Friday, June 7, 2013

Finding Time for Fitness- Exercise Tips for Travelers

It has been a while since I have had a quest author for the blog. It has also been a long time since I have posted onto the blog. I have been enjoying my time away from writing to learn Spanish. I feel that I am learning a lot about the Spanish language and enjoy using daily at work. Despite the excitement of learning a new language it hasn't given me a lot of time to post about healthy living. Please enjoy this article that was written by Mike Manning.

Finding Time for Fitness - Exercise Tips for Travelers
By Mike Manning

Everyone has some understanding that an active lifestyle leads to a healthy life. You may be great at following a healthy routine at home. If you travel regularly, however, you probably find it difficult to keep up with a regular workout routine on the road. In fact, studies show that frequent travelers have consistently poorer overall health than individuals who stick close to home.
Fortunately, travel doesn’t have to be hazardous to your health. Some advance planning and a little self-awareness will go a long way toward making each trip you take a less stressful, more positive experience.

Before you leave, make plans to utilize any available resources that can help you stay fit during your travels. Research your destination. If you belong to a health club, find out if you can gain access to a gym during your trip. Learn about local hiking or running trails that you might be able to use as well. If you have the opportunity to book your own accommodations, look for a hotel that offers good fitness amenities. These might include a well-equipped fitness center, fitness sessions for guests, in-room yoga workouts, a pool or running trails for guests. On a recent trip to Maui I was able to book a great hotel by looking through a travel reviews site beforehand. I scoured a list of Maui hotels where I could see which hotels offered the best fitness centers.

When packing, be mindful of what you need to help you on your quest for fitness. Pack workout clothes and a good pair of athletic shoes. Bring along portable workout equipment such as a simple exercise band to help you get a powerful workout even with limited space and time.

On your flight, take the opportunity to stretch and perform a few in-flight exercises. On long flights, working through a short routine every hour or so will help minimize many of the discomforts frequently experienced by travelers.

During your stay, keep your fitness expectations realistic. When traveling, you probably won’t get to work out for an hour at a time. You can, however, break up workout time into shorter segments and experience success.

Take advantage of every opportunity to get exercise, especially if you have a particularly busy schedule. Take the stairs rather than riding the elevator. Walk to meetings or meals rather than driving or taking other transportation. If possible, get up early and take a short run before breakfast, or do a basic yoga routine before morning meetings. Each small step will add to your overall health and well being.

About MIke:

My name is Michael and I am a Fitness and healthy living enthusiast who tries to see the best in all situations. I love to hike, run, weight lift, travel, camp, cook, and be outside. Traveling the world and seeing nature's beauty is my hobby and staying healthy through that is essential to me. Any questions please email me at

Please support Mike by visiting his blog at Manning's Musings

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fitness App of the Day: 01/09/2013

Fitness Buddy is a great app for those that are new to working out, and for those that have been working out for a while and are looking for something to log there workout. It is loaded with exercises and programs designed to help you reach your goals. There is a reason that this is one of the top exercise apps at Google Play and the iTunes App Store. It is not a free app, but it is currently 50% off at Google Play and the iTunes App Store for $0.99. Too good of a deal to beat.

Fitness Buddy : 1700 Exercises 

Here is what the developer has to say:

Find out why gym goers are switching over to Fitness Buddy! With 1700+ unique exercises at your disposal, Fitness Buddy will revolutionize your training regimen. With this app, you will find the workout tracking process simple and easy in order to sustain your motivation and enforce your commitment to your fitness goals.

✔ 1700+ unique exercises!
✔ 1000+ HD videos
✔ Comprehensive exercises for all major equipments including barbell, ez curl bar, dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, medicine ball, machines, and stability balls
✔ Exercise categorization (core, lower body, chest, shoulders, back, arms, cardio)
✔ 4000+ exercise photos and animations (retina display resolution)
✔ Detailed exercise instructions and muscle categorizations
✔ Capabilities to add your own custom exercises and favorite exercises

User-friendly interface
✔ Quick and simple workout tracking
✔ Search bar to quickly find your favorite exercises

75+ workout routines
✔ Diverse repertoire of exercise routines including workouts for women
✔ Routines specific to your goals (build big chest, tone butt, lose weight, and more!)
✔ Routines specific to your equipment (resistance bands, kettlebells, bodyweight only, etc)
✔ Build your own workout routines

Body metrics tracking
✔ Track your body weight and metrics (chest, arms, thighs, etc)
✔ Graph your body progress

Excellent Support
✔ Quick email responses
✔ Frequent updates

And many other features for you to enhance your workout experience. You won’t be disappointed when you train hard with Fitness Buddy.

You can find this app at Google Play and at the iTunes App Store

Monday, January 7, 2013

Classic Workout: 01/07/2012

Workout of the Day is an oldy, but a goody. This workout dates back a couple years, but is one of my most hit workouts on my blog, so I thought that I would bring it back. 

If you like to focus on working out your pectorals and triceps then today's workout is for you. Hopefully, you will learn a new exercise or figure out a way to determine your lifting range for an exercise.

Equipment needed:

  1. Dumbbells
  2. Dip bar
  3. Tricep rope attachment for cable machine
  4. Two handle attachments for cable machine 
  5. Flat bench
  6. Incline bench (with wheels if possible)

  • Around the worlds (think snow angels for this one)
    • Select your dumbbell weight - lighter is better (trust me)
    • Lay your back against a flat bench
    • Start with the weight down by your hips and your arms straight
    • Keeping your arms parallel to the ground bring the weight up over your head
    • Return to the starting position

  • Bench dip or regular dip
    • Place your butt and hands at the edge of a bench
    • Place your feet on a chair or bench in front of you
    • Lift yourself off of the bench so that your butt hangs off the bench
    • Lower yourself so that your elbow bend and lower your butt towards the ground
    • Do not bend more than 90 degrees at the elbow
    • Press yourself back up 

  • Dumbbell incline bench press
    • Best done with the bench set at a 45 degree angle
    • Select your dumbbell weight
    • Start with your elbows bent at 90 degrees and arms out to the side
    • Elbows should not go lower than the bench
    • Press the weights up towards the ceiling and return to starting position

  • Tricep rope push-down
    • Attach tricep rope to a cable machine (use the highest setting)
    • Select your proper weight
    • Grab the rope with both hands
    • Pull the rope down towards the ground
    • Return to starting position

  • Cable incline fly
    • Best done with the bench set at 45 degrees
    • Attach handle grips to the lowest setting on a cable machine
    • Select your proper weight
    • Grab the handles 
    • Maintain a slight bend at the elbows with your arms out at your side
    • Make sure that your arms do not fall below the bench
    • Bring your handle grips together
    • Return to starting position
  • Dumbbell lying tricep extension
    • Select your dumbbell weight - you only need one for this
    • Lay with your back on the bench
    • Holding the weight vertical place your hands on the bottom of the upper weight plate
    • Bring the weight over your head until your elbow are over your head
    • Bend at the elbows lowering the weight even further towards the ground -starting position
    • Straighten the elbows as you bring the weight overhead and above your chest
    • Lower to starting position

  I think that sets and reps should be determined by your goal. So here are some ideas that might help you to decide your numbers. 

Do 3-5 sets of each exercise

I will not give you your reps #, but you should perform enough reps for each set that your muscles near fatigue or fatigue. Numbers can be so vague.

  • Endurance training = high reps 12 - ?
  • Strength training = low reps 3 - 6
  • Hypertrophy training = medium reps 6 - 12 

Rest for 30 - 60 sec in between sets 

Weight amount should be 60% - 85% of your one rep max.

Higher your weight percentage = fewer reps (strength & hypertrophy training).

  • Want to bulk up then hypertrophy training is for you

Lower weight percentage = higher reps (endurance training).

  • Don't want to bulk up then endurance training is for you.
  • Don't worry, you can still that beautiful muscle tone that we all find attractive

Use the following formula to determine your one rep max. Knowing your 1RM can be very helpful in developing your weight training regimen. 

1RM (Rep Max) formula: Use this math formula to determine what your one rep max is for each of the above exercises: This will help determine what amount you should lift. When lifting to determine your 1 RM follow these steps.

  • ·        Lift what think you can lift in ten reps, but keep going until you are tired or can’t lift anymore
  • ·         Rest for 3-4 minutes
  • ·         Increase the weight and aim for ten reps, but keep going until you are tired or can’t lift anymore
  • ·         Rest for 3-4 minutes
  • ·         Increase the weight and aim for ten reps, but keep going until you are tired or can’t lift anymore
  • ·         Repeat the above steps until only ten or fewer reps can be achieved

  Then use the formula below to determine your 1 RM
Weight lifted = amount of weight you lifted for that set (wt)
# of reps =  amount of reps you lifted for that set (reps)

1RM= (wt x reps x 0.033) + wt

  • ·         1RM = (135 x 8x 0.033) + 135
  • ·         1RM = 35.64 + 135
  • ·         1RM = 170.64 or 171

Once you have determined your 1 RM you need to determine your weight percentage for your exercise.
Assume that 65% is the percentage of your 1RM that you are to lift.

1RM x RM% = Desired weight
171 x 0.65 = 110.9 or 111
Pick the closest weight. Obviously 111 doesn’t exist, so lift 110

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sodium Content: Chick-Fil-A Nuggets: 01/06/2013

What is in your food? Most people have no idea. However, it is important to have some idea as to what might be in the fast food that you are eating. Even though we all know that fast food is unhealthy and that preparing your own food is a better alternative, it is unrealistic to think that you will never eat at a fast food chain again. So it is important to know what you are eating.

Sodium is known to increase blood pressure, increase blood viscosity, and cause you to retain water. Sodium can cause undesirable health problems in individuals already diagnosed with a heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, or are simply obese or overweight.  Though there are some healthy reasons to increase sodium like after a workout or intense sporting event to regulate blood electrolyte levels, it is not necessary for the average sedentary human to consume 1090 mg of sodium at one sitting.
Learn to live well, know your food!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Your Body is a Gym: 01/05/2013

I have said it many times and I will say it again. Your body is a gym. You are capable of increasing muscle tone, definition, and strength without picking up one weight. The hardest part is getting the motivation to do something about it. Jeff Cavalier brings us an at home challenge the requires have the following two tools: 1) a body and 2) a pull up bar. Now challenge doesn't mean that you do it once and say that you did it, but that you push yourself and keep getting better. With determination you too can have an amazing and strong body. Get better, bigger, faster, leaner, and stronger.

In Jeff's own words:
Been looking for a killer home workout that doesn't require a lot of weights or equipment? How about a 200 rep home workout that you can do without absolutely any weight at all, except your bodyweight that is? Introducing the 200 Club Home Workout Challenge. See how fast you can complete 200 bodyweight only reps in good form and post your time below.

The best part about this home workout is that it's tied to a challenge. Did you know that you can make 200 reps feel like 20,000 when you are pushing yourself to your max to complete them? Most home workouts that either use weights or don't use weights fail to include this one key component...goals. The built-in goals make you push yourself and your muscles harder than ever to score high!

It's by doing this that you see just how much you are capable of and how much you may not have been doing with your home workouts up until now. It's time to unlock all new muscle growth by working out at home and working out hard...with a goal.

With just burpees, chinups and pushups you are going to see how you can get your entire body (and heart rate) pumped up and feeling like you just worked out for hours let alone minutes!

When you're done with this challenge and you feel like you are ready for more, head to and get the complete 90 day ATHLEAN-X workout program that you can do either at the gym or at home. It's time to start training like an athlete by training with the top pro athlete trainer in the world Jeff Cavaliere. Start your 90 day body reconstruction today.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Top 50 New Year's Resolutions: 12/30/2012

The new year is upon us and you still haven't made a resolution yet. You are just not sure what you want to change in your life. Here is a list of suggestions. Hopefully you will find something that works for you.

1. Quit smoking
2. Take up running
3. Play with your kids more
4. Start a family game night
5. Watch less TV
6. Keep the house cleaner
7. Do the dishes as the get dirty
8. Learn to love again
9. Go on a fancy vacation
10. Be nicer
11. Learn a new hobby
12. Pick up a new skill
13. Learn a musical instrument
14. Buy a plant and keep it alive
15. Adopt a pet and keep it alive
16. Ask that special someone out on a date
17. Propose to the one you love
18. Plan on making a family
19. Pick up a sport
20. Learn a new art form
21. Spend less money and pay of debt
22. Save money
23. Quit your job to follow a dream
24. Open up a business
25. Build a house
26. Go back to school
27. Lose weight
28. Gain weight
29. Hire a personal trainer
30. Train for an athletic event
31. Learn how to cook
32. Spend more time with friends
33. Fix up the house
34. Add on to the house
35. Go camping more this summer
36. Pick up an activity like snow boarding, skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, kayaking, surfing, or other outdoor activity
37. Stop drinking alcoholic beverages
38. Only drink clear alcoholic beverages
39. Cut down on fatty meats
40. Cut down on red meat
41. Start a vitamin regimen
42. Cook more at home, eat as a family, and keep technology of the dinner table
43. Eat out less
44. Add fish to your diet
45. Add protein to your diet
46. Run 1 mile a day
47. Listen to the radio more
48. Do something nice for a stranger everyday
49. Read good news
50. Pick up yoga or stretch as a workout at least one time a week

I am sure that the list can go on and on. If there is something that isn't listed here that you wanna change or add into your life then go with it. Do what you want to do, but stick with it. It takes about 20 - 30 days to make a new habit or to lose a bad habit. So don't lose sight of your goals.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year's Resolution: 12/27/2012

Are you making a resolution? If not, then here is one for you. Sign-up for an action run such as Spartan Race, Run for Your Lives, or Tough Mudder. These are races that test your strength, endurance, stamina, team work, and agility. Also, they are goal minded. In order to do the races well you must train for them. Right now the Spartan Race is $10 dollars off if you register early and there are events all over the country. Most of the other races give discounts if you register early, so start planning now. So what are you waiting for? Health and fitness doesn't come to you... you have to go to health and fitness. Plan your resolution today and start it now. Most importantly, keep up with it.