Exercise Tip of the Month
May 2014: Exercise Tips - Utilizing Medicine Balls
Exercising with Medicine Balls can add a variation to your workouts. Below are a couple of uses for a medicine ball that you may add into your workout routine.
- Jump Squats with a medicine ball. Hold the medicine ball in your hands with a hand on either side of the ball, with it at your chest. Perform the squat then explode up into a jump. Begin to extend your arms upward after you begin to ascent of the jump, and when the peak of the jump hits your arms should be fully extended above your head. Bring the ball back down to your chest on the descent and go into the next jump.
- Ballistic medicine ball balancing throw. Stand on one foot and hold the medicine ball behind your head. From behind your head, throw the ball to your partner or a wall while staying on that one foot. Make sure that as you perform the movement you stand as tall as you possibly can, throwing with mighty force. Switch feet. This workout is great for your core as well as training your arms/shoulders to work quickly and powerfully.
Medicine Balls are also good to strengthen your grip due to the fact that you because you really have to hold on to them for the ball to stay in your hands.
April 2014: Exercise Tips - Energy Systems
Most sports, especially team sports, are anaerobic, with short bursts of activity. The aerobic energy system doesn't kick in until 3-5 minutes of continuous activity. Train the energy system you need for your sport.
For football and basketball players, there is a need to do short-to-moderate sprints and intervals, and have little need to run long distances.
For aerobic sports, like long distance running, endurance cycling, and distance swimming, you will need to train with long sustained routines.
Soccer players may benefit from aerobic training.
Tennis players may need both aerobic and anaerobic training.
March 2014: Exercise Tips - Cautions and Tips for Doing Sit Ups
- Full sit-ups can be possibly be a problem for many people when exercising. Our hip flexors attach to our lower spine, so doing a lot of sit-ups can cause our back pain or even worsen if it already exists.
- Crunches are usually the accepted alternative to sit ups. Crunches engage the abdominals but do not engage our hip flexors.
- Make sure to not pull on the neck or the back of the head when engaging in sit ups or crunches. A light placement of the hands on the back of the head or crossed in front of our chest would be a preferred method. It also helps our abdominals to engage more that way.
- ke sure to breathe upon each sit up or crunch. Holding your breath is never a good option when exercising. Try and breathe in on the way back and then out on the time of the crunch.
October 2013: Exercise Tips - Bicycling
Why should you ride your bike?
- It helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle, including help strengthen your lower back, leg, and hip flexor muscles.
- It will lower risk of heart disease by 50% (according to a study at Purdue)
- It helps the environment. It takes around ?ve percent of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike, and a bike produces zero pollution.
- According to a study at Illinois University, it will increase your Brain power. A ?ve percent improvement in cardio-respiratory ?tness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15 percent in mental tests.
- It is FUN! Riding your bike is a good way to spend quality time with family or friends, while getting a good exercise in at the same time.
September 2013: Exercise Tips - Preventing Muscle Soreness from Exercise!
How to prevent muscle soreness from exercise:
- Always warm up before you work out. Not only does the warm-up help keep your muscle soreness away, it also assists in preventing injuries.
- After warming up, stretch your muscles. Do not bounce while you stretch. Stretch each muscle to the point where you really feel the stretch and hold 15-20 seconds.
- Stretching after your workout is just as important as stretching before. Your muscles should be warm from the exercise so they should be flexible for your post workout stretch.
- Do not do too much too quickly. Overdoing your workout can lead to soreness.
August 2013: Exercise Tips - Yoga Stretching/Exercises
- What is Yoga?
- A type of workout that refers to the practice of physical postures or poses.
- How long does a Yoga workout last?
- Yoga workouts are usually done in classes lasting 60 to 90 minutes.
- You do not always have to take a class in yoga, or purchase anything if you know the stretches and can dedicate your time to your style of yoga.
- It is standard to use a yoga mat, or perform yoga on a soft padded surface.
- What is the basis of a Yoga workout?
- Many people think that yoga is just stretching. But while stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility.
- Poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement
- What are the benefits of Yoga?
- Yoga increases the range of motion in your hips, which can reduce lower-back pain.
- Studies show that yoga helps with weight loss and maintenance.
- Yoga can calm the whirling of the mind, which is helpful for insomniacs.
July 2013: Exercise Tips - Tabata Training
- What is Tabata Training?
- A type of workout program that can be done in a short amount of time that gives the benefits of a full cardio workout.
- How long does a Tabata workout last?
- Tabata workouts usually last 4 minutes.
- If you are exercising in doors and are near a computer, you can use a timer.
- If you are outside, you can download a Tabata app to your smartphone.
- A towel and water bottle will be beneficial to use to refresh you between rounds.
- What is the basis of a Tabata workout?
- A high intensity interval training method based upon 20 seconds of intense training with 10 seconds of rest going for 8 total rounds
- Any exercise can be incorporated but it is expected to be very high in intensity for the entire 20 seconds.
- What are the benefits of Tabata training?
- There is greater impact on aerobic and anaerobic systems
- Short and efficient workout
- Can boost your heart rate and metabolism in a matter of seconds
June 2013: Exercise Tips - Swimming
Summer is in full force, and once you learn about all the benefits of swimming you will be ready to turn in your sneakers for flip flops.
Benefits of a water workout:
- Buoyancy - 90% of your body is buoyant, which not only allows you to do exercises we can't on land, but also means you aren't jarring muscles and bones because you are not hitting the floor nearly as hard.
- Resistance – the water provides 12%-14% more resistance than working out on land. Resistance helps build muscle, so you are getting the benefits of both a strength and cardio workout in the water.
- Cooling Effects – Working out in the water helps our bodies stay cooler. This helps lessen the risk of overheating, which is something our body is more prone to in the middle of the summer.
Still need more reasons to go for a swim...
- It improves flexibility and strength
- It rehabilitates muscles
- It increases circulation
- It increases muscular flexibility
- It builds up endurance
- It increases muscular balance
May 2013: Exercise Tips - Recreational Sports Leagues
Did you know that May is national physical fitness and sports month? With the weather warming up it is also the perfect time to join a recreational sports league! The top reasons recreational sports leagues will help you get in shape.
- It is cardiovascular activity that does not feel like a chore.
- Having teammates will hold you accountable making it harder to skip out on a game or practice.
- Playing a sport is a great way to prevent falling into a stagnate cardio routine, which helps you optimize the calories you burn.
- Here are a few coed sports that can be played year round: Kickball, Flag Football, Ultimate Frisbee, Sand Volleyball
April 2013: Exercise Tips for Race Training
- Tell People: Not only does telling people hold you accountable, it also is a good way to get tips from people who have already ran a race, and been through training, this will give you ideas and motivation.
- Make a Plan: Having a specific plan is crucial, as is sticking to it. If you can run 3-4 miles easily now plan on giving yourself 3 months to train for a half marathon, and 5 months to train for a marathon (Todd Galati, an American Council on Exercise spokesman). Unlike a test you can’t cram the night before a race. Now that you have friends and family holding you accountable to a plan it’s time to get moving.
- Don’t Overdo It: There are a lot of different aspects of running you can incorporate in training; speed, distance, and hills to name a few. Don’t try and do them all at once, and don’t increase your mileage too fast. The rule of thumb is to not increase your mileage by more than 10 percent a week.
- Monitor Your Heart Rate: Keeping track of your heart rate while running will help let you know when you can push harder, and when you need to back off. Also keeping track of your resting heart rate is a good indicator of whether or not you are overtraining. If you notice your resting heart rate increasing drastically over the weeks you are probably training too hard.
March 2013: Exercise Tips for a Strong Core
- Core fitness is an important part of keeping your body healthy. Core strength helps keep your back, spine and shoulders in proper alignment and shape
- When doing core exercises, your goal is to strengthen the following muscle groups: abdominal muscles, spine muscles, hip muscles and gluteus muscles
- Strengthening of these muscle groups will benefit you with better posture and better balance
- Some examples of core strength exercises are : planks, v-sits, push-ups, lunges, abdominal bracing
February 2013: Exercise Tips for a Healthy Heart
- Incorporating Aerobic exercise into your routines has many benefits to keep your heart healthy
- Aerobic exercises consist of some of the following examples: walking, jogging, jumping rope, bicycling, aerobics and water aerobics
- You should try an aerobic exercise 3-4 times a week and should last 20-30 minutes at a time
- Some benefits of aerobic exercise are: improves your circulation, lower blood pressure, increases your endurance, strengthens bones, helps to reduce stress and helps you sleep better
January 2013: Exercise Tips for the New Year
- When beginning a new regimen, ease your way into it. Do not overdue it at the beginning as you do not want to disappoint yourself with what you can and cannot due.
- Try something new this year! You can easily burn out with the same old exercise regimen you have been participating in over the last year. Nothing wrong with trying something new.
- Join a group or even make your own exercise group. Having friends around can make your exercise time better. Also might result in some good laughs or even some good competition. Nothing wrong with a little competition for all!
- Results will gradually come. Do not expect to see results right away. It takes time for your body to change so do not get discouraged too quickly. You do not want to give up a good thing once you get it going.
- Make your exercise time fun! This is a huge factor in maintaining the will to exercise. Add some music. Add some friends. Challenge yourself. Smile cause you know you are doing good for your body and mind!