Benefits Of Weight Training For Women

You’re in the gym, what’s the first thing you go towards? The running machine? The bikes? A yoga mat? Women often go for cardio exercises as they might be best for them but including weights in your exercise routine may be the way forward. They can seem scary, but they’re really not. Here’s how they can help you!

Firstly, weight training is great for building muscles which helps metabolism increase. This means that you can burn more calories. Sure, cardio machines are great, but without the base of a good metabolism, it may take you much longer to reach your desired weight. By incorporating weight training, you can speed this process up. The more intense the workout, the more calories you’ll burn, so fitting in some weight training can really help your fitness routine. Not only does weight training build and strengthen muscles, it also strengthens your bones which can reduce the risk of breaks.

Continuing with this, weight training increases strength all over your body. Preventing sports injuries can be made simple by working at it to build strong joints to help with your everyday tasks and exercise. With a stronger back, shoulders and core, your posture should improve, and it can help prevent pain in your lower back. Your overall sports performance should get better too!

It’s also great for gaining strength. You may feel that weight training isn’t for you as you may bulk up, but women don’t have the testosterone levels to build muscle like me do. Instead, women develop strength and muscle definition, which is fantastic.

Finally, this is our last point, but definitely not the last benefit of weight training. As you probably know, exercise releases endorphins which can improve your mood and fight anxiety. Adding to your fitness routine with weight training not only helps your body, but can improve your alertness, boost your energy and just brighten your day. Your brain is just as important as your body, so you have to make sure to look after it. We hope weight training can help.

As you can see, weight training isn’t as scary as you think, and can really help your fitness improve as well as get you to your goals sooner. If you’re unsure, or don’t know where to start, speak to a member of staff and we’ll let you know what exercises to try, weights to begin with, and if there are any classes you might benefit from. Weight training is for everyone, so why not give it a go.

Benefits Of Weight Training In Older Adults

As you get older, it is so much more important to stay active so that you and your body stays healthy and strong. One thing that can really help is lifting weights. They may seem scary but can really help with your fitness. Here are some benefits of incorporating them into your workout routine.

Strengthening your muscles and body as a whole can help reduce back pain and symptoms for other things you may be suffering with. Building your strength is so important to help tackle problems like this. Making your body stronger is the first line of defence against these problems, so incorporating weight training in your normal fitness routine would be really beneficial.

Weight training can also improve your balance and strength, helping you with everyday tasks and other exercises that you may want to try. As we get older, it really is important to keep our independence, and by working on your strength and balance, you’re really helping yourself in all situations.

Increasing your strength and muscle mass also raises your metabolism, so if you’re aiming to lose weight, it’s a great thing to start. By training with weights, your cardio exercises will mean so much more, helping you to take control of your weight. So, if you already use the cardio machines at the gym, spend a few extra minutes with the weights and really push your routine to help you overall.

Finally, strength training can help you sleep better. By working your muscles, sleep is needed to help build them, so you should be able to sleep better, ready for your next day. There are a few ways you can incorporate weight training into your current workout, whether a class or equipment, speak to a member of staff at the gym who will be able to point you in the right direction for something that fits you.

7 Benefits of Yoga

Yoga through meditation works remarkably to accomplish harmony and helps the mind work in synchronization with the body. How often do we find that we are unable to perform our activities properly and in a satisfying manner because of the confusions and conflicts in our mind weigh down heavily upon us?

Stress is the number one suspect affecting all parts of our physical, endocrinal and emotional system. And with the help of yoga, these things can be corrected. At the physical level, yoga and yoga poses have proven to be extremely effective for various disorders. Listed below are just some of the benefits of yoga that you can get.

One

Yoga is known to amplify flexibility; yoga has postures that trigger the different joints of the body. Including those joints that are not acted upon with regular exercise routines, meaning it's great for challenging and helping your whole body, not just parts of it.

Two

Yoga also increases the lubrication of joints, ligament and tendons. The well-researched yoga positions exercise the different tendons and ligaments of the body. It has also been found that the body which may have started doing yoga being inflexible may experience a quite remarkable turnaround in the end on those parts of the body which have not been consciously worked upon.

Three

Yoga also massages all organs of the body. Yoga is perhaps the only exercise that can work on through your internal organs in a thorough manner, including those that hardly get externally stimulated during our entire lifetime. This means that your whole body can feel relaxed and worked after a session.

Four

Yoga acts in a wholesome manner on the various body parts. This stimulation and massage of the organs in turn benefits us by keeping away disease and providing a forewarning at the first possible instance of a likely onset of disease or disorder. One of the far-reaching benefits of yoga is the uncanny sense of awareness that it develops in the practitioner of an impending health disorder or infection.

Five

Yoga offers a total detoxification of the body. It gently stretches the muscles and joints as we are massaging the various organs. Yoga ensures the optimum blood supply to various parts of the body.

Six

Yoga helps in the flushing out of toxins from every nook and cranny of your body as well as providing nourishment up to the last point. This leads to benefits such as delayed ageing, energy and a remarkable zest for life.

Seven

Yoga is also an excellent way to tone your muscles. Muscles which have been flaccid and weak are stimulated repeatedly to shed excess fats and flaccidity. A big goal for many people is to tone their bodies, so yoga is a perfect activity for most people.

But these enormous physical benefits are just a “side effect” of this powerful practice. What yoga does is harmonize the mind with the body and this results in real quantum benefits.

It is now an open secret that the will of the mind has enabled people to achieve extraordinary physical feats, which proves beyond doubt the mind and body connection.

In fact yoga = meditation, because both work together in achieving the common goal of unity of mind, body and spirit which can lead to an experience of eternal bliss that you can only feel through yoga. The meditative practices through yoga help in achieving an emotional balance through detachment.

This in turn creates a extraordinary calmness and a positive outlook, which also has tremendous benefits on the physical health of the body.

What is CBD and Should I Use It?

Three letters are beginning to show up everywhere, CBD. Whether you’re in the gym, out with friends or even browsing the shops, CBD is popping up and everybody seems to be raving about it. There is no doubt that it is the wellness product of the moment. But what is it? And can it help you?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound found in cannabis plants. It’s naturally occurring and is used in oils, edibles, and other products to help the user feel calm and relaxed.

Cannabis, hey? Nope, it’s not like taking a crazy drug. CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant, so it won’t cause you to feel sedated or “high”. It is possible to feel affected by it as everybody reacts differently to everything, so make sure to take it under supervision the first time you try it, just in case.

There are quite a few benefits to CBD. As well as being able to treat certain types of epilepsy, it can help with back pain, and many other health conditions, even cancer. Many people use CBD to try and manage mental health symptoms, especially anxiety. As we said originally, it is used to feel calm and relaxed, which can help people feel better and not in a heightened state.

CBD won’t cure you, and you may have to take a higher dosage than your friends to feel the effects, but it can help to improve your life alongside a healthy lifestyle. It won’t fix everything, but it can assist.

There are so many ways to take CBD: edibles, vape pens, oils, and more. The best way to take it is however you feel comfortable to. If you already vape, it may be best to try that way. If it’s muscle pain that you’re trying to help, you could use a cream in the direct place. The best thing to do is think about what you want to achieve by using it and go from there. Always make sure that the products you choose to buy don’t contain strange additional ingredients.

So, there’s the basics of CBD. Whether you take it already and are wanting to learn more or are still feeling unsure, CBD is there to help you and not hinder. But you can’t let it do all the work on its own. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you’re looking for something that can help, it may be the product you’re looking for.

Will you be trying it?

Best Bodybuilding Supplements

The days when bodybuilders took steroids to boost their muscle mass have long gone, and those who attempt to use anabolic steroids in an attempt to get a competitive edge run a very high risk of being caught and stripped of any titles they have won – some would say that being caught is inevitable.

So how, then, do bodybuilders manage to build such huge muscles that seem far larger than those of other professional athletes? Is it because they spend so long in the gym and are very dedicated? Well, yes, bodybuilders have to have great dedication, but they also take supplements. These supplements are 100% legal and don’t have the nasty side effects of the old anabolic steroids, such as “roid rage”. You will find several products that are designed to boost your body’s levels of anabolic hormones or are describes as having an “anabolic effect”.

Unlike the old illegal steroids, these bodybuilding supplements do not add any hormones into your system. Instead, these supplements stimulate your body so it produces more of its own androgens and testosterone – the male hormones that enable bulky muscles to be laid down on the skeletal frame. Some of these bodybuilding supplements increase energy levels as well – common ones include creatine, NOx (nitric oxide) increasers, HGH (human growth hormone), and ZMA (which is a combination of zinc and magnesium, both of which are vital in testosterone production). These supplements are either used singly or in a “stack” or combination of several products. Some lines of bodybuilding supplements include products that come ready “stacked” for ease of use.

Of course, that’s not all. Muscles aren't built of air. All body builders take protein supplements and eat a very high protein diet. When building muscle mass – and this advice works for those who want to look a bit more toned or bulk up, as well as for those who want competition-level muscle bulk – taking a high protein supplement, usually in a shake or as a bar, is essential. This protein should be taken in combination with a small amount of glucose. The powder type of bodybuilding supplement is particularly handy for increasing the amount of protein in the diet, which all bodybuilders do.

Casting a glance over a discount supplier of these supplements, you can see that the protein supplements available to bodybuilders (and others) come from a range of different sources. Dairy-sourced protein supplements are the most commonly seen, with whey a popular choice, closely followed by casein (casein, just in case you were wondering, comes from the curds in the combination enjoyed by the legendary Miss Muffett before the spider arrived: curds & whey). Egg protein is also very popular and is suitable for those with dairy intolerance. Egg protein is sourced either from the whole egg or from the egg white only (just as an aside, powdered egg protein is also used in tree plantations – it’s applied to young trees to deter rabbits and hares from nibbling on them). And for vegetarians, soy protein supplements are also easy to find.

Other supplements that are commonly marketed as bodybuilding supplements but can be taken by anyone include multivitamin tablets and diet pills, especially the types of pill that increase energy levels and/or the metabolism, as this not only strips away excess fat (no point in having a really ripped torso and abs if those abs are buried beneath a spare tyre) but also supplies the extra stamina needed for the gym sessions (an hour or more) needed to build serious bulk.

Benefits of Pilates

Pilates is one of the most rewarding types of exercise because it encompasses stretch, strength and improves flexibility in the safest way while avoiding injury.

Pilates started as a way of rehabilitating athletes and dancers but is now used by millions of people across the globe because it is one of the safest forms of exercise.

Forget going for a run, pounding on pavement with the potential risk of getting shin splints, a knee injury or worse, falling and getting an even more severe injury. Pilates is one of the safest exercise systems in existence. The only equipment used is a floor mat. But for more advanced pilates exercise enthusiasts, other equipment can be added to simple routines. Nevertheless, once you begin this solid workout regimen, you will begin to notice healthy improvements in your body.

Regardless of whether you are 20 or 60 years of age, Pilates can work for anyone – male or female, old or young. No matter what condition you're in, the health and fitness benefits are endless. Pilates improves flexibility, core strength and range of motion. It is also known to help alleviate chronic health ailments as well as fight back pain.

But the best part about Pilates is it’s fun!

It’s an exercise that bonds the mind and body allowing them to work together to establish balance. But the biggest benefit is Pilates improves overall body alignment, making it less prone to injury.

Here are some more benefits of Pilates:

• Improves breathing

• Corrects spinal and pelvic alignment through the concentration of slow, flowing, smooth movements with maximum power.

• Builds long, lean muscles that are less prone to injury, while building strength - without the bulk.

• Improves flexibility and range of motion.

• Improves back and abdominal strength.

• Creates balance between muscles - as weak muscles become stronger and the strong muscles also gain more strength never overtraining or undertraining any particular muscle group. This balance makes it easier to enjoy daily activities with less risk of injury. Pilates allows you to retrain your body to move in smoother safer, more efficient patterns of motion, which is essential in optimal performance and overall health.

• There is no pounding or bouncing in Pilates. It is the safest form of exercise. This is why it began as a rehabilitation exercise system for sports athletes and dancers. It is an intense exercise system working all muscle groups but still sustaining and improving overall balance.

If you are looking for a fitness routine that’s safe and easy to do - and that doesn't involve a lot of heavy equipment, Pilates is an excellent choice. But best of all, with the popularity of this system, it can be performed in the comfort of your own home! Many videos and DVD’s are available for rent at your local video store as well as for sale at your local supermarket.

Need the right exercise system? Pilates may be just the right thing for you. Fun, easy and relaxing exercise that strengthens and restores flexibility… Doesn't get much better than this!

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

You probably already know that it’s important to drink enough water. A minimum of eight glasses of water a day is recommended. You should aim for more if it is really hot, or you are working out and sweating a lot. Getting enough water in your body will prevent you from getting dehydrated.

According to WEBMD the early signs of dehydration are increased thirst, dry mouth, sticky saliva and reduced urine output with dark yellow urine. You may also experience a lack of energy and a headache.

None of these sound very fun. I know it is hard sometimes to drink that much water; especially when sodas and coffee tempt us. However, to stay healthy and feel great, we should strive to drink those eight glasses of water a day.

Here are a few tips to help you remember to drink the water, and to make it a little more pleasant or interesting.

1. Keep a Log

This can be as simple as a little piece of paper on the fridge, or a page in your day planner. Just make a little checkmark, or dash on the piece of paper every time you drink a glass of water. The log will help you keep track of how much water you have had in any given day. You'll also be surprised how motivating it is to try to get those eight little checkmarks on there every day. Another idea would be to use little stickers instead, or even find an app for your phone.

2. Add Some Lemon Juice

I tend to get bored with drinking just water after a few days. Change things up and add a little flavor by adding a teaspoon or less of lemon to your water. You can also try some other fruit juices. Just make sure you are still drinking mainly water. Just a splash of juice should be enough to make things interesting and give the water some flavor without adding a lot of sugar and calories.

3. Try Some Club Soda

If you are craving the fizz of a soda, try some Club Soda. Most brands have a little too much fizz for me. I end up watering them down with – guess what – water. If you want to get really fancy, check your local grocery store for flavored club sodas. Alternatively, you can also add a splash of fruit juice to your watered down club soda.

4. Drink Some Water When You Feel Hungry

Unfortunately many of us have become so out of tune with our bodies that we feel hungry when we are actually thirsty. If you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water first. You may just be thirsty.

5. Carry A Water Bottle

It’s much easier to drink water when you have it readily available. Carry a bottle of water around with you in the car, at work, while running errands, in the yard, and even while you are working around the house. You'll be sipping away the water without even noticing it.

6. Drink More If You Are Working Out

We already touched on this, but it bears repeating. Make sure you drink a few extra glasses of water if you work out, or if you spend some time outside while it’s hot. Your body uses and needs more water when it sweats a lot. So don't forget to fill back up on water during and after your exercise.

Just pay attention to how much you drink and implement some of these ideas if you don't get the recommended eight glasses of water a day. Your body will thank you for it in the long run.

Fitness Training – The Importance of Correct Warming Up

All types of physical practice, in fitness or any other sport, must begin with correct warming up. This activity, together with relaxation and the main stage, are the three essential parts of the training.

The types of warming up can vary a lot in length, intensity and structure of exercises, according to the sport or the training you want to start. Although there are many kinds of warming up, all of them have in common two distinct stages.

The first stage concerns general warming up, whose purpose is to gradually prepare the whole body for the effort which will follow. The body temperature also increases. At this stage, the inertia of the body is easily removed through aerobic exercises (running, cycling, etc.). This stage should not take more than 5-10 minutes; otherwise it will change into a real aerobic training. It is well known that during aerobic effort the body consumes a lot of glycogen, so, especially before force training (anaerobic), there is the risk of running out of energy.

The second stage of warming up is specific to each sport. This stage aims to warm up the main muscles and joints involved in the effort, but also to anticipate, by simulation, some movements from the main part of the training. This stage can be longer than the first one and includes different types of gymnastics for the joints, jumping, exercises at greater speed, stretching, etc. However, this stage shouldn't be very long either, because the sportsman needs to save physical energy and to avoid mental stress. In many sports (target shooting, fencing, tennis, etc.), mental stress can be bigger than physical effort.

These two stages of warming up must come one after the other very strictly. It is forbidden to switch their order, and also to skip one of them. Unfortunately, it is common in sport to skip the first stage and do just specific warming up, which is considered more important.

This is a big mistake, because this type of exercises does not rise the body temperature as much as the ones involving minimum aerobic effort. The result is that the body will be much more rigid and a lot less prepared for the main part of the training. There are cases, especially in sport games, when both stages of warming up are abandoned. Kicking the ball or passing a few times are supposed to replace a thorough, but boring warming up.

Not doing the warming up correctly or, worse, not doing it at all increases the risk of having accidents during training or competing. Possible accidents range from simple ones, like pulling a muscle or cramps, to some really bad ones (ruptured muscles, hernia, sprains, dislocations, etc.). Even if, luckily, such accidents do not happen, the body will experience a dramatic decrease of efficiency in performing the exercises.

It is very important for beginners to do the warming up. If they do not ignore it when they take up sport, they will form a habit of warming up and will, hopefully, keep this habit as long as they do sport. They must not assume the false idea that, being beginners, they shouldn't exercise so intensely.

All these problems are traps that correct warming up can definitely avoid.

Top Three Exercises For Stress Relief

Whether coming from our jobs, personal life, incompetent drivers, or the soaring gas prices, stress seems to be all around us, bombarding us with an overload that has us overworked, cranky, and restless. The effects of prolonged stress on the human body can be devastating to our health resulting in migraines, muscle aches, insomnia, digestive problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, asthma, and heart disease along with a wide range of other health problems. Learning to effectively manage stress and adding regular exercise to your routine is a valuable part of stress relief which is vital to good health. But do not worry, you do not have to make time to go to the gym or worry if your fitness level is not up for that aerobic workout, here are three of the best exercises for stress relief than can be done by just about anyone at any fitness level, of course as always, before beginning any new exercise program you want to be sure that your health care provider has cleared you for exercise if you have any recent injuries or health care concerns.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient martial art form. This Chinese art has been practiced for centuries and is a perfect exercise for stress relief. Tai Chi uses very fluid and graceful movements that are slow and precise, focusing the mind and strengthening the body. It can be done just about anywhere by people of all ages and is fairly simple to learn. People who practice Tai Chi experience a better sense of balance, over all improvement in health, sleep better, and feel a sense of clarity and improved mental focus along with the stress relief.

Pilates

Pilates was originally developed as a method of rehabilitation for injured dancers and soldiers. Incorporating simple moves similar to yoga in parts, pilates stretches and lengthens your muscles, improves the strength and stability of your core (the torso), and is also very calming and soothing making it a great choice for stress relief. Stress relief is not the only benefit of pilates, you also get a longer, stronger spine, better posture, more graceful muscle tone, and stronger abs. And because a large portion of pilates can be done as a mat work out, it is great for people with special needs to consider that may make traditional exercise more difficult.

Water Aerobics

If you would like something to get your heart beat going and improve your overall tone and health, along with giving you stress relief, water aerobics is another great choice. Unlike traditional aerobic classes, being in the water lessens the impact of the movements on your joints, legs, and spine. Being in the water makes your motions effortless, yet the resistance of the water provides a better, stronger work out. The calming sensation of being in the water offers great stress relief and gives you a wonderful workout for your muscles, weight loss, and cardio building along with the stress relief. A water aerobics class that is becoming very popular now is Aqua Barre.

Whichever routine you choose, or perhaps some combination of the three, you will find great stress relief from starting a regular routine and the stress relief will only enhance the other great health benefits you will obtain.

What is Cardio?

Cardio is a word everyone at the gym seems to use. But what is it? And more importantly, what is the point of it?

Cardio is cardiovascular exercise. Simply, cardio is a type of exercise that keeps up your heart rate, burns calories, is brilliant for working your muscles to make the workout you do after more efficient, and is so important for a healthy body and avoiding disease. Cardio is intense, as it is meant to elevate your heart rate, increasing the number of calories you will lose and the fat you will burn. It also helps to improve your metabolism and strengthen your heart and lungs.

Whether you love it or hate it, cardio is a great addition to your workout and can make what you do so much more effective through increasing your heart rate. If you are one of those people, why not try it with a friend to build some healthy competition. You can read our article about gym buddies here.

It may seem difficult to some, but you do a cardio workout every day. Walking, running, and cycling are all cardio workouts, helping your body and muscles get moving so you can perform more exercises, as well as burn calories. Other workouts you can attempt in the gym that count towards your cardio are: using a rowing machine, swimming, doing a Hiit workout, or even skipping, which can burn over 1000 calories per hour. It’s incredible how much cardio you could be doing without even realising it.

So that’s what cardio is. Simple, yet effective, especially in the gym. But how often should you do it?

Some people say to do a dedicated hour of cardio 3 times a week, and some people say to do 30 minutes 5 times a week. It really is up to the individual, as well as the current workout routine. Your regular training session may contain a lot of cardio without you realising, so assess your personal situation and see what works best for you and how often you can squeeze in a session at the gym. Whatever works out for you, remember to always take a rest day each week to give your body time to rest and repair so that you will begin to see great results.

What is your favourite kind of cardio workout?