Beginner Weight Loss Tips: Simple Ways to Burn More Calorie

Fit with chrisLosing weight and getting into shape can be a long process. However, you do not have to completely reinvent your life in order to burn additional calories and begin to live a healthier lifestyle. In fact, there are a number of simple steps that you can take that will result in burning some additional calories. These simple ways to get more exercise can help you to begin to lose weight, build physical endurance and get started on the path to better health.

Park in the Back

When pulling into a parking lot, choose a spot in the back of the lot. By doing so you will add a few steps to your daily routine and add to the total number of calories burned. When possible, carry your bags to the car instead of using a cart. Carrying the additional weight of the bags will also help you to burn more calories on the walk back to your car. If you do use a cart, you can get some more exercise by walking it back to the store instead of leaving it in the parking lot.

Take a Stand

It is estimated that a person burns 50% more calories standing up than sitting down. You should try to spend as much time as possible standing up throughout the day. For example, you could stand up while talking on the phone or while watching television. Standing up also helps to improve circulation, which is important for those who spend a lot of time sitting down at work or at home or who have circulatory problems.

Weight Training

You don't have to buy a lot of expensive equipment or go to the gym to get a workout. Simply doing a few push-ups, pull-ups, squats or other exercise will help you to limber up, build muscle and burn more calories. These simple exercises can be completed in an office, in the living room or wherever you are. Add repetitions over time to keep the workout useful and to continue burning calories. There are plenty of myths that you may have heard about weight and strength training. Don't fall into that trap!

Take the Stairs

Taking the stairs instead of an elevator is another good way to burn additional calories in your daily life. If the trip is too far to walk the whole way, just walking a few floors before getting onto the elevator will still help you to burn more calories than simply riding the elevator for the entire trip. It is also beneficial to walk down steps, as this too will burn more calories than riding on an elevator.

You will not only be burning calories when you are exercising, you will also be building muscle. As muscle needs more energy than fat, the addition of muscle to your body will result in your body using more calories even while you are resting. To keep burning calories and building muscles, you should strive to be more active and to get a little more exercise each day. By starting small and staying with it, you will likely be surprised how easy it is to get into the routine of exercising and to begin shedding pounds.

About the Author:

Fit with C.H.R.I.S. is a celebrity style personal training service for clients that need that extra push! They provide the option to train in a private facility or in the comfort of your own home. Their program is designed to assist individuals in their everyday wellness needs.

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Shed Stomach Fat Fast: The Best Exercises To Help You Achieve Toned Abs

slimmer, fitter, strongerAs we slowly begin to crawl out of Winter many of you will be anticipating the summer. Nothing screams summer more than blissful long days spent at the beach under the warmth of the sun.

Whilst all of us will have lost our colour a little and perhaps gained some weight over the winter months nobody wants to take the plunge and expose all at the beach in this shape.

It’s time to change your attitude, get exercising and cut away the fat to reveal your toned exterior.

Here are some of the best exercises to help you achieve toned abs and get you the perfect beach body:

The Abdominal Hold

  1. Find yourself a sturdy and well-weighted chair and sit straight, perched towards the edge of the seat.
  2. Following this, take your hands either side of your legs and grip the edge of the seat with your fingers pointing in the direction of your knees.
  3. The next step is to raise your toes two to four inches off the floor tightening your abs in the process. Then, extending and straightening your arms, lift your bum off of the chair.
  4. Aim to hold this position for around 5 – 10 seconds before lowering yourself back onto your seat and repeating.
  5. Keep this up for a minute each time you perform the exercise and you’re sure to be well on your way to solid abs.

The Pelvic Tilt

Next is an exercise that works wonders on your lower abdominals.

  1. To perform the pelvic tilt you must start out lying on the floor. You may use an exercise mat to provide some extra cushioning on hard flooring.
  2. Next, raise your knees bringing your feet closer towards your bum, tightening your core muscles in the process.
  3. Keeping your feet flat on the ground raise your pelvis in the direction of the ceiling. Hold this for around five seconds before lowering yourself back to the ground again.
  4. Give yourself a short break before repeating the exercise a further 7-11 times (8-12 reps in total).

The Plank

Tone those absThe plank is perhaps one of the most well known abdominal exercises and is sure to bring you that toned core that you have always longed for.

  1. Firstly, lay down flat on the floor facing the ground. Then, much alike a press-up, raise yourself up straightening your arms. Now only your palms and toes should be touching the floor.
  2. Keeping your back straight, hold the position for as long as you possibly can.

The Vertical Leg Crunch

  1. Lying on your back extend your legs towards the ceiling (knees slightly bent). Keeping your legs in a fixed position, aim to lift your torso towards your knees making sure your shoulder blades leave the floor.
  2. You may place your hands behind your head for support and to help you keep your chin up. However, ensure you do not pull on your neck.
  3. Once you have completed the contraction lower your upper body back to the floor and respect another 11-15 times (12-16 rep in total).

Crunch those absIf you feel you may need a little help achieving that toned physique fit for the beach this Summer then don’t hesitate. Employ the help of a personal trainer as we emerge from the winter and make our way into spring 2014.

If you are looking for a personal trainer they don’t come much better or more qualified for the role than London’s Gerald Smith. With a degree in Exercise, Nutrition and Health and plenty of experience under his belt Gerald is sure to help you get in shape. Visit to see what he can do for you.


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Healthy Desserts Made Using Rapeseed Oil

cupcake - healthy eatingWe all know the advantages of using rapeseed oil as our cooking oil of choice, rather than the traditional alternatives such as vegetable oil or sunflower oil, but not as many of us know the benefits of using this delicious oil as a replacement ingredient in some of our favourite desserts, changing them from naughty treats into a truly healthy option.

When trying to become fit and healthy it helps to have a basic understanding of the essential vitamins and minerals we need to push us in the right direction, but past that it’s really a case of making smart choices so we can then move forward and choose to cook using healthier ingredients, such as rapeseed oil in place of a less healthy alternative, so to slowly but surely increase our overall health.

For some delicious, healthy dessert recipes using rapeseed oil to put you on this path right away, look no further than the wonderful four examples below:

Scrumptious Carrot Cake

There’s something about carrot cake that makes us go weak at the knees, with carrot cake being voted at the United Kingdom's favourite cake, according to a Radio Times survey from 2011. Though carrot cake in its traditional form has been incredibly popular since the second world war, you can easily make a much healthier version using non-traditional cooking oils to suit your pallet.

To make carrot cake using rapeseed oil, use 75ml of rapeseed oil in replacement of butter during the cooking process, then cook the cake as you normally would using traditional ingredients. Making this one, simple change will reduce the saturated fat of your carrot cake by a staggering sixty percent.

Warm Oat and Blueberry Muffins

Once again replacing butter with rapeseed oil for a significantly healthier dessert, don’t be afraid to cook up a large batch of warm oat and blueberry muffins at a time, as once cool they are ideal for freezing to be enjoyed at a later date.

When you sit down with all your ingredients, swapping butter with rapeseed oil will reduce the overall saturated fat per oat and blueberry muffin by approximately seventy-seven percent. When looking for a healthy cooking oil available at Fussels Fine Foods take note of this difference, as only rapeseed oil can make that much of a difference between an unhealthy and, eventually, healthy dessert.

Unbelievable Chocolate and Cranberry Brownies

Though swapping out your cooking oil in this delicious traditional recipe doesn’t make as big a difference on the health factor as the previous two, when you also swap out your regular flour with self-raising wholemeal flour you’ll note a fairly substantial positive difference.

Obviously, chocolate brownies are never going to tip the health balance entirely, but these particular brownies certainly try their best.

Fruit-Packed Buttermilk Pancakes

Though pancakes are two fairly different desserts in the United Kingdom compared to the United States, this recipe can work well for both so long as you swap in your own traditional methods of piecing them together.

With pancakes being one of America’s favourite breakfast foods it’s no surprise that rapeseed oil has found a way to make them healthier, using one tablespoon of oil in the actual ingredients, as well as extra in the pan for frying the pancakes, for potentially the healthiest fried breakfast you will have ever tasted.

In conclusion, we all know the advantages of using rapeseed oil as our cooking oil of choice, rather than the traditional alternatives such as vegetable oil or sunflower oil, with some great desserts made using rapeseed oil including a scrumptious carrot cake, warm oat and blueberry muffins, unbelievable chocolate and cranberry brownies, and fruit-packed buttermilk pancakes.

About the Author:

Fussels Fine Foods is a company that believes in high quality simple food in the positive values of sustainable farming. To know about the kind of cooking oil available at Fussels Fine Foods, visit their website.

Slimmer, Fitter, Stronger

Sometimes finding that motivation to get fit can really be hard. You want to change your shape but finding the spare time and inspiration to get you working hard in the gym is proving to be difficult.

Look no further than this infographic from

Whether you’re looking to bulk up and aspire to obtain the body of Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises or want to shed a few pounds and slim down like Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables this graphic has an inspiring story for you.

Covering some of the most extreme diet plans that Hollywood stars of this generation have had to endure you are sure to be surprised by some of the information in this fantastic infographic.


Strength Training For Women

Strength training for womanIf you are tired of not reaping the rewards of your regular exercise routine, maybe it's time you considered doing strength training. What is strength resistance training? It is any type of exercise that contracts your muscles while building your strength, endurance and muscles. Don't be put off though, as contrary to popular belief strength resistance training does not make woman bulky. There are also many benefits, including an increased metabolic rate, postural support, bone density and overall flexibility.

Tips before you start Strength Training

Wait! Before you run off to grab 20 kg dumbbells, there are some basic principles that you should bear in mind if you are new to strength resistance training:

Learn the proper way of doing your chosen exercises. Exercises that are not done correctly may cause injury and make your routine ineffective.

Start off with 8 – 10 exercises that target the entire body at least three times per week in the first months.

Do the most important exercises first to reduce fatigue

Make sure you get at least a two-day break to recover before doing further training.

How to take Strength Resistance Training to the next level

After you've mastered the basics of resistance training you can take it up a notch by:

  • Doing exercises that challenge your entire body. Skipping, swimming and cycling are all exercises that challenge the entire body.
  • Incorporate weights into your chosen exercises
  • Increase the size of the weights as your muscles become stronger.
  • Increase reps

The best way to train for weight loss and toning

The best way to train for weight loss and tone up simultaneously is to do the correct strength training exercises and by eating properly. Doing dumbbell exercises, squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, sit-ups and increasing the reps for these exercises will eventually build up your muscles.

Ensure that you eat a balance diet, which should include nutrients from the different food groups. Protein and carbohydrates are especially important. Protein is needed to repair and build muscles that have broken down during exercise, and carbohydrates provide the body with a source of fuel and energy required to carry out your exercise routine.

Types of exercises to include

There are many methods of strength training and it can be done with, or without the use of weights. Body weight exercises are a form of strength training without weights. These include squats, pull-ups, dips, the power clean and bench presses. Include all of these in your strength resistance training for maximum results.

Squats target most muscle groups in the body placing emphasis on the core and the large lower body muscles.

Pull-ups target every part of your back and are the most effective exercise for back development.

Dips target your triceps and I can vouch for this. If you are new to this you can start off doing bench dips. If you are experienced you can add weights to your dips by holding a dumbbell between your feet.

The power clean is similar to the deadlift and works the lower legs, quadriceps, gluteal and upper back.

Bench presses work the pectorals and can be done many ways to target areas of the chest.

Kettle Bells can be a great way to perform resistance training. Have a look at this link for a good introduction and sample workouts.

How many Reps to do

According to experts on Body, many factors will determine the amount of reps you should do. These include your level of experience, your age, your body type, your fitness level and your goals. The debate is on-going regarding the amount of reps to do, but it is generally recommended that you perform 6 -20 reps on each set.

How long to train for?

Aim to keep your work outs short. Anywhere from 20 – 60 minutes is fine. Studies have shown that your glycogen is depleted after an hour and there is a risk of overtraining. In other words, training for more than 60 minutes is like running on fumes and is a recipe for disaster.

Sample plan for strength resistance training at the Gym

The advantage of going to a gym is that it offers a variety of machines and different sizes of dumbbells, as well as trainers that can boost your strength resistance training.

Monday – 45 minutes cardio work out:( treadmill 20 minutes, skipping for 5 minutes, bicycling for 10 minutes and jogging on spot for 10 minutes).

Tuesday – 30 minutes of cardio workout- 10 minutes of squats, 10minutes of bench presses, 5 minutes of dead lifts and 5 minutes of stretch.

Wednesday – 45 minutes cardio work out

Thursday – 30 minutes of cardio workout – 10 minutes of pull-ups, 10 minutes of power clean and 5 minutes of stretching.

Friday – cardio work out

Saturday and Sunday – Rest

Sample-training plan for home

Performing your strength-training programme at home can be an inexpensive and convenient alternative to gym membership.

If you do not own dumbbells, you can improvise by filling two matching water bottles, or milk jugs with water or sand, or both.

Monday – 45 minutes cardio (20 minutes of stair climbing (2 at a time), 10 minutes of skipping and 15 minutes of on the spot jogging).

Tuesday – 30 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes of squats and 10 minutes of dips (you can use a sturdy chair to do this), 5 minutes of dumbbell exercises, and 5 minutes of stretching.

Wednesday – 45 minutes cardio

Thursday – 30 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes of sit-ups, 10 minutes of squats, 5 minutes of dumbbell exercises and 5 minutes of stretching.

Friday – Cardio work out

Saturday and Sunday – Rest

This is a great video to watch to get a sample of the exercises you could do at home. It mentions that you need dumbbells, but to start off with just use bottles filled with water or sand, or cans. Hope you enjoy it.


On a final note, if you want your strength training to be successful, changing your routine every four to six weeks, or whenever you feel you feel you are beginning to plateau is crucial. This helps your body to keep adapting. Now that you have all the information on strength training, what are you waiting for? Start doing those bench presses!

Strength Training – Related articles

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Personal Fitness Trainer – Do you need one?

Personal Fitness TrainerNowadays, there are numerous exercises or diets that we can do to become and stay fit and healthy. However, this vast choice makes it hard for non-professionals to choose the most efficient path to their goals. This is the reason why so many products have been made to teach you how to train on your own. But are these products better than the guidance of a personal fitness trainer? In this article, we will look at what a personal trainer is, and we will help you make the decision that is best for you.

What is a Personal Fitness Trainer?

Personal trainers, taking all that they do into account, are fitness professionals who will help you achieve your fitness and health goals. They have extensive knowledge of nutrition, of physical exercise and motivation. However, most notably, they construct personalised programs for their customers based on several assessments. As a result, they offer some of the most efficient training programs out there.

Advantages of having a Personal Fitness Trainer

The foremost advantage of having a personal trainer is the personalisation that they incorporate in their fitness plans. They achieve this by running numerous and different tests on your body. It is their duty to assess your current condition and synchronise the workout and diet plan accordingly. Personal trainers usually analyse your movements, nutrition and measure your body’s fat to muscle ratio. Based on the information they get, they construct fitness plans that target your weak spots and complement your strengths. Also, these assessments show if you have any irregularities such as movement dysfunctions.

The trainers will give you guidance on how to do the exercises in the plan safely and effectively. Even though you might think that some exercises are very simple, you will be surprised to know that many of them are easily done in the wrong way, in which they are not as beneficial to you as they could be. The trainers will watch for correct posture and movement, and they will make sure you do not endanger yourself with complex exercises. They will also help you in deciding the most beneficial amount of reps, sets and the overall tempo.

It is common knowledge that nutrition is just as important as proper exercises, whatever your fitness goals are. Therefore, it is very advantageous to have a professional who can give you nutritional advice on the correct food to eat before and after the workout. It is not your trainer’s goal to make you starve, but simply to point to the healthiest diet you could follow, which also matches your lifestyle. Creating a well balanced diet plan is essential in order to succeed as a fit and healthy person.

Hiring a personal trainer can be highly advantageous if you need some extra motivation. They will make sure that you keep your main objective in mind. To begin and continue fitness programme is not easy, the initial excitement usually wears off in a few weeks. It can be crucial to have a personal trainer to keep you motivated and also push you to achieve your fitness goals.

Disadvantages of having a Personal Fitness Trainer

fitness trainingWhile there are countless advantages of hiring a personal trainer, you must also consider some of the disadvantages. One of them is the generally high cost of employing one. Their cost can vary depending on your needs, on the trainer’s popularity, as well as on the location you choose for training. Having the sufficient equipment is also important, as the better equipment you can access, the better training your personal trainer will be able to provide. This can also be costly, of course. You could always become a gym member, or choose to buy the necessary items for your home. All of this depends on your preference and on how much you are willing to invest in your body. Nevertheless, personal trainers and the workout gear can both be quite expensive.

When hiring a personal trainer, always make sure that they are licensed professionals. As the job is increasingly popular and offers a good paycheck, more and more fitness enthusiasts declare themselves as professional fitness trainers without having the proper qualification. This, however, can cause you harm during the training process. An unqualified trainer might give you incorrect exercise or nutritional advice, which could hamper your progress or even cause you physical harm.

Can other training strategies offer the same quality of training?

Who hasn’t decided to start a new, healthy life and train on their own 4/5 times a week either at home, or in the gym? As most people have experienced, after the enthusiastic beginning, there is always something else to do rather than exercise, training is getting lower on your list of priorities, until you are back where you started. Nonetheless, some people possess an incredible amount of self-discipline, in which case working out at home will not be a problem and is certainly more cost effective than employing a personal trainer.

It is crucial to do exercises that are safe and effective, in order to achieve your goals. To fix this problem, workout DVDs of personal fitness trainers can be a cheap and fun solution. You will be able to choose from various workout routines and find the one that you find most beneficial. A well recommended one is this one – Personal Training With Jackie: 30 Day Fast Start.  It gets great reviews and a rating of 4.4 out of 5 from 90 reviewers (at the time of writing). However, through such virtual instructions you will not receive the personalised care a personal fitness trainer can offer. Neither will there be someone with you to push you forwards when you need motivation.

There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to training. There is no one good choice; it all depends on your preferences. It is crucial that you consider all of them carefully and analyse your current situation in order to be able to choose the method that suits you best. 

Personal Fitness Trainer – Related articles

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Android Heart Rate Monitor

Android Heart Rate monitors are ones that are able to connect to your android smartphone. They normally work via a bluetooth connection. A chest strap which contains the bluetooth transmitter has to be worn to send the signal to the phone. There are several apps you can install on the phone to record your heart rate. These include things like SportsTracker, Endomondo or Runtastic Pro. Some require a monthly subscription, so do check before you buy.

There are not many Heart Rate Monitors out there that are compatible with Android phones. This is mainly because of the fact that many monitors use Bluetooth 4.0. Although Android phones have the hardware compatible with this, the operating system does not yet support it. However the good news is that Google are going to include it in an upcoming release, we just do not know when. When this happens many other Heart Monitors will become compatible with the Android phone.

At the moment I have found three, which work. Here is my review of them.

Zephyr HxM Bluetooth Wireless Heart Rate Sensor

Zephyr HxM Bluetooth Wireless Heart Rate Sensor for AndroidThe Zephyr HXM is one of the most popular monitors around. On Amazon it gets 4.3 out of a possible 5 from over 180 reviewers (at the time of writing).

Check it out now on

It uses a machine-washable chest strap which contains the bluetooth transmitter. The strap is self-adjustable up to 40 inches (101cm). One good thing is that is has around 20 hours of battery life and the batteries are rechargeable via USB. Bluetooth can sometimes suffer from the devices having to be very close to one another for a good and accurate transmission. Zephyr say that the HxM works up to 10m. One reviewer explained that "It synchs quickly (I use SportsTracker on my droid phone) and has decent range. I have also put my phone on a pouch on my back while biking or lifting and it stays connected".

Other features of it include:

  • Records Heart Rate and the R-R interval (this is what is shown on an ECG monitor),
  • Records Speed,
  • Records Distance,
  • Tracks the Intensity level of the exercise.

Some of these features depend on the capability of the app you are pairing it with. For a list of compatible apps have a look here –

  • Water Resistant up to 1m, so will perform if you sweat or in the rain. Not suitable for swimming, but then neither is your phone!

​The majority of the reviews for the Zephyr HXM on Amazon are positive. Most follow this line – "Awesome product! Very comfortable, slimline, and pairs with my HTC Android phone (running Endomondo Pro) without any hassles." A few people have had issues with getting the device to connect to their phone. One thing to note is that "paired, but not connected" is the default state. It will not show connected until you start the app and select the HxM from the list shown within the app. Some apps will not show this and just connect automatically.

Click here for pricing and to Buy Now on for the Zephyr HxM Bluetooth Wireless Heart Rate Sensor

Scosche RHYTHM Bluetooth Armband Heart Rate Monitor

Scosche Rythm ArmbandScosche are not one of the most well-known makers of Heart Rate monitors, but their pedigree is assured. They are more known in the car audio category and other types of in-car entertainement, much of which uses Bluetooth technology. They have used this knowledge and designed the Scosche RHYTHM Bluetooth Armband

On it recieves top marks at 5 out of 5, however this is only from two reviewers. 

The main difference between this and the other two Android compatible monitors we are looking at is that this is an armband and not a chest strap. Therefore it may suit you if you find the chest straps uncomfortable, or are a larger person and they do not fit very well. One reviewer says of the armband that it is – "way more comfertable then the ones that strap around your body".

The main features of the Scosche Rhythm are:

  • Works best with the Rhythm App, which is free to download from the Google play store.
  • Records your pulse rate in real-time,
  • Records distance,
  • Records average speed and average pace,
  • Records Calories burnt,
  • Able to view your workouts via a Web Dashboard, 
  • Keeps a workout calendar, so you can track previous workout stats on your phone,
  • The armband has the capability of allowing you to control your music, such as change tracks, increase/decrease volume without the need to take the phone out of your pocket or bag.
  • The battery life is 6 hours, but it is rechargable.
  • Compatible with other Third party apps such as the iRunner, iCardio, iBiker and Digifit. For a full list click here –

​One reviewer on Amazon said that – "By far the best HRM I have ever owned, highly recommend and worth the $99! :)"

Click here to Buy Now at Amazon.

Polar Wearlink+ Transmitter With Bluetooth

Polar Wearlink+Android Heart Rate MonitorPolar are one of, if not the Industry leader when it comes to Heart Rate Monitors. They have been a bit slow to design one that is compatible with the Android. Others in the range including the Polar H6 and H7 are not compatible and only work with an Iphone. The Wearlink+ Transmitter changes this and works with an Android phone as well as a Blackberry. It is compatible with many of the apps available on the Google Play store including CardioTrainer, RunKeeper and runtastic.

It uses a strap with a clip on Bluetooth transmitter. The strap is hand washable and most people report it as comfortable. 

On Amazon it gets 3.3 out of a possible. This is from 159 reviewers at the time of writing.

Click here to have a look for pricing, rating and reviews on Amazon.

Most people who give it a bad review seem to have connectivity problems with getting the device to pair and stay connected with the phone. Part of this seems to be caused by the fact that the Wearlink+ needs direct line of sight to the phone and the phone needs to be no more than 1m away. This means that you cannot keep the phone in a backpack while training, or possibly in your pocket. This is inconveinet especially when running or cycling. It appears that if it is in line of sight it is fine and accurate, eg clipped onto the handlebars of bike or worn on an Armband. So it seems that you need to think about what you want to use the device for and if this limitation will not be a problem for you.

Another issue with it is that the batteries it uses are not re-chargeable. It uses CR2025 type and these last approximately 150 hours, depending on how often you use it. They are user-changeable.

One other think to note is that it is not compatible with other Polar devices. 

I know this review does not sound very positive, so let us try and correct that. It seems that for some people it does work great and that I think very much depends on what they are using it for. For example one reviewer says "i have had my phone sitting across the room when working out at home and it picks it up no problem."​ In this situation there is probably little interference to the bluetooth signal and the phone is in line of sight of the transmitter.

Another reviewer states that "I use it with my Nexus One Android, together with Endomondo Free version. Not one single problem with it. I use the cellphone in an arm band on my right arm, and had no connectivity problems." 

Get Further details and buy now on Amazon.

Conclusion on Android Heart Rate Monitors

We have reviewed three very different Heart Rate Monitors for Android phones. Each one has its pros and cons. Before buying one, I recommend checking out this guide here – It explains what heart rate monitors are, what to look for and why you need one.

For these three think about what you will be using it for, whether you want a chest strap or not and if the monitor you like is compatible with an app that has the features you need.

In my opinion the Zephyr HxM is the best one. This is because it has good bluetooth connectivity (up to 10m), compatible with many of the most popular apps on Google play and is a decent price.

Which do you think is the best Android Heart Rate Monitor, here are the links on Amazon for all three:

Zephyr HxM Bluetooth Wireless Heart Rate Sensor for Android

Scosche RHYTHM Bluetooth Armband

Polar Wearlink+ Transmitter With Bluetooth

Yoga Vs. Pilates – Which one wins for you?

If you are considering adding something new to your exercise regime, you might want to consider taking up yoga or Pilates. This article will examine the differences between yoga vs. Pilates, so you can decide which one you would like to have a go at first.

Both of these activities can be good for developing your physical health, and they can also be excellent stress-busters. These two activities can work well in combination, but most of us will not have the time or motivation to take up them both.

What is Yoga?

Pilates and yogaYoga is an old Indian word, which can be translated as meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to unite’. It refers to a number of practices that are not only designed to improve physical health, but also lead to greater mental and spiritual well being. There are different types of yoga, and some of these practices are believed to date back thousands of years. The system that is most well known in western countries involves holding physical postures. The different poses that make up this type of yoga are collectively referred to as the asanas. For a more comprehensive introduction to Yoga check out this article published earlier on this site –

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is very popular, and there are many reasons for why people will choose to engage in this activity. Some of these include such things as:

  • The practice can lead to improved flexibility and strength
  • Yoga can lead to improved body alignment
  • It can help people relax
  • Practitioners often feel that it helps them deal with stress
  • It can lead to an improved sense of well-being
  • There are claims that yoga can help reduce the symptoms of mild depression
  • The postures may help to improve blood circulation
  • It can be a spiritual practice and a lifelong path
  • Many yoga practitioners view it as a type of meditation
  • Improved balance
  • Improved digestion
  • It may have a modest effect in helping people control their body weight
  • Yoga can work every muscle in the body
  • It strengthens joints
  • Practitioners can find that it improves their self-confidence and body image

What is Pilates?

yoga vs. pilatesPilates is a body conditioning routine that was developed during the first half of the twentieth century by Joseph Pilates. He believed that physical and mental health are both closely related. To this end he developed a system of exercises with the intention of strengthening both the body and mind. Many of the Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat, but there is also a range of devices that practitioners can use such as the trapeze table, the spine corrector, and the Wunda chair. All of the exercises are based on the idea of performing controlled movements while maintaining a strong core in the body. Have a look here for reviews, pricing and equipment for practicing pilates.

Benefits of Pilates

The benefits of Pilates would include:

  • Improved strength and coordination
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved core strength
  • Better pelvic and shoulder stability
  • Improved circulation
  • It will increase bone density
  • This exercise can help to tone the body
  • It may lead to a flatter abdomen
  • Reports show that it can help to improve the symptoms of back pain (it is always recommended to speak to a doctor before starting a new type of exercise regime)
  • Improved posture and body alignment
  • Improved mobility in the joints
  • It can help practitioners feel that they are better able to handle stress
  • Improved self-confidence and positive body image

Yoga Vs. Pilates – The Similarities

There are many similarities between yoga and Pilates. Both of these activities can increase your flexibility, balance, and coordination. The two practices can also be good for promoting relaxation and helping practitioners deal better with stress. Many of the movements used in Pilates are similar to yoga postures, but this is hardly surprising as Joseph Pilates was inspired by this ancient exercise regime from India. Another way that these two activities are similar is that they can both involve exercises that can be performed on a mat.

Yoga Vs. Pilates – The Differences

There are some important differences between these two activities including:

  • Yoga is more of a spiritual practice than Pilates – many practitioners view it as a path to enlightenment.
  • Pilates has more of a focus on the body and physical fitness
  • Yoga is better for increasing flexibility and the practitioners range of motion
  • When people first begin learn Pilates the main focus will be on building up abdominal strength as all the movements need to come from a strong core.
  • Yoga has more of a focus on the breath when moving into different postures.
  • The majority of exercises in Pilates are performed while lying down.
  • Yoga classes tend to be longer that Pilates minutes
  • Pilates is better at teaching students how to control their own posture

Yoga or Pilates – Which is better for you?

It would be wrong to say that yoga is better than Pilates – or vice versa. The best we can hope for is to decide on which one is the best for us. If you are more concerned with getting in good physical shape, the better option would be Pilates. If you want a holistic practice that will benefit you mentally, physically, and spiritually, then the better option would be yoga. It is usually possible to attend an introduction lesson for free, so a good option might be for you to try both classes to see which one you prefer.

Final words on Pilates and Yoga

If you do have the time, it can be a great idea to combine Pilates and Yoga – perhaps you could go to one session of each every week. This option means that you will be getting the benefits of both of these practices, as they complement each other really well. The other benefit of doing both Pilates and Yoga is that there will be less chance of you becoming bored with either one.

Both yoga and Pilates can be done at home. Have a look here for reviews, pricing and equipment for practicing pilates and here for Yoga equipment and DVD's pricing and reviews.

Whichever you chose I hope the information in this article has helped you. Let us know in the comments below who won the Yoga Vs. Pilates battle for you and why that was.

Related articles on Yoga Vs. Pilates

Pilates Image By J. Vílchez (Producciones ISED) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Yoga Image By Kennguru (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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ASICS Womens Gel Cumulus 15 Running Shoe Review

ASICS womens gel cumulus 15Choosing a running shoe can be a complicated business. You want comfort and durability, but also good traction and shock absorbency features. This is what I concentrated on when on the lookout for a trainer that would allow me to do road running, but also be good in the Gym. The ASICS Womens Gel Cumulus 15 is one of the ones I researched. Here is what I found out.

The Gel-Cumulus 15 is the replacement to the popular Cumulus 14. It is made by Asics, a well-renowned maker of sports gear. Their mission is to "to continue to make the best product; striving to build upon our technological advances and pushing the limits on what we can learn from the body and its needs in athletic gear. We pledge to bring harmony to the body and soul". They have taken this mission statement and designed the Gel-Cumulus 15.

Click here to look at pricing, rating and reviews on Amazon >>>>>

Two of its most important features show of these technological advances. They are:


This system is put into the outer sole of the shoe. Its main aim is to retain the structural integrity of the shoe, whilst helping to reduce weight. When running this is important as your shoe goes through a lot of stresses and strains. Without something to maintain the structure of it your stride and your style would be off and you would not reach your best.


This system has been designed with comfort and shock absorption in mind. It is their patented Gel system, which is added to the full-length of the shoe that will disperse shock away from your feet and legs and help you avoid injury

Other features of the ASICS Womens Gel Cumulus 15

Womens running shoesThe shoe weighs in at 11oz,

The inner sock liner has been treated for anti-odor properties. This helps your feet stay fresh no matter how long you run for,

The upper lining is breathable, helping keep your feet cool,

The sole is made of AHAR® (ASICS High Abrasion Rubber) which is well known for its high durability qualities, being your running shoe stays looking good for longer,

It has several features to aid fit and comfort built in. These include the Heel Fit, which has two layers of memory foam to mold to your heel shape and stay there. Also the plush tongue and upper helps your feet stay snug while you run.

A couple of other things include the patented Guidance Line® technology which aids stride efficiency and the I.G.S® (Impact Guidance System) which helps to enhance the foots natural gait. Again this adds to helping improve your running technique.

It is a shoe designed for the under pronator to mild over pronator who needs stability in their shoe. For more details on what this means and how to check what type you are have a look here –

Get further details and Buy Now for a great price on Amazon >>>>

Customer Reviews and Scores

Looking at the reviews and ratings on Amazon the Womens Gel Cumulus 15 gets an average 4.7 out of 5. This is a good score. The reviewers comment on the comfort of the shoe, with one saying "They are lightweight and super comfortable" and another saying "This shoe is very comfortable and fits perfectly".

A couple mention that the shoe can come up small, so that it is best to go up half a size than you would normally buy.


To conclude it would seem that the ASICS womens gel cumulus 15 is a worthy successor to the much-loved cumulus 14. The cushioning and stability features make this a running shoe worth a close look.

Go check it now on Amazon>>>>

ASICS Men's Gel-Cumulus 15 Running ShoeThe ASICS Men's Gel Cumulus 15 Running Shoe has the same set of features. One reviewer on Amazon said of it – "This is hands down the best running shoe I have owned in my last 7 years of running". Another commented that "I run 5 days a week (5-8 miles), and these are fantastic."

Go here for great pricing, ratings and reviews from Amazon >>>>>

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New Balance Mens MT1010 Minimus Trail Running Shoe Review

New Balance Mens MT1010If you are in the market for a new pair of running shoes, or just out to buy your first ones it can be very confusing. There is a huge range of styles and makes. If you are looking at more than just road running and fancy getting more into the great outdoors then you should be looking at a trail running shoe. One of the most popular ones in thus category is the New Balance Mens MT1010 minimus trail running shoe. Looking to take my running to the next level and trying the woods near me with some rocky hilly trails I decided to take a closer look at this shoe. This is what I found out.

The MT1010 trainer is from the sportswear maker New Balance. New balance athletic shoes are made in the US. Their mission is to "Listen, learn and refine". They do not spend money on celebrity endorsements, but rather put that into the design and manufacture of their shoes and clothing.

Have a look on Amazon.Com for prices, ratings and reviews.

ROCK STOP® Protection

This innovative technology is embedded into the forefoot of the shoe. It helps protect against sharp stones and other debris from cutting into the shoe and potentially harming your foot, or running your trainer. It also helps to disperse shock energy when you land.

Vibram® Outsole

This gives the shoe its multi-directional traction abilities. Helping you to stay upright on even the most difficult terrain. This keeps your free to concentrate on your running technique. The material is also non-marking, allowing you to use them on all sorts of floors.

Other features:

new balance trail shoeWeighs 7.7oz (very lightweight)

Breathable mesh upper materials, allowing your feet to stay dry,

REVlite® midsole provides durability and helps the shoe stay lightweight,

Designed for the neutral runner, or those with gait issues or injury as the shoe helps you to find proper form while running,

Can be worn barefoot, or with socks if you prefer

Get further details and Buy Now for a great price on Amazon >>>>

Customer Reviews and Scores for the New Balance Mens MT1010

This running shoe has an average of 3.8 out of 5 from 48 customer reviews at the time of writing on The reviewer's talk about how comfortable to shoe is with one saying "The feel and comfort of this shoe is excellent" and another saying "They are so comfortable and protective at the same time". This brings me on to the grippiness, which is mentioned by several of the reviewers. One says "excellent grip, good rock plate" and another "I cannot feel any rocks. I fly over all kinds of terrain."

A couple of people comment that they do have a tendency to tear, however others say that "I've done a 50k mountain race in these and a Tough Mudder and did just fine", so it may just be the terrain people are running on.

Another point people make is that the shoe tends to come up half a size larger than normal, so just remember this when buying them.


To conclude it seems that for a lightweight, minimalist shoe the New Balance Mens MT1010 is a very responsive, grippy and comfortable shoe. Designed to go over any terrain you throw at it. Good for improving your run, as one reviewer puts it "The arch support in the sole is fantastic and the flexibility gives you a rough feel of the terrain you are running on".

Hope this review has helped and you can click here to go buy the New Balance Mens MT1010 on

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