April 20, 2018

Find your Fitness Second Gear

Fit Mind:

Find Your Fitness Second Gear!

When the going get tough, the tough _______! Or do you back down and back off? Find your fitness second gear by:

Practice clearing your mind of distractions and over-thinking what you’re doing. Choose one word to repeat over and over again until your mind is clear.

Focus on your inhale and exhale by counting out load. Count your inhale to 2-3 seconds and your exhale of 3-4 seconds. Repeat.

Choose someone who inspires you and repeat their name as you move through your fitness challenge. Dedicating your effort to a loved one will give you power and focus to complete the task at hand.

 

Do you inspect your fitness equipment?

Fit Body:

Inspect your fitness equipment

Fitness equipment needs to be cleaned up, and replaced every so often. Working out on equipment and gear that is less than par not only leads to a less effective workout, but could also increase your risk of injury. Examine your workout gear every 4-6 months, or even more often if you’re exercising outdoors. Here are the pieces that need your regular attention:

Exercise band. Closely examine the tube, as well as the handles. Small tears or cracks increase risk for breaking. Replace it.

Jump Rope. Over time the plastic ropes can thin and even break depending on your jumping surface and style. If your rope has lost its shape, time or a new one.

Stability ball. Sit on the ball. If your hips are below your knees, time to add air.

Yoga or exercise mat. If they are looking worn and have lost their grip, you are at risk for a slip or fall. Replace it.

Free weights and Barbells. If your free weights have collars, inspect them regularly to insure they are secure and are not stripped of their locking device.

 

 

 

 

Your Essential Exercise

Fit Body:

Squats with Dumbbells

Squats are an essential exercise. You sit down and stand up many times during the day, so adding a squat exercise into your weight routine is functional. A functional exercise helps us gain strength to perform a daily activity. Here’s how to start: Begin holding one weight in each hand. Bending from your knees and hips, sit back and lower down about six inches. Pause for one second. Return to standing to complete one rep.

 

*Consult your doctor before performing exercise.

 

 

Supported Posture Stretch

Fit Body:

Shoulder Stretch for Posture

If standing shoulders stretches feel uncomfortable, try this seated and supported posture stretch. Begin kneeling on the floor facing a wall. Place both hands on the wall about chest-level. Walk your fingers up the wall, leaning forward until you feel a stretch under your arms and along the side of your torso. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then slowly release.

 

*Consult your physician before performing stretch.

Get Exercise Form Right First

Fit Body:

Master Form First!

Adding a new exercise into your workout? Get exercise form right first, and then add load to challenge your muscles. Ask your training partner or gym buddy to watch a few reps. Even using mirrors as form feedback may miss important elements of the exercise. Your partner can watch a few reps from behind you, on the right side, left side and in front, and then offer feedback as to your alignment and stability. Proper form means a more effective exercise, and that’s where results happen!

Small-Space Cardio

Fit Body:

Small-Space or Stationary Cardio!

Not all cardio has to cover miles, use expensive equipment and take up lots of time, to contribute towards a healthier cardiovascular system. Stack stationary moves to power up your heart and lungs, burn calories and even reduce stress and muscle tension. For example:

Jumping Jacks.

Jump Rope.

Jog in place.

Plyometrics or hopping in various patterns.

Body Weight moves performed at a faster pace and in succession without a rest period.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Do your hands ache?

Fit Body:

Hand and Finger Range of Motion

Do your hands ache? Do you work at a computer all day or perform small detailed work using your hands often? Performing hand and finger range of motion daily is important to increase circulation and decrease soreness and stiffness. Here’s how to begin:

Make a loose fist with each hand, and then release. Do 5-8 times.

Squeeze your fingers together (keeping your fingers straight), then separate 5-8 times.

Curl in your fingertips only, then straighten. Do 5-8 times.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Ease Low Back Soreness

Fit Body:

Standing Low Back Stretch

Ease low back soreness that comes from sitting for too long. Take a break, stand up and do this low back stretch. Bend forward placing your hands on your knees. Keep your weight centered. Tuck your chin into your chest, inhale and round your back. Next, exhale, lift your head and arch your back. Perform 3-5 repetitions moving at your regular breathing rate.

 

*Consult your physician before performing stretch.

 

Small Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle

Fit Mind:

Take small steps to a healthy lifestyle

Small changes in health habits are more likely to be sustainable, lasting changes. Those who make large, sweeping, all-or-none lifestyle changes often burn out mentally or get injured physically from going from unhealthy to healthy in a day, or week. Make a few small changes at a time, every 2-3 weeks. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Walk! Start walking more.

2. Drink one glass of water every morning.

3. Reduce your unhealthy snacks by one portion or piece per serving. Continue to reduce intake or portions by one every 2 weeks.

4. Take 3 deep breaths every time you get in your car.

5. When you go out to eat, skip dessert.

Do You Warm Up?

Fit Body:

Don’t ignore your warm up!

Warming up before your workout prepares all the systems of your body for movement.  You’ll be increasing circulation through range of motion, energizing your heart and lungs, actively stretching your muscles to reduce the risk of injury and getting your mind focused. Perform an 8-10 minute appropriate warm up consisting of moving your muscles consistently, at a low to moderate intensity level. Walking provides a great warm up for most activities. Or simply do your workout activity, like cycling, slower in the beginning. Gradually build up pace, speed and intensity to your main workout set over the 8-10 minutes. And if it’s cold outside, you may even need a longer warm up.