There’s a lot of confusion about the value of stretching. Should you stretch before a workout? Or afterwards? Or not at all? Well, as with most things in fitness (and life), there’s no one right answer. Let’s talk about the key variables so you can decide when and how to stretch based on your own needs and goals.
Functional fitness is about preparing you for life, rather than something specific like a big race or setting a new personal best on the bench press. Things like squatting down to pick something off the floor, turning and reaching for an item on a high shelf, or carrying a child on your hip or a heavy suitcase.
Human beings are creatures of habit. Most of us find comfort in consistency, at least to some degree. Making exercise a consistent habit is one of the best things you can do for yourself. But – when it comes to exercise, having a habit is good, but repeating the same workouts over and over often isn’t. The solution: try something new!
Running can benefit almost every part of your body and your mind. It’s not hard to learn, and can be done anywhere, anytime. Read on for more on the many health and wellness benefits of intelligently incorporating running into your life.
Fitness professionals are divided when it comes to cardio training. Some believe it should make up the bulk of your program, while others suggest skipping it altogether. Of course, like most things in life, it’s actually much more nuanced.
Exercisers seem to fall into two distinct “camps” – the strength trainers and the cardio lovers. The strength trainers are pushing the free weights, resistance machines and barbells, whereas the cardio lovers are on their ellipticals, stair machines, and treadmills, and having fun in Zumba classes. So which is really better?
Many people blame their metabolism as a reason beyond their control for why they are overweight, claiming those gifted with a “better” metabolism can eat anything they want and never gain pound. Metabolisms seem to be either fast or slow, high or low. But just what is your metabolism, then? What role does it play in body weight and body composition (muscle vs. fat tissue)? And how does exercise influence metabolism?
While “fat burning” workouts do burn a lot of calories, and can improve your cardiovascular fitness and endurance, they won’t necessarily make you lose fat.
Keep in mind that the way your body looks doesn’t necessarily reflect your overall health or wellbeing. Someone with a flat stomach or “washboard abs” isn’t necessarily healthier. It’s the same with scale weight. Someone with good muscle tone and a healthy level of body fat may actually weigh more than someone who appears heavier due to a higher proportion of body fat.
Call it the midsection, core, belly, muffin top, spare tire, or something else – we all have one and we all struggle with getting, and keeping, it looking the way we want.