Archive | Workout

Best Exercises to Burn Belly Fat Rapidly! Get the Six Pack Abs You Want in Just Two Weeks

If you have a tummy and want to get a six pack, read on. There are lots of reasons as to why you have a fat belly. Your diet and exercise are the main factors. If your diet and exercise is right, you can have those six packs easily.

There are tons of exercises that you can do to burn belly fat. But the problem is most of them aren’t effective. Doing all the exercises won’t help you burn that fat.

Doing just one super effective exercise can make all the difference required. Like Bruce Lee said, “I fear not the man who practices 1000 kicks but the MAN who practices one kick one thousand times”. Here are two super effective exercises that can burn belly fat faster than any other workout…

Hindu Pushup Variation – This exercise is a body weight exercise. It increases your endurance and strength. At the same time, it burns belly fat faster than any other exercise.

Keep your legs wide apart and your hands planted on the ground. Assume the position of the normal bomb-diver pushup. Tilt your head forward and incline your body.

Maintain that position. Don’t rise from that position. Hold that position for around ten to fifteen minutes. You will soon find out that it gets really difficult. If you can master this one exercise and do it for twenty minutes every day, you’ll get abs within two weeks.

Breathing Exercise – You don’t need to work your body for this exercise. It makes use of your respiratory system. This exercise relaxes your mind and burns fat too. It can be difficult at first. After two days of doing it, you’ll get the hang of it. It can stress you at the beginning.

Inhale as much as you can. You will reach a point where you can’t take any more breath. You will feel a stinging sensation in your throat and tightening of your stomach muscles. Take in a little more for another two seconds and exhale all the air. Exhale it until your belly gets hard and your body craves oxygen.

Inhale and exhale the same way for another five to six times. Do this exercise once in the morning and once in the evening. Don’t do it inside your house. Do it in some place where you can get a lot of fresh air. This exercise will also increase your life span.

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How Old Do You Have to Be to Use a Bowflex?

Image is everything with young people today and many young people want to work out and use equipment like adults, however is it safe? What age do you have to be to use a piece of equipment like the Bowflex?

While there is, little information from the manufacturer on this point the use of a Bowflex is similar to any other weight-training situation. That being said determining what age you can begin using a Bowflex is a matter of common sense.

Children grow continually sometimes until they are 18 years old. This means that bone, tissue and muscle configurations are constantly changing. You should keep this in mind when determining if your child is old enough to begin strength training.

The American Academy of Pediatrics supports children participating in appropriately designed and supervised training programs, even those which incorporate the use of machinery such as a Bowflex. Light strength training is good at any age. This is especially true if a young child is involved in other sports such as little league or gymnastics.

The key to using a Bowflex or any other training program with a young person is adequate training on how to use the equipment. Improper use at any age can cause serious injury to muscle, tendons and possibly bones. Therefore, if you are a first time user of the Bowflex you will want to work with the machine for a while before showing a young person the ropes.

Once you are confident with knowledge and use of the Bowflex here are some base guidelines for use with children or young adults.

o Plenty of fluid intake

o Well lit area

o Three days a week maximum

o Beginners should do one set of ten reps for each major muscle beginning with light weight or resistance

o No maximum lifting or resistance

o Training should be a part of a whole fitness program including nutrition

Following these steps and some average common sense, your young person should benefit from strength training with you. It must be noted that you should never begin any type of training without first consulting a physician about the fitness level of you and your child if training together. How old do you have to be to use a Bowflex? Old enough to take proper instruction on the proper use of the machine.

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4 Critical Steps For An Ectomorph Workout

How many Calories

Are you eating enough calories? So many ectomorphs get this wrong, they think they can follow the same diet plan their buddies in the gym are following and that’s why they are not seeing weight gain.

The ectomorph has to eat more per pound of body weight than the average guy. There is some debate on the exact number but here is a good place to start.

The skinny guy should multiply each pound of body-weight by 20-24. So if you weigh 150 lbs. times 20 equals 3,000 calories a day.

This is where you should start, and if you don’t see weight gain at this level than start adding 150 calories a week until you do.

The other part of this equation is the diet break-down. Now most people would limit the carbohydrate intake so the diet based on percentages of calories a day would be 45% protein 30% carbs and 25% fat. Because the average guy is scared that carbohydrates will put on body fat.

The ectomorph doesn’t have to worry about that because of a high metabolic rate. So for the ectomorph I would start with a 40% protein 40% carbs and 20% fat. This should aid in packing on weight and muscle.

You can always make adjustments to this as you see how your body responds.

How much sleep is right

Too many weight lifters under estimate the importance of rest and sleep. They put so much concentration on their training they end up hurting their gains because of lack of rest.

When you are sleeping your system releases natural growth hormones that help build and repair muscle fibers that get broken down during your workout.

Without this very important process that only happens when resting, the less you rest the less you gain.

Of course the other side of the coin is too much sleep. Because an ectomorph has such a high metabolism, it makes it more difficult to gain weight and muscle. Getting a solid 8-10 hours is sufficient rest to help your gains.

Once you start to go over this amount, you risk hurting your gains.

Remember you need to eat a lot of calories a day and you need to eat often. When we are sleeping we are not eating. If you sleep too long your body will start needing fuel to survive, remember that fast metabolic rate?

While you are over sleeping, that is more than 10 hours your body is looking for energy to keep going and muscle mass is what it is going after.

So you have to maintain a healthy balance between calorie intake and resting to make sure you are getting the optimal muscle building process.

Full body workout

Something that happens far too often for ectomorphs is following a workout that just doesn’t address the needs of a skinny guy.

The ectomorph will not benefit from a workout you find most bodybuilders doing these days. It’s not their fault they just don’t know any better.

They go to the gym and follow what ever workout their buddies are doing. They see their friends packing on muscle each week and they can’t figure out why when they look in the mirror after months of training they see the same body they had when they started.

This is what makes most skinny guys give up, they believe that they just can’t gain muscle, end of story.

But it is just a matter of using the right exercises in combination with the right amount of reps and sets. You see, an ectomorph body type responds to compound exercises and a full body workout.

Compound exercises allow you to get the most joints and muscle groups to work at the time. An example of a compound exercise is the squat. Think of all the joints and muscles involved when doing a squat.

You have your hips, knees, and ankles involved, and at the same time your quads, glutes, back, hamstrings, and core are involved, and that is not even counting all the small stabilizing muscles that are connected.These are the types of exercises that an ectomorph thrives on. When you do a full body routine with compound exercises you will start to see muscle gain.

Less is More

What do we mean by less is more? Well this is a very important point to understand if you are a skinny guy. Because just like the skinny guy who is doing the wrong exercises by following his buddies he is also working out as long as they do.

The problem is the ectomorph frame is not designed for a lot of stress. Your buddies might be putting in 2 or more hours during a workout and they might be doing this 4-5 times a week.

This is a disaster for the skinny guy. Because your frame and bone structure is smaller and frailer the amount of stress this type of workout will put on your body will assist in hurting not helping in any kind of muscle gain.

That’s why for the skinny guy less is more. Your body will thrive on a 45 minute routine doing a full body workout with compound exercises like stated above 3 times a week.

Your rest periods between sets should also be longer than the average guy. If you have only been resting for 30 seconds between sets while trying to keep up with your buddies you have probably noticed that you can’t keep up with the rep level.

Rest longer and make sure you are getting between 7-10 reps on each exercise for 3-4 sets.

Forget about what your friends are doing and don’t think of it as some kind of competition. You have to come to terms with your body type, when you do and start working out according to your body type you will quickly see gains.

And isn’t that really what you want. And think of it this way, how great is going to be when you are gaining muscle quickly and working out half as much as your friends. Soon they are going to becoming to you for advice on muscle building, and working out how sweet is that?

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Otomix Wrestling MMA Combat Shoes Product Review

Most athletic shoes for sports that require any amount of running have a slightly raised heel. This pitches your weight a bit more over the ball of the foot offering a faster transition for the first step of a run and better ability to pick up or maintain speed. This style of shoe offers the best ergonomics for the most efficient way to run. However in most combat sports, athletes perform in smaller areas and do very little actual running. These activities are better performed wearing shoes with a completely flat sole. The problem is the selection of flat-soled athletic shoes pales in comparison with the millions of raised heel running footwear for sale. One of the best and most popular flat-soled athletic sneakers is made by a brand named Otomix. This company has been making original and authentic performance workout shoes since 1988. Flat soles make Otomix footwear a top choice for combat athletes such boxers, wrestlers, martial artists and mma fighters. However all the different styles are excellent for any weight lifting and of course looking great when lounging around away from the gym.

Otomix wrestling and boxing workout shoes are high top w/incredible ankle support from thickly padded sides. They also offer some of the best low top athletic shoes designed specifically for martial arts training. Otomix shoes are well known for lasting practically forever. They are not the cheapest priced athletic sneakers you will find, however the price is worth the quality you will get. All styles are made with the most premium quality materials and expert craftsmanship for incredible durability. No matter what you want them for, Otomix combat weight lifting shoes are very lightweight and excellently balanced. All styles are built for comfort, support and performance that will improves the quality of your training translating into more wins and success in your sport. Another great feature of Otomix combat shoes is their fantastic look that will add more style to your appearance and swag in your step.

While traditional martial artists train in bare feet, many are finding better performance from the added support and traction of a good karate shoe. Otomix mma and martial arts combat footwear offers additional support for the arch while they hug the mid-foot and heel for a snug but comfortable fit. Otomix martial arts shoes and boots also offer great protection for the toes when kicking an opponent or heavy bag. Besides the glove-like, comfortable feel, these extremely lightweight karate shoes have a soft sole with tread designed for best gripping traction on carpets, training mats, ring floors and even tile. The flexible sole allows the wearer to really feel the floor, enhancing balance and kicking power while also providing an effective safeguard against ankle or foot injury. The Otomix karate shoe is perfect for mixed martial arts training, Taekwondo, Karate or sports performed on mats and even Yoga.

When it comes to flat soled shoes, you will find boxing shoes to be the flattest. This is so fighters can plant their back heel for power punching and keeping balanced for fast evasive movement when backed up against the ropes. Otomix boxing shoes are amazing for all types of boxing training and competition combat in the ring. All Otomix boxing boots come high on or over the ankle to provide additional protection and support for the joint when moving laterally or an unexpected fall. Otomix MMA shoes are also excellent for boxing in for a shoe that’s not quite as high on the calf, however their mid-calf boxing boots are some of the best in the business. The soft rubber soles of this boxing footwear offer maximal grip in the ring for incredible traction. Besides sparring and competing in the ring, Otomix boxing shoes are also excellent for jumping rope, bag work, practicing combos on focus mitts, shadow boxing and footwork.

The best wrestling shoes have soft rubber flat soles, are extremely lightweight and are highly flexible for the best traction on the mat. A common complaint however is their flexibility often takes away from the amount of support they offer. This is simply not the case with Otomix wrestling shoes. Otomix makes several hybrid wrestling shoes; these are the Escape Stingray MMA boot and Ninja Warrior Combat Shoes. Comparatively, these sneakers may not be as light as some of the top brand wrestling shoes (yet they are still very lightweight) but they offer the most support around the ankle. If you’re an athlete who struggles with weak ankles or just do better with a tighter feel around this area, Otomix wrestling shoes are for you. Otomix grappling sneakers also tend to last longer than most other brand name wrestling shoes as the material used is much thicker and craftsmanship a bit more sturdy. Most wrestling shoes are lucky to last a full season, however you will easily get several from Otomix footwear.

In weight lifting, if your weight shifts forward over your toes during an exercise, it can be disastrous, particularly in the squat and deadlift. These exercises plus many others require flat soles so you can stay balanced over your heels. Besides grappling and boxing, Otomix three-quarter and high top athletic footwear is also excellent for amateur and even pro weight lifting. The Otomix Escape MMA wrestling shoe, Ninja Combat and even their boxing shoes offer great support, grip and balance for nearly all types of strength training. These flat soled shoes are fantastic for keeping you safely grounded on your heels for the best performance during all compound lifts. Besides powerlifting, Otomix wrestling shoes are also excellent for bodybuilding, strongman training and even quite a bit of cross fit. Otomix flat soled Combat shoes are not however, designed for running on surfaces much harder than a grappling mat. These shoes do not have the amount of arch support or tread that running on pavement or long distances requires. They are not good for sprinting on pavement, aerobics or long distance treadmill work. Overall, any Otomix combat shoe is a great buy for how long they last and how well they perform. If you’re into combat sports, weight lifting or just want to add more style to your look, buy a pair of Otomix shoes, you won’t be dissatisfied.

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Steve Francis Dunks or How to Increase Vertical Jump

Did you see Steve Francis in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest? Then he finished as the runner-up to Vince Carter with some sick dunks. Actually, he had a 44-inch vertical at that time! That’s right, 44 inches! Besides Vince Carter (45-inch vertical) Stevie Franchise had the highest vertical in the league at that time! And in case you didn’t know – the guy is only 6′ 3”!

“I never dunked on Shaq or Mutombo. But I got ‘Zo. Never got C-Webb. I got Patrick Ewing, Vin Baker. I remember those dunks because those guys are always saying, “You ain’t going to dunk on me,” and things like that. But I got them!”

– Steve Francis

So, how do you get such a sick vertical? As a start, it’s important to know that being able to jump high is the result of a combination of these things:

– Natural ability

– Leg strength

– Explosive power

– Overall athleticism

That means, if it’s not in your genes, you probably won’t ever be able to jump like Steve Francis. Then again, none of us can. But no matter what your vertical leap is now, you can always make it better. For motivation, just take a look at Steve Francis’ workout back in the days – it’s a

4 days a week, one hour a day workout (running and playing basketball not included, = additional 3 hours a day). Every day consists of different exercises, only certain exercises like jump rope are done every time.

Day 1 (Monday):

– Jump rope (300 jumps)

– DynaDisc figure eight Step onto a pair of discs (they look like deflated dodge balls) holding a ten-pound medicine ball. (15 figure eights in each direction)

– Seated reverse crunch Sit on a flat bench with your legs sticking straight out over the end. Supporting yourself with your arms, lean back until your upper body is at a 45-degree angle to the bench and slowly bring your knees up to your chest, keeping your upper body stable. Slowly return them to the start position to complete the move. (2 sets of 15)

– High knee-raise sprint Sprint the length of a basketball court staying on your toes and lifting your knees as high as possible. (20 sprints)

– Leg curl (2 sets of 15)

– Seated leg extension (2 sets of 15)

– Hip abduction (2 sets of 10)

– Hip adduction (2 sets of 10)

– Stability-ball dumbbell chest press Like a standard chest press but while lying with your back on the ball to get in a little more work on the core. (2 sets of 10)

– Dumbbell front raise You’re now getting into the part of the workout designed to really carve up the shoulders. Making sure your arms remain just outside of shoulder width, raise first one, then the other, for one rep. (2 sets of 15)

– Dumbbell lateral raise To work the outside of the shoulder, stand bending slightly at the waist, holding a weight in each hand, your palms facing each other. Raise your arms to the sides until they’re parallel to the ground, then return. (2 sets of 15)

– Rear deltoid dumbbell raise Lie face down on a bench set to a 45-degree incline with weights in each hand, your arms hanging off the bench and slightly bent. Keeping that same elbow bend, raise your arms to the sides until they are parallel to the ground, then return. (2 sets of 10)

– Single-arm dumbbell row Now for the back of the shoulders, hold a weight in your right hand, lean over, and place your left hand and knee on a bench for support. Keeping your back slightly arched and your shoulders parallel to the ground, draw the weight-bearing elbow up toward the ceiling, then return. (2 sets of 10, then switch sides and repeat)

– Stationary bike (25 minutes)

As for the vertical jump exercises, besides the common exercises like jump rope and calf raises, Steve used some special, very effective exercises.

Here is an example:

Stand straight up, and jump as high as you possibly can without bending your knees (your knees will bend slightly). As soon as you hit the ground, jump back up gain, and repeat this motion a number of times. This exercise is extremely effective at strengthening your lower leg muscles.

Keep in mind that vertical leap is part leg strength and part explosiveness. In fact, the explosiveness part is the more important of the two. It’s not about the size of your leg muscles, or how much weight you can put up in the gym. It’s about your athletic ability, coordination, and your ability to explode up and off the ground.

For the rest of the jumping exercises and crucial things to know about vertical jump (f.e. why often what you “don’t” do is more important then what you “do” do) please take a look at this page I strongly recommend:

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What Are the Benefits of Using the Treadclimber?

The treadclimber is a versatile piece of gym equipment that has the ability to combine the benefits of the stair stepper machine and a treadmill. It is a great choice if you are looking to introduce some cardio activity to the existing strength training workout. Here are several benefits of using the treadclimber machine:

Cardiovascular

The treadclimber is a great option to increase the daily cardio activity. Even a moderately active session of 30-60 minutes per day has the potential to help lower the risk of heart disease, increase the ability to burn calories, make an improvement in good cholesterol (HDL) levels and lower the blood pressure. Overall, the cardio benefits of this machine are regarded as its major strength.

Muscle Tone

The legs perform a constant stair-stepping action while using this piece of equipment which can play a significant role in toning the muscles in the legs. The treadclimber provides a movement that is quite similar to walking up stairs or uphill. This can benefit the major muscle groups such as the hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps and calves.

Weight Loss

A consistent workout plan that makes use of the treadclimber is certain to help in your attempt to lose weight. For instance, a 25-30 minute workout at a speed of 3 miles per hour has the potential to burn about 315 calories. By losing weight at this pace it is possible to drop nearly 1 pound of body fat per 9-10 days of working out.

The treadclimber is more efficient at burning calories than the stair climber and treadmill. It is believed the treadclimber can burn up to 3-1 / 2 times more calories than a treadmill and near 35% more than using a stair climber.

Versatile use

Similar to the star climber, elliptical machine and treadmill, the treadclimber makes it possible to increase the level of intensity or difficulty. This makes it much easier to exercise at a comfortable level when first starting out, and later increase the difficulty level when the body gets used to the workout. By increasing the intensity it is possible to avoid a plateau and make sure your body gets the most out of each and every workout.

Are there any negatives

In addition to the many positives of using the treadclimber, there are also a few issues that may limit its usage for some people. For instance, it is not designed to be run on and there before the pace may be too slow for some. Also, the weight limit on these machines is generally limited to about 300 pounds.

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Bodybuilding – When And How To Take Your Creatine

Potentially the most popular bodybuilding supplement on the market is that of creatine. Creatine has been used for many years by those looking to help build muscle mass and get more from their workouts.

By helping to restore the CP stores in the muscle, taking creatine allows you to work out longer in the gym and for an extended period of time. Without it, you may find your workouts begin to lag, and as such, you don’t experience nearly the same muscle building results as you would have if you were

using it.

But one question that many ask themselves is exactly how they should be taking creatine. Is it best to take before a heavy weight lifting workout? Or should it be spread out throughout the day? And what foods or drinks should you have it with? All are common questions that are asked.

When To Take Creatine

For most people, taking creatine immediately following a workout will be the best method since this is when your muscles are going to be most receptive to taking up nutrients – the creatine along with them. Creatine gets stored better in the muscle cells when an insulin spike is present, and as such, if you are drinking a post-workout beverage with dextrose, adding creatine is a very smart idea.

Taking it with juice also works, but keep in mind that juice is about 50% fructose, which has no effect on insulin levels at all. Taking it with straight dextrose is a more effective approach.

When you are in the loading stage though and taking 20 grams per day for the first five days, then you’ll want to spread this out into 4 even dosages so that you are not as likely to experience stomach upset.

Creating and Low Carb Diets

For those who are trying to build muscle while following a bodybuilding lower carb approach, creatine can still definitely be used, but keep in mind it might be taken into the muscle cells slightly slower than if you had taken it at another point in the day.

Keeping Muscle Creatine Stores Full

Finally, the last critical thing to know about creatine is that in order for it to actually be of benefit for you, you must keep your muscle creatine stores full after the loading phase. If you are going to approach your supplement protocol in a haphazard effect, taking it just every now and then, you likely are not going to see many benefits from supplementing with it.

After the loading phase is complete, you must be sure to then continue on to maintain yourself by taking in 3-5 grams of creatine per day thereafter, depending upon your current body weight (heavier individuals will need more).

So, if you’re currently contemplating creatine – or are taking it but not in the right way, give these points some consideration. Taken correctly, creatine can make a big difference in the results you get from your workout.

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Bodyweight Training – The Feared 8 Count Bodybuilders

Why do so many people fear the dreaded 8 count body builder? Because they are a brutal bodyweight exercise that have been used in the military by the Elite Navy Seals.

I have read and bought many books on military training on every part of the military. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines and they all show the exercise the 8 count body builder as one of the exercises that help get them in great shape.

But one book a Navy Seal training manual talks about how every Friday they would have to do 1×100 of this brutal exercise. And how the Seals hated it, I read this many years ago when I was just making a transition from weight training to bodyweight training.

I thought how hard could it be? First time I did it I managed 60 of these bodybuilders and thought about never doing them again. But, there was no way that was going to happen I was on my own mission to do 100 in 10 minutes and accomplished it.

What made me want to know more about these and the fact that the author of the book left out the feared 8 counts out of the workout section because how brutal they are. I liked that. If he left it out because he hated them I wanted to do them.

It’s been many years and I still do them and it is still a feat to accomplish 100 in under 10 minutes. My best was 600 in 1 hour and 100 in under 15 minutes wearing a 40 lb weight vest.

These are tough workouts and the exercise will work your body pretty complete. I have combined 8 counts with bodyweight squats and also used a combo using bodybuilders and a jump rope, both are amazing fat burning and strength building workouts.

If you just managed 50 of these beast the average man would not be average anyone who is a little skeptical drop down for some right now and see how many you can get in 1 minute or 2 minutes I think you will be surprised.

The only down fall is that most people will never do them as a regular part of their workout, and the reason is they are very demanding. You can be like everyone else and do everyone else s workouts; you know the workouts designed by the average man for the average man.

You want to be elite? You train and do the exercises that the elite train with!

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Jack LaLanne’s Diet and Exercise Routine

Francois Henri LaLanne’s (1914-2011) famous diet and exercise routine paved the way for him to become an American health icon. He opened the first public gym in Oakland, Ca and is best known for his TV show on fitness. But, he started out as a junk food addict as a kid until he was embarrassed by a failure to pass a routine physical exam in school. This upset and motivated him to attend health lectures that re-directed his life.

WORKOUT: LaLanne’s workout routine began with a series of stretches in bed as soon as he woke around 5am. He then went to one of his weight rooms, one had free weights and the other had weight-lifting machines. He worked the lower body one day and the upper body the next and the entire routine was changed every 30 days. After 90 minutes of weight lifting, he went to the pool for swimming and water exercises for another 30 minutes.

DIET: He ate only two meals a day. The first meal was at 11am after the workout and the second around 7pm usually at a cafe with his wife. His breakfast consisted of fruit, oatmeal, broth, and four egg whites.

His restaurant dinners began with a salad of 10 raw vegetables and four hard boiled egg whites. Fish was consumed almost every night and roasted turkey occasionally. He ate no other types of meat and did not snack between meals. His juicer became popular because Jack just couldn’t eat that many raw vegetables. He found juicing made it easier to consumer the large amount of veggies he wanted.

VITAMINS: In addition to a disciplined diet, Jack took 40 to 50 vitamins and minerals on a daily basis. It’s too long of a list to print here, but can be found on his website. However, he never relied on supplements to replace any foods, he just view it as an “insurance policy.”

ALCOHOL: Being a Frenchman himself, he believed in drinking wine because he noticed that the French tend to live longer in their wine culture. He allowed himself this pleasure apart from his discipline and was even know to get drunk at times.

He published his last book when 95 years old, Live Young Forever that influenced me to change my breakfast to oatmeal and raisins-his favorite. He passed away a little more than a year later at 96 years old from pneumonia.

CONCLUSION: There are areas of contention in his routine. It’s true that Jack placed weights ahead of aerobic exercise. In his diet, he derived most protein from egg whites and fish rather than more diverse sources. His heavy vitamin consumption may have not helped much as absorption rates were lower then. And he probably drank a bit too much at times. But, it’s his long term devotion to a healthy diet and challenging exercise that set him apart.

Allen, R. 4-8-15 Jack LaLanne Workout Retrieved from muscleprodigy.com/jack-lalanne-workout/

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There Is No Wrong Way To Meditate: Breathing Meditation

I never knew if I was meditating correctly. It’s hard to jump into something you’ve never done before, and when asking for guidance only finding ‘enlightened’ answers. I would ask if I’m doing it right, and all I would get is that there is no wrong way of doing it. You see, I needed confirmation along the way, that I was on the right path. What’s the point of picking up a habit, to realize when it’s set, that it’s the wrong one?

Well with meditation it’s somewhat true. There really is no “right” way of meditating, but there are certain techniques that can be followed. You will find that you enjoy one particular meditation style over another, and after you try a couple you will realize that there really is an underlying pattern; you really do end up clearing your mind.

So how does it work?

Well even though there are many ways to meditate, I will share with you my favorite one! I have first hand knowledge, and though I practice different forms of meditation at different times, I prefer this method. Now it would help if you were to think of mediation like you would of a workout. Is there only one way of doing cardio? Of course not! But there are proper ways to run, or to swim or to do jumping jacks, to ensure maximum efficiency. Is there only one way of losing weight or gaining muscle? Of course not, but there are rules to diets, and there are proper ways of breathing as you lift weights. With that let’s move on to:

Breathing Meditation

I place this one first because it is perhaps my favorite. I was fortunate to try Vipassana Meditation where I learned to sit still and, you guessed it, breathe! Begin by sitting in a dark room, preferably early in the morning, or late at night, when few outside noises would disturb you. Your objective is to pay attention to the sensations at the tip of your nose as you breathe in, and breathe out. You need to stay away from distractions, because, especially when you’re starting out, your mind will look for every opportunity to skip to something else. We live in a society where we expect our senses to be bombarded with stimulants, and your mind is ready to move quickly from one thought, or idea to another. Meditation fights that. You probably don’t pay attention to your thoughts as you go about your daily routines, but when you close your eyes, sit in a comfortable position and focus on the sensation of your breath at the tip of your nose, that’s when you notice how hectic your thoughts really are.

Now don’t worry if you have a lot of questions about the technique. It’s very simple, just pay attention to your breath. Even if you are doing it wrong (which you can’t) you will still be meditating. Meditation is focusing on something simple. That in turn places you in the now, and calms your mind, but it’s possible that until you experience it, you will be unable to relate. Still, I will share with you my experience, and you can give it a try.

My first time

Well let’s begin with me sitting in a room full of people that have been meditating in this way for years. I however listened to the instructions, closed my eyes, and started breathing in this meditative way for the very first time in my life. Since the technique seemed so simple, I felt that I needed to know if I was doing it right. I was able to follow along with the sensations as I breathed in and out, and then in again, and all of a sudden my mind was questioning the technique. I would again breath in and out twice or at most three times, and then I would imagine telling my friends about the mediation.

In fact, I probably spend more time thinking about anything other than my breathing, during my first meditative session. It’s natural though. That’s just the working of a busy mind. I learned to catch myself each time my mind would trail off, and bring it back to observe the sensations at the tip of my nose. I would go for longer stretches at a time, now maintaining my focus as I inhaled 6 times, then longer, and longer still. This process was long. I tried not to move and was uncomfortable. I couldn’t keep my mind focused so I grew frustrated with my seeming onset of ADD, but eventually I improved.

For me meditation is just a repetitive task, and a successful technique is one whose effects I feel upon completion. My mind did feel clearer and I was more relaxed, every time I finished meditating.

Good luck and I hope you really enjoy your meditative experience.

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