By The FIRM Master Instructor Amanda Gantt
This is a popular question, especially for those of us who have hit the inevitable plateau with our personal fitness goals. Is it possible to achieve your goals with intense workouts three days a week, instead of less-intense workouts five days a week? I believe the answer is YES! However, you’re going to have to exercise smarter (and harder) in order to see results.
Our schedules are hectic and our personal time is limited. If you are currently struggling to maintain a five-day-a-week fitness regimen, you may want to consider dropping back to working out only three days a week, as this can provide you with the time and results you need, provided that you commit to intense, total-body workouts — and that you give 100-percent effort.
Everybody is susceptible to tight hamstrings, from professional athletes to soccer moms. People who spend long hours sitting at a desk or who have rigorous training schedules can especially benefit from a “hammie” stretch or two (or three or four).
Setting a goal to run a marathon is life altering and monumental. But the training leading up to your marathon may be filled with blisters, mental challenges, muscle fatigue, weakness and injury. Yoga can help you:
The NYC marathon and many other races are approaching. Here are my top six yoga moves for runners — from weekend warriors to serious marathoners — to do daily before training, after a workout and, most importantly, after the big day.
We all know that the key ingredients to weight loss and maintenance are exercise, healthy nutrition and proper rest. But what happens when you feel like you’re no longer getting results with your exercise routine? Does this mean that exercise doesn’t work anymore? Not a chance! It could just mean that you need to break out of your current workout rut — variety is the spice of life, after all!
Here are four signals that your routine might need a tune-up:
1. Your workout bores you.
You used to enjoy walking outside, so why do you dread your walk workout each day? It’s easy to get bored if you stick with the same routine for too long. Sometimes it helps to add variety to your walks. For example, try listening to music when you walk, adding speed or hill intervals, or bringing a family member or friend along with you. I’m sure your family pooch would welcome a stroll around the neighborhood! If all of that isn’t enough, then maybe it’s time to try a new activity. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try biking or are interested in taking a dance class? Change can help keep your workouts fun and interesting, giving you something to look forward to.
I began practicing yoga at age 11. My mom brought home the Jane Fonda workout and Raquel Welch Yoga videos and I became obsessed … especially with the yoga. At first I wasn’t very flexible, couldn’t touch my toes, and was extremely weak in my shoulders and core.
We are still early into 2011, so talking about recharging our batteries and taking a rest might sound crazy. However, it’s important to remember that sufficient rest and recovery periods are necessary to avoid burnout and injuries, as well as to get the best results possible from our exercise routines.
Check out this list of signs to see if you may need a little recharging:
The most overlooked and arguably the most important word in health is “balance.” Why? Because this one word says it all! We spend our entire lives trying to keep things in balance, whether it’s our checkbook, our diet or our time management. Then as we age, we need to literally improve our physical balance to keep on doing the things we like to do.
Throughout the years, I have worked with many athletes, marathoners, golfers, basketball players and professional dancers. The magic bullet in training consciously is a synergy of fluid biomechanics, coupled with a mind and spirit that are all on the same page. In other words, it is very difficult to fuel your passion for athletics if one of these elements is holding you back — be it pain from an injury, a lack of belief in yourself, or using your sport as a form of punishment.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt