How Flexible Are You?

How Flexible Are You?

How Flexible Are You

In order to avoid injury, you need to be flexible. Flexibility training improves your range of motion and helps prevent serious injuries. I was watching a college football game with a young female friend of mine. After the third injury to a member of one team, she announced the team needed a new trainer and they weren’t working hard enough on range of motion. While I knew she was an avid sports fan, I thought it was more statistics and rules, but she knew what it took to be fit and was absolutely right!

Stretching exercises before a workout warms the muscles by getting the blood flowing and makes them more flexible.

Dynamic stretching not only helps prevent injury, but also may improve your performance. Dynamic stretching exercises mean you’re doing movements similar to those you’ll be doing when you exercise and working on specific muscle groups, such as runners doing lunges. You’re constantly on the move with dynamic stretches, so they provide some cardio too. Think of touching your toes. The first time you try, no matter how fit you are, it’s a bit of a stress, each time it gets easier.

Flexibility training is more than just stretching before a workout. It’s an integral part of the workout.

Just as my young female friend said, those football players needed more range of motion exercises, another term for flexibility training. If you’re tight, you’ll end up on the bench because of muscle strains and pulls. In everyday life, stretching also helps keep you fitter. If you’re ever had a situation where you “turned just right” and ended with severe back pain, improved range of motion and more strength might have prevented the injury.

Stretching exercises after a workout can help relieve some of the tension in the muscles.

When you do stretching exercises both before and after a workout, you’re doing two things for your muscles. The pre-workout stretching helps prepare the muscle groups and the post stretching helps relieve the stress built up in the muscle groups and eliminate a lot of the post workout aches and pains.

The older you get, the more important stretching becomes. The body tissue loses elasticity, which includes tendons and ligaments. Stretching helps maintain the joint’s range of motion and also sends nutrients to the tissues.

If you’re participating in a sport or just want to look more fluid when you walk, stretching can help you improve your balance and coordination.

You can do specific exercises for stretching or do exercises that work on several types of fitness at once, such as kettlebells.

Yoga is one form of exercise that improves flexibility, but so is dancing. Both of these involve stretching the muscle groups to improve the body’s range of motion.

How To Work In 30 Minutes Of Cardio

How To Work In 30 Minutes Of Cardio

30 Minutes of Cardio


Insuring you get at least 30 Minutes of Cardio every day can be hard, particularly if you’re like many people and have a packed schedule. Many clients have told me ways they add a cardio workout to the days they aren’t in the gym and don’t destroy their already busy timetable. Some are very unique, but seem to work well for the individual. Other ways are more well known, but again, work like a charm to tuck in the extra time for endurance training.

List daily jobs around the house that don’t require precision and ones you can do relatively quickly.

One client came up with an ingenious idea. She had many mindless jobs around the house that she could do with her eyes closed, but also ones that required a bit of exertion. On the days she didn’t work out at the gym, she made a list of the tasks. In her case, she had a basement and second floor home, with her washer and dryer in the basement. On one off day she would have: pick up dirty clothes, do laundry, vacuum floors and dust or wash walls, with different list for another day. She’d literally run through these tasks and time herself. She’d pick the clothing up on the top floor and run it to the basement to wash, running back to the main floor to vacuum while she did, then back down to the basement to throw clothing in the dryer. You probably get the picture by now. While this one was unorthodox, it worked well for her and she managed to clean her home faster than ever.

Get up a half hour to an hour early for a brisk jog or other cardio.

It’s not easy to get up early, particularly if you’ve gone to bed late, but it is doable. If you’re not fond of being the early bird, consider a brisk walk at lunch hour if you work in an office or walking to the store if you’re a stay at home parent or work out of your home. I know some people that live a “doable” distance from the grocery who take time each week to walk there for a few items and walk home, making certain to time themselves each time and improve on their own personal best.

Play with the kids.

This is by far my very favorite. Not only are you scheduling time for exercise, you’re having fun with your children and encourage them to lead a more active lifestyle. Whether you play tag, basketball or race each other to the corner and back—best 20 out of 30—you’ll be boosting your own energy level, having fun with your children and making memories. It’s the ultimate in multitasking.

Shop ’till you drop isn’t just a saying if you park a distance from the store and speed through your shopping. You’ll get cardiovascular exercise, while also saving gas, since you won’t be circling the lot looking for the best parking spot.

Take the stairs, particularly if it’s several flights. If you work on a higher floor, shun the elevator and take the stairs. Running up and down the stairwells for a half hour on your lunch time can also be another way to get exercise at work.

Go dancing. There’s nothing more invigorating than spending a half hour of fast dancing. It boosts your heart rate. You don’t need a ballroom. Grab your significant other and push back the coffee table so you can dance in the living room. You really don’t even need a partner to do it.

Do a lap or two around the pool. If you have access to a place to swim, there’s nothing better. It burns calories without stressing joints.

Challenge Yourself

Challenge Yourself

Getting the most out of life can start when you challenge yourself. No matter what type of goal you set, making it one that excites you can help you to be more resolute on achieving it. Setting high goals is fun and helps you get your juices flowing, but you still need to make them attainable. That’s why big goals should always be broken down to small steps. You wouldn’t expect to run a mile in under ten minutes if you’re a female past the age of 60 and out of shape, but you might be able to do it after working out for a while.

First find out where you are and then go from there.

If you want to set a financial goal, you first need to know how much money or debt you have, your expendable income and where you’re spending your money. You also need to know information before you start a fitness goal. You need to first find out what your present level of fitness is. Only by knowing where you’re at, can you identify where you want to go. If one of your goals is to build more endurance, you need to find out how far you can run or how long you can exercise at top speed before your body begs for you stop. A personal trainer can help you identify your present level of fitness.

Set a big goal, but break it down to smaller benchmarks.

If you want to run a seven minute mile, but you can’t even manage a mile in ten minutes, you have to set mini goals to keep you interested and dedicated to improving your time. First, to make your goal as challenging as possible, you want to set a time frame. You might start by working toward that ten minute mile and give yourself a month to achieve it if you’re not even close. Once you’ve achieved that milestone, aim for a nine minute mile. A personal trainer will help you set big, overall goals and break them down to mini-goals.

Weight loss might involve setting several types of goals.

If you want to lose weight, you need to change your eating habits to healthier ones and exercise regularly. The new healthy way of eating lowers your intake of calories and the exercise helps burn the excess calories. Just as with any goal, setting mini-goals and outlining the steps to get there are the way to achieve a larger weight loss goal. You might make small changes, such as having a healthy snack available or switching to wild rice instead of white rice can lower your overall caloric intake. Making one change won’t save a huge amount of calories, but making a lot of them will.

Stay focused on what your overall big goal is, but don’t forget to congratulate yourself on achieving the smaller goals along the way. Going from not being able to do one push-up to doing five in a row is a huge accomplishment and you deserve to feel good about it.

Don’t neglect other areas in your life to achieve your special goal. Everyone needs to have a well-balanced life that includes family, friends, good health and quiet personal time.

Make sure you reward yourself for achieving a goal. The reward could be anything from buying a new outfit to treating yourself and spouse to a night on the town dancing.

Don’t forget to include plenty of rest as part of your healthier lifestyle. Your body needs downtime and sleep to repair itself and rejuvenate. Downtime is often neglected today and dismissed as lazy or unimportant, when in reality it’s a keystone to good health.

Be Realistic

Be Realistic

Be Realistic

Setting any goal is a step in the right direction, but you have to be realistic if you want to achieve it. If your goal were financial, saving a million dollars in a year would be outrageous if you only earned $40,000 a year. Even saving $20,000 would be far too high, unless you had absolutely no expenses. The same holds true for fitness. If you want to lose 50 pounds, don’t set an unrealistic goal of shedding that weight in a month. Not only is it almost impossible, it would be unhealthy if you actually managed to come close.

Break down a larger goal into smaller ones you can achieve in a relatively short time.

Rather than going for the gusto, try breaking down the goal to smaller ones you can achieve easier. Start with a goal of losing ten pounds and make a month your time frame. It’s an achievable goal that won’t be easy, but still will be within reason. Once you’ve achieved that goal, set up the next one. You might make it twenty pounds in two months or stick with the original ten pounds a month.

The more you workout and the healthier you learn to eat, the easier it is to reach fitness goals.

Not everyone wants to lose weight, some people just want to be fitter and have more endurance and strength. No matter what your fitness goal, learning to eat healthier and exercising regularly can help you achieve it. Best of all, it gets easier the longer you practice those two things. You’ll find ways to cut calories and increase nutrients the more focused you are on your eating habits. You’ll also find workouts easier even though you’re probably doing more each workout. As you build strength and stamina, you’ll be more active in everyday life too.

You’ll burn more calories 24/7 as you become fitter.

Muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does. While you’ll burn more calories when you workout, you’ll also be building more muscle tissue. That means you’ll be burning more calories 24/7 as it replaces the fat tissue on your body. That’s a boost in metabolism that helps you lose weight even faster. As you progress on your goals, you’ll be able to increase the weight loss goal or decrease the amount of time to lose it.

If you’re unsure how to set a goal or even what your goal should be, seek help from a trainer who will not only help you set the goals, but also design a plan to help you achieve them.

Never give up. Sometimes when we think we’re failing, but continue to stay on course, we see the most dramatic improvement. Track your progress and know you’ll accomplish your goals if you’re following your plan.

Make sure you include other important healthy habits, such as adequate sleep and drinking plenty of fluids.

Some people sign up for group training to help them get started. These groups are often led by personal trainers who will aid you in goal setting and creating a plan of action.