Best time to work out: morning or evening?

2016Mar30_ExerciseGeneral_AAre you a morning person or an evening person? When it comes to working out, people have different preferences. While some would not mind waking up at five in the morning to start exercising, some would much rather sleep in and just train after work. For those people uncertain about when to fit in a training session in their busy schedules, here are a few benefits to both morning and evening workouts to help you make your decision.

Benefits of a morning workout:

Stick to schedule

People usually prefer to workout in the morning because it’s easier to stick to that routine. There are less distractions during this time and it frees up your schedule to relax in the evening. You can also be discouraged to exercise after a long day at work.

Healthier start to the day

If you do your workouts early in the morning, the rest of your day is bound to be healthier as well. After finishing a training session, you’re more likely to eat a balanced breakfast and drink more water during the day. Finishing workouts early tends to make you happier as well since you release endorphins during exercise to minimize the discomfort of exercise and generally give you more energy throughout the day.

Optimal for weight loss

Your body’s sugar levels are naturally lower as soon as you wake up so, when you workout, the fat in your body are used as fuel instead.

Avoiding crowds

It’s probably more convenient to go to the gym when there aren’t so many people fighting over the machines. Doing your morning jogs won’t be such a chore either since the sidewalks and parks aren’t as crowded at this time. You can simply go at your own pace and focus on your workout.

Sleep

Anyone will tell you how important sleep is to staying healthy. And according to previous studies, people who were sleep-deprived usually had higher levels of stress and tended to eat more junk food. So knowing that you have a morning workout session could encourage you to sleep earlier and get more hours of shut-eye.

However, if it is not possible to workout in the morning there is no need to worry about missing out on these benefits. That’s because exercising in the evening or night comes with its own set of perks.

Benefits of an evening workout:

Better performance

Those who intend to achieve more in their workouts would find it best to do their sessions during the evening. Your body’s core temperature is usually higher during this time which means your muscles are more flexible allowing you to do more strenuous workouts without such a high risk of injury. After work your heart rate and blood pressure are also at their lowest, making this the optimal time for you to do high intensity exercises.

You’re not a morning person

This one is pretty obvious. We all like our sleep and if you’re type of person that prefers to get a few extra minutes of it in the morning then morning exercise may not be for you.

Stress relief

After a long day of work you just want to not have to think for a couple of hours. Exercise has been proven to be a good method to relieve some stress. So the next time you’re feeling a bit of pressure throughout the day, just run a couple of laps around your neighbourhood or lift some weights.

More exercise services available

There’s just more opportunity for different types of exercise after work. A variety of sports including basketball and soccer are played during weeknights. Some group fitness classes are only available during the evening as well. Those who prefer the gym environment or want some extra motivation from other people tend to do evening workouts.

Ultimately, it’s all on you to decide when you want to work out and if you’re willing to stick with it. It really doesn’t matter if you choose to alternate between morning and evening sessions either just as long as you’re getting a consistent number of training sessions per week to lead a healthier lifestyle. If you’re interested in learning more exercise tips or anything fitness related, contact us today.

Posted in Exercise/Fitness General, General Health Articles A | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

How to recover from a diet failure

2016Mar29_DietAndNutrition_AAfter successfully dieting for several months, you have a slip up. And not just any slip up, but the BIG one. Maybe you devoured an entire pizza after a bar crawl, or maybe you failed to restrain yourself while at a buffet with friends. Whatever the reason, it’s not important. What’s important is what you do now. How do you pick yourself back up after a diet failure?

Remember you’re only human

It’s easy to forget. The media paints an image of perfection we all try to attain. However, who out there is really perfect? Think about your friends and family members. Are any of them perfect? Likely not. As humans we’re all flawed in one way or another.

So instead of focusing on your shortcomings (like many of us often do), acknowledge what you’ve accomplished during your time dieting. If you’ve dropped several pounds since you started, if you’ve reduced the amount of sweets you eat, if you now drink more water on a daily basis, pat yourself on the back and celebrate what you’ve accomplished. This will help you recognize your ability to achieve goals, and provide motivation to keep on going.

Revisit your purpose

Think back to when you first started your diet. What caused you to take action? What caused you to make a change? Undoubtedly there was a reason behind it. And you likely had some goals in mind. Maybe it was to fit into your favorite pair of jeans again, or maybe it was to lower your cholesterol levels. Whatever the reason, revisit and evaluate your goals.

Your goals should include both short and long-term objectives. What do you want to accomplish this month? What do you want to accomplish by the end of the year? Flesh out your goal as much as possible so that it’s crystal clear. Ask yourself, what will your life look like once you’ve accomplished it? How many pounds will you weigh? How will you feel when you wake up in the morning? How many servings of fruits or vegetables will you eat a week?

Once you have these answers, work backwards and figure out what steps get you closer to your goal. It can be useful to write these down, and then give yourself a target date to achieve each one by. This will help you keep track of your progress and measure your results.

Find a coach

If you’ve set lofty nutrition goals or are really struggling, then a nutrition coach can be a savior. They can serve as a support, provide valuable instruction, push you to achieve more, and even help you enjoy the journey. Best of all, they’ll help you overcome the failures and celebrate in your success when you reach milestones.

Accept failure

The most successful people in the world fail. And their failures are often huge. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, the company that he started in his garage. Stephen King’s first novel Carrie was rejected 30 times, and he nearly gave up on being an author because of this. Katy Perry’s first album sold only two hundred copies, and the record company that produced it went out of business. Alright, so these examples don’t have anything to do with food, but that’s not the point. The point is that whether your goal is to shrink your waistline or become a millionaire, failure is part of the process.

Whatever your diet failure was, take some time to reflect and learn your lesson. Ask yourself, what can you do differently to prevent it from happening again? Or question whether your setback was even a failure to begin with. Maybe the failure wasn’t the fact that you slipped up on your diet, but that you didn’t allow any room for slip ups in the first place.

If you need more assistance in achieving your nutrition goals, our experts are happy to provide the support you need to succeed. Give us a call today and learn how we can help.

Posted in Diet and Nutrition General, General Health Articles A | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Is it a bad idea to play music in a yoga class?

2016Mar28_Yoga_ANowadays, we listen to music wherever we are. We listen to it while we’re in the train, while we’re in a restaurant, while we’re working out and even while we’re walking around town. But should we be playing it during our yoga sessions? Since yoga is a meditative practice that involves movement, it can seem ineffective to listen to any sort of music while doing some much needed self-reflection. Here are the common reasons why people think it’s a bad idea to bring music in a yoga class.

Silence is required in yoga

In a class where silence is needed to achieve a ‘higher state of being’, blasting loud music during a yoga session can be counterproductive. Yoga is about concentration and calming the mind but erratic music tends to distract you from keeping this goal. Playing an album with varied rhythms and volumes makes it more difficult to focus on your breathing and poses. As soon as you’ve adapted your breathing to one song, another one immediately takes you out of sync when a song with a completely different tempo begins to play. This means maintaining your poses becomes a lot harder.

Music is emotionally suggestive

Studies show that music switches on different parts of your brain which elicit an emotional response from the listener. These responses can be apparent in roaring and aggressive rock and pop songs. So instead of trying to achieve inner piece, you’re off thinking about punching someone in the face while doing a downward facing dog.

Loud music and yoga just don’t mix

Equally, exposure to loud music can suggest your body to respond by pumping adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream. These are hormones secreted when your body is experiencing certain levels of stress to help your respiration and give you more energy. While this is usually good for more intensive exercise, it can seem out of place in a yoga environment and even make you feel quite uncomfortable while meditating. It’s also incredibly difficult to hear your teacher’s instructions while the music is just booming throughout the studio. Remember, the session should be used to help you reflect on yourself and not about the new Kanye West album.

However…

While these common ideas are being held by many yoga practitioners there are some that are open to the idea of having some music guide their meditation. Music in yoga supporters, believe that both music and yoga on their own provide therapeutic benefits for their mental and emotional state. So it only makes sense for them to combine these two types of treatment together to create an even better experience.

At the end of the day, meditation in yoga is not just about simply sitting still on a pose in silence. Yoga is about finding stability in your mind and if some music can inspire you to do this then what’s the harm? If the music supports and enhances your meditative experience then by all means use it in your sessions. There is no one way to practice yoga.

If you want to know more about the latest in yoga trends, give us a call.

Posted in General Health Articles A, Yoga General | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

7 reasons to start a running routine

2016Mar24_WomensFitness_ASpring is here, and that means there’s no better time to add running to your exercise routine. While there are a lot of women out there who hate the mere thought of running, we know there are plenty of others on the fence about it. So if you’re teetering, don’t dismiss lacing up your sneakers and hitting the pavement just yet. Here are seven reasons to consider.

Save money

Running is free. If you have a long sleeved shirt, yoga pants or shorts, and a decent pair of sneakers, then you already have all you need to get started. Best of all, when the weather is warm, most women can simply open their front doors and start running immediately. Of course, a little stretching beforehand never hurt nobody, so limber up a little bit before bolting out the door.

Be healthier

Running provides many health benefits. It can boost your metabolism, lower your blood pressure, and improve circulation and blood flow. Even better, if you get into the routine of running, this one healthy habit will likely snowball into other areas of your life. You may be surprised to find yourself becoming more health-conscious: improving your diet, and even trying out other exercises.

Enjoy more carbs

While many women will avoid carbs in an attempt to lose weight, running provides you a great excuse to eat more of them. When you go on a long run, your muscles avoid fatigue by utilizing carbohydrates. Not only that, but these edible compounds also provide the fuel you need to keep your energy levels up so you can perform at your best. Now this doesn’t mean to go out and stuff your face with unhealthy carbs such as triple cheese pizza and donuts. Instead, try pasta, oatmeal, quinoa or a mix of fruits and veggies.

Increase your stamina

If you find yourself getting exhausted easily, running can prevent it by boosting your stamina. Whether you’re doing yard work, walking up or down the stairs, or chasing around children, a regular running habit can make all of this easier.

Buy new shoes

What lady doesn’t like buying new shoes? Well, most of us do anyway. If you develop a regular running routine, new shoes can be a godsend. They can provide much needed comfort for your knees and feet, as there will be less pain from the impact of your foot hitting the pavement, grass or dirt. Once you’ve ran a certain number of miles, treat yourself to a bright, fun pair of sneakers as motivation to keep up your habit.

Explore the outdoors

Whether you live in the city or country, running enables you to explore new areas of your neighborhood. Your options are almost limitless as you can turn down new streets or trails as you notice them. To mix it up even more, you can jump in your car and drive to a new neighborhood or park to run. And if you live in a city and are itching to check out that hot new dress you saw advertised, you can even run downtown and do some window shopping.

Support good causes

You’ve probably seen plenty of your friends post pictures on social media of the marathons they’ve completed. While to outsiders these may seem a bit odd, marathons can provide a sense of accomplishment, a chance to meet new friends, and even the opportunity to support a good cause. You’ve likely heard marathons cost money to enter (and most do) but a good portion of that money is going to support a good cause, like breast cancer or a charity.

These are just seven of the many reasons to give running a try. Whether or not you do, we encourage you to put your health first this Spring and start a regular exercise routine. If you’d like to learn about the exercise options available to you at our facilities or are curious to learn more about the benefits of running, feel free to send us a message any time.

Posted in General Health Articles A, Women's Fitness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

How to run farther

2016Mar23_ExerciseGeneral_AHaving trouble running your first 5K or 10K? Ever wonder how some runners can keep running as if they weren’t getting tired? For beginners, long distance running can be an intimidating and exhausting challenge but the trick isn’t to jump straight into long runs, but to build up to it. So if you’re planning to take up long distance running then follow these tips and techniques used by experienced runners.

Gradually build up the distance you’re running each week

We cannot stress enough how important it is to start slowly. You increase the risk of injuring yourself by doing too much at once and that sets you even further back in your training. Start running at least 1K or 2K three to four times a week. You can worry about speed later, just set a pace that you’re comfortable with.

In one of those training sessions, try to run a little past your target distance. Make it a goal to run just a bit farther every week and eventually you’ll be more comfortable with increasing the distance and intensity of your workouts.

Hydrate

Another obvious tip but one that people easily forget. Drink water at least thirty minutes before, during and immediately after your run. Chugging water keeps your joints lubricated and helps transport the nutrients around your body to give you more energy. This all adds up to more stamina for long distance runs. If bringing a water bottle with you while you run is too cumbersome, try using hydration belts or backpacks to keep your hands free.

Breathe properly

Experienced runners can usually keep going because of their regulated breathing. Physical exercise is usually repetitive and rhythmic breathing helps maintain your pace without burning yourself out too quickly. If you’re running without establishing a breathing pattern, you’ll be struggling to keep the oxygen in.

The next time you go for a jog, breathe in twice through the nose and twice out the mouth whenever your feet are striking the ground. Whenever you inhale, remember to take deep breaths to get the most oxygen into your lungs.

Posture is key

Your posture can also determine how much you can run. Many people usually look at where they are stepping and have their shoulders hunched over. This increases the risks of lower back problems and prevents you from taking in oxygen. However if you bring your shoulders up and look straight ahead you’ll notice a dramatic difference in how long you can actually run.

Do interval training

This training method builds your stamina, speed, recovery time and leg strength. Interval training usually involves alternating between high intensity running and low intensity jogging. This doesn’t mean you should be hitting top speed and burning yourself out immediately. Try doing a 400m run followed by a light 400m jog to cool off for the next set. For your high intensity sets, you should maintain a pace that is just above your comfort zone and take the appropriate amount of rest before your next set.

Music

Long distance running can be quite repetitive and boring at times, so bringing music to your running sessions can really take the edge off.

While all these methods can significantly improve your running performance, it’s always important to stretch and rest afterwards to prevent any risk of injury. Consider using some or all of these methods and with constant training you’ll be running your first 5K in no time.

Want more training advice? Give us a call to see what else is in store for you.

Posted in Exercise/Fitness General, General Health Articles A | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

7 reasons why you may have a zinc deficiency

2016Mar22_DietAndNutrition_ACan’t sleep? Getting sick too often? Having an acne break out again? If so, then you might have a zinc deficiency. Not enough zinc in your body can lead to a number of problems. From a weaker immune system to even causing imbalances to the levels of hormones produced and regulated in your body. So what are the warning signs you should watch out for? Here are seven reasons why you should boost your zinc intake.

You’re getting sick way too often

For your immune system to work optimally, you need just the right amount of zinc. So if you’re finding yourself with a cold or infection right after you just had one, then you may not have enough zinc in your body.

Bad skin

Have you been breaking out a lot lately? Many studies suggest that if you’re suffering from conditions like acne or other skin problems this could indicate that you may have a zinc deficiency. This is because 6% of the zinc contained in our bodies is stored in our skin.

Hair loss

Losing hair could also be a sign of a zinc deficiency. This could be due to low levels of thyroid hormones being produced in your body meaning zinc is not properly being absorbed into your system.

Constantly upset stomach

Eating zinc-rich food have been proven to tighten your gut wall, which can protect you from digestive problems like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

You’re having trouble sleeping

Do you feel like you’ve been tossing and turning all night without getting a wink of sleep? Zinc actually plays a big part in producing and maintaining melatonin in your body. What’s melatonin you ask? Well it’s the hormone involved in helping you sleep and wake up. Studies have shown that taking the right amounts of zinc can help improve the quality of your sleep.

Fertility and pregnancy problems

While not having enough zinc in your body doesn’t directly lead to infertility, it still plays an important role in regulating your reproductive system. For men, zinc is needed to help testicular development as well as maintain sperm motility. For women, zinc deficiencies have been linked to pregnancy problems such as premature births and low birth weight.

Increased chances of Alzheimer’s

This degenerative disease is common among elderly people in more developed countries. According to research, zinc is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies found in elderly people and can possibly suggest normal levels of zinc can protect you against cognitive decline.
While correlation does not exactly mean causation it’s still something to think about.

Most likely to suffer zinc deficiencies:

While not eating enough zinc-rich food can cause these problems, there are some people who are more likely to suffer from these symptoms:

  • Elderly people
  • Pregnant women
  • Those who consume a lot of alcohol
  • Dieters
  • Vegetarians and vegans

So what can you do to reduce these problems? Diets rich in zinc like oysters, beef, lamb, chicken, peanuts, legumes or oats goes a long way in avoiding these symptoms down the line.

Hopefully these signs gave you a better idea on how to tell if you might have any zinc deficiency. Contact us today if you’d like to find out more about keeping a healthy diet and nutrition.

Posted in Diet and Nutrition General, General Health Articles A | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Common yoga questions answered

2016Mar21_Yoga_AYoga can seem a bit like a cult. Dozens of people line up in a classroom, all dressed in similar outfits, moving in unison and sometimes chanting words in a foreign language. To an outsider, this odd display of behavior can bring up a lot of questions. So if you’re scratching your head, wondering what’s the deal with this whole “yoga thing”, here are some answers to common questions the yoga curious ask.

What is yoga?

Yoga originated in India over 2,000 years ago. While today most people perform yoga through a series of postures and stretches, the original practice of yoga was much broader and included 8 total practices, which were referred to as “limbs”. The postures you see students performing in your local gym are one of these 8 limbs; the others include concentration, ethical guidelines, breathing exercises and a few others.

The original purpose of the posture-based yoga practice was to purify the body and prepare it for long meditation sessions. If you were to follow this and the other 7 practices, you would hopefully achieve the ultimate goal: samdhi, referred to today as enlightenment.

So does that mean yoga is a religion?

When you see how serious some students take yoga, you can see why it’s sometimes misinterpreted as a religion. However, yoga by no means qualifies as one. It should be noted that it was originally created as a philosophy (as described in the previous answer above), and some of the more devout practitioners today would still consider it a way of life. With that said, modern-day yoga can really be whatever you want it to. It can simply be a means to improve your flexibility, mental focus and health, or it can be a serious discipline that shapes every aspect of your life. Regardless of what yoga means to you, there are many varieties that are a far cry from religion. These include rage yoga (which involves cursing, screaming, and sometimes drinking beer), cat yoga, stiletto yoga and more.

Do you have to be a vegetarian to practice?

Vegetarianism in yoga is a hotly debated issue. One of the original principles of yoga philosophy stresses non-harming to self and others. Some interpret this to mean you can’t eat meat, as doing so harms animals. And if you choose to eat your triple cheeseburgers, steaks and mounds of bacon, you may be scrutinized by some of the old-school members of the yoga community. However, most fellow yoga practitioners won’t bat an eye, and will even enjoy that philly cheesesteak with you.

The point is that practicing yoga and eating meat is a matter of choice. You are free to do so if you’d like. And in today’s modern yoga scene, most people could care less whether you do or not.

How many times should you practice per week?

To achieve some of the benefits of yoga, aim to practice at least one hour a week. By doing so, you should notice your body becoming more limber with less pain and a slightly increased mental focus. However, if you want a more dramatic difference, aim to practice for an hour, 3 or 4 times per week. This can help you develop better posture and more muscle strength, greatly improve your disposition and provide an array of health benefits that include lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.

How is yoga different from stretching?

On the surface, it’s easy to see why some people think yoga is just some glorified stretching practice. When you look closer though, there a few key differences. For one, most yoga classes try to sync your movement with breath. For example when you move into a stretch, you will breath in, and then exhale when you release it. Also, yoga requires you to pay attention to more than just the stretch and posture you’re maneuvering into. You’ll also be aware of what’s going on in your body, mind and breathing process. Becoming more aware of these three things will help you develop focus and mental clarity both on and off the yoga mat.

We hope these five answers will help shed some light on these common yoga questions. If you have more you’d like to ask or are interested in joining a class, call us today.

Posted in General Health Articles A, Yoga General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

teste

2016Feb22_Yoga_ANerve Growth Factor (NGF) is a key protein that helps diminish neural degradation. People with Alzheimer’s, however, are found to have significantly lower NGF levels causing them to be more vulnerable to the disease. Breakthrough research has revealed that NGF levels can be increased by introducing yoga into your fitness routines. Here are two easy exercises you can practice as a preventative measure.

What is Alzheimer’s?

testtetsst

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Stretch away the joint pains

2016Mar10_WomensFitness_AJoint pain and discomfort are unpleasant to say the least. If left untreated, it could possibly develop into arthritis that could be extremely debilitating. Failing to properly care for your joints and maintain them jeopardizes them for a lifetime. So what kind of actions cause their deterioration? It all starts with muscular imbalances that stem from repetitively performing daily activities such as sitting, and long periods of static postures that impede blood flow to muscles and bones.

Many people underestimate the importance of stretching before and after working out. However, stretching is vital as it helps decrease chances of injury by allowing the joints to move through their full range of motion.

A general rule of thumb is that you should perform a low-intensity exercise for five to ten minutes before and after your workout. Stretch all the major muscles such as your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders for 20-30 seconds each. As this is the easiest method to avoid extreme joint pain, here are six stretches to focus on for your next workout:

  • Wrists – start by rolling your wrists clockwise, and then in a counter-clockwise motion to keep wrists limber.
  • Chest – push arms out to the side, parallel with the ground. With the palms of your hands facing forward, stretch arms as far back as possible.
  • Shoulders – hold out your arms to the side keeping them parallel with the ground, then bend the left arm up and use the left forearm to ease the right arm closer to your chest.
  • Hips – sit upright in a chair, hold onto the seat, and then lift each leg like you’re walking – the higher the lift, the deeper the stretch.
  • Knees – warm up the knees by extending out and lifting up one leg at a time. Another exercise you can do while sitting involves bending the knee at 90 degrees and pulling it inwards with your arms.
  • Feet – rock feet back and forth while lifting up the toes and roll them forward so your heels can pick up.By stretching on a regular basis, it enhances muscular flexibility which then ease any aches and pains. Not only that, stretching helps enable an optimum range of movement by opening up the joints, tendons and ligaments.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions on how to avoid injuries while working out or to learn how you can incorporate stretching into your daily routine.

Posted in Exercise/Fitness General, General Health Articles A | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

3 tips for your first partner yoga class

2016Mar14_Yoga_AWhen you’re in yoga class, balancing in scorpion pose, focusing on your breath and pondering the greater mysteries of the universe, have you ever felt like there was something missing? No, we’re not talking about that special someone who magically completes your life…okay, actually we might be, but in a more literal sense. To be more clear, we’re talking about partner yoga. A type of yoga where you bring a significant other or friend to class to practice with you. If you have yet to hear about partner yoga, here’s what it’s all about.

What is partner yoga?

Partner yoga is exactly what it sounds like: doing yoga together with a partner in class, instead of solo. Expect to get physically close to your partner as you will be maneuvering into poses, hands-on with him or her. Sometimes the two of you will form into poses you never thought possible, as your bodies take the shape of some crazy, elevated jigsaw puzzle. Other times you will simply tumble over. Whatever happens, it will be all in good fun, as long as you follow these simple rules.

1. Bring the right partner

Your partner can make or break your experience. Don’t just choose some random acquaintance or new friend. Choose someone you can trust. You will have your hands on each other, be in each other’s personal space, and need to clearly communicate with him or her. And you’ll be doing this for an entire, hour long class. A good partner choice is likely your boyfriend or girlfriend, or a spouse. However, a close friend can also do the trick…especially if you’re simply looking to share a few laughs and some fun.

2. Come prepared

When you come to partner yoga, you need to bring the same items you would to your normal class. That includes a yoga mat, towel and water bottle. Also, like your normal yoga class, make sure to wear comfortable clothes. Lastly, (and probably most importantly) ensure your partner brings the above items too, minus the yoga mat as you only need one for the both of you. If your partner is new to yoga, they will likely be clueless as to what to bring. Make it your mission to fill them in.

3. Have an open mind

If you’re considering partner yoga, you likely already follow this guideline. Regardless, get ready for a yoga experience that is a bit more carefree than your typical Vinyasa class, and much more loose than a Bikram session. There will be plenty of playful opportunities and laughter in class, so be prepared to have fun while helping support your partner in various poses.

If you follow these three guidelines, you are sure to have a blast in your first partner yoga class. For more information on different yoga varieties or class times at our studio, give us a call today.

Posted in General Health Articles A, Yoga General | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed
  • Internet Presence Management for Health Club Owners

    pronto logoFull-service, pay-as-you-go all inclusive websites, from design and content to SEO and social media management for one low monthly price. Learn more at Pronto for Health Clubs.