Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Interval Training Workout Playlist

Interval training can be a great way to get an effective workout in a short amount of time. This type of workout can pose a problem for your playlist though. I’ve come up with an interval training workout playlist that will keep your energy up during the high-intensity intervals and bring the pace down for the lower-intensity and rest periods.
Music can also serve as an easy way to time your intervals and signal you to move on to the next exercise. Try this playlist with the interval training workout of the month from Life Fitness Academy: Bi’s, Tri’s and Thighs
High Intensity
  1. Bangarang (feat. Sirah) – Skrillex
  2. I Can Only Imagine (feat. Chris Brown & Lil Wayne) – David Guetta
  3. Push It – Salt-n-Pepa
  4. Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
  5. Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) – Michael Jackson
Low Intensity
  1. Carried Away – Passion Pit
  2. Crash and Burn – Savage Garden
  3. Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men
  4. The Chain – Fleetwood Mac
  5. Tiny Dancer – Elton John

This fit tip is brought to you by Life Fitness 9/25/2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Workout Lingo Decoded

Sometimes it can seem like the fitness world has its own language. Add in the ever-changing fads and trends and it can be close to impossible to keep up. That is – unless you’re like us here at Life Fitness. We live and breathe this world, and its language, so we’re here to help you stay on top of it all.
Aerobic/Anaerobic Exercise: Aerobic exercise refers to a workout powered with oxygen. Think long periods of running or biking. Anaerobic exercise is the opposite - powered without oxygen. Generally, that means weight lifting or resistance training performed for short periods of time. 
High Intensity Interval Training: HIIT is a form of interval training that combines short intervals of maximum intensity exercise separated by longer intervals of low to moderate intensity exercise. These workouts are short, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy.  
Circuit Training: Circuit Training is short sets of strength training or resistance workouts, followed immediately by another set working a different muscle group. There is very little rest between exercises. Many gyms have a set of circuit training machines to help you progress through this type of workout
Functional Training: Simply put, this trend is purposeful training. It focuses on training movements similar to those you would make in every day life, not individual muscles, and involves multiple joints on varied planes. Moves often occur with either the foot or hand in contact with the ground or another object. For example, a medicine ball squat with an overhead lift would work your arms, legs and back – all muscles you would need to lift a heavy box onto a tall shelf.
Target Heart Rate: Target heart rate refers to the percentage of your theoretical maximum heart rate (TMHR) that will maximize the benefits of your workout, without overworking your heart. If you're a beginning exerciser, try to work at about 50 to 60 percent of your TMHR. A moderately fit person should aim for 60 to 75 percent and an advanced exerciser should shoot for 70 to 85 percent. Use this target heart rate tool from Mayo Clinic to calculate yours.
VO2 Max: This is the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use during a period of intense exercise that largely depends on body weight and the strength of the lungs. It’s the point during an exercise where intensity level can continue to rise, but the amount of oxygen you’re taking in does not increase with it. VO2 max typically declines with age, but the better shape your in, the higher it can be.
Superset: Supersets involve doing two exercises, one after another, with no rest in between. The alternating exercises can be for the same muscle or two completely different parts of your body. For example, you could perform a set of deadlifts, alternating with a set of reverse lunges, 3-4 times for a superset that would work your lower body.
CrossFit: CrossFit is a new fitness trend that describes itself as the “sport of fitness.” CrossFit gyms focus on “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement.” They also believe that “no aspect of functional movements is more important than their capacity to move large loads over long distances, and to do so quickly.” Many CrossFit enthusiasts will post their workout results on the website and even compete against other at the CrossFit Games.
What other terms would you like explained? Leave a comment and let us know.

This Fit Tip was brought to you by Life Fitness on 9/20/2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fit Tip: Make Family Time Active Time

The pace of many families appears to be stuck in fast-forward. So many are busier than ever—but busy doesn’t always mean active. Driving in a car, running errands, sitting in meetings and in front of a computer doesn’t mean you are getting the physical activity you need.  Try some of these tips to get your family moving, healthy and happy.
Get out in your own driveway. Get out those jump ropes, hula-hoops and basketball.  Play hopscotch. Grab some chalk and draw a ladder on the driveway, then time yourselves doing fast feet or single leg jumps along the rungs. Get a quick pick-up game of hoops started, or play a game of four-square. Try to think of it as active family playtime instead of workout time.
Find a path. Whether it’s a track, trail or walking path, grab your gym shoes and head out with the whole family. You can take a penny hike, where you flip a coin at each corner of the block to determine which direction you will head. Kids love finding out the mystery of which way you will go. Of course, you will find your way home eventually, but you will be participating in one of the easiest and most convenient exercise around—walking.
Do active yard or housework together. Involve your kids with housework, yard-work and gardening, but put your whole body into it. Keep it fast-paced for the kids and concentrate on using all of your muscle groups.
Plan a fitness vacation. There are ton of great getaways that are more active than the traditional sit on the beach vacation. Alternatives include walking tours, rafting trips and skiing adventures. The opportunities are endless.
If your kids are really young, get them dancing. It’s fun and can get their heart (and yours) pumping. Be creative and focus on fun to find lots of ways to get your whole family active.

This Fit Tip was brought to you by Life Fitness on 9/18/12

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fit Tip: Try the Top Trends in Group Exercise

With exercise, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. To help you avoid the dreaded weight-loss plateau, we've rounded up some of the top trends in group exercise.
Most clubs offer a wide range of classes for all fitness levels and interests like group cycling, boot camp, power yoga or a kickboxing class. Sign up for a class to mix up your routine or better yet, do a different workout each day. It’s important to have fun, try new things and change fitness routines often. 
Strength Training
Group strength training remains a top trend due to increased awareness of its long-term health benefits and the knowledge that cardio alone isn’t enough. Strength training is ideal for all ages and fitness levels. Today’s group strength classes incorporate lots of fun accessories: medicine balls, Bosu balls, hand weights, kettlebells, and resistance bands. Stronger muscles mean better health, higher metabolism and slower aging, a better profile and a confidence boost.
Mind and Body
Many group fitness programs are incorporating mind/body classes. Yoga not only improves flexibility, but can enhance your spiritual growth, improve your productivity and even reduce stress.  From yoga sculpt to hot yoga there are a slew of classes to choose from, so experiment and try a few different formats.
Core Work
Everyone wants stay healthy and live vigorously for as long as possible and we know core strength is key to mobility. Staying agile and working on core strength with the guidance of a group fitness instructor can help prevent back pain, tone your mid-section and help you move with ease throughout your day.  Try Pilates or a core boot camp class for an intense core workout.
Classes like Zumba have taken the fitness industry by storm. These fun, booty-shaking workouts don’t require prior dance experience and are a great form of cardio. Barre Classes have also become more popular over recent years. You don’t have to be a ballerina to try one out either. Most incorporate ballet-like moves at the barre that focus on high repetitions and help to firm your thighs and buns and tighten your core.  Form, alignment and technique are emphasized.
Find a new type of group fitness that appeals to you, and soon your mind and your body will be reaping the benefits.

This Fit Tip was brought to you by Life Fitness on 9/13/12

Monday, September 10, 2012

What to Eat Before and After Exercise

Food is fuel and if you don’t have the right fuel or the right amount, you can throw off your workouts. Here’s my guide to know when to eat and what to eat before and after your workouts.
Before a Workout
You don’t want your stomach growling during exercise, but you don’t want to feel like you just ate Thanksgiving dinner either. Ideally, you want to fuel your body with healthy, nutritious foods that are no longer hanging out in your stomach when it’s time to work out.
About an hour before your workout, have a carbohydrate with a little bit of protein.
A high carbohydrate, low fat snack can easily be digested and it normalizes blood sugar. You will have ample energy and you will feel great. Meals or snacks high in fat will leave you sluggish and those high in sugar will pick you up momentarily and then drop you. High-carb with a little bit of protein can help you achieve just the right balance.
After a Workout
The food you eat after a workout impacts your metabolism. The 60 minutes after you finish a workout is the perfect time to refuel with a combination of protein and carbs. Some people call it the golden hour. You will speed up your recovery time and replenish glycogen stores. If you are trying to lose weight, choose a protein-based snack.
In the hour after your workout, try one of these protein-rich snacks.
  • Smoothie
  • Handful of walnuts, almonds or pistachios
  • Greek yogurt
  • Low fat cheese
  • Hard boiled egg
Don’t Forget to Hydrate
No matter when you work out or the form of exercise you choose to do, stay hydrated. Water is essential to keep your body working safely and productively.

This fit tip was brought to you by Life Fitness on 9/7/2012