Thursday, 30 October 2014

Home Fitness Guides To Keep You Focused

It is common scenario for people to never complete a diet program they initially took with the goal of trimming up after calories and fats were collected from a bad lifestyle. Similarly, it is common for people to start using home fitness equipment and then leaving the machine up collecting dust at the corner because they have forgotten it.
Why not all people can stick to what they primarily embarked upon to improve their physical and health aspect? First, it is because of the lack of discipline. Second, focus was directed elsewhere maybe due to boredom, lack of determination and goal. And third, the lack of proper diet and fitness program - a carefully planned guide which you can utilize to easily see your direction and accountability of every result.
If you are in the same boat, you are probably looking once again for another program where you think you can put your focus on for a long time and thus gives you realistic results of keeping yourself in tip top shape, both physical and inner health. However, even with home fitness program, you have the chance to succeed in your goal provided that you have the discipline, the right program, and focus or determination.
To help define what you really want in this particular aspect, here are some simple yet effective guides to keep you focused, determined, and disciplined and stick to your home fitness routine in a lifelong basis.
- If the home fitness plan happens to be your resolution for this year, don't just think of it as a resolution for the whole year. Or don't make it a resolution that benefits you for only a few months, or even for a year.
Rather, make it your lifetime resolution. Think of the long term benefits and think how it can give you a lifelong health and physical fitness. Think how it will be easier for you to live life as you age. That's how a fitness and diet program should be. Long term goals are often easier and lighter to follow than fitness programs for short term effects.
* And this is the most important - eat healthily, rest properly, and avoid getting into disastrous vices such as smoking and drinking. You don't have to eat fancy, healthy foods which you cannot easily prepare for some reasons. And you don't have to be strict with this aspect. Just remember to count the calories you take in.
* Also, consider this goal as a gift to your family and loved ones. Taking care of yourself is an ultimate act that tells you actually care for them. It gives them less of the worries, lesser expenses on medical bills, and the likes. Plus, being healthy, fit, and active means you can give more time to bond with them by engaging in family physical activities.

Home Fitness on a Budget

Busy schedule has prompted most to do their fitness routines outside the confines of a commercial fitness center. But that is not the only reason why many do not enroll to a gym anymore. Budget has now become one of the main reasons why for some, it is most practical to exercise at home. Here are some of the things you can do to stay in shape without having to pay for a membership and spend time commuting to your gym.
Contrary to what most people think, hiking is not a weekend activity. And not because you carry a backpack that can hold all your survival stuffs means that you have to stay overnight on the trail. Hiking can be a regular exercise routine, which can be done several hours a day on your free day, especially if live near hiking parks and trails. Hiking is free and can burn as much as 550 calories per hour.
Putting on your rubber shoes and going around the neighborhood may not be as adventuresome as hiking in parks and trails, but you can still get almost the same health benefits and physical fitness. A good hour of walking can burn up to 380 calories. Jogging and running can burn much more than that.
However, the main disadvantage of walking around the neighborhood is you cannot do it all throughout the year. When the weather is bad or if the winter season has begun, you cannot simply go out and run around the neighborhood (this is the reason why treadmill is so popular). Still, it is still better to maximize the warm days by walking or jogging around the neighborhood than just sitting on your couch and do nothing. Plus, it is free.
Use your existing exercise machine.
It is estimated that 80% of exercise equipment bought in the United States is not used after the first year. This stunning figure only equates to one thing: if you are consider buying new exercise equipment, you are more likely to stop using it after some time. And if you have bought one before, you probably still have it somewhere in your house.
That leaves us to the question, do your really need to buy a new one? If you already have existing equipment and if it is functioning well, use it again. There's nothing wrong with using old exercise equipment. What is wrong is actually buying a new one knowing that you can still use something.
Buy the basics
Having a treadmill or an elliptical trainer at home is cool but that doesn't mean that you must buy one. Remember that they only simulate activities you can do outdoors so you can always choose to forego buying any one of these if you cannot afford to buy one. Just buy the basics like weights, exercise mat and exercise ball. They all provide various workout techniques but do not cost as much.

Fitness Equipment Substitutions

There have been so many excuses concerning getting fit that a book should be written about all of them. (You know, there probably is a book someone has already written, but I just have not found it yet.) One of the excuses I hear from people is "I don't own the right equipment for fitness." That is just not true! Just because a person may not own the latest dumbbells or have a state-of-the-art fitness center set up in the basement does not mean they cannot work out. Fitness can be achieved by using good equipment substitutions. Many of these fitness substitutes can be found right in the home.
No weights?
If there are no free weights or resistance bands available for strength training exercises, and this equipment is not included in the family budget to purchase, then that is fine. A great substitution for this is to use different sized water bottles to provide resistance training. Grab two empty 20 ounce bottles, fill them with water and seal them tight. Voila - a "free pair" of weights is now available. To provide a little more density for training, purchase some craft sand and fill the water bottles with the sand.
For heavier resistance, fill 1 liter bottles or even 2 liter bottles with sand. Soup cans work well for lighter resistance needs. They are making vacuum cleaners much lighter now, but in the past, the heavy canister vacuum cleaners would provide a workout unlike any other. Of course, the best type of resistance equipment that is absolutely free is using body weight.
No treadmill or stairmaster?
For a great cardio workout, a machine is not necessary. The great outdoors is a wonderful cardio training facility - and it costs nothing to put on a pair of sneakers or hiking boots and take advantage of it. It is suggested to take a brisk walk for at least 30 minutes three to five times each week.
Football athletes use the stairs at the football stadium as their workout for calves and legs. If there is not a stadium in the area where running is allowed, there are the stairs in a park, or even the stairs in or around the house. Playing outdoor games is fun and can burn calories, if done for long periods of time. Another great way to get a cardio workout is to clean. Yes, doing heavy activities like vacuuming, scrubbing, and furniture arranging will help you "feel the burn".
No yoga mat, strap, or blocks?
Flexibility exercises can be done right at home, with a trusty blanket folded double to substitute for a mat. Also, if a person is doing yoga and needs to use a strap and blocks, all they need to do is get the strap from their bathrobe. It is easy and does not cost anything! For yoga blocks, how about the boxes of Kleenex from the grocery store
It is better to use the box that contains 125 tissues or more for the yoga block substitute.
There is a quote that says, "Do what you can with what you have...". This holds true for everything, including fitness equipment. Getting healthy and fit does not have to cost much at all.

Tips for Making and Keeping Fitness

Fitness has been defined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services as "a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity" (USDHHS, 1996). Setting and keeping fitness goals is a reflection of one's level of discipline, dedication and determination. As we approach this holiday season, mapping a plan of action to keep you strong and sound is worth the while.
Fitness goals come in many forms. They may include daily exercise goals, dieting goals and nutrition goals. Whichever areas you decide to focus on, it is advisable that you make a commitment to yourself to live up to your goals, the following tips, if taken seriously will help you achieve your personal fitness goals during this season when millions of people are losing it.
Decide to start. Deciding to start is the first step in your quest. No matter how unfit and undisciplined you have been, making a decision to rise and be fit is the first step in your journey towards fitness, especially during this holiday season when it will definitely get tougher and harder to start.
Have a schedule that keeps you focused. Your decision forms the skeleton of your fitness plan. Creating a schedule is the flesh that you need to add to your skeleton of decision to cover it up. Make a time table around your daily schedule to accommodate your fitness campaign.
Do not be overzealous. Take it one step at a time. I remember some years ago when I decided to engage in several sports to keep me fit. Then, I wanted to play football, lawn tennis and swim, all at the same time. I ended up overburdening myself and had to give up my schedule after a short period, because I was overwhelmed and frustrated when I was not meeting up with my weekly goals.
Create a reward system for yourself. Setting and keeping fitness goals require that you have some form of external motivation to keep you going. Going to the gym on a cold winter morning can be a tall order. But if you have a reward system for yourself for making that move, say, three times a week, your morale will always be high. You can decide to treat yourself to a favorite meal in your favorite restaurant for every three gym sessions you attend. You may watch a favorite movie for avoiding some high fat-containing food.
Find a partner. I remember when I decided to start going to the gym. All I needed to do was to look out for folks who were also interested in using the gym. I relied a lot on their support to get started and going. I never missed classes for one day, because someone was always there to remind me that it was time to go.
Watch your calorie intake: It is very important that you monitor your calorie intake, especially during this holiday period. Enrolling in the best exercise program will amount to nothing if you go on an eating spree, consuming anything that comes your way. Watch what you eat on a daily basis. It is likely that you will visit friends and family, who will offer you food that may not be too healthy.
This holiday is a season to celebrate with your family and friends. Enjoy it to the fullest, but remember that you have a responsibility to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Good luck as you step into this season in style.

Group Fitness Instructors - Gaining Confidence

Training a client one-on-one as a personal trainer can be a nerve wracking experience for a newly certificated specialist. When one considers that the personal trainer is acting as a teacher and coach, hoping to motivate and educate his or her client to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle while getting them through their workouts safely, they may understand the anxiety a new trainer may experience.
This anxiety and lack of confidence may be amplified when a personal trainer decides to branch out into group fitness instructing-becoming responsible for the safety, guidance, and motivation of an entire class.
Tips to improve fitness group instructor confidence
In the October/November 2009 issue of ACE Certified News, fitness pro Amanda Vogel offered several great tips for group fitness instructors to help improve their level of confidence until they become more comfortable in front of a group of clients. Below are five of her tips to help improve a group fitness instructor's confidence level.
Know the lesson plan
Every teacher aims to effectively communicate and demonstrate the tasks they assign to their students. Prior to teaching their classes, many teachers study their lesson plans. The same method of preparation works for group fitness instructors. The more comfortable the fitness instructor is with the exercises and routines they have devised, the easier it will be to make the members in the group feel more at ease with the exercises and routines in which they are participating.
Know what you bring to the table
Aside from fitness expertise, group fitness trainers can bring something new, unique, and valuable to their group classes. Perhaps it is a positive, can-do attitude; a calm and inviting demeanor that helps to set the group at ease, a receptive personality, and/or a great method for demonstrating and explaining complex exercises. Focus on the things that make taking a group fitness class with you desirable. Your group members are likely to notice your individual value and stick around to see what more you have to offer.
Consider what you do best
The fitness industry is fascinating and constantly changing. New, popular group classes pop up all of the time, and it may seem that traditional step, kick-boxing, or strength training classes are less and less desirable to the public. Before launching into the new and trendy classes, set aside time to study the trends in order to decide whether those types of classes fit your unique brand.
Certainly, it is a great idea to keep your workout modern and effective by fusing new techniques with your own tried and true methods, but it may be a confidence booster to continue to teach what you know and do best until you become comfortable with what is new.
Fake it until you make it
No doubt, getting up in front of a class and assuming responsibility for the group that you are teaching can wear on one's nerve. Until sufficient group instructing experience is attained and confidence in talents and value are developed, it may be necessary to simply behave as though one is confident.
Smiling broadly and genuinely will brighten your day and allow clients to feel more comfortable participating in the fitness class. Speaking clearly and succinctly when explaining and encouraging clients in class will build a positive foundation between group members and the instructor
Establishing that foundation, in conjunction with continued education and practice are essential to developing confidence and appeal.

Home Fitness: Exercise Equipment Choices

There are several considerations when buying exercise equipment and the biggest challenge is perhaps choosing the one that matches your budget, space and fitness level. But regardless of these factors, you are most likely to land on any of the following exercise equipment:
Treadmill is a popular piece of gym equipment that has become the primary choice of anyone who wants to maintain an exercise routine at home. It lets you walk, jog or run anytime of the day, any month of the year - regardless of season and weather condition. A good treadmill costs at about $1500 but it can go as much as $3500, depending on the brand and features. When selecting one, focus on the load capacity, wide belt, incline settings, safety shutoff, smooth action and solid construction.
Elliptical Trainer is a no-impact exercise machine that simulates running and walking without causing excessive pressure on the joints thus decreasing the risk of impact injuries. The machine can be set from low- to high-intensity work out that is suited for all fitness levels. Today, elliptical trainers are the most popular piece of gym equipment. Price ranges from $500 to as much as $4000. Try out different brands when buying one.
Rowing Machines are excellent for those who want a total body workout. Requires little space, the rowing machine simulates the body movement of watercraft rowing targeting both the upper and the lower body muscle groups. Proper posture is required to avoid back strain.
Cross Country Ski Machines provide a full body workout, targeting both the upper and the lower body muscle groups. However, this type of machine is hard to master. So before buying one, make sure that you try it out first and see if it is really for you. People who use a cross country are often the best experienced exercisers with sufficient skills, who want a challenging workout.
Step Machines or steppers are low impact exercise machines that improve cardiovascular fitness and build and strengthen lower body muscles. A good step machine can be very expensive. Choose the right one or consider other alternatives if your budget does not fit.
Stationary Bike is composed of pedals, a paddle and some kind of handle similar to a real bike but used as exercise equipment rather than a means of transportation. A stationary bike is good for new exercisers or for those who like to have a no-impact cardiovascular workout. A quality stationary bike costs between $500 and $1000.
Recumbent Machines are like stationary bikes but with the rider sitting in an inclined position. The main advantage of a recumbent machine over a stationary bike is it provides better lower back support, thus minimizing the stress on the knees. A recumbent machine has the same aerobic effect with that of a stationary bike and targeting the muscles of the quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteus.
Resistance equipment is often known as either free weights or multi-stations or home gyms. Both have pros and cons and purchasing either of the two requires major thinking. Free weights are reasonably priced and require less space but they also require greater supervision and instruction as they are more likely to cause injury. Multi-stations on the other hand are more convenient to use but takes up a lot of space and the price depends on the quality of the machine. Take your pick.

24 Hour Fitness

There are many gyms in the US, and not all of them are alike. Some are local, while others are national, and some are good while others are 'not so good'. Most national chains offer more features than local gyms, and are usually larger and better equipped.
24-Hour Fitness is among the best known national gyms, and as a large chain, has many features and perks to draw in new members. Unlike some gyms, 24 Hour Fitness offers membership that can be paid on a monthly basis, instead of a large one-time payment.
If you are considering a membership at 24 Hour Fitness, here is an overview of the of their services, features, and some the most common complaints offered by members.
There are several different types of clubs within the 24 Hour Fitness franchise: sport/super sport/ultra sport and active/fitline. The sports facilities offer sports-like amenities, including courts, sauna's, day spa's, etc. The active offers a fitness gym, equipped with fee weights and machines, treadmills, ellipticals, etc.
24 Hour Fitness offers many perks, the best of which is alluded to in it's name - the majority of 24 Hour Fitness locations are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making it easy for anyone to go when their schedule permits.
24 Hour Fitness offers Kids Club, which is a daycare center for your children to play while you workout, and is included in your membership - you don't have to pay extra to use the service.
In addition to 24 hour access gyms, they also offer a multitude of group sessions, including: Aerobics, kickboxing, yoga, pilates, boot camp, water, dance, and cycling. They also offer personal fitness trainers for different goals, be it sports training or weight loss; the personal trainers have an additional fee associated with them.
Many of the common complaints that members have about 24 Hour Fitness is that the staff often ignores issues, or poorly deals with them. Another very common complaint is that the building is kept too hot, and it not only makes working out uncomfortable, but also makes members more irritable and shorter in patience. Finally, the largest complain seems to be in regard to financial issues, usually the cancellation or transfer of payments.
Whether you are looking for top of the line cardio equipment, free weights, group classes, or a raquetball gym, 24 Hour Fitness offers something for nearly everyone, and with 370 + locations throughout the US, your likely to find one in your city.