(BPT) - Whether you’re hitting the gym to get healthy, tone up or improve your overall well-being, seeing results can be one of the most satisfying feelings. Noticing even the smallest change in the way you feel or look is reason enough to lace up your sneakers for another sweat session.
When results seem to plateau or schedules get busy, don’t give up! Keep the below tips in mind to help maximize your fitness routine and stay on track.
1) Find a workout buddy
Instead of flying solo, bring a friend so you can encourage each other during your workouts. Exercising with a buddy can breed healthy competition, but also hold you accountable. To help maximize the impact, try to pick a partner that is on the same fitness level as you and shares similar goals — you will want to be able to increase your intensity level and challenge each other as a team.
2) Fuel up
An active lifestyle requires proper nutrition. When regularly exercising, your body needs fuel for optimal performance and proper recovery. Before a workout, opt for healthy and easily digestible carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, whole-grain bread and pasta, fruits and vegetables to give you energy. Afterward, try a protein-packed snack like Emergen-C Protein Fuel and Superfoods. With 15 grams of organic plant-based protein and two full servings of 14 superfoods, the protein and superfood powder blend can help you make the most of your active time by providing the wholesome nourishment you need, along with supporting your natural defenses with a high potency serving of vitamin C.
3) Head to the weights
If your fitness goals include improving body composition and losing weight, you may want to introduce strength training into your regimen. While exercises such as walking, running and cycling can do wonders for your cardiovascular health and help burn calories, strength training with weights can elevate your metabolism for a longer period — meaning your body will continue burning calories even after a workout. Plus, strength training can target and tone hard-to-reach muscles, improve balance and help protect your bones.
4) Switch it up
After a while, bodies can grow accustomed to the same exercise routine, often leading to stalled results. If you find yourself breezing through a workout, it’s time to switch it up and push your limits. Varying your exercises can challenge your mind and body, help burn more calories and prevent boredom. If you like to run long distances, try implementing sprint intervals. At the gym? Try out new equipment or vary your reps. Challenge your body and you may be surprised by the results.
5) Take a break
The last way to maximize your fitness routine has nothing to do with the gym at all. In fact, it requires you to skip the gym. Exercise provides many health benefits, but too many high-intensity workouts can backfire, potentially causing injury from overuse and hindering your results. Allow your body enough time to heal before hitting the gym again and try to work active rest days into your schedule, such as going for a light walk or bike ride.
Keeping these tips in mind can help you make the most of your fitness routine and magnify your efforts in the gym, on the track, in the pool or wherever you choose to exercise. Above all, don’t hesitate to ask fellow gym-goers for help or to make modifications when something feels off.
For more information, visit www.emergenc.com.
Brian Zehetner, Planet Fitness’ Director of Health and Fitness, helps cut through the noise by synthesizing what he sees as five major fitness trends that are likely to make the biggest impact in the future.
(BPT) - When looking ahead to the rest of the year, so many get excited about the latest trends, gadgets or gizmos getting the most attention as they look for what they might be interested in for themselves or their family. The world of health and fitness is an area that is always evolving to the point there’s continuously something new to try, and sometimes it can even reach the point of feeling overwhelming.
Brian Zehetner, Planet Fitness’ Director of Health and Fitness, helps cut through the noise by synthesizing what he sees as five major fitness trends that are on the rise.
1. 30-minute workouts: People are more time-crunched than ever and they want comprehensive and effective workouts that can be done in relatively short time frames. Ideally, these workouts include both a cardio component and a strength component. We may even see more 15- and 20-minute workout programs popping up this year and beyond! Planet Fitness offers an entire 30-minute workout area for those looking to get in and get out, allowing you to get a full-body workout using a mix of weight machines for strength training alternated with steppers for great cardio.
2. Programs geared toward teens and young adults: Expect an influx of youth-oriented workouts and wellness opportunities to come in the near future. With new guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommending at least 60 minutes of aerobic physical activity for kids every day, we expect to see even more youth, teens and young adults reenergizing their daily activity.
3. Certified training: More and more people are looking to certified trainers to help them not just with exercise form or how to use a machine but help guide them on a plan to stick to for achieving any wellness goals. Planet Fitness has what it calls the PE@PF(R) program, which includes unlimited small group fitness instruction by certified trainers — free and included with all memberships! They are available to provide counsel on individualized exercise plans but with the benefit and motivation of working out as part of a small team with other members.
4. Mindfulness: Fitness and nutrition have always been a happy marriage when it comes to wellness, but let’s not forget about the benefits of mindfulness and meditation as well. This is a critical component of any wellness regimen, too, and there are numerous apps in this space that are growing in popularity. Audio-guided workouts (via apps, podcasts, etc.) are becoming all the rage, too, and that trend is expected to continue.
5. DIY fitness: Our members are requesting more information so they can reach their fitness goals all on their own. People want help, yet see their journey as an independent one, so it’s on us in the industry to provide them with content, guidance and anything else that may help them on their journey. Look for more assistance to come via technology in coming years (e.g., apps, on-demand content, etc.), as well.
Planet Fitness offers memberships for only $10 a month, and a variety of benefits including free small group fitness instruction, brand-name equipment and fully equipped locker rooms. To make the most of your fitness journey and for resources to help you reach your goals, visit planetfitness.com.
If you've tried and failed to get in shape or lose weight as part of a New Year's resolution, it's time to put a plan behind your passion. Below are five tips from BiPro's 31 Ways in 31 Days challenge. They are appropriate for all ages and fitness levels,
(BPT) - To lose weight and/or get in better shape consistently ranks as one of the top New Year's resolutions. However, many resolutions to reach this goal fall short or last less than a month because a great idea is seldom successful without a plan to make it happen.
If you've tried and failed to get in shape or lose weight as part of a New Year's resolution, it's time to put a plan behind your passion. Below are five tips from BiPro's 31 Ways in 31 Days challenge. They are appropriate for all ages and fitness levels, so use them to start your own wellness resolution, whether it's on Jan. 1, March 1 or whenever you're ready to make a healthy change.
* Measure your success. Minneapolis fitness expert Chris Freytag says celebrating those small victories will keep you motivated to pursue your final goal, and there are ways to measure your results beyond stepping on the scale. She recommends keeping a workout journal to record improvements in your weight training, biking or running. Record each session in detail so you can review them later and see how your numbers have progressed. It's the perfect pick-me-up.
* Balance your protein intake throughout the day. Most Americans consume barely any protein in the morning, a fair amount for lunch and a lot with dinner. For the best results, you should try to balance your protein intake throughout the day. That way, your body has a constant stream of the nutrients it needs to function at its best. You can estimate how much protein you need each day using the protein calculator at BiProUSA.com. Once you've found your number, be sure you're consuming a steady and balanced portion of protein not only at dinner, but also at breakfast and lunch.
* Get motivated to work out even when you don't feel like exercising. Sometimes you just don't want to work out, but instead of putting it off until tomorrow, Jordan Hasay, a record setting professional runner, says it's important to set small daily goals. "It's all about winning the day," she says. "As a professional athlete, my workouts every day are difficult. It's all about taking baby steps and really looking at one step at a time and setting individual goals for the day."
* Don't let a pre-existing injury postpone your workout. After a decade of playing pro football, Ben Leber had trouble running without pain due to his worn-down knees. So he took up boxing, as his twice-per-week cardio workout. The sport is physical and gets Leber's heart rate up, all without putting unneeded pressure on his knees. Find the sport that appeals to you. Be it boxing, swimming or bike riding, there is a solution out there that works for you and your existing injury.
* Start the day with a protein-packed breakfast. You know starting the day with protein is important, but your busy schedule means cooking eggs and bacon every morning isn't possible. Instead, start your morning with a protein smoothie using this recipe:
- 1 scoop unflavored protein powder
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1/2 banana
- 1 cup almond milk
Blend them all together until they are thoroughly mixed and load them in your travel mug. You'll have a great healthy breakfast to start your day.
While Jan. 1 is a popular day to kick off a health and fitness goal, any day of the year can mark the start of your new life, you just have to set a plan and follow through. So don't delay. The better you is out there, so seize it before the new year rolls around again. To find more tips from the 31 Ways in 31 Days challenge, as well as other healthy recipes, visit BiProUSA.com.
Cardiovascular exercise may promote a positive mood, better cognitive function and reduce diabetes risk, but only if you do it right. Here's tips how
(BPT) - Does your exercise routine live and die by the treadmill? Does your workout consist of an hour on the elliptical? While you can't ignore the positive impact aerobic exercise has on your health, it may not be the dream weight-loss solution you hope for.
"It seems an awful lot of people walk, jog, run and cycle on a regular basis, hoping the time spent on the treadmill, bike or trail will equate to drastic weight loss results," says Paul Kriegler, registered dietitian and nutrition program manager for Life Time Fitness. "There's a fair amount of research on how much cardio is best for realizing health benefits, but there are a few factors that could be compromising those benefits for you."
You're doing cardio, but moving less throughout the rest of the day.
Think about this: you wake up early, get to your health club and work hard for a solid hour, spinning your legs until they feel like jelly. A puddle of sweat surrounds your bike and your heart rate monitor says you burned 950 calories. That's great, until later on, you forgo your normal walking break because you feel too worn out. And later that evening, you catch a nap before dinner rather than walking the dog or mowing the lawn. People often justify inactivity in the hours after a strenuous workout. Most experts recommend getting the majority of your movement throughout the day instead of condensing it into one particular segment.
You're doing too much cardio.
The health benefits of cardiovascular training appear to begin after around 30 minutes of moderate intensity four to five days per week, totaling around 150 minutes. When it comes to cardio, more isn't always better, especially if you don't give your body time to recover. According to an article titled "Effect of the volume and intensity of exercise training on insulin sensitivity," published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, opting for long, frequent sessions is often less effective than shorter, higher intensity. Doing long sessions of cardio, more than 60 minutes, is rarely necessary unless you're training for a specific event. Another observational study of recreational joggers suggest you're better off capping your strict cardio time at 30 minutes and including several days per week of resistance training.
You think cardio means "I get to eat extra calories without consequence."
While exercising to burn off some energy may give you a little room for forgiveness, exercising to prepare for or undo poor eating habits doesn't guarantee you results. In fact, according to a study in PubMed, large amounts of cardio training have been shown to induce compensatory eating patterns, especially in women. It's easy to get into this mindset, but exercise is far more than just a way to expend calories. Well-planned, properly executed bouts of activity can stimulate your body to go through incredible changes, but not if you're using food as a reward.
All your cardio sessions are the same.
Cardio can be helpful for getting a little solitude or zone out time, but doing the same workout every day when you're looking for results is definitely not the answer. A good exercise program incorporates variability from one workout to the next. Your body has a few major energy systems, and they all need to be challenged over time. Try an Active Metabolic Assessment from Life Time to scientifically determine your most efficient heart rate zones so you can exercise smarter.
Cardiovascular exercise may promote a positive mood, better cognitive function and reduce diabetes risk, but only if you do it right. Take these factors into consideration the next time you lace up your gym shoes and hop on the nearest cardio machine.
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