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It’s so encouraging to see that some people are getting up off the couch, and doing something active. I must admit that a lot of people are now taking a keen interest in getting back in shape and stay healthy. While there are others who just keep making-up excuses and more excuses.

Two common barriers for people who want to exercise and get in shape are a lack of time and money needed for fitness.

Who has the time to go to the gym, or buy expensive equipment, or take long bike rides?
Well, if those are the things stopping you, you’re in luck.

It takes no equipment to get a great workout and get in shape, and with one or two pieces of simple equipment, you can turn that great workout into a fantastic one, you magnificent beast, you.
And with little or no equipment required for a fantastic workout, you can do it at home, or wherever you are. Even if you’re in solitary confinement – one lesson we can learn from prisoners.

It’s hard not to find time for this type of workout — you can do it while watching TV, for goodness sake!

Using just your bodyweight, you can do a large number of challenging exercises. I suggest starting with bodyweight exercises along with some cardio (i.e. walking, jogging, swimming, etc) and then slowly transitioning to a combination of bodyweight and weight training to get a good balance.

And even if you’re doing a complete weight training program, you can always use bodyweight exercises anytime you can’t make it to the gym.

I’m curious to hear your excuse(s) – why you’re still falling asleep in front the TV when you could be doing something active. Let’s hear ‘em in the comments.

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woman flat stomach

Forever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to lose weight and stay in shape. Over the years of workout and trying different exercises I’ve to come learn that loosing weight is only one factor – lean muscle mass, body fat percentage, hip to waist ratio, etc are all just as important.

After I got into shape, I wanted to get six –pack abs to look like one of those male models we see on magazines and on TV. That’s also was a dumb goal, and I will tell you why it’s dumb. Most people are not genetically programmed to have those kinds of abs. Secondly, even the supermodels and male models that have six-pack don’t have them all the time. Usually they have a little fat, and then burn it off in the weeks before a photo shoot.

My only goal now is to have a flat stomach – I’ve given up on having a six pack. It really should be all about getting it down to an acceptable body fat percentage, but I don’t have an easy of measuring that. A flat stomach can be measured in the mirror or by my fiancée. I don’t need to have defined abs, but just to lose some of my stomach fat and keeping it flat. To me, that will look good, and feel good.

Over the years I’ve learn what works best for me, and I’ve also done my research – here’s the three steps to a flat stomach and a healthier you.

Cardio, cardio, cardio. Doing all the abs exercises in the world will do nothing if you have a layer of fat covering it. To many times I’ve seen people go to the gym to lose stomach flat, and beginning doing all different types of ads exercises – then after six months they’re wondering why their is no improvement. Doing strength training, or lifting weights, would help, but not as much as aerobic exercise. So my plan is to continue my running, and add in playing basketball and swimming. I plan to do at least 35 minutes of cardio 6 days a week. On some days I’ll do more — 50 minutes, an hour, even more on long days. Until I build up my endurance, like I did with running, I’ll start up slow playing basketball and also the amount of time I spend swimming.

A quick note: interval training is also great, and I will add that in after my endurance is better. If you want to add some ab exercises in after the cardio, that’s great, but be sure to work your whole torso, not just the upper abs — that includes the lower abs, lower back and the muscles that wrap around your sides.

Less Fat and Sugar. It’s that simple. Here in the Caribbean there is everything that anyone will ever need to maintain a healthy diet, but most people resort to a diet that is typically filled with fat and sugar, and you’ll never get a flat stomach on that recipe. Cut out meat, if you can, and even better, cut out dairy and eggs. But if you can’t, at least eat lean meats (low-fat turkey, skinless chicken breast, lean beef, fish), and stay away from fried food and too many sugary desserts. I’m not saying that you have to starve yourself — if you’re eating healthy, you can actually eat a lot — or deprive yourself too much, but only eat the bad stuff in moderation. I’m not a Vegetarian, but Vegan diet is the best, especially if it’s balanced, rich in vegetable protein and calcium and minerals, full of fresh fruits and veggies, and high in fiber.

Give it Some Time. If you’re one of those persons who want to have a flat stomach in 3 weeks, or two months, forget it. Losing fat takes time, and it’s unhealthy to lose too much weight too fast. Aim for 1-2 lbs. a week. Gradual weight loss is healthier, and more likely to be sustained over time. Go for a lifestyle change, something you can live with for the rest of your life. Working toward having a flat stomach, is kind a like a marathon, not a sprint.

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