time together is by playing sports and rewarding yourself with a nice drink at the sports canteen afterwards. Also people who move to a new place find that the best way to meet new people is by joining a sports association.

4. Team sports are good for your mental health and confidence

Australian research has shown that people who perform sports within a team enjoy a better mental health and life satisfaction than those that exercise alone. Other than that, being part of a team can really boost your confidence when your teammates and praise you when you’re doing a good job for the team.

5. Support factor

We all have those days when we cant be bothered to exercise. It is easy to skip a workout if you train alone and know that others do not depend on you. However, being part of a team gives you the moral obligation to get up and support your teammates who rely on you. Also, your teammates will encourage you to come and support the team even when you’re having a bad day. Next to this, a team member can give you that extra push you need to fully excel in your athletic abilities.

The bottom line

Sports are good for everyone and being part of a team will improve both your physical and mental wellbeing. Being part of a team will help you commit to a sport in the long term. Joining a sports association/team is also a great way to make new friends. 

Yoga and Fat Loss

Yoga originated in India and is historically said to be at least 5000 years old. It brings about mental, physical and spiritual peace to those who practice it. By definition, the word yoga means to “unite or integrate” oneself to their body and consciousness.

Historically, people believed that in order for humans to be in a state of peace, they had to intertwine their mind, body and spirit together which is what lead to the formation of yoga. This is done through several different exercises and poses, including a certain style of breathing and extreme meditation. It is said that yoga will improve our circulation, act as a stimulus to organs in the abdominal area and generally improve health.

Meditation during yoga also brings peace of mind, causes us to become aware of our body and relieves stress. However, although it can be seen that yoga is good for our physical and mental health, another common question is: does it burn fat? Is yoga a suitable form of cardio for someone on a fat loss program?

Yoga and cardiovascular fitness  

According to a research team at the University of Wisconsin Human Performance Lab, yoga is not intense enough to burn a high rate of fat or increase cardiovascular fitness. Whereas it does have countless benefits to our flexibility, strength, balance and even endurance, it does not raise heart rate high enough or increase our VO2 (VO2 can be referred to as the rate of transferring oxygen into energy during exercise) to boost overall cardiovascular wellbeing.

According to John Porcari, the head of the research team, in order to increase your cardiovascular fitness, you need to increase your heart rate to a range of 60 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate which yoga does not achieve. He claims it can be done through vigorous activity such as running, biking or even intense walking. This indicates that although yoga is a good form of exercise, it is not intense enough to increase our metabolic rate. 

Yoga and physical strength 

According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, yoga improves arm and leg strength, greater coordination with the body, better overall balance and increased health of the nervous system through meditation and relaxation. However, according to Tom Venuto, author of Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle, although yoga increases our strength, it cannot be compared to a conventional weight training program that uses full range muscle contractions and is dynamic.

Bikram yoga and fat loss

Many people believe that Bikram yoga (doing yoga at high temperatures) burns a lot of calories because it takes place in a hot room. However, sweating in a hot room is not an indication of fat being burned but rather your body trying to regulate your body temperature.

Yoga and mental well-being

Yoga prevents depression and calms your mind

Performing yoga will help others feel better about themselves and make them less likely to overeat during times of stress.

Yoga makes you more conscious about a healthy lifestyle

Yoga is a lifestyle that entails consciousness and health. Embracing the yoga lifestyle will help you become aware of what you put in your body and make healthier food choices.

In conclusion

Yoga improves our muscular fitness, flexibility, relaxes us, connects us to our bodies and is an escape from stress.

If you are already in shape and merely want to maintain where you are, then yoga would serve as a a perfect technique for keeping fit and improving your health. However, if your primary goal is to lose fat want to lose fat, it is better to resort to alternative cardio methods that increase your heart rate with a weightlifting program to boost your metabolism and increase calorie expenditure.

 

Flexibility Uncovered

Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff

Definition

Flexibility means your body can stretch and utilize its maximum possible movements. These movements are often limited by our joints. For example, your back can bend far forward, but much less far backwards. Thumb and fingers bend way more than at the palm of your hand. However, there are some people, especially those of Eastern or African descent, who are incredibly flexible. And of course there are contortionists and acrobats, who can bend all the way backwards and place their head between their legs while standing!

Is it genetic?

Flexibility can be improved but heredity, race and individual predisposition play a major role.

What causes lack of flexibility?

Short muscles are generally responsible for a lack of flexibility. People who merely perform weight training often have short muscles. Though the muscles are very strong, they remain stiff and in a state of tension. In addition to weight training, you should always stretch the muscles with stretching exercises.

Stretching is also said to improve the muscle performance. For example, a javelin thrower who has powerful muscles but a rather stiff and slightly bent elbow will not throw the spear as far as an opponent who is equally strong, but with a fully extendable arm.

Flexibility and health

Lack of flexibility can create other physical problems. For example, someone with a stiff neck and head will suffer from cramped muscles which will result in headaches, dizziness and neck pain.

Stiff muscles also place an excessive load on our tendons which can increase the risks of a tendon rupture. Also, joints that do not move regularly tend to get "stuck" because the joints do not produce enough lubricating fluid. Those recovering from a broken arm will often complain about a stiff shoulder for weeks even after the cast has been removed.

Good coordination and flexibility

Flexibility and coordination is incredibly important and can even help you avoid dangerous or risky situations. For example, an experienced skier will smoothly descend down the slopes whereas an untrained beginner will end up wobbling at every turn on his or her ankles and knees. Beginners tend to get more injured as they have poorer flexibility and coordination.

How to stretch and improve your flexibility

A little stretching in the morning goes a long way. After waking up, you will often feel stiff as you have had very limited movement in your sleep. The stiffness will then disappear after you have moved around a little. Exercises that stretch your muscles will increase your blood circulation and will be a healthy start to your day.

Back stretch

Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart. Stretch your arms above your head and reach out as far as possible. Now bend your knees and rotate your arms with one arm moving backwards and the other arm moving forwards. Repeat ten times.

Waist stretch

Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart and your arms alongside your body. Swing the right arm overhead and let your left hand slide down your leg reaching as low as possible. Repeat for both arms ten times.

Knee lift

Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart and arms alongside your body. Bend your right knee and pull it up with both hands as far as possible towards your chest. Repeat with the left knee and complete for both legs ten times.

The bottom line

Being flexible is good for your coordination and can prevent bodily aches that are discomforting. Flexibility is genetic but can always be improved by daily stretching. Start your day off right by performing some stretching exercises that will increase your blood flow and boost your energy levels.  

Top Reasons to Start Playing Soccer

Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff

Soccer is a very popular sport all over the world, especially in Europe and South America. Soccer is also one of the oldest sports with the first match dating all the way back to 1004 B.C. in Japan. Over the years, soccer has gained more and more popularity. The Euro Cup, World Cup and UEFA championships are one of the biggest sports events in the world.

Soccer is also an excellent workout and a great way to boost your endurance. Below are a list of reasons why you should give soccer a try.

1.      A soccer match lasts for 90 minutes. So 90 minutes of running around the field is a great aerobic exercise! Aerobic exercise prevents diseases and improves your heart health.

2.     A soccer game is the equivalent of high intensity interval training. Since you will not constantly sprint across the soccer field, you will alternate between high and low heart rates. That’s a HIIT workout for you right there!

3.     A soccer match will greatly boost your endurance. During an average game, you cover approximately 5.5 to 6 miles of which 2 miles are spent jogging, 1.2 miles running at regular speed and 0.6 miles are spent sprinting.

4.     In need of a motivational boost? There is always someone on your team that will help you lift your spirits and get you back in the game.

5.     Get fit while having fun! Is there anything more fun than hanging out with your teammates on the field improving your soccer skills? I think not!

6.     While playing soccer, you are consistently improving your strength, boosting your endurance and burning fat at the same time.

7.     Being active in the outdoors will help you release tension and stress.

8.     It feels great to be part of a team which enables you to support each other and bring out the best in each other.

9.     You can play soccer anywhere! In your backyard, the park or even a schoolyard. You’re not limited to just the soccer-field. All you need is a ball, some soccer shoes and a good attitude!

10.  It is an international sport so wherever you go you can always join a soccer association or join in on the fun wherever there’s a match.

11.  Having said that, it is a great way to meet new people and make new friends!

12.  It’s easy to learn.

13.  Soccer is not only a physical workout but it also trains your mind. It takes some real mental skills, good coordination and a sense of strategy to be a good soccer player.

14.  Unlike joining a gym, joining a soccer association is inexpensive and so is soccer gear. All you need is a good pair of shoes!

 

 

Boxing as a Cardio Workout

Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff

Cardio can become extremely monotonous and routine if you spend hours on the treadmill, stair master or elliptical. If you want to burn a lot of calories and enjoy doing it, give boxing a try.

“Boxing is a great cardio workout because it works every muscle in the body” says boxer and personal trainer Wesley Kock from Good Vibes Training. Moreover, Wesley explains “You’re basically doing a form of interval training which is excellent for your endurance and your body.” 

Equipment

In order to have a good boxing session, you will need some basic equipment. Most gyms already offer boxing equipment, but you could also purchase some and make a little boxing ring in your house.

Here is what you need.

Boxing gloves:

If you do not wear proper boxing gloves, you may injure your hands while punching the boxing bag. Wearing gloves will enable you to punch harder and have a more intensive workout. Good fitting gloves are very important for safety and for comfort. Invest in some good gloves and you'll benefit from them in the gym and at home

Wrist wraps: 

These straps protect your hands from injuries. A wrist wrap will also give you a steadier punch as it supports your wrist joints.

Punching bag:

Punching bags or balls come in various shapes and sizes. It really depends on what you want. Large boxing bags offer fully body workouts as you can alternate between kicking and punching.

The smaller balls (the ones you punch in a rotating motion) are great but limit you to punching. As mentioned, larger boxing bags offer full body workouts which might make it a better option for serious boxers. You will also find hanging punching bags and erect ones. Choosing the right boxing bag really depends on your goals and what might fit better in your house.

Jumping rope:

Traditionally boxers incorporated jumping rope into their training routine because it improves their footwork and is also a great exercise for building speed and a faster pace. Even if you don’t have plans to compete, this still makes a great warm up.

The workout

Get ready by jumping rope for about 5 minutes to get you warmed up. Now, put on your boxing gloves. When you are a beginner, it is good to start off with 5 rounds for 5 minutes. This might seem like a short workout, but it makes a great high intensity exercise for 25 minutes!

Your position

Start off by putting one foot slightly in front of the other and hold your gloves as if you’re protecting your chin with your palms facing inwards. This is your starting position. When you punch the bag, you hold the arm that is not punching in the starting position. The shoulder of the arm that punches rotates slightly toward the bag. Do not stand still using only one arm, but use your total upper body. Your feet should also be moving slightly in sync with your upper body. Keep on jogging/bouncing and shifting weights as you switch your punching arm.

Repeat each round for 5 minutes.

Round one: punch the bag with one arm at a time with your arm fully extended. Start off by switching arms after every punch and include 3 to 5 jabs.

Round two: alternate between kicking and punching.

Round three: jump rope for 5 minutes.

Round four: alternate between jabbing and kicking and then quickly do a push up and repeat.

Round five: repeat the fourth round but alternate between a double jab. A double jab is just that, you jab twice with one arm.

Do the above exercise using your maximum effort. If this is your first boxing workout, you’re guaranteed to feel it burn the next day!

The bottom line

Whereas regular cardio exercises can get quite boring, boxing is a lot of fun and a great way to burn a lot of calories. Boxing is also interval training which improves your heart rate and endurance.