When it comes to exercises and creating a routine you can stick with, it is essential that you take into account your age, overall health & any disabilities or issues you may have. A lot of times certain exercises or workouts tend to be too high impact or create too much stress on the body for people to sustain. Running can be rough on your knees and other joints, just as weight lifting may be too much for someone with arthritis etc. So what workout is great for your entire body and can even help those with asthma, while sustaining low to no impact? Swimming!!! That’s right, and with more and more research being published on just how great swimming is for you, many are finding they can create & sustain a great swimming or water exercise regime better than any other exercise. 

 Swimming For Cardiovascular Health

With the popularity of swimming for health purposes increasing many gym-goers and those without a pool to utilize anywhere else, look to find gyms with a nice, clean, and efficient pool or aquatic facility. Andy, with Phoenix Pool Remodel and also an avid swimmer, said that many of his clients look to pool remodel so that they may create a pool that is best for exercise. In fact, a lot of elderly clients continuously tell him just how much better they feel after establishing a water routine. And being a swimmer himself he knows exactly what they are talking about. In a line of work where physical labor is a necessity, he often heads to the pool to get a workout in or to relieve and stretch out tired & sore muscles. “There is nothing like swimming a few laps when you are tired and sore to get all the kinks out” states Andy. So why exactly is swimming so good for you?

Swimming incorporates the entire body and is an activity that can be done year-round, thanks to those indoor gym pools. Swimming also helps to get your heart rate up while reducing the amount of stress put on the body. It helps improve muscle endurance and your overall cardiovascular fitness levels. Swimming is also great for helping to maintain or lose weight, gain muscle strength, and pretty much works almost every muscle in the body! With various strokes such as backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, sidestroke, and the butterfly you can change up your moves and work certain muscles more in one area. Swimming has also been found to be good for those with asthma as it is believed to help expand lung capacity so that you are better able to gain control of your breathing.

The benefits of swimming really are endless, and the fact that swimming can be enjoyed by any age group makes it that much better. If you are looking to change up your fitness routine or incorporate lower impact exercise dip your toe in the pool and start swimming!

Check out this quick video on the proper form for weight lifting beginners or those that want to perfect their own form!

Health & fitness mean different things to different people. The one thing that remains the same is that each person has their own goals & body ideals that they are trying to achieve or sustain. And while exercise and weight lifting is an essential part of working to reach those goals, muscle fatigue, and slow progress can be quite discouraging. That being said, many people within the weight lifting & fitness world utilize supplements that help them to reach their goals while also helping to fuel their workouts, and increase strength & endurance. But with so many supplements available on the market which ones will really help you to achieve your desired physique and fitness goals? After all, supplement ingredients can improve certain individual aspects of exercise, and thus should be chosen based on your exercise goals. 

Best Supplements To Aid With Fitness Goals

Caffeine – this is a very popular ingredient in workout supplements. It helps to increase your output power as well as, helps to increase the force you exert instantly. Because caffeine is a stimulant it helps promote and increase energy. It is great for sprinting, cycling, and weight training workouts.

Creatine – creatine is actually a molecule found in our cells. It is a very important part of energy or ATP production and is regarded as the #1 sports supplement to increase strength and power. Research also supports creatine’s ability to safely and effectively increase overall muscle mass. It also aids in improving strength and exercise performance in general. In fact, it has been estimated that this sports supplement can increase strength gain anywhere between 5%-10%!

Sodium Bicarbonate – also known as baking soda this common household and baking necessity can also be used as a sports supplement. Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate acts as a buffering agent to help fight the buildup of acid in the body. It has also been said to help reduce fatigue during exercise. That burning sensation you experience in your muscles during exercise is actually your body’s signal that acid production has increased. So far it has been shown a small amount of benefit with intense exercise like running, cycling, and repeated sprints or HIIT type workouts.

Beta-Alanine – beta-alanine is an amino acid that helps fight muscle fatigue. After the build-up of acid in your body increases due to intense exercise, beta-alanine helps to reduce & lower acidity levels. It also has been known to help improve performance during intense exercise. But it should be noted that the benefits related to long-term endurance workouts are smaller than those associated with intense shorter workouts. 

When it comes to choosing the supplement that is right for you it is not only important to keep your specific fitness goals in mind, it is also important to take into account any health-related issues. That being said you should absolutely speak with your doctor or healthcare professional when introducing any new supplements into your daily health regime. 

With COVID-19 shutting the world down almost completely for more than a month and potentially indefinitely, a lot of people had to find a way to get their workouts in at home while making them comparable to the gym workouts that they have grown to love & are so accustomed to. First world problems right? Indeed they may be, but let’s face it our workouts are not just for appearance purposes although I’m sure it plays a big role in the motivation to get them done. Our workouts are also a time to rev up our bodies, promote health and wellness, and take a boatload of stress off. They leave us feeling spent, invigorated, and feeling the workout “high” because of all those great endorphins that have been released.

With that being said, creating an exercise space at home is highly suggested and a great way to help you stick to the commitment of your fitness regimen. If you happen to have a spare room in your home creating a workout space can be ideal there. You have the right kind of insulation and heating/cooling system within your home to help regulate temperatures etc. Another great space and perhaps the best one of all is in your garage. While you may have to invest in minor improvements and work with a reputable garage door company like Parker Garage Doors, your new home gym space will surely be worth every penny of your investment.

Converting Your Garage Space Into A Gym

 Space- First things first you want to create a blueprint or outline of any ideas on how you would like your workout space set-up and laid out. The key when it comes to space is MAXIMIZING it to the most of its potential. You can construct a great gym space out of either a single or double car garage.

Budget- Now that you have an idea of what you want to do with your space, establish a budget that you feel comfortable with and that has a little bit of breathing room in case some part of the project runs over in expenses somewhere. It is always best to be prepared so that you are not stuck in the middle of a situation with not a lot or no options at all.

Insulation- You need to think insulations in terms of all seasons. After all, you are going to want to be able to utilize your gym throughout the entire year and at different times of the day. Having the proper insulation in both your walls and garage door is essential to the overall temperature & comfort of your space.

Flooring- You are going to want to invest in flooring or in a type of flooring cover like epoxy, etc. to help create durable, slip-resistant floor space. Another option is to purchase prefabricated flooring that is able to be snapped together to act as an overlay on your existing floor.

Garage Door- While insulation plays a role in all aspects of your garage space, proper insulation within your garage door as well as having the right garage door for your space is always important. A lot of gyms like CrossFit gyms tend to like to utilize steel roll-up doors for their workspaces. They allow for easy access/exit, they also allow for better air circulation when you are able to keep them open when weather permits, etc. All workout spaces are different and people have different preferences though, so work with your garage door experts in deciding on the best door for you and the one that fits best in your budget should you decided to spring for a new door.

Once your garage space is ready to go as your new at-home gym, have fun stocking it with all or some of your fav equipment. You can always purchase 2nd hand fitness equipment to stay within budget. Should you do so just make sure that your equipment is purchased from a reputable dealer and that all equipment has been certified as safe to use.

 

 

 

 

 

In our last article, we talked about the great benefits of calisthenics training and the exercises the training entails. Think squats, broad jumps, and pull-ups to name a few. And while calisthenics is a great training technique to pretty much conquer all of the components it takes to be fit, you can further intensify your training by adding Plyometrics. 

Plyometrics utilizes stretch and contraction sequences of muscle fibers to improve power, explosiveness, and overall speed & strength. It is a training technique highly utilized by most professional sports performance training facilities and focuses on the speed component when it comes to power. Incorporating plyometrics into your training routine also helps to improve coordination and agility. 

How is plyometrics similar to calisthenics training? 

Plyometrics is similar to calisthenics training in that it uses a lot of the bodyweight exercises found in calisthenics but with explosive movement and higher intensity. Plyometrics training consists of exercises such as vertical & broad jumps, jumping rope, jumping squats, single-leg hopping & clapping push-ups. A lot of times props such as wooden boxes and metal platforms are used to help intensify your workout and further promote the extension of muscle fibers to gain optimal results. 

While plyometrics is a great method of training to gain strength, speed and explosive power it is also a high-intensity training method that can offer a lot of injuries. Whenever performing any plyometrics exercises or routines always make sure to execute proper form. You need to respect your limits and listen to your body. Those new to exercising should master your form in various exercises before trying to incorporate plyometrics into your routine. You can also modify any exercises to better fit your physical limits. Start with the base exercises and gradually add in the explosions and jumps when you begin to feel stronger and more capable. And don’t forget it is always best to speak with your health care provider before beginning any new fitness regimen. 

 

You have probably heard the hype when it comes to calisthenics training, but you still aren’t exactly sure what this type of fitness regimen entails. What is Calisthenics training and how beneficial is it to your overall fitness?

Body Weight Resistance Training

In a nutshell, calisthenics is resistance training that utilizes your own bodyweight for physical gain and muscle growth. This type of training is basically the simplest form of exercise because it can be done anytime, anywhere, and requires no equipment at all. While many have heard of calisthenics as a training regimen only in recent years has calisthenics made a big comeback in terms of being one of the hottest training trends. Dating back to the ancient Greeks the word derives from Kallos-meaning beauty and Sthenos-meaning strength. Which in and of itself is so true. Strength is beauty in all forms of expression.

Calisthenics training was developed to improve strength, flexibility, agility, balance, coordination, and aerobic conditioning. In essence, it encompasses all the main criteria when it comes to being physically fit and feeling healthy! One downfall of calisthenics training can be the plateau that many will experience when they are no longer challenged by just lifting their own body weight. This is when it is important to incorporate an increase in body weight percentage with props such as weight belts and adjusting exercises done to incorporate inclines and angles. You can definitely build muscle mass and strength without weights, you just have to be a bit more creative when it comes to continually challenging yourself with added weights as you master the main exercises associated with calisthenics training.

Calisthenics Exercises 

You are probably already incorporating some if not most of these calisthenics exercises into your normal fitness routine and may not even realize it! Think exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, crunches, pull-ups, jumping jacks, handstands, and broad jumps. 

While most calisthenics workouts are done solo or with a few friends this type of training has led to competitive calisthenics also known as street workouts. However, calisthenics training may continue to evolve the ending factor is that it is one of the defining foundations of fitness and will be around for centuries to come. Because remember “Strength is Beauty”

 

Your New Year’s resolution was to finally get into shape or perhaps to try that new vigorous exercise routine you have been lusting after. Either way all you know is that your muscles ache and the thought of sticking with this new routine is almost too much to bear. But before you quit or give up completely you may just need to try a form of hydrotherapy.

What Is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is the use of warm water or rather water at varying warm temperatures that aid in the relaxation and relief of health conditions such as arthritis or poor circulation, and can also be used as a form of sore muscle relief. A hot tub is a great way to enjoy hydrotherapy in the comfort of your home or at the gym should you utilize their hot tub. An important factor to keep in mind when incorporating hydrotherapy into your daily regimen is to make sure that you have a clean bacteria-free environment within your spa or hot tub. Scheduling regular hot tub maintenance will help to maintain accurate chemical levels in your spa while also helping to assure that your hot tub is clean and safe to use on a daily basis. Warm water is a breeding ground for bacteria and if your spa or the facility’s that you are using is not maintained properly you are susceptible to various health concerns. 

Understanding How Sore Muscles Are Created

Once you have a better understanding of how sore muscles are created you may just appreciate your workouts more! First, we have Cellular Respiration, which is when sugars in the body are broken down into a form that your cells can use for energy. Next, we have Anaerobic Respiration which you may recognize as the burn you start to feel when your muscles are fatigued or you are doing an intense workout. This is due to a build-up of lactic acid that your body creates to help prevent harm to overworked muscles. While this means that your muscles are indeed working and that you are on your way to seeing results, it also means that you have a pretty good chance of being extremely sore and stiff. Instead of looking at those sore aching muscles as a reason to stop your new or increased exercise routine look at it as you are making proper gains! 

This is also where hydrotherapy comes in! Warm water helps to promote the movement of muscle repairing metabolics. It also increases blood flow and flexibility while relieving sore muscles and speeding up muscle repair and recovery. Because of these amazing benefits found in the warm swirling waters of your spa or hot tub, it also helps to increase the chances that you will stick to your new exercise routine and hit those New Years’ resolutions that you made for yourself. Lets not also forget that relaxing and enjoying a warm muscle repairing soak in your hot tub is therapeutic for your mind and soul as well. The warm water can help to reduce tension and ease the stress of the day away.

Not sure if you are convinced yet on the benefits of hydrotherapy? Give it a try for yourself for 30 days. Soak in a well maintained and clean hot tub at least 3 days per week and especially after intense workouts and you will undoubtedly see just how great hydrotherapy can be for your sore muscles, mind, body, and spirit! 

Cardio Exercises

There are those days when you don’t feel like going out gymming or working out. But this isn’t a reason to skip your workout. Especially when you can do some of the cardio exercises right at home! So here’s a list of cardio exercises which you can easily include in your home-workout routine. Read on:

  1. Jump rope:
    A couple of minutes over the jump rope is the best you can do to burn off those extra calories. Apart from being a great cardio exercise to do at home, jumping the rope is the perfect warm up to any of your workout sessions.
  2. Jumping jacks:
    This simple exercise we did as little kids (and loved doing it) is one of the best cardio out there. Jumping jacks work on multiple areas in your body at the same time – toning your thighs, laterals, quadriceps and tummy –all at once.
  3. Rollbacks:Rollbacks
    Looking for quick cardio for your core – rollbacks are the best. These not only strengthen your core but also work well when it comes to improving movement coordination.
  4. High Knee march:
    This one will get you pumped up in no time. Make sure your knees reach as high they can and watch how toned your legs will be in a matter of a few weeks.
  5. Cross Jacks:
    Another variant of jumping jacks, the cross jumps are an advanced version of the basic jumping jacks. These Cross Jumps are wonderful fat, and calorie burners and repeatedly performing them will tone up your body in much quicker than the simple jacks!
  6. Spot Jogs:
    A quick spot jog after you wake up is what you need! A simple way to bust off the laziness the morning brings in and also to shrug off that unwanted calories in off-days.
  7. Lunges:
    Different variations of lunges are an excellent option for cardio at home. Look up for videos on YouTube where a lot of professional fitness trainers have listed and practically demonstrated the different types of lunges which target the fat of various body parts.
  8. Skaters:Skaters:
    Perfect for your high abductors muscles and glutes, you can easily include this in your home workout routine. It’s a pretty high-intensity exercise, so a couple of reps would be good enough.
  9. Bench runners:
    Best for your glutes, the bench runners can be easily performed at home. And have the best impact on your glutes, as they simultaneously work on your agility.