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Exercise Fitness Tips

About four years ago, I was so fed up with the weight I had gained and the gradual but obvious loss of my youthful health, that I decided I had to do something about it.

I looked at many different programs and plans and decided that I would try a low carb, high protein diet. I also decided that I would find an exercise fitness program that fit my schedule and that I could find the time to do. I didn’t want big muscles and all that, I just wanted to burn the fat and look and feel better!

I made a decision to go with the Atkins diet for my diet plan approach and to try Tom Venuto’s “Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle” for my EXERCISE FITNESS PLAN.

My key approach to all of this was to be realistic and keep it simple. I set a goal to lose 44 pounds. I weighed 204 pounds at the time and my goal was to get to 160 pounds. I also wanted to firm up my sagging body parts and my primary drive and motivation was to LOOK and FEEL better.

I also decided that I would follow these programs’ recommendations to the letter and be as disciplined as I could to achieve the results I wanted. It was not easy but like I said, my thought was to keep my approach simple and attainable. I decided I would give myself one year to achieve my goals.

To my great astonishment, as I got involved with the Atkins low carb diet, and the Burn The Fat exercise fitness program, the weight began to melt away! I stuck with the recommended “induction” phase of the Atkins diet twice as long as recommended, (four weeks instead of two) and I lost 16 pounds my first month! At the same time, I began to tone up my sagging muscles and dropped two pant sizes!

Inspired on by my progress, I became more determined than ever to keep going. I developed a plan to allow myself one “free day” a week to eat whatever I desired and then tested my weight to see if it would work and if I was still losing weight.
I was!

The end result was, I lost 44 pounds and achieved my goals in four months rather than a year, and I have managed, with proper exercise fitness and low carb dieting to keep it off! Essentially now what I do to stay in “maintenance” is I eat meat, fruit and vegetables (all I want), and I continue to have one “free day” every week.

I think the key to my success is allowing my own body to develop my metabolism to deal with my exercise fitness and low carb diet lifestyle.

I stay away from soft drinks, sugars, high starch foods and breads. On my one free day per week, I eat whatever I want. This continues to work for me.

I wrote this post to encourage you to develop your own exercise fitness and diet program if you haven’t already. You WILL LOOK BETTER, FEEL BETTER and be in BETTER HEALTH. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose! Regardless of age or health conditions, you can do it! I am 53 years old and was 44 pounds heavier than I am now.

I am in the best shape of my life and I feel great! You can do it to!
S

tart today and make a change because you are worth it.

Core Training Benefits

# Helps to prevent injuries. A strong, stable core can help to prevent injuries because with stronger muscles supporting the spine, pelvis, and shoulder joints it can better handle the forces of rotation and compression that lead to back and joint injuries.

The body’s joints are like links in a chain and are surrounded and supported by muscles and tendons. If any of these supporting structures are weak others are called upon to compensate for this weakness. Because they were not designed for this purpose they can become injured over time by the repetitive wear and tear.

For example, if I was hitting a golf ball and my low back was weak and inflexible I would probably overcompensate by muscling through the shot with my shoulders. Because the shoulder joint is not designed for such a forceful swing, over time I may injure the muscles, tendons, and /or ligaments supporting the shoulder joint.

# Helps to improve bowel function and reduces incontinence. Once again the pelvic floor muscles are part of the core. These muscles help to eliminate waste products from our bodies through contractions. If these muscles are weak or deconditioned they cannot contract properly which may lead to incontinence or improper bowel functioning.

# Reduces risk for low-back pain and injury. Core exercises are designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support and protect the spine.

Most low back pain is caused by bad posture, excessive body weight, physical inactivity, and faulty body mechanics. All the gravitational forces from sitting, walking, running impact the low-back area and if it is not supported properly the spine will suffer.

# Improves posture making the stomach look flatter. The protruding “pooch” people seem to obtain around middle age is usually caused by weak abdominal muscles, specifically the transverse abdominal muscles that are located deeply in the lower abdomen. The weakness in these abdominal muscles also contributes to the “slouched” posture and “hunchback” look.

 

Pilates Exercises Benefits

1. Makes You into Muscle Man

If want a long, lean look without bulky muscles, but with all the strength. Would you like to build strength and endurance without getting the muscle man look? If so, pilates may be just what you have been searching for.
There’s a reason that pilates is the exercise of choice for gymnasts and professional dancers. Most conventional workouts tend to create bulky muscle. Why is this? In most workouts, the emphasis is placed on repetition and building strong muscles.

This causes already-strong (think: big) muscles to get even strong, and thus bigger. Pilates does not rely on frequent repetition, and thus no overgrown muscles. Pilates focuses on the whole body, not just on sections of muscles.

2. Increases the Strength of Stabilizer Muscles

There are many benefits that one can achieve through a proper use of the pilates program. One of the most significant points of the pilates program is it’s ability to increase the strength of stabilizer muscles that may not commonly be worked out in a standard exercise program.

Also, since pilates stresses the use of graceful and fluid movements, it can be a great way to get a better sense of the kinesthetics of your body. The sense of body that you can achieve through pilates is quite significant, and many find that they are better able to balance themselves regardless of the position that they are in.

3. A Mind-Body Workout That Strengthens Your Whole Body

Another one of the benefits of Pilates is that it engages the mind and enhances body awareness. Like yoga, tai chi, and Asian martial arts, Pilates is not just a workout for your body. Joseph H. Pilates studied yoga, martial arts, and other ancient mind-body activities and included a strong philosophical foundation into the practice of Pilates.

Pilates not only helps tone your body, but your mind and spirit as well. The smooth, precise and flowing movements of Pilates are designed to make you more mindful of your body.

Breath movement is also emphasized to put you in touch with how breath moves through your body. Pilates has been demonstrated to reduce stress, anxiety, and helps lift depression. The mind-body connection is fundamental to the study and practice of pilates.

4. Pilates Strengthens Your Core like No Other Exercise

Another one of the benefits of Pilates is that the increased amount of strength that one can achieve in the ‘core’ of the body. The term core refers to the muscles in and around the area of the abdominal muscles and the back.
Proper breathing control is also stressed in pilates, adding to the numerous list of benefits that one can attain through regular use of the exercise program.

5. Prevents You from Future Injuries

Pilates strengthens your body and helps prevent future injuries. Pilates helps to condition the whole body, not just certain muscles. This helps balance the muscle and strength of the body. Since no set of muscles is ever over or under trained, there is less risk for injury. The body becomes more fluid and supple, protecting against injury.

6. Helps You Become Efficient With Your Body

Last, but not the least one of the benefits of Pilates is that it teaches you how to become efficient with your body. Very few exercises can help your body become more efficient in its movement.
Why is efficiency so important? Being efficient means that your body moves in a way, that is smoother, safer, and less prone to injury. By practicing pilates on a regular basis, you can train your body more to move in a much safer and more efficient manner.

Good Or Bad Stretch

Just as there are no good or bad exercises, there are no good or bad stretches; only what is appropriate for the specific requirements of the individual. So a stretch that is perfectly okay for me, may not be okay for you or someone else.

Let me give you an example. You wouldn’t ask someone with a shoulder injury to do push-ups or freestyle swimming, but that doesn’t mean that these are bad exercises. Now, consider the same scenario from a stretching point of view. You wouldn’t ask that same person to do shoulder stretches, would you? But that doesn’t mean that all shoulder stretches are bad.

You see, the stretch itself isn’t good or bad, it’s the way it’s performed and who it’s performed on that makes it effective and safe, or ineffective and harmful. To place a particular stretch into a category of “Good” or “Bad” is foolish and dangerous. To label a stretch as “Good” gives people the impression that they can do that stretch whenever and however they want and it won’t cause them any problems.

The specific requirements of the individual are what’s important!

Remember, stretches are neither good nor bad. Just like a motor vehicle, it’s what you do with it that makes it good or bad. However, when choosing a stretch there are a number of precautions and “checks” you need to perform before giving that stretch the okay.

1. Make a general review of the individual.
Are they healthy and physically active, or have they been leading a sedentary lifestyle for the past 5 years? Are they a professional athlete? Are they recovering from a serious injury? Do they have aches, pains or muscle and joint stiffness in any area of their body?

2. Make a specific review of the area, or muscle group to be stretched.
Are the muscles healthy? Is there any damage to the joints, ligaments, tendons, etc.? Has the area been injured recently, or is it still recovering from an injury?

If the muscle group being stretched isn’t 100% healthy avoid stretching this area altogether. Work on recovery and rehabilitation before moving onto specific stretching exercises. If however, the individual is healthy and the area to be stretched is free from injury, then apply the following to all stretches.

– Warm up prior to stretching.

Warming up prior to stretching does a number of beneficial things, but primarily its purpose is to prepare the body and mind for more strenuous activity. One of the ways it achieves this is by helping to increase the body’s core temperature while also increasing the body’s muscle temperature. By increasing muscle temperature you are helping to make the muscles loose, supple and pliable. This is essential to ensure the maximum benefit is gained from your stretching.

– Stretch gently and slowly. (Avoid bouncing)

Stretching slowly and gently helps to relax your muscles, which in turn makes stretching more pleasurable and beneficial. This will also help to avoid muscle tears and strains that can be caused by rapid, jerky movements.

– Stretch ONLY to the point of tension.

Stretching is NOT an activity that was meant to be painful; it should be pleasurable, relaxing and very beneficial. Although many people believe that to get the most from their stretching they need to be in constant pain. This is one of the greatest mistakes you can make when stretching.

– Breathe slowly and easily while stretching.

Many people unconsciously hold their breath while stretching. This causes tension in your muscles, which in turn makes it very difficult to stretch. To avoid this, remember to breathe slowly and deeply during your stretching. This helps to relax your muscles, promotes blood flow and increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles.

An example

Let’s take a look at one of the most controversial stretches ever performed and see how the above would be applied.

The stretch to the right causes many a person to go into complete melt-down. It has a reputation as a dangerous, bad stretch and should be avoided at all costs. Even just thinking about this stretch may cause injury.

So why is it that at every Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and World Championships you see sprinters doing this stretch before their events? Let’s apply the above checks to find out.

Firstly, consider the person performing the stretch. Are they healthy, fit and physically active? If not, this isn’t a stretch they should be doing. Are they elderly, over weight and unfit? Are they young and still growing? Do they lead a sedentary lifestyle? If so, they should avoid this stretch!

This first consideration alone would prohibit 50% of the population from doing this stretch.

Secondly, review the area to be stretched. This stretch obviously puts a large strain on the muscles of the hamstrings and lower back. So if your hamstrings or lower back aren’t 100% healthy, don’t do this stretch.

This second consideration would probably rule out another 25%, which means this stretch is only suitable for about 25% of the population. Or, the well trained, physically fit, injury free athlete.

Then apply the four precautions above and the well trained, physically fit, injury free athlete can perform this stretch safely and effectively.

 

Look More Younger with These Exercises

all muscles and all organs grow in size, strength and elasticity if properly exercised. And they will surely lose those properties if this is neglected. In short, the secret of being and keeping young and having the body elasticity of youth is through regular muscular exercises. Strict attention must, of course, be paid to cleanliness, both internal and external. Also the food must be properly prepared for digestion by chewing it thoroughly before it is swallowed. But if exercise is not a part of your system of health, success is doubtful.

Man’s physical condition depends to a large extent on the condition of his arterial system – from the largest artery to the smallest capillary. It is important to keep the arterial system free from clogging. It is because the muscles and organs will not be properly supplied with blood or material for repairs to prevent the deterioration of the muscles and organs that causes old age. Any man or woman with an unhealthy and inelastic body is practically old even though his or her age is not.

Neglecting exercise means allowing the ashes to clog up your system, which would cause your health to fail. Just like a machine left to rust, you will not be able to function like you used to, and before you know it, you will show signs of old age.

Systematic, persistent and general muscular activity will expel that rust or clogging debris, and then you will commence to “limber up.” And if the various simple health methods I advise are faithfully practiced, you may again become “just as good as new.” No, not altogether. I must admit, that it is not possible to make a very young body – by this or any other health system – out of a very old one, but the improvement will soon be so considerable as to be a source of great satisfaction to you.

You will live a longer life than if you do not exercise. The rusty, clogged-up state is a tell-tale sign of old age. You will find truth in this theory of keeping young, unless you are a believer of other methods such as the use of drugs, which I don’t strongly subscribe to.

One factor that keeps people from exercising is that they do not have time. In the busy world of today, this is true. But then, you must also know that your health is far more important than your business. You’ll realize this profoundly when your health starts to deteriorate in your latter years. With the exercise system I devised, time is not a problem. In my case, I do the exercises at my most idle time. I habitually wake up at about 5:30 A.M. Before rising up, I would do the movements, one after the other for half an hour or more until I have performed them all.

 

Stronger Your Core Muscles with These Props

Dumbbells

You all know dumbbells from pumping up those biceps and building that chest. Dumbbells can be a great prop for core training.

You can use them to intensify simple exercises like pushups. For example, instead of doing basic military push ups with your hands flat on the floor; use dumbbells as your hand support. After one rep, lift one side of your body extending the dumbbell up to the ceiling while trying to balance yourself. Come down to do another rep. Then come up on the other side. Another tremendous way to use dumbbells is to complement it with a Swiss ball. Instead of doing a flat bench dumbbell press, use the Swiss ball. This will create instability which will activate the hidden core muscles.

The Swiss Ball

The Swiss ball is a fun and challenging prop. It is made of elastic rubber with a diameter of 55 to 85 cm (22 to 34 inches). Once you are able to develop a level of comfort using this unstable surface, your self confidence will shoot through the roof.

Most often, you will see people in the gym use this ball to do abdominal crunches. One simple exercise to get started on the Swiss ball is the Russian Twist. Lie on the ball, with shoulder blades on the ball and your hips pushed up high off the ground. Place your hands together. Keep your hips up and turn your shoulders to the right so that they are perpendicular to the ground. Twist back to the starting position and then twist to the other side.

Medicine Ball

A Medicine ball is roughly the size of a volleyball. It is much smaller and heavier than the Swiss ball. Medicine balls are normally sold as 8lb, 10lb and 12 lb balls. They are used effectively in core training to increase explosive power for sports such as basketball and boxing.

Medicine balls are beneficial because of their concentrated weight. The ball can be used in a variety of swing exercises where the trunk remains stable and the arms move from side to side. Also, you can use the medicine ball to increase the intensity of your push ups. Simply place a smaller ball under one of your hands to create uneven push ups. Do 10 reps and place the ball under your other hand. This uneven motion forces the core to balance your body.

Pilates Mat

The mat can be used extensively for flexibility and core strength. A variety of exercises can be performed lying on your back, side or front. Some of the exercises can done seated on all fours. The mat exercises target the deep abdominal and spine muscles in order to provide core strength.

A few exercises that will get you started right away include flutter kicks. Lie on your mat with both knees bent and flat. Place your hands at sides. Brace your abdominals continuously to stabilize your trunk. Your lower back should be neutral. Now straighten both legs so that they are perpendicular to the floor. Slowly lower one leg to about 45-90 degrees. Return to start position and repeat with other leg.

A second mat exercise for you core involves lying flat your back with your hands at your sides. Now, point your legs up to the ceiling so that your body forms a 90 degree angle. Keeping both ankles together, move your legs in a circular motion while keeping your trunk stable. Try this motion for 10 seconds and then reverse it in the other direction.

Resistance Bands

Like the other props, resistance bands are inexpensive and flexible. You will be surprised at how intense this simple looking workout can be. Unlike other traditional strength training routines, using these bands will engage your core automatically.

I often use my bands as a warm up to stretch before performing other core exercises. Stretching is fundamental to proper fitness regardless of your training method. Use the bands to increase your flexibility before performing exercises on the mat or Swiss ball.

Jump Rope

We all know jump rope as kids and trying to get our rhythm. However, this prop when used creatively can have a huge impact on our core muscles. The amazing thing about jump rope is that you could structure your whole workout around it. By using different weighted ropes combined with various time intervals and speed, jump rope can be the most efficient work out available.

Have fun while jumping rope. This exercise calls for your creative side. Be sure to change tempos, move from side to side and change legs. The more you change your routine, the better your core muscles will react to development.

Bosu Ball

The Bosu ball is a great prop for creating instability for beginners. It is not as challenging as a Swiss ball but still creates a great platform for core training. It’s like a big round ball cut in half. It is a ball on top with a stable flat bottom. If you are unsure what it looks like, ask a trainer next time you are at the gym.

Try this one to get yourself started. Lie down over the bosu so that it is on your belly. Begin the superman movement. That is, lift one arm and the opposite leg. Then reverse. For example, as you lay down, lift your left arm and right leg and try to stabilize. This is a great way to strengthen your lower back and add core stability.

 

Fat Burning Exercise Tips

It’s a sure sign of poor fitness when you start seeing yourself get love handles. Not only is that bad for your health, it’s rather unattractive and embarrassing to have fat bulging from the sides. They may be called love handles, but we can hardly say that we love having them. In fact, what we would dearly love is to get rid of them and have a lean and healthy figure. If that’s your goal, then your fitness program should definitely be oriented towards fat-burning exercise.

What does that mean, exactly? Well, first of all purge your mind of those images of musclebound juggernauts pumping iron. Weight training is great for fitness, of course, but it is more effective for such goals as muscle increase and body shaping. But if your focus is on weight loss, then you should put more of your time and energy into fat-burning exercises, those that involve a good cardiovascular workout.

The good thing to note is that there is a great variety in cardio fitness exercises. To run down the list, we can mention aerobics, biking, swimming, running, squash, and badminton. We can go on, but you must get the idea. You can also get the right training by using an elliptical machine, a fitness treadmill, or a stationary bike. With all the options available to you, there is sure to be one form of training that you will like. It doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as it becomes a regular part of your life’s routine.

If you can afford it, I suggest you hire yourself a personal fitness trainer. Self-motivation will always be important, but it is even better if you have someone who can personally oversee your training and offer you encouragement when you need it. Another advantage of getting a personal trainer is having someone who can design a fitness program to fit your lifestyle. You are sure to burn fat off more quickly, and the cost to you would certainly be worth the result of gaining a more attractive figure and a longer and healthier life.

 

How to Succeed Your Exercise Resolution

1. Recognize and appreciate the magnitude of what you are doing – you are changing your lifestyle. This isn’t going to happen overnight, and should not be taken lightly. At the same time, it is very achievable. If you reflect over your life, you have faced other challenges that seemed too large to handle. From school graduations and relationships to walking away from jobs and getting a new one, you have succeeded, changing your life along the way. None of those things happened in one day. They took time and commitment. This is no different. What you’re doing will change your life. This is big!

2. Record Your Current Lifestyle – There’s a reason why many people don’t exercise regularly. Getting fit is hard work. However, it’s worth it, so take your time. Take the first few days to take stock of where you are right now. Look at yourself in a mirror; weigh yourself; take measurements; and buy an outfit you’d like to wear one day. All these items and information will become valuable when you’re sore, sweaty, tired and seeking excuses to postpone your fitness routine. Fitness is ultimately a personal decision, so remember why YOU decided to get fit. This will keep you focused.

3. Set multiple, short term goals – The biggest error most people make when beginning a new exercise routine is thinking that it will be easy. It will not be easy. That’s why you should set many short term goals. For example, if you’re trying to stretch in an aerobics class, and others are stretching further than you, don’t try to match them. You will have more than enough competition taking on your own body – don’t take on the entire gym. Stretch as far as you can go this time, and go further the next time. Now, you’ve set two goals: Stretch farther and try again. Exercising has to be done one repetition, one stretch, one routine at a time. That daily effort will equal success.

4. Take good advice – When you begin, everyone will have great advice for you, from types of equipment to use to best time of the day to work out. Ultimately, you will need to find your own rhythm and pace, and learn to push yourself when you’re slowing down. A trainer or pre-scripted routine can help keep you on pace. Sometimes, a partner with similar goals can also help push you towards your goals. Make sure to also consult a physician prior to beginning your fitness routine.

5. Mind your body – A fitness lifestyle change isn’t just about lifting weights and running. Like a car, your body needs the fuel to operate at its best. Maintaining a diet of balanced nutritional foods will not only assist you in your fitness routines, but it will also give you additional energy to heal from your workouts. And, you should get plenty of rest. Nothing will reinvigorate your body like a good night’s sleep.

6. Move when you can – Getting fit requires a total commitment, one that you are capable of making. There are oftentimes hidden opportunities to move, so learn to spot them and take advantage. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator; use a bathroom on the other side of your building, or on another floor; visit a mall and enter on the side opposite the stores you wish to visit; if you drive, park (safely) but farther away from intended destinations. There’s even a series of free online daily exercise routines you can complete while sitting at your desk. If you have a moment and it is both safe and will not bother other people, take that opportunity to move for your health and well being.

 

Sport and Exercise

The first thought that comes to many peoples mind is jogging. It does not require any expensive equipment, just trainers and any old clothes to suit the weather and can be carried out at any convenient time of the day or even night.

OK that’s fine for those who prefer their own company but if you suffer from loneliness or just don’t want to be alone when pounding the highways and byways of your neighborhood you will have to find a friend who shares your dedication to getting fit.

Incidentally there is a school of thought that considers jogging one of the worst activities for causing joint problems and associated pain.

Another option is to equip a home gym if you have the spare space.

Whether you buy just a few weights and maybe find a second hand simple treadmill or even if you can afford a comprehensive multi-gym machine it will still cost you.

As with all exercise regimes you will have to have the will power to continue with what can eventually become a boring routine, particularly so if budget and space consideration limit your choice of equipment.

Again great if you have company to help keep you going as listening to music on an I-pod or watching telly while you go through your routine can pall after a while. If you are a mother at least you haven’t the problem of finding a baby sitter.

If you are a sociable type join a gym.

You can keep your interest up by trying out the variety of machines that a well run gym should be equipped with, take advantage of the good advice on hand from the staff and probably find a new circle of friends with the same interests which should help you sustain your efforts.

Subscriptions vary but are usually affordable.

This is a great option unless the whole idea of exercise without seeing a tangible result after each session doesn’t appeal and the idea of running, lifting weights and other similar gym type exercises fills you with total boredom.

So lets look at Sport.

All sports have a definite objective and that is to win or lose at the end of a session.

I cannot think of a recognized sport in which women don’t take part, even the roughest and toughest such as Rugby Union and League, American Football. Wrestling and Boxing have ladies teams competing against each other. Male or female, there are very few bars to taking up any sport you fancy.

Anybody can take part in any sport; the question is whether to take up a team sport or an individual sport.

Both will have clubs and associations and with few exceptions will welcome new members irrespective of their ability and most have an emphasis on the social side of their activities so making new friends and acquaintances with common interests is an added bonus.

The competitive atmosphere generated in sports clubs can become infectious and is a spur to increasing physical fitness to better ones performance on the playing field, court or wherever the sport is taking place.

For those who cannot get on with fast ball games such as Tennis, Squash or Racquetball there are many other options open.

Fencing, with three disciplines (foil, epee and sabre) requires good reflexes and fast feet, Wrestling needs application to technique good balance and strength. Then there is Judo, various martial arts, archery, boxing and a large variety of athletic pursuits.

 

How to Core Training

1. Pilates exercises are well known to work the “core” or strengthen the abdominal muscles for a flatter stomach and a long, lean look.

Pilates works from the inside out strengthening the deeper transverse abdominal muscles, those that support and protect the spine and pelvis. In essence, those muscles assist with the contractions for our bowel and urinary functioning.

What most people don’t realize is that Pilates is a very rehabilitative form of exercise that simultaneously stretches the tight muscles while strengthening the weak ones. This way of exercising does, in effect, help to realign the spine, pelvis, and shoulder areas.

Pilates works to stabilize the core or torso while simultaneously mobilizing the joints to move the extremities of the arms and legs more efficiently and without stress and strain.

2. Exercise Ball for Instability. The Swiss Ball or Resistaball as it has become known is also a great way to train the core. Studies have shown that just 2 days per week on the ball has been shown to improve balance in older adults.

The exercise ball is a great core workout because of the instability of having to stabilize or center your gravity while moving on or with the ball. The core is constantly working to keep you from rolling off the top or sides of the ball while you are exercising.

 

Know the Good Time To Exercise For Diabetes People

First, low intensity cardio is not the best for fat loss. The fat burning zone is myth that does not take into account all the calories burned during and AFTER the exercise session and can actually cause you to lose muscle. If you want to lose fat, then you must preserve your muscles.

Second, research has shown that there is no difference in how much fat is burned during a moderate intensity cardio session with or without food. It does make a difference at lower intensities, but I already said that this is not ideal. At high intensity training, you need some food to maintain performance. So actually by eating a small amount you are allowing yourself to exercise harder and as a result increasing the amount of calories that you will burn hours after your exercise session.

Third, you risk increasing the level of your stress hormones and instead of breaking down fat, your body may break down muscle. Again lowering your metabolism and pushing you in the opposite direction of fat loss.

Exercising on an empty stomach can actually cause your blood sugar to increase if you have diabetes. This seems very strange since most of the time exercise helps to lower blood sugar levels. Exercising tells the liver to release its stored sugar or glycogen into the bloodstream but if there is not enough insulin in the bloodstream the muscles cannot absorb the sugar quickly enough.

People with diabetes must check their blood sugar before and after exercise to determine their response to exercise. If your blood sugar is very high (consult your health care provider for the suggested level) then exercise could make it even higher. This happens due to the stress hormones causing the release of sugar into the bloodstream, often because of limited insulin. If your blood sugar level is high test for ketones in your urine. If there are ketones then you should NOT exercise until your blood sugar is at a safer level.

Research is showing that you may be able to exercise safely with high blood glucose level as long as there are not ketones in the urine. Speak to your health care provider for specific recommendations. In this case, keep the exercise intensity low, because high intensity exercise can raise your blood sugar levels even further.

Now, I know I just said to avoid low intensity exercise for fat loss but under these conditions, preventing your blood sugar from going higher is more important for your health and the prevention of diabetic complications. All exercise helps your diabetes even if it doesn’t promote weight loss. I’d much rather you keep the habit of exercising than skip it because it isn’t the most efficient for fat loss. Remember you are exercising for both your health and fat loss. Your health has priority over fat loss.

Exercise can also cause low blood sugar. As the muscles are working they are absorbing sugar from the blood stream far easier than they do when they are not working. If your blood sugar is too low before you start exercising you must eat some carbohydrates beforehand. This is not ideal for fat loss, so timing your exercise session after you eat and avoiding the peak time of your insulin is best. Depending on the length and intensity of exercise your blood sugar can go low several hours after exercise, making exercise close to bedtime risky.

OK, so what is the final answer? You must find a time 1 – 3 hours after you eat but away from the peak action of insulin. The larger the meal, the more time you should wait. If you must exercise in the morning, eat something small before starting, such as low fat yogurt, a handful of nuts, something that has some carbs, some protein and some fat.