Monthly Archives: December 2014

Should I Do A 5K?

Chances are, you have a friend or family member who has done a 5K race, and perhaps they have tried to get you out there to share in the fun!  But what is so great about doing a 5K?  And why should I pay money to run in a road that I can run down any other day for free?  Well, for one, they are just so very fun!  There is nothing like them.  No matter what your speed, turtlepassingeveryone is celebrated for the accomplishment they have just completed.  There are no losers in these races – and it is incredibly motivating.  Below are just a few more reasons to join in on the fun.

Reasons to Do a 5K

  • It does not take so much of your time. No matter how busy you are, you know you have to stay committed to your fitness goal and doing a 5K at least three times a week will be adequate. Who needs a full marathon when you can do this?
  • It is convenient. You simply need to do a short five minute warm up and you’re good to go to start your journey.
  • It can lift your spirit up because it gives you a feeling of a real race without completely draining your energy like that of a 10K run.
  • It helps improve your VO2 max making you feel more at ease doing your regular routines. Doing a 5K run regularly will condition you better so that you can perform your other training with vigor and enthusiasm.
  • It encourages you to get out and run knowing that you’ll have great fun time with other runners.
  • Most 5K races are fund raisers for worthy causes – so your entry fee is going to a good cause.
  • You can run it, or walk it – or do a run/walk interval run.  The goal is just doing your best for that particular day.

Don’t be Awed by the Distance

Oh, I should have mentioned:  5K is simply 3.1 miles!  If you are new to running or walking that distance, remember a few things:

  • Your first mile should be your slowest – Use your first mile to measure how you are doing that day.  Because your performance will vary from day to day.
  • You should be able to carry on a conversation during most of the 5K.  If not, slow it down, or do more walking.
  • Do it with a friend, or bring your dog!
  • Wear comfortable clothes and invest in good shoes.
  • Download some new music and let the music motivate you to do your best.

A 5K, as well as longer races are great ways to stay fit, keep fitness goals and help you get stronger, lose weight and get exercise!  Find a race in your neighborhood today and sign up!  You will be glad you did.

What is Spinning? And Is It Right For Me?

Haven’t you been intrigued by a bunch of fitness enthusiasts who instead of huffing and puffing lifting weights and all that, you see them pedaling? That, my dear, is what you call spinning, a health club fitness class that does group cycling. It looks interesting and if it makes df4be891d68f2f959c6f5623277af7bbyou think if you can keep up with something like it, let me tell you that it is easy riding along hills and pavements inside the gym.

Spinning is a simulation of outdoor cycling where you encounter both rough and smooth ride using specially designed stationary bicycles. Most of us know how to ride a bike thus learning the technique is quite easy.

  • The first thing you may observe is that everything about the bike used in spinning is adjustable: seat height, handlebars, saddle, pedal straps and of course even the speed. You can easily set the bike up according to your size and pace.
  • The three most common terms you’ll hear in a spinning classes are:
  1. Seated flat – the basic sitting position where you can grab the handlebars easily.
  2. Standing flat – this is biking while standing up with your hands grasping the upper part of the handlebars.
  3. Standing hill climb – similar to standing flat but your hands are on the lower handlebars.

You will know that you have initially positioned yourself right when while seated, your legs are bent a bit and your arms are able to reach the handlebars comfortably.

Is spinning right for you?

I won’t deny the fact that you’ll feel some soreness in your thighs and your butt after your first few cycling sessions. But hey, that is the very essence of it – to work those areas and other parts of the body to perfection! Did I mention that as you go, you burn calories, shed unwanted pounds and achieve overall health and fitness?

What makes it an ideal exercise is that you can follow at a pace comfortable to you. You may also adjust the tension so that you can work on the kind of resistance you feel like working on. Other than the cardio benefits you get from spinning you also strengthen your lower body once you become comfortable pedaling at a faster pace. It will also give you a stronger core and you’ll notice that you have a better balance when doing other routines. And because you are required to switch positions every now and then, your coordination is also helped improve.

To make each ride more comfortable for you, I would recommend that you observe the following tips.

  1. Get a gel seat wrap to slip over the seat for an added layer of padding to help reduce saddle discomfort.
  2. Use padded bike shorts (shorts with built-in extra fabric layers along thigh area) to avoid thigh chafing.
  3. Choose moisture resistant fabrics to avoid sores due to rubbing of sweat-drenched fabric against skin.

 

 

What is Meditation? And How Can it Help Me?

I have been in the business of being physically fit long enough to realize that it means more than the physical structure. Being fit has to be mind, body and soul. It is how I stay enthusiastically inspired, happy and content while being healthy at the same time. This is what I want every woman to have. Working out, following a healthy diet, getting enough sleep are allI-dont-have-all-day2 good but then other factors can still get the better of you and stress you out. This is where meditation can help.

What is meditation?

If I told you that meditation can help lower your blood pressure, give you better perspective about things, make you happier and give you other health benefits, wouldn’t you be interested? That is exactly how I became interested too and all these benefits are backed by studies about meditation.

Meditation is a mind prescription that helps balance and harmonize things; a form of relaxation and stress reduction tool and has been practiced for many, many years now. Originally meant to understand the spiritual and sacred aspects of life, the way it leads to an enhanced physical state and emotional comfort took it to a higher level.

How does meditation help?

We all do our best to live a well-managed life but there are just so many outside factors that can negatively affect us. This sometimes makes us feel bad-tempered with so much going on in our head. When I feel like my thoughts are in a jumble, I meditate. How it helps me focus my attention so that I am able to get rid of the things that crowd my mind and other benefits of mediation is what I wish to share.

  • It boosts both the emotions and physical health to allow a better sense of balance, calm and peace.
  • With enhanced mental and emotion well-being, the body responds positively improving certain medical conditions.
  • It helps you manage information overload so that you can have a better and quicker understanding of things.
  • It can increase self-awareness, make you more focused and help build your emotional war skills – all these can help reduce negative feelings that contribute to making stress and certain illnesses worse than they really are.

Some experts still feel there is a need to substantiate meditation’s health benefits. But that does not eliminate the fact that studies have established how people who meditate were found to better manage anxiety issues, depression, sleep problems and stress. All these conditions, if not kept under control may contribute to the worsening of some health conditions. In the same way that some cases may worsen with too much mental contemplation. I don’t recommend meditation as a traditional medical treatment alternative. From experience, I know it has its benefits but I suggest you discuss the possibilities with your doctor. Because if stress, anxiety and worries have you tensed and can’t find inner peace, meditation may yet be your inexpensive way to address such a situation.

Pilates During Pregnancy-Is It Safe?

Ask me if it’s okay to do Pilates during pregnancy, I would gamely say yes. Provided, of course, that there is a go signal from your doctor. In general, it is safe for pregnant women but there MjAxMy1kMDI4MTdjNDdiMjZmZGUzare cases where it may not be ideal especially if movements would threaten the safety of both the mother and child.

Why is Pilates an ideal preggy exercise?

  1. It can be modified to provide a low-impact workout plan according to the pregnancy stage.
  1. Doing Pilates can help provide proper balance; very important for women carrying a baby in their tummy.
  1. It can help prevent pains associated with pregnancy: the back, joints, around the belly, leg muscles, etc.
  1. It can help minimize the strain and the stress on the mother’s body during and after pregnancy.
  1. Changes happen to the body after giving birth as it rebounds. With enough exercise, these changes become easier to deal with.

In addition, there are many things that the mother can do in order to minimize the stress on her body during the pregnancy and maximize her rebound effect after the pregnancy.  All of this needs to be taken into careful consideration by her Pilates instructor in order to best develop a Pilates workout that addresses her changing needs.

Gentle and safe are the main points why Pilates makes a good exercise for “infanticipating” women. It is primarily about strengthening the core which sounds like it will make a perfect pregnancy exercise. I would like to reiterate, however, that caution has to be practiced so that you don’t carry it too far. While you want a strong core with that baby weight you have, you also want to avoid is Diastasis, the separation of the belly’s front muscles, the rectus abdominis. This can occur when these muscles are strained too much.

Pregnancy causes an increased amount of relaxin which can affect the joints. As a result, excessive movements may pressure the joints and cause pain. When you exercise, avoid movements or positions that could cause disruptions in proper blood flow. One such instance is staying too flat on your back. Another major thing to keep in mind is that the bigger you become, the more your balance is affected. Make sure to have proper support when working on balance ball or getting up or down on an exercise mat.

Nothing could be more amazing than bringing a baby out into this world. But that means your body will go through several changes and some are not so pleasant. You can help cope with it by making sure your body is able to adjust accordingly without any risks.

Below is an exercise video tutorial for a popular Pilates move called Scissors.  It will help to strengthen your abs, back and thighs!  For more Pilates exercise videos like this, go to:  http://workoutsondemand.com/workouts_pilates_mat.htm

The Commercial-Break Exercise Plan

You are fit, you exercise, you eat a well-balanced diet and you keep to your workout schedule. But your favorite show is on and you can’t help being glued in front of the television. If I were you, I’d grab the minutes during commercial breaks to exercise with short-burst workouts. That0a9f67c6672abfbfbe671fd8d42a5276 way, you put to good use those 2 to 3 minutes of gaps as you enjoy the program.

A 30-minute episode of a series you follow could have 4 to 5 commercials, each about 2 minutes in length sometimes more. Here are some of the exercises you can do to keep yourself from running to the fridge and getting some snacks.

  • Burn fats and more than a hundred calories in two minutes by skipping rope. If you don’t have a jump rope, how about jumping jacks?
  • Tone your rear and burn about 40 calories at the same time by squatting for about 60 seconds with your backside about 2 inches off the sofa. For more calorie burn, follow this up with lunges even after the break. Simply stand a few feet from the screen and fire away.
  • For a more toned abs, do several planks lasting up to one minute each. Or you can vary that by sitting on an exercise ball then do several ab curls. That’s another 50 calories you burn. Instead of sitting on the couch, use the exercise ball for the duration of the show. Balancing yourself on the ball the whole time will help strengthen your core.
  • Another perfect ab workout to squeeze in. Position yourself with your back in the center of the couch, your legs up on back support so that you form an L. Curl up, your back about 2 inches off the couch but your legs should not move. Hold for a few seconds then repeat until the show resumes.
  • Burn almost 20 calories and say goodbye to jiggly arms by grabbing some hand weights.  You can do triceps overhead extension, shoulder front raises, hammer and biceps curls for variations. Let go of another 20 calories by also doing arm circles.
  • Commercial breaks are also a great time to do side leg raises. In a sideway scissor position, support your head using one arm. The other arm holds on to the floor so that you are stable as you lift the top leg about 4 inches up in slow, controlled motion, 10-15 times. Switch to the other side on the next commercial.

It is tempting to just snuggle comfortably on the sofa especially when a favorite TV show is on. But then that hour-long program would be enough time to allow a total body workout so might as well maximize the time.

Below is an exercise video tutorial that will teach you how to do Side Lying Leg Raises!  For more exercise videos like this, go to:  http://workoutsondemand.com

Get the Most out of your Pilates Mat Workout

Pilates…by now, most everyone has heard of Pilates, and a large percentage of people have tried it.  This form of exercise strengthens the core, which is your abs, back, butt and hips-and Pilateswho doesn’t want a strong core?  But as with anything, understanding the core principles is key to doing something well, and in this case, it is key to doing it safely and being as time productive as possible.

The eight minute video below will take you through the Five Principles Of Pilates.  It will take you through proper breathing, pelvic placement, rib cage placement, shoulder stability and head and neck placement.  Even if you’ve been doing Pilates for years, this is a good refresher video.  Perhaps you will understand the principles at a new level, or maybe your forgot one or two.  But take a moment and review the video – and feel free to watch this free Pilates exercise videos as often as you like, then pass it on to a friend!  For more great Pilates exercise videos like this, go to: http://workoutsondemand.com/workouts_pilates_mat.htm