Running for Beginners

Don’t remember the last time you “went for a run”? Use the excuse that you’re just “not a runner”? Women’s Healthy Magazine is calling your bluff and is convinced everyone can become one. Follow their simple training plan and by the end you will be able to run 30 minutes without stopping!

Click here for the running for beginners plan!

 

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Do You Need Gym Motivation?

Some of us have a harder time finding the initial motivation to hit the gym than others.  Once you make it a regular event during your week-you will be less likely to want to miss a day/skip the gym.  But getting started in this habit may be tricky but once again, there is an app for that! With the iPhone and Android app “Gym Pact”, users deposit money and get a chunk back every time they check in at the gym-and lose some cash when they don’t!   So you can get paid to hit the gym? See for yourself how Gym Pact can change your habits and get you started on the right track toward your fitness goals.  Visit gym-pact.com to learn how a once dreadful event can become a fun and accountable way to live a healthier life!

 

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Exercises You Think You Need-But Don’t

Fitness pros from O Magazine have comprised a list of five exercises you may think are beneficial, but could be swapped with an alternative exercise for optimal results and comfort.

The first exercise is crunches.  Although they are a great abdominal exercise when done correctly, they are very hard on our discs in the spinal cord.  A better option is planks.  Planks keep the core in a neutral position to alleviate back pressure while also working your obliques to stabilize you.

The second exercise is straight-leg dead lifts.  Bending forward with straight legs puts immense pressure on the invertebral discs.  And while you’re supposed to use your hamstrings to pull you up, many people lift with their back, which can lead to a herniated disc.  Swap this with “bird dogs”.  On all fours keep your hands under your shoulders and hips under your knees.  Extend your right arm straight out in front of you and your left leg out behind you.  Raise your arm to shoulder height. At the same time, straighten your left leg and raise it to hip height.  Hold for one count and release.  Do 10 reps. Then switch to the left arm and right leg.  Repeat three times.

Leg extensions with a machine.  Although the machine works the quadriceps, it neglects the hamstrings which can lead to strain.  Instead, try lunges to test your balance and work muscles in the pelvic area as well as the entire leg.  For maximum results, try using hand weights for an added bonus.

The squatting dumbbell front raise can easily strain the muscles in your neck and back.  Instead, separate the movements doing dumbbell front raises, and then squats.

The fifth exercise to be swapped is the triceps extension, usually done with a machine at the gym.  Many people don’t have the range of movement and shoulder flexibility to properly execute tricep extensions.  Instead opt for tricep push-ups that work the chest, shoulders and biceps.

 

 

 

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Low Cost Fitness!

Staying in shape does not mean having to join a gym to take fitness seriously.  There are plenty of low-cost alternatives that can help you get fit without breaking your budget!  Start taking advantage of everyday opportunities like taking brisk walks outside in your neighborhood or through a local mall.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Park further away from your destination to add in the extra walk.

Household chores can also be considered a great way to get in a workout! Mow the lawn, weed the garden, rake leaves or shovel snow! Even indoor chores like vacuuming and scrubbing count as a workout when your heart rate increases.

Start joining your children while they play for additional exercise! Join in for a game of tag or kickball! Walk them to the park, dance or take a family bike ride!  The choice is about becoming more active with your lifestyle that doesn’t always involve a pricey gym membership.

If you are more interested in fitness equipment, look for used sporting good stores or share costs with a friend for exercise videos, balancing balls, dumbbells, jumping ropes etc.  This way you can also depend on each other as fitness buddies! No matter what-start moving!

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Try CorePower Yoga!

Try switching up your exercise routine with a free trial week of yoga at CorePower! With energizing music, CorePower yoga classes strengthen, balance, and detoxify your mind and body.  No matter your age, strength, or flexibility level, CorePower Yoga has a class to meet you where you are.  There are beginning level classes for the yoga starters and there are more advanced classes that combine vinyassa yoga and cardio/strength exercises.  No matter which class you choose to take, you will leave feeling healthier and better about the work you completed.  Check out the CorePower website that lists locations and class descriptions to get you started in a new fitness habit!

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Perfect Your Running Form

When we think of running, we think of one foot in front of the other.  But, if our running form is incorrect we may end up with aches, strains and injuries.  Below are some of the most common running-form mistakes to avoid next time you hit the treadmill, trail, or pavement provided by Prevention Magazine.

1.  Head tilting your chin toward you chest, or leaning your head back may be relaxing on your neck at times.  But, to prevent neck strain Prevention Magazine encourages an open throat for easy breathing by keeping your head stacked over your spine.  Correct head position also encourages a straight, upright stance, which makes you a more efficient runner.

2. Shoulders make sure you are not tensing your upper back and shoulders while running.  Every so often take nice deep breaths and relax your torso and actively roll your shoulders back and down toward your pelvis.  Do a self-check to make sure your shoulders are stacked over the hips.  Hunching the upper body forward not only makes it difficult to breathe, it also puts pressure on your lower back.

3. Arms leave the side-to-side swaying arms for the dance floor.  Your arms shouldn’t move across your body when you run: it uses up energy, tires your muscles, and actually prevents your body from propelling forward.  To increase your speed and endurance, focus on swaying your arms forward and back, keeping your elbows at 90-degree angles.

4. Hands: Clenched fists translate to tense arms and shoulders, which tires your muscles and can cause a dull, achy sensation.  Not to mention, it also makes you look like an angry runner!  Maintain a sense of relaxation in your torso by running with a slightly open fist, pretending you’re holding an egg in each palm.

5. Belly: Many runners complain of lower back pain, and one reason is because they don’t engage their abs.  While running, concentrate on drawing your navel in toward your spine to keep your pelvis and lower spine stable.

6. Feet: Where your feet strike is a big debate among runners.  In order to land with the least amount of jarring pressure on your ankles and knees and have the ability to push off the ground with great force, it’s best to land on the midfoot — not on the heel.  Then roll forward quickly onto the toes, popping off the ground with each step.  Landing softly is key — no one should hear you pounding your feet as you run.

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Walk The Mall!

Need to get some healthy exercise but don’t want to join a gym? Try walking the mall! An article by All You gives tips on making the most of your mall workout!  Follow the process the below:

five-minute warm-up: Scope the mall as you walk and gradually increase the pace while your muscles heat up. During the fifth minute, walk briskly to the food court.

Food court: Power-walk the perimeter twice, then stride briskly to the nearest escalator or set of stairs.

Escalator or stairs: Walk up and down the entire set three times, then return to walking briskly around the mall.

Shoe store: Pick up the pace as you pass each shoe store or retailer of your choice.

Repeat the sequence: Go for 20 minutes around the food court, up the escalator or stairs, and past the shoe store.

five-minute cooldown: Slow your pace until your heart rate returns to normal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Workout Music

Check out FullSpike.com for some great music options for your workouts!  Music is a great way to keep you motivated and in a consistent pace if needed.  For some, it even makes the time go by faster!  Full Spike offers you numerous music choices from techno, top hits, 90’s, 80’s, 70’s or 60’s workout playlists to name a few.  Click on the link above for the complete list of music options.

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Tai Chi May Relieve Anxiety/Depression

A wonderful fact provided by Prevention notes the healing power that the martial art “Tai Chi” has, in that it may relieve stresses associated with anxiety and depression.  This results from the combining movement, meditation and breathing exercises associated with its practice.  Although there are few studies on its effects, various scholarly sources believe it is beneficial, especially among the elderly.

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