Why You Should Add Cycling To Your Weekly Routine

person cycling on trails

Riding your bike is not only enjoyable and relaxing, but it can help improve your health and well-being. It’s great for the environment, and it provides individuals with a low cost mode of transportation. Riding a bicycle is common in many areas across the country, and especially metropolitan areas where driving a car just isn’t practical.

Thankfully, you can take advantage of riding a bike through these regions. Even if you don’t reside in a populous area, there are so many benefits to riding a bike that you should consider. Here are a few reasons picking up a bike might benefit your overall well-being.

Mental Clarity

Riding a bike, regardless of whether it’s on a trail or city streets, can help provide mental clarity. For many of us, our desk jobs require us to sit in front of a computer screen for 40 or more hours per week. Riding a bike can allow us to get out, and get some fresh air.

By stepping away from our daily grind, we can relax and unwind. Enjoying fresh air, reflecting upon the week, and de-stressing are all positive benefits of taking a bike ride. It’s important that we give our bodies the opportunity to relax and take a break from the daily stress and pressure that we face on a regular basis.

Physical Advantages

Riding a bike is a great exercise for your body. It can help you to physically become in better shape than you may have been before. Riding a bike up hills and through various elevations can help to give your legs a workout. This can strengthen muscles and get your blood flowing to different regions throughout your body.

Plus, any type of exercise can help keep your heart healthy as well. A healthy heart leads to a longer life, and a lower risk of disease and potential health conditions down the road.

Weight Management

Are you trying to lose a few pounds? Riding a bike can help to increase your chances of losing weight and keeping it off. Developing a regular routine can help keep your body in tip-top shape. We are all busy people by nature, and it can be easy to think of several reasons why we shouldn’t exercise. Develop a habit to incorporate regular exercise, such as biking, into your daily schedule at a minimum of 2-3 times per day. You will be happy and more satisfied with yourself when you start seeing the results you desire.

A Note On Safety

Starting with cycling, as mentioned, has numerous health advantages. For many, it provides mental clarity, and can improve focus. It also helps to provide additional exercise for your body, which is always a positive benefit. For many, it can provide a solution for keeping weight off, and fighting diseases.

It’s always important to remember to protect yourself while cycling. According to lawyers in Newark, NJ, wearing proper gear, such as helmets and protective padding can reduce your risk of a serious injury. It’s also important to be conscious of your environment and stay alert at all times. Whether you are riding in the city or rural trails, during the day or at night, make sure you know where you are going. Wear gear that can help identify you amongst other drivers and pedestrians. Wear reflective gear at night, and equip your bikes with lights so others can see where you are traveling.

4 Reasons the Right Shoes Make or Break Your Exercise Routine

active person in their shoes

Exercise requires you to think about safety in order to prevent injury, but many people don’t immediately think about their shoes.

Choosing the right shoes can help make exercising a better experience and increase your performance.

On the other hand, neglecting the type of shoes you wear when you workout can cause unnecessary pain and injury and prevent you from performing to your full ability.

Here are four more reasons why the right type of shoes can make or break your exercise routine and why you should do your research in getting the good shoes.

Shoes that support

When you are exercising, your bones and joints need the right support, especially because most of the time when you exercise you will be putting more pressure on them.

By buying the right shoes for running, walking, or weight lifting, you provide that support for your feet and in turn for your back, hips and legs as well.

Shoes that prevent injury

According to BHD Orthopedic Surgery, the proper shoes for the type of exercise you do the most can prevent joint and bone injury because it will help to ensure the impact that is made on these parts of your body are not as harmful.

When you make sure the shoes you buy are made for the type of exercise you do the most and also replace those shoes when they need replacing, it is like having extra insurance for your body, ensuring you can do all the exercises you want your body to do.

Shoes to exercise properly

Not all feet are made alike, so every person may need a different type of shoe.

Some people have flat feet, some people have high arches, but however your feet or ankles may be, it is important to buy the proper shoes for your exercise and bodily needs. In doing so you will be more comfortable while you exercise, leading you to be able to push yourself harder while you do it.

Better shoes can mean better performance, so it’s a good idea to find the shoes that fit and feel good.

Shoes to stay motivated

When you have shoes that make you more comfortable while you exercise, you are more likely to become more motivated to exercise.

Most of the time people stop exercising because of injury, lack of motivation, or a combination of both, and that can all be eliminated just by finding the right shoes with the right fit.

When you go to buy shoes, find someone who is familiar with your type of exercises and the types of shoes required.  Be sure to try different ones on until you find the ones that feel the best to you.

 

4 Reasons Flexibility is Important in Fitness

girl stretching with flexibility

When it comes to physical fitness the thought of lifting heavy weights or running long distances comes to mind. This is the case, more than the thought of touching your toes or doing the splits.

Stretching and staying flexible play a big part in maintaining a person’s physical fitness and strength.

Ensure you make it a part of your everyday exercise routine. Here are four reasons flexibility is super important when it comes to fitness.

Keep you and your body injury free

 

According to BHD Orthopedic’s sports medicine page, increasing your flexibility improves your ability to move easily and can reduce your risk of injury. Stretching and staying flexible prevents injury while you exercise. It will also help to prevent injury in your day-to-day life.

You might have a job in which you have to bend down a lot and pick up objects. Flexibility will ensure that you don’t injure yourself while doing it. It can even help prevent injury from seemingly harmless body movements. Things such as getting up quickly out of bed, out of a chair, or even tossing and turning in your sleep are affected.

Help with endurance and strength

 

Flexibility helps your performance at the gym. It allows you to being able to lift more weights, deepen your squat, or lengthen your stride in running.

Being more flexible and improving your flexibility is actually a way you improve in each and every one of these areas and more.

Stretching all of your body after you exercise will help you to achieve and even surpass your fitness goals. It will also help to prevent injury as you push yourself even more physically.

Take the pain out of the gain

 

They say no pain no gain. But in fact, the more flexible you are, the more likely you are going to have not as much pain after exercise or physical activity.

Staying flexible and stretching will help with the recovery process after an especially physically difficult exercise.

It also will help with areas that you may already be experiencing pain in. It might possibly ensure that those areas don’t bother you anymore.

Keeps your mind, body, and spirit open

 

One of the biggest goals of certain types of stretches in Yoga is to open the mind, body, and spirit to be more receptive and to let go of anything it doesn’t need.

Even if you don’t necessarily believe in that type of stuff, flexibility does help to improve your mental state and make you happier because your body will be in a better state and more than likely pain-free.

Flexibility is a great way to relieve stress and to relax, and it really isn’t too hard of a habit to get into for all the rewards you will reap by doing it.

Being flexible in all areas of your life, especially physically, ensures that you are open to improving yourself and doing the things that you want to do without hurting yourself in the process.

6 Reasons to Get Your Exercise Today

person exercising in the gym

You might have made a goal to start exercising so you can get into shape, but it’s usually easier said than done. Especially if you’ve fallen into a  remarkably sedentary lifestyle, that goal alone may not be enough to get you up and moving.

When that happens, the best thing to do is give yourself another reason–an immediate reason–to get moving right now. Lucky for you, we’ve already got six.

Because It’s fun!

Before you try to contradict me, hear me out. Exercise doesn’t have to be a means to an end, so don’t waste your time on a workout plan that kills you a little bit inside. If you wanted to try a new activity and it’s just not for you, that’s okay! Pick something else until you find the right fit.

Exercise doesn’t have to be running on the treadmill or bench-pressing your bodyweight surrounded by bodybuilders. Do you like riding your bike as the trees are blossoming? Extend your route. Do you think throwing frisbees is far out? Get together with a group to play ultimate frisbee.

So You Can Socialize

If you can’t stand being alone at the gym, left at the mercy of the critical voice in your head, recruit a few buddies to keep it at bay. Exercise is a great excuse to spend time with good friends or making new ones.

Even having one other person next to you can help the time pass more quickly between the latest gossip on your favorite TV series, witty banter, and their motivational support meant just for you. You may find yourself spending more free time being active just so you can be around those people.

To Gain More Confidence

With everything you face every day, it’s easy to get discouraged and doubt your abilities to do and be all that you want. Taking time to fit in a workout can help boost your spirits because when you prove to yourself that you can do something that’s physically difficult, you’ll recognize that you have the ability to make it through whatever else comes at you.

To Distract Your Mind

When the same thoughts and ideas keep replaying in your mind with no forward momentum, it’s time to take a break. Putting in a workout is a great way to channel that cyclical energy away from the problem at hand. Try to go somewhere else (like the gym or a nearby hiking trail) because the change of scenery will help you to get some distance from the problem.

Whether you’re trying to understand string theory or need to blow off loads of steam, physical exertion will give you something else to focus on so your mind is fresh when it’s time to return to go back and solve the problem.

So You Can Stretch Your Muscles

Sometimes, you’ve just been sitting too long and a good reminder of your physical capabilities is just what the doctor ordered. With a quick outfit change, you’ll be able to keep your health in check. You’ll avoid the need for hammertoe surgery by giving your feet some comfy gym shoes to wear as well as allow yourself to improve flexibility and range of motion.

Don’t forget that even simple exercises can help prevent injuries to important parts of your body like your spine.

Because You’re Preparing for Something

Did you set a goal that has a hard deadline? Often runners will use these types of deadlines to keep them motivated throughout a training period, but your goal doesn’t have to be running a marathon, or even a 5k.

Maybe you have an awesome vacation planned that requires walking all over a foreign city or hiking a gorgeous mountain. Whatever it is, remind yourself of how much stronger you’ll be if you don’t miss this workout! And remember how much more enjoyable the event will be if you’re physically prepared!

Exercise Smart for a Stronger, Fitter You

man stretching at beach

You used to be a fitness nut, but after developing some chronic pain, you’ve fallen into a sedentary lifestyle. You would love to get moving again–you miss hiking, long walks, even tumbling–but you’re afraid your old injuries will prevent you from making any progress.

The good news is that you can gain that active life back one step at a time if you consult the right professionals and use the right building blocks to safely build strength, flexibility, and endurance.

Consult a Professional

 

Depending on your health and current level of fitness, you may need an evaluation from your physician. Make a routine appointment and discuss with them the types of movements and exercises that you can start using. They may include other details about how long you should wait before adding new exercises or increasing the intensity of your workout.

It’s also a great idea to consult a professional athletic or personal trainer to put together the best workout plan for your situation. They will likely include recommendations for your diet as well.

Warm Up & Cool Down

 

Whatever level of exercise you plan to engage in, always begin with a warm-up and end with a cool down. Injuries that occur from poor preparation can easily be avoided, but they continue to happen. To avoid pulling a muscle or causing something more serious, take 2 minutes to perform some easy movements that get your blood flowing and your lungs working.

Once you’ve started your workout, you should also take routine stock of how you’re feeling. If you’re struggling to breathe, you might need to ease off on your pace or take a rest altogether. Don’t force your body to do anything it’s not ready to do. Not all pain is good pain, so listen to what your body is telling you.

When you’re workout is finished, remember to end with some calm, relaxing movements and stretches. Make a conscious effort to make kind movements that will help your body, not hurt it.

Balance

 

Unless otherwise instructed, you should be engaging in a variety of exercises meant to work your whole body. Don’t become so focused on those flat abs that you forget the corresponding back muscles. When you put too much focus on one area, you tend to forget to use any others and overuse that one.

Once you begin overusing one set of muscles, you can be sure they are headed for heavy wear and possibly another injury. Get your muscles balanced so you have a solid base to build on. As you strengthen each muscle, you will find you are reaching a higher level of fitness than you’d realized you could. Plus, you will be doing it with more ease.

Variable Movement

 

Lightly touched on above, take care of your body by exploring all types of movement. Look up the terms calisthenics and kinesthetics to get an idea of some skills you can try out and the mindset which should accompany those movements. Training your body to move and function in a variety of ways will help to battle past injuries and prevent new ones.

Think of these exercises as the energetic version of stretching. They increase your range of motion and flexibility while giving you a full body workout. Yoga is a great example of this and an easy place to start.

Body Mechanics

 

We’ve got you thinking about mindful movements, now it’s time to look at body mechanics. When it comes down to it, your posture and spinal health affect everything else. If you’re used to slouching or rounding your back, now is the time to break those habits.

To get an idea of where you’re at, start with some bodyweight squats. Focus on the alignment of your knees, ankles, hips, shoulders, and neck. You might think it’s okay if your form is 90% there, but that missing 10% may be just what sends you back to the couch with severe back pain. Also be mindful of how much weight you are choosing to lift and the length of your workouts.

One Step at a Time

 

It doesn’t take much to get started, and you can achieve your health goals if you give yourself time to grow and gain strength. Once you begin to enjoy the journey, you’ll find that how much better you feel every day is the best reward of all.

 

20 Fitness Tips To Get You Moving

stretching

Working out isn’t always as glamorous and fun as models and videos make it out to be, but it is important.

We’ve joined forces with Quality Home Fitness, a fitness equipment seller, to bring you this list of tips to help you on your journey to better health.

Don’t try to remember all of these tips (or do if you can!) but pick a few to keep with you through the week to incorporate into your life.

 

  • Make sure you move every day. Even if you can’t fit that 30-minute workout in every day, make sure you at least get moving – walking and stretching are great!
  • Schedule exercise. Sometimes, if we don’t schedule something, it doesn’t happen. You get busy, that’s okay! But make sure to schedule time in to improve your health too.
  • Incorporate muscle building into workouts. Some people are really into their cardio and love to run. But that’s all they do. Make sure to get some strength training in every now and then.
  • Find exercise you enjoy! Exercise doesn’t have to be dreadful. Find some fun activities that you enjoy doing to make your work out that much easier to accomplish.
  • Use one day each week for active recovery. Take a day to rest, but not the kind of rest where you sit on your couch all day. Make sure you move a little, go for a walk or do some yoga.
  • Don’t go more than two days in a row without exercise. Even on vacations, try to keep up the routine.
  • Increase intensity slowly. If you’re just starting out, take it slow. Schedule your exercise time for 20 minutes and keep the workouts simple, like walking. Work your way up to more intense and longer workouts.
  • Train with intervals. Instead of doing a nice steady paced workout for 30 minutes, do some intervals. Go easy for 2-3 minutes, and then work really hard for 1 minute. Repeat this 5-6 times for a great calorie-burning workout!
  • Get a buddy. You need someone to hold you accountable for your workouts.
  • Work out in the morning. When your workout is the first thing that happens when you wake up, you’re less likely to skip it.
  • Try yoga. Yoga is great for flexibility and strength.
  • Train for a 5k. If you can commit to running a 5k, you’ll need to train to make it happen!
  • Diet and exercise have to take place together. They’re married, plain and simple. You can’t be healthy with one and not the other.
  • Step off the scale. You don’t need to measure your weight every day to know if you are progressing. If you are working out and eating healthy, the weight will come off. Pay more attention to how you feel as you increase healthy habits.
  • Work hard, but be nice to yourself. We get down on ourselves too easily. Pamper your self-image and give all the pushing to your body. You are beautiful!
  • Switch it up. Don’t do the same thing for every workout. You. Will. Get. Bored.
  • Challenge yourself. If you don’t feel the need to chug a gallon of water or don’t even break a sweat, you might not be pushing yourself hard enough.
  • Set small, attainable goals. Achieve little goals along the way to a healthier you. Have one goal each week or every two weeks to help hold yourself accountable.

 

Have one large goal. Along with the small goals, have one overarching goal that you are always working towards.

Exercise for Children With Disabilities: a Few Things Parents Should Know

If your child has a disability, you already know that tasks which seem everyday for many parents can feel like insurmountable obstacles. A disability can complicate things. Daily tasks such as showering, eating, or cleaning up a bedroom can be incredibly difficult for a child with a disability. Exercise, in particular, can be a hard routine to break into. Doctors recommend that children get their hearts pumping every day, but that’s often easier said than done.

 

But there’s lots of hope. Kids with disabilities often overcome enormous odds to achieve their goals, and with your support, your child get the exercise he or she needs. Here are a few ideas for parents to help a child with a disability to get active.

Listen to the Doctor

First of all, it is absolutely crucial that you follow the advice of your child’s doctor. Physicians tend to have a range of experience with patients of many abilities, and they likely have some useful things to recommend, both for and against. Take notes at appointments, ask questions, and take home any pamphlets you’re given to read later.

 

If the doctor recommends a physical therapy regimen, make sure your child completes it as written as often as recommended. Physical therapy can be the essential element that prevents a condition from worsening over the course of a person’s life.

 

Similarly, avoid any exercise the doctor recommends against. Burning a couple calories won’t be helpful if it leads to long-term harm. If you’re unsure whether or not an activity will be accessible, look it up ahead of time and ask questions.

Find Kids With Similar Disabilities

Lots of kids have disabilities. And most communities offer a host of resources with which parents can connect and encourage meetups between their kids. For a child with a disability, meeting another young person with the same or similar condition can be deeply empowering and inspiring.

 

Exercise will be a lot more fun for your child if he or she is able to do it with other people. Because disabilities so frequently involve physical restrictions, many disabled people can have a tough time working out with other children, many of whom will not understand those physical restrictions.

 

On the other hand, many children with disabilities can do just fine—and even excel—at physical activities with nondisabled children. Additionally, some children with disabilities may feel excluded and “fenced off” if prevented from participating from the events that other kids do. So seek out others with similar conditions, but be careful you don’t make your child feel alienated.

Let Your Child Go at Their Own Pace

Don’t push your kid too hard. Exercise can be a challenge for anyone, and disabilities make things just that much harder. Encourage your young one, but accept limits and avoid shaming your child by making unrealistic demands. And remember that if you really want him or her to begin a lifelong exercise habit, you’ll have more success if you let it be fun.

 

And, of course, if your kid wants to go that extra mile, encourage it! Hard work is its own rewarding, and accomplishing a tricky goal can be hugely empowering to someone with a disability. Positivity is power!

 

Why You Should Look Into Medical Weight Loss

weight loss

Many of us spend years battling with our weight. It’s draining. Emotionally and physically. Do you really need to feel a massive sense of guilt every time you eat a dessert or so much as look at a bar of chocolate? But can you really bear the ill effects of being overweight? Crash dieting will often show impressive early effects but they wain after a couple of months. You feel exhausted because you’re not getting the sufficient food or the right nutrition. When you start eating a proper diet again, the pounds pile back on. What are the alternatives? Surgery? Surgery is costly, painful and has numerous risks and side effects. So where do you turn? What other options are there? This is when medical weight loss comes into play. It’s less commonly known than other weight loss methods. So here’s a quick guide to medical weight loss and why it might be the best option for you.

 

What Is Medical Weight Loss?

 

Medical weight loss doesn’t involve surgery or diet pills. It is actually a form of weight management which bases its suggestions on medical and scientific evidence. Who knows the human body better than a medic who has been studying it for years? The method targets the main causes of weight gain and obesity. When you start using medical weight loss, a specialist doctor and health team will personally guide you. You’ll receive the best advice and treatment. You’ll see the pounds shed off. But what’s best? It’ll stay off.

 

Do I Need To Lose Weight?

 

It is important that you only lose weight if you need to. Calculate your BMI. You can get your local GP to do this, or you can do it easily from home. All you’ll need is your sex, age, height and weight. You can input this data into an online BMI calculator for free. This will then work out your body mass index and indicate whether you’re underweight, a healthy weight, overweight or obese. If you’re overweight or obese, you should definitely look into losing a few pounds.

 

Why Should I Lose Weight?

 

Well, if you’re overweight or obese, you are putting your body under unnecessary strain. Your joints will be under pressure every time you move. Being a healthy weight also significantly reduces your risk of developing high blood pressure or contracting heart disease. You will feel more alert, more happy and confident in your body and more comfortable in your own skin.

 

What Should I Expect?
When you’re aiming to lose weight, you need to have realistic goals and expectations. You’re not going to lose two stone in ten days via any reasonable, healthy method. Patience is a virtue and you’ll be rewarded for taking your time and losing weight the right way. You should expect your lifestyle to change. Your diet will differ and your exercise regime will increase in both intensity and time. You might find the change a bit of a struggle at first, but you will adjust to it surprisingly quickly.

Exercises That Can Improve Your Wellbeing

stretch

We tend to think that the mind and the body are two separate entities. But what you do with your body can have a huge impact on how your mind sees things. Improving your wellbeing means that you focus on feeling good about yourself. It is where you can help aid symptoms of depression or low self esteem. But your wellbeing can also impact how you see the world around you. Making your outlook much more positive and ridding yourself of negativity. With that in mind, I thought I would share with you some of the exercises that are proven to improve your general wellbeing.

 

Running to clear your mind

 

Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise people have started to do. I think this is down to the simplicity of the activity. You need your running shoes, and away you go. Often putting in your headphones and zoning out on the world can help clear your mind. It enables you just to focus on one activity. It’s a great way of building up general fitness. As it’s something that can fit around even the busiest of lifestyles, there is no surprise why running is growing in popularity.

 

Pilates to improve your postures

 

Pilates is a system of exercises that use apparatus to improve your posture, physical strength and flexibility. It can also be used to enhance your mental wellbeing. Allowing you to focus on areas that could cause you pain and uncomfort due to the buildup of stress. The slow physical activity can aid in chemical changes to the brain. Helping you focus on improving your general wellbeing as well as your core exercises. Pilates is something you can do from your own home, or join a class like True Pilates.

 

Yoga to help with your mental awareness

 

Yoga is a great way to get more in touch with your thoughts. It’s a hindu spiritual ritual which includes breath control and simple meditation. While adopting simple bodily poses to help stretch and alleviate pressure points in the body. Yoga is something that is widely practised, either at home or by way of joining a class. It’s an excellent method for working on your mindset and clearing your head of those daily stresses.

 

Swimming as an all over body workout

 

Swimming is one of the only exercises that uses many muscles groups at once. Giving your body an all over workout, without the need to spend too long in a gym. Not only that, but your heart and lungs must work harder to ensure that oxygen is pumped around the body. People also find that being in the water is a great way to relax. So not only can the water calm you but it can give you a great cardiovascular training session.

 

Gentle early morning stretches

 

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of early morning stretches. They enable you to get your muscles working quicker and alleviate any tension built up from the evening. It’s also a great way to fill your body with oxygen and helps you wake up better and more positive for the day ahead.

 

BMI Above 30: What Does This Mean For My Long-Term Health?

scale

The BMI index has become an invaluable resource tool for health experts over the years. It’s also great for us, providing a simple way of getting an overall outlook on our health. It’s so easily accessible to us, however, that it can actually be perceived the wrong way.

 

Let’s say you look at a BMI index, and you come back with a rating above 30. Some might look at that as nothing but an inaccurate reading, and a bunch of figures on a piece of paper. If a doctor, however, told them they were obese, they’d sit and take notice.

 

So, we want to put this BMI information into reality for you. A reading of over 30 considers you obese, and we’re going to tell you why this is so potentially damaging.

 

Symptoms

 

The symptoms of a BMI rating of this level are plentiful. Your risk of developing a chronic disease goes way up when you’re classified as ‘obese’. This might include diseases like diabetes and heart disease, for example. We can’t go over every single thing that could affect you, as there are so many risks with being obese. A low BMI will help those embarking on an acid reflux diet as much as it will for those with heart problems. We can’t overestimate just how detrimental a 30+ BMI could be to your health. It’s imperative that you seek ways to lower that rating.

 

High-Risk Factors

 

So, you’ve got the results back, and you’re a 30 rating on the BMI scale. That’s not good, and you need to make sure you start finding ways to improve it. That said, you’re putting yourself at an even bigger risk if you’re adding more factors into the mix.

 

Let’s say for example that you’re a heavy cigarette smoker. Maybe you’ve got high blood pressure, too? Do you ever get any exercise? Does your family have a history of heart disease, for example? There are lots of factors to bring into the equation. The more of them you have, the bigger the potential risks. While looking at a BMI scale is a good way of determining your overall health, your doctor will help you to explore this further.

 

Complications

 

Now, we’re going to confuse the matter somewhat. There are complications when it comes to BMI. The rating you get isn’t always going to be 100% accurate. You could theoretically register with a 30 BMI if you’re just very muscley, for example. It can also struggle to miss other things, like those who suffer from body fat issues but have a normal weight.

 

In any case, a BMI rating is a good way of determining things, but your doctor will assist you further. It’s always a good idea to seek expert help from others who can find ways to improve your health based on your conditions. BMI is a general way of determining things. You want a tailored approach, and that can only be found by taking the issue further.