There’s no need to pack on pounds or fall ill this autumn. More
Exercises that tighten and tone your legs from butt to ankles and everything in between. More
How difficult can running be? You just need to put on running shoes, clothes and then hit the road. But this seemingly simple exercise is more complicated than most people realize.
In fact, most beginners make mistakes that hinder them from seeing results or wanting to pursue the sport long-term—they only end up with injuries and frustrations. Today we’ll look into common running mistakes and how you can avoid them. More
Run smarter, avoid injury, burn more calories, and claim a bigger body payoff with this “aha!” advice from top fitness pros. More
We’re more than halfway through 2016. How are your New Year’s resolutions shaping up? It’s never too late to re-start, and Fall is a perfect time. With school and a new season starting, it’s a great time to get your fitness goals back on track. Here are our tips for kick-starting a fresh fitness routine.
Revisit Your Goals & What Didn’t Work Last Time
The best way to pave the way for success is to identify what bumps derailed you last time. Why were you unable to keep your last fitness goal? Was it too large? Did you not equip yourself with the tools you needed to succeed? Figure out what didn’t work last time and what you can do to right it moving forward. If your goal is to eat healthier, maybe you need to do a better job of pre-planning meals.
Try New Tactics
Sometimes the approach is the reason for failure. For example, if your goal was to work out more often and you didn’t, were you setting unrealistic expectations? Were you approaching the goal the wrong way? If you want to exercise more and don’t like running, don’t try to become a marathon runner overnight. Try out different workouts to get your heart pumping, it just matters that you’re moving! (No matter the workout, find your perfect playlist on Fit Radio to set you up for success.)
Find a Partner
Were you trying to go at your fitness goals alone in January? Goals are much easier to attain in a group. Grab a workout buddy and hold each other accountable– you’ll be surprised at how much more driven you can become when you’re working as a team!
Respect the Process
Many people quit on their fitness goals because they don’t see results fast enough. It’s important to fall in love with the process and not perfection. Remember, reaching goals is more about the journey than the destination! If you learn to respect and enjoy the process and small wins, you’ll be more successful in the long-run.
As the weather changes, explore opportunities to change your workout too. Get outside and enjoy the crisp air on your next run or if your gym makes a change to its schedule seasonally, try taking your go-to workout class at a new time.
A new season is a great time to start a new fitness routine and hopefully, these ideas will help you get motivated to do just that. Embrace the change in seasons, weather, and your health habits. Soon enough, you’ll become healthier and happier for the new season ahead.
1. YOU’LL BE MORE MOTIVATED.
Don’t feel like working out after work? It’s one thing to cancel plans with yourself—it’s another to cancel on a friend or partner who’s counting on you. “No one wants to be Debbie Downer by bailing and letting down your friend,” says Steve Stonehouse, personal training manager at Crunch in New YorkCity. You’re much more likely to meet your friend for a planned workout session at 6 p.m. compared to tentative plans you made with yourself for, say, sometime after lunch.
“After three or four weeks, once you’re in the habit, you won’t even think about canceling on your friend,” adds Stonehouse. (But if your main man keeps bailing on you, then you might be better off picking a new gym partner.)
2. YOUR WORKOUTS CAN BE MORE FUN.
News flash: The treadmill and the bench press aren’t the most exciting ways to pass the time. With a partner, though, you can get your heart racing with some one-on-one basketball, racquetball, or even just a partner workout like the ones in our three-day program for training partners.
“You can also take turns leading new exercises and switching up the routine,” suggests Stonehouse. Maybe you know a brutal leg lunge that you used to do on your own? Teach it to your buddy one day, and the next, let him teach you something new. “Your body adapts and becomes efficient at moves that you’ve done again and again,” says Stonehouse. “The more you change up your workout, the better your body is going to respond.”
3. YOU’LL WORK OUT HARDER.
“Whenever you’re working out with someone else, the intensity is always going to be greater than when you’re alone,” points out Stonehouse. (You don’t want to be the wimp who can’t keep up with a seven-minutes mile.) One key tip when picking your partner: Your athletic abilities should be in the same ballpark. A more seasoned gym-goer won’t get as much out of working out with a newbie, while a beginner can find it frustrating if he’s only doing a third of what his partner can do.
“If you’re on the same level, you can push each other,” Stonehouse says. Odds are, you’ll both want to quit around the same time but you’ll go a little longer if your friend is still at it.
4. YOU’LL FINALLY BE ABLE TO AFFORD A PERSONAL TRAINER.
Sharing a cheeseburger is cheaper than buying one yourself (and fewer calories). The same math applies when it comes to a personal trainer. At Crunch, for example, a one-on-one session costs about $85, but a partner training session runs around $50 per person. “One-on-one training is still the bulk of my day, but I’m seeing more and more partner training for financial reasons alone,” says Stonehouse.
5. YOU’LL ALWAYS HAVE A SPOTTER.
Never again will you have to approach a random meathead and ask him to spot you. Never again will you have to count your own reps.
It’ll also save you from forced reps: “Let’s say you’re on the bench press and you want to stop at 10 because you’re not sure you can make it to 11,” Stonehouse says. “If you have a spotter, you don’t have to worry as much. You’re more likely to power through the 11th, 12th, and 13th reps—and each of those little lifts will add up and make a difference.” Use your spotter to keep an eye on your form as you work, too.
6. YOUR FRIENDS WILL BE THINNER.
Before you judge us, we’re not being totally shallow here—having thin friends is for your own good. Researchers at Harvard University found that you can “catch” obesity (along with smoking habits and happiness) because it spreads like an infectious disease. The experts found that a person’s risk of becoming obese rises by two percent for every five obese social contacts they have.
Fortunately, the reverse is true, too. Overweight people tend to lose more weight if they spend time with their fit friends—and the more time they spend together, the more weight they lose, according to a 2016 study published in the journal Obesity. “If you’re surrounded by people who are active and eat well, there’s a good chance you’re going to do the same,” Stonehouse says.
How to find the best class for you.
When I first started yoga, I wanted a fast-paced, physical and sweaty flow class. After a few months, I tried other styles, but they were hit or miss. In one class I ended up in, for example, the teacher talked about philosophy and led us in chants for nearly half the time. I was confused, bored and in pain from sitting cross-legged. If that had been my first experience with yoga, I’m not sure I would have continued.
If you are looking to get into a yoga routine this fall, choosing from all the different styles can be overwhelming. Studios offer more variations of yoga than ever before, but don’t let all the trends and gimmicky classes distract you. Be clear about what your goals are before you choose your path. Once you know what you want, choose a program that fits you best. Here’s how:
Yoga for the Athlete
- Flow: If you want to get in shape and tone up without bulking up, an exercise-heavy flow class is a good choice. When I first started yoga, I lost 40 pounds practicing heated power yoga or hot Vinyasa. These classes include plenty of lunges, core work and pushups, which are effective movements to build strength and burn calories fast. The temperature of a power yoga class is around 90 degrees, and you move very quickly through the poses. It is very fitting for those who want to sweat more and talk less about alignment and philosophy.
- Fusion: Classes that blend yoga and exercise are popping up everywhere. CorePower Yoga, for instance, is a newer, popular branch of the standard power yoga class. CorePower offers heated flow classes as well as yoga with resistance and weights. The weights will help increase the intensity and help you get a more chiseled physique. However, the stakes are much higher if you misalign. Another fusion of fitness and yoga combines yoga and barre, which involves a workout using a ballet barre. All of these options are focused on physicality and moving quickly to get a workout.
- Vinyasa: “Vinyasa” can mean many different things – so much so that it is difficult to tell exactly what you are signing up for when you attend a class. However, most Vinyasa classes move briskly in cadence with your breath. These classes are not heated, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get a good workout. While Vinyasa is fun and moving fluidly can be beneficial, these classes are not the best choice if you have an injury or joint pain.
- Bikram: Bikram yoga is also a very intense method that builds focus. It is a very different physical challenge than Vinyasa. The yoga studio is heated to a sweltering 104 degrees and it is humidified to 40 percent so you break a sweat almost immediately. In Bikram, you practice 26 postures in 90 minutes, and hold the poses for a set amount of time. Bikram teachers repeat the same script each class, and it is the same sequence every time. If you enjoy the intensity of the heat and thrive with consistency, you will excel with Bikram yoga. If you enjoy variety, you should consider a different class.
Yoga for the Engineer
- Alignment: If you have injuries or tend to be more tight and strong than flexible, an alignment-based class like align and flow, Iyengar or alignment-based Hatha is a good fit. The classes focus on subtleties where you learn by intellectualizing the biomechanical components of the practice. At some point, whether it is from getting hurt or just longing for more depth and knowledge about yoga and the poses, most people eventually seek out a slower, more thought-out, mechanical practice. Each class focuses on key alignment principles that provide insight on how to progress, and they are normally organized around a peak pose or a general focus. Additionally, alignment-based classes are great for beginners. You will move more methodically through poses and hold them longer than in a flow class. Pausing in a posture allows for more depth in a pose. This will provide a completely different challenge than moving at a quick pace.
Yoga for the Poet or Mystic
Yin and restorative yoga are perfect for those who love being still and who just need to stretch, restore and relax. In these classes, you will hold just a couple of positions for long periods of time. Exercise is involved in either style. Sequences are slow-moving and you use props to set up poses in a way that you can hold them for five to 10 minutes and attune them to your breath. If you are already on a grueling workout regimen, this type of yoga is a nice way to recover. By finding stillness in the poses, it becomes more of a meditative practice.
- Restorative: Restorative is focused on alignment and positioning your body in a way that engages your muscles to protect your joints. This often requires props or using the support of the wall. For example, you may be asked to lie on your back with your legs up the wall for five minutes. This pose encourages students to attune to their breath and body.
- Yin: Yin is slightly different from restorative yoga in the way instructors teach the poses. In this style class, you settle into the poses and stretch. There is less emphasis on engaging your muscles and, instead, you relax into each position.
Yoga for the Light-Hearted
If you are just looking to try something new and to not take yourself too seriously, there a couple options that are very playful and can be fun to try with a partner:
- Aerial: If you’re feeling adventurous, you might try this style, in which the teacher helps you move through yoga poses while you are suspended in midair. I recommend trying a beginner’s class first and be willing to laugh at yourself when you fall and enjoy the anti-gravity effect.
- Acro: Acro yoga normally involves coordination and time to build strength and to learn how to spot your partner. Usually, it takes some time for students to build self-awareness in their own bodies before trying these classes.
- Partner: Practicing with a friend is helpful to go deeper into your poses. Events are also a fun way to make friends and try a class with a twist. Workshops range from music-themed classes – think metal music paired with Vinyasa – to yoga followed by beer tasting.
15 Former Couch Potatoes Share Their Best Tips For Getting In Shape – Carolyn Kylstra – BuzzFeed
So you want to eat healthier and get in shape? That’s great! Learn from some people who’ve definitely been there.
Getting into shape and living a healthier lifestyle can be seriously daunting.
That’s why BuzzFeed Life reached out to people who’ve been there to ask them to share their advice. For one guy, that meant learning a way to trick himself into using the spin bike more often. For another woman, that meant transforming her eating and fitness habits, losing over 150 pounds, and getting her diabetes and blood pressure under control.
Whether you’re looking to make a big change in your life or a few small ones, you can probably use some of the tips these former couch potatoes shared. And if you’ve made a healthy living change in your own life, share it with everyone in the comments!
1. Make it easy for yourself to workout in the mornings.
“I never exercised. Very rarely. I knew I needed to because I needed the outlet for stress, and I wasn’t sleeping well. But I also didn’t want to exercise after work, because I’d always want to go out with friends, or come home and relax and just watch TV. So I knew I needed to try morning exercises if I was going to fit it into my day.
Here’s how I do it: When I get home from work I lay out my exercise clothes. I fill a bottle of water and put it in the fridge. I pack the outfit I’m going to wear to work the next day. I pack everything — makeup, shoes, outfit — have it all ready to go, and then set my alarm for the next morning. I do everything I need to do before I start to unwind. This forces me to just get up and do it, and not have to take the time to find everything or make excuses for why I can’t.”
—Cat Fuentes, 28
2. Master the art of portion control.
“It hasn’t happened overnight, but in the past seven years or so I’ve lost over 70 pounds. I’m about to run in the New York City Marathon on Sunday — it’ll be my second marathon. Back 70 pounds ago, I never could’ve dreamed that.
Tricks for myself, in terms of weight loss: Portion control is huge when you’re trying to lose weight. I’ve never been someone who wants to cut something out completely, so I had to figure out a way to allow myself little indulgences. I still go to restaurants, but now I’m all about tapas-style dining, which allows me to try a little of everything. It’s something I’ve gotten myself into that allows me to eat better without sacrificing my lifestyle.
Another tip: I snack throughout the day to keep up my energy, so I keep healthy things by my desk. My trick is making sure the snacks are in reasonable portion sizes, so I’m not just mindlessly munching on them all day.”
—Emily Abbate, 26
Emily Abbate is an editor at Fitbie, where she writes about health and fitness. She’s also been actively training for the 2014 New York City Marathon, and has beendocumenting her progress in a video series on Fitbie.
3. Get enough sleep.
“I had a breast reduction a couple months after I graduated high school, and then moved to Chicago to start college. Once I was out on my own, I had to learn to cook, which is typically healthier than dining out. And because of my class schedule, I had a lot of time on my hands to workout. Now that I no longer had HUGE BOOBS, working out was easier/more fun.
My number one tip for living healthier is to get enough sleep every night. You cannot eat healthy or stay motivated if you’re really tired. Sleep is legitimately the basis of all my healthy decisions. I just set a bedtime and stuck to it. Also, setting the alarm on your phone is really good for creating a new bedtime routine. Like if you need to be in bed sleeping at 11 p.m., set an alarm for 10:15 to remind you to like… stop checking Facebook and go wash your face. And sort of related: Unplug before bed. I put my phone in airplane mode to sleep better.”
—Rachel Miller, 29
4. Don’t aim for perfection.
“In 2007 I lost about 80 pounds, and then in 2012 gained most of it back. I wanted to get back in shape, so I decided to try running every day. And I was maybe running half a mile, maybe a mile at the most — I wasn’t good at it. I gave up about three times, saying, “It’s not working out, I’m not good at it,” and just went back to doing nothing.
I had a friend who lost 100 pounds running. And she helped to hold me accountable to get in shape. She would send me texts and Facebook messages saying, “You don’t have to be good at working out, you just have to do it.” That became my motto. Every time I didn’t want to get up: “You don’t have to be good at working out, you just have to do it.” So I started running every day.
I run probably three times a week now, I go to a simulated surfboard class three to four times a week, and I swim three to four times a week. And I’m so happy I do — I feel great.”
—Laura Prescott, 30
5. Find a workout you love — that way it doesn’t feel like a chore, and it’s something you’re excited to do.
“I was never active or in shape… at all. I had years of failed attempts at fitness that mostly included running on the treadmill and failing at the gym. After a doctor ordered me to quit drinking, I needed an outlet to keep me sober. I looked into hip-hop dancing but felt out of place and hated it.
I used to pass a Krav Maga school every day on the way to work. One day, I stopped in for a trial class and signed up for membership that day. Feeling empowered and excited, I went four times a week. I was hooked. Not long after I started, they invited me to join the instructor program. After weeks of grueling training, I completed it — an accomplishment my 220 pounds, 20-year-old self would never have imagined.”
—Ben Ronne, 34
6. Try to do some form of exercise for 30 minutes (or three miles) every day.
“I suffer from body dysmorphia, and consequently I really abused my body like crazy. Whether it was overeating, eating the wrong things, or eating to stuff my emotions down. I was also drinking a lot. Those habits didn’t go away when I became a trainer, and I felt like a humongous hypocrite. As time went on, I realized that I had a responsibility to my clients to walk the walk and talk the talk. I needed to make changes.
My big tip is consistency is key to getting in shape. The rule I set for myself (and that I set for my clients) is Thirty by Three: 30 minutes a day of some sort of exercise, whether that’s walking for 30 minutes, or five exercises that last about five minutes each with some breaks in between. OR you do three miles of something — three miles on a treadmill, elliptical, hiking. Sometimes an hour feels like just way too much, but 30 minutes always feels attainable.
For the past eight years, since I began focusing on my health, I’ve remained consistent — my body has stayed the same weight, I’m healthy, I’m a normal weight, I’m fit, and I’ve maintained it, and that’s what matters to me.”
—Kit Rich, 31
Kit Rich, an NASM certified personal trainer, is a Los Angeles-based celebrity pilates trainer. She’s been featured in Vogue, SHAPE, SELF, Women’s Health, Real Simple, US Weekly, and Pilates Style. She’s also made appearances on Access Hollywood, Access Hollywood LIVE!, E! News, E!Online, EXTRA, and The Today Show. She blogs regularly for Beautylish.com.
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During the last weekend of August, the Fit Radio Team made their way to Imagine Music Festival at Atlanta Motor Speedway just south of Atlanta, GA. Previously held within the metro area, This was the Imagine Music Festival’s first year expanding to a much larger venue. Because of this, it allowed for massive stage production, a more extensive lineup of performers, more event days, and the addition of a camping ground rounded off the iconic music festival experience. The Imagine Music Festival went off with a bang, featuring top-tier EDM acts including: Adventure Club, Benny Benassi, Steve Angello, Dillon Francis, and more. Several of Fit Radio’s own DJ residents were also in attendance throwing down awesome sets from Progressive Trance to Drum N Bass.
Our Music Director Nora was able to cover several sets from the weekend and here are her top picks (although extremely hard to choose!) and where to find these artists on Fit Radio for your workout music needs!
Dillon Francis headlined Imagine’s Main Stage, Oceania, with a hard-hitting set of heavy electro matched with his unique moombahton sound. His music is fitting for cardio or stair climber workouts where you need a slow but hard-hitting beat.
Photo Credit http://www.alexgperez.com/
This Montreal-based producer started the first night of Imagine off right with a heavy set of dubstep, hip hop, and even some heavy metal samples that shook the main stage. His sound is sure to motivate any heavy workouts or weightlifting sessions.
Photo Credit http://www.alexgperez.com/
This Russian-based producer rocked the Disco Inferno stage on the last night of Imagine, bringing high-energy house music and uplifting trance. His music is ideal for any workouts at a 130 BPM pace including elliptical, cardio, and even running!
Photo Credit: Proxy Matter http://proxymatter.com/
What made Imagine Music festival especially unique was the addition of a full Drum N Bass stage on the last day of the festival. Fit Radio’s High Kalliber performed on the stage in the early evening and didn’t hesitate to drop the heaviest DnB beats to get the crowd prepared for the later acts to come! Drum N Bass is great for faster BPM workouts (170-180 BPM range) such as sprinting.
The Imagine Music Festival has already released their customer appreciation tickets! You can grab them here!
How Exercise Changes Fat and Muscle Cells
Exercise promotes health, reducing most people’s risks of developing diabetes and growing obese. But just how, at a cellular level, exercise performs this beneficial magic — what physiological steps are involved and in what order — remains mysterious to a surprising degree.
Several striking new studies, however, provide some clarity by showing that exercise seems able to drastically alter how genes operate.
Genes are, of course, not static. They turn on or off, depending on what biochemical signals they receive from elsewhere in the body. When they are turned on, genes express various proteins that, in turn, prompt a range of physiological actions in the body.
One powerful means of affecting gene activity involves a process called methylation, in which methyl groups, a cluster of carbon and hydrogen atoms, attach to the outside of a gene and make it easier or harder for that gene to receive and respond to messages from the body. In this way, the behavior of the gene is changed, but not the fundamental structure of the gene itself. Remarkably, these methylation patterns can be passed on to offspring – a phenomenon known as epigenetics.
What is particularly fascinating about the methylation process is that it seems to be driven largely by how you live your life. Many recent studies have found that diet, for instance, notably affects the methylation of genes, and scientists working in this area suspect that differing genetic methylation patterns resulting from differing diets may partly determine whether someone develops diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
But the role of physical activity in gene methylation has been poorly understood, even though exercise, like diet, greatly changes the body. So several groups of scientists recently set out to determine what working out does to the exterior of our genes.
The answer, their recently published results show, is plenty.
Of the new studies, perhaps the most tantalizing, conducted principally by researchers affiliated with the Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden and published last month in PLoS One, began by recruiting several dozen sedentary but generally healthy adult Swedish men and sucking out some of their fat cells. Using recently developed molecular techniques, the researchers mapped the existing methylation patterns on the DNA within those cells. They also measured the men’s body composition, aerobic capacity, waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and similar markers of health and fitness.
Then they asked the men to start working out. Under the guidance of a trainer, the volunteers began attending hourlong spinning or aerobics classes approximately twice a week for six months. By the end of that time, the men had shed fat and inches around their waists, increased their endurance and improved their blood pressure and cholesterol profiles.
Less obviously, but perhaps even more consequentially, they also had altered the methylation pattern of many of the genes in their fat cells. In fact, more than 17,900 individual locations on 7,663 separate genes in the fat cells now displayed changed methylation patterns. In most cases, the genes had become more methylated, but some had fewer methyl groups attached. Both situations affect how those genes express proteins.
The genes showing the greatest change in methylation also tended to be those that had been previously identified as playing some role in fat storage and the risk for developing diabetes or obesity.
“Our data suggest that exercise may affect the risk for Type 2 diabetes and obesity by changing DNA methylation of those genes,” says Charlotte Ling, an associate professor at Lund University and senior author of the study.
Meanwhile, other studies have found that exercise has an equally profound effect on DNA methylation within human muscle cells, even after a single workout.
To reach that conclusion, scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and other institutions took muscle biopsies from a group of sedentary men and women and mapped their muscle cells’ methylation patterns. They then had the volunteers ride stationary bicycles until they had burned about 400 calories. Some rode strenuously, others more easily.
Afterward, a second muscle biopsy showed that DNA methylation patterns in the muscle cells were already changing after that lone workout, with some genes gaining methyl groups and some losing them. Several of the genes most altered, as in the fat cell study, are known to produce proteins that affect the body’s metabolism, including the risk for diabetes and obesity.
Interestingly, the muscle cell methylation changes were far more pronounced among the volunteers who had ridden vigorously than in those who had pedaled more gently, even though their total energy output was the same.
The overarching implication of the study’s findings, says Juleen Zierath, a professor of integrative physiology at the Karolinska Institute and senior author of the study, is that DNA methylation changes are probably “one of the earliest adaptations to exercise” and drive the bodily changes that follow.
Of course, the intricacies of that bogglingly complex process have yet to be fully teased out. Scientists do not know, for instance, whether exercise-induced methylation changes linger if someone becomes sedentary, or if resistance training has similar effects on the behavior of genes. Nor is it known whether these changes might be passed on from one generation to the next. But already it is clear, Dr. Ling says, that these new findings “are additional proof of the robust effect exercise can have on the human body, even at the level of our DNA.”