Have you ever heard of ‘the dog taking you for a walk’ rather than you taking the dog for a walk? You can sometimes apply this analogy to the elliptical and stationary bike (and cardiovascular training in general). The momentum created by these machine’s circular pattern can often lead to a surprisingly inefficient workout by the user unless the resistance, cadence, pace or incline is/are continually increased (or intervals are used) as the body warms up. By using focus, effort and/or heart rate monitoring you can prevent the machines from walking you into an inefficient workout!
From all of us at Body & Soul Health and Fitness, we want to thank you for a wonderful year. 2013 has been full of hard work, sweat, love and laughter for the Body & Soul team. This year we have met many wonderful new people, continue to see friendly faces and have said goodbye to a few very dear friends.
At Body & Soul, we strive to provide our clients with the highest quality experience possible in the health and fitness industry and we hope to continue to meet and exceed such expectations with each of you. Many of you have provided feedback over the year and we thank you for every kind word and every honest suggestion. We would not be where we are today if it weren’t for you. We look forward to the surprises and challenges that 2014 brings; one more year and we will be celebrating 20 years in business!
May you end 2013 with joyous memories and start the New Year with peace in your heart. From all of us at Body & Soul, we want to wish you a Happy New Year – Bonne Année (French) – Prosit Neujahr (German) – Sale No Mobarak (Farsi) – Feliz Año Nuevo (Spanish) – Chúc Mừng Nǎm Mới (Vietnamese)!
‘How’ you eat may very well be as important as ‘what’ you eat. Here are some ‘how to’ tips to help you eat better: 1) Take time to chew your food and enjoy the taste. Your body needs time before it knows it is full and before it can communicate this feeling to you. 2) Snack throughout the day. Constantly re-fuel so that you will feel less hungry when it comes to dinner and shouldn’t feel the need to overindulge. 3) Avoid eating before you go to bed.
Studies suggest that eating before bed may affect your sleep; however, you shouldn’t go to bed hungry so eat a light and healthy snack if you feel the need. ‘How’ you eat may also determine ‘what’ you eat so be proactive, recognize your eating behaviour and adopt healthy habits.
Often overlooked, stretching is one of the five components of fitness. Stretching can help posture, stress, mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance. Stretches are either dynamic (involve motion) or static (involve no motion). You should use dynamic stretches before a workout to help prevent injuries and prepare the body for work and use static stretches after a workout to reduce post workout stiffness.
Your level of flexibility depends on your ability to bend and contort without pain or risking injury. Flexible joints greatly decrease your risk of injury and help enhance your athletic performance. Make time to stretch!
What makes a well rounded exercise program?
A well rounded program should involve lots of primary movement exercises; for instance, squats, lunges and chest presses. These exercises incorporate the movement of multiple joints and muscles. Once you feel comfortable doing primary exercises, and your body has adjusted, start adding secondary exercises to your routine. Secondary exercises, such as bicep curls, focus on single joint movements and target specific muscles or muscle groups.
Start off by doing 3-4 primary exercises, 3 sets and 15-20 repetitions, followed by an aerobic exercise of your choice, i.e. biking or running. Once you are comfortable doing this, decrease the number of repetitions to 8-10 and add secondary exercises to your routine, keeping the secondary exercises to 3 sets of 15. Finally, finish off your workout with about 10 minutes of stretching. Overall a well rounded program should challenge all aspects of your fitness, including muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, cardiovascular system, and balance.
Remember to consult with your doctor before beginning a new training program.