Swimming Exercise and Mediation

Swimming in tropical colors.

Swimming too boring?

Are you not good at swimming?

Cant’ get started with meditation but want too?

Try this!

Reset your mind and body during a busy week.

Hi, I’m John Dawson Channel creator for eFit30.

I don’t usually appear in eFit30 videos; I’m, the behind the scenes guy but I wanted to share with you a different kind of exercise that I discovered by accident. I have had some injuries in my life that have led me to explore many different types of activities many of which I have shared with you here on eFit30.

Swimming is often not considered by many to be an option for exercise as it is not very mentally stimulating and yet can be quickly tiring. However, there is a way to change all that and turn this is a combination of cardio and mindful meditation, that is second to none.

So here is the step by step instruction on how to do this. I won’t be doing this on video in the swimming pool for you, but I will describe this to you so you can do it.

To meditate you need to pay attention to breath as opposed to breathing. You need to be able to focus on breathing in and out. You could also use focus or a type of body scanning meditation.

To better help with this exercise I suggest that you use a snorkel, flippers, googles and a nose clip. These tools will change the way you swim so that it is more effortless and enables you to be centred and focused only on your breath. When you are swimming, then you will be able to leave your head in the water seeing only the bottom of the pool. The best type of pool is about 50 meters long with lanes, so you don’t bump your head during the practice.

Start by sitting on the edge of the pool and clearing your mind of thoughts of work or outside matters. You may want to take a note of the time if you wish to punctuate your swim with a walking exercise after about 10 minutes.

Make sure all your equipment is adjusted so you are totally comfortable so won’t be distracted by discomfort or equipment malfunction, however, if this does happen don’t let that stress you simply see it as an opportunity to reset your practice.

On your first lap, I suggest you use breast stroke. Don’t swim quickly but rather focus on your arms reaching full and comfortably through the water. Notice the bubbles as you push forward and each time bring your hands back to a prayer pose then stretch. Some way down the first lap you may want to turn your attention to your legs making sure that you clench your but and for a small arch in your back as you gently approach the wall.

Once you reach the wall, you may want to stand and turn rather than tumble turn as your snorkel will fill with water. If there is a need to reset your equipment, this is a good time to do it before you turn back. On this next lap try over arm now as you have begun to warm your body. Once again on this lap, you can scan down your body to pay attention to your stroke, feeling that your arms and legs move freely and calmly though the water. The purpose of this is to get a smooth, comfortable stroke established which you will use throughout the rest of your practice.

Pay attention to your arms, your stroke, move your thumbs pas your thighs, watch your hands travel through the water and find a rhythm and stroke that suits you.

At the next turn switch back to breast stroke so that now you are blending short bursts of High-Intensity training into your practice. This although seeming effortless will produce results later and is almost exercise by stealth.

In this lap focus on your breath having established a rhythm on your first lap. If you are not happy with your stoke, it is ok to use as much time as necessary to feel comfortable with your routine. When focusing on your breath, you will notice that it is easy to do as this is a great part of what you are doing. Try to regulate your effort so that you are not out of breath but rather taking deep and purposeful breaths. If you find that you are out of breath, you may need to take the time to reset your body and start again.

Now that you have set the scene it is a good opportunity to remember the context of the reflective part of your practice and that is non-judging, patience, beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance, and letting go.

As you are swimming up and down the pool, you continue to switch strokes each time. Focus on a “being” mode make time for yourself, slow down and nurture calmness and self-acceptance in yourself. This is a good opportunity to stop all your doing, learning how to make this time for yourself, slow down your mind and nurture calmness and self-acceptance in yourself using the serenity to focus and centre, learning to observe what your mind is up to from moment to moment, watch your thoughts let go of them without getting so caught up and driven by them.

If you are feeling fatigued, you can split your routine in two with a walk. Starting from either end of the pool leave all you swimming equipment behind and walk towards the other end of the pool if the pool is the same depth at either end this is best otherwise you may need to begin at the shallow end and turn back when it gets too deep.

Walk slowly and using the techniques above consider how you move. Carefully use your whole foot to grip the bottom of the pool and stride forward thinking about your form with each step. Once you are comfortable with your pace and are feeling that you are fully using all the muscles in your legs, you may want to move your arms to create resistance in the water. Using opposite arm to leg sweep your extended arm forward with your hand cupped as if you mean to push as much water as you can away from you as you strive forward. After several steps, you may see a small wave form behind you and maybe even see the wash fall over the side of the pool and into the overflow. Once you have established your routine, relax into your meditative state and let the water calm your thoughts. Watch the light reflect though the ripples in front of you.

Once you have completed a forward lap you can turn a walk backwards, this time cupping your hands back and pushing the wave out behind you. If you feel the strain in any of your joints from this, don’t continue this exercise and move onto the next part.

Next crab walk sideways using only one leg to push you, keep that leg as straight as possible and use your hips to push out, if you have done Pilates clams you may feel this working some of those muscles. Again to add extra resistance use both arms at the same time to push a wave of water to one side as you extend your leg.

After you have completed one lap on each side you may wish to do the wind-down, swim using the same techniques as above except this you may feel different to the first time you as you be more relaxed and know what to expect.

Your routine should take about 25 minutes. In the end, I suggest these stretches finish your routine.

Calf Stretch. With both hands on the pool, wall stretch out your legs behind you. Legs should be hip width apart, feet pointing forwards towards the wall. Lean in towards the wall with your arms outstretched then begin to lower your heels towards to ground. If you require more stretch, you can start to bend your arms slightly, keeping your feet on the ground.

Next a Thigh or Quadriceps Stretch. This stretch helps loosen up the knee joint. Stand near the pool wall for support and steady yourself with the right hand. Lift the right foot behind your back and grab it with the left hand. Stand straight with the thighs vertical and gently push the foot further towards the lower back towards the buttocks. Then when you are ready to swap sides.

You can use this exercise with other Pilates or Yoga videos from our channel each week as a holistic approach to your fitness.

If you would like to explore mediation more thoroughly, I highly recommend reading, “Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness” by Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Our Featured Trainers – Sophie from Talking to Trees

SOPHIE 1 cMeet Sophie.

Sophie introduces you to some simple abdominal exercises such as criss-cross, single and double leg stretch, giving you options to regress or progress throughout. From there she takes you on a glute blasting journey transitioning from prone to kneeling and finally to a standing squat series. She completes the workout by returning to the core and offers three strong rounds of core boosters!
Sophie would like to personally thank all the people that took the time to get in touch with her to give feedback on her eFit30 classes. Especially those who contacted her and asked for more. It was your feedback and stories that inspired Sophie to make two more videos with the intention to help you all with your personal movement journeys.

Sophies Video Playlist offer participants challenging Pilates and Yoga inspired workouts designed to – Strengthen students’core stabilising muscles, prevent injury and improve posture and body awareness.

Sophie offers a safe and fun environment to encourage students to feel their body in space and to move with the breath.

Sophies full Playlist is HERE.

sophie@talkingtotrees.com.au
Sophie Ntoumenopoulos
Pilates and Yoga instructor
Www.talkingtotrees.com.au

@talkingtotrees_sophie

Meet Our Featured Trainers – Katie MacKenzie

katie-beginners-pilates-mat-workout

Meet Our Featured Trainer, Katie Mackenzie.

 

Build your Pilates repertoire with Physiotherapist, Katie Mackenzie. Activate the deep abdominals, glutes and postural muscles, to enhance your overall core stability. Viewers with more Pilates experience can use this class to refresh their Pilates technique. Finish off with a relaxing stretch. A workout suitable for anytime of the day: morning, noon or night. No equipment required.

 

About re-run

“Pilates, Physio and running coaching combine to assist runners of all levels to achieve pain-free running. Work to balance your body in the studio and then take to the road with a graduated and structured plan towards your goals.
Your feet are in good hands.”

See Katies Video’s here 

Contact Katie here http://www.re-run.com.au/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Does the Rowing Machine Target? 5 Essentials You Need to Know

Notorious for burning up to 50% more calories than the treadmill, rowing machines offer more than just an upper body workout. Effectively targeting all the muscle groups in your back, shoulders, arms and legs, these training machines have become a popular option for building strength and shredding kilos.

The rowing machine is designed to offer a non-impact full body workout, so it’s become an ideal mechanism for fitness enthusiasts with joint and lower back problems. Boosting cadio fitness, muscular strength and endurance and working to tone your muscles, rowing machines can also work in reducing stress levels and building stamina. But like with any fitness machine it’s absolutely essential to use it properly and avoid the common mistakes. Here’s what you need to know about your rowing machine workout.

sport, fitness, lifestyle, technology and people concept - woman with trainer working out on exercise bike in gym

sport, fitness, lifestyle, technology and people concept – woman with trainer working out on exercise bike in gym

1. Building Core Strength and Stamina

When rowing machines are used properly, they are a fantastic training tool for building core strength and stamina. For people that struggle to get-up-and-go, using a rowing machine (also known as a cross trainer) 20 minutes a day can boost endurance. Whilst the workouts may feel exhausting at first, the long term benefits of giving you more energy, building stamina and you metabolism are huge.

Because the rowing machine works all your major muscle groups it helps to define your abs and build muscles around the area. Your core strength is one of these targeted groups of muscles and through the low-impact, high intensity workouts offered by the cross trainer it’s possible to get maximum results.

Tip: If you’re looking to build core strength and stamina through a rowing machine, opt for a higher intensity exercise so it isn’t just the cardio you’re working on.  The impact on your abs and core is based on the strength of your rowing so the harder the workout, the better it will work for this area.

2. Toning Arms and Legs

Rowing machines are ideal for both an upper body and lower body workout. Because the machine forces you to ‘row’ the arms are used extensively and muscles in this area will begin to tone (particularly the biceps and forearms).  As you pull, your back muscles help to complete the rowing technique with your shoulder blades retracting together.

The rowing stroke should behind with the legs – the most powerful part of the body, with your back kept straight throughout. As the machine starts to utilise every major muscle group, your arms, back and legs muscles will activate and tone over time.

Tip: If you want to increase the rate of which you build and tone muscle, adjust the rowing machine to create a tighter resistance. With the right workouts and technique, this can help to tone your arms and legs quicker.

3. Strengthening Back Muscles

The benefits of a stronger back and shoulders are great for improving posture and eliminating back pain. Because rowing machines work the back and shoulder muscles, it doesn’t take long for this area to strengthen and better support the rest of your body.

The trapezius in the lower and upper back as well as the rhomboids in your shoulder will receive a great workout. Whilst the cross trainer workout starts with driving through the legs and engaging your quads, your upper body and back muscles are involved at the end of the extension.

Tip: People often make the mistake of driving hard with the legs and keeping the shoulders in front of the hips so that that when the slide stops the rest of the body swings through. This can be hard on the lower back so aim for everything to end at the same time in a fluid motion for best results.

4. Know What Settings to Work

The damper setting (like the gears of a bicycle) should be set for 3-5 for the best workout. Many people make the mistake of setting it to 10, especially athletes, because the higher number gives the impression the workout will be more challenging. Really the challenge lies in the ability to accelerate the flywheel at a lower damper setting as the higher setting will mimic a slow heavy rowboat instead. This will only exhaust your muscles before you’ve had a shot at a proper cardio workout. Keeping it set for 3-5 will give the feeling similar to being on water, like a rowing machine is intended for.

The resistance setting will determine how much energy you use on each stroke. This dial is on the machine’s flywheel and should be high enough to maintain a fast, smooth rowing motion. Setting it too low will give a workout that doesn’t tone or strengthen, whilst setting it too high can result in muscle fatigue and injury.

5. Avoid the Biggest Cross Trainer Mistakes

  • Don’t row with only your arms: Use the power of your legs for each stroke and keep your feet strapped in. Pull through with your back, shoulders and arms for a full body workout.
  • Don’t hunch your back during strokes: Keep your back straight and sit tall with a straight posture to avoid damage. Keep your core engaged to help with the potions and put your spine in neutral.
  • Don’t ignore the stroke rate: Stroke rates build a better workout and determine how hard you’re pulling. To focus on the power of spinning the flywheel, think of a rowing ratio of 1 beat for every 2 beats you travel up the slide. For example: A good target stroke, measured in strokes per minute) will range between 24-30.
  • Don’t ignore the foot strap: It should be fastened so your feet feel very secure. This can make a massive difference when it comes to pushing your legs for power.

Author Bio

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson who recommends Orbit Fitness – the largest supplier of fitness equipment and cross trainers in Perth. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.

Cross Trainer vs. Treadmill for Burning Calories: Which One Should You Be Using?

Finding the best workout plan to burn calories tends to be the highest fitness goal. But with the busy lifestyles we lead and the limited amount of time we have to actually get it done, people want – and need to – get the results fast in order to maintain a healthy level of enthusiasm. And the right machine plays a huge role in achieving your fitness goals as quick as possible.

You walk into the fitness club or the store for your next home gym purchase and you see the usual assortment of cardio equipment. Which exercise machine do you pick to burn calories in the shortest amount of time? Cardio machines are perfect for giving you the ultimate workout to shred some kilos without leaving the comfort of your home. Two of the best examples of these machines, the treadmill and the elliptical cross trainer, are subjects of an ongoing debate to determine which will give you the most effective cardio workout. Here’s a few tips to find out what one you should be using:

1. Cranking Up the Cross Trainer

Elliptical cross trainers have boomed in popularity because they are highly variable in their workout opportunities and burn a decent amount of calories. Perfect for fitness enthusiasts at any level, they decrease the impact on your bones and joints by engaging more on your muscle groups making them an ideal machine option for people with previous or ongoing injuries.

Man and woman with elliptical cross trainer at gym

It’s this comfort that makes the cross trainer such a versatile and valued exercise machine. They have more workout options than most other machines, building on strength as well as cardio. For the best cardio workout you’ll want the machine to be on high resistance. This is more important that working out at a fast pace when it comes to cross trainers and burning calories.

If a cross trainer is more suited to your fitness goals and health needs, opt for one with handles. This allows you to pump your arms as you move which is highly advised to do. By adding this movement to your workout, your upper body muscles will be engaged and this will help burn more calories.

2. Tackling the Treadmill

Ideal for extreme cardio lovers and those that thrive off running, treadmills have the potential to burn a lot of body fat. Running (or jogging) involves a good full-body workout and if you choose a speed setting that challenges you, it’s one of the best ways to burn a significant amount of calories.

Treadmills offer both low and high impact cardio workouts from slow walks at a controlled pace to runs and sprints and full potential. These machines allow you to set your desired speed and incline and because you’re forced to keep up with the moving belt, treadmills are slightly better for burning calories. This is due to the machine holding you at an intensified level. To burn the most amount of calories in the shortest time frame you’ll want to maintain an incline grade of at least 1-2%.

People running on treadmills

3. Essential Considerations

The problem with cardio workouts is it doesn’t take long for your body to become immune to the workout. As you get comfortable in your fitness plan, you’ll burn less calories because the resistance has diminished. This is why, regardless of what exercise machine you choose, it’s essential your cardio workouts are mixed up to continually challenge your body and keep burning more calories.

Other factors that can impact your ability to shred kilos on either exercise machines include your level of cardio fitness, the weight you’re sitting on now, how intense the workout is and how long you’re working out for. Once your body is at ease with the cardio workout; change the dynamics, speed and intensity of what you’re doing – the higher the resistance the more effective it’ll be.

4. Crunching Calories

The primary reason why many choose the cross trainer over the treadmill is because they don’t enjoy running – whether it’s because of injuries or just the fact that jogging and running isn’t their thing. But if you crave variety and strength building too, then make sure you focus on maintaining a moderate to high intensity. This way the cross trainer can still provide an excellent calorie burning workout (around 600-800 calories per hour). Choose the right settings for your body type and use intervals. Because the cross trainer is one of the easiest machines to just ‘tune out’ on, make sure you focus on your workout and avoid hanging onto the support bars as this won’t help in crunching calories at all!

On average, the treadmill will burn 600-1200 calories per hour between jogging, walking uphill, sprinting and running. To effectively burn calories quickly keep interchanging; start with a slow warm up for 2-3 minutes and break into a run for 3-6 minutes, sprint for 6-7 minutes, run for 7-10, sprint for 10 etc. Ideally you want to commit to a 20-30 minute workout at least. Keep workouts intense and build bone density and shred calories by elevating the incline on the treadmill.

Despite the cross trainer ticking a variety of fitness boxes, there’s still greater weight loss benefits with a treadmill. Mixing between the two exercise machines at the gym though can get all muscle groups moving and keep your cardio workouts spontaneous and intense. Invest in a heart rate monitor and maintain a solid awareness of your intensity levels to ensure you’re burning the most amount of calories – regardless of the machine you choose.

stockfresh_6069960_jogger-running-in-sportsbra-with-music-earphones_sizeS (1)

Author Bio

Jayde Ferguson writes for Orbit Fitness – the largest supplier of fitness equipment in Perth. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.

Optimal Workout Equipment Settings for Your Fitness Goals

Young fit woman rowing indoor on a rowing machine

With the range of equipment on the market these days it’s important you’re not just choosing the right workout piece, but engaging in the right settings to achieve your goals too. Whether you want to push for weight loss with summer around the corner or need to build muscle tone and strength, sometimes the ‘right’ equipment can be very wrong for you when you’re not using it properly.

Regardless of it you love training at the gym or you’ve purchased a few key workout pieces to set up in your home gym, finding the optimal settings can help kick those fitness goals more effectively. Get more out of what you’re using with these tips:

1. Exercise Bikes

Getting fit for summer on an exercise bike is a popular option because of the level of comfort it provides. Great for those that prefer to sit down whilst exercising, this piece will help to burn calories and boost cardio exercise. For those that want an extra level of support on the exercise bike, recumbent bikes are designed to have a reclined body seat and pedals in front of the bike instead of under the body like a regular bike. This offers the use more comfort and a better leg workout.

To get the most out of your workout, you’ll want the speed level to sit between 80-100 RPM. It’s crucial you don’t pedal at the same speed for the full workout though – especially if you’re wanting to burn calories. Instead, mix it up by riding at lower speed (50-70 RPM) and then crank to 120-140 RPM. The lower speeds will help to build leg muscle, whilst the switch to more intense speeds will assist in shredding weight and boost endurance.

You’ll also want to consider the resistance and heart rate monitor settings. By alternating between low and medium resistance settings, fat-burning will happen quicker. For the most effective workout, keep your heart rate between 50-85%.

2. Treadmills

If you’re looking to build muscles in your calves, quads and glutes your treadmill should be set to 9% incline. This is the ideal setting for marathon training, boosting endurance and slashing kilos too and will give you that burning sensation in your legs after a workout. If you’re just looking to boost those running skills though, a simple 1.5% incline will mimic outdoor running. For extreme marathon or steep hike training change the incline closer to 15%.

Both the speed and incline of the treadmill should never be too high where you find yourself walking, sprinting or running without moving your hands. Like with the exercise bike, you want to switch your speed and incline settings to mix the workout up. This will save your body getting too comfortable in a certain setting – as soon as you’re ‘comfortable’ your body is burning less calories! To build endurance, use high-intensity workouts and switch between a 4-5% to a 0% incline during various running intervals. Walkers and slow joggers will only need to a speed of 10-12km/h whilst serious joggers and runners should go for 16-20km/h.

3. Elliptical Machines

A steady 20 minute workout on an elliptical machine can shred that extra weight and get your heart rate up, boosting endurance and strength training.  But to get the full effect, the right settings are important. As far as cardio equipment goes elliptical machines, also known as cross trainers, are the powerhouse of cardio equipment; having the potential to burn 270-400 calories in less than 30 minutes.

Interval workouts are the best on these machines to boost metabolism and burn more calories. Because it gets your whole body moving, it’s ideal for strength training too. To boost strength and improve weight loss, the resistance of the machine needs to be increased – the more you turn that dial up, the more strength you’ll be building.

For a medium workout on the cross trainer, aim for a RPM of 90. Keep increasing the resistance and incline though to ensure your heart rate is high. For a full-intensity hard work out to get everything burning (including calories!) you can still go for a 90 RPM but aim for a maximum heart rate between 90-100%, as opposed to a medium work out of 85-90%. Resistance is key to achieving fitness goals on a cross trainer; once this level is bumped up, your arms and legs have to work harder to keep the machine moving. This offers a full body workout to build endurance and strength. For a more intense interval, adjust the incline to a higher level too.

4. Rowing Machine

These machines have a reputation for offering a low-impact workout that increases stamina, builds on muscle strength and drops those calories. The biggest problem with this machine is users tend to forget the damper setting – a crucial lever on the side of the rower’s wheel that can give you a solid cardio workout.

Before using this setting, make sure your rowing form is in top notch. Like gears on a bicycle, the damper setting will offer a heavier feel on the body the higher the gear. Start it on between 3-5 which will mimic the feeling of rowing in the water, and build it up to power your legs and upper body. You should feel it working your legs, butt, arms and back muscles.
Author Bio

Jayde Ferguson writes for Orbit Fitness – the largest supplier of fitness equipment in Perth. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.

Budget vs. “Blow Out” Home Gyms – 5 Essential Tips to Consider

You don’t need to take out a gym membership to fully develop your body and kick those fitness goals. In fact, home gyms have boomed in popularity over the years as gym enthusiasts choose the comfort of their home over the busyness of the actual gym. Offering a sense of freedom in the hectic lifestyle we live, setting up your own home gym can be the perfect motivation to train regardless of what your wallet or the weather throws at you.

b885149c-d432-4f15-99c9-ef792154316b

b885149c-d432-4f15-99c9-ef792154316b

But how can you create the most effective home gym on a budget? Gym equipment isn’t cheap and whilst those big ticket items will be seen as an investment when you start looking and feeling fantastic, you need to completely blow out your savings to make it happen. Home gyms can build great results and it can be just as safe and as effective as being at the public gym. Here’s a few essential tips to help you stay within budget:

1. Go for Quality over Quantity

Building a gym at home doesn’t mean purchasing every single piece of equipment you ‘need’. Opt for quality items that can tick multiple fitness goals rather jamming your space with bits and pieces. Home gyms are usually scarce on space so be smart about your choices.

Dumbbells are an at-home-gym classic because of the amount of exercises you can do with them, they justify the purchase almost straight away. Opt for pro-styled dumbbells like the RDCH 1-80 kg with recycled rubber coating as these last longer and much more comfortable to use, not to mention eliminate the toxic smells new rubber can give off. These can be stored on a special dumbbell rack and uses rubber coated plates and chrome end to make up the weight ensuring the dumbbell diameter stays the same and are idea for bicep curls and other weight exercises. Other quality essentials can include a medicine ball (ideal for core strength movements), a barbell with different weight plates (a staple for almost every gym) and an adjustable bench that can decline, incline and lay flat.

2. Defining Your Fitness Goals

Understanding exactly what you want to work out will make your gym decisions easier. Define your personal fitness goals and make sure you’re investing in things that help you get there quickly and as comfortably as possible. Are you wanting to focus on strength training or shred some weight through cardio fitness? If you are wanting to lose weight, don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s all about cardio. Whilst you want to get your heartbeat up and burning calories, cardio exercises alone aren’t enough before after a few weeks your body adjusts and stops losing weight. Incorporating a combination of cardio and resistance training however, is a better place to start.

Most home gym aren’t complete without a barbell and some weight plates to go with it. Weights are ideal for any home gym because they offer a balanced combo of cardio and resistance training. Through the right weights, you have the stabilisation and coordination aspect to your workout and allows you to use different weights depending on your fitness goals. Make sure you look for a sturdy barbell that isn’t cheap looking and flimsy. Pay attention to the diameter of the bar, too.

3. The Bare Essentials vs. a Fully-Fitted Home Gym

There’s a few at home gym staples that are compact and easy enough to tick off some fitness goals, without taking up too much space. Medicine balls are an essential purchase before they offer a variety of exercises to build core strength movements. You can focus on abdominal exercises, throw or catch the ball to assist with different muscle groups. Opt for one that is soft and if you’re unsure about the weight, go for lighter to emphasise speed and power in your workout.

Stability balls are as important as dumbbells to your home gym and will help to build balance and strength. You can do hamstring curls, abdominal crunches, squats, body bridges and so much more. They are cost-effective, easy to store and offer a good variety of workouts to suit every fitness level. Other at home gym essentials can include resistance bands, which are extremely versatile and can be strapped to the door, table or workout bench, and a jump rope for cardio workouts. Look for a rope that’s lightweight for speed and timing or a weighted rope for strength.

4. Big Ticket Items

Big ticket gym items can get expensive really quickly if you let them, so opt for 1-3 pieces max. If cardio is important, invest in a treadmill, bike or elliptical training depending on your fitness needs. If you love running but not during the winter months by all means get a treadmill – but be realistic about what big ticket items are absolutely necessary to your home gym. If weight training is a priority

If you want something that will offer a fully body workout, not just your arms or legs, a rowing machine can be a wise investment. It’s time efficient for busy lifestyles only requiring a 20min workout and you’re done. Functional trainers  or complete home gyms (max 2 and max 5 are good recommendations) on the other hand can integrate heaps of different workouts into the one piece of equipment giving you more bang for your buck and depending on your needs, you’ll probably find you only need to invest in the one big ticket item with it. Complete home gyms offer the benefits of safe training by yourself at home with settings for muscle fatigue and muscle building.

5. Get Buff, Not Broke

Getting fit at home doesn’t need to come with a hefty price tag. It’s all about being smart with your purchases and looking for pieces that can offer multiple uses. Start small and work your way up and don’t invest in the big ticket items until you fully understand your fitness needs.

Lack of time, hectic work hours, distance from gym and ability can make gym memberships a huge waste of money for some people. By turning your own personal space into an at-home gym, you can be one step closer to feeling and looking great in the comfort of your home. Home gyms are a much better investment in your long term health and fitness. On average, a gym membership is around $750 per annum per person, with a family gym membership costing about $2,250 per annum. Statistics from health club memberships indicate the dropout rate is around 90%, which proves investing in your own gym equipment is the way to go for most. You don’t need all the bells and whistles to reach your fitness goals. With the right workout, consistency and your goals set and measured, you can do it all on a budget.

Author Bio

Jayde Ferguson writes for Orbit Fitness – the largest supplier of fitness equipment in Perth including all the at-home gym essentials. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.

6 Gift Ideas for Health Conscious Friends

flowersContrary to popular belief, buying healthy doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, there’s oodles of options when it comes to health and wellbeing and their just as deliciously exciting – if not more – than those regular gifts. We’ve all got a health nut friend that come birthday or holiday time, is near impossible to buy for. But just because you can’t go your regular chocolate goodies or an expensive bottle of liquor that may meddle with their fitness plan, it doesn’t mean to say there’s nothing good to buy for them.
You want to find something that’s creative and supportive of their lifestyle, whilst still maintaining a high level of appeal too. From gourmet healthy delights and pre-paid passes to their favourite Yoga workout class, here’s a few fantastic gift ideas for your health conscious friends, partner, family member or work colleague.
1. Fitness Class Pass

Maybe your health nut friend has a favourite gym class they just can’t get enough of or perhaps they’re wanting to try a new fitness trend? Whatever it is, you can help them achieve their fitness dreams quicker by purchasing a pre-paid pass to a workout class.
Buying a fitness pass tends to suit a better variety of health conscious friends that an actual gym membership, because it allows them to step outside their boundaries and try something new. If you want to play it safe, choose a new class for them to try at their local gym, or be a little adventurous (for your close friend and family) and allow them to try a new workout studio that may be able to offer them something a little different.
2. Organic Hamper

Hampers aren’t always just filled with sugary sweetness that’ll make you feel bloated afterwards, there’s a great range of organic hampers out there with delicious, healthier versions of all the goodies we love. Whether you’re after some health snacks to boost their energy levels before their next workout, or some health nut options for the ‘naughty’ treats like wine, beer and chocolate that will still appeal to them; there’s an organic hamper to suit all options and tastes.
Perfect for tea enthusiasts, your health conscious friend that still enjoys the cheeky bottle of (organic) red, or for healthy cooking fans that need a little inspiration in the kitchen.
3. Flavours with Benefits

Most health nuts are big on home cooking and growing their own vegetables and herbs. Not only is a huge money saver, but it allows them to have better control over what they’re actually putting into their bodies. If your health nut friend is one of these, offer them a gift that keeps giving and a whole lot of flavour for those stay-in cooking nights.
Wall herb gardens not only look lush and fantastic, but they will offer your health conscious friend flourishing leafy food toppers all year round. It’ll give them access to the healthiest of vegies and cooking herbs all a step and a snip away from their kitchen.

wallwall 2

4. At-Home Gym Equipment

If going to the local gym isn’t your friend’s thing, they probably have a few bits and pieces set up at home. Especially in the colder months, going to the gym can be a big struggle for even the most health conscious so make sure they are still doing what they love and contribute a few home gym essentials.
Whether it’s something as simple as a workout DVD they can use in the comfort of their home, a new flashier yoga mat or get them looking the part with new workout gear, accessories or weights. Giving indoor winter workout gear is perfect because you know it’ll get used all year round.
5. Fitness and Health Trackers

You can’t have a good workout or fitness plan without tracking progress, so help your health enthusiast buddy by purchasing the latest fitness watch or band. You can opt for something basic that records their movement in steps and kilometres – the Fitbit is great for this, or you can really tech it up with wearable devices that act as a heart rate monitor and show how many calories are being burnt throughout a workout.
Depending on your budget range and your health nut’s fitness goals, there’s a lot on offer when it comes to fitness and health trackers. And it doesn’t always have to be wearable either, but they tend to be the most practical and come in a range of colours and styles to suit everyone’s style.
6. Spa Gift Certificate

A little RnR time is the perfect way to boost your mood, health and wellbeing – without having to step into the gym. Perfect for the health conscious friend that is needing a little ‘me’ time, a trip to the day spa can really force even the busiest to stop and relax.
From facials to soothing massages to simply soaking in the spa for a few hours, a spa gift certificate makes for a great gift. And it’s not always something people will go and buy themselves, so it’s nice goodie to receive. Find a local day spa near your friend’s location they can try out and let them indulge for an afternoon.
Author Bio
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, an online blogger and copywriter who recommends the organic gift hampers at Boxt.com.au for the perfect gift idea for that health conscious friend. Boxt are a leading online provider of hampers and other gift ideas and do delivery throughout Australia.

Fast Lower Body Toning Moves To Do In The Yoga Studio

woman exercising yoga

If your biggest ‘trouble spot’ on your body is your hips, thighs, or glutes, it’s time to get a good workout program in order. The great news is that you can effectively work all of these areas right in a yoga or gyms studio. All you need is a yoga mat, a set of small hand weights, and an exercise ball.

Using these three pieces of equipment, you can whip yourself into shape, ensuring you look better than ever in any yoga pants, jeans, or dresses you choose to wear.

Here are the details of the main moves to do.

Stationary Lunges

In a standing position with both feet on the yoga mat and the weights in either hand, step one foot directly in front of the other about 2 feet. Once firmly planted, begin to bend the forward knee as you slowly lower yourself down so the back knee is almost touching the ground.

Pause here and then press back up to complete the rep. Continue on until 15 reps are completed and then switch sides and repeat.

Leg Curl

To hit the back of the legs and work the bum region, the leg curl is the ideal move. To do this, lay flat down on the yoga mat with the ball placed under the feet, the legs extended.

From here, lift the hips up off the ground and then slowly begin to bend the knees as you bring the ball towards your bum. Once you’re as far as you can go, pause briefly and then extend back out to complete the rep.

Continue doing this until 15 reps are completed.

Glute Bridge

The glute bridge is very similar to the leg curl only this time all the emphasis is placed directly on the bum. If you want a firmer backside
, this is the move for you.

Assume the same position as the leg curl only this time rather than bending the knees an bringing the ball into the body, simply squeeze the glutes and lift the hips up. Pause and then lower them so they are almost touching the ground.

Pause here and then lift up once again. Keep doing this until 15-20 reps are finished.

Sumo Squats

Finally, don’t overlook the sumo squat. This exercise is great for firming the inner and outer thighs, really toning the hip region.

Stand on the yoga mat
with the feet wider than hip width apart, your toes slightly turned out. From here, bend at the knees as you lower yourself down. Once you’re at a 90 degree angle, pause and hold this for 5 seconds. From there, rise up again to complete the rep.

Continue on until 15 reps are completed. To make this exercise more challenging, hold your weight down between your legs with both hands.

So there you have your fast and efficient, total lower body toning routine. Do this next time you hit the gym and you’ll be seeing results in no time.

Shannon Clark has been working in the personal training and online fitness writing field for the last 12 years and has worked with numerous clients and websites, providing content in the fitness niche. She holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta and has a passion for continued learning as she is constantly researching up on the latest exercise and nutrition techniques to try with her clients.

6 Week Boot Camp – train like a Champion!

 

This is your free step by step program to lose six kilos in six weeks! Your new you starts HERE!

To help you on the journey we have put together;

  1.  A full six week diet plan from Jo Beer at Revitalise.
  2. Download your food diary.
  3. Weekly video coaching instructions from our dietician & diabetes educator Jo Beer and boot camp coach Justine.
  4. Step by step 30 minute exercise routines, one per day and suggested active rest Yoga routines for the days when you need a break.
  5. See more at Revitalise and Babes on the run, the people who donated their time for free to make this happen.

Let’s start, week 1 exercise routine.

Week 1

Coaching video 1 is here! These are just some tips from real people that train mums and have advised allot of people what you need to do to stay in a health weight range for the long haul.

Here are the workout videos;

  1. Day 1, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout
  2. Day 2, Interval Training Workout
  3. Day 3, Total Body Workout Beginner

  4. Day 4, Pilates Essentials

  5. Day 5, Interval Training Workout Part 2
  6. Day 6, Tone up with Yoga routine
  7.  Day 7, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout

Week 2

Check-in coaching video 2 is here! Use this to stay motivated and on track! Yes it is hard, but it is supposed to be right? Now keep going!!!! Enjoy feeling better.

  1. Day 8, 6 Week Boot Camp Core Full Body Workout
  2. Day 9,6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout
  3. Day 10,Interval Training Workout

  4. Day 11, Pilates Essentials
  5. Day 12, Interval Training Workout Part 2
  6. Day 13, Hatha Yoga routine with Holly
  7. Day 14, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout

Week 3

Check-in coaching video 3 is here! Some more of what to expect and some tips and tricks to stay motivated and on track!

  1. Day 15, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Interval Full Body Workout
  2. Day 16,6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout
  3. Day 17,6 Week Boot Camp Core Full Body Workout
  4. Day 18, Pilates Flat Abbs
  5. Day 19, Interval Training Workout Part 2
  6. Day 20, Yoga routine with Valerie
  7. Day 21, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout

Week 4

Check-in coaching video 4 is here! OMG passed half way! I’m sooo excited! Watch the coaching video get advice about fatigue, sleeping right and new mum advice!

You can substitute in a shorter Yoga routine for active rest and we have posted several routines to do just that!

  1. Day 22, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Interval week 4 Full Body Workout
  2. Day 23,6 Week Boot Camp Core Full Body Workout
  3. Day 24,6 Week Boot Camp Core Full Body Workout
  4. Day 25, Pilates Essentials with Angela
  5. Day 26, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout
  6. Day 27, Full total body workout
  7. Day 28, 30 minute Yoga routine

Week 5

Check-in coaching video 5 is here!  Are you still with us? WOW what could possibly go wrong?

Don’t forget you can substitute any of our Valerie’s shorter Yoga routines for active rest and she has posted several routines for you to do!

  1. Day 29, Six Week boot camp workout, week 5 workout, with Justine
  2. Day 30, Interval Training Workout Part 2
  3. Day 31, Interval Training Workout

  4. Day 32, Pilates Essentials with Angela
  5. Day 33, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout
  6. Day 34, Full total body workout
  7. Day 35, 30 minutes of Yoga with Valerie

Week 6

Check-in guidance for  week 6 is here! 

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”; Walt Disney, ok so that’s not totally relevant but an incredible quote from an amazing entrepreneur that did some pretty amazing stuff; keep moving forward!

  1. Day 36, Six Week boot camp workout, week 6 workout, with Justine and Vanessa.
  2. Day 37, Interval Training Workout

  3. Day 38, 6 Week Boot Camp Core Full Body Workout
  4. Day 39, Pilates Essentials with Angela
  5. Day 40, Interval Training Workout Part 2
  6. Day 41, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Interval workout
  7. Day 42, 30 minutes of Yoga with Valerie

Substitute this  active rest Yoga routine if you don’t feel like doing a full 30 minute routine.

Don’t stop here! now you are in the swing of things keep working out using our routines!  This is a change for life not a fad, “lock in the new you”.

Additional Resources below….

There are more free recipes here from Jo.

We recommend MyFitnessPal Mobile Apps tools you need to successfully take weight off – and keep it off. And best of all, everything on the site is 100% FREE.

Check your BMI with this Body Mass Index Calculator. BMI is a ratio between weight and height. It is a mathematical formula that correlates with body fat, used to tell if you are at an unhealthy weight (given a certain height). BMI value is more useful for predicting health risks than the weight alone (for ages 18 and over).

Calories burned??

Use a calorie calculator like this one or google another one. You will need to know stuff like your height, weight, age type of exercise, the length of time you did it. We would have included a calorie burn estimate for every video but as you can see there are a number of variable that would make our estimates inaccurate.

Tip: you may want to try using this portion plate from the Revitalise website.

Best of all it’s free so you can’t afford not to do this starting right now!