Starting again: 5 healthy habits to start today

Starting again: 5 healthy habits to start today

 

 

It happens to all of us. Life gets busy. You forget to take care of yourself and your health. You stray from healthy eating habits or from exercise. It’s ok! The great thing about going away from healthy habits is that you can always pick them up again.

 

When you’re in a routine of healthy eating and regular exercise, it’s easier to stay there than starting again. That doesn’t mean that getting started again has to be hard. You can start today! Right now!

 

Here are five healthy habits you can easily start today:

 

  1. Drink more water. The human body is made primarily of water and uses it to perform nearly every function. Drinking plenty of water gives your body the basic platform to be healthy and happy. A good rule of thumb is to take your body weight (in pounds), divide that by half, and then drink that many ounces of water a day. Find a water bottle you really like, fill it up, and always keep it with you. If you’re sipping on it all day, you’ll find it’s easy to reach your goal!

  2. Stand up. Sitting all day is horrible for your metabolism and body as a whole, but the majority of Americans work a job that requires them to be at the computer. If you’re one of these people, trying incorporating more standing every day. Set a timer to go off at least every hour to remind you to stand up. If your workplace allows it, set up a standing desk and stand for at least a few hours a day. Walk over to a co-worker rather than email them. On the phone, stand up while you chat. The more you’re on your feet, the more calories you’ll burn throughout the day and the healthier you’ll be in the long run.

  3. Eat your vegetables. Coming up with healthy recipes that are loaded with veggies can be overwhelming. So don’t do that to yourself right away, just promise to eat more veggies. Swap out those potato chips on the side of your lunchtime sandwich for carrots instead. Sneak spinach into your morning smoothie. Hide zucchini in your lasagna. Little changes can add up to make a big difference in your overall health.

  4. Meditate. When you’re super busy, slowing down to just sit might seem counterintuitive -- but it can be the key to productive and health. The body of research on meditation is growing and all of it seems to point that a daily meditation practice can be a key to overall wellness and balance. The great thing is that you don’t have to carve out an hour to meditate. Taking just 5 minutes a day can make real changes in the brain that reduce stress, lessen depression, and improve happiness.

  5. Get help. Getting your health back on track is always easier if you have a little bit of help. Unmotivated to exercise? Hire a personal trainer or sign up for a group fitness class. It’ll give you some accountability and something set in your schedule to look forward to. Hate meal prepping or worrying about cooking? Sign up for a meal delivery service that suits your health goals. Enlist a friend that loves to meal prep and make it a social activity. Getting healthy is so much easier when you don’t have to do it alone.

 

If you need some help getting back on track, let us help! We fit a variety of needs and are here to help you reach your goals. Contact us today!

3 of the Best Stretches for the IT Band

3 of the Best Stretches for the IT Band

 

The iliotibial band -- better known as the IT band -- the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin. It’s common for this area to become tight and cause hip and knee pain. The IT band is a particular annoyance of runners -- as the motion involved in running can make the IT band tighten up.

 

If you’re suffering from knee pain, there’s a good chance your IT band is too tight. To remedy the tightness of muscles, we have pulled together some of the best stretches for the IT band.

  1. Standing IT band stretch. This is a good, basic starter to stretch the IT band. Stand upright and cross your right foot over the left. Lean to the right (towards the front leg) until you feel a stretch. Breathe and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

  2. Lying IT band stretch. Lay on your left side, near the end of a bed or table, with the back facing the edge. Take the top (right) leg and let it fall backwards behind you. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

  3. Belt/Strap IT band stretch. For this stretch you’ll need a belt, a yoga strap, or a long towel. Lay down on your back. Wrap the strap around the bottom of your right foot. Straight the leg, up towards the ceiling. Leave the other leg stretched out flat on the ground. With the strap, pull the right leg across the body until you feel a stretch on your outer thigh. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with the left leg.


Start with these three simple stretches to get your IT band loosened up. If you’re looking for something different or more varied, we can help! Contact us today to find out how we can customize a fitness plan for you.

 

5 Tips for a Successful Couch to 5k Training

5 Tips for a Successful Couch to 5k Training

 

Summer months mean lots of opportunities to run a 5k. If you’re just starting out, a couch to 5k program is a good way to gradually prepare to run the race. A couch to 5k -- for those that aren’t familiar -- is a pre-planned training program that gradually increases running intervals until you are running a full 5k.

 

If you’re considering starting a couch to 5k program, there are some things you can do to set yourself up for success. We recommend:

 

  1. Pick a program that suits your needs. Think about your goals with the 5k program and how you want to get there. Will you be running outside or on a treadmill? When do you want to be 5k ready? Do you like the convenience of an app? Or do you prefer to have a paper plan that’s laid out in front of you? Find a couch to 5k program that suits your needs specifically. It’s out there.  

  2. Stick to the plan. It can be tempting to try to do more than the couch to 5k program outlines -- especially in the first few weeks where you’re running in just short spurts. Don’t try to do more. Gradual increases are the best way to build strength and stamina. Pushing past the recommendations can put you at risk for injury or burnout.

  3. Find a buddy. Humans are social creatures. You are much more likely to show up to each run if you know someone is counting on you being there. Try to find someone else that will help you stay accountable. Maybe even get your dog involved if they’re a jogger -- those sad puppy dog eyes can be a good motivator to grab the leash and run.

  4. Buy quality shoes. Any seasoned runner will tell you -- the shoes are important. Make sure you have supportive, comfortable shoes to take you on your couch to 5k journey. Bonus, this gives you an excuse to go shoe shopping and treat yourself.

  5. Fuel your body properly. Running is an intensive exercise that requires proper food for fuel. If you’re not putting enough quality food into your body, you won’t be able to get the results you desire. Make sure you’re eating enough and it’s a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and fats.

 

With these little tips of the trade and some determination, going from a couch potato to a runner is completely attainable. Just think about the pride you’ll feel once you cross the finish line!

 

If you want some extra help, guidance, or support -- we’re here for you! Contact us today.

 

 

Benefits of Yoga for Seniors

Benefits of Yoga for Seniors

 

Yoga is an ancient practice that holds benefits for people of all ages -- from children/teens all the way up to seniors. The great thing about yoga is that it is low impact and can be easily modified to accommodate all body types and abilities. For seniors, a regular yoga practice could be the secret to maintaining a healthy, mobile body into your golden years.

 

For senior specifically, yoga has benefits for maintaining virility and flexibility for both body and mind. You’re never too old and it’s never too late to start a yoga practice. Find a teacher or class that caters to seniors and/or beginners, and you’ll find your body quickly adapts.

 

Here are some of the benefits of a yoga practice for an older student:

 

  1. Low-impact regular exercise. As we age, our bodies can sometimes not handle the impact and stress of high-intensity workouts like running, aerobics, or weight lifting. Yoga is a low impact exercise that places minimal stress on joints. Senior can enjoy the benefits of regular exercise -- like a reduction in risk of death and chronic disease -- without the higher risk of energy.

  2. Increased strength. Strength training is one of the most important things you can do to avoid injury and broken bones as a senior -- but sometimes weightlifting can be too much. Yoga strengthens the body by moving around it’s own body weight -- reducing risk of injury while also strengthening muscles and bones. One study showed that seniors who performed strength training twice a week reduced the risk of death by 46% and 19% reduction in cancer deaths.

  3. Improved bone health. Yoga is not only safe for seniors with osteoporosis, but it has been shown in some studies to actually reverse bone loss. One study took bone density scans for two groups of people with the average age of 68. Those that practice yoga for two years showed no bone loss and many even gained bone. Those in the group that did not practice yoga showed bone loss.

  4. Better flexibility and range of motion. Loss of flexibility and range of motion in older adults is a leading cause of falls and injury. The gentle stretching in yoga helps improve flexibility -- especially in the spine.

  5. Mental clarity. A healthy body helps support a healthy mind, so regular exercise like yoga can help improve seniors overall mental clarity. One Japanese study followed a group of seniors aged 65 to 75 throughout a yoga program. The study concluded that practicing yoga significantly reduced anxiety and improved overall mental health for the senior group.

 

In summary, it’s time to start a yoga program -- no matter your age! At Corefitness we offer a variety of yoga classes for all ages and abilities including:

 

  • Yoga Essentials -- a basic class great for those looking to gain better posture, strength, and flexibility.

  • Gentle Yoga -- a class that focusing on breath exercises and gentle strength. Great for relaxation and stress relief.

  • Dharma Gentle Yoga -- a gentle class that is perfect for individuals coming into the practice from a sedentary lifestyle or recovering from an injury.

 

Contact us today to learn more or get enrolled in a yoga program suited to you!

 

 

Benefits of Swimming Classes for Kids

As summer approaches, we are dreaming of days by the pool and weekends at the beach. Water is one of the best parts of warm weather and the perfect family fun -- but it comes with some risks too. Enrolling your kids in swimming lessons has a slew of benefits for both safety and fun!

 

Did you know that drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children under the age of 5? And that 1 in 5 people that die from drowning are under the age of 14? We hate to start off with a scare like that, but it’s important to understand just how critical swimming lessons can be for children.

 

Swimming lessons help to build a solid foundation that will teach children life skills that will not only benefit their health through exercise, but also could save them from drowning. During lessons, children learn how to hold their head above water, float when tired, and to not panic when they fall in. The lessons teach a basic respect of the water that children can carry throughout their entire lives.

 

In addition to basic survival swimming skills, swimming lessons benefit kids by:

 

  • Providing an outlet for exercise. Swimming lessons offer aerobic exercise that puts little stress on the growing joints and bones of children. It’s a great way for kids to stay active and fight childhood obesity.

  • Improves social skills. Many adults can look fondly back on summers spent at the pool. Swimming lessons provide a safe, productive environment for kids to socialize while learning to swim.

  • Builds confidence. By facing challenges and overcoming them, swimming lessons help children build confidence and independence.

 

At Core Fitness, we strive to provide an environment for the whole family to get fit! Part of that is creating classes focused towards children. If you’re interested in enrolling your children in swimming lessons or other children-focused fitness classes, please visit our website for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Yoga for Teens

For some, the word yoga can pull up certain images. Maybe it’s a Lululemon-clad soccer mom. Or perhaps an Eastern guru. But yoga is accessible -- and more importantly, beneficial -- for people of all ages, ability, and walks of life. More and more research and yoga practitioners are finding that yoga can benefit a hard-to-reach segment of the population -- teens.

 

It’s no secret that yoga is great for your health. It’s been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression -- while providing a number of body-boosting benefits like increase in strength, flexibility, and circulation. All of those benefits still occur when practised by teens.

 

One study from the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, pulled together a group of teens that practised 10 week Kripalu yoga program during their physical education class that included meditation, relaxation, and breath work. The study paired that group with a different set of teens that attended traditional PE during that time. Here’s what the study found:

 

  • Teens that participated in the yoga program scored lower than the control group for symptoms of mood disorders -- like anxiety -- than those who didn’t practice yoga.

  • Teens who did not practice yoga reported more negative emotions than the group that went through the yoga program.

  • The teens LIKED yoga! 75% reported they would like to continue practicing yoga.

 

Studies like these are promising that yoga could be a real effective, preventative treatment for mood disorders, anxiety, and depression among teens. As a fitness option, yoga holds some advantages for teens that other workouts may not, like:

 

  • Yoga is a group activity that’s non-competitive. For many self-conscious teenagers, competitive sports can put a dent in their self-esteem. You don’t to be athletic, talented, or even coordinated to enjoy yoga.

  • It teaches that fitness can be fun. Yoga is gentle and encouraging -- while still being challenging. Enjoying a workout as a teenager can set the foundation for a lifetime of fitness.

  • Yoga benefits other sports. If a teen is involved in other sports, yoga can support their efforts by adding flexibility and strength. It can also help prevent injuries in more high-impact sports.

 

If you are the parent of a teen or are a teen yourself interested in trying yoga, we offer a wide variety of classes to suit your needs and schedule. Take a look at our class calendar to find one of the following yoga classes at Core Fitness:

  • Yoga for Tweens

  • Vinyasa Yoga

  • Gentle YogaFlow

  • Senior Yoga

  • Yoga Essentials