Are you ready to get more out of your workouts without spending more time in the gym? Two words: Interval Training.
Interval training is simply adding intense activity into your workouts with intervals of lighter activity. If you are thinking that we do this during our classes at the Body Loft, you are correct. What is amazing about adding interval training to your workouts and runs is you burn more calories, improve your aerobic capacity (building your stamina for longer and more intense workouts), keep your workouts interesting, and you don't need to buy special equipment. You want to build up your intensity in your workouts slowly to prevent injury, and in no time you will be increasing your strength, speed, and motivation. Follow this interval plan while running or walking and let us know what you think when you come to the Loft for your next class. You will start noticing more strength on the TRX and in your workouts outside the gym, getting your closer to your health and fitness goals!
-Warm up for about 15 minutes walking, running, or biking at your normal to slow pace.
-Rev it up for 2-3 minutes at 90%-95% of your maximum heart rate. This should feel like 8.5/9 out of 10 in effort.
-Take 2-3 minutes of active recovery, still moving but at a slower pace.
-Repeat the 3 on/3 off patter four more times.
-Finish with a 10 minute cool down.
Congrats you have just done an interval routine! Don't forget to recognize your achievement and push yourself the next time you try this routine. See you at the Loft!
Your abs are constantly being used in most movements you do throughout your day. Bend over, engage your abs. Squats, engage your abs. This week at the Body Loft we want to help you focus on targeting your abs, so they are strong and ready to tackle any move life throws your way! Your core is the center of your body, so it is important to keep it strong for good balance throughout your body. Try these at home between your visits to the Body Loft.
We all want to exercise daily because of all the benefits to our body and mind, but where do we find the time in our busy schedule? This week we explore creative ways to find time to exercise, keeping our motivation to live a healthy lifestyle and feel our best!
With any routine that you want to keep consistent, it is important to be flexible and use your time wisely. One key to success is to remember that you can find physical exercise doing your daily tasks, not just in a formal exercise routine. At home, try waking up 30 minutes before your normal wake up time to get in a quick walk, run, or morning stretch. When doing your chores around the house, make them count! You are moving your body and strengthening your arms and legs when you mop, garden, vacuum, and all those other mundane chores you do. Try riding a stationary bike or holding a plank while watching television, using that couch time to benefit your body. Still not convinced you can find time to exercise? Involve your family and doggies! Take a family bike ride or walk. It can be in shorter bursts if you are worried about overworking your kids or dogs. When you are at work, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. If walking or riding your bike is accessible for your commute, put the car keys down a few days a week (or even just start with one day without your car!). Take fitness breaks throughout the day by taking a short walk instead of hanging around the water cooler.
Still having a hard time finding time, team up! Make an exercise date with your pals or join a fitness group like the Body Loft. Group fitness classes are a great way to commit to getting your exercise time in and meet people that are on a similar journey.
There is no formula that will work best for everyone, so find what works for your schedule and life. Squeezing in three 15-20 spurts of exercise during the day is just as effective as a solid chunk of time, so be patient with yourself. When life gets busy and crazy, don't forget to take care of your needs. This motivation will naturally bleed into the other areas of your life! Making physical exercise a habit will help you maintain the happy, healthy lifestyle we are all working towards.
Staying positive and motivated can be tough when starting a new exercise routine or when you reach a plateau in your workouts. As we all know this can be a slippery slope to losing your routine and ultimately not reaching your goals. We at the body loft are dedicated in helping you reach your health and fitness goals, so here are a few tips in staying positive!
1. BE PATIENT with yourself and your exercising. Most of us exercise to tone up, lose or maintain weight, and stay healthy. Results are not going to happen over night or even in the first week. There are no shortcuts in exercising and working out, so you must be patient with yourself if you want to see results. If you are burning more calories than you are eating, your body is changing. This might not be at the pace you want, but remember living healthy is a life style!
2. REFLECT on a time when you were successful in your work outs and exercise routine. Also think about when you struggled and stopped exercising. Do you notice a pattern or trigger that disrupts your routine? Start with a basic routine that is realistic with your schedule since we all know how busy life can get.
3. COMMUNITY. Surround yourself with other people who share similar goals and routines. Coming to Body Loft classes each week are a great way to stay motivated in a positive atmosphere. Remember you are not alone in your journey!
4. EAT, DRINK, AND SLEEP WELL. A healthy diet, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep is known to affect our mood and mental health. Although exercise is a great way to help you feel better, diet is just a crucial in maintaining a positive attitude. So, eat whole foods, drink water, and get 8 hours of sleep as often as possible.
5. REWARD yourself for all the good work you have done by getting a massage, night out with friends, a movie, or some new work out clothes. As much as staying motivated and on track is important, it is also necessary to recognize the hard work you have put in and how good it makes you feel!
"Water is the driving force of all nature" -Leonardo Da Vinci
Good ole H2O. Drinking water is important for all life, but drinking the right amount can make or break your exercise routine. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints as well as transferring the nutrients in your body to give you energy and keep you healthy. Signs that your body is not properly hydrated are fatigue, muscle cramps, and dizziness. One easy way to check your hydration levels is the color of your pee! If your urine is consistently colorless or light yellow you are probably drinking enough water and properly hydrated. Dark color or amber colored urine are red flags for dehydration.
So, how do you know if you are drinking enough water while you are exercising. While there is not exact science because each of our bodies are different, the first thing to consider is how much you sweat, the humidity of your location, and the length and intensity of your exercise routine.
The American Council on Exercise has suggested the following guidelines for hydration before, during, and after your workout (Familydoctor.org).
Drink 17-20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising.
Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before your work out or during your warm up.
Drink 7-10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercising.
Drink 8 ounces of water no more that 30 minutes after your work out.
Use these general guidelines to help prevent dehydration and keep your body running at peak physical levels. Always check with your doctor if experiencing unusual symptoms or if you have unique conditions affecting your work out routines.
Familydoctor.org. (2016). Athletes: The importance of good hydration. Exercise Basics. Retrieved from http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/exercise-fitness/exercise-basics/athletes-the-importance-of-good-hydration.html
Your core. These muscles are right smack dab in the center of your body and can make or break that swimsuit you have been eyeing during the summer season. Core strength goes much farther than just looks though. Building your core can help improve your strength and performance in other physical activities. Your core muscles include your abs, back muscles, and muscles around the pelvis, which connects your upper and lower body. A strong core can help improve the function of your arms and legs as well as provide stability and balance. You use your core in almost every movement you do throughout the day, whether it be household acts, on the job movements, as well as sports and other fun activities. On top of that a strong core can help prevent back pain, which throws a wrench in any physical activity, even the necessary movements. Weak core muscles also contribute to slouching and poor posture. Good posture can trim your silhouette and project confidence into the world! More importantly, it lessons wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply, helping oxygen get to areas in your body which need the healing. Follow this simple workout routine at home when you can't make it to the Body Loft!
Warm Up: 30 seconds each
-Speed Skaters -Jumping Jacks -Forward Lunge (Alternating Legs) -Squats (Add a Jump!)
-Booty Kicks -Jog in Place -High Knees
Work Out: 30 seconds each
-Mt. Climbers -Sit Ups -Squat Jacks -Bicep Curl (Use a full Water Bottle or Rock!) -Tricep Extensions -Leg Lift (Laying Flat on the Floor) -Wall Sit -Plank -1 Legged Shoulder Press -Push Ups
Cardio Blast Combos 30 Second Each
-3 Jumping Jacks to 3 Push Ups -5 Booty Kicks to 5 High Knees
-2 Forward Lunges to 2 Squat Jacks -3 Mtn Climbers to 3 Plank Jacks
We are about seeing and feeling results here and committed to helping you achieve your goals no matter what they are at this time in your life!
Cardio, Cardio, Cardio. We have all heard it and know its good for you, but why? What is the difference between talking a casual walk and stepping up your pace?
To begin, you may notice that when you start to move your body and exercise, your body responds by increasing your heart rate and you begin breathing faster and more deeply. This not only maximizes that amount of oxygen in your blood, but also increases blood flow to your muscles and then back to your lungs. This increase in heart rate and blood flow brings more oxygen to your muscles and carries away waste, such as lactic acid and carbon dioxide. Your body also increases endorphins, which is a natural pain killer that gives you that sense of well being that is often felt after exercising. This can help you reduce the tension felt in your body associated with anxiety and promote relaxation, which we could all use a little more of!
Cardio also can help you straighten your heart. This does not mean that your heart has to beat faster, but pump blood through your system more effectively and do that whole oxygenation thing. On top of that, "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) is elevated during cardio exercise, which lowers your "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) and can result in less build up in your arteries. Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, why wouldn't we want to take control and prevent that silent killer!
Now you may be asking what is the magic number of minutes we should be raising our heart rate? The health and fitness world has agreed that at least 30 minutes a day of regular aerobic activity is what your body needs to reap the benefits. This is easily achieved in all of our classes at the Body Loft, but this also includes jogging, swimming, biking, skiing, and many other Tahoe activities! Just remember you can always start small and build from there, like booking a one on one training to get your comfortable using the TRX and training or trying on of our Basic classes. Also all of the exercises we use at the Body Loft can be modified to help you gain the most out of your exercise time! See you at the Loft!
Our hips... We love them when we are dancing, squatting, and any other activity you can think of, but did you know how important they can be for your whole body?
Your hips are the ball and sockets joints formed by the pelvic bone and the end of the femur bone. This is a strong and stable joint which supports your spine, often referred to as the foundation of your body. Many of the major muscle groups you target during exercise are connected to the hip, such as the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Your hips are also going to affect your knees, hips, and feet, often disguising hip issues into knee, ankle, or foot pain. So, why wait for a hip injury to focus on strengthening and stretching your hips. Keeping your hips strong and mobile can help you recover if needed and also prevent hip pain. Here are a few of our favorite exercises and stretches. Make sure you check with your physician before trying any exercise while injured or recovering.
We all have our mother's voice in our head telling us to sit up straight and maintain good posture, and although it was a nuisance when we were young, our Moms' were on to something! Posture is just as important as eating well and exercising daily. "Without good posture, you can't really be physically fit" (Kansas Chiropractic Foundation, 2016). So, how do you assess your posture and eventually achieve good posture?
Good posture means that your bones are properly aligned with your muscles, ligaments, and joints as nature intended. If your posture is in the correct position, your organs are in the right position allowing for peak performance, your nervous system is firing normally, and your spine is strong and stable. Before we get into how to reshape your posture into the correct form, lets discuss bad posture for a moment.
Bad posture can develop from an injury, accident, or your environment and bad habits. Either way your body is out of whack. When your are slouching, your muscles and ligaments have to work harder and strain to keep you balanced, which can cause headaches, back pain, and other problems. This comes through as fatigue, tight achy muscles and joints, and joint stiffness and pain. That's a big NO GO in our book. So how do we start establishing good posture?
A healthy back has three natural curves:
Now that you have some background information, here are some tips on how to achieve good standing posture.
Kansas Chiropractic Foundation. (2016). Good posture.... How important is it? Kansas Chiropractic Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.kansaschirofoundation.org/goodposture-article.html
Mayo Clinic. (2016). Prevent back pain with good posture. Mayo Clinic Adult Heath. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/multimedia/back-pain/sls-20076817?s=1
The squat seems to be incorporated into so many work out routines and moves, but how do you know if you have proper form to reap the most benefits?
Here is a play by play to make sure that your form is correct overtime you do the squat.
1. Stand with your head facing forward, your chin parallel to the ground and your chest held up and out.
-With most exercises you want to make sure your chin is not tucked into your chest or lifted to high. This keeps your neck and spine neutral, so you feel the most benefits of the exercise. Your chest should feel like you are standing at attention if you were a solider!
2. Place your feet shoulder width apart with your toes pointed forward or slightly outward. If you need help with balance, extend your hand straight out or clasp your fingers in front of your chest with your elbows bent. This can also help your keep your chest up to maintain good form.
3. Sit back and down as if sitting in an imaginary chair, focusing on keeping your weight in your heels. Your upper body will bend forward a bit, but our chin should still be parallel to the floor and your back strong and straight. Rather than letting your back round, arch your lower back just a bit to help keep your spine straight.
4. As you squat your knees should travel in a straight line in the direction your toes are pointed. Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the ground as possible. Do not squat so low that your thighs are lower than parallel because you are past the point of muscle engagement and thus not reaping the full benefits. Also check that your knees are not out past your toes. When your knees are past your ankles and toes you put extra pressure of the delicate ligaments, cartilage, and tendons that hold the knees in place and run the risk of injuring your knees!
5. Stand up, pressing though your heels, finishing with your legs straight but relaxed to prevent snapping your knees and forcing your lower back to arch (OUCH!). This brings you back to your original starting position where you can start again!
Start with 2-3 sets of 10, doing each rep slowly and focusing on your form. Before you know it you will be a squat master!