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Fitness for All: Spinning Basics

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Been to a gym lately that offers spinning/cycling classes and wonder what it's all about?  Spinning classes are rising in popularity as they provide an excellent alternative to the “same old” exercise routines.

According to www.aboutaerobics.com, indoor cycling began in 1989 and has endured as a popular exercise routine.  Classes are usually held in the aerobics section of gyms and last between 30 and 60 minutes.

Spinning can burn 500 calories or more in a short amount of time and, believe it or not, is actually a low impact activity for all ages.

Many assume that the class is just like riding a bike : without actually going anywhere.  But spinning actually involves jumps, hills, jogs, runs and other moves that are performed on the bike by either moving your body position and/or adjusting the resistance : or tension : of the bike.

Spinning does take some getting used to. Experts and instructors will warn you that, as beginners, you will encounter soreness in various places on your body.

Many serious spinners purchase padded seats and special shoes to eliminate any discomfort that might come from the bike.

Take it easy at first : try a beginner's class or incorporate it once or twice a week into your workout routine.  Mix in other forms of exercise such as yoga, weight training and swimming with your spinning routine.

Remember, the first few classes will be uncomfortable, but the benefits of this unique exercise are worth the adjustment!

Fitness for All: How Fit Are You?

Written by Lisa Jillanza

If you are looking to “get fit” in 2018, take these three self-tests to find out how fit you are first!

How are your muscles?  Do some push-ups.  A 30-year old man should be able to 35 push-ups while a 30-year old woman should be able to do 45, while her knees are on the floor.  For every decade after 30, the number of push-ups decreases by 5 for each gender.

How is your flexibility?  Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you, slightly apart.  Extend your arms placing your one hand on top of your other hand, fingertips forward and reach for the space in between your feet.

Women under the age of 46 should be able to reach at least two to four inches past your feet.  Older women should be able to reach the soles of their feet.  Men under the age of 46 should be able to reach the soles of their feet.  Older men should aim to be within three to four inches of their soles.

What's your heart rate?  Begin by exercising for 18 minutes at 80 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate : for men, 220 minus your age; for women, 208 minus .82 times your age.  Then exercise all out for three minutes.  Check your pulse.  Rest for two minutes and then check it again.  Your heart rate should have dropped by at least 66 beats.  The faster it drops the more fit you are.

Little Known Health Benefits of Exercise

Written by Lisa Jillanza

We all know how exercise helps improve overall strength and heart health. But aside from strengthening those muscles and giving you stronger bones, it also provides little known benefits such as improved hearing and fewer cold episodes.

Exercising is a great way to keep us healthy and there's no contesting that. But if you're still searching for a little push then this little known health benefits is certainly a welcome. It can give that extra motivation the next time you find yourself too lazy to workout.

Say Goodbye to Colds

Okay that is certainly an overstatement but people who exercise swear that they're immune from colds or so they say. Exercises generally strengthen the body and in this case the immunity system. People who regularly exercise have good health habits and are more conscious of what they eat.

There is no direct link between fewer colds and exercise. However, studies have shown that between people who regularly exercise and those who don't, the percentage of inactive participants suffering from colds are higher.

Prolonged, intense exercises however increase our risk for colds. This is because strenuous exercises increase the body's levels of cortisol and adrenaline. Which can suppress the immune system thus increase the chances for cold.

Keep your Eyes Healthy

Exercises do not directly improve eyesight but it does lower your risk for developing eye problems such as cataracts. Exercising decreases inflammation which is a known cause for cataracts. Exercising regularly normalizes blood sugar levels. The eyes contain very fine blood vessels and abnormally high blood sugar levels can damage these blood vessels. This is why people with diabetes are at high risk for developing eye problems.

Better Hearing

No muscles to build here. Just like keeping your eyes healthy, exercise improve overall blood flow in the body. Better blood flow to the cochlea, the ear structure that converts sound into nerve signals that are sent to the brain can explain this. Overall, the body needs a healthy supply of all blood in order to function properly.

Listening to music during a workout or a quick run through the park is a good way to keep ourselves upbeat and in pace with our routine. But some go overboard and blast their ears with music which can have a damaging effect on hearing health. So keep those beats at a minimum and give your ears a break.

Sleep Better, Easier

Exercising is a great way to release stress and you don't have to hit the gym to get this benefit. The home is an excellent place to workout. Simple home appliances and furniture can be excellent exercise equipment.

Sleep is never overrated. The body does not showdown instead goes into the process of repairing and recuperating after a hard day at work or a gruelling exercise routine. People who sleep better are more likely to perform better the following day.

Break a Sweat with this Office Workouts

Written by Lisa Jillanza

The office is probably one of the most unlikely places to get healthy. Spending hours lurking in that office chair doesn't do anybody any good except build those love handles. Taking care of our careers is one thing but keeping our body healthy is equally important.

Studies have shown that prolonged sitting can have a damaging effect on our health. Sitting in the office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. can be likened to a couch potato minus the TV. Some studies even showed that sitting for long periods of time can increase a person's risk for cancer by 60%.

Starting your journey to a healthier life can be done with a few simple changes. Switching to a healthy snack or deciding to take a little more veggies during lunch is just one of those little things that all up to being healthy.

Breaking a sweat in the office is possible and it doesn't involve bringing in gym equipment. So the next time you find yourself hitting a wall and just need to release stress why don't you make this an opportunity to get those sleeping muscles working. Below is a few simple exercises that you can do in your downtime.

Stretching

  1. Back and Legs

Lean forward from a standing or sitting position bringing the chest towards the thighs. Try to straighten the legs slowly stretching the hamstrings.

  1. Arms and Shoulders

Pull the arms across the chest and hook the other arm around it to pull the tension out of the upper back and rear shoulders.

  1. Neck

Tilt the head slowly towards the shoulder and hold it for ten seconds on each side. Do this on a slow and easy pace.

  1. Calves

Stand and lean into the desk with the heels on the floor. Bend the knees slightly to stretch the Achilles tendons.

  1. Thighs

Sit on the left edge of the chair. Grab the left ankle and pull it upward towards the buttocks. Do it also on the other side.

10-Minute Office Cardio Workout

  1. Push-Ups

Get into a plank position with feet firmly on the ground and hands on a chair. Bend the arms to go down and bring the body back up. Go as low as your body can reach and press the back up to a tall position. The core should be tight and the routine should continue for at least one minute.

  1. Broad Jumps

From squat position, bend down and jump forward landing again in a squat. Turn around and hop the other way. Continue hopping back and forth for one minute focusing on the distance instead of the height.

  1. Tricep Dips

Facing away from the chair with the hands gripping the edge, place the feet out in front of you with knees bent at ninety degrees. You should feel the effect on the shoulders and triceps as you dip down and back up. Do the routine for one minute.

  1. Squats

From wide stance, squat down and tap the butt to the chair, then come up. The pace should be fast to get the heart rate up. Extend the body as you rise up and squeeze at the top to engage the muscles.

  1. Walk Lunges

Bend the knees in an alternate pace as you lunge-walk through the hallway. Do it in a nice and low position so that the quads with feel it by the end.