Tag: exercise

Keeping your Motivation to Exercise

By Alex Myers

As someone in the fitness professional field, one of the biggest problems I see with clients in keeping their motivation to exercise. It’s easy to stick with a workout routine in the beginning, but a lot of the times it will end becoming boring or just not fun anymore to the client. Here are a few tips to try and keep that motivation up and keep going!

• Role models. Find someone that has what you are looking for in your fitness goals, weather it be a super flexible gymnast or an amazing athlete, having someone that you can strive to be more like will help keep your motivation going. It is a great way to remind yourself why you’re in the gym day in and day out.
• Smart goals. One of the biggest things we try and do with our clients is set smart, attainable goals that can be reached. You want a goal that is challenging enough to keep you going but not something that is too easy to reach. Start with something like, “I will workout 3 times this week.” And once you have a routine then move up to something a little tougher.
• Rewards. Rewarding yourself for hitting each one of your smart goals is a great way to keep your motivation up. Remember that the reward should match your goal, if your working out to loose weight you don’t necessarily want to reward yourself with food.
• Buddy system. Having a partner that you can workout with is one of the most motivating things you can do to keep yourself going. It not only gives you someone to relate with while exercising but it will also hold you accountable to exercise. If your buddy is waiting for you at the gym everyday you are less likely to not show up.
• Make it fun. If your in the gym doing the same thing everyday it will begin to become boring and stale. Try to mix up your workouts, if you’re only doing cardio try and do different types of cardio a few times a week. Instead of just running on the treadmill you might try playing basketball or soccer, or just try a different machine like an elliptical.

These few simple tips will help you to stay motivated and continue to work out. Try to remind yourself everyday why you are putting in your time and hard work and the result will follow. Before you know it, you will fall in love with exercising and it will be what you look forward to everyday!

Three minutes of exercise?

By Garrett Dunagan

Not everyone likes to spend an hour or more each day working out; running, jogging, swimming, lifting, etc. What if I told you there was another way? There has been a recent surge in popularity in a type of exercise called high-intensity interval training (HIIT), but why has it become so popular in the past few years? In the past weight loss and improving one’s health has been associated with aerobic training which usually requires you to exercise at low to moderate intensity an hour or more 3-5 days a week. Through HIIT routines you can achieve an equal amount of cardiorespiratory and weight loss improvements, but over a shorter period of time.

So how can three minutes of exercise a week be beneficial? A group of European researchers discovered that completing a short-term interval training (SIT) session on a stationary bike just once a day three times a week can have phenomenal physiological benefits. These benefits included improvements in cardiorespiratory health, cardio-metabolic health, and insulin activity all which benefit everyday living. While this exercise routine has proven benefits for those wanting to improve their physiological health, I would not recommend it to those who are new to exercise, solely using this routine to gain large improvements in body composition, or individuals that have any cardiovascular diseases, due to the high intensity intervals.

Stationary Bike SIT Routine (3 times a week):
(Warm-up)
Adjust the seat of the bike to where it is most comfortable.
Start with performing a 2 minute warm up; peddling at moderate-intensity (50km).
(Intervals)
At the end two minutes began peddling at max intensity for 20 seconds.
Between each 20 second interval you will bring your pace back down to moderate or low-intensity and pedal for 25-30 seconds (this will keep your heart rate from dropping, and allow you to slightly recover).
You will repeat this until you’ve completed one full minute of max-intensity intervals.
(Cool down)
2-3 minutes of low-intensity pedaling combined with lower body static stretches of your choice.

Biking Intervals

Exercise and Pregnancy!

By Lakisha Laster

Many people believe that exercise during pregnancy could be detrimental to the fetus. Those people are WRONG! Exercise during pregnancy is beneficial to both mother and fetus, physically and psychologically. For the mother it can help with excess weight gain during pregnancy, self body image, anxiety and depression, and the aches and pains of carrying the extra weight around. For the fetus it helps prepare them for the stresses that come along during labor and delivery.  Many side effects that come along with pregnancy can be reduced or prevented by thirty (ONLY 30!) minutes of low intensity exercise most days of the week. Pregnant women should avoid weight bearing activities, the contracting of abdominal muscles, and lying on their stomachs. Women should also be seen and given physical checkups periodically through their pregnancy. It is said that women who exercise throughout their pregnancies will continue to exercise after pregnancy, since pregnancy is when the best habits are formed.

DO’S

  • Push yourself to exercise!
  • Get the recommended amount of 30 minutes a day, most of the days of the week.
  • Warmup
  • Swim, walk, bike
  • Involve others that motivate you
  • Eat healthy
  • Use correct form
  • Keep your baby in mind
  • Stretch
  • Keep hydrated

DON’T’S

  • Avoid weight bearing activities
  • Avoid contraction of abdominal muscles
  • Avoid vigorous intensity activities (if not an avid exerciser before)
  • Avoid lying on your stomach
  • Overheat

Keep your baby in mind and focus on all of the benefits exercise could bring to the both of you.

References

Artal, R., & O’Toole, M. (2003). Guideline of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 37, 6-12

Toity, D. (2004). Exercise and Pregnancy. MMedSci. Research Digest. Primary health care Journal, 14(1), 8.

Five Top Ways to Exercise While in College

One question always asked is how college students can keep from gaining that “freshman 15”. There are many ways to bypass that but exercising to me is the best way to keep from gaining those extra pounds. Here are my top 5 ways to exercise during your college life.

  1. Walk or bike to class: this is an easy way to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing before you get to your class. Getting your blood pumping before class can help your mind retain information longer rather than getting to class when your brain is still tired.
  2. Join an intramural sport: not only is this a great way to keep off those extra pounds but this is also a great way to keep your body in shape.  It allows you to meet new people, make new friends, and keep your competitive side alive. Click here for more information on intramurals.
  3. Go for a walk with some friends: UCO has a beautiful campus. The landscape within the campus makes for a relaxing and therapeutic walk. There are three different trails that are mapped on the UCO website that will guide you through campus. Walking with friends outside is a great way to reflect on what you have done the past week and what you still have to do within the next week.
  4. Take a fitness class as a course: there are a few different exercise classes that you can take that will not only allow you to get credit hours but they also allow you to learn how to exercise from professionals while taking the classes.
  5. Go to your college gym: UCO offers a free gym at the Wellness Center for all students and faculty. Yes, the gym can get a little packed every now and then but when you are a college student and there is an opportunity to take advantage of a free gym, why not take it? This allows you to save money on the gas to and from another gym, that you have to pay a membership for. So, you are not only getting a good exercise in but you are saving money at the same time.

The best thing about all of these is that they are all easily accessible. One of the biggest complaints coming from college students is having time and having money to go to a gym to work out. So skip going to the gym, save time, save money, and use these top five ideas to exercise.

Jared Hardcastle

Tips for How to Stay Motivated to Exercise

Everyone knows how good it feels to be at their peak performance level and having that “I’m on top of the world” feeling. But then, you plateau, and making it to those boot camps or running after work seems to be extremely hard. Here are seven tips that will help you find that perfect concoction to stay motivated while working out.

  1. The early bird gets the worm. Rise to the occasion; wake up an hour or two earlier to get that workout in before work or school. Make it the first thing you do in the morning so you won’t keep putting it off.
  2. Bribe yourself. Who said bribery was a bad thing? Set a goal and don’t forget to reward yourself. Be proud of yourself, you deserve that new bikini or power tool!
  3.  Get a buddy. Make your workout a social event. Whether catching up on the latest gossip, making it a competition, or just having someone there to count your sets, a workout buddy is beneficial. Chances are, you will hold each other accountable whenever one of you is getting a little less motivated.
  4. Switch it up. Think fun and shake things up a little. Having the same workout routine can get boring sometimes. Go out on a limb and sign up for that belly dancing class. Who knows? You may enjoy it.
  5. Keep a log. Look at how far you’ve come and how much you’ve improved or accomplished. You know you look good and feel great, but now you have those results to prove it!
  6. Tune in. Keep your iPod fresh. Download that new song that you’re addicted too and don’t be afraid to put it on repeat or shuffle.
  7. Find a quote. There are numerous motivational quotes all over the internet. Find one that fits and inspires you. Post it in your locker, in your car, on your mirror, or make it your background on your computer or phone. This quote should not only motivate you to get in the gym, but brighten your day and keep you confident in your abilities to conquer anything.

Christine Burns

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Water and Exercise

I recently spoke to an individual who would like to improve her fitness level, but also hates drinking water. This got me thinking that perhaps she is unaware of the benefits of water in exercise, and that she may not be alone.

We all probably know that our bodies cannot survive without water, and that it is recommended that we drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, but what about for exercise?

  • Water helps regulate our body temperature during heat stress and exercise, and it also helps lubricate our joints and vital organs.
  • Water consumption is actually essential to the process that helps our body produce energy during exercise.
  • Water consumption plays such a vital part in exercise that it is important before, during, and after exercise.

It is beneficial to drink plenty of water before exercise to ensure that when we begin sweating we can easily replenish our fluid levels to help prevent dehydration and optimize performance.

  • Sweating during exercise is the body’s way of getting rid of the excess heat, and trying to cool down.
  •  We all lose water through sweat at different rates depending on our body composition, the environment, and the intensity of the exercise.
  • Because muscle holds more water than fat, someone with more body fat may need to replace water lost at a different rate than someone with more muscle.

Water consumption is extremely important when exercising in extreme heat because you must replenish water more rapidly and more often. If the body does not get the fluid replacement it needs during physical activity, then dehydration can occur quickly. If dehydration occurs during exercise we can begin to feel tired, dizzy, have chills or experience nausea ultimately reducing the quality of our workout. At this point, the only option is to let our bodies recuperate and restore what we have lost. Drinking water after exercise is an ideal way to help the body recover and replenish any water volume lost through sweating.

Casey Robertson

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Benefits of Exercise

These days, it seems as though everyone is too busy to exercise. Life gets in the way with work, school, kids, and so many other things. When one finally does find the time to exercise, it can be hard to find the motivation. Maybe if we all knew a little more about just how beneficial exercise is for our bodies and minds, we would add fitness to our list of priorities.
Here are a few benefits of exercise listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
• Weight control
• Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
• Reduce risk for type 2 diabetes
• Reduce risk of some cancers
• Strengthen bones and muscles
• Improve your mental health and elevate mood
• Longevity
In contrast, inactivity can be detrimental to your health and have the opposite effects of exercise benefits. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week, OR 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise three days per week for adults. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most difficult, moderate exercise should be around 5-6 on the scale, and vigorous intensity should be around 7-8. For more detailed information on exercise recommendations, visit http://www.acsm.org.

Hopefully the benefits of exercise will be enough to get us motivated to be physically active on a regular basis. So, when faced with the decision to exercise or not to exercise, remind yourself that:
1. Exercising today will help me feel better both mentally and physically
2. Exercising today will get me one step closer to my health and fitness goals
3. I will begin to reduce my risk for serious diseases when I make exercise a part of my lifestyle
4. I will become stronger, body and mind
5. I will feel better about myself when I choose to exercise on a regular basis
6. I will be better for myself and for my family

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American College of Sports Medicine

Hannah Miller
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Breathing During Exercise

This might sound silly but most people do not know how to properly breathe during exercise. When people begin a fitness program, they understandably have lots of questions, from how to perform certain moves to which exercises are most effective. One question that everyone seems to ask is how to breathe properly when working out.

Step 1

Stand relaxed and take two or three deep breaths before starting any exercise. Use this time to practice deep breathing by breathing in through your nose so air fills all of your lungs. Make your ribs expand with each breath to minimize shallow breathing.

Step 2

Start with the muscle you’ll be exercising in a lengthened position. Inhale deeply through the nose to prepare yourself for movement.

Step 3

Exhale as you lift the weight during the exertion phase of the exercise as the muscle shortens. Exhale forcefully through the mouth and nose, contracting your abdominal muscles. Do not hold the breath.

Step 4

Inhale and exhale rhythmically during cardiovascular exercise. Take deep breaths in through the nose as much as possible. Higher intensity exercise may require both nose and mouth breathing.

Brett Mendenhall

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