You don’t always need to turn to gym equipment and machines to tone yourself from head to toe. There are many exercises that you can perform with only your body and open space required. Just as you would increase the amount of weight on a machine, you can increase the intensity of your workout by completing more sets and reps. Because all of your body’s movements are natural and not stiff or restricted by a machine, you lower the amount of pressure on your joints and risk of injuries. Body weight exercises can be done on your own or with the help of a personal trainer.
Outdoor fitness is a refreshing break from the four walls confining you in the gym. Exercising outside allows you to see different people and scenery that helps reduce stress and depression. Because of this, more fitness professionals are suggesting outdoor workouts according to Walter R. Thompson, PhD. The wind and different leveled surfaces help increase the amount of calories you burn by five percent. Outdoor exercises include running, hiking, soccer, kayaking, bicycling and bodyweight training exercises.
Yoga uses poses that concentrates on various body parts at a time and breathing techniques. Yoga targets not only your body, but your mind and spirit, as well. As your instructor helps you form certain poses, you’re told to focus on that specific body part you’re working on. The awareness of your breathing controls your spirit and helps you slow your heart rate and relax. Yoga is shown to help reduce depression, improve your posture, improve your sleep, tone your body and improve your confidence. There are many forms of yoga, including Hot Yoga, Aerobic Yoga, Power Yoga and Yogalates.
Circuit training consists of six to 10 short exercises performed one after another. Each exercise targets different muscle groups, therefore only minimum rest is necessary between each exercise. With minimum rest, your heart rate is able to stay up, which helps you burn calories. This doesn’t normally happen with resistance exercises that are meant for toning and building muscle. Mix both aerobic and anaerobic exercises into your routine and aim for three sets.
Dancing is fun and does a good job of increasing your heart rate and improving your cardiovascular health. Dancing targets your entire body and even tones muscles that some exercises don’t. Blasting your favorite music with non-stop movement relieves stress and makes you feel as though you aren’t even working out. Dance workouts include Zumba, which burns somewhere between 500 to 1000 calories an hour, Nia, which burns more than 400 calories and the Bar Method.
Going through a flow of poses can be either a spiritual sweat session or a special kind of torture. The key to filfillment: finding the style that complements your fitness goals and your mood.
Yoga is kind of like sex. (And not just because of the interesting positions.)
For a practice rooted in simplicity, it has become a tad bit complicated and intimidating (like Bikram and Kivamukti) to general (like flow and restorative). With the increasing number of choices in the yoga world, new students could definitely be overwhelmed.
But also like sex, the endless options mean you never have to settle for a lacklusters session or the same variety every week. After all, sometimes you want it fast, other times slow, sometimes you want a lot of talking, sometimes you want silence. Here, we help you find the right practive for your mood so you walk away satisfied.
Yoga Fast Flows
In the yoga world, classes abound for women (and men) looking to move quickly, slim down and maybe fast-forward through most of the chants and meditations. Classes in this group which tend to have names like Dynamic flow and Power Yoga are heavy on speedy sequences, keep the music modern (think Adele and Prince remixes, not Enya), and take more creative liberties with their poses and sequences.
Some of the boom on this end of the spectrum can be considered good for those who want to add yoga into their routine but crave an equivalent to the sweet drenched endorphin rush that they get from their cardio kickboxing class.
If you love the heart pumping muscle-building benefits but want something more traditional, Bikram may be more your style. It always flows through the same 26 postures every class but in a streaming hot studio (upwards of 105 degrees!). It should be noted that “hot yoga” is not synonymous with Bikram. Other heated varieties are typically a bit cooler and take more freedom witth poses. (Some people say they are cheap imitation of Bikram, while others say they’re a passable alternative. You decide.
If you can’t stand the heat, look for vinyasa-based classes, which move through sequences of various speeds but focus more on your body position. So instead of just calling out poses, your teacher will actively adjust you and stress different cues (like “inner thighs back and wide” or “active hands and feet”).
The reason some teacher are so hand-on. It can ofter be hard to understand which way to bend or twist by just listening to verbal cues. This way, teachers are able to place you in exactly the right positon so you know how it’s supposed to feel. (If you prefer not to be physically adjusted, you can always tell them before the class starts.)
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Yogis think of the spine as the wire that makes the body hum. They talk about chakras and whatnot, but the bottom line is this:
The spine is responsible for sending messages throughout your body, and when you're hunched, the pathway isn't as smooth. Yoga strengthens the muscles that extend and realign your spine so your vertebrea aren't squished.
Try it: Entended Side Angle Pose:
Stand with your feet about four feet apart and turn your left foot out about degrees.
Extend your arms, palms down, at shoulder height.
Bend your left knee until it's over your ankle.
Flex from the waist to the left and place your left hand outside your left foot. (can't reach the floor?
Place your elbow on your knee or your hand on the inside of your foot.) Reach you right arm over your ear and turn your chin toward your right armpit. Look up and take five slow breaths. Return to standing and switch sides.
Repeat 3 to 5 times. New to yoga?
Do the move with your back against a wall "Using the wall takes the balance component out of it, you can concentrate on lengthening your spine and rolling your chest open.
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Are you looking for an exercise that not only promotes weight loss, but also builds strength, increases flexibility, reduces stress and improves your mental health, giving you piece of mind? Well, then yoga could be the perfect workout for you.
In recent years, yoga has become popular because of its many health benefits including weight loss. Most yoga sessions involve a fluid movement of a variety of physical positions while performing controlled breathing.
All you need for a yoga workout is enough space for a yoga mat and for your body to move 360 degrees. The more free space and breathing room you have the better.
Create an area that is appealing and motivates you to workout regularly. During the warmer weather take your workout outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, it will help you get inspired.
And in the colder seasons, devote an area, if possible or part of an area for your yoga workout and meditation. Once you have an area established, it is as easy as adjusting the lighting, throwing your mat on the floor and choosing a yoga workout.
Tips to improve your yoga workout:
- If you are using a yoga video make sure you position your mat so that you are within a comfortable viewing range of the monitor, laptop or television.
- Adjust the sound volume ahead of time.
- Turn off phones, ringers, and any other items that can potentially distract you.
- If possible have a source of fresh air.
- Have a source of warmth. Do not practice yoga in a cold room.
- Try to practice in natural light. A source of natural light is perfect, though not too much direct sun. Dim artifical sources of light, if possible.
- Keep it clean. The mind is more able to be relaxed when your practice area is free of clutter. Stow your yoga props (mats, blankets, cushions etc.) in a cupboard or a basket.
- Practice on a non-slip, level surface, such as a hardwood floor or a firm rug. A sticky mat is excellent as it provides some padding and non-slip surface.
- Candles or essential oils are a great way to add a sensual, calming, relaxing setting to your workout.