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Tag Archives: flexibility

Top 10 Benefits of Yoga

Posted on February 23, 2015 by

DONT BE PUSHEDNo matter what your fitness level is, yoga can help you in many ways.  Not only does yoga affect the physical aspect of the body, it addresses the mind and spirit as well.  Yoga exercises are a great way to help relieve the stress of your day and can bring a sense of well-being to your life.  Now we all can use a little of that!  Here are the top ten benefits of yoga.

Stress Relief – Yoga can help reduce the effects of stress on your body.  One of the benefits of yoga is that it encourages relaxation and can lower the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body.  Studies show that prolonged high levels of cortisol can lead to heart disease and other health problems.

Improved Circulation – Yoga will help improve your body’s circulation.  In turn, with daily exercises, you will see the benefits of yoga with lowered blood pressure and pulse rates.

Increased Cardiovascular Conditioning – Even the gentlest style of yoga will help to lower your resting heart rate and increase your overall endurance.  This is one of the important benefits of yoga to help improve the amount of oxygen taken in during the daily exercises.

Relief from Pain – Daily exercises of yoga can help ease the aches and pains of the body.  Many people with very serious diseases have reported less pain after these daily  exercises or meditation.

Better Breathing – You will learn to take deeper, slower breaths with daily exercises of yoga.  It will help to increase your lung function and set off the body’s relaxation response.  This can be one of the most powerful benefits of yoga.

More Flexibility – You will notice your level of flexibility will increase, which will help you with your range of motion.  Sometimes in the yoga daily exercises, people cannot even touch their toes.  The benefits of yoga will include lengthening the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your body to help you become more flexible.

Increased Muscular Strength – Yoga poses use all the muscles in your body and help you increase your strength level from head to toe.  Yoga and daily exercises will help you strengthen your muscles close to the bones, which increase the support of your skeletal system.

Weight Management – You will see the benefits of yoga begin to affect your scale.  Daily exercises are always recommended, but yoga helps reduce the level of cortisol in your body which aids in weight loss and weight maintenance.

Improved Mental Clarity and Focus – You can have greater coordination, memory skills, reaction times, and improved concentration skills by utilizing yoga for daily exercises.  These benefits of yoga will extend far out of the yoga class.

Inner Peace – What more could you want.  This is one of the primary reasons that people do daily exercises of yoga.  This is one of the most important benefits of yoga and is also one of the more easy ones to attain.

If you haven’t tried yoga, you should!  You may find it is just what you need.

Join us Thursday evenings at 6 p.m.—your first class is free!

 

Making Home Workouts Fun!

Posted on October 27, 2014 by

_MG_8873_ppEveryone understands how great exercise is for you.  Sometimes it’s just the issue of finding the time and/or the motivation.  Or, it could be the matter of finances.  Taking fitness classes at the gym can be very motivating, especially when a loud and inspiring Aerobics Instructor is commanding you to push “out of your comfort zone.”  However, the gym scene is not for everyone.  Some people find it an intimidating environment.  So, how are you going to get your workout in?….. At home!!!

For most people, saying “I don’t have time to exercise” is obviously an excuse because it’s truly about FINDING the time.  If you aren’t able to hit the gym, or are unable to free up time during your lunch hour, the final option is working out in the convenience of your own home.  It takes motivation to either get up earlier in the morning, or commit to exercising when you get home.  That means putting everything aside:  dirty dishes, folding laundry, doing the bills, etc…  There will always be distractions. Let’s start making home workouts fun!

A 30-minute home circuit workout can be done three times a week and will provide you with cardio and resistance.  Circuit classes are fun and the time goes by quickly.  This workout can be done without having to purchase any equipment! AND, you can watch your favorite TV program at the same time!

First, warm up for 5 minutes.  Example:  walking quickly in place or briskly around the house.  Or, stand in place and do knee lifts and ham curls.  Shoulder rolls, back rolls, and step touches.  Stations are 45 seconds and should be performed three times. Catch your breath between stations as needed.

Station 1:  PUSH-UPS (hands on the wall, a table, or a couch for modification)

Station 2:  STAIRS (step up and down or run up and down)

Station 3:  TRICEP DIPS (sitting on a couch)

Station 4MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS (hands on a table or couch for modification)

Station 5SQUATS (either against the wall or in front of a chair or couch)

Station 6PLANK HOLDS (hands on a table or couch for a modification)

Station 7:  JUMPING JACKS (step out one leg at a time for a modification)

Station 8:  RUN IN PLACE/HIGH KNEES

No workout should feel easy.  Results come by pushing past your comfort zone and challenging yourself. The last 5 minutes is for cool down.  Stretch all major muscle groups for 20-30 seconds.  Stations should  be switched out every few months to avoid exercise plateaus.

Finally, I would suggest purchasing a punching bag (the kind that sits on the floor).  It adds fun and challenge to your circuit.  Punching bags are great for your arms, legs, and core.

Only $9.99

Only $9.99

Our Sit & Get Fit DVD offers 2 great workouts that you can do at home – 30 minutes of cardio fun and a 30 minute strength training session to build lean body mass – get yours today!

Love Your Body

Posted on September 29, 2014 by

love yourselfIf you are like most of us, you probably spend a fair amount of time on your hair and/or makeup and maybe even more time staring into your closet for something to wear.  But none of that really matters if you don’t love your body.

Think inside out!  You are more than your outer shell.  Every cell that you can’t see is counted upon to carry out whatever task you need every single day.  These cells need water, good    nutrition & exercise.  Learn to love your body and watch it respond!

Love your heart – that’s where it all begins.  The muscles of your heart keep you alive and you want them to be strong.  Regular cardio exercise not only supplies oxygen to the red blood cells, it keeps the heart & lungs in shape! We encourage at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily.  This can be something as easy as walking or a more challenging workout like kickboxing.  You may have a wide range of activities that you enjoy so think of exercise as a way to increase the fun in your life.

Those legs do more than just look good in a skirt or shorts!  They are your transportation and you have no time for a breakdown.  Your legs have the largest and most powerful muscles in your body and deserve a little attention—squats, lunges and leg presses are only the beginning of things they can do.  Strength training is a must to keep your lean body mass intact and    performing its best.

Are you sitting down?  The muscles that allow you to sit upright are wrapped around your     mid-section in multiple directions.  Core exercises are extremely important and relatively easy.  Check out our YouTube site for lots of great options.

Give yourself a hug!  Do you feel those muscles in your upper body?  Are they as strong and toned as you would like them to be?  I know that you’ve heard me say ‘Push-ups’ before but there is nothing that works that entire area better than the simple push-up.  Any surface is fair game, whether it’s the back of a door, a counter-top or  even the floor – go for it and give me 20!  (Yes, 2 sets of 10 will work)

Love your body and it will treat you with results!

 

Doc Weight Loss – How Strong is Your Core? Core Strength and Stability

Posted on September 03, 2014 by

You Are Never Too Old For Weight Loss or Exercise!

Posted on September 03, 2014 by

Time to ReWork Your Workout Routine?

Posted on August 25, 2014 by

shortcutsWhether you just need to get back into a workout routine or shake up the current one, here are a few ideas to get you there!  The most important thing is not to overthink it.  Just like the nutritional part—start with small  changes.

#1 It’s common sense… The thing with healthy habits is that a lot of it is just common sense.  When you can make a few positive changes, do it. It doesn’t take much thought to know that moving around more burns more calories than sitting all day.

#2 Get out of your comfort zone…  Get used to exercise being a bit uncomfortable.  A good workout challenges you to test your strength or endurance, it may not be   comfortable but it shouldn’t be painful either.

#3 Every little bit counts…  Instead of thinking of exercise as something you have to do,  think of it as something you get to do.  We all have long days and sometimes a one-hour session is more than enough.  When you walk around, every step or healthy food choice helps you to succeed in reaching your goals.

#4 Try something new…  A routine is one thing, a rut is another!  If you’ve been   using the cardio and strength training equipment, try the floor for a change.  Yoga or PiYo could give your workouts a whole new challenge.  If running is your thing, try in Intervals class or add lunges to your workout.  No ideas?  Invest in a few personal training sessions.

#5 Don’t overdo it…  Going for the ‘all or nothing’ after not exercising for awhile can take its toll on your mind as well as your body. To prevent injury and a discouraged feeling, start small and work your way up slowly when you’re ready.

#6 Make it realistic…  Not only should you not overdo it when you first start, but you also don’t want to set goals that you know you can’t meet. Think back to Chapter 1 of your WMU curriculum and focus on your SMART goals!  Make sure that you’re not scheduling more than you can do when you first start a workout routine, and pick a time of day that you know you can stick to as well.

Just remember to take it easy – you can’t overhaul your entire fitness plan in one day.

 

Exercise – The Best Anti-Aging Medicine

Posted on June 18, 2014 by

Staying Fit While Having Fun

Posted on May 21, 2014 by

Could You Benefit from Mind-Body Exercise?

Posted on May 19, 2014 by

Get over the notion that this type of exercise is only for ‘those’ kind of people!  Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi & Qi Gong have gained popularity over the past few years but still many do not consider this type of exercise for them.  Are you one of them?  What is holding you back?

Mind-body exercise encourages body movement with mental focus and controlled breathing.   It’s been proven to improve strength, balance, flexibility, lung capacity, circulation and enhance overall health.  You could achieve better posture and let go of some of the tension that you carry in your shoulders.  Almost anyone can participate and very little equipment is necessary.  Modifications can be made if you have trouble getting up and down to your knees.

Yoga has roots in India and has been practiced for over 2000 years.  There are many different types of yoga practiced today and at CFWLS we offer Hatha yoga, a basic stretching and strengthening class that focuses on relaxation and breathing.  Those in our class indicate they feel more fit, have more energy, are happier and less stressed.

Pilates is a much newer mind-body exercise but has some similarities to yoga.  The focus is on core stabilization. It is low impact exercise and ideal for injury prevention and rehabilitation. Pilates has six principles: concentration, control, centering, breathing, flow and precision.  These help train the body to move efficiently. The balance between strength and flexibility creates a healthy, vigorous and symmetrical workout for all muscle groups resulting in a leaner, more balanced, and stronger body.  We have several personal trainers that could meet with you one-on-one to teach you a pilates routine to add to your mix.

The mind-body connection contributes more to weight gain and weight distribution than most of us realize. Stress is a common factor in people who are over-weight.  Your body responds to ‘issues in the tissues’ – in other words, you hold emotion in your body. ‘In a nutshell’, your thoughts influence the shape, structure and functioning of your body and your body reinforces your mental or emotional state. When you become ‘weighed down’ by life, your body responds accordingly!

We offer two different mind-body classes each week. Liz instructs a PiYo class on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. PiYo is a wonderful fusion of Pilates, Yoga and Stretching that will help you burn calories and build lean body mass!  The dynamic movement increases strength, balance, and agility, while being easy on the mind and joints.  I encourage you to try both this class and the yoga class held every Thursday evening at 6 p.m. Bring your own mat or borrow one of ours until you find one you like.

Lighten up and Live well. Namaste~

 

Family Fun and Fitness

Posted on April 16, 2014 by