The Step Tracker: An Easy and Low-Cost Device

As we continue to get ready for new technology, one device should be more utilized. I’m speaking about the beautiful simplicity of a step tracker. Many smartphones have free step trackers that you can download. In addition, you can find a step tracker at just about any sporting goods store for a fairly low price. I try my best to learn how to use the latest pieces of technology but sometimes I can grow frustrated. I think that some of the new products out there have far too many features to remember. I also think that the lack of user interface has me wasting too much time to learn about how to use a simple device. I love the step tracker because there isn’t much to it. In many instances, you can have a step tracker ready to watch your steps in about thirty seconds. Another cool benefit of a step tracker is that it holds you accountable. You will get instant results that will let you know if you have kept up with your fitness promises for the day.

I can look at my step tracker in the afternoon and know if I am anywhere close to my goals. As you get more used to your fitness tracker, you will know what days are going to be good and bad. You don’t want to set whether you have a good day by if you’ve completed your steps. It is good to make yourself complete goals you set but we all have those setbacks. You can’t blame yourself if a piling amount of work on your desk had you unable to step away. I’ve heard of various large companies even offering step trackers to their employees for free.

The step tracking is made to help employees meet fitness goals that can reduce the amount of their paycheck that is deducted for insurance, a pretty cool move. Step trackers can even get those who don’t monitor their walking to take some time to count their steps. At it’s simplest form, a step tracker is like a virtual video game that you play in real life. I will continue to track my steps daily and I hope that you are doing the same thing.

New Kind of Vending Machines in Land Down Under

If you find yourself in Australia soon, and are on the legendary Fitzroy Street, you could be in for a welcome surprise. Vending machines have been a staple of most of our lives for decades. In schools and workplaces all over the world, we often find ourselves surrounded by many different vending machines. However, the crazy pace that everyone seems to find themselves at has made public vending machines grow in popularity. Asia has been an originator for the fast-paced lifestyle that has been seen all around the world. Japan began implementing vending machines all over their streets to help those business people get a healthy meal without having to wait at a restaurant.

snack machine

Since the initial wave of vending machines became popular in Japan, other continents began to follow this nation’s business model. On Fitzroy Street, there are 13 different vending machines that have been recently installed, one of which especially caught my eye. The vending machine that I wanted to talk about was one that exclusively offers vitamins and supplements, how awesome is that? We’re not talking about a bunch of products that wouldn’t sell in stores, these are big name companies, like Centrum, who wanted to be a part of the new wave of vending machine popularity. One reason that vending machines are becoming popular for vitamins is that it gives the person providing them an added sense of security. In a store, it can be easy for someone who watch when no one is looking and steal merchandise.

However, with vending machines, you have extra protection with the use of the building materials for the machine. It is going to be much easier for someone to pick up an items and walk out of a store. On the other hand, trying to break into a vending machine will take much more work, increasing the chance of a thief getting caught. It appears that these new vending machines are already big sellers and it appears that vending machines will continue their expansion into Australia. Could this be the wave of the future already starting, where machines are starting to replace humans? I don’t think so but after hearing reasons behind why vending machines work so well to deter theft, I am starting to wonder. An additional benefit of including vending machines over storefronts is that they eliminate labor costs.

Initially, you would have to pay for lot space and the machine itself but this would just be one cost. I can see why many countries are working to adopt increased implementation of vending machines. It saves money that would normally be spent on employee wages. I hope that we start to see even more vending machines installed in the United States. For some off reason, I have always been a fan of these machines over the old school method of getting food. There are some ways that I feel vending machines could increase spending for cities but I guess some cities will just have to wait and see. One thing is for sure, people are starting to see just how much easier a vending machine can make their life. Another reason I love vending machines is because of the wide variety of offerings you can enjoy. This is just another example of how machines can make our lives easier. Who knew that the people who are fit and active can have an added benefit to get their vitamins on the go?

Great Kettlebell Weightlifting Plan to Gain Strength

If you want to take a step back in time, you might like kettlebell training. With so many different contraptions designed to make you stronger, sometimes simplicity is best. As they say, less is more! I’m here to help you out with some training tips that have to do with the kettlebell. We will cover what kind of training that the kettlebell is used for, as well as some awesome exercises that you can try with this equipment.

What is this equipment?

The kettlebell is a piece of workout equipment that is a ball shaped object with large handles, where you can fit both of your hands. Originally, the kettlebell started out in Russia, as a way to train their athletes. When the world saw just how effective Russia’s athletics department was, the whole world wanted in. While you don’t predominantly see kettlebells in the modern times, some gyms will have them for you to use. Usually, the gyms offering this equipment will be the more old-school workout places. Even though this equipment isn’t the most well-known, there are still many who swear by its effectiveness. However, once you can master the kettlebell, there isn’t many other exercises that you won’t be able to learn.

First Exercise: The Swing

In order to properly perform this exercise you will need to stand. Once standing, hold the kettlebell with both hands and move your arms forward, as if you were pointing towards someone directly in front of you. The key with properly performing the swing is that you go slowly. Jerking the weight forward can have you losing your balance and falling forward. Trust me, if there is one thing you don’t want to do with a kettlebell that is fall onto it. When you think about heavy this particular piece of equipment is, you’ll know you don’t want to fall on top of it, as it will have no give. Also, remember to move the weight back slowly, you don’t want a kettlebell coming back into your stomach, ouch!

Second Exercise: Overhead Press

This exercise will take time to master, if it feels too foreign to you, keep practicing. For this exercise, you will lift the kettleball above your head, while properly strength training the shoulders. The overhead press can be done with either one or both hands, whatever feels better for you. Since this exercise is usually done once you’ve gotten comfortable with the kettlebell, don’t rush into this one.

Third Exercise: Clean

To clean a kettlebell, you’ll need to start from a squatting position. Upon rising, you’ll want to flick your wrist, allowing this equipment to be in an underhanded grip. I would consider only the most experienced with this type of equipment use this exercise. The squat is always a tricky exercise to perfect, take your time with this one. The clean will help improve your balance and even help you out the next time that you are squatting with a barbell.

If you can combine these two lifts into your kettlebell routine, you will see great improvements. Don’t just think about this way of training as building your muscles, you’ll get additional benefits. One of the biggest benefits would be that training with new equipment will stun the muscles, providing you a new path to grow more muscles. Another added perk of using this equipment is that you will enhance your balance and core strength.

Methods for Growing Larger Calf Muscles

Although it isn’t as often spoken of, like the main muscle groups, the calves are still important to train. Not just for the benefits of how larger calves appear, this type of lifting has perks for whole body lifts. We’ve all seen how awkward tiny calves look on big people, you don’t want to have that appearance. When I first started utilizing calf muscle workouts into my own training, it wasn’t because I had put it off, it was because I always forgot to train them. It’s so easy to get caught up in the same routine that the simple act of training a new part of you seems foreign. Anyways, when I got into training my calf muscles, I had figured that they would already have a strong base.

I grabbed two 35lb dumbbells and proceeded to start calf raises. I got my ego put in check quickly as it felt like I was stuck to the ground, unable to push my heels up! Stepping down the weight load I was carrying, I quickly grabbed some 15 lbs dumbbells and got back to it. What I didn’t know about calf raises is that they will test your pain tolerance. I don’t mean that performing any exercise, let alone calf raises should cause actual and unbearable pain, you should only notice mild tenderness.  While doing calf raises, you won’t want to go over 20 repetitions, it’s just overkill at that point. It has been long debated if the actual act of raising your calves will make you taller.

Personally, I haven’t measured my height to see if what they say about calf exercises is true. That being said, I did notice that I felt like I had better posture, which can make you look taller. I mention using more reps than you would with other lifts because you want to have calves that are defined. Being so ready to start getting bigger calves, I had used way too much weight the first time around and I looked like a fool. Even though the calves are fairly larger muscles, they are still as prone to overdoing it, as would be any other group of muscles. The stance that you have, when working out your calves, will also play a huge role in how fast those muscles develop. Standing with your legs too far apart isn’t going to be hitting the calf muscles, you’ll want to stand with your feet about a foot apart from each other.

With a stance that has your legs too close together, it will cause them to bow out, having no effectiveness on the task at hand. As far as sets are concerned, the highest number I would go with would be 9, however that takes time to get to so pace yourself. Although I’m still not convinced that I have gotten any taller, continuously taking care of my calves has gotten me a strong set of legs. Many people become frustrated , especially in the early stages of calf development, hang in there. Even if you haven’t ever tried training your calves, it only takes about five minutes to do what needs to be done. Don’t be surprised if you end up going out and buying many pairs of shorts, in a few months, when you see just how far your calves have come!

Why Can’t I Ever Gain Weight?

Don’t be so hard on yourself, the steps that it takes to become larger take time, as the best things in life often will. The first thing that you need to get right, so to speak, before beginning your weight gain journey is your mind. You have to realize that there is no real way to cheat your way to gaining weight. For me, it took about a month of solid eating and supplementation before I started seeing a noticeable difference. Once you learn about and are okay with setting some time aside, you’ll be ready to get started. The next steps to gaining weight will come from your diet.

You will hear from most everyone that it is simple, you just need to eat more food. However, I find that cramming more food than what I am used to is nearly impossible. Making matters worse, I find that overeating leaves my stomach upset, which means it will often not make me want to eat later, to avoid that vomit feeling. Yes, you will still need to eat more to get big but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take small steps to climb this mountain of new eating habits. If you have a more relaxed schedule, I would suggest that you break up meals into small snacks, eating often throughout the day. By breaking up your meals, you won’t have to work through that full stomach feeling, likely leaving you with more energy throughout the day. If you are a busybody that barely has the time to catch their breath, you’ll likely find more success with larger meals, less frequently.

gain weight fasterExercise is a vital part of any weight gaining program, so long as you are doing the right exercises. If you want to really gain more pounds, ditch the cardio and pick up a dumbbell. Muscle weighs far more than fat does and by having more of it, those scale numbers will be rising quicker than you can step on it. It should go without saying but you’ll want to implement your favorite foods in your food list, there is nothing worse than starting a new diet, filled with new foods, not many will be ones that you ever eat again.

Front Vs Back Squats: Which is Best?

As someone who regularly deals with changing up my lifting plan, there are certain lifts that I am delighted to take a break from, one of them being squats. I don’t know how you feel about them but, for me, squats have to be the more exhausting lift that there is. I spend a good majority of my mornings with weights in hand but I never feel more relief than when I complete my squats, they are just too awkward of a movement for me to fully enjoy. What had happened, at the beginning of last year, was that I had decided that knee pain would stop me from doing squats for a little while.

I assumed that the knee pain wasn’t starting from the squats but rather from an old sports injury that was coming back to haunt me. Time got away from me and I was in a place where I had stopped doing squats for far too long and my legs were very weak. Knowing that starting back with my old weight of 250 lbs would probably snap my legs like a twig, I had to lower the weight. Starting out with a measly forty pounds on an EZ bar, I was able to effortlessly move the bar behind my head and start squatting. For the first two weeks, re-training my legs on how to squat wasn’t too bad but when I hit 60 pounds, the same nagging pain reared it’s ugly face again.

The pain started in my shins and was far too powerful for me to push through so I had to change up how I did my squats. I had always been a fan of the back squat, because it used to allow me to hold more weight. As a weightlifter gets older, our priorities change, I was no longer worried about how much I could squat, I just wanted to be able to do a single one. I had to change my style and prepare myself to start doing front squats. If you weren’t aware, a front squat is where you will carry the weight in front of you, with bent arms, as opposed to sending the weight behind your head. I had always viewed the front squat as something that was going to hurt, as it never looked comfortable at all, I was proven wrong almost right away. By doing front squats, the pain in my shins had gone, as I was shifting where the weight was being held. As I finished the 8th rep, it felt like someone else was doing the work, I didn’t know a change in stance could bring about such an amazing improvement. When determining which squat type will be more suitable for you, there is one great way to find out and that would be to try them both.

Don’t overload the bar with weight, use a number that is on the lighter side for what you are used to and get to it. I never would have thought that I would give up my old way of doing squats but my knees gave me no choice, I now look forward to using the front style and hopefully making some great progress. Although I have only talked about two different styles of squats, there are numerous other ones that you can try out. One of the reasons that I continue to lift weights is because of all of the variety of movements that we have.

Can Paleo Help You Become Stronger?

I’m not one to jump into a diet, without knowing quite a bit of information about it. One of dont be stupidthe worst things that you can do, in life, is to fail to prepare. I don’t want to visit the supermarket, buy a bunch of food, and prepare a bunch of meals, only to find out that I don’t like the diet. The paleo diet is no doubt a topic that you have seen and likely find it hard to avoid. After hearing so many success stories and overall good words about people who have done the Paleo diet, I wanted to give you some more details about this way of eating that is taking over the world. To understand why the Paleo diet works, why so many are finding it easy to adjust to, and more, we have to understand how we used to eat. In the old days, I’m talking caveman times here, there wasn’t a grocery store, filled with companies aiming for you to try their food.

Without having any modern kitchen conveniences that we have grown so accustomed to, it’s hard to fathom that food once was far different that the pre-packaged goodies we’ve all grown up with. As there used to be no real way to store food, it was all up to catching what you ate. Although you would certainly have to do more work to get your food in the old days, the meals were free of preservatives and the chemicals needed to store food in the current times. If you watch the news regularly, you’ll know that many are seeing most of the food selection we have now to be that of a dangerous one. Hence, the inspiration for the Paleo diet is to turn back the clock and consume food the way that our ancestors did. You don’t have to go build a fire in your backyard out of sticks to get that close to taking a trip back in time with your food, you will just need to redo your grocery list.

One big positive of the Paleo diet, especially for anyone that works out, is that many meats are not off of the table. Many diets will have you limiting yourself to leaner types of meat like chicken or fish. With Paleo, you have a bit more wiggle room, as meat is considered one of the good foods that makes up their routine. Taking much of the annoying guesswork out of dieting, if the food wasn’t available a long time ago, it’s probably not considered a safe food to have, when undergoing the Paleo transformation. Don’t fret, you might be getting rid of many processed foods but that doesn’t mean that you are left with nothing.

Eggs are welcome on most versions of people Paleo diet courses, great for anyone who loves their breakfast. Growing up, you’ve been told that carbohydrates (in certain forms) are great to eat, as they are a source of energy. While Paleo knows that it is important to consume excess foods, so that you have energy stores, you will need to accustom yourself to cutting out carbohydrates. When lowering the quantity of carbs that you eat, it is better to do this gradually, as opposed to cutting out all carb sources at once. I won’t say that starting the Paleo diet wouldn’t be a big change in your world, it will take getting used to. However, if you can change up some foods you eat, you will be standing right by the hundreds of thousands of people who have accredited Paleo with changing their lives.

The One Situation Where You Don’t Need A Home Gym

Whoa, before you get ready to leave me a hate-filled comment, hear me out. Personally, I wouldn’t trade my own personal home gym for the world. I suppose that I guess I would trade for a better setup than I what I have, but you get the point. I had to talk about the one select group of people that should never consider getting a gym in their home and that would be those who are unmotivated. There is nothing wrong with not having proper motivation, everyone feels this way, from time to time. I don’t tell you to not get a home gym because I want to see you fail, I do it because I want you to have to get out of the house.

introverted

Speaking from personal experience, my uncle had a health scare earlier in his life and he wanted to get healthy. I don’t want to say anything bad about my family so I will put this way, my uncle had a habit of not being the most motivated person in the world. To put it another way to describe my relative, he had a problem with being lazy. If someone didn’t come to him, he didn’t feel like moving a muscle to help them out. I suppose that he is somewhat of a hermit, but needless to say, he wanted advice about getting healthier and he came to me. Being the awesome nephew that I am, I decided that he should invest a little bit into a home gym, the guy never wanted to leave his house so I figured, what was the worst thing that could happen?

I quickly found out, as my uncle only collect his nice new home setup gain nothing but dust, as I entered his garage the very next time we got together to exchange presents. I had to get up the courage to ask what happened with his weight loss progress, as he had probably gained fifteen pounds, but I didn’t want to ask in front of the rest of my family. He had told me that it was extremely tough for him to want to get out and start training, since he was in the comfort of his own home. Instantly, I thought back to wondering why I would even recommend that someone who was basically a hermit to think that he would put the work in at home. As I sat with my uncle, I knew that I had to change his plans for what envisioned getting healthy would be, so I asked if he wanted to go into town for a few things.

Once we had gotten to the shopping center I wanted to go to, where I knew there was a gym, I walked in and signed him up with a guest pass. As we approached his home, my uncle didn’t say much but I would come to find out that he loved going out into the world to lift weights, but why? What I have found from dealing with it myself is that sometimes introverted people should leave their homes, even if it is only to train. Once you have spent the time and gas money to getting to your gym’s parking lot, it is much tougher to cancel the workout than it would be at home. After helping out my uncle, I had realized that if someone is always at home and never leaves, for the bettering of their way of life, consider getting them into a gym, it could save their lives, in more ways than one.

London Company Bringing New Workout Wear

Known for its devoted following in England, there is a company named Sweaty Betty that wants to take their clothes over to America. Finally, women will have attire catered to them, something that I feel has been missing from store shelves. When trying to find good shirts to wear to the gym, it can be tricky, with all of the bad designs out there. Even worse, some of the messages on these shirts aren’t even safe to wear outside of my house, let alone the gym. I’m not a woman, myself but I can see why many of them would be beaming with happiness about the Sweaty Betty brand moving closer to where they live. Don’t assume that you will just be seeing only shirts in their huge catalog, they have a ton of different areas of merchandise for the gym going lady, including: pants, bags, and much more.

As Sweaty Betty knows, not all women will only choose to do one kind of exercise, so they have made it a breeze to cover all kinds of various sports, like: swimming, skiing, or simply sweating out on a nice tropical beach. No matter what attire you are in the market for, if you are a woman who is proud of her fitness accomplishments (as well you should be) and want to wear it on your sleeve, check out Sweaty Betty. If you do find that you are looking at their vast array of shirts, you won’t see many tacky designs on them. Us, as men, will often care less about what is on our shirt or matching colors. For the woman who wants to make a fashion statement and she is sweating away on the treadmill, you are in luck. The shirts displayed on the Sweaty Betty website are of superior quality, look very comfy, and most have no logo or designs on them. If you’ve seen other selections of what women are offered, regarding workout wear, most stuff comes across as either too preachy or egotistical. Some of the most dedicated gym goers don’t need a catchy slogan or a funny saying to make them feel valued, they do that by pushing themselves to the bone. Trying to find a balance between clothing that is too loud or too plain is a battle that women fight every other day. What Sweaty Betty aims to do is offer affordable work out wear for every woman. With an English style that is sure to make you the envy of your group of girls, look for Sweaty Betty attire to be available at a store near you soon.

Currently, you’ll need to head over to California to see my favorite retail location of theirs, if you are in the area, I advise that you check it out. All of the awesome work out gear that I find on the Sweaty Betty website, makes me wish that they will make a line of attire dedicated to men one day. If you would like to, you can check out the website of Sweaty Betty by clicking here. After all, what good is me telling you all about this awesome company, without giving you a chance to see their website for yourself? While you are at their website, note the sections separating the clothing styles, very cool way to do that.

The STYR Water Bottle Could Change the World

At the very least, STYR has created a water container that will alter how you view your consumption of fluids. We’ve heard that the future is always just the corner and this is so true, when you begin to understand the concept behind this amazing new technology. Any notions that you’ve heard previously, regarding how much fluids you need to consume has likely already been changed to meet a new standard. The bottom line is this: it is nearly impossible to keep track of all of the varying information around the right amount of water to drink. To make matters even more time-consuming, how would you actually be able to keep track of how much water you have.

I know from experience that I am a master of leaving half drank water bottles around, wherever I may go. I try my hardest not to be a wasteful person but I do admit that even I get caught up in wasting my beverages, at times. What the STYR company has set out to do would be to end all of the annoying guesswork that comes with trying to walk the lines of staying properly hydrated. To further understand how a bottle is able to track something like only a computer device would be able to do, we need to look closer at the science behind this product. To accurately measure how much water is left in the container, which goes into determining how much liquid you still need to consume for the day, is a set of sound waves that measure water depth.

If you have ever read about how whales are able to communicate with each other and their surroundings, using only sound waves, you are likely to more easily understand the subtleties behind using these waves. Here is where the detection technology behind the STYR becomes so life changing, it adjusts the amount of water you need on the fly, not just with a standard amount for every day. After all, if you only needed the exact same amount of water every day, it would be easier, as the amount would never change. I know, all too well, that it is rare when any two days of my life are quite the same, as far as how much I will be exerting myself. Throughout the course of a typical day, errands will need to be ran, trips will need to be made, and there will always be stress around the corner. When you take into consideration, the vast amounts of change that we can face, in an average day, we need the STYR water bottle to adjust our water goals. Using this sound-based technology, you can handle any task that gets thrown your way, all while knowing that you will be refreshed! With using this water bottle, you can also choose to get a scale that will help to track your results. I like to think of the STYR water bottle as a tool used to guide my water consumption while the scale reveals the fruits of my labor, so to speak. You should know that, while using either of these new tracking pieces of technology, that there are supplements by STYR that you can use while you start your progression. I have not been able to try the STYR supplements just yet, so I can’t give any advice, as far as which flavors are the best.