The Art of Warming Up Before You Work Out

It’s an age-old adage you’ve probably heard a thousand times: stretch before you work out.

Yet so many people at gyms and with personal trainers ignore this step completely. They hop right onto the treadmill or pick up weights before any of their muscles are primed to perform. Or, they’ll do the stereotypical arm-across-the-chest stretch, not to get loose but to trick themselves into thinking they’re ready to exercise.

The result? Injuries, discouragement, and a lack of weight loss.

So why are stretching and warming up the best things you can do for your body before exercise? It’s all because our muscles need to be eased into the exertion of exercise.

Whether it’s lifting a dumbbell, squatting, playing a sport, or running a marathon, working out requires blood flow and flexibility. A tight body with tight muscles that tries exercise is a recipe for disaster.

We thought warming up was so important that we decided to give it some shine in this week’s blog post. Here are a few of the many ways you can effectively prepare your body for a productive workout. Try these at the gym, on the field, at home, or wherever else you train!

Read more

How to Squeeze Exercise into Your Busy Schedule

Take a look at your schedule. Go ahead, take a long look.

Chances are, most of your days are filled to the brim with things to do. You might work a 9-5 job, or you might be a stay-at-home mom trying to keep up with your hyper-energetic kids.

Most people understand the importance of exercise. Still, so many of those same people skimp out on workouts.

Where is the disconnect between our ambition to work out and making exercise a part of our lives?

A hectic schedule is one of the most common reasons why people don’t work out consistently (and why they don’t believe they can in the first place).

Believe it or not, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the day to exercise, even in the middle of your volatile schedule.

Try out these quick-and-easy exercises that can be done on the go, in the office, at the gym, at the mall, etc. Time to keep those workout shoes glued to your feet and ready to go!

Read more

How Group Fitness Can Increase Your Self-Confidence

This is a guest post by David Dewar, a clinical hypnotherapist who specializes in unlocking human potential.

Exercise is one of the biggest self-confidence boosters out there. It helps you feel and look better through losing weight, strengthening and toning your body, reducing stress, and giving you a sense of achievement.

However, getting started on an exercise program and sticking with it can be quite the uphill task.

Group fitness classes have become more popular, leading to the creation of new workout programs and communities. They provide the support system, motivation, and camaraderie that make exercising fun and structured, which keeps you accountable.

Other than the physical results you can expect from group fitness classes, such as boot camp training, there are also several benefits of group fitness for self-confidence. Improving self-esteem will help you achieve success in all aspects of your life.

Here are some of the ways group fitness improves your self-confidence.

Read more

Lowering Your Risk of Injury

What most commonly derails people’s progress in getting fit and staying healthy?

Injuries.

For people who lead active lifestyles, suffering a debilitating injury – such as tearing a knee or breaking a finger – can be demotivating.

While no one can avoid all risk to injury, there are certainly steps you can take to limit your exposure to getting hurt. While many of these steps take extra effort, they’ll pay off in the long run when your body is still strong heading into your older years.

So let’s talk shop on reducing the chance of those pesky injuries and freeing yourself of any worries about your health.

Read more

Which To Choose: Personal Training or Boot Camps?

Every person’s physical makeup is unique. You could give two people the same training program, but only one of them might enjoy it and experience results.

When it comes to fitness, most people choose to either work with a personal trainer or join a group workout program. Yet so many don’t reach their desired goals because they aren’t in an optimal setting that fit their particular needs.

So how do you know which path is right for you?

Fear not, because we’re going to outline the benefits of both personal training and boot camp programs.

Read more

How to Improve Your Workouts

Ever feel like you’re running on the hamster wheel with your workouts? Whether you aren’t seeing the results you hoped for, are bored of your workouts, or just don’t have the energy to get the job done, there are ways to improve your workouts to make them more effective.

Maximize your time at boot camp with these helpful strategies.

Read more

How to Beat the Heat and Stay in Shape

It’s summer and it’s hot. What’s new? Whether you’re taking a run on the greenway, your son has football camp for the upcoming season, or your kids are playing in the yard, it’s important to exercise caution when getting out and about in the heat. Exercise combined with high temperatures and high humidity levels cause your body temperature to rise, speed your heart rate, and increase your chance of heat-related illness. Read more

What You Need to Know About Muscle Cramps

Most people have experienced a muscle cramp. Maybe you woke in the night to a tight calf muscle that felt extremely painful or perhaps you were out jogging and suddenly your foot muscle contracted and you couldn’t take another step until the pain subsided. Also called charley horses, muscle cramps are usually harmless but can be quite painful.

Most often affecting your calf or foot muscles, muscle cramps can also be felt in your thighs, arms, abdomen, ribs, or hands. Wonder what causes these unpleasant cramps and what you can do to treat and prevent them? You’re about to find out.

Read more

6 Tips to Burn More Calories

There are only so many hours in a day. Between work, chores, social events, and eating, it’s hard enough finding time to sleep, let alone exercise. But you’re on a mission to lose weight, and exercise is a big part of the weight-loss equation. Instead of giving up before you even get started, take comfort knowing there are creative ways to burn more calories while exercising.

Read more