It is finally spring here in the Midwest! The warmer weather, flowers starting to bloom and trees starting to bud can bring about lots of motivation to get moving and start fresh.
Don’t stop at spring cleaning your house, think about a spring clean for your health too!
Whether you kept up your workouts all winter, are still working hard on your resolution to get fit or are just starting out on your fitness journey, now is a great time to refresh your workout regiment.
It doesn’t have to be a complete deep clean, you can make small adjustments that will add up to big benefits.
Make A Schedule
This is especially helpful for those just starting out or getting back into a routine.
Each Sunday look at your calendar and plan your workouts. Be realistic, if you have taken a break from exercise most of the winter, don’t say you will workout an hour six days a week.
Start out with something more like a 30 minute session on three non-consecutive days.
Put your workouts on the calendar along with all of your other important appointments. And don’t cancel those appointments!
Check Your Gear
Spring is a great time to clean out your closet as you are transitioning from a winter to a spring/summer wardrobe.
Don’t forget your workout clothes and shoes! Recycle, reuse or donate any old worn out workout clothes and shoes.
Ladies, don’t forget your sports bras too. A typical bra has a lifespan of about six months depending on how often you wear it.
Running shoes last between 4-6 months depending on how many miles you put on them.
Now might be the time to go into a running store and get fitted for new kicks.
New workout clothes can be motivating and other gear (like your shoes) can help prevent injury.
Change Your Workout
If you have been doing the same workout for months, it might be time to switch it up.
Not only can the same old routine become boring, your body gets used to the stimulus which can prevent you from progressing.
There are many ways to change your training, like the number of sets or reps you perform, changing exercises or even changing your training schedule completely.
Altering the frequency, intensity, time or type of your workout will get your body and muscles challenged again.
Tidy Up Your Thoughts
Instead of creating goals based purely on weight loss, think about how you feel.
If counting calories has become a drag, think about your portion sizes instead. Dreading your workout?
Chances are you need to find a workout you enjoy. Check out different classes or work with a trainer to get new ideas on what type of exercise you will look forward to (or at least not dread!).
Take the opportunity with this new season to look at your workout routine and see if any of these tips will help you get energized about your health and wellness!
If you haven’t already, sign up for a free fitness assessment and talk with a trainer about how to spring clean your workouts and get ready for spring and summer.
Topics: LivRite News
Have you ever heard a trainer or group exercise instructor say “engage your core” or “tighten your abs”? Some might cue you to pull your navel to your spine. These are all ways to remind you to tighten your abdominal muscles while performing certain exercises so you can reap the most benefit from the moves as well as reduce your risk of injury. But how do you do it? What does it even mean?
First, a quick look at what makes up your abdominal muscles (abs) which are a big part of your core. Everyone has four layers of abs. The deepest layer is called the transversus abdominis (TVA). The TVA wraps around your waist to connect the ribcage to the pelvis. On top of the TVA are the internal and external obliques which criss-cross your torso. Last but not least, the top layer is your rectus abdominis which are the muscles that form that often discussed six-pack. When all four of these ab muscles are braced together, working with the muscles that line your spine, you have what is called an engaged core. Keep in mind, your core also includes your glute muscles and adductor muscles in your hips along with your lower back and abs.
Why do you want to engage your core? Engaging your core during your workout helps reduce the risk of injury, especially injuries of the lower back. For example, think about completing shoulder presses. As your shoulders get tired you may start arching your lower back which puts a dangerous strain on your spine and the muscles around it. By zipping up your abs and squeezing your glutes, your spine is more protected and you can move your shoulders through a safer range of motion.
Practice engaging your core while doing my fast ab circuit!
Also, engaging your core when performing abdominal exercises especially, ensures your abs are doing the work instead of recruiting other muscles to take over. This will make those moves more effective. Since your core is the basis of almost every movement we make in our day to day lives, it is important to keep it strong.
So how do you engage your core? Your abs should be tight and pulling in but you should be able to breathe and move normally. It is NOT sucking in your stomach and holding your breath. You can practice engaging your core at any time by feeling your ribs expand to the sides while you inhale, then as you exhale contract and zip up your abs, thinking about pulling your navel up and in toward your spine. Keep breathing normally while you continue to hold your abs in.
Keeping your core engaged properly while exercising will help keep your core strong and reduce your risk of injury not only while working out, but also in your day to day activities.
Look for more great core exercises? Check out our ab workouts database!
Topics: LivRite News
Are you looking to strengthen your abdominals? Whether you want to have a six-pack or improve your balance, there are many reasons to strengthen your stomach muscles and the other muscles around your mid-section that make up your core. Your core muscles are used in just about every movement you make so it is important to keep them strong. If you have extra around your middle, check out my post with 5 tips to lose belly fat.
Here is a fast circuit workout for your core. These are exercises you can do at home or at the gym.
Set your timer for 30 seconds. You'll do each move for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds in between each. Rest for a minute then repeat all three exercises two more times.
Here is a basic explanation of each move:
Scissors - Lie flat on your back. You can extend your arms along the sides of your body with your palms pressing into the floor, or you can bend your elbows and place your palms under the back of your head. Pull your navel in towards your spine (engaging your abs) and actively press your lower back flat on the ground. Lift both legs straight up toward the ceiling, continuing to engage your abs and press your lower back into the ground throughout the exercise. Slowly lower your right leg down toward the ground, until it is a few inches above the floor. Then scissor your legs, so you lift your right leg back up as you lower your left leg down towards the ground. Keep this up with slow and controlled movements.
Russian Twist - Sit with your knees bent and heels on the floor. Engage your abs and lean back until your upper body is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, keeping your back long and flat. Rotate your torso, reaching both hands toward the floor on the side before returning back to center then reaching for the other side. A weight or medicine ball can be held and/or feet lifted off the ground to make this more challenging.
Plank - Lie facedown with legs extended and elbows bent and directly under shoulders; place your hands flat. Feet should be hip-width apart, and elbows should be shoulder-width apart. Contract your abs, then tuck your toes to lift your body (forearms remain on the ground); you should be in a straight line from head to heels. Hold for 30 seconds.
Do this two to three times a week on non-consecutive days for stronger abs!
Looking for more great ab exercises? Take a look at our full list of ab workouts.
Ready to start exercising? Great! Physical activity benefits your physical and mental health in so many ways, it should be an important part of your lifestyle. However, there is so much information out there, and our lives or so busy already, it can seem overwhelming to begin. It doesn’t have to be so complicated or take up that much time. Whether you are getting back to working out after some time off, or are beginning an exercise habit for the first time, here are some things to keep in mind as you get started.
Four Workout Tips for Beginners
1. Get Physical – a physical that is. You might need an actual physical from your doctor before you start exercising. Anyone with major health issues or health risks should get clearance from their doctor prior to beginning any exercise routine. No matter your medical condition, you can probably workout in some way. But it’s best to get those details and any restrictions from your doctor.
2. Set A Goal – What is your workout goal? Do you want to run a 5k? Lower your blood pressure? Hold a plank for a minute? Think of goals that are specific and measurable that you can work toward and achieve in a shorter period of time. For example, instead of saying a large overarching goal like “workout more” or “lose 100 pounds”, make a starting more specific goal of exercising twice a week.
3. Start Slow – Starting out too aggressively may result in injury. Doing too much too soon is not good for your body and will not provide instant results. Exercise should be a lifelong habit so it should be sustainable and something you can stick with. Slowly progress the time you exercise and the weight you use.
4. Plan a Balanced Routine – a good exercise routine will contain some cardiovascular activity, strength conditioning and stretching.
- When starting out with cardiovascular activity like walking, running or the elliptical, shoot for 20-30 minutes at a pace where you can carry on a conversation if you had to but couldn’t sing a song. If you can sing, you aren’t going fast enough. For heart health, the American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week. According to the CDC, moderate intensity means your heart rate should be between 50% - 70% of your maximum heart rate. An approximate way to calculate your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220.
- Strength conditioning should be done at least twice a week. Start with working each major muscle group with a weight that you can lift for 10-12 repetitions with the last reps being very difficult. Don’t work the same muscle group on consecutive days and be sure to warm up with a 5 minute walk or other dynamic activity prior to strength training.
- Stretching should be done after each workout. Static stretches for each major muscle group should be held for 10-30 seconds.
Don’t be intimidated by all the information, all of the gym equipment or all the different ways to exercise! It can be as simple as adding walking 20-30 minutes to your day. Follow the tips above to get started. Want more information and to get a workout created especially for you? Contact a LivRite personal trainer today!
Topics: LivRite News
Looking for great upbeat Christian workout music? It can be hard to find but with apps like Apple music and Spotify it's never been easier to make playlists featuring upbeat christian workout songs.
The following list is our top 8 christian songs with great beats to listen to during your next workout. Click on the song title to listen on youtube and Click here to listen to this playlist on Spotify
8. Start Over (Flame feat. NF)
7. The Gospel (Bizzle)
6. Build Your Kingdom Here (The Rend Collective)
5. I'm Turnt (Lecrae)
4. Feel Invincible (Skillet)
3. Ooh ahh (Grits feat. Toby Mac)
2. God's Not Dead (Newsboys)
1. Coming in hot (Andy Mineo ft. Lecrae)
What do you think of our playlist? Are some of these songs in your workout mix? Let us know on Facebook.
Topics: LivRite News