Monthly Archives: March 2015

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Creatures of Habit

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Colin Powell, a retired U.S. army general said, “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.” Whether it’s a 4-star general or the little voice inside your head urging you to “keep moving forward,” developing a habit, a ritual, for your workout routine will mean all the difference.

According to Healthline, it takes six to eight weeks for your body to adapt to a workout routine, both physically and mentally. Though it is important to diversify your workout, as explained here, maintaining a healthy workout regimen is the first step.

Habits

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In recent years, as technology has grown, we are becoming more adapt to instant gratification. Food, movies, education and communication has become faster, direct and more frequent. In fitness, there are exercise crazes, fad diets and new weight loss pills all claiming to make you “instantly lose weight.”

People will start working out, see no results and either change it up or quit. But, we are far from instant creatures…we love habits. It’s true that growth and change are crucial for our lives, but it’s our routines that keep us functioning. After making that “I’m going to lose weight” New Years resolution three months in, we are picking up cake from the grocery store right next to our gyms.

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Don’t treat fitness like that “new thing” or “something I’m going to start when I have time,” treat it like brushing your teeth or putting on make-up. It’s something you do frequently in your life to make yourself look and feel better. By developing your exercise habits, not only will you see results physically, you’ll feel results mentally.

Six to eight weeks…are you up for the challenge? The Poker Chip Challenge has helped our members start their routine! Ask how Powerlady Fitness can help you with your exercise routine. Need somewhere to start? Here’s a daily workout from darebee.com to try.

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Workout Not Working? Diversify your Workout

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So, you’ve finally mastered that workout you do on a daily basis and that 8-pound weight isn’t as hard to lift anymore. You’re finally getting better at working out and reaching your goals right? …yes and no. According to Healthline, when your body performs the same exercises repeatedly your muscles and body adjust. Even though your workout is more comfortable, your body is no longer being challenged.

It takes about 6 to 8 weeks for your body to adapt to an exercise routine. If the routine stays the same, your fitness level will plateau. It’s important to add diversity to your exercise routine. The best way to do this is cover three areas of fitness: cardio, strength and stretch.

Cardio

Cardio, or cardiovascular exercise, is any activity that increases your heart rate. When your heart rate reaches a certain level, the body begins to burn calories. This applies to any cardio exercise like running, dancing and aerobics.

 

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The best ways to vary your cardio workouts are changing pace, distance and intensity. Using a higher incline on a treadmill or changing your 2-mile daily walk to 20 minutes of jogging.

Strength

It’s very hard to build muscle without changing up strength or weight training; this is any exercise using weights and resistance. Once the muscles have adapted to a strength exercise, they will continue to need exposure to more challenging exercises to build muscle.

 

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Remember to change up the weight. The best way to improve strength is to vary exercises for each body part. Many people may stick to bicep curls and push ups, but also remember the back, shoulders and triceps during your weight training.

Stretch

Improving your flexibility will not only improve your overall fitness, but it will give you more options and range for other workouts. Stretching routines like yoga at least 3 times a week will add to a well-rounded exercise routine. If stretching on your own remember to hit the major parts of the body like arms, legs, neck, shoulders and back.

Image Source: Huffington Post

 

Are you up for a new challenge? Try the Powerlady Poker Chip Challenge. Diversify your workout and put your name in for prizes and recognition! 

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5 Misconceptions About Yoga

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Stemming from spiritual origins, Yoga is a common practice performed by over 20 million Americans each year. Many people go into yoga wanting to improve flexibility, balance and overall mental health, yet there are still some common misconceptions when it comes to the mental and physical exercise.

#5 – You have to be flexible.

 

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Yoga beginners typically go into a class thinking “I have to be flexible,” but that isn’t true. Though practicing over time can improve flexibility, it is not the main goal of yoga. In fact, the less flexible you are initially, the more you have to gain.

#4 – You have to wear yoga pants.

 

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Over the past few years, the “yoga pants” fad has swept across college campuses and even the desk of Montana politicians that want to ban them in the public eye. They are flexible, form-fitting pants designed for activities that involve a lot of movement including dancing, martial arts, aerobics and yoga. Though very fashionable, yoga pants aren’t needed. Any clothes you are comfortable in can be worn for yoga.

#3 – There is only one style of yoga.

 

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Depending on the instructor, yoga can be stretch oriented, therapeutic or spiritual. There is not just one practice of yoga. According to the yoga alliance, there are 8 common types of yoga practice:

  • Gentle yoga classes are typically calming, relaxing, and less physically demanding than other classes. They may also use props to aid students in their practice.
  • Spiritually-oriented yoga classes often include meditation in addition to asana practice. They might also emphasize yoga philosophy, chanting, mantra, or cultivating spiritual growth.
  • Flow yoga classes are typically invigorating, and they often include aerobic elements. Each posture is usually held only for a short time before moving to the next posture.
  • Alignment-oriented yoga classes give particular attention to precision bodily placement, often with longer holds of asanas. Classes might use props to help students attain the desired alignment.
  • Fitness yoga primarily emphasizes the physical dimensions of yoga practice. Typical objectives might include aerobic conditioning, gaining strength, or building stamina.
  • Hot yoga classes involve practicing in heated rooms (varying in temperature, potentially up to 110°F). The postures themselves may or may not be physically demanding.
  • Therapeutic yoga adapts yoga techniques to help those facing health challenges to manage their condition, reduce symptoms, increase vitality, and/or improve mental outlook.
  • Specialty yoga classes often customize yoga for particular groups, such as seniors, children, expectant mothers, and those facing serious health conditions. Specialized training is important for teachers who work with these groups.

 

#2 – You have to be young.

 

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Many people, ages 16 to 80 perform yoga. You are never too old! In a way, yoga is beyond age as it helps to stabilize the body and mind.

#1 – It’s easy.

 

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Yoga is a combination of strength, balance and flexibility. Often regarded as a practice for women, Yoga was developed by men for meditation and spiritual enlightenment. It requires focus, stability and determination. Depending on the type of yoga you want to practice, it takes time and diligence to master and perform daily, but the pay off is worthwhile!

 

Come check out our amazing yoga instructors at PowerLady!

You have One Million Reasons not to Work Out. And One Great Reason to Start Now: YOU. Contact us!