Top Benefits Of Including The Plyo Box Into Your Workouts

Plyometrics which means “explosive jumping moves, burns around 9 calories, in some cases more in a minute which is similar to jogging. You can reap exponential benefits for your body when you use a Pylo box, which is a type of mini-platform made from foam, steel, or wood that comes in different heights which range from 4 to 42 inches, that you can either jump over or onto.

Research from the ACE (American Council on Exercise) has shown that you can burn around 15 calories in a minute during HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts with a box. The increase in burning calories is most likely linked to the additional challenge of making sure you land on a target.

Let’s use a basic box-jump as an example. This exercise will rapidly increase your heart-rate due to lifting your weight against gravity. This technique works all the major muscle groups, especially your quads, glutes, and abs, which you need to propel you. It also helps to build and strengthen your small stability muscles on your landings. Some fitness experts are suggesting that the Plyo box could be your one-stop-shop to reshape your body from your head to your toe.

Here are 5 important reasons why you should include the Plyo Box into your workouts:

1. These Exercise Routines Will Give You Fantastic Calves

Jumping will increase your muscle tone and strength and build your lower and upper body strength. A box jump forces you into jumping high enough making you use all the muscles in each leg to successfully land on top of the box.

2. Box Jumps Blast Fat And Burn Lots Of Calories

When you jump at such a quick pace, you will burn 800 to 1,000 calories in an hour. This far outweighs the 200 to 300 calories you will burn from an exercise such as walking for an hour. High-intensity jumping also stimulates a change in your mitochondria (where fuel converts into energy at a cellular level), which means your body will start burning fat before carbs, which is fantastic news if you are focused on losing weight or toning your body.

3. You Can Do These Exercises Without Equipment

If you do not want to make or buy a box, or you don’t have access to a Plyo box at your gym, you are still able to do this exercise. All you need is some stairs, a bench that is high enough, or a table (if you are feeling brave), and start jumping. You should make sure that it is really sturdy, to avoid injuries or falling off.

4. They Can Enhance Your Athletic Abilities

If you enjoy playing basketball, surfing, or skateboarding whenever you have free time on your hands, including a Plyo box in your workout routines will improve your endurance, speed, and your vertical jumps. These exercises also work on increasing your coordination which will assist you when it comes to excelling at any other sport or activity.

If you have never tried box jumps before you will soon find out just how much they can benefit your body. Box jumps will also make you improve your coordination very quickly. This is especially true if you miss your target and you end up banging your shins into the box.

5. They Are Loads Of Fun

Once you try out a few box jumps and you find out you can actually get up onto the box, they will soon become one of your favorite workout routines either at home or at the gym. When you realize you can actually do it, this is the type of exercise that will boost your confidence and help you to feel stronger and stronger over time.

How To Layer When Running In Cold Weather

Running in the cold can be a nightmare if you are not layering correctly. If you are not used to layering, you need to know what you should be wearing. Dressing in this way ensures you are warm while running and that you go out for your run.

Dress For Warmer Temperatures

When you look at layering, you should choose warm clothing for 10 to 20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature. Your body heats as you run and too many layers can cause you to overheat. Of course, the clothing you wear will depend on how hot or cold you are when running.

The Base Layer

To start your layering, you need to have a base layer. This will keep you warm by taking sweat away from the body and reducing cold conduction. This layer will also trap warm air close to the body to insulate you from the cold. This should be a long-sleeve top to keep your arms warm.

The base layer should be snug because loose layers allow sweat to run and pool at your waist. Your base layer will also need to be tucked into your pants for additional wind protection. There are many base layers on the market, but you can use a compression top as well.

The Second Layer

If the weather is colder, you need to have a second layer over the base layer. This should be a long sleeve running top that traps warm air. This will help insulate your body and move sweat vapor.

This second layer is not always necessary. If the temperature is currently above 50 degrees, you will often not need this layer. Adding this layer can cause you to overheat during your run.

The Running Jacket

Over the base layer or your second layer, you need to have a running jacket. Heavyweight jackets that are water and windproof while offering low-breathability and high insulation should only be used in the coldest temperatures. Most runners will use a light t midweight running jacket.

Both these jackets will be water and wind-resistant and moderately breathable. Lightweight jackets offer light insulation and should be worn in warmer times. The midweight jacket offers better insulation and can be worn over a base layer only.

The Running Bottoms

While keeping our top half warm is important, you should not neglect your lower half. If you are running in warmer temperatures of 40 to 50 degrees, you should look at wearing full-length tights. Crops and capris can also be used if you feel you will become very warm.

If the temperature is colder, you should look at tights or pants. The weight of the tights should correspond with the temperature. If you are running in single-digit temperatures, you need to look at heavyweight tights or pants. At this time, you could layer your bottoms with tights or crops under pants to stay warm.

The Right Socks

Layering for running does not end with the clothing that you can easily see. Synthetic socs are a good option because they keep your feet warm while removing sweat. However, if the temperatures are very cold, you should look at thicker socks.

During the winter, your feet will not swell as much and your shoes can accommodate the thicker socks. These socks will remove sweat and offer better insulation through trapped air. Your socks should also be quarter length to keep your ankles warm.

If you want to go running in the cold, you need to know how to layer. Layering will keep you warm as you run without hindering your stride. The amount of layering and the clothing you wear will be impacted by the temperature you are running in.

5 Top Reasons You May Be Gaining Weight While Working Out

When people workout, they sometimes don’t expect to gain a significant amount of weight. This is especially in regards to beginners. However, there’s several reasons why you may be gaining weight while working out, regardless if you’re a beginner or seasoned vet. Let’s go over what five reasons may be.

Muscle Gains

You could very well be gaining muscle, and this isn’t a bad thing. Even people who have been training for years can start gaining more muscle than they currently have. This can be due to lifting heavier weight, tweaking their workout routine and things of that nature. Beginners and novices can easily and quickly gain a lot of muscle within a few months, therefore weight gain is going to happen.

Here’s a tip, if you want to ease up on gaining too much muscle, then switch to lifting light weights. You’ll still gain some muscle mass, but it won’t be as much as you would if you were lifting heavy. All it takes is a few tweaks to your workout routine to gain muscle fast or to slowly gain muscle.

Water Retention

Perhaps you’re gaining weight due to retaining water, which is very common for people who workout. Many people drink a lot of water during their workouts, as they should. Then they’ll keep drinking water after their workouts, as well as before they train. There’s nothing wrong with this, but holding water will contribute to your weight.

However, this shouldn’t be too much of a concern, but there are a few things you can do to retain less water. You can lower stress levels, get plenty of sleep and eat healthy foods. Eventually you should be able to get rid of excess water.

Your Diet

Take a look at your diet because this is a leading reason people gain weight while working out. A lot of people carbo-load, which means they consume a lot of carbs before they workout. Carbs can contribute to weight gain, but so can the overall number of calories you’re taking in.

Also, eating unhealthy foods can definitely cause you to gain weight. If you eat a lot of junk food and sugary beverages, you’re bound to gain unhealthy weight. If this starts happening, then take a look at your diet and only stick with eating normal foods. This includes fruits, nuts, oats, veggies and so forth. Stay faraway from foods you know are bad for you.

Sugar Conversion

Your body needs energy for working out, and this is why sugar is turned into glucose. It fuels your body so you can workout, and in turn you can gain a little bit of weight. Don’t worry though because as your body gets used to training regularly, the weight gain (related to sugar conversion) should ease up.

Supplements

Are you taking supplements such as protein, testosterone booster or anything else for that matter? If so, then this could very well be the reason for gaining weight. In fact, many protein shakes have a lot of calories in them, so if you don’t want to gain more weight, then opt for a protein supplement that’s high in protein and low in calories and fat. When it comes to using supplements, make sure you compare as many products as you can and then choose the ones that you believe will provide you with the best results.

Those are five reasons why you may be gaining weight while working out. There are many other potential reasons, but those are the top ones. Just keep exercise regularly, eating healthy and continue to stay focused and you’ll be alright.

Quick Workouts For Even The Busiest People

It is only natural to question where you might be able to fit in a great workout in your day. This question leaves so many people to not make getting the exercise they need a priority. The reality is that if you make it a priority there is always a way to break a sweat each and every day, no matter how busy you might be. Here you will find just a few of the best ways to get your heart rate going.

The ultimate workout that can be done quickly is taking the time for a run. The key to a great workout is to ensure that your heart rate reaches its peak rate and stays there for as long as possible. While many people like to spend an hour or more running each day, that isn’t absolutely necessary. If you find that you do not seem to have time for this it is ideal to wake up 20 minutes earlier so that you can go for a 15 minute run each day. Once you make this a priority you will actually find that you have more energy for the rest of your day and rolling out of bed in the morning will be something that you look forward to.

Another great way to give your body the exercise that it needs is to spend part of your lunch break going for a walk. Of course you likely do not want to break a sweat and return to work looking like you ran a marathon, but that isn’t necessary in order to get your heart rate up a little bit. Speed walking is a great workout and can do a great deal to help you avoid the afternoon slump that so many face each day. Just 15 to 20 minutes will ensure that you at least get in some physical activity and will likely even lead to more productivity later in the day.

Yoga is another great way to stay in shape without sweating too much. If you live or work in an urban area it is likely that you have a yoga studio that is close enough to walk to. Classes are typically different lengths and many studios offer quick classes for those on a time crunch. This will get your cardiovascular system working and help to limber up your muscles and joints while also strengthening them. The key is to schedule some time in your day a few times a week so that you make this something that becomes part of your routine. No matter how quick it might be, the real challenge is to be sure to make the time for it.

If you still feel that you simply do not have the time for the activities listed above you may want to consider altering your work space. For example, if you work at a desk all day, you likely aren’t getting as much physical activity as you should. Sitting too long at a chair not only does not help to burn calories, but it can actually lead to health issues as you age. By transitioning your desk to be able to stand while your work or choosing to use a workout ball as your chair can make a huge difference. You can even set a few minute blocks every hour or so to do specific workouts such as crunches, leg lifts or anything else that you enjoy.

The real key is to set time aside for your regular workouts. There is always time, it is just what you choose to do with it. In the end by making this a priority you will find that you have more energy and focus for everything else that you do on a daily basis.