6 Fitness Trends Of 2018 You should Jump On

Fitness and healthy living are the new craze. You literally cannot scroll through social media and not stumble upon any of these things. It’s like humanity has suddenly realized that life is short and we need to do everything we can to prolong our life. Due to this, different fitness trends have come up, and today, we take a look at 5 of the most popular fitness trends today:

Running groups

Running groups have become quite common nowadays. It is one great way to motivate you to get off your comfort zone and exercise. Running groups are really fun, and great way to make new friends and get lifelong partners (you never know). Join one in your estate or just start your own. Invite a group of friends, who will invite other people too and soon you will have a crew.

Wearable Tech

From heart rate monitors to smart watches and activity trackers, wearable technology has become quite popular and helpful today. Heart rate monitors, for example enable you to know how hard you are working during a sweat session. It is amazing how the simple things we use like our phones aid in achieving our fitness goals.

High Intensity Interval Training

HIIT sessions are known to burn more calories than slower exercises. It’s no wonder more people are jumping on this fitness craze. Here’s how HIIT works: short bursts of high intensity exercise followed by a slower-paced recovery period and only lasts 30 minutes or less. There is really no reason not to do it since HIIT is time efficient and very effective.

Strength Training

Can we even call this a trend? The good old strength training has proven to burn fat, gain muscles and keep your heart healthy since decades ago. People have embraced weight training a whole lot more these days and you should too.

Personal trainers

Is it just me or half the people who share their fitness progress on social media seem to have personal trainers? Whether you prefer a lady or man, these guys guarantee to help you reach your fitness goals by ensuring you work hard and use the correct form.

Yoga

Before, Yoga would be known as a white people activity but over the years, Africans too have come to embrace this form of fitness. Yoga not only helps you recover from previous exercise but also helps improve your flexibility and boost your mental health.

 

6 Foods That Help Burn Belly Fat

For many women, losing belly fat is the reason behind their healthy lifestyle journey. It’s difficult to lose fat in this part of the body but it does not mean that it can’t be done. You just have to be patient enough, hardworking enough, persistent enough and most of all, EAT RIGHT!

Yes, that’s right. It all starts in the kitchen. Here are 6 foods that can boost your way to a flat tummy:

Avocado

Avocados are super delicious and contain fiber that helps keep the hunger at bay. The monounsaturated fatty acids help burn fats, thus trimming your belly.

Spinach

Spinach contains a high level of fiber which will help you feel full for longer and the vitamins help burn fat. There are some awesome recipes online that could make spinach a whole lot more delicious. Try them out.

Almonds

This nut is packed with belly-busting power. Almonds help build muscle, reduce cravings, and make a most convenient snack. Raw almonds make the best belly fat burners.

Apples

Apples are almost 85 percent water, but they’re also a great source of fiber which aids digestion and weight loss.

Beans and other legumes

Legumes are a great substitute for dairy products that may contain unhealthy fats. They help Build muscle, burn fat, and regulate digestion.

Chilli peppers

You may not be a fun, but believe it or not, chilli peppers do help lose belly fat. They increase your metabolism and “oxidize” layers of fat thus reducing your waistline.

 

Tips On Choosing The Right Workout Outfit

Most of us hardly take time to choose the most appropriate outfit for working out yet; believe it or not, the clothes you wear for a workout can make a difference in how you feel during and after exercise. Here are 6 tips on choosing the most appropriate gym outfit:

Go with dark colors

Your best bet for looking stylish when choosing good workout clothes is to pick one or two color schemes and stick with it! Dark colors always look the most sophisticated for workout clothes and keep you looking thin and slender.

Decide on the right bottoms

We hardly consider this but the type of bottoms you choose to wear to the gym really determine how your work out will be. For running, jogging, cycling or any other type of exercise that involves a lot of leg usage, you’ll want shorts that fit well and aren’t loose or baggy. For yoga, stretches, weight lifting or other types of exercise that don’t involve cardio or rapid movement, a pair of gym pants or yoga pants would be appropriate.

Go sleeveless

Sleeveless tops are more comfortable since they don’t trap sweat against your body and they are cooler in the hot. If you absolutely want a sleeve, don’t go for anything heavy or super long.

Have the right kind of shoes

The right shoes can make a world of difference in your workout sessions, especially if you are a runner or if you do sprints.

But even if you just lift weights, shoes with great support and cushioning will ease back pressure and give you more stability and grip. Again, you don’t have to spend a fortune, but do find a pair of shoes that fit you well and offer support.

Invest in a good sports bra

Ladies, this one’s for you. A woman jogging or doing aerobics with her breasts jiggling everywhere is not the most attractive sight in the world. Invest your money in a good sports bra. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one, but a bra that supports your girls and holds them in place will do a lot for you!

Don’t wear baggy clothes

Don’t throw on the first thing you find on the closet floor. Old sweats, baggy shorts, ripped up t-shirts, or stretched out PJ pants are NOT good options for working out! Besides making you feel less sexy, baggy clothes can catch on weights or treadmills and cause you to trip or fall or drop something.

Benefits Of Squats You Probably Didn’t Know About

Most people neglect incorporating squats in their workouts. Dudes skip leg day and girls, well we focus so much on aerobic exercises. Squats are one of the most beneficial full-body exercises out there, especially for those who are super busy and cannot spend much time on working out.

Here are 5 benefits of squats that will probably motivate you to do them more often:

Squats do help burn fat

Did you know that one of the best ways to burn fat is to actually gain more muscle? Squats help you gain muscle thus making it easier for your body to burn the extra fat.

Squats build muscle

You probably already know that squats tone your butt. But there’s more. Squats promote muscle growth around your entire body by making the body release hormones that are vital for the growth of muscle tissue.

Squats give you abs

You can skip the ab work outs and choose to do squats instead. Squatting is a compound movement and one of the muscles it hits hard is your abs. Many people have no idea this is the case. Think about it: your torso is pitched forward with a barbell on your shoulders. What’s keep you from folding and falling flat on your face? Your core. And there it is, you kill two birds with one stone.

Squats have low impact on your joints

Other means of working out can put undue strain on your knees, ankles and back, whereas squats, when done correctly, do not have this effect.  

You don’t need any equipment to do squats

You can do squats anywhere, anytime! You don’t need to go to a gym or pay for any expensive equipment. It’s perfect if you’re too busy and need to squeeze time for working out.

Here’s a clip on how to do squats effectively

Tips For The Gym Newbie

Written By: Nadia Nguru

Getting into any new routine can be pretty hard, daunting and most times you’ll feel like quitting. Don’t. No really, I mean it. Sometimes all it takes is a little motivation coupled with some guideline to get you on the right track.

  1. DO NOT overwork your muscles

It can be really easy to get into the gym with a lot of psych and do multiple reps with weights, working out your forearms, triceps etc. if you are not yet used to how demanding the recovery process of your muscles can be..mostly because you’re a ‘newbie’ then overworking your muscles can lead to muscle spasms which are no fun at all.

  1. DO warm up before you start training

You have to treat gyming like a sport, especially when it comes to lifting or working with weights. If you don’t warm up prior to, you’re not going to have a very successful training session. Warming up ensures that your body is ready for the workout. It does so by gently increasing your heart rate and blood circulation as well as upping the blood flow to your muscles and relaxing your joints.

  1. Supplement your workouts with the right nutrition.

It’s one thing to hit the gym, but more often than not, you make a bigger impact on your body by changing your diet as well. Eating foods high in saturated fats and acid doesn’t help your body as it slows down the healing process of muscles that underwent ‘wear and tear’ at the gym.

  1. Pace yourself

This point cannot be stressed enough. You have to build up a pace and keep with it before you start skipping from lifting 15 to lifting 40 kgs. The same goes for squatting, ab-crunch machines…you get the point.

  1. Want to lose belly fat? Cardio.

To some this may sound a little unbelievable, but cardio aids the loss of belly fat to a great extent. Thus, you can try all the versions of situps and crunches known to mankind, but you must supplement them with cardio for you to start exhibiting proper fat loss. Cardio includes running, using the elliptical or a speed bike. Basically anything that gets your heart racing and makes you break a lil sweat.

  1. Know your body type.

It’s all well and good to get advice from peers who’ve been to the gym a little longer, but doing some research to know your body type goes a long way in making sure you’re getting the most out of your work out. There’s probably no other more sure-fire way of getting the gains you want, other than knowing what training regime works best for you. For Ectomorphs, a diet high in protein is necessary. Ironically enough, carbohydrates are also recommended for ectomorphs, but be careful as to which carbohydrates to consume;complex carbohydrates take long to breakdown and slow down the bulking process. For endomorphs, a diet low on carbohydrates and rich in protein and healthy fats will help with the fat-loss process.

 

 

 

7. Make it a lifestyle

A lot of experts recommend making going to the gym a habit in order to see positive improvements both mentally and physically. I argue that you should make it a lifestyle. This doesn’t mean littering your instagram feed with selfies every time you hit the gym, it just means that you should take it as seriously as you take going to work, school, eating, sleeping-as seriously as you take all parts of your lifestyle.  

 

STOP! 8 Most Annoying Habits People Have At The Gym

It’s already hard enough to hit the gym regularly so when you get to the gym and there are pet peeves all around, sometimes you just want to scream and unleash hell on them but you just decide to keep your cool.

Chances are, these peeves know how to behave on a date, or at work but for some reason, gym etiquette just doesn’t click in their D.N.A.  You may not know it, but one of your gym habits could be totally throwing off someone else’s workout game.

There are certain no-nos in the gym — things that you shouldn’t do, lest you annoy everyone around you. In case you didn’t know, read through:

Leaving weights everywhere

It’s so annoying having to spend 15 minutes of your workout time looking for a dumbbell or barbell plate just because someone was too careless to put them back in the rack. Do everyone a favor, and return things to where you found them.

Unleashing your sweat on a machine and not cleaning up afterwards

Of course you’re going to get sweaty during your workout — that’s proof that you’re working out hard but don’t leave a wet imprint of your body on every machine you use or a big puddle on the group fitness studio floor, CLEAN UP!

Hogging equipment

It’s fine to take a quick break between sets while lifting, we get it, it can be quit tiresome. But it’s completely unacceptable to sit on a machine for several minutes, chatting on your phone all in the name of getting some rest. Bounce between machines and save the rest of us time.

Proving workout advice to everyone and anyone who hasn’t even asked for it

If you are not a fitness coach, then mind your own business. Whether or not someone is working out the wrong way, it’s not your place to correct them. Just do your thing and leave. It’s as simple as that.

Taking gym selfys

It’s totally fine to appreciate your progress but taking 1000+ selfys just to capture that perfect one is just annoying especially if there is someone else waiting to use the machine you’re on. Get over yourself!

Talking, Talking, Talking

We don’t go to the gym to exercise our ears, listening to you blabber on and on about whatever it is that is in between your ears. Seriously, go away!

Grunting too much

 A little grunt here and there is totally fine, and sometimes necessary when you’re trying to push past your limit but when you start sounding like you having sex, it just makes the rest of us really uncomfortable.

Competing with the person next to you

It’s not a marathon we’re competing neither did I come to the gym for you to use me to pace yourself. Focus on whatever it is that brought you to the gym. No one really cares how much weight you lift, really, we don’t!

Gyms are places where people come to put in some time, build muscle, and burn off calories.  To some, it’s more of an extension to their workplace whereas others think of it as a hangout or social club.

Whichever place you fall in, gym etiquette is something you should have in mind, not just for your sake but for everyone else’s.

Junk Food Cravings? Here’s How To Stop Them

Losing weight would be so much easier if we didn’t experience cravings. You could try sticking to a healthy diet all day long just for cravings to kick in at the end on the day.

It’s so hard to fight them (I know), but there are is a way to stop or prevent them from ruining your diet routine. Here are 5 ways to stop/prevent cravings:

Drink water

Water is a solution to so many problems especially when you are trying to lose weight. If you crave any unhealthy food, try taking a glass of water and wait a while. You will notice the craving will fade away.

Avoid getting extremely hungry

Hunger is the reason why we experience cravings in the first place. Avoid getting hungry by snacking on fruits before your next meal.

Eat more protein

Eating more protein makes you feel full and satisfied for longer. One study of overweight teenage girls showed that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced cravings significantly.

Avoid stress

Most of us eat when we’re stressed, it feels good right? But, that’s the moment where you end up eating junk. Try and fight stress by planning ahead, meditating and generally slowing down.

Try and stay away from your craving

You really can’t be craving chocolate and spend all day in a chocolate factory expecting not to take a bite. Same case with fries and all that junk you crave. Distance yourself from the craving and occupy your mind with something else.

 

5 Killer Leg Exercises You Should Try Out (Videos)

Leg day is an important a day as any other day of the week at the gym. Training your legs is vital, not only for those trying to get that sexy booty or hips but also for people who are trying to lose weight.

We all know the usual lunges and squats, but if you get too used to doing the same thing over and over again, you’ll eventually get bored and unmotivated.

If you want to mix things up a bit, here are 5 leg exercises you could try on your next workout:

Box jumps

Box jumps combine intense cardio with the explosive force of jumps. The higher the box, the more force your legs are going to need to make the jump and the more effective it is.

Here’s how it’s done:

Single-legged deadlift

Deadlifts are great for your hamstrings (the muscles at the back of your thigh). To do a single-legged deadlift, you will require more balance, meaning your secondary stabilizing muscles will have to work extra hard to keep you upright. Plus, the leg lift portion of the exercise will engage your glutes, leading to better-looking legs and butt overall!

Here’s how it’s done:

Bulgarian Split Squat

This one sort of combines a squat and a lunge. Placing your back foot on an elevated surface puts all the focus on your foreleg, leading to better muscle growth all round. It’s a ‘kill two birds with one stone’ workout.

Try it:

Single leg squat

You are probably used to doing squats with both your legs on the ground. How about twisting things up a bit? Use a lighter weight and squat with one leg at a time. This doubles the difficulty and works your muscles even harder.

You can try out any of these below:

Reverse lunge

Forget the front lunge for a moment and do the reverse instead. It improves your range of motion, strengthens your glutes and hamstrings along with your quads, and enhances balance control.

Here’s how to do it:

 

 

Fit Tuesday: 5 Not-So Obvious Gym Mistakes Preventing Your Progress

You might be new to the gym and you often get the feeling that you want to fit in with the rest. It is totally natural to feel that way but the most important thing is to make the most out of the time you spend there. 

There are some common but not so obvious mistakes people make at the gym that you should be mindful of if you need to see progress. Here are 6 of those mistakes:

Lifting too heavy too soon

You can easily get caught up in the frenzy of lifting heavy yet your body is not ready for that amount of stress. Doing too much can cause your muscle development to slow down as your muscles may become catabolic this causing your body to use the little muscle you’ve got. It is important to note that results won’t come in a couple of weeks of killing yourself at the gym.

Not making or making improper plans

It is important to know that not every exercise works for everyone. Know your body type and set plans and goals based on that. It will not only help you progress but you will also avoid wasting too much time in the gym.

Spending too much time at the gym

Many people spend too much time at the gym often because they’re either taking long breaks in between sets or chatting with buddies. For the sake of your body and schedule, have a proper plan before hitting the gym and avoid taking long breaks.

Bad form

Proper form is super essential if you want to see the changes you desire. Practicing with bad form can totally change the muscle group you are working and in worse cases injure your muscles. If you have no idea how to perform a certain exercise, don’t be afraid to ask that be sure not to be duped by the ‘know-it-alls’ in the gym.

Ignoring to keep track of progress

It is important to note down your progress so you don’t end up stagnating at one point. Once you keep a log, you will be able to know which muscles you need to work more than others, and whether or not you should be progressing to more intense exercises.

Not lifting heavy enough

Once your body gets used to the same type of routine, you end up stagnating.  If you want to see results you need to shock your muscles and fibres and promote the growth hormone production.To do this you need to focus on both strength and endurance. This means mixing both sets of 12 reps, with heavier lifts and lower reps. Lifting heavier will not make you big and bulky but instead it will promote muscle development and fat burning- when performing an all over body workout.

Fit Tuesday: How To Survive Being A Newbie At The Gym

We all remember our first day at the gym.You probably sheepishly wandered from machine to machine, doing a set of this, 10 reps of that… until in the end you just opted to quit. The strong sense that you don’t belong and the overwhelming amount of confusion all wrapped up into one would make anyone quit on the first day.

There’s really nothing wrong about being a newbie. To change your body and see incredible results, you have to start somewhere. The truth is, you’ll make many mistakes that might slow down your process but fret not. Read on for six the best ways to avoid looking like a newbie and improving your gym experience.

It’s all in your head

You should always remember this, no one really cares about you. Everybody else is also self-conscious of how they look in the gym.  They’re way too concerned with how they look in a mirror to notice you .If you’re afraid that people are judging you because you’re out of shape, a couple of my friends at the gym have told me they love seeing someone out of weight trying their hardest. It shows effort and guess what, people will be willing to help you out when they see how hard you’re trying.

Avoid wardrobe malfunction

This is equally as important. If you want to feel comfortable at the gym, you’ve got to dress the part. Well-fitted clothing will boost your confidence and make you less self-conscious. If you’re worried about sweat stains, it’s easy, just wear all black!

Have a plan

One mistake I made on my first day at the gym was going in there without a plan. I ended up wasting a lot of time trying to figure out where to start and what equipment to use. Draft a plan before hitting the gym. Make sure it matches what exactly you want to achieve in the long run and most importantly on that day. You can get the gym instructor to help you out in this in case you have no idea how to.

Be approachable

Be social with other gym members. It’s the easiest way to get gym buddies who will motivate you without necessarily having to ask them. However, don’t go bothering people that are already working out or inundating strangers with questions. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you d not know how to use a certain equipment or how to do a certain workout properly, simply ask. You’ve got to know the right people to ask though as some may mislead you or even put you down. Yes, there are such people at the gym too!

Work in as you workout

‘Working in’ simply means that letting someone else use a piece of equipment while you rest between sets. Not only is it a great way to make friends but also offers a sense of motivation.