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Low Impact Exercise- Why Everyone from the Youngin’s to the Geezers are Doing it! November 20 2015

                     

If you are a runner or an athlete, you have no doubt felt the effects that high impact exercise can have on your joints, muscles and bones after a while. This is why athletes have been making a real movement toward lower impact forms of exercise such as body weight training, swimming, spinning, and even yoga. Sports are hard enough on their joints, they don’t need to be putting extra strain on them off the field, court, ice- whatever it may be. Us every day folk could take a page out of this book too. There are many different forms of low impact exercise that are quite effective and easier on the bod! These types of exercises help prevent injuries associated with traditional, high impact exercise and equipment, and is great for all ages and fitness levels. It can also be beneficial for rehabilitation purposes. Most importantly- despite popular belief, it produces visible results the same way that more traditional, heavy duty exercise does. So put down the bench press and try a different approach. Your joints and bones will thank you, and you’ll be surprised at the results you see!

                      

Body Strength Training

It’s a common misconception that we have to push ourselves on strength building machines and lift heavy weights to build strength and muscle. It’s actually a much better workout to use your body weight and movement to build strength and muscle. Body strength training is a great combo of cardio and strength training, as opposed to weights which only target certain areas to build isolated strength. (Ex. Bicep curls, bench pressing, lat pull-downs, etc.) Another benefit is that because there is no machinery involved, you can transition more rapidly from one movement to another. Circuit training is a popular form of body strength training, which entails progressing through a series of movements such as lunges and knee lifts. This fluid range of motion not only helps with flexibility (allowing your joints to move more freely) but it builds core strength, helps with posture, back strength and endurance, and burns fat like crazy! You will also develop better balance through control and awareness of your body. The best part about this form of exercise is that there is lots of variety in the movements and exercises you can do. You can always switch it up which helps keep you motivated to push your boundaries and break plateaus. Oh, and it’s free and can be done anywhere, anytime… which leaves little room for excuses!

                    

Swimming

Swimming is often thought of as more of a leisure sport, when it actually works every muscle and offers quite an amazing full body workout! Because water is non-weight bearing, the workout often feels much easier as there is really no strain on the muscles. This is probably the lowest impact form of exercise, so it is particularly good for those already suffering from joint or bone issues, pregnant women, those in rehabilitation, or the elderly. However, it is an excellent alternative from anyone’s regular gym workout as it works both the upper and lower body all at once. Interestingly, as opposed to other forms of exercise, because those carrying a little extra weight tend to be more buoyant, this form of exercise will be less intense for the overweight and probably more intense for those with a lower BMI.

                                  

Spinning

This is where all the runners live- it’s the same intense workout, without the heavy pounding feet on the pavement. Spinning has a lot of the same physical benefits of running- it increases endurance, strengthens legs, and ups your cardio fitness. The difference is that it is done in a controlled environment, and it is low impact and a whole lot easier on your muscles and joints. This form of exercise is great for anyone craving that high intensity workout, but not the achy knees and ankles. It is particularly beneficial for athletes training off season in helping them stay fit, while taking it easy on their bodies that will no doubt take a beating during the next season.

                        

Hot Yoga

Love that heavy sweat you work up during a serious workout? Hot yoga is no joke, and no- it is not for sissies. While it’s not always the highest intensity workout, hot yoga is known for building incredible core strength and balance, and increasing flexibility and endurance. It also helps with toning and weight loss with regular practice. Being in a 90 plus degree hot room also helps you work up quite the lather, and sweating out all those toxins can be very cleansing and therapeutic! Another known benefit of yoga is that it has positive psychological effects, as it fosters a stronger mind-body connection. Yoga is also a low impact form of exercise that uses only bodyweight and movement to build strength and balance, and really stretches out the muscles. There are many different types of hot yoga, all at varying levels of intensity. (Bikram, Moksha, Vinyasa, the list goes on.) Be sure to check the class descriptions at your local hot studio to see which best suits your needs.

So, next time you hit the gym, will you think twice about picking up the barbells? Ask a trainer to show you some body strength training exercises, you won’t regret it when you’re old and nimble!

 

 

 

 

 


Outdoor Workouts- So Hot Right Now. May 07 2015



With spring in the air and fitness rising on the priority meter, (hello, bikini weather) I thought I’d share with you the benefits and multi-uses of Mother nature’s back yard. Outdoor fitness is becoming more and more of a popular phenomenon. From fitness mobs  and running groups, to park workouts and TRX training, there are dozens of ways to use the outdoors as your gym, and soak up some vitamin D while you’re at it! Just follow these few easy steps and you’re on your way to an awesome beach bod, and some extra cash for summer fun!

                   

Image Source: http://www.domesticdork.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/NoGymNoProblem.jpg

Cancel your gym membership (for now).

Every spring, I cancel my gym membership. Why? I don’t see the need for a treadmill when I can run outside. I don’t see the need for machinery when I can use the monkey bars at the local playground for chin-ups and other exercises. I don’t need a floor mat when I can use my yoga mat in my back yard to stretch and do ab exercises. Most importantly, I save a solid few hundred dollars, and don’t burn fossil fuels driving to a gym or waste energy on electrically run machinery!  Most gyms will offer a 6 month membership. If you can do month to month, even better! Save money, travel time and energy consumption by using the outdoors until the weather no longer permits it.

Join a running group.

       

Image Source: http://trainingcampsf.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Group_running.jpg

As we’ve discussed before, community is a key element of staying motivated and driving performance when exercising. Most neighborhoods have a local group that gets together a few times a week to run. It’s a great way to meet people, and will keep you motivated to stick to a workout routine.

Use the outdoor elements.

      

Image Source: http://thefitchronicles.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/pre-beach-workout-photo-51.jpg

 Often if you drive past your local park or even the beach, more and more you will see people exercising. Many beaches (south Beach, Miami for instance) actually have designated bars set up designed for strength conditioning exercises! Otherwise, any local playground will have monkey bars and other useful equipment that have multipurpose use, you just have to get creative!

 Some tips:

1.  Use the stairs. Find a set of three or four stairs (or even a picnic table). Step up 2 stairs with your left foot, then back to the ground with your right. Repeat with the other foot. Then step  up 2 with your left, then 2 more with your right, then back. Repeat. Who needs a stair master?

        

Image Source: http://www.fitnessbyd.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/P1030157.jpg

2Use the monkey bars. For chin-ups, grab on with both hands, pull yourself up to chin level, release and repeat. You can also use the monkey bars to strengthen your core. Hang on to the bars with both hands, and slowly lift your legs up as far as you can. Hold, and release. Repeat. Or, try any of the exercises above. They're tough, but will give you killer abs!

        

Image Source: http://redefiningstrength.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/monkey-bar-exercises.jpg

 


Enzymes- WTF are they? April 09 2015

We talk a lot about the brilliant “Enzyme” technology in our detergent, and how it helps position us as one of the most effective, eviro-friendly products available on the market. Chances are though, the average person (who doesn’t deal with cleaning products for a living) won’t have a clue WTF an enzyme is, let alone how it works.

                                                

Image Source: http://images.sodahead.com/slideshows/000002449/3809_picture_of_a_hard_working_man_doing_the_laundry-26369960447_xlarge.jpeg

Enzymes are biological catalysts that break down organic substances through biological reactions. We have enzymes in our bodies, which help speed up important processes where a breakdown of substances is required or new substances are created, such as cellular respiration, photosynthesis and protein synthesis. In addition to their ability to speed up reactions, they also provide a controlled environment as they only produce one targeted reaction at a time, so by using them we can control where and when these reactions occur.  

                           

Image Source: http://www.buzzle.com/images/diagrams/enzyme-working-mechanism.jpg

So, naturally when attempting to develop a ground-breaking product that would finally obliterate that nasty funk from our work out gear, we looked at the root of the problem. Bacteria caused by bodily oils and sweat were clinging to the fibers of the clothing. Though conventional detergents would temporarily mask the problem with fragrance, that old familiar stink would quickly return during the next sweat session. So, we thought, what could we use to actually disintegrate this bacteria, removing it entirely? Enzymes!

                      

Image Source: http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--JELz5JCi--/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/jvtupl0vwc1ajvsfgwyw.jpg

So, the genius scientists behind No Sweat’s [secret agent] sports wash set out to purify these organic enzymes and use them to break down these biological substances. After careful testing they found that when combined with cool to warm water, these enzymes would indeed dissolve bacteria caused by sweat and bodily oils. The enzymes literally digest any biological stinks and stains, leaving the clothing odourless and fresh like new. Due to the fact that enzymes are effective in cooler temperatures as well as warm, they are safe for use on delicate fabrics, so we also recommend you use No Sweat on your intimates!

                   

Article Source: http://www.abpischools.org.uk/page/modules/enzymes/enzymes5.cfm?coSiteNavigation_allTopic=1


10 types of Evil, Gnarly Bacteria Living in your Workout Gear! October 29 2014

There are tons of bacteria living on your skin just waiting to feed on sweat. After a heavy hockey game, yoga class, or session at the gym, you toss your bacteria infested clothing into a moist bag. Guess what? You just dropped a kid into a candy store. This is the ideal environment for bacteria to reproduce, and thus amplify that oh so familiar pungent smell. Here are just ten examples of the nasty bacteria you are transferring onto your clothing while you sweat.

                           

Picture Source: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/01/125-microbes/oeggerli-photography

  • Butyric Acid- Originally found in butter, this forms when larger molecules are broken down into smaller ones as bacteria metabolizes sweat. Body Odour is the result of this fermentation; it is these smaller molecules that produce the unpleasant smell. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_odor

                           

Image Source: http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-butyric-acid.htm

                          

Image Source: http://www.asm.org/division/c/grampos.htm

  • Staphylococcus Hominis- another bacteria found on the skin that feeds on sweat. This one can sometimes cause infections of the bloodstream in people with abnormally weak immune systems. Most strains of this bacterium are curable with antibiotics, but there have been recent discoveries of more dangerous strains that are resistant to these cures. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staphylococcus_hominis

                                 

Image Source: https://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Staphylococcus_in_United_States

  • Micrococcus Luteus- another bacteria living on your skin, they have been associated with various bodily infections/ diseases such as: intracranial abscesses, pneumonia, septic arthritis, endocarditis, and meningitis. They have also been tied to coronary infections. Yuck! http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/lab-bio/res/psds-ftss/micrococcus-eng.php

                                

Image Source: http://www.bode-science-center.com/center/relevant-pathogens-from-a-z/micrococcus-luteus.html

                                   

(Streptococcal Pharyngitis)

Image Source: http://www.parkhurstexchange.com/clinical-reviews/ct_09_vol15

  • Brevibacterium Bacteria- The culprit of feet funk! This bacteria, also living on the skin, causes foot odor. They even use this bacteria to ferment several types of funky cheese, such as: Munster, Limberger, Port-du-Salut, Raclette and Nasal. Its aroma also attracts mosquitoes. Yum?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brevibacterium

                             

Image Source: http://cheeseunderground.blogspot.ca/2011_02_01_archive.html

  • CorynebacteriumFound in the mucous and on the skin of humans and animals, the most notable strain of this bacteria group is diphtheriae, the cause of a contagious respiratory infection called Diphtheria which can be fatal. Other effects of infection caused by this bacteria strain includepneumonitis, pharyngitis, skin infections, and endocarditis. This bacteria has also been linked to odour. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corynebacterium

                            

Image Source: http://wishart.biology.ualberta.ca/BacMap/cgi/getSpeciesCard.cgi?accession=NC_003450&ref=index_2.html

                           

Image Source: http://zdravoe.com/129/p14113/index.html

  • Staphylococcus Epidermidis- Another strand of the Staphylococcus bacterium, this one is directly linked to underarm odour. This bacteria is present on all human skin, and can also cause infection in those with weak immune systems.     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staphylococcus_epidermidis

                             

Image Source: {Pinterest via scharfphoto.com}


Limberness- The Silent Secret Behind a Killer Bod September 05 2014

               

Image Source: http://astoldbylaura.wordpress.com/category/college-life/page/2/

Ballerinas, Gymnasts, Cirque Du Soleil performers and Martial Arts experts are some of the most graceful, beautiful athletes to look at.  What do they all have in common? They are extremely fit, strong and FLEXIBLE. While many workout devotees focus on improving their general level of fitness and strength, flexibility seems to have been the ugly step-child of our gym culture- underrated and often an after-thought. 

In truth, the athletic performers that wow us the most had it figured out long ago. Flexibility is not only impressive, it is often what differentiates an average body from one that is super fab.

What:

 Flexibility can be termed as the ability of your joints and body parts to execute their full range of motion. In spite of common belief, flexibility is NOT genetic.  Yes, some bodies are more naturally supple than others but all bodies have the capacity to achieve a fuller range of motion with the right practice.  A focus on dynamic stretching  (“stretching while moving”) and isometric stretching (or “engaging the muscle while stretching”) is a good place to start.  These kinds of stretching increases core temperature, muscle temperature, elongates the muscles, and stimulates the nervous system all while yielding faster results.

            

Image Source: http://itrainthereforeieat.com/2013/11/22/should-you-stretch/

Why bother?

  1. It will save you from injury- muscles lose their natural suppleness are prone to tears, aches, and pains. Over time, loss of flexibility could lead to permanent changes in posture and normal muscle function.
  2. It will help “tricking” you’ll be able to take your yoga practice to the next level or really just impress the heck out of your friends and your kids at the park
  3. It adds a whole new dimension to your movement. Flexibility can’t be forced.  It takes time and patience and teaches “Kinesthetic awareness” where your body is in space and time. 
  4. It’s easy, fun, and impressive, so why not?

              

Image Source: http://loora.gym-space.fi/2013/05/07/kehonhuolto/?id=112&comment=1

How?

You should never feel actual pain. For the muscle/tendon stretches, a burning feeling lets you know that you’re doing it right. For joint stretches like the side split, etc., the feeling is odd. It’s uncomfortable, but not really painful. If a stretch ever genuinely hurts, then STOP! “No pain, no gain” does not apply to flexibility training.

Stretches to Improve Flexibility:

Shoulders-

   

image source: http://www.sensational-yoga-poses.com/images/bennitasana-chest-stretch-3.jpg

Spine- back bends, twists

image source: http://www.yogacurious.com/blog/one-legged-seated-spinal-twist-ardha-matsyendrasana-yoga-pose/2013/12/

Torso- side bend

                  

 Legs- side splits, splits, pvc foam roller

                 

image sourcehttp://www.fitsugar.com/Stretches-Sore-Lower-Back-24108098

                    

image sourcehttp://www.fitsugar.com/How-Do-Splits-3551904

                     

Knees- malasina

             

image source: http://crossfitwaterloo.com/2013/09/18/crossfit-kids-underway-yoga-schedule/

When?

The best part about stretching is that you can do it anywhere, any time. Try stretching while you watch TV. It keeps you from snacking and is great way to relax. Also, get your kids or spouse in on the action! Have them sit on your back, pull your arms, etc. to help deepen your stretch.

           

Image Source: http://funnymadworld.blogspot.ca/2011/10/funny-stretching-leg.html

Remember, flexibility isn’t something that happens overnight, nor is it something that will be achieved by putting in the bare minimum. Two months of 10–20 minutes of solid stretching every day should make a noticeable difference.   While, age, genetics, and how much you stretch, all play a role in determining how long it will take to achieve a particular goal, a reasonably fit person should take no more than 6 months or so to achieve a healthy to advanced level of flexibility.

                                

 Image Source: http://loora.gym-space.fi/2013/05/07/kehonhuolto/?id=112&comment=1

 

 


Couples Workouts- More Sweat Leads to Better Sex! August 06 2014

                              

Having trouble motivating your spouse to hit the gym? Go with him/her! There are amazing benefits to working out or playing sports together.  It’s a known fact that exercise increases endorphins, which impact your overall mood. Fitness can be a great outlet for the release of stressors in your relationship, and a healthy, beneficial way to keep things exciting.

                                   

 

Sweating it out in unison can also be a great bonding experience, helping you to build trust and communication skills between you and your significant other. Who needs couples therapy?! More importantly, let’s face it- with your newly toned bods, increased endurance and all those pheromones flying around, you won’t have any more problems in the bedroom.

                                

 

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy! Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.”

 – Elle Woods, Legally Blonde.

 

 

 For some serious inspiration, check out this vid:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceEZD1X6fls

 

 Image Sources: Pinterest


Sweat Therapy as a lost Art June 29 2014

                            

Image: http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/fitboard/board/category/motivation/user/anbisel

Has the active community become too focused on visible results, and less about the joy of escapism and the natural high that exercise can bring you? The fitness world today seems to be so consumed with the body changing element of exercise that it’s become a completely result-driven, mundane series of robotic and strenuous exercises we push ourselves through on a daily basis to make our bodies look a certain way. People have stopped seeing their workout as a time to escape, think, and regroup, and instead find themselves eagerly anticipating the finish line.

                               

             Image via: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/61924563597131201/

Well get off the treadmill, I say- and go find something that you can get lost in. Stop pushing yourself, and start losing yourself. We’ve all felt the uplifting effects of a good sweat session- the endorphins, the release. Finding a sport or class you like is the key, something that you can connect with physically as well as mentally. The focus in your fitness regimen should always be to keep the body strong and healthy, and to feel energetic and balanced on a daily basis. Finding escape in sweating it out can be the best kind of therapy for your body and mind, so ditch your shrink, and go enjoy it! 

              

Image via:http://www.alfievente.com/acupuncturemassageforsportsinjuries