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Posted by on Apr 2, 2012 | 0 comments

Always Having a Hard Day’s Night? Try Working Out in the Morning!

Sometimes we simply don’t have the time to work out in the afternoon, at lunchtime, or even in the evening. We work long hours and work ‘em hard, come home, cook dinner, take care of the kids if we have them, and finally, after doing all of our daily chores and duties, crash in bed (usually at a late hour).

Besides, who in their right mind would actually WANT to get out of bed in the morning to go exercise, especially when it’s so dark or gray or rainy out there? (Oh, gosh, I think we feel a nap coming on!)

Well, truth be told, it’s recommended that we get at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise at least 5 days out of the week. So if you’re not getting enough exercise during the week and you find yourself unable to get to the gym after your working hours, then you should probably consider filling in time in the morning to do your exercising.

If you find yourself cringing just thinking about trying to transition to working out in the morning, fret no more! Here are five tips to help the transition go a bit more smoothly:

Go To Bed EarlierWe know, we know. No one wants to go to bed at the proper time. People want to catch late night shows, have time with their spouses after putting the kids to bed, or get more work done. And if you think that you can simply go to bed at the same time as you normally do (let’s say midnight), you are sadly mistaken! If you’re used to sleeping from midnight to 8 a.m. and then rushing out the door to get to work at 9 a.m., you won’t be able to make it through the day by getting up at 6 a.m. to exercise, shower, and all that jazz. If you want or need to get up to exercise at 5 or 6 a.m., you should get to bed by 10 p.m. at the absolute latest. Trust us – you’ll thank us later!

Get Up, Stand UpJust because you’re going to work out in the morning doesn’t mean you need to get straight out of bed, put your running shoes on, and exercise hardcore. That’s actually a good way to set yourself up for failure! Instead, why not simply stand up for a few minutes and do menial tasks? Make your lunch for the day, read the morning paper, take the dog outside to do its business. Simply stand up and start your day slowly so that you can adjust to doing more physical activities and not pass out while doing so!

Take a Hot Shower BEFORE Exercising – You might think that we’re crazy, but a quick hot shower in the morning could really help you get into exercise mode quickly and efficiently. Think about it – most people turn the heat down (or the air up) when they go to sleep, and well, it’s colder outside for the most part at night or in the early morning. If you simply take a short hot shower for about a minute, you will heat up your body and will be ready to go! Just be sure to take a “real” shower after your workout, lest you repel people around you for the rest of the day!

Warm UpThat’s right – stretch out those muscles before you go running off into the sunrise! You might be wise to add some more time to your warming up sessions since you’ll have just gotten out of bed and your muscles will need some stretching. Try warming up for ten to fifteen minutes before you start your workout. That may seem like a long time to warm up, but really, it’s better to spend an extra five or so minutes warming up than much longer time in physical therapy from an injury you sustained because you didn’t warm up!

Ask Someone to Work Out With YouIt’s easier to work out with a partner than solo, and this rings true even in the wee hours of the morning. Having a friend there to work out with you will give you another reason to get yourself out of bed early in the morning to exercise. You’re less likely to hit that snooze button if you know your friend is outside ready to go for a run with you or at the gym.

If you’re ready to start exercising in the morning, try using these strategies to help you easily transition to your new workout regime. And if you want more tips or need any assistance, don’t hesitate to call us here at Fitness4Life at 1-618-656-5433 or visit us at our website at www.fitness4lifept.com. Let us help you be the healthy, strong person you want and deserve to be!

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Posted by on Feb 22, 2012 | 0 comments

Keep Fit This Winter With These Eight Indoor and Outdoor Activities!

 

When we think of winter, we typically envision a cold, snowy night. The wind is howling outside of our home, causing the snow to swirl endlessly through the streets and ice to form slowly on tree limbs and power lines. Meanwhile, we’re inside, maybe watching the snow from the living room couch, curled up in a fuzzy blanket with hot chocolate. Or potato chips. Or cake. Or brownies…

The season of winter tends to bring out the primal instinct of hibernation even in the best of us. All we want to do is eat and snuggle in our bed until springtime comes. And really, who wants to go outside where it’s cold and wet?

In spite of the challenges that the season poses, winter is a time in which a new realm of possibilities to remain active presents itself to us. And you don’t even have to join a gym to get a good workout – you can still work out in your own backyard (or living room)! Check out these eight activities that you can still do outdoors or indoors!

Just Dance! – What more of a fun way to work those glutes, legs, and abs when you have to stay indoors than dancing! Break out some of your dance moves or freestyle to the Beatles (or another favorite band of yours). You don’t even have to be a professional dancer to shed some pounds; all you have to do is just get up and move it!

Fitness DVDs – Don’t feel like driving through the winter weather to go work out at the gym? You don’t have to! By investing in some dumbbells and some fitness DVDs, you can bring the gym home with you! All you have to do is roll out of bed, get limber, and press “play,” and you’re good to go!

Jump rope – Harken back to your primary school days, and get ready for an intense workout! Jumping rope is an easy way to burn lots of calories in a short amount of time. Better yet, jump ropes are inexpensive and can go with you everywhere. Just remember to wear a pair of shock-absorbent shoes when you exercise!

Mall It! – Love to shop? Good news, shopper! Walking around the mall not only helps you get your errands done, but it also helps you burn calories! To get the best workout out of this low-impact activity, intersperse 2-minute intervals of fast walking into your regular walking pace.

Don’t forget – you can still walk outside in the wintertime! Just remember to dress warmly, and you’re good to go!

Pilates – This mat-based exercise is popular for a reason – it’s a great way to sculpt your abs and back and strengthen your core! You can choose to take a class with others or to do the exercise with DVD instructions in the privacy of your home.

Running – Newsflash! You can still run in the winter! Just add some extra layers of moisture resistant clothes, put on a hat and gloves, and you’re set! Be sure to choose a safe, ice-fee running route, though. If you’d rather not get cold or wet, try running on the treadmill or indoor track at your local gym or rec center.

Ski or Snowboard – Why not take advantage of the winter weather while it’s still here? Skiing and snowboarding work all the major upper-and lower-body muscle groups and you prove to be a great workout! And better yet, you’ll get to play in the snow!

Spinning – Got the itch to go biking? Cycling indoors can help you shed pounds and trim up your buns and thighs! Crank up your favorite tunes or watch a favorite show and start spinning like mad! Try to keep the revolutions per minute high for an intense cardio workout.

Remember, winter is just like any other season when it comes to hydration. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts, and be sure to dress for the weather. It’s best to dress in layers as you can keep the heat in and you’ll be able to remove your clothing as your workout intensifies!

Want some more fitness tips? Why not check out our Facebook page or Twitter page? Better yet, call us up here at Fitness4Life at 618-656-5433, and we can show you how to effectively exercise! Get going, get out there, and get healthy!

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Posted by on Dec 13, 2011 | 0 comments

Live Longer by Staying Active and Doing the Things You Love!

In the day and age in which computers, texting, Tweeting, and Facebook dominates our culture, it’s hard to refocus on the world before us. Televisions can be found in nearly everyone’s home across the nation, and after a hard day’s work, which tends to entail toiling tirelessly at a desk for at least 8 hours, people tend to come home, and plop on the couch for the rest of the night, remote in one hand and Blackberry in another.

Now, we’re not saying that people shouldn’t relax at all; that would be an insane declaration to make! It seems, though, as if there is so much insistence in keeping priorities straight – work and family usually dominate the top tiers, and rightfully so. What needs to be made a priority, however, is exercising and keeping active throughout the years.

“Yeah, very funny joke. Tell another!” you may exclaim. Guess what? We aren’t joking.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States during the past 20 years, and, as news reports inform us quite frequently, the rates remain high while exercising rates have decreased.

“Awww, but that means I have to actually get up and exercise, doesn’t it?” Why, yes. Yes, it does. And yes, we know that you’ve had a long day at work or that the kids have worn you down. It happens to all of us. But believe it or not, keeping fit and active doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, the hardest part is deciding what you want to do and just going for it!

So right now you might be wondering what workouts are the best to help you keep fit and stay active. Actually, the answer is simple. The best workout is the one that works best for you.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to join the gym or work with huge machines to stay fit. All you have to do is find a physical activity or two that you enjoy doing and be sure that you do it often! If you love running, then go jogging or play soccer or football. If you enjoy dancing, turn up your favorite tunes and dance in your living room or take Zumba classes. Are you a lover of things that require hand-eye coordination (hello, videogames!)? Why not shoot some hoops or play a few rounds of tennis? And of course, if strength training is your game, go lift weights to your heart’s content or try some kettlebells!

If you’re still not on board, consider this. There are so many benefits to staying fit. Of course there are the typical benefits that you can expect to receive from exercise such as losing weight and keeping weight off, lowering your blood pressure, gaining more energy, and sleeping better. But did you know that by keeping fit, you decrease the stress and anxiety in your life while boosting your libido and positive energy? And while you’re improving your blood glucose management and blood fats, you’re lowering your risk for other health problems such as heart attack, bone loss, stroke, and some forms of cancers.

Staying active will also keep you strong throughout your life by increasing your muscle mass and strength. It will also prevent you from becoming breathless during simple activities such as walking up a flight of stairs or walking quickly from one place to another when it’s cold.

And get this – staying fit and physically active will help you as you age! According to a new study, people over 70 who no longer remain physically active are more likely to develop physical problems within a few years. Other studies have found that seniors who remain physically active over 70 are less likely to experience age-related declines in functioning mentally. In a way, physical activity is just as important as taking your medicine when you’re older.

Sounds like an awesome deal, right? A little bit of physical activity for lifelong benefits… Oh, wait. You have to actually dedicate time do staying fit. Don’t sign off just yet! You don’t have to keep your nose to the grindstone all the time. You can workout in 10-minute intervals throughout the day or in one-hour blocks scattered throughout the week. As long as the schedule works for you and your lifestyle, it doesn’t matter how much time you do in one interval! See? Now you have no more excuses!

And just remember, your attitude will change how you view exercise. If you have a positive attitude toward exercise, you’re more likely to do it! Just keep doing the things you love, and you’ll be happier and more likely to do them in the long run!

Got questions? Want some advice on how to begin? Call us here at Fitness4Life at (618) 656-5433 or visit us at our website at www.fitness4lifept.com!

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