Unique Fitness Blog ::

5 Exercises for Beginners ::

Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 18 December 2014

With an approaching new year, many people are thinking of getting a gym membership or starting a fitness routine at home. If you find yourself in that group, you may be wondering where to begin. Some exercises programs are targeted at those with more experience. But there are still plenty of options. Here are five types of exercises that are great for anyone who is ready to make a commitment.

1. Walking– One of the best exercises that you can start out with, no matter what kind of shape you’re in, is walking or jogging. Hitting the pavement may take a little getting used to but it’s essentially worry-free because of the low impact, which greatly reduces the risk of injuries. This is provided you take it slowly. Eventually, you can work your way up to running to get in even better shape.

2. Strength Training – Despite what you may think, beginners shouldn’t shy away from lifting weights. Aside from those with special concerns, it’s recommended for anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. The most important requirement is having the willingness to learn.

3. Swimming – For an excellent total body workout, getting in the water is a great option. Even if it’s the winter, you can still consider it since many gyms offer an indoor pool as part of the membership. It’s worth looking into if you’re thinking about joining a gym because swimming is another low-impact exercise that minimizes the risk of injuries.

4. Martial Arts – If you need a little more structure to follow through on a routine, martial arts might be the answer. Having a teacher who will instruct you on doing it the right way is one of the benefits. Your instructor will guide you and help you progress at your own pace.

5. Boot Camp – Since many of these are designed for beginners, boot camps are a great way to transition into regular workouts. They’re tough and will definitely leave you feeling exhausted, but you’ll learn what you’re capable of and how to push your limits. If you can power through a boot camp, then you may have greater success at sticking to a regular routine once you’ve finished it. It will get you through that difficult beginning stage when you need someone pushing you to keep at it for those moments you may want to quit.

Now that you have some ideas on where to start, there are a few things you’ll want to stay away from until you’re able to progress. Programs, such as CrossFit, HIIT, or P90X are better for those who aren’t new to regular exercise. You can still keep them as a goal to do, but it’s best to build up your strength and endurance before jumping right in to them.

Whatever way you choose to get started, the most important thing is that you’ve made that choice and are ready to commit!




Holiday Gift Guide ::

Posted in holidays | Posted on 11 December 2014

Looking for the right gift to give this holiday season? There is still time and we have something for every budget. Here are a few ideas to help make this busy time a little easier.
If you’re in need of a few stocking stuffers, jump ropes or athletic socks are great for the active people on your list. Since proper hydration is essential for everyone, water bottles are another option. All these items come in an array of colors to make it more fun and match any personality.
When looking for something to wrap up, yoga mats, balance balls, or hand weights can be appreciated by any fitness enthusiast. DVDs also make a nice gift because it helps make exercise easier from the home. Massage tools make another great gift. Everyone has sore muscles at times and could appreciate something that would provide relief from that. All these items work well with anyone’s budget.
If you’re looking for something a little more special, or want to stay up on the latest gadgets, activity trackers or fitness watches are something you’d want to consider.
For a higher end gift, weight sets or cardio machines like rowers, treadmills, or exercise bikes are excellent options. They can make a perfect gift for the whole family. And they’re more than just gifts, they’re an investment in health.
Staying healthy is always the goal and we wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season!

Healthy Breakfast Smoothies ::

Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 4 December 2014

Drinking these healthy smoothies in the morning will not only contribute to weight loss but are super delicious!

Metabolism Boosting Smoothie
1. Greek Yogurt
2. Almonds
3. Broccoli
4. Strawberries
5. Cinnamon

Sweet Spinach Smoothie
1. Spinach
2. Pear
3. Green or Red Grapes
4. Greek Yogurt
5. Avocado
6. Lime Juice

Mango Smoothie
1. Mango
2. Avocado (provides healthy fats)
3. Skim Milk
4. Honey

Raspberry- Beet Smoothie
1. Greek Yogurt
2. Raspberries
3. Cooked Beet Roots
4. Cranberry juice

Tomato Smoothie
1. Low-fat Plain Yogurt
2. Large Ripe Tomatoes
3. Dried Basil
4. Salt Cherry Tomatoes
1. Whole Flaxseeds
2. Orange Juice
3. Nonfat Vanilla Yogurt
4. Blueberries
5. Banana

Berry-Flaxseed Smoothie

5 Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holiday Season ::

Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 2 December 2014

1. Stay Hydrated
It is easy to get caught up in Christmas cheer and indulge in sugary drinks and alcohol, so it is important to prioritize water as it can help your skin, energy levels, and focus. Try drinking a couple of glasses of water before your next holiday party and you will find you will eat much less!

2. Continue your workout routine
Just because you’re busy attending parties or shopping doesn’t mean you can push aside exercising. It is easy to want to skip a trip to the gym on a cold day, but your body will thank you for it after. Play some holiday music to motivate you to keep working hard!

3. Stay Warm
Make sure to bundle up after a workout, especially if you’re heading outside!

4. Enjoy in Moderation
Since it’s that time of the year, it’s almost impossible to resist yummy holiday treats. Limit yourself on how much your eating. It’s okay to indulge as long as it is in moderation. Don’t waste calories; only treat yourself to something special!

5. Relax
Enjoy the joyous season by not letting the stress of shopping for gifts or cooking for the family tear you down. Make sure to maintain your regular sleep schedule so the holidays can be enjoyable! Also, when shopping for gifts, go for something sentimental like a photo, or even a gym membership. It will make all the difference.

New Product Announcement: Black Mountain Products Ultimate Resistance Band Set ::

Posted in band training, core training, resistance bands, rubber resistance training | Posted on 21 November 2014

Resistance bands should receive more recognition as they not only increase muscles strength and flexibility, but also stimulate growth. Resistance bands incorporate many muscles that free weights often neglect. Not only are they beneficial to use in your workout, but they are also very convenient and easy to use. Resistance bands aren’t expensive and are perfect for travel.

Unlike free weights, resistance bands place constant tension on muscles, allowing you to work through the entire exercise without rest. Using resistance bands utilize core movements which requires the muscles to use more control which can prove to be challenging.

The Black Mountain Products Ultimate Resistance Band Set offers a wide range of bands and accessories. Choosing which band to use is simple- the more resistance, the thicker the band. Specific details pertaining the color of each band can be found on our website.

Exercises Using Resistance Bands

  • Curls: Stand on band with leg width appropriate so tension will start with arms straight down. Holding handles palms up, curl as you would dumbbells.
  • Triceps Extensions: Stand on band with leg width set so tension begins at height of your hand with arms behind your back (over your head) and elbows flexed. Extend your arms as you would with Triceps extensions.
  • Lateral Raises: Stand on band so tension begins with arms at sides. Keeping your arms straight, raise you arms out to your sides so they are parallel with the floor.
  • Back Flyes: Fix band around a stationary post. Stand back so tension begins with arms raised in front of you. Keeping your arms straight and feet planted, move your arms back so they are extended to your sides.

Why Having Good Posture is Essential to Your Health ::

Posted in back support, chair support, ergonomic stool, posture, sitting correctly, swopper | Posted on 18 November 2014

Having a good posture is essential to being physically fit; it is just as important as eating right, exercising, and getting a good night’s sleep. Having a good posture results in having more energy and less stress and fatigue. Shocked? Most fitness advocates often over look the importance of good posture.

Good posture means your bones are properly aligned and your muscles, joints and ligaments can work as they were meant to. It helps contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system.

During work how can one improve his/her posture? The answer is simple. Using a chair like the Swopper Ergonomic Stool encourages you to sit up straight and increase your range of motion! Besides sitting up straight, improving your flexibility and muscle strength will help support your posture.

Just like maintaining good health by eating right and exercising is important, one should be mindful about improving their posture to avoid achy muscles and fatigue.

Benefits of Proper Recovery After a Workout ::

Posted in flexibility, foam roller, foot massager, muscle tightness, workout recovery | Posted on 14 November 2014

To get the most out of a workout, recovery is key! 

Whether you’re just a beginner or a lifelong running pro, learning how to recover properly is essential to everyone! During exercise the body produces lactic acid which often causes muscle soreness and tightness. Rolling out before a workout warms up your muscles and increases the efficiency of your workout. Massaging after a workout not only feels great but reduces lactic acid build-up as well!

Use a foam roller to increase blood flow and flexibility. After a run, using the foam roller will help speed up recovery and keep some money in your pocket as it easily replaces the need for a massage therapist! To ease very tense muscles, try using a more dense roller.

A foot massage eases pain from tight muscles. The Moji 360 Foot Massager works well to revitalize sore and tired feet from running or exercising. Simply rolling your feet on this massager will speed up the recovery process immensely.

And don’t forget to stay hydrated before, after, and especially during your workout. FuelBelt water bottle packs are convenient and perfect way to keep hydrated during that fall long run!

New Products Announcement: Swiftwick Compression Socks ::

Posted in athletic apparel, exercise apparel, fitness gear, New Product, socks, workout gear | Posted on 13 November 2014

When shopping for your different exercise needs, there are all kinds of fitness equipment and gear to consider. One thing that may never cross your mind is the type of socks you wear. But the right workout socks can actually make a huge difference, especially for athletes. Whether you’re into running, cycling, hiking, baseball, hockey, or any other sport or fitness activity, Swiftwick has designed several lines of compression socks to give you the ultimate comfort and meet all your needs.

Why compression? It improves blood blow and circulation, which may enhance your performance and endurance. It may also help with relieving sore muscles so your recovery time is shorter.

Swiftwick socks are also moisture wicking to keep them dry during your toughest training sessions. This is an important quality for working out in the summer, as well as the winter. Fabrics that stay dry help keep you warmer when exercising in cooler temps. They’re essential for anyone training outdoors now that the weather is getting colder.

There are plenty of other benefits to selecting the right socks. When running a marathon or competing in an event, you don’t want to have to worry about them bunching up. Not only is it a distracting discomfort, it can also cause blisters. Swiftwick’s Linked-Toe technology eliminates bunching in the toe-box so blisters don’t have to be an issue for you.

Most of Swiftwick’s socks are knitted at 200 needles. Why is that so important? The tight knit design keeps debris from penetrating the sock. If you’re hitting the trails, sometimes little pieces can get in your socks and irritate your skin, which can also cause blisters. The high density material allows you to avoid dealing with that irritation or having to take time out to see what’s bothering you.

If you’ve previously overlooked the importance of selecting the right socks, you’ll find that they can make your training and event days much more comfortable! Plus, they’re available in different heights and colors.

5 Ways to Prevent Workout Injuries ::

Posted in athletic injuries, fitness injuries, healing, injury prevention, rehabilation, sports injuries | Posted on 6 November 2014

Nobody ever wants to be sidelined with an injury. Aside from the pain, it’s an inconvenience to your exercise routine, as well as your daily life. Fortunately, most exercise related injuries can easily be prevented. There are a few common mistakes that even regulars in the gym can be guilty of doing. It’s best to be aware of them to avoid serious problems.

Mistake 1: Working Out Too Much

This is usually an issue for beginners. Those starting a new program often do so with enthusiasm and a goal of committing to make a big change. The desire is strong and newbies can sometimes go at it too hard. The ones who are really determined often plan longer workout sessions on a daily basis, without recovery time. While the enthusiasm is great, it can cause you to burn out fast and lead to injuries. It’s better to focus on the quality of exercise, and less on the quantity. There’s no need to overdo it. Twenty minutes of a focused session is a good starting point for beginners until they are ready to progress to a longer period.

Mistake 2: Following the “No Pain, No Gain” Philosophy

This is one for both amateurs and gym veterans. Exercise is a challenge and it’s going to be difficult. A program that’s too easy won’t yield results. However, pain is a way of telling your body that something is wrong. Don’t ignore a nagging pain that won’t go away because it can develop into a more serious problem.

Mistake 3: Forgetting About Form

Proper form is essential for everyone. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been performing a certain move or exercise, you can still be putting yourself at risk if you’re just not doing it right. But there are plenty of ways to remedy this. Try taking a group class, get some personalized instruction with a trainer, or make use of some fitness DVDs. If you aren’t able to take advantage of those options, simply ask a friend. It’s easier for outsiders to see how you’re doing and can offer better suggestions than only going by how it feels to you.

Mistake 4: Getting Stuck in a Fitness Rut

If you’ve been doing the same routine over and over without variation, that can be a problem. On the one hand, it’s great to be consistent and stay committed. On the other hand, it can lead to overuse injuries by adding a lot of stress to the same muscles and joints on a daily basis. A little variety can prevent that, and also help you get a more complete workout.

Mistake 5: Not Listening to Your Body

Everyone is different, and you know yourself better than anyone else. There’s no need to compare yourself to others and try and push the limits so you can match others at the gym. Your only focus should be on you and your own workout. In addition, if you’re feeling off or notice a particular exercise is affecting you differently, don’t push yourself. Get some rest or try to figure out why there’s been a sudden change.

Keeping yourself healthy and injury free will allow you to have consistent, productive workouts!

Take on a Fall Fitness Challenge ::

Posted in exercise challenge, fitness challenge, fitness events, holidays, race days, thanksgiving race, training | Posted on 23 October 2014

The holiday season often sneaks up on us and it arrives before we know it. Thanksgiving is still 5 weeks away, so why would we want to rush it? Thinking about it now can still give you enough time to sign up and start training for one of the most popular fitness events of the year – a Turkey Trot or Thanksgiving Day race.

Fall is the perfect time to take on a new fitness challenge. Motivation is often lost at the end of summer, and it’s tempting to put on some comfy clothes and head indoors to stay warm. We spend less time at the gym and we lose that desire to stay fit. If you find yourself falling into this trap as the year goes on and you need to reboot your fitness routine, try committing to a race to regain your motivation.

Since Thanksgiving races have become so popular, it’s likely that you will be able to find one near you, no matter where you live. It should also be fairly easy to find a race that’s the right distance for you. They usually vary in distances but typically range between 5K and 10K. Even if you’re a beginner, starting today would give you enough time throughout the 5 remaining weeks to prepare yourself for a 5K. You can also choose to walk instead of run, or do a little of both.

If you’re ready to take on the challenge, the first step you need to do is sign up! It’s important that you don’t put this off until later. Once you’re committed to it, make your plan. Writing it out will make it much easier for you to stick to it.

Try to design a training program with at least three running days per week. During your running times, you’ll want to alternate between periods of walking and jogging. As your training progresses, slowly increase the amount of running time, and decrease your walking time. You should also slowly increase the distance. Plan enough time to warm up and cool down. Add some strength training but don’t forget to take your rest days. Recovery days are an essential part of any healthy program.

Finally, get out there and start training. These races tend to be recreational so they’re great for beginners. In the end, it doesn’t matter how fast you finish but just that you took on the challenge, put in the effort, and completed the race. Just enjoy the cooler temps and all that training during this season has to offer. And by the time the holiday season rolls around, you’ll be in better shape and ready to enjoy that Thanksgiving meal!

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