Posts Tagged 'working out'

Get that Heart Pumping!

Cartoon heart character running on treadmill

In honor of American Heart Month, it is time for you to get your heart pumping! Any form of exercise is beneficial to your health, but for this month in specific, why not take the time to focus on your heart. People tend to focus externally on their bodies and get caught up on the physical appearance, that too often people forgot that it all starts from within. Staying active to benefit your health internally is the foundation you need to get a better workout overall. Here are some exercises that will really target your heart and give it the extra attention it deserves!

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

Swimming is known to be one of the best aerobic exercises you can partake in. You need as little as two and half hours of swimming a week to start seeing instant results. The exercise itself puts less stress on your joints and bones, that it could pose as beneficial for those who are overweight or suffering from joint conditions. The exercise really has no limitations and is perfect for just about anyone!

Stair Stamina

Whether you use a stair machine or actual stairs that can be found almost in every household or apartment, it is no doubt that it will give you a good workout. The incline embedded into every step helps you reach maximum heart rate in not time. It’s convenient, yet challenging!

Dance to Your Heart’s Desires

Who wouldn’t want to get up and bust a move when you hear a contagious beat? Dancing is by one of the most enjoyable ways to get in that cardio – simply because you don’t even realize that you are giving your heart a little workout in the process. Dance can range from so many styles – zumba, salsa, hip hop, etc. – that you can really cater it to how you are feeling and what music is inspiring you at the moment. The best part – you don’t need a fancy studio, you can do it at the comfort of your own home!

Tai Chi Chill Zone

Since we are focusing on ways to ensure that we are exercising ourselves from within, Tai Chi is a great option! It is a low impact exercise that uses slow body movements combined with deep breathing and concentration which benefits the mind, the body, and contributes to overall heart health. It is a win-win for your body internally, that you will start to notice a difference in how you tackle other exercises that target different parts!

Give your heart some love this February season!

 

Love,

Diana Banzon

 

Benefits of the Beat

iStock_000036450854_happy music.jpg

In honor of Summerfest quickly approaching us, what better way to celebrate how music brings us together than acknowledge the impact it provides for our health. Music is often disregarded as a factor that contributes to overall health and wellness, but its effect and overall message are nothing but powerful. Something as simple as sound has the capability to motivate and inspire people into living their best life. Here are a list of the benefits it has on us and why we should be constantly jamming out to our favorite beats!

Strengthens Running Performance

Working out exerts an immense amount of energy and effort! It would only make sense to reflect that in your music of choice that pumps you up for the work you are going to endure. I personally could NEVER work out without music because I find that it gives me that extra boost of motivation that I need to pull through and finish off strong!

Enhances Sleep Quality

Unfortunately, about 30% of Americans deal with insomnia. Studies showed that students who listened to relaxing music before bed significantly experienced better rest in comparison to students who listened to an audiobook or didn’t change anything from their usual routine.

Limits Food Intake

Studies done at Georgia Tech University showed that dimming the lights and softening the music while people ate led to the consumption of fewer calories and an increase of enjoyment within their meals. Set up the ambiance and make the most out of every meal experience.

Reinforce Learning and Memory

Studies showed that music reinforces your memory but depends specifically on the person, whether or not they were a musician, and what type of music is being presented. As as a result of the research, subjects who were musicians learned and retained information better with more neutral music, as opposed to subjects who were not musicians that learned better with music of their liking. I always find myself associating songs with memories that occurred during the time I listened to that song, that it can only makes sense that one triggers the other!

Makes You Smarter

A study at York University showed that a month of music lessons involving rhythm, pitch, melody and voice contributed to an 90% increase in verbal intelligence among children between the ages 4 to 6. The music training implemented within the lesson has a “transfer effect” that enriches the children’s ability to comprehend words and their meaning.

Alleviates Pain

Music treatment such as softer genres such as classical pieces, meditative music, etc. is used for various patients that is said to reduce pain.

Ability To Shift Mood

Whether you are happy or sad, music has the ability to reflect your current mood. Various beats and messages really resonate with people and their life experiences, making the love for music so universal!

 

Diana Banzon

Get Your Heart Pumping

Kettle Bell Beside Adidas Pair of Shoes

I hope you have all started moving for the Go Move challenge. If not, there is still time, the challenge is taking place throughout the month of February. Get started today, and recruit your friends and colleagues to move with you! Moving is so important to our overall health, and especially necessary to keep our hearts in good shape.

And when it comes to your heart rate, just like exercising, eating right, or anything else, you need to find your sweet spot. One of those cliche sayings that actually holds so much merit is, “everything in moderation.” There is a point where we can exercise too much, there is a point where we could be exercising too little (or not at all). There is a point where we can eat too much of one thing, even if it is healthy. When it comes to all of these things, there is a target we should all be aiming for. And just like these other parallels, there is a target spot for where our heart rates should be at when resting, and when exercising. The key to all of these “sweet spots”, is that they are different for everybody. It all depends on your age, gender, and of course any health conditions. The neat part is that you can find out where your heart rate should be while resting, and exercising, and then monitor it to ensure you are reaching your targets. And with modern day gadgets, you can use a smart watch or a Fitbit, or similar tool to monitor it for you, and of course you still have the option to accomplish this the old-fashioned way as well.

So, it’s great to know what your target heart rate should be, and that you can reach it with exercise. But maybe you cannot bring yourself to exercise, or you dread every single one of your workouts, or you make excuses. Hey, if this sounds like you, I promise you are not alone. It is great to be able to say that we understand we need to get moving and get our heart rate up, but it’s a whole different story to actually want to do these things. I would like to offer some advice: find something you love to do. There are so many options to getting in some physical activity, so there is bound to be at least one workout out there for everybody. Do some experimenting to find what works for you. There are fitness studios and clubs popping up everywhere, go to a class! Register for Try It Night, February 13th from 4 pm to 6 pm, to test out 3 different classes in one night. And don’t be afraid to experiment, love your body so that your body will love you back.

And trust me when I say grab a buddy! A lot of times it is easier to stick to something new when you have someone else there to encourage you, after all, we are all in this together. Let’s all set out on a mission to get moving, find what we love, and get our heart pumping! Have a wonderful, productive, and active week, Marquette. Go move!

Alicia Diedrich

The tense topic of stretching

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Photo via breakingmuscle.com

I would consider myself a pretty active person. I am a kickboxing trainer, I bike, I play volleyball, I rock climb, I kayak. You name it, I have probably done it if it is an active sport. My biggest problem is that these are all get-up-and-go activities. If you’re also involved in active sports like these, then you might know what I go through every time it is suggested that I stretch before I start.

Ah, stretching. The most seemingly unnecessary waste of time holding you back from getting your groove on. What we really fail to see sometimes, though, is that stretching is the key to physical progress and being physically capable to do all these active activities that we love.

I’ve heard it time and time again, “Oh no, I don’t need to stretch. I never get hurt. I’ll be fine,” Alright, you may be fine now, but 20 years from now, your body might not feel the same way.

What happens when we don’t stretch? Well, at first, nothing. We get to go along with our workouts carefree and quickly, unworried about injury. We’ll see progress and get stronger or better. But one day, we’ll be sitting at our desk in the office and end over to grab that paperclip that just slipped off the desk when suddenly a shooting pain stings your lower back. Could blame it on age, could blame it on just twisting it funny, but these painful muscle pulls and tears can be prevented. How? Stretching.

Imagine your body as a rubber band. When you work out, your rubber-band-body is strung tightly around a stack of notecards, tensing to keep them together. If you were to leave that rubber band wrapped around that pile of paper, eventually the rubber would become brittle and snap. This works the same way with the muscles in your body. If you continue to exert force with your muscles for long periods of time without proper stretching, then your muscles, too, will become brittle and stiff, causing injuries.

I don’t know about you, but I really dislike being injured – even more than I dislike sitting around stretching and waiting to do something active that I love. It is important, though, to get those muscles nice and loose before I get my head in the game. By stretching, I am allowing myself the opportunity to workout to the best of my ability and giving my body what it needs to help me do what I want to do. Yes, stretching can be hard and boring, but instead of sitting there and thinking, “Gosh, I’m so tight,” or “Ugh, this is such a drag,” tell yourself that you are respecting your body and taking good care of it by stretching.

Stretching will definitely be a staple in my workouts from here on out. I want to take care of my body so that I can do all the sports and crazy activities that I love to do. Taking the extra time to loosen up your muscles will keep you going. Believe me, I think it is worth the time investment.


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