Archive for the ‘fitness equipment advice’ Category

10 Fitness Ideas to Amp Up Your Workout

May 13th, 2016 No comments

Running out of workout ideas? Staying fit isn’t easy, especially if you are losing motivation due to a dull routine. But don’t worry, it happens to everyone. The best thing you can do when boredom begins is to amp up your workout with these fun and effective ideas.

1.      Step away from the machine

Structured and easy to use resistance machines can be pretty alluring. They have instructions and control your movements to make sure you are doing them correctly, but according to McKinley Health Center, free weights have more physical benefits.

  • Allow full range of motion
  • Target multiple muscle groups at once
  • Improve coordination and control
  • More challenging
  • More adaptable

2.      Focus on flexibility

Although you might be focused on increasing your speed, reps or overall strength, don’t forget the importance of flexibility. Harvard Health Publications emphasizes flexibility is key to your workout.

  • helps with balance
  • prevents back pain
  • prevents injuries
  • allows full range of motion

Just make sure to stretch after your workout, not before.

3.      Incorporate yoga

For some reason, women tend to gravitate to yoga classes, but this calming practice is something everyone should try.

  • improves flexibility
  • enhances balance
  • helps manage weight

Studies show people who practice yoga just once a week can lose five pounds over 10 years. Imagine if you practiced in a bit more or combined it with your cardio. Sign up for a class or check out some free yoga videos on YouTube to gain the benefits of yoga for weight loss.

Let's read some fitness secrets:

4.      Interval train when you’re short on time

Studies show an intense 5-minute interval workout (10 minutes if you include the warm up and cool down) provide the same results as a 45-minute workout. All you have to do is intersperse three 20 second bursts of energy with two, two-minute periods of moderate activity. If you are short on time, this is a good way to get your workout in for the day.

5.      Join a group

If you have the willpower, working out alone has its advantage, but research shows strong advantages for group exercise.

  • Working out with others creates accountability
  • It can create motivation through competition
  • There’s an added social benefit
  • It raises endorphins more than working out alone

6.      Get massages

Sports teams pay big money for professional massage therapists for a reason. Studies show massage can decrease your recovery time to get you back on your game, fast. One study found that a short, 10-minute Swedish massage right after working out reduced inflammation to help heal muscles. Of course, massage has other benefits as well says the American Massage Therapy Association.

  • Reduces stress
  • Treats lower back and neck pain
  • Gives joint pain relief
  • Improves sleep
  • Enhances range of motion

7.      Vary your rep speed

Many amateurs just start off lifting at a normal speed, but how you do your reps really can make a difference. One study showed that slow reps resulted in a 50 percent increase in strength than when they were done quickly, so there’s no need to rush through. You should vary the speed, and even pause to hold the weights to increase the time your muscles are under tension. The more tension, the more you’ll gain.


8.      Make a playlist to maximize your workout

Everyone has headphones dangling from their ears at the gym, and you probably like to use music to motivate you as well. It turns out there are some real benefits to choosing the right music, researchers say music really can enhance different workouts.

  • Choose rap or hip-hop when you’re stretching and running
  • Make a dance music playlist for your strength training
  • Cool down with catchy pop songs

9.      Indulge in the sauna and hot tub

Some think of these heat producers as nothing more than luxury, but they may actually boost your workout results. Animal studies showed heat chambers improved muscle mass by 13 percent over two weeks, but now researchers also think saunas improve heart health and lead to longer lives. If you have a gym membership, you probably already have access to a hot tub or a sauna (or both) so what are you waiting for?

10. Always remember to warm up and cool down

Sometimes you might be tempted to skip your warm up or cool down, especially if you’re in a hurry, but the American Heart Association warns against missing them.

  • Warm ups improve your performance while you are working out
  • They improve flexibility and increase oxygen flow
  • They reduce stress on your heart
  • A cool down helps your body adjust, gently slowing your heart rate
  • It also prevents a rapid drop in blood pressure so you don’t feel dizzy

Now that you know how to amp up your activity, get out there and get moving.

Watch this video: Secret Tips To Find Success and Keep Motivated

About the Author

Katleen Brown is a health, beauty and fitness writer. She loves to publish her articles on various health related websites. In her spare time, likes to do research to bring awareness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and outlook, she helps empower women to tune into their innate & inner wisdom to transform their health and truly flourish. Get in touch with her on Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.


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9 Reasons To Ditch Gym And Work Out At Home

September 8th, 2015 No comments

Going to the gym may have its perks, but the downsides can sometimes be too overwhelming that it seems wiser to do your workouts in the comfort of your own personal space. Travelling, membership fees, noise, busy-ness, hygiene, there are practically countless factors which can dissuade anyone from going back to a crowded place to do exercise. Let’s delve a little deeper to see what makes your home a more suitable place for working out.

The weather

No matter what season it is, you won’t have to trudge through the cold winter and warm summer air if you decide to create a gym at your home. With some air conditioning and proper ventilation, you can set perfect conditions for exercise in peace. Everything you need and are used to, is a couple of feet away.

home-workoutNo Gym Schedules

You can dictate your own pace. It’s understandable that members of a gym are the ones who have to be flexible, because a gym usually can't meet every individual temporal demand. They make their own workout timetables, regardless of your (un)available time, so if you want to avoid this kind of pressure, it’s best when the scheduling is entirely up to you.

You Don’t Have To Dress For The Occasion

It may be a bit superficial, but people tend to prim themselves up before going to the gym, because almost no one wants to be seen in their trashy, careless edition. This can be tedious, counter-productive  and time-consuming; at home, you won’t have to brush your hair, choose between polka dots or striped sports bra, worry about previous sweat marks, etc.


Yes, every professional fitness business must have showers, but during working out, germs can get everywhere, especially when a sweaty guy finishes his routine on a machine and doesn’t wipe down his bodily left-overs. At least at your home, the germs are your own.

Timely Diet

Imagine you had an intense workout and now you’re so hungry, you’d kill for a meal. It can take some people hours to finally reach their fridge in order to recharge their batteries and recover their energy with good food. Home gyms, however, are just a couple of steps away from the kitchen.

The Noises

Ah, yes, people tend to make all sorts of sounds, grunts and other noises during their exercise, especially the bodybuilders who love to bolster themselves up with a couple of roars. This can be quite distracting, pretty obvious why. To avoid that gym orchestra, stay at home and make your own gym music.

Everything Is Up To You

You can just roll out of bed and start working out immediately. Or if you’re not in the mood at the moment, you can always move your session to later. The point is, everything depends on your will and pace. The most important thing is to buy yourself some proper commercial fitness equipment, or find ways to improvise by exercising with your own body weight and using your surroundings.

Workout Buddies

You can exercise with your friends, family, maybe even hire a personal trainer to come to your home so you can exercise and socialize more freely in a relaxed atmosphere. At the gym, things are usually either too professional, too distracting and sometimes even too vain.

When You’re Done, You Can Catch Your Breath At Your Leisure

No matter how much you’ve worked out, nothing can stop you from sprawling out on the floor when you finish giving your all. It’s your success, so enjoy yourself while gasping for air after the rough ride. You shouldn’t be ashamed of yourself when your body has forced you on the ground, in spite of current glorious achievements.

What to Expect when You’re Starting with Personal Training

July 13th, 2015 No comments

Deciding that you need to start working out is the first step -- a big one -- in a long process that is ahead of you; congratulations on making this important decision. What lies before you is a difficult journey full of obstacles, and travelling will not be easy; this is why you should seek help from someone who has already been there and will understand exactly what you will be going through. Look for a person you could rely on and be comfortable with to guide you through the workout – a personal trainer.

Personal trainer really knows you

When we say ‘knows you’, we really mean it. In order to come up with a good workout and nutrition plans, personal trainer needs to know your eating, drinking, and workout habits, and you need to be open about your past and your health as well. You will open up to this person and show them everything you’ve been hiding from the rest of the world, maybe even your partner: love handles, thighs that rub against each other, all those soft and wiggly parts you are ashamed of and want gone forever.

Maximized workout

When you’re working alone, you will do exercises you know best and stick to them, perhaps experimenting just a bit here and there. Sure, you can follow a workout plan you’ve found online or got from a friend, but with a personal trainer you will get a plan designed especially for you and a professional by your side who will make sure you don’t hurt yourself in the process.

The relationship can escalate

Once you step on that scale before your personal trainer, you hand them the steering wheel and allow them to take control. They will know your most intimate dreams and all of your little vices you thought about keeping to yourself. All this leads to developing a special relationship where the two of your should be brutally honest with each other and develop a close relationship, which can lead to developing feelings for your personal trainer, says Brigid Delaney. Nevertheless, it is difficult not to develop any feelings for this person who is there for you, while you’re sweating and working hard to achieve your goals.

Designed for you

One of the best things about a personal trainer is that he or she will adjust to you, and work hard to get you in shape while respecting you and your time. Some gyms like Symmetry Gym Dubai go as far as to get your injury history, coachability, diet experience, psychological profile, and food habits as a starting point to design your fitness and nutrition plans; the personal trainer is there to help you stick to those plans and turn them into action. This way, you get a program designed for you alone which will surely give the best possible results.

Your relationship with your personal trainer should be open, you should be able to trust each other and communicate freely and honestly. When someone is there for you in the most difficult times, it is only natural that you develop a relationship based on mutual respect and trust. It is likely that you two will become good friends and that your bonds will grow ever stronger.

What to do With a BOSU?

April 29th, 2009 No comments

What is a BOSU, you ask? Well it looks like half a stability ball attached to a hard platform and the name stands for BOth Sides Up. It can make your workout both harder and easier, and at the very least, a lot more interesting.

Balance on it – When you get your feet off solid ground, by standing on either the ball side or platform side of a BOSU you’ll be improving your balance and strengthening stability muscles in your feet, ankles, legs and core. When you add weights to one or both hands and perform upper body exercises, you get two for the price of one.

Make push-ups easier/harder – Grip the handles on the BOSU’s hard side and it’ll take pressure off weak wrists for more comfortable push-ups. Make the move harder by tilting to each side as you perform the push-ups. Place your hands on the ball side and it creates more instability. Place your feet on either side and you’ve got two entirely new and challenging push-up exercises.

Modify squats and lunges – Placing one or both feet on a BOSU for squats and lunges also challenges new muscles and adds variety to a strength training routine. If you’re really steady you can even step on the hard side for added unsteadiness.

Use it as a step – Step aerobics can really scorch calories. Use your BOSU in place of a step to follow along to a step-aerobics video or make up your own, adding cardio intervals to any workout.

Work your core – Almost everything you do with a BOSU involves working core stabilizer muscles, but you can also use it to directly target the front, sides and innermost muscles of your abdomen. Regular or reverse crunches while balancing on the ball side, planks with arms or legs elevated, wood chops with extra instability - the options are endless.

Keep in mind BOSU’s don’t come cheap. If you’re just starting out or have never worked with the equipment before make sure to try it out before you buy. But if you’re looking for a tool that will help you in the strength, balance and cardiovascular departments look no further.

The Best Piece of Fitness Equipment You Don’t Use

April 6th, 2009 No comments

Here are a few hints. It will help your body build muscle, but it’s doesn’t provide resistance. It can bring relief to sore, achy muscles but it doesn’t require costly appointments. And finally it can help with your balance but it’s neither a BOSU ball nor a wobble board.

If you guessed foam roller you really know your stuff. If you belong to a gym chances are you’ve noticed that these cylindrical shaped tools have earned a spot on the floor or in classes in the past few years. You may have noticed people rolling around on them or standing atop one while they lift weights and wondered what exactly this piece of equipment is supposed to do.

Admittedly a foam roller sounds a lot more boring than the BOSU. And it may seem completely unnecessary to those who don’t stretch after a workout anyways. But all those preconceived notions couldn’t be further from the truth.

Why foam rollers are breaking away from the pack:

1.Price – Sure if you have a membership at a fully equipped gym it doesn’t matter to you how much the equipment costs. If you’re looking for something useful at home you may not want to spend over $100 a pop, which is what a BOSU can set you back. Foam rollers on the other hand are often under $20.

2.Massage - Using myofascial release massage techniques (more on this in the next post) you can smooth out knots and target trouble spots without having to rely on a professional. If you get a foam roller to use for nothing more than self-massage, it’s still worth it.

3.Versatility – Foam rollers aren’t just good for muscle massage. By performing exercises while standing in different positions on the roller you can challenge your body’s stabilizing muscles and improve balance. It’s a great way to increase the difficulty of exercises you already do. Just try standing still on a foam roller and you’ll know what I mean. It takes a lot of practice to master the foam roller and you will really know you’re getting somewhere when you’ve worked up to just one full squat.