Yoga for beginners. Transformation of Body and Soul

Yoga as a way of life

Yoga is one of the most popular types of physical activity around the world. However, it should be remembered that yoga is not just a workout and a fashion statement, but a certain philosophy, a source of spirituality and a way of life. The main task of yoga is to improve the health of the soul and body, which go in parallel and in harmony.

It is great that now yoga practices are not perceived only as a thing for spiritually enlightened “strange” people. Yoga, as a set of physical exercises, has confidently entered the fitness industry. And many people liked it as an alternative to the gym, because strengthening the muscles with the help of yoga is gentle, but also effective.

But do not forget that initially, yoga is a whole spiritual teaching, a way of life. And what we meet in fitness gyms, this is only a small part of this direction.

When a person begins to adopt a yogic lifestyle, his worldview and daily habits change dramatically, but at the same time these changes occur very gently. When deciding to practice yoga as a lifestyle, you should understand that the changes will be complex and can completely change the usual course of things.

What is the philosophy of yoga?

Yoga first of all teaches you to live consciously, to see causes and effects, to show common sense in everything (to act according to your experience, teachings and experience of teachers),  it eliminates automatism.

The efficiency of life is determined by energy. We transfer this energy from life to life, which means that we are born with a certain reserve. You can spend it on thousands of actions and things, direct it to the implementation of projects or the satisfaction of worldly desires, or divert attention from all external things and direct energy to self-development, increasing its potential.

In addition to accumulating energy, it is important to learn how to control it and avoid unnecessary spending. In modern society, the entire infrastructure is set up to download as much vital energy from people as possible. To prevent this from happening, take responsibility for your life and start making an effort.

A day in yoga lifestyle

It is considered that:

From 4 to 10 is the time of the mode of goodness. At this time, there is an awakening, it is favorable for prayer, study of the scriptures, meditation, yoga.

From 10 am to 22 pm is the time of the influence of the mode of passion. At this time, there is an active activity.

From 22 to 4 am — the time of influence of the mode of ignorance. This is the time of sleep-immersion in self-forgetfulness.

Balancing activities with the rhythms of nature, a person harmoniously performs their tasks during the day. Failure to comply with the regime leads to stress, exhaustion and, as a result, illness.

People used to consider fatigue, drowsiness, apathy and depression the norm of life and came up with a variety of means to restore activity, from coffee and tea, sweets to pills and strong drugs. But is it worth the effort, when there is a natural and free way-compliance with the daily routine, familiar from a long time ago?

Why and how to start practicing yoga

Yoga practices are the choice for those who want to put both the body and the mind in order. Regardless of age and weight, exercises (asanas) improve physical fitness and give peace of mind, harmony, and bring the quality of life to a new level.

It is not difficult to start practicing yoga.

Most techniques allow you to start yoga with any level of physical fitness.

Many people recommend that you first study all types of yoga, and then, based on the information, make a conclusion that suits you.

I would recommend that those who are not familiar with yoga at all, start with any video you like on YouTube or go to any yoga class available at your fitness club. Why complicate it? Start with the simplest thing available.

Turn on the video lesson and repeat after the instructor right in your pajamas. And then look at the feelings, if you want to improve, then you will feel in which direction you want to do it.

You will understand exactly what you are interested in and want to work on, whether you need a special suit and mat or you are quite satisfied with classes without any equipment.

To be honest, when I first started studying yoga, I was afraid of all the strange names and varieties. I just wanted to start practicing, but I didn’t understand where to go and what I would have to do there.

Many people generally think that until they have a special yoga mat, it is simply impossible to start practicing. But it takes months, or even years, for some people to just buy this mat.

Types of yoga

If you have already tried to practice yoga on your own and realized that you are interested in it, then you can delve into the theory and understand what types of practices exist.

Ashtanga.

An energetic practice that will not let you relax. One session consists of several poses with a duration of five breathing cycles. Between them, a “greeting to the sun” is necessarily made.

Mysore.

The safest variety. The average duration is 3 hours, but you can come and go whenever you want, take breaks, maintain your own pace, and not the pace of the instructor. The demonstrated asanas can be repeated as long as required.

Vinyasa flow.

Only business, no unnecessary information about the muscle groups that work, the benefits, the effect, the designations of asanas. This is a complete immersion in the inner world, as well as a high intensity of exercises.

Bikras.

This species was created in the 70s of the last century. It consists of exactly 26 asanas that strengthen the muscles, develop stretching of the body, and perform compression of internal organs. In order to get rid of toxins, the air in the room is heated (sauna effect). Therefore, you will have to sweat well.

Kundalini.

The basis of this knowledge is to work with the spine, restore it, and support it. Traditional asanas are supplemented with breathing practices, meditation.

Hatha.

No meditations, mantras, breathing techniques, only physical activity through asanas.

Yin.

A great option for those people who lead a sedentary lifestyle or do not move much. Yin variety relieves tightness, stiffness in the muscles, increases flexibility, elasticity. The duration of one asana can be up to 10 minutes. Thanks to meditation, this type is often chosen by athletes before serious competitions, athletes.

Jivamukti.

Includes reading, listening to special musical compositions, doing vinyasa poses, singing. This direction is considered a separate philosophy, which allows you to get rid of excess.

All types are aimed at relaxation, getting rid of stress, gaining knowledge, skills for understanding your body. But some focus on stretching, others-on posture and back health, strength exercises.

It is necessary to first understand why to start practicing yoga, in order to choose a specific type, to fully focus on it.

All modern trends, one way or another, are based on the 4 oldest varieties of Indian practices:

    • Hatha yoga. The goals of the classes are achieved through special breathing exercises (pranayam) and performing asanas (static poses);
    • Raja Yoga (Janyana). The technique focuses on meditations and exercises for the mind;
    • Bhakti yoga. All actions are aimed at achieving enlightenment;
    • Karma yoga. Practice involves performing any exercises aimlessly and selflessly.

Conclusion

Yoga is the path of the soul and body. There is no right or wrong choice here. Here is your mental and physical comfort.

Do not rush to put yourself in a strict framework, start with a few actions, but follow them regularly, gradually they will become a useful habit.

Do not blame yourself if you could not observe the regularity, the main thing is not to stop, and the result will manifest itself. But do not be fooled by excuses that you are hindered by work or family, there are thousands of opportunities in the world, it is only necessary to go out of the usual framework.

A healthy lifestyle helps to cope with all things faster and better. Gradually, you realize that it is impossible to separate where the practice is and where it is not. Every event, every moment will be filled with meaning and opportunities for self-improvement.

Yoga teaches you to think, move, and breathe effectively. Yoga classes allow people to better understand the processes taking place in the world, to see personal goals more clearly, to develop willpower and sharpness of mind.

They give you the opportunity to look deep into yourself, to understand your needs, to learn self-diagnosis, to acquire inner happiness and positive emotions that you want to share with others.

Do you need to avoid alcohol if you want to build up your muscles

How muscles grow

In order for your muscles to grow, you need to exercise and consume enough protein. Heavy training will start the process of building muscle, and protein will serve as a building material. These factors do not depend on alcohol — you can easily go to the gym, eat protein foods and at the same time drink alcohol every night.

However, protein and exercise are only basic requirements.

Muscle building is also affected by:

    • the ability of amino acids, the building blocks of muscle, to penetrate cells;
    • the rate of protein creation and destruction in tissues;
    • the amount of hormones that help or hinder weight gain.

Alcohol affects all these factors, and below we will analyze how exactly.

How alcohol affects protein synthesis

Both high and low doses of alcohol inhibit the creation of protein in muscle cells — protein synthesis.

An hour after drinking alcohol, protein synthesis decreases by 23%, and after 24 hours-by 63%. Especially strongly alcohol inhibits this process in the muscle fibers of type II, which quickly increase in size. That is, it is in those tissues that all bodybuilders pray for.

However, most of the studies on the effects of alcohol on muscle were conducted on mice that were given huge doses of ethanol. A large amount of alcohol has a bad effect on people. Alcoholics who consume more than 100 g (2 liters of beer, 250 g of vodka) a day often suffer from myopathy – the destruction of muscle tissue. One to two-thirds of drinkers have muscle atrophy, which leads to frequent falls and difficulties even when walking.

As for moderate doses of alcohol, it is not known whether they affect protein synthesis in humans.

Conclusions

    • Ethanol reduces protein synthesis, but it needs to be constantly consumed in large doses.
    • Alcoholism can cause myopathy — the destruction of muscle tissue.
    • Small doses of alcohol in the future can slow down the formation of protein, but the effect is not proven.

How alcohol affects the level of hormones

Effect on testosterone

Testosterone is one of the most important hormones for maintaining good physical shape, building muscle and reducing fat.

Alcohol reduces the level of testosterone, but for significant changes, you need to drink alcohol often and in large quantities. If you drink one and a half to two bottles of beer every day for three weeks, testosterone in men will decrease by only 6.8%, and in women it will remain unchanged.

More large-scale drinking is reflected in the level of hormones much faster: after 16 hours after taking 120 g of ethanol (this is more than five cans of beer, 300 g of vodka or almost a whole bottle of wine), testosterone in men decreases by 23%.

Smaller doses of alcohol have almost no effect on hormones. A single drink of one and a half cans of beer or 150 g of vodka after training does not affect the level of testosterone, luteinizing hormone and corticotropin.

Another thing is really heavy training for strength or endurance and large doses of alcohol. 200-300 g of strong drink after such loads will significantly reduce recovery and weaken the muscles.

Effect on insulin

Insulin is simply necessary for building weight. This hormone triggers protein synthesis in ribosomes and prevents catabolism – the breakdown of protein. In addition, it helps glucose and amino acids to enter from the blood into the muscle tissue.

The higher the sensitivity of the cells to insulin, the better it supplies them with glucose for glycogen storage and amino acids for muscle building.

Moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. But to increase it, you need to drink alcohol in small quantities and periodically. A single intake of small doses of alcohol does not change the level of insulin.

Conclusions

    • Small doses of alcohol slightly reduce the level of testosterone.
    • Testosterone drops significantly only after heavy training and taking a large amount of alcohol.
    • Moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages increases the sensitivity to insulin.

How to drink, so as not to harm the figure

The only requirement is moderation. 30-40 g of ethanol per day does not harm the build-up of muscle mass and does not lead to the accumulation of fat. In terms of drinks, it will be 700-900 g of beer with a strength of 4.5%, 300-400 g of wine with a strength of 10%, 75-100 g of vodka.

Ethanol combined with exercise reduces lipid peroxidation, which causes oxidative stress and increases the risk of atherosclerosis. So, if you can not give up alcohol and worry about your heart — go in for sports.

Moderate alcohol consumption — no more than 30-40 g of ethanol per day-does not harm your physical fitness.

Keep drinking your glass of beer or wine after your workout if it relaxes you. But do not forget that alcohol should not replace you with full meals with a lot of protein. Without dietary protein, your results will be more than modest.

Read more: TESTOSTERONE: EVERYTHING ABOUT THE MAIN MALE HORMONE

How to gain muscles if you have a skinny complexion

Why it is difficult for you to gain muscle mass

Scientists have noticed that the ability to build muscle mass is different for everyone. So, some people in 12 weeks of training can gain 1.6 kg of muscle, and others in the same time will not add at all.

And it’s not just about eating habits and the amount of exercise. You’re just out of luck.

The role of muscle struction

    • You have fewer type II muscle fibers — those that work without oxygen, get tired quickly, and add a lot of volume.
    • Your muscles have fewer receptors that respond to testosterone-the hormone without which they will not grow.
    • You don’t have new ribosomes created so quickly. These are the organelles of the cell that take amino acids and, according to the instructions of the mRNA, make a protein out of them. The ribosome factory is located in the nucleolus of the cell, and your company is slightly behind in terms of production volumes.

But this does not mean that you will not be able to build muscle mass. The mechanism of muscle growth is the same in all people. You just have to spend more time and money on food and a sports pit than those who won the genetic lottery and go all so athletic.

How to train to gain muscle mass

When the muscles contract, their fibers experience mechanical stress, the receptors feel it, and a chain of molecular reactions is triggered, which ends with protein synthesis. He completes the muscles, increasing their volume.

Of course, the muscles contract in any work — for example, when you get up from a chair or run a marathon. But in the first case, the tension is too small for growth, and in the second, mainly type I muscle fibers are involved, which are reluctant to increase in volume. For noticeable muscle growth, you need to work fast type II fibers (which you already have a little). And to make them do it, you need to pull iron.

How many times a week to train

Post-workout protein production increases from 24 to 48 hours. If you re-load the muscle before the synthesis drops to its previous values, some of your effort will be lost.

So exercise two or three times a week and don’t do two days of training in a row.

By exercising more often, you will not only not get the benefits for muscle growth, but you can also overwork the central nervous system. This will reduce your performance, and therefore the incentives for muscle growth.

How many and what exercises to perform

At each workout, perform 4 to 8 strength exercises on different muscle groups. Be sure to include multi-joint movements, that is, those that involve several joints and muscle groups: squats, lunges, deadlift, bench lifts, and others. They train the whole body, improve coordination, allow you to work with large weights and give the right incentive for muscle growth.

However, it is not necessary to build a training session only on such activity. So you risk to tire the central nervous system and reduce the indicators. Dilute the mentioned exercises with single-jointed ones: flexing the arms on the biceps, extending the arms on the triceps, bringing the arms together in the “butterfly” simulator (chest), and others.

In addition, at each training session, perform one exercise to strengthen the abs and back extensors. These muscles help you keep your balance and perform all the movements without harming your spine.

How many sets and reps to do

Perform the exercises in 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps. Choose the weight so that the last repetitions in the approach are given with difficulty. The final approach can be performed before the muscles fail: when you can no longer do a single time.

Check-list

    • Exercise 2-3 times a week.
    • Perform 4-8 strength exercises on different muscle groups.
    • Include both multi-joint and single-joint movements in one workout.
    • Do 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps.
    • Choose the weight so that the last repetitions in the approach are given with difficulty. Do the last approach until the muscles fail.

How to eat to gain weight

To gain weight in general, you need to eat more, and to grow exactly the muscles — to monitor the amount of protein.

How many calories to consume

First, calculate your daily calorie intake using the Mifflin-Geor formula:

For men: (5 + (10 × weight [kg]) + (6.25 × height [cm]) − (5 × age [years])) × 1.55 (adjusted for training 3 times a week).

For women: ((10 × weight [kg]) + (6.25 × height [cm]) − (5 × age [years]) – 161) × 1.55 (adjusted for training 3 times a week).

Increase your calorie intake by 15%. This is how much you will need to consume every day.

That an increase of 15% will not necessarily help you gain weight. It all depends on your metabolism. Eat this way from two weeks to a month and, if there is no progress, increase the calorie content by another 15% (from the original norm). During the first month, you will get used to eating more, so it will not be so difficult to add the next portion of calories.

How many calories should come from protein, fat, and carbohydrates

To gain muscle mass, you need everything. The protein will be used as a building material and a signal for muscle growth.
Carbohydrates will help to produce the hormone insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1, without which the muscles will not grow. And they will also give you the strength to train. Fats are needed for the production of hormones, including testosterone.

Your daily diet should consist of 25% protein, 20% fat, and 55% carbohydrates. In this case, the protein should not exceed 2 g per kilogram of body weight. If you get more protein as a result of the calculations, add the remaining calories in the form of carbohydrates.

Let’s say your daily calorie intake is 2,500 kcal (a 30-year-old man weighing 70 kg). You add up 15% (2 500 × 0,15 + 2 500 = 2 875 kcal). To calculate, you need to remember that 1 g of protein or carbohydrates contains 4.1 kcal, and 1 g of fat-9 kcal.

Thus, a man from the example should eat 140 g of protein (70 kg × 2) per day. At the same time, 25% of its daily caloric content will be 718 kcal. In order not to exceed the protein norm, we calculate this way: 718-574 kcal (140 g x 4.1 kcal = 574 kcal) = 144 kcal. Add this amount to the carbohydrates. Now we consider the norm of fat and carbohydrates: 64 g of fat (2,875 kcal x 0.2 = 575 kcal-9 kcal in 1 gram of fat) and 420 g of carbohydrates (2,875 kcal x 0.55 = 1,581 kcal + 144 kcal, remaining from protein-4.1 kcal).

How many times a day to eat and when to do it

Divide your daily meals into an equal amount — for example, six meals. Each of them should contain at least 0.25 g of protein per 1 kg of body weight.

It is not necessary to consume a dose of protein immediately after training. You can do this for 1.5-2 hours before it, calmly work out for 1-2 hours, drive home and eat again. In this case, the anabolic response will be no less than when taking supplements directly in the gym.

Check-list

    • Calculate your calorie allowance and add 15% to it. Eat like this for 2-4 weeks. If there is no progress, add another 15%.
    • Determine the calories you need to get from macronutrients: 25% protein, 20% fat, 55% carbohydrates.
    • Count the grams of macronutrients (1 g of protein or carbohydrates — 4.1 kcal, 1 g of fat-9 kcal).
    • Protein should not exceed 2 g per kilogram of body weight. If you get more, add the rest of the calories to the carbs.
    • Divide all the grams by the number of meals. Each time, eat at least 0.25 g of protein per 1 kg of body weight.

Read more:6 THINGS THAT KILL YOUR MUSCLES

Why it is so important to develop body flexibility and how to do that

What is flexibility?

Flexibility, that is, the ability to perform movements with a high amplitude, is needed not only in gymnastics, ballet or martial arts-this quality will be useful to you both in fitness classes and in everyday life.

If someone claims that he is flexible, then, most likely, he means that he can reach his hands to the feet in the crease while standing or sit in a deep squat. But flexibility is not just the ability to do some kind of exercise from the stretching complex. Experts from the US Department of Health define flexibility as a health-related component of physical development that is responsible for the range of motion in the joints.

Joints flexibility

Every joint and every muscle group in your body can have a different degree of flexibility. In some parts of your body, you may feel tight, your muscles may be short, and your range of motion may be small. At the same time, other muscle groups can stretch easily. You can have flexible back surfaces of the thighs, which will allow you to easily reach the toes with your fingers, and at the same time the quadriceps are shackled, which means that you will not be able to press the heel to the buttock in a standing position.

Inflexible hips are a frequent consequence of office work, the fact that you sit at the computer all day. To minimize the harm, try to get up and move for 5-7 minutes every hour, perform short sets of exercises.

5 advantages of a flexible body

Those who consciously work to improve the flexibility of the body receive a number of benefits, including:

Reducing the risk of injury.

The flexible body is able to withstand a large load. In addition, stretching helps to get rid of muscle imbalances, which reduces the likelihood of injury during physical activity.

Getting rid of the pain.

Stretching relaxes and lengthens the muscles, which leads to a reduction in tension and pain.

Improve your posture and sense of balance.

When you correct a muscle imbalance, the body aligns, and along with this, your posture and ability to stand or sit straight improves. By increasing the range of motion, it will be much easier for you to perform different exercises.

Improve your athletic performance.

A larger range of motion will allow you to perform better exercises, your muscles will work more efficiently.

Positive attitude.

Regular performance of stretching exercises helps to relax the muscles, which affects the well-being and mood.

Stretching exercises

You can improve your flexibility with stretching exercises. It is not necessary to perform them from morning to evening until you sit down on the splits. It is enough to attend stretching classes two or three times a week or do stretching at home using online programs or YouTube videos.

Stretching exercises usually begin with a gentle warm-up. This is followed by a set of exercises for stretching the legs, back, abs, and neck.

How to improve flexibility: 3 tips

1. Add a few minutes of stretching to your regular workout

It is not necessary to enroll in stretching classes to train flexibility. You can simply add a few stretching exercises to your daily workouts — a little dynamic stretching to warm up the muscles at the beginning of the session and static stretching to relax at the end.

2. Do a short stretch every morning

This workout will replace your exercise, give you cheerfulness and, with regular exercise, make your body flexible.
Morning workout: 5 exercises that will energize you.

3. Do different types of fitness

Many strength exercises also develop flexibility. For example, during the execution of lunges, the quadriceps of one leg is strained and the hip of the other is stretched. Performing various strokes in swimming develops the flexibility of the upper body.

What is the result

Adding flexibility exercises to your fitness routine will be useful for everyone. They will make your program more balanced, help you cope with stress, improve your well-being, and have a positive effect on your posture.

Read more: WINTER SKIN CARE: MOST USEFUL TIPS FOR MEN

How to run properly and develop breathing

The science of breathing

You can easily run faster and longer, and you don’t need to bother yourself with additional training. What’s the big deal? In your breath.

First, inhale both through your nose and mouth — this way you will get more oxygen. But the most important thing is to breathe with your stomach. Lie on your back and inflate and deflate your stomach. Continue this exercise for 15 minutes, it will teach you to tamp the air deep into the lungs.

We don’t usually think about how we breathe. Well, why, if everything happens automatically? You take a breath, oxygen is absorbed into the blood, hemoglobin carries it to the working muscles, they produce energy. This process also has a waste — carbon dioxide, it is transferred back to the lungs, and then we exhale. Everything seems to be simple.

But imagine that you are running up a hill. The load on the legs increases, the muscles need more oxygen. The chest heaves more often. You get less oxygen, and carbon dioxide accumulates all the time, not having time to leave the body. The chest muscles get tired, and they also need more energy. They are more important for maintaining life, and therefore your wise body automatically sends oxygen-rich blood to them.

Breath with your diaphragm

“The body has to decide whether to direct the blood to the leg muscles so that you can run at the same pace, or to transfer it to the chest so that you can breathe? In the end, the respiratory muscles always win, ” says USA Track’s deputy director of Sports Science and Medicine & Field Robert Chapman.

“Most often, we rely entirely on the chest muscles when breathing. And in the end, we fill only 50-60% of the volume of the lungs, ” says Alison McDonnell, author of the book “Breathe Deeper to achieve better results.” “The chest should be on the hook, and the diaphragm will do the main work,” Coates echoes him (you remember that the diaphragm is the muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities. To mobilize it means to “breathe with your stomach”). Full contractions of the diaphragm during breathing allow you to inhale the maximum amount of oxygen and exhale more carbon dioxide: fatigue does not occur so quickly. And the more trained this muscle is, the less oxygen it consumes for its actual work. “That means more goes to the muscles of the legs,” says Chapman.

But this is only the first step in the system, the second is to connect the breath with the step.

Run faster today

Improve your training and set records with the help of rhythmic breathing.

1. Start inhaling when you touch the ground with your right foot. And continue to draw the air deep into your lungs for two more steps (it will turn out like this: step right, left, right again). Draw the air calmly, for a long time.

2. Exhale the next two steps (left, right) with a little more effort than on the inhale. But not so fast that it takes your breath away. Repeat to yourself the count: “Inhale-two-three, exhale-two.”

3. Repeat, but this time start inhaling with your left foot touching the ground. This change of legs will just distribute the load on different sides of the body, so you will reduce the risk of injury.

Learn to run again

It just seems that running is a safe sport. But every time your foot touches the ground, a weight more than twice your weight falls on your joints. And this effect is enhanced when you exhale. When you exhale, the diaphragm and the muscles around it relax. Your core doesn’t absorb the impact as effectively, and it seriously increases your chances of getting hurt.

Further — more. Most runners don’t hesitate to inhale every two steps and exhale every two steps. That means they start each exhalation on the same leg. Have you noticed that after training, the body often hurts more on one side than on the other. Now you know what the reason is.

This process should be broken: prolonging the breaths on the third step and exhaling on the second. By inhaling longer than you exhale, you keep your core tense for most of the race. And you also start each exhalation on a different leg, so the maximum load is distributed evenly between the sides of your body. A five-count rhythm is ideal for slow runs and medium-pace running, and for sprints, go for three counts: inhale for two, exhale for one.

These two rhythms allow you to better evaluate and calculate your strength. By alternating different rhythms of breathing and walking, you teach the body to adapt to different loads. And as a result, you save energy until the difficult finish. Or, on the other hand, you spend it so that you don’t come running full of energy — but last.

Read more: HOW TO RUN IN WINTER

Testosterone: everything about the main male hormone

How testosterone works in your body

The name of the hormone comes from the term “testicles” (testicles). It’s the organ where the hormone is produced with the help of a special substrate – sterol.

In the normal functioning of the body, the production of testosterone is a well-established process. Hypothalamus – a part of the brain that controls the production of the hormone.

Every day, the male body produces about 7 mg of the hormone. But it does not accumulate in the testicles, but enters the blood, and therefore spreads throughout the body. Then testosterone is transformed into dihydrotestosterone, which is involved in the work of the genitals, muscles, and skin. It also takes part in the functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular systems.

The hormone appears in the body of a male fetus at an early stage of a woman’s pregnancy. At 7-11 weeks of pregnancy, the embryo is already forming a sexual organ. If this hormone is not enough, the baby may be born with a small penis.

In the process of puberty of adolescents with the help of testosterone, the growth of body hair, mustaches, and genitals is ensured. It also awakens sexual desire and triggers the production of sperm.

Common myths about testosterone

1. Testosterone is associated with masculinity and aggression

Many people associate testosterone with sportsmen, athlets and those go to the gym a lot. In fact, the amount of testosteron has no any connection to a hobby or activity of a man.

Scientists have debunked the myth that the hormone is associated with aggression. Studies have not found a connection. It’s all about stereotypes. Society believes that the male sex is by nature more prone to hooliganism and aggression compared to the female sex.

2 The hormone affects the success of men

For many people, testosterone is associated with perseverance and determination. This opinion was also supported by science. At the beginning of the century, scientists believed that due to the presence of the Y chromosome and the predominance of one hemisphere of the brain over the other, men are easier to master the exact sciences and have a better chance of being successful.

According to new experiments, women are no less likely to successfully master the exact sciences and climb the career ladder.

If there is a trend that men are more likely than women to hold leadership positions, it is because of gender stereotypes.

3 Testosterone and sexual desire

Of course, the hormone is associated with libido, but its abundance and in general the presence does not mean that a man is ready to have sex 24/7.

Stressful situations and depressive states can neutralize the effect of testosterone, as a result of which men may have problems with erection and sexual desire.

4. There is no such thing as a lot of testosterone

There is an opinion – the more testosterone, the better. However, its increased amount can cause health problems. Excessive amounts of testosterone in the body can trigger sudden mood swings, bursts of aggression and sleep disorders. This condition, in turn, can lead to cravings for cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.

In addition, with increased testosterone, acne, hair loss and increased blood pressure are observed. There is also an increased risk of heart and vascular problems.

Are testosterone injections useful?

According to experts, it is highly undesirable to disrupt the natural process of hormone production (if it is without deviations from the norm). There will be more harm to your health than the imaginary benefits.

The body is prone to self-regulation, including the production of hormones. If there are no deviations from the norm and unpleasant symptoms, it is better not to interfere to avoid unpleasant consequences.

Read more: HOW TO GET STRONG WILLPOWER AND DEVELOP SELF-CONFIDENCE

A complete guide to men’s thermal underwear

Why you need thermal underwear

In order not to freeze in severe frosts and at the same time experience complete comfort, you need thermal underwear. And so that you do not get confused among the huge assortment, in this article we have collected all the important information about such clothes.

When a person sweats during the cold season, the sweat does not evaporate. It permeates the clothing, and that, sticking to the body, creates inconvenience and takes away heat. Because of this, we get cold, and this is the problem that thermal underwear solves. It has a water-repellent property-it removes sweat, but does not get wet itself. The skin is dry and can breathe, so it is warm and comfortable in high-quality thermal underwear.

That is, the main task of such clothes is to absorb excess moisture, and not to create heat. The body copes with this perfectly on its own. And the special structure of the fabric fibers contributes to the fact that air is trapped there. It heats up from the body heat and creates a warming layer between the skin and the upper layers of clothing.

Underwear with a thermal effect – just a must in any winter sports or hiking-where there is no possibility to change clothes.

You can conditionally divide thermal underwear into three categories:

for heat preservation;
to remove sweat;
hybrid type.

It is not difficult to guess that the first option retains the natural body heat well, the second-eliminates sweat, and the third-combines both effects. Different models of each type differ in the material of manufacture (natural fiber, synthetic, mix); the density of the fabric (one or more layers); as well as in functionality – different underwear is suitable for different sports.

What model with a thermal effect to choose, so that you are sure to be warm?

Let’s start with the fabric. It is usually assumed that natural is always preferable, but this principle does not work here. Wool and cotton materials without a doubt the warm. But they have a significant disadvantage: they are absolutely not suitable for removing moisture. After the slightest physical activity, a wool or cotton thing will simply become saturated with sweat and will cool you instead of warming you. Therefore, 100% natural fabrics for thermal underwear are not the best choice.

But synthetics are another matter. It will also collect excess sweat, and will last longer with regular washing. And it is worth washing thermal underwear often, especially synthetic ones. Microfiber, polyester, lycra, fleece-these are the most optimal materials. However, such a long walk is not worth it, and some people are allergic to synthetics.
If this is about you, choose a combination of natural and artificial fibers. And look for the word “Allergic” on the packaging, which means hippo-allergenic. In general, the combined composition is considered universal.

Use several layers

The number of layers is also important. To remove sweat, one is usually used. Single-layer sets are suitable not only for winter. In the tropics, where humidity often reaches 100%, without them, too, can not do. Off-season models are marked with the word “Cool”. But in order to feel comfortable in the cold, choose multi-layered things. The mark “Warm” indicates that you can fully rely on thermal underwear in the cold up to -25.

However, several layers are worse at absorbing sweat than one. For some winter activities, this is not quite suitable.

What thermal underwear should be chosen for different sports:

skis and snowboards – hybrid type;
winter fishing – high wool content;
hockey – a lot of elastane in the composition;
mountaineering – completely made of polypropylene;
rafting and surfing – 100% synthetic.

If you choose it for every day, it’s easier. The main thing is that you are comfortable, and the fabric fits nicely to the body. It is good if you have at least two sets: for a normal day in the city and outdoor activities. Please note that thermal underwear must be selected according to the size. Consider the length of the sleeve, chest and waist circumference. Too narrow will not allow you to move normally. And if you take it “for growth”, sweat will gather in the folds of the fabric.

How to choose underwear

When choosing a thermal kit, do not trust the sellers at their word, because they often sell ordinary long johns and T-shirts under the guise of underwear for winter sports. Study the label: the composition of the fabric, the layers, pay attention to the markings. Move around: raise your hands, sit down-make sure that nothing is tight and does not hang.

The last important detail is the seams. The fewer of them, the better. In some models, for greater wear resistance, the elbows and knees are made denser, and the areas of increased sweating are thinner. If you plan to actively engage in sports, it is better to take this one.

Read more: HOW TO RUN IN WINTER

The important function of muscle memory

Physical activities or exercises are always more difficult to perform the first time than after even a long break. This feature is due to muscle memory.

Muscle memory is associated with the nervous system and changes in muscle fibers. It appears as a result of constant physical actions for a long time. Its main task is to promote recovery after a break, for example, related to a health condition.

To understand how muscle memory works, you can use a simple example – if a person has not driven a car for a long time, but previously often did it, sitting back behind the wheel, his muscles will remember how and with what intensity to press the pedals and how to change gears.

Muscles remember everything

For a long time, you went to your goal-the abs and biceps became prominent, the body became the way you wanted it to be. However, it is important not only to make muscle mass, but also to maintain it. Otherwise, the result of training will disappear over time.

According to research, 14 days after extreme exercise, a person loses about 12 percent of their muscle mass.

Often there is a situation when a person wants muscles, but does not go to the gym, due to the fact that the effect is only from constant training. But you can’t go to the gym regularly all your life. Moreover, after a few weeks, the effect will begin to weaken significantly.

Scientific view on muscle memory

Scientists from Norway concluded that systematic physical activity promotes the formation of new nuclei in muscle cells, and the number of genes that regulate protein for the growth of muscle tissue increases. When there are a lot of nuclei, the muscles build up.

But the most important factor of the study is that the number of nuclei does not decrease after 14 days or 3 months. They go into the waiting phase. How long the maximum can last waiting, until the end is unknown, the study continues. However, there is an assumption that the new cores do not die off at all. When a person resumes physical activity, the cores “wake up” and the former form returns faster compared to people who have just started going to the gym.

The accelerated process of returning to good physical shape is due to the fact that the body does not need to form new nuclei, wasting time on this.

Where is muscle memory located and what are its features?

There is no memory directly in the muscles. It is located in the brain, which is good at remembering information about frequently repeated physical activity. If the same action is done many times, the person begins to perform it automatically with minimal involvement of the brain. He has stored the information in his memory and will use it when appropriate.

This type of memory always works, thanks to it, people do not hesitate to walk, run, swim. Today, there is no clear answer to how many times you need to perform an action for the brain to remember it. Some scientists say that the action should be repeated 10 thousand hours, others-300-500 times.

Despite such differences in research results, experts agree that muscle memory exists. Even if a person was engaged in sports as a child, then in adulthood he will be able to quickly return to the familiar exercises once. However, it is important that the motor skill is correct. It will be difficult to retrain.

Experienced coaches know that it is better to teach an athlete from scratch than to retrain. They believe that the skill is formed in memory in about three weeks.

Why do you need to train your muscle memory?

Training such a memory reduces the risk of injury during exercise, and it also promotes rapid recovery, for example, after health problems. As practice shows, athletes recover faster after a stroke or heart attack compared to other people.

Returning to the sport after a break should be gradual. It is important to make sure that the brain does not replace the necessary muscle memory with false memories. This also happens. If there is no substitution, you can increase the load.

The importance and benefits of muscle memory are obvious. It helps not only in sports, but also while driving a car, riding a bicycle, when performing simple and complex actions.

Read more: HOW CERTAIN AMINO ACIDS AFFECT THE BODY

What is the pulse zone and how it will help you to gain muscles or lose weight

Know your heart rate

To train effectively, you need to know your heart rate. Its frequency directly affects what result you get. If you are in the right pulse zone, your breathing does not get lost, it becomes easy to move, and the exercises give an effect. Let’s tell you how to calculate this zone.

The heart rate is constantly changing depending on the load that we are exposed to. When you are at home in a state of complete rest, it is one, when you are studying in the gym-another, when you run up the stairs in a hurry-the third. The heart pumps blood throughout the body, delivering oxygen to tissues, organs, and muscles. To do this, it performs a certain number of beats per minute. This is what the pulse is called.

In order for the training to bring the desired result, but not harm, it is necessary to achieve a certain heart rate. Heart rate at rest starts from 60-100 beats per minute. Professional marathon runners can be from 40-60. Anything that exceeds this limit is considered a load.

What are the pulse zones?

The pulse zone is a specific pulse rate, which is calculated as a percentage of the maximum allowable heart rate (MCHS). Where MCHSS is 100%.

There are five zones:

Gray, 50-60%
It is a low intensity of the pulse, which is only slightly higher than the figures alone. It is in it that you need to start the exercises. To gradually prepare the heart muscle for heavy loads. If the training involves high and low intensity, in the intervals between the stages, you can return to the” gray ” zone. And when you do strength exercises with weights in order to pump up your muscles, such a pulse will tell you that it’s time to perform a new approach.

Blue, 60-70%
At about 60% of the maximum heart rate, the fat burning zone begins. The body uses fat cells as energy, oxidizing them with oxygen. Therefore, the “blue” zone is ideal for weight loss. Especially for beginners who are not yet ready for maximum loads.

Green, 70-80%
The average aerobic zone, where you can also lose weight, and even train endurance.

Yellow, 80-90%
This is a very intense performance. They are not considered suitable for weight loss, since the supply of energy to the cells takes place without the participation of oxygen. But in the” yellow ” zone, the lungs consume maximum air. Their life capacity is growing. If you regularly train in this zone, you will forever forget what shortness of breath is.

Red, 90-100%
When the heart rate approaches the maximum, even experienced athletes find it difficult. And a beginner should not stay in this zone for more than a minute. All sports records are made in it. Exercises with such a pulse will help you develop maximum endurance. But it is important to monitor your well-being. Ideally, it is better to train with a “red” frequency under the supervision of a coach.

How to calculate the pulse zone

First you need to know your MCHS. It differs depending on the gender, age, complexion and physical fitness of the person. There are different calculation formulas, but only practice gives the most accurate results. Try the following practical method.

Start it only after a full rest, when you feel good. Start with a light stretch to get into the “gray” zone. Then walk for a minute and run for 3 minutes, here you will already be in the “green” zone. Right after that, you need to do three short running sprints, one after the other. Run for 20 seconds, rest for 20-30 seconds, run again, rest, and complete the last sprint. Each time, speed up more and more. The third time, try to run as fast as you can. Then immediately check your pulse. This will be your maximum frequency, 100%, from which you can count the zones.

You can find out your heart rate in different ways. The easiest way is to put your finger on the carotid artery in your neck and count the number of strokes in 60 seconds. But it is not always convenient to look for an artery and spend time on independent calculations.

Technologies to use

    • fitness bracelet

Bracelet with optical sensor – fitness bracelets and smart watches feel the pulse with LEDs that shine the capillaries under the skin; if an accessory is well fixed on the wrist, the figures are very accurate; however, during intense exercise, the bracelet can be displaced, causing a small error; chest strap is a more reliable device, by fixing on the chest gives the most accurate indicator.

    • chest sensor

Chest sensor is a more reliable device, due to its fixation on the chest, it gives the most accurate indicator.
The sensors are synchronized with mobile apps, so it’s easy to track your statistics over a certain period of time. In some fitness clubs, special monitors are even installed, which display the indicators of measuring devices. Before starting a workout, everyone puts on a sensor and can track their heart rate in real time without having to constantly look at the small screen on their wrist.

In addition, these apps provide information about the approximate number of calories burned and other statistics that will show how effective the workout was. Therefore, the combination of modern gadgets and a thoughtful approach to classes gives an excellent result. If you are going to seriously engage in sports, be sure to find out your initial data and evaluate the possibilities.

Read more: 6 THINGS THAT KILL YOUR MUSCLES

“I run slowly.” Why you need to be glad for that

Slow running is less traumatic

Statistics that you can’t argue with: slow beginners are injured much less often than runners with experience. This may seem strange. But in fact, everything is reasonable.

First, when running slowly, it is easier to follow the technique. Secondly, experience often plays against the athlete. A person is so confident and focused on the pace that he ignores caution and remains deaf to the body’s alarm signals.

Slow running prolongs your life

A well-known fact: running rejuvenates blood vessels and trains the heart. This reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by 35%.

And for people who run slowly or at a moderate pace, this percentage is even higher than for speed runners. This was reported by the authors of a study published in 2015 in the journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The explanation is simple: during a slow run, the heart is training, and not working on wear and tear.

Running slowly will help you run faster

At a fast pace, a person quickly reaches the aerobic threshold: the level of lactate in the blood begins to rise, and the process of energy formation occurs in conditions of lack of oxygen.

Slow running helps maximize your aerobic abilities. That is, it teaches the body to train at a higher intensity, without accumulating lactate.

Coach and member of the Road Runners Club of America William Etty says: “I have never been a speed athlete. But thanks to slow running, I was able to improve my time at the marathon from 5 hours and 51 minutes in 2014 to 3 hours and 57 minutes in 2016. But I trained exclusively at a conversational pace, without looking at the time at all.”

Slow running is a low-pulse workout that is very useful

Low-pulse workouts have a lot of advantages. For example, they train the body to exercise, strengthen the muscles and heal the body. What else can you dream about when wearing sneakers?

Slow running is running for fun. And no stress at all

Running is a release for the nervous system and a great cure for stress. But working at the limit and training “through can’t” is also stressful. If it is not reasonably dosed, dissatisfaction with performance, chronic fatigue and overtraining are inevitable.

Let the slow run not be so ambitious. But working for fun, not for results – this is a guaranteed portion of endorphins, no frustration and a higher level of energy after the lesson.

And of course, slow running is not at all “less masculine”, as many representatives of the stronger sex think. Not manly is when you don’t exercise at all.

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