Group Fitness

Why Joining a Group Fitness Class Could Spell a New You

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While there are many immediate benefits of joining group fitness sessions, did you know the long-term benefits are even better? While, of course, you are going to feel more motivated and social, it can also work wonders for your confidence, weight loss success, stress levels, and happiness. Here’s why joining a group fitness class could spell a new you.

Become More Confident

When was the last time you threw yourself into an uncomfortable situation? Most of us tend to stick with what we know, and we dare not step outside that comfort zone into the unknown. However, if you join a group fitness class such as BodyPump or CX Worx, for example, you will find yourself becoming more confident as the days and weeks go by.

It can seem terrifying walking into a room full of strangers, but once you realise how lovely everyone is, you will have no problems about doing it in the future.

Lose More Weight

Many scientific studies prove that exercising in a group fitness class, or with others, can be beneficial to your success. In the Journal of Social Sciences, it was even found that we mimic the physical activity of others, helping to push ourselves further than ever before. And, in an Obesity journal study, overweight people lose more weight if they spend time with fitter friends or acquaintances. (more…)

Resistance training

The Best Resistance Training Exercises

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Resistance training, also known as weight training or toning, is a popular and effective form of exercise that will have you looking fit and healthy in no time. Its name is derived from the way in which you exercise, which involves using the opposite force for your muscles – such as with bands or dumbbells.

There are so many reasons why you need to include resistance training in your exercise routine, and you are sure to notice the benefits. Your body shape will change for the better, you will see improved muscle strength and power, your metabolic rate will go through the roof, and even your bone health will improve. If all these benefits sound appealing, consider some of the best resistance training exercises below.

Plank

If you want to avoid getting lower back pain and tighten your core muscles, then a good exercise to carry out is called a plank. At first glance, the plank looks easy. After all, you don’t actually have to do anything, right? Wrong. A plank is one of the most effective exercises for strengthening your core muscles, and it’s most certainly not because you do nothing.

A plank involves lying on your stomach, then raising your body up so that you’re positioned on your elbows and your toes – similar to a press up. You then need to lower your buttocks down until it’s positioned at about the same height as your shoulders. Make sure you don’t point your bottom upwards as this is a form of “relief” and doesn’t help work those core muscles.

Squeeze your naval area so that it’s pointing towards your spine and hold this position for 30 seconds. If you’re starting from scratch with core exercises, it might even be helpful to hold it for 10 seconds, then release, then hold it again for 10 seconds and so on.

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Work Up a Sweat

5 Ways to Work Up a Sweat

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If you don’t sweat during a workout, can you really tell yourself you’re pushing hard enough? While sweat is the body’s way of regulating your temperature, it also releases toxins and enables your body to exert itself to benefit from muscular strength, better blood circulation, and better lung function. What’s more, if you choose a high-intensity exercise session over a moderate one, your body will look and feel better for it. Here are five ways you can work up a sweat for the betterment of your body.

1. High-Intensity Interval Training

If you’re looking for maximum sweat output in the shortest possible timeframe, it’s time to add high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, to your workout. High-intensity interval training is when your workout is fast-paced and intense for a short period of time, such as between one and three minutes, before taking a quick breather and getting back into it again. Typically, you carry out different cardio and strength training. Within just a few minutes, sweat will be pouring off you.

2. Spinning

Spin classes are not only a fun, social gym class, but they are designed to make you sweat in the process. Using a mixture of body heat, resistance, and springs, you have to spin on a spin bike for as long as possible at a fast rate. Spinning is a popular form of exercise due to its aerobic benefits and the ability it has to heighten your heart rate. It’s also a favorite for those who require a low-impact workout with minimal pressure on joints.

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Boost your Metabolism

5 Ways to Boost your Metabolism Naturally

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Metabolism is the complex process involving the transformation of what you put into your mouth into energy. The better food and drinks you have, the better your metabolism. Metabolism is largely a biochemical process, and it uses the calories in what you consume, along with oxygen, to provide your body with necessary energy just to function. As you age, your metabolism slows, and you may find yourself piling on the weight. If you don’t consume nutritious food and don’t exercise, you’ll also find the situation might be exacerbated.

If you’re looking to make a change in your life, it’s helpful to begin with your metabolism. Here are five ways you can naturally boost yours.

1. Drink Tea or Coffee
If drinking tea and coffee is your favourite pastime, you’re in luck. Caffeine is a stimulant that ties in with your central nervous system, and it’s very beneficial for your metabolism. Therefore, drinking at least one cup of tea or coffee per day will have a positive effect. A cup of tea can boost your metabolism by as much as 12 percent, while coffee can see an improvement of anywhere up to eight percent.

2. Calculate Calories
Counting calories is a tricky business, especially when it comes to improving your metabolism while trying to lose weight at the same time. While it’s true that cutting your caloric intake can lead to weight loss, if you cut them by too much, your metabolism can come to a standstill. Ensure you eat regularly and often, and make sure you remain within the healthy caloric intake for your weight and gender.

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Fats

Fats – What’s Good and What’s Not?

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For many years, people have been confused about different fats and oils, and what they mean for their health. Why is it that avocado is filled with fat, and so is deep-fried food, but only avocado is healthy? If you’re not sure what fats and oils you should be eating, and what you should be avoiding, read on.

What is Fat Defined as?
There are four main types of dietary fat: saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans. Each fat reacts differently with your body’s processes – some negatively, and some positively. Trans fat and saturated fat can raise your cholesterol levels and put you at risk of heart disease, while polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can be critical for moving vitamins around the body and producing certain hormones.

What is Saturated Fat?
Saturated fat is typically bad for you. It’s the fat found in deep-fried food, bakery goods, and some drinks as well. It increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, can raise your cholesterol levels, and should only be eaten in moderation. Saturated fat is also found in meat and dairy but is coupled with vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Therefore, meat and dairy can be eaten in moderation, alongside generous portions of fruit and vegetables.

What is Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fat?
Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are far more beneficial for your body than saturated fat. They help to decrease bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol and are a preferred option over saturated or trans fats.

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