Every year, we resolve to live a healthier life – we plan to eat better, workout more frequently and cut out any bad habits. By focusing on our nutrition and fitness goals, we hope to reach our resolutions set on January 1st. Instead of hoping for you to achieve your goals, we want to make sure you achieve them this year. That’s why we’ve created a list of fitness routines that you can conquer and achieve by the end of 2018 – we even promise you’ll enjoy doing them!
While you may not want to brisk the great (and freezing) outdoors this winter, spin classes prove to be an excellent substitute to outdoor cycling as you can practically ride anywhere! Spin classes incorporate a high intensity cycling workout, generally to the beat of your favourite music.
The benefits from spinning meet a long list of health, fitness and lifestyle needs. Whether your fitness goal is to slim down your waistline, endure a challenging workout or to engage in a motivating and flat out fun community atmosphere, spin classes are the place to be. We’ve considered a few reasons why you should check out your local spin studio:
1) You’ll get the energy needed to give the workout 100 percent
A constant change in lighting, upbeat music and a motivating instructor will give you the energy needed to complete the challenging workout in a fun, yet sweaty way. Not to mention, the energy you’ll receive from your peers in the class is contagious – it’ll have you feeling like your 50 minute spin class is a mere 20 minutes.
2) You’ll get a full body workout & your heart will thank you
While spinning is great for your legs, different methods are focused on giving riders more of a total body burn. Your instructors may incorporate weights that will have you lifting for a few songs, (those weights might seem light but we can assure you they’ll begin feeling like bricks), giving you that extra challenge. Read more
Nevertheless, you will improve your cardio for a healthy heart. According to the Spinning magazine, “heart health is one of the most obvious benefits of spinning, as is lung capacity. As we work harder, we will learn to work on controlled breathing as well. This can help with anxiety and help lower the heart rate when in a situation where physical exertion begins to take the breath away.” Read More
3) You’ll enhance your mental strength
In a typical class, the warm-up and cool down exercises are excellent ways to relax. They give you time to close your eyes, work a little and allow the physical exertion to become a catharsis of releasing pent up emotions. Read More
Spinning will also motivate you to have the “can-do” attitude. Through endurance training, you and your team will work through hill climbs, weight sessions, pedalling through mud and vigorously riding to the beat of the music.
Yoga is an incredible way to mix fitness and mental health goals in one class – your body and mood will positively change. While there are various types of yoga, we would like to focus on the amazing daily benefits you will receive from your weekly yoga routine. Here we explain why you should enroll in yoga classes this year:
1) Improved posture
Poor posture has a negative impact on your body, which can lead to backache, neck pain, joint problems and muscle fatigue. When someone tells you to stop slouching, it won’t only improve the way you look; but will help reduce the stress you’re putting on your body. With poses and stretches aimed at improving posture, yoga requires your entire body to work together and ensure your body is properly aligned. For more information, discover more about better posture.
2) Toned body
Without the use of fitness equipment such as weights, your body will be encouraged to use its own resistance and strength in order to hold poses or move through variations of poses. Yoga doubles as resistance training and strength training as it incorporates movements of push ups and pull ups. You’ll be able to feel the burn that comes from holding poses for minutes at a time and see a lean figure in the mirror!
3) More energy & less stress
According to Harvard Health, research from practicing yoga modulates various stress responses. Harvard reports that: “since the 1970s, meditation and other stress reduction techniques have been studied as possible treatments for depression and anxiety. By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to modulate stress response systems. This, in turn, decreases physiological arousal – for example, reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure and easing respiration. There is also evidence that yoga practices help increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body’s ability to respond to stress more flexibly.” Read more here and increase your energy, while decreasing your stress.
If you want to practice in the comfort of your home, check out our blog on 6 Yoga poses to keep you fit into retirement! The poses above should help you enjoy a healthier, more flexible body as you enter retirement!
Barre based workouts have skyrocketed in popularity and there are several reasons as to why. Barre workouts incorporate weight training to lengthen and tone muscles, high intensity cardio, dance moves and yoga. We’ve picked our three favourite reasons to try barre:
1) Increased endurance & strength
While each barre class includes a variety of movements, most are known for their use of isometric contractions and small isotonic movements. As explained by the Fitness Magazine, “in an isometric contraction, you tighten or contract the muscle without changing its length. Think plank position or those poses where you hold completely still as your legs start to quiver and shake. These contractions utilize slow twitch muscle fibers that can increase stamina and improve your endurance” Source. Increase your endurance with movements such as planks, push ups and lunges.
2) Fun environment
Similar to spinning, inspiring instructors will ensure time passes very quickly due to the fast pace, variety of exercises and ranges of motions, upbeat music and choreography. You will get to work hard while dancing it out with a group of positive individuals – proving workouts can be fun!
3) No experience required
Barre classes allow you to be challenged and work at your own speed while pushing yourself in every range of motion. Everyone has different starting points, strengths and challenges – instructors will recognize this and help you whenever needed. Remember to always measure progress against yourself, not the person next to you! Source
If you want to try barre before heading to a class, try this 15 minute barre workout that you can do in the comfort of your own home: Barre Workout
As you may notice, the workouts provided have similar benefits: increased mental health, improved posture and strengthening your body via various exercises and ranges of motion. We encourage you to give these classes a try to help achieve your fitness goals in a fun and positive manner!
Blair balances his busy professional life by staying active. He enjoys cycling, swimming, working out, hiking, camping and snowboarding, depending on the season. Blair shares his free time with his wife, son and daughter outside on the weekends. He has learned to enjoy the journey, as life really is too short.
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