Thursday, November 21, 2013
The holiday season always has a habit of sneaking up on us. With it quickly approaching, you may find yourself having to deal with a shortage of time. If your fitness routine is the first thing in danger of being trimmed, you may want to think about interval training. It’s a great way to change up your workout while burning more calories, without spending more time.
What does that mean for your workout? Let’s look at walking, for example. If you’re used to walking at a set pace for a specific length of time, you would add short periods of jogging and then slow it down to an easier walk as you recover. You can follow a similar pattern of increasing your speed and slowing it down while jogging, biking, or rowing.
What are the benefits of interval training? Burning more calories is one of the biggest advantages. Increasing intensity, even for just a short time, burns more calories. You’ll also build your endurance and improve your overall physical fitness. You’ll accomplish more during your session, or you’ll be able to shave off some time and burn the same amount of calories that you were before you started training this way. In addition, the variation will add excitement. You’ll experience less boredom than if you were doing any cardio activity at the same pace for an hour or so.
Since interval training involves higher intensity movement, it can be tough. This is great for seasoned athletes who need to kick their workout up a notch. Even if you’re a beginner, you can still make adjustments. Instead of a burst of jogging, simply try a brisker pace of walking. It’s also a good idea to start with shorter, high intensity bursts. Try just 30 seconds until you are able to work up to a longer time. This kind of training will definitely help you progress.
Whether you’re a novice or an elite athlete, there are a few things to remember. Set training goals that meet your needs and match your ability. Be sure to warm up before beginning intervals. Start slowly and progress over time. In general, longer intervals will yield the best results. The length of the intervals can vary, but an average athlete can expect to alternate between high and low intensity periods that last about 2 minutes each. To see improvement, increase intensity or duration, but do not to both at the same time. Take it slow as you make changes over time and build to doing more interval repetitions.
Interval training will give your workout the boost it needs, help you burn more calories, and improve your level of fitness!
Thursday, November 14, 2013
There is no rule that says you need to wear weight lifting gloves. It’s a personal choice. There are some people who wouldn’t work out without them, while there are others who claim they get in the way. There are a few that think they are only necessary for those with injuries. Regardless of your gender or fitness level, gloves can provide a few important benefits.
Those who are familiar with lifting know that calluses and blisters can develop over time. Some people opt for gloves simply to protect their hands from this unsightly problem. For others, it is more than just being concerned with appearances. Even the tiniest blisters can cause pain and interfere with a person’s ability to use their hands.
Some lifting gloves also provide support with wraps that go around your wrists, which is especially useful for those who lift heavy weights. It’s a key feature for preventing injury. Not all of them have this, so it’s something to look out for. Even if they don’t, the material of the glove still offers extra support as you bend back the wrist. That can also help with injury prevention.
In addition, the wraps on the gloves can increase your strength while lifting. Without them, your fingers carry the burden of holding more weight. The wraps distribute the weight to your forearms, which can be helpful during pulling exercises, like deadlifts. This allows you to lift more than you would be able to do with just your hands.
A good pair of gloves can also help absorb some of the pressure on your hands. They cushion your palms during exercises, such as push-ups or bench presses, which place a significant load on them. If your hands become too sore, you may be tempted to cut your set short. Gloves can give you greater endurance for working out the muscles you intend to, instead of your hands.
Gloves have even been show to boost confidence. Athletes who develop a routine while preparing for their training can experience a shift in mindset. They become more focused with what they are doing, and have a more productive session.
If you’ve never tried gloves, you may want to give them a chance. Safety, injury prevention, and an increase in strength and performance are worth it. Even if you’re already satisfied with your training session, they may help provide the maximum benefits!
Thursday, November 7, 2013
There’s no correct time to exercise. The important thing is getting it done, so it all depends on when your schedule will allow it. If you’re not a morning person, you can opt for an afternoon or evening workout. However, if your days and nights are jam-packed with things to do, you may have difficulty maintaining a fitness routine. One way to change that is to wake up a little earlier and knock out your exercise session before you need to get on with the rest of your day. After a few simple adjustments, you can soon find yourself enjoying a morning workout.
Having the right motivation, along with the right attitude, is also a way to stay encouraged. Design your workouts to be something that will interest you so you’ll look forward to them. There are so many different activities and pieces of exercise equipment to choose from that there’s no reason it should be boring.
Planning ahead is another way to make it easier once you’re up and ready to go. Take some extra time at night to set out everything you’ll need in the morning. If you have less to do, you’ll have more time to devote to exercising, or even getting in a little extra sleep. Try to get your fitness gear ready the night before, along with anything else you’ll need for the rest of your day.
In order to achieve all this, start with small goals. This will make it seem less daunting. Begin by aiming to fit in a morning routine for one month. When you get through that time period, you’ll notice that it has become a habit and you should no longer have to think about it. If you stay committed, your body will adjust. You can also ease into it by gradually waking up a little bit earlier until you become used to it. Start by getting up just 5 minutes earlier, and then work up to 10 minutes, and so forth until you have enough time for your routine.
While you may be afraid that this will wear you out, it will actually give you the energy you need. If you typically feel like you’re dragging after you wake up, you’ll discover that you’re ready to tackle the rest of the day if you start with a workout. This is especially true since regular exercise promotes a higher quality of sleep. You’ll find yourself having an easier time getting out of bed after you experience better sleep.
There are several other benefits to working out in the morning. You’re metabolism gets a boost and you’ll be burning more calories. Your mental acuity will also get a boost and you’ll be sharper and more alert throughout your busy day. Add that to an increase in energy and better sleeping and that should give you all the extra motivation you need. After a few weeks of committing to your morning workout, you’ll notice the changes and look forward to getting up and getting fit!
Thursday, October 31, 2013
kettlebells becoming increasingly popular. Even though they’ve been around for a long time, more and more people are starting to add them to their routine. Are there advantages to using kettlebells instead of dumbbells, and how do you know if they are right for you?
If you’re not familiar with what a kettlebell is, it’s a cast iron weight shaped like a ball with a handle on top. They date all the way back to the 18th century, although they are a hot item for today’s fitness enthusiasts. You’ll find that many gyms offer classes built around these weights.
How do kettlebells differ from dumbbells? Both products can help you develop strength, speed and endurance. However, they are used quite differently. Dumbbells are used with more controlled movements, while kettlebells are used for explosive, swinging movements. The added movement combines cardio with strength training. That gives them the ability to elevate your heart rate as you strengthen your muscles. Kettlebell workouts also tend to engage more muscles in the lower body and core, which can help increase flexibility. All of this translates to getting a lot more out of your workout.
Does this mean kettlebells are better? No – it just means they are different from traditional free weights. Kettlebells are a great way to incorporate cardio into your strength training and will help burn fat. However, if you are just looking to build strength and power, dumbbells can help you tone up. They are the best option to use when performing movements that require more control. Although, there’s no reason you have to choose between the two. Making use of both pieces of equipment will give you the different benefits that each offer. And it’s always great to add some fun and variation to your routine!
Thursday, October 24, 2013
When is the perfect time to start a new fitness program? Anytime, of course! However, fall has some special advantages. If you’ve become less active since the end of summer, or you haven’t been active at all, now is a great time to develop your routine.
Why does autumn make it so easy to get motivated? All you have to do is take a step outside to understand. The cooler temperatures make outdoor exercise more bearable. Not to mention, the scenery is a nice change of pace. Who wouldn’t enjoy a run during this time of year with all the colors from the changing leaves? You can even go hiking and discover some new trails.
reflectors to make sure you are visible to motorists. It’s also a good idea to dress in layers. Items like a fleece vest or jacket will keep you warm, but they can be easily removed if you get too hot.
On those days that are too chilly, you can head inside. Since the fall is also known for TV shows returning for their new seasons, why not let that help you pass the time? Instead of jumping back on the couch to watch your favorite shows, you can enjoy them from a cardio machine. If you’re already planning on setting aside some TV time, try sneaking in your cardio and getting that done while you barely even notice. It’s the perfect way to knock out a half hour or hour on a treadmill, elliptical machine, rower, or stationary bike.
However, I’ve saved the best reason for last. You’ve probably heard that it takes about 4 weeks for something to become a habit. The key is being consistent for that amount of time. If you stay committed and make your routine a priority, it will soon become a habit for you. If you start right now, you will be all settled into your fitness program by the time the holidays hit. That can be the most difficult and distracting time for a lot of people, but if you establish a routine ahead of time, you’ll have the discipline and energy needed to make it through the season. By the time New Year’s rolls around, you’ll be ahead of everyone else in their goals. So, get going and enjoy all that fall has to offer!
Thursday, October 17, 2013
As we mentioned in our last post, a stability ball is an essential piece of equipment for any home gym. You may have also heard it referred to as a Swiss ball, balance ball, exercise ball, fitness ball, or physio ball. With all those different names, you can see why it is known for its versatility. Whatever you prefer to call it, it’s important that you purchase the right one.
Users under 4’10” - 42 cm. or 16”
4’11” – 5’4” - 55cm or 21”
5’5” – 5’11” - 65cm or 25”
6’ or taller - 75cm or 29”
The proper size is important so you maximize the benefits. The right ball can also double as an office chair. The goal is to have your knees at a right angle while you are sitting on the ball with your feet facing forward. Your thighs should be parallel with the floor. Using the ball for a chair is a great way to improve posture.
The ball can also be used as a weight bench for strength training. It changes upper-body moves into full-body workouts when you have to stabilize your core and leg muscles on the ball. If you plan to use one for this purpose, make sure it is burst resistant. Most of them are, but it’s something you’ll want to check. If you lift very heavy weights or are a beginner still learning proper form, it’s best to just stick with a regular weight bench so you have enough support.
Other uses for the ball include yoga, pilates, stretching, and performing basic exercises like sit-ups. It requires extra balance so you increase flexibility and engage more muscles, especially the core. It’s a tool that has been around for a long time so you know you won’t be following any fad. Plus, it’s a fun way to change up your routine!
Thursday, October 10, 2013
The last post discussed tips on finding the right gym. However, working out in a facility is just one option and it’s not right for everyone. There are many advantages to bringing a gym right into your own home. Aside from the money you could save, it’s extremely convenient. But how do you know what you need to get a proper workout?
It doesn’t have to be fancy, but a good home gym should be comprised of equipment from three basic categories – Cardiovascular, Strength and Flexibility Training. We’ve compiled a list of basic items that vary in price to help build your home gym, no matter what your skill level is, or what budget and space constraints you may have.
For a budget-friendly alternative to a cardio machine, a basic jump rope will work until you’re ready to make a bigger investment. Beginners should look for a simple and durable rope, while skilled jumpers might want a weighted rope to work on strength.
Strength Training Equipment – Free weights are a home gym staple. Beginners should opt for a light pair of dumbbells. Those who are more advanced should pick up a few pairs in varying weights. If you plan on having several pairs, you may want to consider equipment that is designed for multiple uses. Adjustable dumbbells are a great space-saving piece of equipment because you can adjust a single dumbbell from 5 lbs up to over 50 lbs. The Teeter ThunderBell, for example, is a weight that can be used like a kettle bell, dumbbell, medicine ball, free weight, or cable in one product.
Resistance bands are another staple and are great for getting full-body strength training. They come in different resistance levels, from light to heavy, so you can progress and add intensity when ready. They’re very affordable and are easy to store anywhere.
Flexibility Training – Stretching is important, and picking up a yoga mat is a good idea. Even if you don’t intend on practicing yoga, you can still use it for a variety of things. A mat will help prevent injury from slipping on carpeting or other flooring while stretching or performing any core-strengthening exercises.
A foam roller is another essential item for stretching. It acts like a deep tissue massager and helps break up any knots in your muscles. It’s also a great way to prevent soreness after your workout.
Another item for flexibility, balance and strength is a stability ball. It can be a bit bulky to store, but it’s definitely worth it. You can work your whole body with it and you’ll find it’s one of the most versatile pieces to add to your home gym.
In addition to the three categories, it’s also a smart idea to pick up some educational materials. If you’re not sure how to get the most out of a stability ball or any other piece of equipment, there are plenty of DVDs available to teach you the best techniques. They make a great addition to any home library.
Whether you have an entire, empty room designated for working out, or you’re a college student limited to your dorm, a home gym can be easily customized to meet your needs. Start with a few essentials and try to add to it as you progress in your fitness goals, and whenever your budget and space allows. Finding the motivation to stay fit becomes much simpler when your gym is only a few steps away!
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Finding the best workout facility has a huge impact on the success of achieving your fitness goals. If the gym doesn’t meet your needs, it will be hard to stay motivated. A gym membership is an investment in your health, so it’s important to get the right one. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting a gym.
1. Location – Start your search by finding the closest gyms to your home, school or work. After spending 45 minutes to an hour on working out, the last thing you’ll want to do is have to spend a total of an hour driving to and from the facility. We all know it’s hard enough to fit exercise into our schedule. You don’t want the drive to be an excuse that will prevent you from getting yourself there. It will be much easier if you’re just a quick car ride away. You’ll especially appreciate this on your most hectic days.
3. Goals – You have to identify your fitness goals to know what kind of place you need. Make a list of what’s important to you and how you plan on breaking up your routine.
4. Amenities – Gyms have a lot to offer these days. Are you in need of child care while you work out? How about a swimming pool or hot tub? Will you need locker rooms with showers and a space to get ready so you can head to work after you exercise? These, or other things, may or may not be important to you. Whatever you have on your list, make sure it has it or decide if you’re willing to compromise on it. If you don’t need all the extras, then look for a basic, less expensive facility.
5. Equipment and Classes – Whether you prefer machines, free weights, or anything else, verify that the gym has what you need. Note whether it looks like they have enough for the typical crowd so you can judge how much waiting around you may have to do for equipment to become available. If you’re interested in classes, check out the schedule. See to it that the class times coordinate with when you are available.
6. Cleanliness – No matter how many amenities the gym might have, it’s not worth it if they don’t keep it clean. Check out the bathrooms/locker rooms and make sure that area is well-kept and cleaned. Another good thing to look for is whether or not they offer spray bottles and towels to wipe down equipment after each use. A good, clean gym will keep you healthy and it’s definitely something you don’t want to ignore.
7. Cost – First, decide what fits your budget and then start asking questions about the price. Aside from the monthly dues, make sure you find out about any initiation fees or early termination fees. Don’t be afraid to ask if they have any specials or discounts available. Try to avoid getting locked into a long term contract. In addition to the actual cost, make sure you have an understanding for everything that is included in the price. You don’t want to overpay for a package you won’t use, and you certainly don’t want to miss out on any amenities or perks that come with it.
8. Members and Environment – How comfortable you feel in the environment will affect your motivation. Do you prefer a gym that’s co-ed or same sex only? Do the surroundings intimidate you or is it a friendly atmosphere? Does it have enough variety of things that interest you? If you’re uncomfortable or you’re not excited to get yourself there when you need, then you may fall into the trap of finding excuses not to go. The people who find their workout time to be a more enjoyable experience have much better success at maintaining it. So, pick a place that will motivate you.
9. Staff – Look for a gym with courteous and knowledgeable staff. Do they seem like they’d be able to help you get the most out of the workouts? Are they certified? Also, if you’re looking for a personal trainer, inquire about what is available to you and any additional rates that would apply.
10. Free Trial - The best way to assess if a gym is a right for you is to take full advantage of a trial period. Most places offer them. Spend enough time touring and actually using the facility to get a feel for how you enjoy the place.
Once you’ve considered all your needs and give it a try, you’ll be able to confidently invest in a membership and place that’s right for you!
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Whether you’re trying to stay fit, or even just stay healthy, strength training is one of the best things you can do. The benefits it has on your body, as well as your mind, are overwhelming. Yet, so many people have one reason or another why it doesn’t work for them. Here’s a guide on how to beat some of the most common excuses so you can enjoy all the rewards that strength training has to offer.
2. “I don’t want to bulk up too much.” We addressed this in our last post. A lot of people equate strength training with looking like a bodybuilder, especially women. However, doing something like incorporating hand weights into your routine is not going to do that. Bodybuilding involves other elements, such as intense training. If it were that simple, they wouldn’t need to train so hard for competitions. So, why not consider picking up a pair of dumbbells? Instead of leaving you looking too bulky, it can help give you a leaner and more toned look.
3. “It’s intimidating.” The idea of heading to the gym and working out alongside others who have been doing this for a long time can be scary. Enlisting the help of a personal trainer in the beginning can help eliminate any fears. There’s also no reason why you can’t do your workout in the comfort and privacy of your own home. From machines to resistance bands, there are options for everyone.
4. “It’s boring.” Not only do we assume who should or shouldn’t strength train, we also make assumptions on what it entails. There are plenty of fun ways to add it to your routine. You can join a group class, try kettlebells, or even enjoy the outdoors while doing suspension training. There’s no need to be limited to a weight room.
5. “I don’t want to injure myself.” The thought of performing exercises with weights can be worrisome. People don’t want to get hurt or stress their joints. While there is a risk, as with anything, that’s only if you do it improperly. A session with a personal trainer can help rid you of fears, or you can pick up some DVDs. If you include a good warm-up, listen to your body, and follow proper technique, you’ll find the benefits to be worth it.
The bottom line is that it’s time to rethink how you feel about strength training. Once you do, you’ll realize there’s no good reason not to add it to your routine!
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Many things can stand in the way of good health and achieving one’s fitness goals. There are a lot of popular ideas out there that we’ve come to believe but aren’t necessarily true. Let’s take a look at some of these.
Myth 1: If you work out, you get a free pass to eat whatever you want. A good exercise routine doesn’t mean you can go crazy when it comes to what you eat. People often think they’ve burned more calories than they actually have. Just because you put in an hour at the gym doesn’t mean you can drink all the soda and eat all the junk food you want. Yes, certain foods are OK in moderation, but don’t see your workout as your free pass to eat everything you want. The important thing is good nutrition and making healthy eating choices. This will also give you the energy you need to fuel your workouts so you can maintain your routine.
Myth 3: Soreness is a good sign that you are getting results. Some people equate more pain with more gain. However, soreness can be a sign of overtraining. Be careful not to jump into intense training or overdo it. The best thing is to progress in your routine and stretch to alleviate soreness.
Myth 4: You can target problem areas on your body. An example of this popular misconception is the idea that performing a ton of crunches will flatten your stomach and give you that “six pack” look. Sure, it will help strengthen your core muscles, but there is a lot more that goes into getting that defined look. No amount of crunches will do the trick if your diet is filled with unhealthy food and you’re living an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. The same thing goes for wanting to spot-reduce your hips, thighs, or arms. The best way to attack any problem area is through good nutrition and increasing one’s overall physical activity. Exercises, like lunges, engage more muscles groups at one time and will yield better results. You need to focus on your body as a whole to see improvement, and incorporating cardio and strength training will help you do that.
Myth 5: If you haven’t lost weight, your fitness plan hasn’t been effective. Too many people measure their success based on the number they see on the scale. It can be frustrating if you’ve been working out for weeks and the scale hasn’t changed. However, don’t be discouraged. It’s important to keep at it. You are most likely experiencing changes in the harder to notice health areas, such as lowered blood sugar or improved heart health. You may even feel a difference in the way your clothes are fitting even if the scale hasn’t changed much. So, don’t be too quick to give up.
Have you been guilty of letting any of these ideas get in your way? Now you can finally put them to rest and get closer to reaching your goals!
Thursday, August 29, 2013
It’s the end of August, we’ve watched the school buses return to the roads, and we’re thinking to ourselves, “Where did the summer go?” As we feel the season coming to an end, it can be easy to lose our motivation in staying fit. We’ll be likelier to give into excuses and start to worry less about our bodies as we trade in our beach clothes for comfy fall sweaters. But you’ve worked hard all year and it’s important not to lose your focus. So, how do you stay on track as the summer winds down?
Share Your Goals – Tell a friend what you hope to accomplish. Having someone to check in with and hold you accountable will make it harder to forget. They may even find your commitment a source of inspiration for their own lives, and you can help each other.
Take Advantage of the Weather – The hot summer months may have forced your workout indoors. As the temperatures cool down a little, add new life to your routine by switching things up. Walking, jogging, and cycling are a few ways to enjoy the fresh air while exercising.
Snap Some Photos – Take your camera to your farewell summer parties to capture the fun. A few pictures can serve as a reminder of good times, friends, and the great shape that you’re in. If you’re having an off day in the future, a simple glance at the photos will inspire you to stay on track.
Put Health First – Remember that staying fit isn’t just about appearances; it’s about health, too. Looking good in summer shorts, skirts, or swimwear is something everyone wants. However, it shouldn’t be the only thing that gets us moving. Keep in mind all the benefits exercise has on your health.
We may be heading closer to the fall, but that doesn’t mean you need to fall off track. Stay motivated and enjoy the remainder of summer!
Monday, August 26, 2013
If you are feeling fatigued and your enthusiasm level is not where it should be, then maybe it is time to take a break from your workout routine. Nothing will slow your progress more and adversely affect your enthusiasm than overtraining. Injuries often occur when you are not focused on the task at hand and your body is ill-prepared to handle the exercise load.
Taking a break will give your body a chance to heal those nagging injuries and recoup that lost enthusiasm. You'll know when you're ready to go back to the gym when you get that that "itch" to train again. And don't worry about losing those hard fought gains with that time off. If you rest your body appropriately you will come back stronger than ever with a refreshed body and mind.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
If you’ve ever tried a RumbleRoller product, you know why it’s one of our favorites for deep-tissue massage.
At the heart of the line is the Beastie Massage Ball, which is available in two versions – Original and X-Firm. The original is super-flexible and the X-Firm is more aggressive.
The series features a full range of accessories to give you plenty of options. The Beastie Base, Beastie Hook, Beastie Bar and Stands, and Beastie Double-Track Wall System can all be used for varying intensity and positioning. Each accessory has its own unique benefits. The Wall System, for example, is a real space-saver. If you don’t have the room to lie down on the floor while using the massage tool, the system mounts to the wall and takes up zero floor-space.
To learn the best tips and techniques for getting the most out of the series, there is also a 2-Disc Combo Pack, which includes a Blu-Ray disc and DVD. Jeff Alexander’s SMR Tips will teach you the most effective ways to use the new Beastie Series, as well as the classic RumbleRollers.
Deep-tissue massage tools are great for relieving sore muscles after a workout. It’s a less expensive and more convenient alternative to a massage. They make it easy to get quick relief to pain and stiffness any time you need. If you've been looking for the right massage tools for home use, the versatility of this line make it a great place to start.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
While exercise is crucial, it is not the only necessity to maintaining a healthy life. Combining exercise with a proper diet and getting plenty of rest will provide maximum benefits.
The right amount of exercise is an important mark to find. Too little exercise can increase the risk of health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. However, too much exercise increases the chance of injuries, such as sprains and cartilage damage in joints. Exercise should still be performed 5 to 7 days a week for a minimum of 20 minutes, but it should be done safely and with variety. High impact exercise, like running or lifting heavy weights, can be a part of a workout routine but it should not be the only elements.
When a workout schedule is established, it can be enhanced with a healthy diet. Exercise, alone, is not the best way to lose weight. Incorporating proper eating habits will greatly help in reaching your ideal weight. Substituting water for high calorie drinks, such as juice and soda pop, is a great way to cut back on calorie intake and tap into water’s countless benefits. To obtain the proper amount of nutrients, 6 small meals a day that are evenly spaced about 2 hours apart allows the body to use what you eat instead of storing the excess as fat. Eating protein with each of these facilitates in burning calories and repairing muscles. Protein is actually thermogenic, so it burns calories to digest. Breakfast also functions to kick start metabolic activity. Eating high-protein foods within a half hour of waking up helps nourish the body after it spent the night restoring itself as you slept.
Sleep is another aspect that enhances the results of sufficient exercise and a desirable diet. Getting the right amount of sleep for your age can lower your risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, boost your mood and brain functions, decrease the likelihood of getting sick, and help in maintaining a healthy weight. Adults require 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Teenagers should get at least 9 hours of sleep per night. Elementary school-aged and preschool children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep. Newborns sleep between 16 and 18 hours a day. Rest and adequate amounts of sleep are essential to sustaining a healthy body and mind.
To stay in suitable physical shape, exercise in safe increments, uphold healthy eating habits, be sure to rest between workouts, and get plenty of sleep at night. Making these steps a part of your daily routine will have you feeling better, more energized and healthier!
Friday, August 9, 2013
There is a common misconception that children should not do any sort of weightlifting for exercise. There are compelling reasons for this, however, proper strength training can, in fact, offer many benefits for children.
Children’s bodies are still developing. Lifting excessive amounts of weight is stressful for young muscles. Growth plates, cartilage that will eventually turn to bone, and tendons can also suffer damage from improper technique and lifting too much. The terms weightlifting, bodybuilding, and powerlifting carry a competitive connotation which often promotes sacrificing technique to over lift. For these reasons, it is better that kids stick to strength training with light resistance or low weights, and always focus on proper technique.
Exercise is essential for people of all ages and kids are no exception. Whether a child is athletic or not, strength training offers benefits to anyone who partakes. Kids are naturally active, and their play time actually functions to increase their body awareness, balance and control. Though some people discourage strength training for adolescents, practicing exercises with some resistance improves coordination and body awareness, along with many other rewards. Children as young as 7 or 8 may begin to engage in strength training activities. When preformed properly, strength training toughens children’s bones, promotes healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increases muscle strength and endurance, and facilitates maintaining a healthy weight. It also improves sports performance, protects from sports related injuries, and improves overall self-esteem. On top of those advantages, it promotes healthy habits from an early age, especially if fun is incorporated.
An ideal strength training program for kids is not exactly the same as an adult workout. This is why employing an experienced personal trainer or coach to help create a kid-safe and effective workout is suggested. The program should follow this type of outline:
· 5 to 10 minutes of light cardio activity to warm up.
· Begin strength training exercises.
o Preform one set of 12 to 15 reps with light weight or resistance for each exercise.
o Maintain proper technique the whole time! It is NOT a contest to see how much weight a child can lift.
o Supervise the child throughout the entirety of the workout to ensure they are progressing through the program properly.
· Cool down with gentle stretching.
· Rest between working specific muscle groups.
o A program including 2 or 3 days of strength training a week is perfectly sufficient.
· Add variety to eliminate boredom, and ensure fun!
Posted by uniquefitman at 10:16 AM
Friday, August 2, 2013
As millions of young adults prepare to embark on their college careers, or anxiously anticipate returning to school to see their friends and continue their learning, they all have many thoughts running around in their minds. “Will my classes be outrageously difficult?” “How will my professors grade assignments?” “Is my roommate insane?” “Will I have time to work out and stay healthy?” Though starting a new semester always holds many mysteries, there is one question with a clear answer - there is time to exercise and stay healthy in college, even with a strenuous schedule.
Exercise is essential for a healthy body and a healthy mind, as well. Including fitness in a daily (or near-daily) routine not only combats that dreaded “freshman 15,” but it can even enhance the educational opportunities colleges provide. Working out stimulates blood flow to the whole body, and blood carries oxygen. The brain is a recipient of increased blood flow and oxygen. When the brain receives additional oxygen and stimulation, it boosts communication between brain cells, which facilitates learning and retaining new information. Students are constantly flooded with new material and regular exercise makes retaining it easier.
In addition to improved memory, exercise promotes attention span, motivation, and alertness. These qualities also contribute to success in school. Like lifting weights stimulates muscle growth, exercise allows the brain to actually grow as well. New nerve cells develop from stem cells in the hippocampus, an area in the brain connected to learning and memory. These new cells and existing cells are more likely to bind to each other when physical activity is frequent. Connecting brain cells is the foundation for learning new material.
· Add it to your schedule. If you write it in your calendar and pretend it is like a lunch date with a friend or an important meeting, and you don’t want to ditch your friends or responsibilities, you are more likely to avoid making excuses to skip workouts.
· Wake up a half hour early, and get the workout out of the way during the first part of your day.
· If you do not have an hour every day to commit to visiting the gym, 20 minute high-intensity workouts are a great option. This means you fill the full 20 minutes with fast-paced, high-resistance movements. This is also an awesome method for boosting your metabolism and burning plenty of calories.
Really pressed for time? Consider hopping on the treadmill with some study material, or sit on a stability ball rather than a desk chair. Turning your commute to class into a workout might even be an option.
Everyone, not just college students, is busy. And everyone can experience some benefits from exercising. So make some time, get moving, and discover all the advantages!