Exercise Personality Types: Finding Your Perfect Workout

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Workout"Let’s face it: even at the best of times, working out can be a painful chore – finding the energy and motivation to hit the gym at the end of a long workday can be almost impossible. One of the best ways to maintain a steady exercise routine is to find an activity that you love – one that doesn’t really feel like working out (but leaves you exhausted by the end!). Exercise plans by personality type are perfect for determining what kinds of exercises you’re more likely to stick to – perfect for anyone who has trouble with motivation or boredom during exercise. Read through the exercise personality types below to see which fits you!

Body Combat, Boxing, Free Weights – The Badass

Are you secretly a bit of an ass-kicker? Do you ever fantasize about becoming a super-strong warrior, or love the way Pink is so tough? If so, the Badass workout is perfect for you!

Developed by the world’s most popular exercise companies Les Mills, Body Combat is a one-hour exercise class that combines kickboxing, karate, jujitsu and tai-bo moves into a fast, high-intensity workout. Body Combat is amazing for both burning calories and building muscle – and works you out from head to toe. Looking for something a little less intense? Try the boxing bag or free weights at your local gym. Ask an instructor for technique tips before you start punching (to avoid any wrist or knuckle fractures) and devise your own workout to your favorite bad-girl music. Free weights also give you the freedom to choose your own intensity levels, while still building muscle and making you super-strong.

Team sports, boot camp, running groups – The Socializer

Do you love to have a gossip while working out? Is feeling supported and comfortable during your workout an essential? Taking on a team sport with a group of friends can be amazingly beneficial – rather than getting together at the pub or for dinner, head out twice a week for group sports! You’ll have all the fun and enjoyment of socializing with the added bonus of getting fit. Most sporting organizations are very happy to accommodate new teams – try a sport such as netball, basketball or volleyball that requires minimum equipment but gives you a great workout! If you can’t get enough people together to make a full team, try joining a bootcamp or running group with a close friend.

Body Jam, Zumba, Modern Dance – The Girly Girl

Have you ever kind of wanted to audition for the Pussycat Dolls? Do you love to head out on a Saturday night and shake your booty ‘til dawn? If this sounds like you, try a dance-based cardio class!

Developed by Les Mills fitness, Body Jam is a high-intensity cardio workout that combines all styles of dance – modern, ballet, hip hop, jazz – into a full-body workout. The best part? Moves are gradually learnt over a few songs so you have time to perfect each one, and are then combined as a whole routine (think the final number in Moulin Rouge or Chicago, but more modern and sultry!) You’ll be so busy feeling like a superstar that you won’t even notice you’re working out. For a slightly lower intensity, try Zumba. Zumba is another dance-based class that focuses mostly on Latin-American dance moves – perfect for a sculpted dancer’s body, but easier to follow and not as intense as Body Jam. If your gym doesn’t offer any dance-based classes, look up a local dance studio for adult classes – and get some friends to go along too!

Treadmill, elliptical trainer, exercise bike – The TV Addict

We’re all guilty of it – ditching the gym to watch the new Gossip Girl can be an all too alluring temptation (theoretically, this is why nearly all gyms have cleverly placed televisions above most of the stationary equipment!). TV-watching is often a vastly underrated workout tool – not only does it give you no excuses in terms of missing your favorite shows, but most people tend to totally zone out while watching TV, making your workout a breeze! To maximize the benefits of TV at the gym, make a timetable of your favorite shows and head to the gym during these hours. Stick to machines that don’t require too much concentration such as treadmills, cross-trainers and stepping machines (to avoid any workout-related mishaps!). You’ll be into a fantastic exercise routine without even realizing it!

Yoga, Pilates, Body Balance – The Guru

Does the idea of a loud, fast-paced class sound daunting? Would you prefer to be left alone with your zen than listen to a screaming instructor? For a more relaxed approach to fitness try a Body Balance class – a lower-intensity, strength and toning-based class.

Body Balance incorporates moves from both yoga and pilates set to soft, soothing music. The class involves an hour of poses and strengthening exercises, designed to improve muscle tone, lengthen and elongate your body. Body Balance exercises are often unusual, and so are great for targeting muscles you never knew you had – perfect for those problem areas that are tough to work out. Also, because it’s a combination of both yoga and pilates, it’s intense without being too painful. Yoga tends to focus more on the mental side of exercise, whereas some first-time pilates-goers find the moves a bit too difficult. Combining the two means a satisfying workout for both the body and the mind.

Most gyms have both Body Balance and yoga/pilates classes, but if you’re having trouble finding one try looking up a private studio. Private studio classes tend to be somewhat more expensive, but usually offer a smaller, more intimate class – perfect for those looking to perfect their technique!

Shoes that make you Fit and Slim?! New Footwear Technology that Tones Trims and Improves Backache

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "slim body"Looks at the revolutionary new range of physiological footwear called MBTs which are proven to improve posture, tone up your muscles and help lose inches.

It seems too good to be true but research has definitively shown that wearing a new type of footwear (designed and sold by a company called MBT ) can improve backache, tone and slim down your legs, waist and butt, and improve your posture.

THE BASISToday’s world is filled with flat, man-made surfaces, yet this isn’t what our bodies were designed to walk on. Continuous walking on flat, hard and even ground actually robs you of the benefits gained from walking on natural surfaces such as grass and sand and contributes to daily aches, pains and poor posture.

The range of physiological footwear developed by Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT) re-establishes our natural way of walking and actually improves our strength, balance, co-ordination and stability. This is achieved by making muscles work harder, giving you a better-looking body and improved posture.

MBTs work in five key ways: they tone the body, strengthen core muscles, correct posture, improve overall health and well-being and aid fitness training.

The secret apparently lies in the unique patented Sensor Technology in the sole of every pair of their shoes or sandals. The sensor is specially designed to recreate the sensation of walking on an unstable surface, which means every time you wear a pair of MBTs is the equivalent of a mini workout for the body. Whether you’re a regular exerciser or just walk to work, these shoes mimic walking on uneven walking surfaces and subsequently tones and strengthens your muscles from the minute you put on a pair enabling you to burn more calories and visibly toning the body.

Research shows that MBTs boost muscle activity when standing by an impressive:

– 38% in your lower leg

– 27% in your thighs

– and 28% in those all important butt muscles!

This footwear also improves core stability (those hard to target, deep down abdominal muscles that Pilates targets) as your body constantly works to maintain its natural postural balance and stand tall. By walking more upright, pressure on the spine is decreased, joints are strengthened, your circulation is boosted and a new-look, healthier, stronger you is revealed!

The original designer was Karl Muller, a Swiss engineer who, in the early 1990s, discovered the benefits of walking barefoot on natural uneven ground for himself.

Their range features styles from casual, to sports, to professional. They were launched on the market in 1996 and are now available in men’s and women’s designs in over 20 countries worldwide.

IN PRACTICE…

When first you start with your MBTs it’s a learning curve. You have to grasp the concept of ‘rolling’ your foot ‘, placing your heel down as if you are sinking into soft ground. You then roll the foot over the balancing area towards the ball of the foot. With very little practice it soon becomes second nature. Once you’ve cracked it you can change to a trotting run – something between walking and jogging – what they call ‘floating’. Work from the ankle and maintain an upright posture, looking straight ahead, not at your feet.

They don’t sell their shoes to just anybody. They put the staff of their stockists through rigorous training, and indeed when you buy a pair of MBTs you’re given not only an informative booklet but also a DVD.

Apart from the benefits to your appearance and back (they’re great for backache sufferers!) they are also useful for those who suffer from cold feet. The increased muscle activity improves the blood flow to your feet – great for those in cold climates!

Over a million pairs of MBTs were sold in the UK alone last year – astonishing given their price tage of over £130 ($250 US), and the fact they did no advertising.

How To Choose The Best Cardio Workout

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Cardio Workout"Getting to the top of your game requires cardiovascular health. A strong cardiovascular system can boost overall fitness health by improving endurance and strength. When your blood is pumping efficiently, you’ll have “improved endurance, less fatigue and less perceived exertion,” explains Dr. Anthony Luke, assistant professor of primary care sports medicine at University of California, San Francisco. “Your breathing and heart rate will also become more proficient, which improves blood flow to your body.”

Better blood flow, in turn, helps the body more efficiently “deliver oxygen and nutrients to muscles and the organs, and removes excess waste products,” says Ben Hendrickson, a personal trainer in New York City. The faster this happens, the faster you can recover from intense workouts and the harder you can train. Choosing the best cardio exercises for you, though—ones that you look forward to doing—is almost as important as getting your lungs pumping in the first place. Here’s how to choose your cardio workout plan:

Swimming and Cardio Machines May Provide the Best Cardio

If you regularly experience pain in your legs, especially the hip, ankle and knee joints, have a lot of free time, prefer to work out alone and enjoy the process of learning, then swimming and cardio machines are good choices for your cardiovascular health.

Swimming provides a medium-intensity cardio workout with very low impact on your joints. It’s an ideal activity for “someone who has an injury or a painful joint,” says Luke. It does require some time commitment, though, since the better you get, the longer you have to do it in order to burn the same number of calories. Plus, the time necessary to change clothes and shower can be frustrating. It also takes a lot of practice to properly learn the technique, though props, such as kickboards, are nice alternatives. Swimming also provides significant upper-body strength training, which contribute to overall fitness health.

Cardio machines such as the elliptical trainer and the stair master can provide intense cardio exercise with minimal impact on joints. Elliptical machines can be set to programs that focus on specific areas, but since your feet are locked in you may not be working in the correct alignment for your body. “Stairmasters have the potential to be more of a cardio workout, because they’re more functional—a little bit less abstract than the elliptical trainer,” says Craig Berman, a physical therapist based in Las Vegas. Treadmill-type stair machines are ideal, but if you only have access to the machines with pedals, remember that correct movement is a full stride, not short pumps.

Running and Jumping Rope Could be Your Best Cardio Exercises

If you rarely experience joint or muscle pain, have little free time, enjoy working out alone as well as with groups of people, have a lot of energy, and have a short attention span, try either running or jumping rope for your fitness health.

Running requires a lot of effort, but that means you can burn a ton of calories in a relatively short amount of time. “If you run hard for 10 to 12 minutes, you may burn as many calories as jogging slowly for twenty minutes,” says Hendrickson. “If you run fast you can get your cardiovascular exercise done in a very minimal amount of time,” he continues. Plus, proper technique is easy to learn—if you can walk, you can run. The impact on your joints is high, though, especially on the hips, ankles and knees.

An advantage to running is that it can also be done anywhere, anytime. No matter where you choose to run (street, trail or treadmill), hills are a great way to boost your cardio exercise. Running alone, particularly at night, can be dangerous, however. In addition, running presents a greater opportunity for injury if you are tired than other cardiovascular exercise does.

Jumping rope, a low-impact activity with a medium level of cardiovascular health, can be tricky to learn, but once you get the hang of it, adding different foot patterns can be used to combat boredom. If you have any back pain you shouldn’t do it. It’s also self-limiting, which, as Hendrickson explains, is a good thing. This means that “when your postural muscles fatigue so that you cannot maintain proper posture you’re going to start missing your skip. With other exercises, as your postural muscles start to fatigue you can still push with your prime movers, which can cause injury.”

Cycling or Group Classes Could Provide the Best Cardio for You

If you have any arm or shoulder pain, have limited free time, prefer to do your cardio exercise in a structured manner, often feel bored at the gym, and rarely try new things, consider a cycling or a group class as your cardio workout plan.

Cycling is a low-impact activity that provides a medium level of cardio exercise. It’s a great activity for people who like to alternate between working out in a group (spinning classes) or be by themselves in the great outdoors (road biking). The latter, however, increases your chance of injury due to the possibility of collision falls. Cycling is great however, for “someone who is doing a lot jumping and pounding on the joints” in other activities, says Luke. Proper alignment will help strengthen hips, knees and ankles.

While aerobics and kickboxing require a good teacher for maximum benefit, the variety of movement in these types of cardio workout plans appeals to people who get bored easily. Proper technique is important to prevent injuries. One downside is that working out is entirely dependant on someone else’s schedule. You should also be mindful of technique, especially in kickboxing classes. “If you’re just throwing or kicking your joints blindly, you may not be properly decelerating the movement of the joint, and that can cause injury,” says Hendrickson.

The best cardio exercises for you should be fun, fit your personality and be something you look forward to doing. By being honest with yourself about your cardio exercise preferences you’ll keep your cardiovascular health in shape for years to come.

Great Workout Videos for Every Mood and Circumstance

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Workout videos"Workout videos are a great way to maintain fitness at home. Bad weather or shortness of time need not prevent you from keeping your body fit and healthy. Working out first thing in the morning works best for many people. And when you roll out of bed and work out at home, you don’t need to worry about what you are wearing or how your hair looks. However, some mornings it is harder to get started than other mornings.

A great idea is to assemble a variety of exercise videos to accommodate your various moods, schedules, and energy levels. You can rent videos and try them out before buying them and Netflix has many fitness videos available for streaming. If you are short on funds, you can frequently find excellent fitness videos for under $5.00 at discount stores such as T.J. Maxx, Ross, or Marshalls.

A Workout Video for Every Mood and Circumstance

Here is one collection of workout videos that has served me well. All of these are trusted favorites that I have used repeatedly with great results. I try to work out seven days a week, so I need the variety.

  • Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds: 4 Complete Workouts on One DVD. All of Leslie’s walk at home videos are excellent, but this is my default. You simply walk in place using a variety of easy steps – marching in place, side-to-side, and kicks. You can choose a one-, two-, three-, or 4-mile walk. The tw0 through 4-mile workouts include sections in which you use a resistance band to work out your upper body while you walk. You get a basic aerobic workout and also some resistance training.
  • Kathy Smith’s Peel Off the Pounds Pilates: 3 Body Slimming Routines. I pop in this DVD on morning when I feel energetic and need a vigorous workout. I do the Warm-up followed by the Fat-Burning Workout, a dance-like standing Pilates cardio workout that quickly generates heat. I especially like to do this routine on cold mornings! The video also includes two Pilates mat workouts: one for upper body and one for lower, and a terrific cool-down that involves some serious stretching. NOTE: I timed each workout and found them to be two to three minutes longer than stated on the package. For example, the package says the Fat Burning Workout is 20 minutes, but it is actually about 22 minutes long.
  • Amy Dixon’s Total Workout in Ten! I reach for this DVD when I want an even more energetic cardio workout and don’t have much time. This routine will get your blood pumping and your heart rate up in no time. The look is urban and the moves are fun but intense. The DVD also includes great 10-minute workouts for the arms, lower body, and one for flexibility and balance.
  • Barbara Benagh’s Yoga for Stress Relief. When I am in the mood for what yoga has to offer – mindfulness and those wonderful relaxing stretches – I pull out Yoga for Stress Relief. This DVD features more than 20 relatively easy yoga routines that address various stress-related health issues such as stomach and digestive problems, neck and shoulder pain, headaches, and even mild depression. Barbara Benagh’s voice is pleasantly soothing and her cues are clear and slow. I especially like the 60-minute routine called Wake Up! It includes a series of sun salutations and down dogs, a series of balance and standing yoga positions, and about 25 minutes of sitting yoga stretches. This routine centers my mind and make my body feel absolutely wonderful. This routine is located in the DVD menu under the heading Beginning and Ending Your Day.
  • Denise Austin’s Power Yoga Plus. On morning when I need a good stretch but am feeling rushed and scattered, I like Power Yoga Plus. The 20-minute yoga routine is fast and flowing. It is followed by a 20-minute Pilates workout that includes a series of light dumbbell exercises for the arms, chest, and shoulders. When very pressed for time, I do one workout or the other.
  • Lara Hudson’s 10-Minute Solutions Pilates. Sometimes I want a quick way to stretch and work my core muscles. In this DVD, Lara Hudson leads you through five Pilates workouts, each of which is exactly 10 minutes long. Often, I do the first three routines for a 30-minute exercise session: Pilates for Abs, Pilates for Buns and Thighs, and Sculpting Pilates, an intense series of arm and upper body exercises using light weights. The DVD also includes Pilates Burn and Pilates for Flexibility. All five workouts are excellent and a great way to make sure you exercise every part of your body.
  • Minna Lessig’s 1-Minute Workout: Total Body Toning. Occasionally, I wake up distracted by thoughts of a busy day to come and am not sure I have the patience to work out. On mornings like this, Minna Lessig’s 1-Minute Workout comes to the rescue. This fun system will accommodate even the shortest attention span. It contains more than 115 exercises, each approximately one minute long. You can choose your workout type (abs, upper boy, lower body, or total body) and the number of minutes you want to work out. The DVD assembles a series of circuit-training exercises based on your choices. Your workout will be different each time you play the DVD. Many of the exercises use dumbbells, so this is a an easy way to get in your resistance training.

Cure for home workout boredom

The instructors in all of these videos have pleasant voices and give excellent cues. But let’s face it. After you’ve exercised to a video three or four times, it gets boring to hear the same words over and over again. Don’t let the repetition factor be an obstacle to getting that workout in! Here’s a tip: Turn down the sound and listen to your own music or even an audio book. You’ll be amazed how much you look forward to your workout when it coincides with hearing a good story!

Reformer is a Resistance-based Equipment that Enhances Pilates

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "reformer"Joseph Pilates invented his namesake exercise in the 1920s to help himself overcome asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. He began training internees during World War 1 with various exercises, which were designed for muscle strength, flexibility and endurance through focused interaction between the mind and body. After working with an orderly at an infirmary during World War 1, he engineered a simplistic reformer by rigging springs on a hospital bed to offer light resistance to bedridden patients. In 1926, Pilates brought the form of exercise to New York City after leaving Germany, which gained widespread acceptance during the Roaring Twenties as professional dancers adopted it as the best way to stay in shape without beating up their bodies.

The Make-Up of a Reform

Joseph Pilates invented his namesake exercise in the 1920s to help himself overcome asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. He began training internees during World War 1 with various exercises, which were designed for muscle strength, flexibility and endurance through focused interaction between the mind and body. After working with an orderly at an infirmary during World War 1, he engineered a simplistic reformer by rigging springs on a hospital bed to offer light resistance to bedridden patients. In 1926, Pilates brought the form of exercise to New York City after leaving Germany, which gained widespread acceptance during the Roaring Twenties as professional dancers adopted it as the best way to stay in shape without beating up their bodies.

The Make-Up of a Reformer

Pilates instructor Rhonda McClenithan of Pilates for Life in Punta Gorda, FL said a reformer is a metal or wood platform that moves back and forth on a carriage, which also provides resistance springs that are attached between the carriage and platform.

The gliding platform, otherwise known as a crux, provides a place for one to sit, kneel, stand or lie down on their back, stomach or side to help establish stability and postural alignment while doing a specific exercise. The reformer also provides adjustable springs, allowing one with the opportunity to use progressive resistance in helping to lengthen and strengthen muscles. The springs also provide a non-impact exercise that is easy on the joints.

McClenithan said for most exercises done on the reformer, a heavier spring equals more work for the extremity one is working and less on the abdomen. She said when using lighter springs more work is targeted towards the abdomen and less towards the extremities. In turn, a lighter spring is more work on the abdomen and less on extremities.

Benefits of Using a Reformer

Reformer training can help the individual who wants to strengthen and tone their body or the one who needs to rehabilitate after a specific injury or surgery, McClenithan said.

Although the reformer offers more resistance than a mat does, it provides the same Pilates benefits of correcting poor posture, balance, strength gain, muscle tone and flexibility. According to www.pilatesinsight.com, the reformer provides the abdomen muscles with a deep challenge to support the core of the individual’s body. The reformer also provides the ability of restoring posture alignment, along with creating a stronger and more flexible spine.

Exercises Practiced on a Reformer

The same Pilates exercises performed on a mat can be executed on a reformer with the addition of springs. For example, the Hundred, which is an endurance exercise for abs, is performed by rounding the head, neck and shoulders off the floor and holding that position for a count of 100, McClenithan said. The Hundred is executed the same way when it is done on the reformer, with the addition of holding straps that are connected to the resistance springs, which pulls the body down causing the abs to work more in holding the same position throughout.

The reformer also provides the opportunity for individuals to practice cardio by adding a jumpboard. The jumpboard, which is easy to use, allows an individual to jump away from the board as the resistance springs pull them back in. McClenithan said by laying on the platform an individual is not impacting their joints each time they land like they would if they were running on pavement.

Like with any exercise modifications can be made to most exercises in order to accommodate all physical abilities and disabilities, McClenithan said.

Put Down the Matt and Try Using a Reformer

Pilates, which is an exercise that promotes slow, controlled movements, can also be practiced on a reformer which is ideal for those who want assistance and resistance during their workout. Any exercise that can be performed on a matt can also be executed on a reformer by utilizing resistance springs and straps.

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Pilates instructor Rhonda McClenithan of Pilates for Life in Punta Gorda, FL said a reformer is a metal or wood platform that moves back and forth on a carriage, which also provides resistance springs that are attached between the carriage and platform.

The gliding platform, otherwise known as a crux, provides a place for one to sit, kneel, stand or lie down on their back, stomach or side to help establish stability and postural alignment while doing a specific exercise. The reformer also provides adjustable springs, allowing one with the opportunity to use progressive resistance in helping to lengthen and strengthen muscles. The springs also provide a non-impact exercise that is easy on the joints.

McClenithan said for most exercises done on the reformer, a heavier spring equals more work for the extremity one is working and less on the abdomen. She said when using lighter springs more work is targeted towards the abdomen and less towards the extremities. In turn, a lighter spring is more work on the abdomen and less on extremities.

Benefits of Using a Reformer

Reformer training can help the individual who wants to strengthen and tone their body or the one who needs to rehabilitate after a specific injury or surgery, McClenithan said.

Although the reformer offers more resistance than a mat does, it provides the same Pilates benefits of correcting poor posture, balance, strength gain, muscle tone and flexibility. According to www.pilatesinsight.com, the reformer provides the abdomen muscles with a deep challenge to support the core of the individual’s body. The reformer also provides the ability of restoring posture alignment, along with creating a stronger and more flexible spine.

Exercises Practiced on a Reformer

The same Pilates exercises performed on a mat can be executed on a reformer with the addition of springs. For example, the Hundred, which is an endurance exercise for abs, is performed by rounding the head, neck and shoulders off the floor and holding that position for a count of 100, McClenithan said. The Hundred is executed the same way when it is done on the reformer, with the addition of holding straps that are connected to the resistance springs, which pulls the body down causing the abs to work more in holding the same position throughout.