5 Reasons to Run a Marathon

You ask a non-runner if they’d ever run a marathon and you’ll almost certainly be greeted with a “not a chance”. It may seem a daunting prospect to have to replicate the monumental feat originally performed by the Greek messenger Pheidippides, but here are five excellent reasons to run the 26.2 mile race.

Run, Run, Run, As Fast As You Can

1. A sense of accomplishment Only a small minority of people run on a regular basis, and even fewer still actually partake in organised running events. Being part of this minority group will give you a sense of achievement like no other. Crossing the finish line will give you something that you can keep with you for the rest of your life. You’ll be proud of what you’ve achieved, and people will give you respect for doing it too.

Being able to say that you are part of the elite minority who have had the focus, drive and determination to train and run such a grueling event is a wonderful feeling.

2. Raising money for charity Did you know that the last 5 London Marathons (2009-2013 inclusive) have raised over £250,000,000 for charity? Almost 75% of runners are running to raise money for a worthy cause. Whether it be in memory of a loved one, to help cure cancer or for something smaller and local; running a marathon for an important cause is a great way to further motivate you to train and work hard.

This is especially relevant for those who aren’t used to the levels of physical dedication and training required. As the donations keep coming in (along with words of encouragement), it’ll give you the extra motivation you need to get out of bed on a rainy morning when you know you need to do that extra 5 mile run.

3. Lose your bad habits If you’re serious about training to run a marathon, there are certain things that you’ll have to cut out. Running a 10-15 mile run on a Sunday afternoon becomes much more difficult if you’re smoking 20 cigarettes a day. You’ll gain a sense of caution when you go to buy cigarettes, or open a bottle of wine. Your focus and drive will be tested, but you have the opportunity to replace your bad habits with healthier ones – you’ll notice a difference after as little as a week or two.

4. A reason to eat! The physical demands of training for a marathon, as well as the marathon itself means your body is almost always working – even on a rest day. As a result of this, you gain a license to eat more carbohydrates such as bread and pasta as they help fuel you for your intense training schedule.

So although you still need to eat healthily (cut out the donuts and cream), you have permission to eat much more – up to 4,000 calories a day in the days leading up to the marathon itself.

5. Get In Shape Arguably the most obvious of them all. The need to run regularly in order to train for a marathon (around 40 miles per week is recommended) means that you burn calories at a rate of knots. At around 120 calories burned per mile, which equates to 6,000 calories per week – and over 3100 for a 26.2 mile marathon itself.

The fact you can eat more will balance this out and a combination of them both is important to stay healthy. Your body fat percentage will decrease as the fats in your body are used up as energy to push you through those final few miles. Running regularly when training will tone up your legs, arms, abs and pretty much every area of your body. More often than not, this is the best incentive to carry on when you’re finding it tough.

These reasons should surely make you want to don your running trainers and pound the concrete. Imagine the good feeling you get after a single run or workout, and then imagine the feeling you’ll get when you cross the finish line after running a mile marathon and the months of training that went in to making it possible – and if it has helped raise money for a worthy cause too, then that’s even better!

With arguably the famous marathons being in London and Boston, there are actually marathons taking place almost every week around the world, so with all of the benefits mentioned above, and the increasingly easy access to a local marathon – there really is no excuse.

Best Workout & Food Plan for your Body Type

Below are some of the workout tips and food plans depending on your body shape. 

Best Workout for a Pear Shaped Body

As the shape suggests, you have the body that is narrower from top but slightly curved and burst from the lower side. It is the same shape as the pear has. This put some extra effort on the account of the ladies with the pear shaped body. It is important for them to have the well shaped thighs, hips, arms, and shoulders.

pear body shape

Workout Tips There are a number of exercises that you can pick for the effective workout. An hour is enough for you to tone your body. You can pick exercises like:

Food Plans The first best step towards a toned pear body is to watch out your daily intake of fats. Make sure that you are eating more carbohydrates and proteins so that it can be stored in your body to serve you later. You can design your meal in the following way:

  • For breakfast: Have a medium Banana, Orange juice, Instant oatmeal.
  • For lunch: Whole wheat white bread with a tablespoon light mayonnaise, Deli roast beef, Reduced-fat cheese, and a tomato with some fruit.
  • For Dinner: Have a Skinless chicken, Salsa made with black beans and diced tomato.  You can also have low fat cheese, White roll, and Green beans.
  • Dessert: Any sugar-free pudding will be fine.

Check out a pear shape diet plan in full click here

Best Workout for a Ruler Shaped Body

Ruler shape bodies hardly put on weight. They only have the indication of putting on weight with the least belly pot. The curves are rather not present in the straight body type. To have them, some of the exercise tips are good to do throughout the week.

Ruler body shape

Workout Tips The women can do some work on their abdominal muscles and oblique. This way, they can give some curves to their straight body to enhance their beauty.  By trying some of the effective workouts, like:

  • Plank with a twist
  • One-legged Assisted Dip
  • Oblique twist with medicine ball
  • Hamstring curl and bridge on a ball

Food Plans The good is to take proteins and carbohydrates with balanced amount of fats. Though, for the straight body types, the weight is not that an issue but still, you must be careful with what you are eating. You can have:

  • For Breakfast: You can have  Scrambled eggs, an apple or grapefruit, vegetable omelet, and Zero calorie yoghurt.
  • For Lunch: Chicken pasta, Cheese burrito, Turkey wrap, and some mixed salad.
  • For Dinner: You can have miso Salmon, Spicy chicken pasta, Steamed snapper with Pasto, and Penne with Chicken Marengo.

For a more detailed ruler diet plan click here

Best Workout for a Hourglass Shaped Body

This shaped lady is full from the top and from the bottom too. They don’t need to make extra efforts for the curves, they have it! But, at the same time, they counter with the risk of gaining some weight too. A good work out technique and food plan can help them in controlling that easily.

Hourglass Body Shape

Workout Tips By picking out the workout tips, you can simply control your body to put on extra weight and to make it look good in any type of outfit. You must take out time to do the following exercises:

  • Thai Chi Lunge
  • Squats
  • Bicycle Crunch

Food Plans A food full of nutrition is the best one for this body type. Pick out any of the foods from the list and enjoy your healthy living.

  • For Breakfast: Toast with peanut butter, Eggs, Greek yogurt, Banana, Scrambled Eggs, and Grapefruit.
  • For Lunch: Gobblegauc Sandwich, Spicy chicken pasta, Turkey wrap, and Apple. You can even do some eating out on weekends.
  • For Dinner: Salad with olive oil, Veggie burger, Chicken Spinach parm, 2 cups of snow peas, Brown rice, Lemon chicken with rice,  and Penne with chicken marengo.

For a complete hourglass diet plan click here

Best Workout for a Apple Shaped Body

Short waist, narrow hips, broad shoulders, and back are the combination of a perfect athletic body. These body types enjoy the lower risk of weight gains. They need to have the regular exercising for toning their belly and thighs in shape.

Workout Tips Do some smart exercises for keeping your strong body in better shape. The must-do ones are:

  • Pushups and leg raise
  • Second position plies
  • Cardio intervals ( running)
  • Triceps Extensions

Food Plans Have a balanced 1,500 calories per day to maintain your body. This is certainly the best one for the active women. You must pick out the foods of your choice to map out your meals:

  • For Breakfast: Lean eggs and Ham, Scrambled eggs, any fruit, Zero fat yogurt, and vegetable omelet.
  • For Lunch: Chicken pasta, Black beans, Cheese Burrito, Rich Salads, and Turkey wrap.
  • For Dinner: Quick Lemon chicken with rice, Veggie burger with bun, potato fries, Salad with olive oil, and Salmon.

For a complete apple shape diet plan click here

What is Pilates A look at the Mind-Body Class

Fitness trends and classes come and go.  Class formats literally include everything from A to Z:  Aqua Aerobics to Zumba! One class that you may have come across in the past few years is Pilates.  What is Pilates? This article takes a look at the popular Mind-Body class, its origins, class types, and the benefits of Pilates.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a Mind-Body class that focuses on strengthening the core (abdominal and back) muscles.  However, it also includes exercises that strengthen other muscles and helps increase flexibility.  The Pilates class format is based on six principals outlined by the founder of the discipline: centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow.  All six techniques require students of Pilates to remain focused on the moment as they participate in the class, hence the Mind-Body connection.

The Origins of Pilates

Today’s Pilates class was created by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900’s in Europe and was originally referred to as “Contrology.” The Contrology name was fitting because Pilates movements are performed with slow and controlled motions.   Joseph Pilates emigrated to the United States in the 1920’s and opened a fitness studio with his wife in New York City where his method gained popularity with the dancing community.   Joseph Pilates continued to teach his fitness classes until his death in 1967.  The fitness format was then passed on by his original students from New York to Los Angeles to Puerto Rico and is currently found in fitness studios throughout the world.

Class Types and What to Expect

Pilates classes found in studios today come in two general varieties: Mat Pilates and Reformer Pilates classes.  Both types had a place in founder Joseph Pilates’ own practice.  Each Pilates class has its own benefits and is worth exploring if you have a studio located near you.  However, both will have the 6 Pilates Principals and a focus on strengthening the core muscles in common. Below we’ll describer the two main class formats and what to expect when you attend one.

Mat Pilates

Mat Pilates classes are the most common and least expensive Pilates classes.
This type of class can be found in most gyms today and will usually be part of your gym membership.  In larger facilities Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi and other Mind Body formats will be held in a studio separate from those hosting aerobics and strength training formats.  Be sure to ask where the Mat Pilates studio is located before taking a class. Classes will require a fitness mat, which is usually provided, however, you are welcome to bring your own.  Some classes use props such as a weighted ball or Pilates ring, however, many just use your body weight to help you increase your strength and flexibility.

The exercises included in your class will vary depending on your instructor.  You may start class standing or sitting.  However, your first moments of class will review basic breathing methods and a description of “The Powerhouse,” the center of your body between the bottom of your ribs and your pubic bone.  The Powerhouse will be the focus of the class and should be engaged at all times. From there, you may perform some wall or standing exercises that focus on the legs or arms.  However, these aren’t always included .  Exercises such as the Pilates Hundred, Single Leg Stretch, the Plank, and various Leg Series are staples of the method and should be expected. Most abdominal exercises require you to keep your head lifted to help keep the Powerhouse muscles engaged.  However, you’ll be given modifications along the way.  Your class should conclude with some stretches and a brief period of relaxation.  Be sure to let your instructor know of any injuries or issues of potential concern before class starts.

Pilates Reformer

Pilates reformer classes are a lot more private than their Mat Pilates counterparts and therefore, more expensive.  Additionally, reformer classes are not as common as Mat Pilates classes. While some gyms will have their own Pilates Reformer studio, most reformer classes are found in stand alone Pilates Studios.  The Pilates reformer is the most commonly used of several other Pilates machines and as such is the main machine we’ll discuss here.

Check Out The Scott Pilates SPX Home Reformer Package

Pilates reformer classes will still require awareness of your breath and acknowledgement of the six Pilates principles. However, instead of using your own body weight as the main form of resistance to help you strengthen your core, legs, and increase flexibility; a reformer class uses springs to challenge the body.  You’ll know you’ve found a reformer machine when you see something in your gym that looks strangely similar to a torture device.  The Pilates reformer machine is about the size of a single bed.  On top it has a sliding carriage and includes various pulleys, cables, bars, and straps that are used to create resistance.  Don’t be afraid! You can take private sessions to learn the ropes and pulleys on your own and then graduate to a small group class.  While specific exercises will vary slightly from Mat Pilates exercises, you’ll still see others like the Pilates Hundred show up here.

Benefits of Pilates

In addition to gaining popularity among celebrities, Pilates has been used to train athletes has and found its place into physical therapy practices.  Pilates has many benefits because of its ability to balance muscles and its goals of flexibility and strength training.  Athletes from all sports benefit from the focus on the core muscles, which are crucial in providing stability to the whole body and preventing injury.

Not a celebrity, dancer, athlete or physical therapy client? Pilates will still benefit you.  In fact, Pilates students with desk jobs find the method to be very helpful in reducing back issues caused by sitting most of the day.  In our busy worlds, the Mind-Body aspect of Pilates allows it to be an effective form of stress-reduction.  The most convincing testimonial of Pilates, however, comes from the founder himself.  Joseph Pilates claimed “after 10 sessions you will feel better, after 20 sessions you will look better and after 30 sessions you will have a new body!” Who wouldn’t want that? Of course, to have a whole new body you need to do more than one session a week and watch what you eat, however, Pilates can be very effective at producing a longer, leaner physique.

Have you tried a Mat Pilates or Reformer class? Share your thoughts with us by posting a comment below:

Garcinia Cambogia Extract Comprehensive Studies

Have you been fighting to keep off some persistent pounds to no avail? This is definitely a pertinent question to many. First, to answer the question does garcinia cambogia extract work without diet, you need to know what it really is and how it works exactly.

The Garcinia cambogia extract is a supplement from the fruit garcinia cambogia found mainly in Asia. Scientists have carried out numerous tests on this miracle supplement and proved its efficiency without a shadow of doubt. So, how exactly does this extract work to assist in weight loss? Having been the subject of comprehensive scientific studies, it has been verified that the Garcinia Cambogia Extract serves to suppress appetite while simultaneously preventing fat from being formed. Pointed out below, are the reasons that led Dr. Oz to refer to this extract as The holy grail of weight loss.

The extract prevents formation of fat cells in the body implying that fat will actually pass through your body more rapidly instead of being stored.The extract also couples as an appetite depressant. This will assist you in your efforts to taking only what your body requires and getting rid of the constant cravings you usually have.

It specifically zeros in on belly fat and thrives to reduce and eventually eliminate it. We all know how stubborn belly fat can be and this comes as a relief to many. Knowing that now there is a chance to realize your dream of a flat belly maybe the only conviction you will need to get yourself some of this extract.


The Garcinia Cambogia Extract enhances the levels of serotonin in your body. This serves the sole purpose of alleviating depression and stress hence a reprieve for emotional eaters.It also manages the levels of cortisol a hormone associated with stress levels in your body. You will not only achieve your weight goals but also an enhanced emotional well being thanks to this bonus side effect.

The extract is also considered to be high on hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which plays the role of accelerating metabolism processes in your body. This implies that, fat already stored in your body will be turned into energy and what’s more? The HCA blocks the production of an enzyme called citrate lyase that is responsible for converting carbohydrates to fats in the body.

Other benefits that can be accredited to this extract include; it’s efficiency in weight reduction, its affordability and the fact that, it has no known side effects. The garcinia cambogia extract not only helps you lose weight, but also increases your energy levels, muscle mass and shapes the body in a uniform manner.

With such a breakthrough in the war against body fat, there may be many counterfeits in the market disguised as the Garcinia Cambogia Extract. Here is a guide to ensure you are getting quality and value for your money. You do not want to spend your money on a counterfeit product that will never be beneficial to you. Before making your purchase, ensure you look out for the standard qualities of the extract which include; the name Garcinia Cambogia (HCA) on the bottle, it should also contain potassium and calcium which will go a long way to aid in metabolism.

Additionally, the daily dosage should be indicated as a serving of 1500Mg and finally, it is noteworthy that there are no artificial ingredients in this extract. Once your authenticity checklist is complete, you can make your purchase and look forward to brighter days ahead.

Now that you are aware of how this extract can change your life, it would be paramount to ensure you follow a set of instructions that will go to enhance your success in your quest for a perfect body. First and foremost, for best results, ensure you use this extract in combination with chromium. The essence behind this is to regulate your blood sugar levels since we tend to gain weight due to lack of this essential nutrient in our diets.

Additionally, it would be paramount to ensure you follow the recommended dosage preferably just an hour before meals. This will go a long way into curbing your appetite. Further, you must maintain a healthy diet. This extract will give you astounding and expedient results when used in conjunction with a balanced diet. Finally, keeping a regular exercise routine while taking the Garcinia Cambogia Extract, will also go to ensure you get the desired results and you get them fast.

This extract may be the safest weight loss supplement in the market today. The fruit from which it originates, the Gracinia Cambogia has been in use for centuries in Asia to address a host of medical conditions including; digestive issues, inflammation, and women’s menstrual issues just to name but a few. This fact coupled with the numerous scientific researches that have been done on this extract makes it the perfect drug. With no known side effects as HCA the compound found in the extract is also pretty safe; this is defiantly a dream supplement.

However, it and may be advisable to seek a doctors approval for breast feeding and pregnant mothers. For the safety of the child, it would be a great idea to postpone using the extract until the child is off your care. Additionally, if you are diabetic, seeking your doctor’s approval is critical. This is because the supplement has the potential to lower blood sugar levels to critical lows that may affect your well being as a diabetic. Further, for those administering Statin, which is a cholesterol lowering drug should be very careful since the extract may magnify its harmful side effects. These side effects may include rhabdomyolysis and muscle degradation.

This extract has gathered a lot of attention from scientists and consumers alike. If you want to take your weight loss efforts to the next level, it is definitely worth a shot. It has no side effects and the benefits are enormous. Does garcinia cambogia work without diet? Well, the facts are well laid out for you to judge if this is truly a miraculous extract.

Foam Roller Benefits It’s Not a Noodle

A Look at the Strange Piece of Exercise Equipment and Why You Should Embrace the Pool Noodle’s Chubby Cousin.

If you’ve been to a gym lately, you’re bound to have encountered a foam roller.  Although the foam roller looks like a “noodle,” the popular pool toy of the 90s, it’s actually supposed to be used on dry land. Unlike many fitness tool fads, the foam roller is here to stay and we encourage you to find one and roll out daily.  This article will explore what foam rolling is, how to use one, and why you should start foam rolling today.

What is foam rolling?

The art of foam rolling is basically a type of self-massage performed by rolling a specific muscle back and forth over this piece of equipment.  Exercise causes small tears in your muscle fibers, which can lead to scar tissue over time. Foam rolling reverses this process by breaking down adhesion and in turn increasing blood flow to the area.  Foam rollers come in different densities to help you change the amount of pressure put on a given muscle and the connective tissues around it as you work out evil muscle knots.

Foam Roller Testing 

After road testing eight different brands of foam rollers I would recommend the Reebok version, it is by far the best quality and will last the test of time.
Check it out at the Reebok store:
Foam Roller Benefits

Why should I do it?

Foam rolling is a great way for experienced and beginning exercisers to prevent injury.  If you continue to exercise and cause small muscle tears to go untreated, a trigger point (also known as a muscle knot) can form.  Using a foam roller on this area can release the knot and help muscles go back to their natural lengthened shape.  If a muscle knot is left untreated, it can impact other areas and tissues causing the exerciser to alter their form and ultimately leading to injury.

Foam rolling has other benefits in addition to preventing muscle imbalances and injuries.  This self-massage technique will keep you from spending money on a professional sports massage.  Money you can use for a more relaxing form of massage at a later date.  Lack flexibility? Foam rolling can also help improve the range of motion in your joints.  With so many benefits to your exercising and money saving routines, a better question would be why aren’t you foam rolling right now?

Foam rolling technique

Now that you know what foam rolling is and why you should try it, you might wonder how to get started.  You’ll need a foam roller and your body to start your self-massage.  Find a muscles area that feels tight or a muscle knot. Common areas to foam roll are the hamstrings (back of the thigh muscles), quadriceps (front of the thigh muscles), iliotibial band (runs from the knee to the hip on the outside of your leg), and upper back.  Lie on the foam roller with the muscle of your choice touching this equipment.  Use your body weight to press this area into the foam roller as you roll back and forth over it.  If you find a trigger point, you didn’t think you had, you’ll know it! This area will feel painful.  Hold the foam roller on this position for 30-45 seconds to help work out the muscle tightness.  Continue your foam roll for 1-2 minutes remembering to breathe and keep your abdominal muscles tight to keep your body stable.  Foam rolling techniques can be performed daily.

Foam Rolling for Runners

A prime example of a good candidate for foam rolling is a veteran runner.  Running long distances causes small muscle tears especially along the iliotibial or IT-band.  This area runs from the knee to the hip on the outside of your leg and as such is very important for helping a runner get from place to place.  Even exercisers who have no noticeable issues in the IT-band area at rest are bound to find a trigger point or two when rolling over this area.  Foam rolling the quadriceps and hamstrings is also important and should be done as often as possible to increase range of motion in these muscle groups.

Other uses for Foam Rollers

While you may have a foam roller at your neighbourhood gym, we recommend you buy one to keep at home.  This way you can purchase one with the correct density for your body and practice the technique daily.  You’ll also be able to use the foam roller for other reasons.  Increase the difficulty of your plank or push-up by including your foam roller.  Place one or two hands on top of the foam roller during either exercise or secure the tool under your toes and add some extra core work. The uneven surface will require your body to recruit more core (read ab and back) muscles.  Foam rollers can also be used for general balance work.  Start by trying to balance on one using the support of a wall.  Need another reason for buying this strange looking tool? You can put your foam roller to work at the end of a long day by using it to get a foot massage.  While standing. rest one foot on top of the foam roller and use it to massage the arch of your foot by rolling it back and forth across the tool.

If you’ve been afraid to check out a foam roller, we hope these tips encourage you to embrace this new exercise tool.  Use the foam roller often to massage out some muscle knots, help prevent injury, and work on your balance.  If you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.  If you have a question about foam rolling technique, feel free to drop us a line in the comment section below: