Know about how to start Running..

The most difficult part of any fitness program is your first step towards it. Similarly the hardest step for running is getting started. If you are quite determined and have already thought of taking the leap and start running, you have won half of the battle.

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination" - Tommy Lasorda

Running is in fact a healthy activity for which you don’t have to spend too much money to buy fitness tools, just grab your watch and get in to your shoes and RUN??

WAIT!! That’s exactly the mistake we all do while starting any kind of fitness program. We need to collect information like “How to Run” or “Running for beginners”. Many people think that there is nothing to know about running and it’s just something which everyone knows naturally, but it does take some knowledge and forethought to run WITHOUT GETTING HURT. I seriously recommend consulting a doctor before you start running if any of following applies:

• You are a smoker.
• You just recovered from an illness.
• You have been stressed a lot.
• You have family history of heart problems.
• You have history of high blood pressure.
• You are overweight and thinking to shed some pounds.
• You are quite old and not accustomed to vigorous exercise.
• Your last medical check-up resulted in special attention.

Even if you don’t belong to these categories, there is no harm in consulting your family doctor। In fact doing this will benefit you in lot of ways:

• Your immediate health concerns or issues, if any, can be handled by doctor and she can suggest you about whether to go ahead or not.
• Your doctor can evaluate your plan and give the tips.
• If you are trying to lose weight, a doctor may assist you in setting your limits of losing weight and provide you a healthy diet plan as well.

So I advise you again to have your check-up before starting running। Now we need a plan to implement. For beginners, the main problem is that either they try to run too fast or too far and push themselves quite hard and get injured. Please do not compare yourself with experienced runners and hurt your ego. It takes time to build the stamina to run fast and for long distances. Well, how about making a plan and sticking to it for few weeks? Sounds good?

Alright!! We are eager and excited to take this challenge now, let’s adapt this simple plan in our life for 10 weeks and set aside 30 minutes for running:

This plan requires taking rest on alternate days during initial weeks and contains a mix of running and walking। It is highly recommended that you walk for quite some time during first few weeks। Remember, our main aim is to make the body used to running activity gradually without pushing it too hard and avoid injuries.

Week Run Walk Repeat
1 2 minutes 4 minutes 5 times
2 3 minutes 3 minutes 5 times
3 5 minutes 2.5 minutes 4 times
4 7 minutes 3 minutes 3 times
5 8 minutes 2 minutes 3 times
6 9 minutes 2 minutes 2 times, then run 8 minutes
7 9 minutes 1 minute 3 times
8 13 minutes 2 minutes 2 times
9 14 minutes 1 minute 2 times
10 30 minutes - -

Tips for starting running
• Consult a doctor before starting running
• Start slowly and build up
• As I said earlier for other fitness exercises, keep a log for running as well.
• Make plan, stick to it and set yourself a goal
• Stretch your muscles and it is always better to do it after a warm up or the complete running routine.
• Get yourself comfortable running shoes.
• Watch and Run safely
• Drink lots of water and eat proper diet having adequate amount of Carbohydrates.

I love running and run five times a week. Take running as a fun and you will be amazed to realize that it is a wonderful stress buster.

How to grow your Biceps and Forearms..

Biceps and Forearm exercises for beginners..

Most of beginners aspire for getting big biceps, however, it requires great deal of technique and understanding about your arm movements. You need to get familiar with the proper moves and keep them close at hand as you build your arms.

During all your biceps exercises, do not take help of momentum. Momentum is a way of cheating in which you swing the weights up. Also, don't rock your body forware to initate. If you build strength in your forarms, it helps in doing other exerciese specially for back moves. So its recommended that you should ideally continue to train your forearms as long as you are doing weight training.

However, before actually jumping to free weights its always recommended to work with machines which balances your motions and helps you in giving a kickstart for weight training and you should gradually move towards free weights.

Standard BarBell Curls

1. Bend your knees slightly and your feeys should be about hip-width apart.

2. Hold the barbell with keeping your palms at shoulder width. Tighten your abs by pulling in and KEEP YOUR ELBOWS STATIONARY.

3. Keep in mind that while lifting the weight exhale and inhale when you bring it down.

4. Curl the bar towards your shoulders without swinging. At the top of movement, contract your biceps by squeezing and slowly bring the bar down.

5. Don't touch your shoulders while bring it up and dont make it rest on your thighs in down position.

Close Barbell Curls

1. Hold a barbell with both hands, palms up and about 6 to 8 inches apart.

2. Stand straight up and keep your back in a firm and comfortable position.

3. Slowly curl the bar up as if you are TRYING to touch your shoulders. Keep your elbows isolated and locked at your sides.

4. At the top movement, pause for a while, squeeze your biceps.

5. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

EZ-Bar Preacher Curl

1. Use a regular preacher bench. Adjust the height so that your armpits can comfortably fit on the pad.

2. Grab an EZ Curl Bar with underhad grip so that your little fingers are higher than your thumbs. This grip helps in isolating the lower biceps.

3. Place your feet forward to stabilize your body.

4. Slowly curl the bar upward as if trying to touch your chin with the bar. Pause and squeeze your biceps.

5. Slowly return to the start position allowing some resistance ( negative) on the way back down.

6. Repeat the movement until failure (till you are not able to perform any rep).

Alternate Incline Dumbbell Curl

1. Get an incline bench and set it to about a 45 degree angle.

2. Grab a dumbbell in each hand according to your capacity.

3. Hold the dumbbells in a neutral way (palms facing each other). You need to do same movement with alternate hands to complete one rep.

4. Isolate your elbow and keep them still. Slowly lift the dumbbell in your right hand. While lifting it, turn your hand in a way so that your palm faces your shoulder. Pause and squeeze your biceps at the top.

5. Slowly bring it down to starting position.

6. Repeat with your left hand.

ForeArms Exercises

You should perform forearms along with biceps exercise.

Reverse Wrist Curl and Wrist Curl:

1. Grab a straight bar with and overhand grip (your palm facing downwards). Hands should be 10 inches apart.

2. Kneel down on the floor alone one side of flat bench.

3. Put your elbows on the surface of bench and let your hands and wrists hang over the edge of bench.

4. Curl your hands as high as possible and then lower the weight to downward position.

5. Keep your thumbs on the underside of the bar to maximize the motion.

6. Later, use an underhand (holding bar with palm upwards) grip with your hands about 4 inches apart (thumbs under the bar) and perform the same movement.

Biceps Exercises
Name of ExerciseNumber of RepetitionsNumber of Sets
Standing Barbell Curl 12, 10, 10 3
Close Barbell curls 12, 10, 10 3
EZ-Bar Preacher Curl 10 2
Alternate Incline DB Curl 102
Forearms Exercises
Name of Exercise Number of RepetitionsNumber of Sets
Reverse Wrist Curl 121
Wrist Curl 121

Dude!! Dumbbells are not dumb at all...

Have you ever thought that why do we call these little equipments used in strength training as Dumbbells? Yes, those short bars with two metal rings or balls at their ends. I was amazed to find that it relates way back to...
Church bells!!

Ringing a heavy church bell properly, requires a substantial amount of strength due to which the ringers have to build up their arms strength using a rope connected to a metal weight. The exercise was to dangle this weighted rope against an imaginary bell which produced no sound – absolutely silent or “DUMB”. Gradually, the same weighted rope concept was fabricated into something which we call as Dumbbell today.

Trust me dumbbells are really not dumb at all. When it comes to versatility, ease of use and effectiveness, no piece of equipment is more effective at building than a pair of dumbbells. As compared to other equipments in gym, they are comparatively inexpensive, compact and are great tools for your workout at home. Many types of equipment have come and gone but dumbbells have sustained their position as part of weight training and programs.

Help in building strength
The dumbbell workouts require you to use stabilizing muscles that are important to strength, balance, and posture. Also the dumbbell exercises use many of the body’s natural movement patterns and also incorporate a greater range of movement than many other types of fitness equipment. And the flexibility of dumbbell workouts means that you can target specific areas of the body very effectively.

A complete workout
Most of people don’t think beyond bicep or triceps whenever they see dumbbells. In fact, dumbbells can be used for exercises like lunges, deadlifts, side bends and weight crunches.

Build strength faster
Dumbbells help in negative training resistance. Negative resistance is the stress which we put on muscles while lower or negative phase of exercise (Positive phase is the one where you lift the weights. Like we you are doing bicep curls and after 20 reps, you are pretty exhausted. Cheat it using your other hand to lift the weight but lower it down slowly and steadily for negative resistance.

So it turns out that dumbbell are not dumb at all. Though there are lots of exercises which can be done with dumbbells, but here is a wonderful workout with dumbbells:

Name of ExerciseNumber of RepetitionsRest
Number of Sets
Single-Leg Squat8 to 12 for each leg 30 Seconds2
Dumbbell Clean10 each side 30 Seconds2
Clock Lunges7 each side 30 Seconds2
Pushup Position Flow6 for each arm 30 Seconds2
Overextension KickBack8 for each arm 30 Seconds2
Bentover Row With Extension8 each 30 Seconds2
Supinating Dumbbell Curl8 to 12 for each arm 30 Seconds2
Golf Squat10 to 15 each side 30 Seconds2
Dumbbell Lunge with Lateral Raise6 for each leg 30 Seconds2

Start your day on a healthy note...

What is the first thing do you take in morning? This question became quite a matter of discussion between two friends. O’ yeah!! I know it may be sounding little lame, but it does mean a lot to people like me who care about fitness and their eating habits. However, this particular question has changed my friend’s mornings.

So when I asked this question to my friend, I was amazed to know that his breakfast is pretty much an order from McDonalds or StarBucks or some other fast food outlet. This discussion had nothing to do with anti feelings towards junk food or fast food chains; rather just about eating healthy and being fit. When he asked me I replied - a fruity punch from a nice protein rich FRUIT SMOOTHIE!! No wonder I was answered with a shrug - “Hunh!! Who is having that much time to prepare so called healthy smoothie?” But for sure making a fruit smoothie takes lesser time than what it takes him to go to Starbucks and placing an order. The good news is that our discussion ended up in making him to buy a blender. This small conversation inspired me to write this post which is for people like my friend who want to opt for a healthy choice for their mornings.
As we all know that a smoothie is a kind of beverage made from usually fruits and juices added with other ingredients like chocolate, peanut butter or green tea for flavors but it tastes best when made with frozen fruits or ice. It is a perfect choice for enhancing a meal or to be taken just as a healthy snack.

First, if you don’t have a blender please run towards nearby electronic outlets and pick a good quality blender (which can crush ice as well). Spending on blender is like a long term investment for you so don’t hesitate in picking the best quality. Considering its benefits, it’s worth it to spend few bucks. Smoothies give you more fiber and vitamins than juices. So set aside few minutes for your smoothie in the morning. Drinking fruit smoothies will not only give you high water, fiber and nutrient content but will also bring a good feeling. (Trust me you are going to feel that first day itself!!) Also adding a protein supplement like whey protein powder to smoothie, gives you an adequate dosage of protein as well. The good thing about a smoothie is that it takes less time to prepare and in fact, you can prepare it like 7-8 hours before and store in the freezer.

Well…. what it is the perfect recipe for Fruit Smoothie? The answer is “NONE”. It really depends on your needs and imagination. However, here are few of my favorites:

Peach Banana Smoothie
Makes 2 servings
• ½ cup skim or reduced-fat milk
• 1 cup nonfat plain or vanilla-flavored yogurt
• 1 tablespoon honey, or more to taste
• 2 cups (8 ounces) frozen sliced peaches or other frozen fruit
• 1 ripe banana, sliced
• 1 tablespoon bran, optional
Put milk, yogurt, honey, peaches, banana, and bran in a blender and process until smooth. Serve chilled.

Peanut Butter Smoothie
• 1 banana (peel before freezing)
• 3 tablespoons peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
• 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
• 3/4 cups milk or soy milk
• Ice Cubes
Blend until smooth

BlueBerry Smoothie
Add contents to blender according to the order below and blend till desired consistency:
• 1 cup soy milk (or dairy milk)
• Vanilla protein powder (1/8 cup)
• 1 1/2 cup blueberries
• 1 apple
• Ice Cubes
(You can also replace blueberries with strawberries)

The Perfect All-In-One Smoothie
Makes two 16 oz glasses.
Add contents to blender jar in the following order:
• 1 cup soy milk (or dairy milk)
• half a scoop of vanilla protein powder (1/8 cup)
• 1/2 lemon with skin
• 1 kiwi with skin
• 1/2 cup grapes
• 2/3 cup blueberries
• 4 strawberries
• 1 cup raw spinach
• 1 apple
• 4 cubes of ice

Kiwi Banana Smoothie

• 1 cup fat-free milk
• 1/2 cup orange juice
• 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
• 1 tablespoon peanut butter
• 1 banana, cut into small pieces
• 1 small kiwi, cut into small pieces
• 1 tablespoon toasted wheat germ
• 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
Blend all and drink.

Tips for making smoothie
- Don’t use concentrate juices or syrups for making smoothies as they just add up more sugar.
- If using milk try to use low fat or if possible use soy milk. Low fat soy milk helps in increasing the nutrient content of smoothie.
- Grab a pack of flax seeds and put a scoop in blender. Flax seeds are a great source of fiber, lignans, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.
- Don’t add sugar to smoothies. If absolutely necessary, pick bottle of honey.
- Add protein supplement like whey-protein powder. Pick any flavor which you like. Vanilla flavor is best known for tasting well with most of the fruits.


Correct Breathing Technique

One of the most important aspects of weight training is correct breathing. Experts and experienced gym goers know very well about the significance of proper breathing. If you hold your breath while lifting a weight, you run the risk of raising your blood pressure and starving your brain of oxygen. You should try to exhale during the "positive," or main exertion phase, and inhale during the "negative" - the phase in which you resist and come back slowly. So while doing exercise you need to inhale for the relax movements and exhale while using force. This is done to provide adequate amount of oxygen for the muscle in order to have right contraction.

Also if you try to hold your breath while doing exercise, the brain cannot send proper neural impulses to your target muscle area which results in fatigue and you give up early. This proper technique of breathing also helps in reduction of lactic acid which breaks the connection between brain and muscles. So next time before you grab weights just remember that proper breathing enhances the workout results.


OK!! So you just landed to GYM and you are quite astonished with the kind of lingo being used there. The terms seem to be so fascinating but nobody has time to explain it to you. So here are some of them compiled from different sources:

1. Abs, abdominals
The muscle in the front of the stomach that form the six-pack when one’s body fat is fairly low. Their function is to draw the base of the ribcage and the hips towards each other, as occurs when performing crunches. Abs can certainly not be attained by doing zillions of crunches in a day, it requires a fool-proof diet plan as well.

2. Aerobic
Aerobic means "with oxygen" or “requiring oxygen”, and refers to the use of oxygen in a muscle's energy-generating process. When describing exercise, it refers to extended sustained levels of exertion during which metabolic processes that provide energy are dominated by the complete oxidation of nutrients. A method of conditioning the cardio-respiratory system by performing an activity that uses large muscle groups, is rhythmic, elevates the heart rate for a period of time, and increases the intake of oxygen.
Thus, aerobic exercise pertains to the level where we exhaust our body to increase our metabolism process and increase the requirement of oxygen. Hope it explains why you need to breathe properly while running on treadmill.

3. Anaerobic Exercise
Short-term, high-intensity exercise (i.e., sprinting, weight lifting) that uses carbohydrates for energy.
It includes lower intensity activities performed for longer periods of time. Activities like walking, running, swimming, and cycling require a great deal of oxygen to generate the energy needed for prolonged exercise. It is typically used by athletes in non-endurance sports to build power and by body builders to build muscle mass
4. Anaerobic Threshold
The anaerobic threshold (AT) is the exercise intensity at which lactate starts to accumulate in the blood stream. This happens when it is produced faster than it can be removed (metabolized). This point is sometimes referred to as the lactate threshold, or the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA). When exercising below the AT intensity any lactate produced by the muscles is removed by the body without it building up.

The anaerobic threshold is a useful measure for deciding exercise intensity for training and racing in endurance sports (e.g. distance running, cycling, rowing, swimming and cross country skiing), and can be increased greatly with training.

3. Amino acids
Basic building blocks of protein. No prizes for guessing that it is certainly required for building up muscles.

4. Bodyfat percentage
The amount of fat in your body, generally expressed as a percentage.

5. Compound Exercise
An exercise that targets a muscle group simultaneously; usually the movement involves flexing or extending at least two joints. Lat pulldowns, squats, and bench press are all compound movements. Exercises like leg curls, leg extensions, and flyes are not compound movements.

6. Electrolytes
Minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium used by cells in the creation and elimination of membrane potentials used to propagate nerve impulses and muscular contraction.

7. Failure
Lifting a weight until your muscles are so fatigued they cannot perform another repetition.

8. Forced rep
A repetition performed with assistance from a spotter after a lifter has reached the point of failure with a given weight.

11. One rep maximum
The greatest amount of weight that can be handled by a lifter for a single repetition in good form.

12. Overtraining
Training beyond the body’s ability to repair itself. This can be caused by training the same body parts too frequently so that the body does not have time to recover before the next workout; workouts that are consistently harder than the body is able to recover from fully; or impairment of the body’s normal recovery ability due to nutritional deficiencies, illness, or stress.
Besides impairing athletic performance, overtraining can increase the risk of injury or disease. Symptoms of overtraining include fatigue, reduced performance.

13. Absolute Strength
The maximum amount a person can lift in one repetition.

14. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
The energy requirements necessary for maintenance of life processes such as heart beat, breathing and cell metabolic activities.

15. Burn - As in "going for the burn"
In endurance exercise, working muscles until lactic acid build-up causes burning sensation.

16. Cheating
Too much weight used on an exercise, therefore relying on surrounding muscle groups for assistance in the movement; or changing joint angles for more leverage, as in arching back in bench press.

17. Cool-Down
Rhythmic, low-intensity aerobic activities that provide a transition period between high-intensity aerobic work and less aerobically taxing calisthenics, stretching or the end of the workout.

18. Negative Reps
One or two partners help you lift a weight up to 50% heavier than you would normally lift to finish point of movement. Then you slowly lower weight on your own.

19. Power Training
System of weight training using low repetitions, heavy weights.

20. Progressive Resistance
Method of training where weight is increased as muscles gain strength and endurance. The backbone of all weight training.

21. Proper Form
Focus on the proper motion of the exercise and concentrate on the specific muscles being used. Do not sacrifice proper form to lift heavier weight or to perform more repetitions. Proper form also means lifting in a smooth, fluid motion. If you feel strain elsewhere, you should re-evaluate the amount of weight you are lifting or have a qualified professional critique your exercise motion.

22. Proper Posture
Maintaining proper posture will greatly reduce chances of injury and maximize exercise benefit. When standing always keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Do not lock your knees. Locking your knees can put unnecessary strain on them. Keep your back flat and straight, making sure not to twist or arch it in order to complete a repetition.

23. Proper Technique
To get the most out of strength training and to reduce the chance of injury, use proper weight training techniques. These include working your muscles through their full range of motion (but not locking any joints), lifting at a speed at which you can control the weight and stop easily if necessary.

24. Repetition
One complete movement of an exercise.

25. Repitition Maximum (RM)
This is the maximum number of repetitions per set that can be performed at a given resistance with proper lifting technique. Thus, a set at a certain RM implies the set is performed to momentary voluntary fatigue. 1RM is the heaviest resistance that can be used for one compete repetition of an exercise. 10 RM is a lighter resistance that allows completion of 10 (but not 11) repetitions with proper exercise technique.

26. Strain
Muscle pull; a stretch, tear or rip of the muscle or adjacent connective tissue, such as fascia or muscle tendon. Usually occurs from an excessive effort.

27. Strength
Amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert against resistance.

28. Strength Training
Working the muscles against external resistance to increase muscular strength, muscular endurance or muscular power.

29. Super Set
Alternating back and forth between two exercises until the prescribed number of sets is completed.

30. Warm-Up
A balanced combination of increasingly intense aerobic exercises and stretches that prepare the body and the mind for more vigorous exercise.

Proper Technique for Strength Training

If you are reading it, it’s sure that you are also one of us who gets fascinated by strength training. Building muscles is not a trivial job. It requires lot of dedication and hard work along with a great deal of patience. Strength training looks very simple and easy but while doing it , we see a totally different aspect - the aspect which makes one realize that technique matters the most, not just lifting the heavy weights.

Before starting strength training, understand the right way of doing the exercise so that you can not only spot your errors but also others. Also if you don’t take proper technique into account, there is high probability of injuries like strains, tendinitis, fractures or even dislocations. Weight training is an excellent way of improving your strength, increasing muscle tone, losing fat and gaining muscles. The training techniques are quite essential especially for beginners as most of us get amped to start training by looking at our friends or others in gym without going into details about them.

Also, beginners tend to lift weights as heavy as they can which results in failure and despair. Before starting weight training session, you should do ten minutes of aerobic exercises like mild walking, running or cycling followed by stretching.

Plan your workout before you enter the gym. It helps in achieving your goals. It’s always better to get enrolled yourself with a fitness instructor. Before you say that having an instructor is a costly affair, just consider the following:

1. Having a fitness instructor is like a long term investment considering the knowledge and techniques learnt will always be with you.

2. Instructor helps in achieving your goals easily. It’s not only the knowledge or information he gives but also motivation given by him to burn your fat and exhaust yourself to achieve the epitome of success.

3. An instructor makes a custom made plan for you with keeping your requirements, weakness and strength in mind.

If you cannot afford an instructor at all, your primary concern before hitting the gym should be about attaining information about the ways you can attain your goals. Search internet about the articles not only related to your queries like exercises for abs but also about how to avoid injuries.

First Step towards fitness..

Well it’s good that you have realized the importance of fitness in your life. From past few years, our lifestyles have been changed dramatically with progression in technology but making us less physically active at the same time. Adding fitness routine to your daily life is not so hard; the only hard thing is to sustain it. Initially take mini-steps towards it and don’t feel bad about not being able to perform well. It’s good to fail, accept and improve than over-expecting, fail and give-up. Exercise is all about enjoying a physically active lifestyle rather than torturing yourself to attain unrealistic goals. There are numerous ways to become fit and healthy, the only thing you have to do is to pick the one which interests you most.

Before jumping to any fitness schedule:

Analyze your needs:
Set your goals and find why exactly you want to become fit. Set honest short term targets first and continuously revise them to attain long term gains. Have you ever heard these popular words by Lao Tzu – “A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step”. Keep these golden words in mind- “Honest and realistic short term goals – which you can achieve, sustain and intensify further”.

Read and attain knowledge:
So we have the target but no idea about how to achieve it. Before starting any exercise routine out of the blue, give some time to know more about it. Proper technique helps in gaining benefits and avoiding injuries, like before starting running, read about running shoes and post running stretching. Get familiar with dos and don’ts of an activity before starting it. Also find out about the other factors which can amplify your results like to achieve six-pack abs not only you need to do sets of abdominals exercises but also follow a very healthy diet plan.

It’s well known that planned tasks have less probability of failures. A plan gives you more control and helps you in thinking about your failures in advance. No wonder same applies here as well. Make your weekly plan and do give your failures a consideration. It’s always good to have a fallback plan. Design your plans by choosing your time and frequency of exercises, opting most convenient days to perform activities and to take rest or breaks.

Start your activities strictly as per plan and don’t expect results within few days. You can’t shed kilos of weight within one day running. The bad news is that there are no shortcuts and it takes time to get used to your activity schedule but the good one is guarantee of results. Stick to your plans and see the success coming your way. Again start slowly but increase gradually.

Track your progress:
Don’t you feel great after realizing that you are doing so well in executing your plans? Yeah!!
Alright, but how do I know whether I am performing well or not. The answer is very simple – Logs!! Logs are one of your best tools in this battle – a perfect tool to scale your mistakes and achievements.

Getting fit and staying fit is an on-going process which transforms into a habit. So what are you waiting for? Take your baby steps now!!