Can I work out 7 days a week?

This is in response to a question asked here.

A great article for this can be found on the LIVESTRONG website, but for a more brief explanation of the subject, keep reading!

The main issue with working out every day of the week lies rooted in the recovery of muscles. Muscles need a certain period of time to recover, not letting this occur leads to performance problems and possible physiological strain. The following are techniques you can utilize to improve muscle recovery.

Why Recover?

When you work-out, you are actually creating micro-tears in your muscles. Recovery time ensures that your body can repair these tears, and actually over-compensate ultimately increasing your strength.

Alternating Muscle Groups

If you are insistent on working out every day, it is imperative that you develop a workout that alternates the muscle groups utilized. Here is a sample of two good alternating workouts:

  1. Chest, back and shoulders
  2. Legs, arms, core

Ensuring that the same group of muscles is not strained more than 2-3 days in a row is extremely important in maintaining exercise performance as well as physiological stability.

Cardio vs. Weight Training

You can also alternate between cardio-based exercises and intense weight training. Taking a day or two and focussing on workouts such as running, biking, or the elliptical machine can give your body a chance to relax and lengthen the muscles before returning to a more intense weight training exercise.

There you have it, you can work out daily, but you must do it in an intelligent fashion to let your body recover. Recovery is an extremely important parameter in the development of increased muscular and cardiovascular capacity!

- T.A.B

 

 

How can I make my belly flat?

This post is in response to a question asked here.

As with all fat burning initiatives, making your stomach flat has to be done with a combination of planned exercise and a meticulous diet. Sure you can subscribe to the plethora of diet advertising present in modern day media, but at the end of the day you cannot best hard work. A great resource for achieving flat stomachs can be found here if you desire to get a second opinion – but let’s read on!

The Statistics

First, it may be useful for you to understand where your weight is with respect to others of your demographic. Follow this link for Average Weight Statistics. It is clear from our parent website that average weight varies drastically due to differing geographies, as well as individual height; You must keep this in the back of your mind as we go forward. For a typical North American man, the average weight is somewhere around 175-190 lbs and 155-170 lbs for females.

3 Exercises for a Flatter Stomach

1. Running

You can’t underestimate the power of running. If you have knee problems or foot problems, try utilizing an elliptical machine at your nearest gym. Running has the ability to burn calories, topping virtually all other exercises in this category. The methodical motion and demanding core-strength environment will have you shaping your stomach in no time.

For a great running workout guide, visit here.

2. Crunches/Sit-Ups

These exercises focus entirely on the stomach, proving an abdominal burn that will have your stomach flat in no time. It is important to be careful to not strain your back, refer to the following illustration for proper sit-up technique:

Step 1 - Lie with your back flat on the floor, preferably with a mat under you for increased comfort. You may place your hands behind your head for additional support – this tends to take stress off of the lower back.

Step 2 - Bring your upper back off the floor and begin to crunch your abdominal muscles. Carry this motion forward.

Pro-Tip: Feel free to place some weight on your toes (or get a partner to step on them) as you start out – this will ease the transition of the exercise.

Step 3 - Bring the sit-up close to your thighs. If you begin to feel back pain, only complete until Step 2 before returning to a flat position.

Remember to take it easy at first and build your strength into the exercise – perhaps start out with 3x sets of 10-20 reps once per day.

3. Swimming

Believe it or not, swimming is an incredible work-out for a large variety of muscles all over your body. Swimming has the power to lengthen and tone your muscles, while burning a significant amount of calories. There are a number of swimming strokes appropriate, namely: Front Crawl, Breast Stroke and Back Crawl.

Your local Community Centre should have hours posted for public swim – take advantage of these, or join your local gym!

The Diet

As was stated before, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet as well! Stay away from sweets, increase your intake of fluids (mainly water), fruits and vegetables.

Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to a flatter stomach in no time! Until next time, take care!

- T.A.B

Why do girls eat so much when they are angry/sad?

This post is in response to a question asked on Y! Answers located here.

A great resource that discusses this topic in-depth can be found here, but as always, we will be making a great effort to provide you with an easy-to-read, brief explanation of the subject!

Why do we eat so much when we’re emotional (angry or sad)?

Well, believe it or not, emotional eating is an extremely common trend among individuals – so much so, that it actually contributes to a significant amount of the obesity present in the western world.

There are a number of causes that account for this occurrence, namely:

  • Cortisol Cravings

These cravings are extremely difficult to control, as they are induced by our ‘stress hormone’, commonly known as cortisol. While cortisol has lots of benefits, excess levels of it also induce stress on the body, and when we’re stressed – We eat! This elevated stress creates a need for sweet and salty foods (some call these ‘comfort foods’).

  • Social Eating

Similarly, when people are under stress (angry or sad) they tend to resort to a common theme – Entertainment. Unfortunately, most entertainment involves eating at a nice restaurant, going to a movie (mmm popcorn!), or going to the local ice cream/fast food joint.

  • Old Habits Die Hard

This refers to habits acquired in our young years. We spend our lives training ourselves to react to certain situations at young ages – some people when they’re emotional will grab a cookie; the nice taste takes our minds off present issues and relax. Beware! These habits are particularly difficult to break.

Solution

Well, it may be difficult to control emotional eating, but understanding your emotions can be done with time. Keep an eye on your emotional triggers, understand what ‘sets you off’ and be proactive and you should be well on your way to controlling the Horrors of Emotional Eating!

Take care, and eat well!

- T.A.B

When do I stop growing?

This post is in response to a question asked on Y! Answers here.

Okay – this question has a lot to do with puberty in males and females, as the age at which you stop growing (in both genders!) directly correlates to where you are in your puberty.

The Basics

Puberty in females begins at around 13 years old, and 13-14 years old for males (fun fact: puberty used to begin at 15 years for girls, and 16 years for boys – hormones in foods are having an effect!). During this time, more specifically the first half of puberty, your growth will accelerate until you have achieved your adult body.

Okay… So When Do I Stop Growing?

Well, this can vary from individual from individual, but typically for boys it is 18 years old, and for girls it is closer to 16-17 years old. As stated before, this can vary. A resource covering average heights for males and females can be found here.

Why Do I Stop Growing?

A great resource answering this question can be found here. As usual, we like to break things down and make them easier to understand, so keep reading! You stop growing for a number of reasons:

  1. Genetics - we’re genetically programmed to stop growing at a certain age/size
  2. Hormones - high concentration of estrogen in both males and females (achieved roughly halfway through the puberty cycle) causes growth plates to fuse!

So there you have it, everything you can hope to know on the subject. If you’re interested in trying to predict your future height, try this Online Height Calculator.

Until next time!

- T.A.B

 

What can I do to tone the tops of my arms?

This question was asked on Yahoo! Answers and can be found here.

Many women are pretty nervous of arm-toning exercises, and a great resources for them can be found here. For those that want a quick break-down of the subject and some effective take-aways… keep reading!

Exercises

There a number of exercises that are beneficial for toning your arms – they are listed as follows:

  1. Boxing - 3 to 5 minutes of boxing every day, or every other day, can work wonders on your arms.
  2. Biceps Curls - Develop a bicep curl exercise, and stick to it. Try to do this exercise at least 3 times weekly.
  3. Tricep Dips - Using a bench, or chair do tricep dips with your arms shoulder width apart (as shown in the below image). This exercise does wonders for burning the fat on the backs of your arms.

Nutritional 

As always, physical exercise isn’t the sole way to lose weight in desired areas! Make sure your body is well-hydrated, and feed it plenty of Vitamins for superior skin elasticity.

Pretty simple stuff – the details are all in making these exercises habitual!

Good luck!

- T.A.B

How much water should I drink daily?

This post is in response to a question asked on Ask Ives.

Water consumption is definitely an extremely part of anyone’s day, however, individual consumption volumes varies from person to person. A great resource on this subject can be found here, but for more summarized details, keep reading!

Benefits:

The benefits of water consumption are immense – water is the lubricant of our bodies! Water also does a great job flushing out toxins that may be present as well within our vital organs, brings nutrients to our cells and provides a moist environment for important tissues.

Daily Intake:

The intake on a daily basis for Men in a temperate climate is roughly ~3 liters (13 cups). Women is a little less, coming in at ~2.2 liters (9 cups).

We’re sure you’ve all heard the 8 cups of water a day rule, which can be shown to be roughly correct when comparing to the values given above.

There you have it!

- T.A.B

Is there a way to train yourself to lower your heart rate?

This post is in response to a question as asked on Yahoo! Answers.

Training your body and ultimately participating in physical exercise will over time lower your heart rate. Average Heart Rate information is available through the main Average Body website, and varies quite dramatically by gender as well as age.

This great resource offers a lot of good information on the subject, though tends to get quite technical. As such, we will attempt to do here at The Average Body what we do best -  Summarize!

In a watered-down sense, physical activity excites a number of neural and chemical components within the Human Body. This excitement leads to an increased activity within some of your nerves, namely the nerves that are 80% responsible for the slowing of your Heart Rate. The increased exposure to exercise eventually serves to slow the resting and ambient Heart Rates.

- T.A.B

Breaking the Ice!

Readers,

Welcome to TheAverageBody.com’s official Blog! We thought this would be the best way to reach you, the readers, regarding all the quirky (and not so quirky) things to do with the Human Body.

We hope you enjoy!

- The Average Body