Beat The Winter Slump!

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Beat The Winter Slump!

The winter months are the toughest for people to stay motivated and dedicated to their fitness goals.  The frigid temps make it difficult, if not downright impossible to get outside and be active.  Here are a few indoor activities to help you avoid the wintertime slump (and excuses):

Resistance Training:  When most people hear resistance training, they automatically thinking about weightlifting.  While weightlifting is the most recognizable form of resistance training, you can still get a challenging and beneficial workout outside the confines of a traditional gym.  Try a high-intensity bodyweight circuit to fire up your metabolism and keep those winter pounds from piling up!  If you need instructions on how to perform certain bodyweight movements or need a few suggestions, check out the free video section of www.jackfit.net.

Row, Row, Row:  You’ve run on the treadmill, you’ve used the elliptical for years, and you’ve probably stationary biked across the entire country by now. But most people overlook the row machine!  The row machine is my favorite cardio machine.  The row machine requires your body to use several major muscle groups at the same time. As such, you will enjoy a legitimate upper AND lower body workout at the same time while burning up to 700 calories in an hour!  Additionally, the row machine is a low impact cardio workout that does not stress the joints the way that running can. This low impact cardio machine reduces the risk of injury without diminishing the intensity of your workout.

Rock Climbing:  The fitness aspect of our society has always included traditional activities such as running, weightlifting, and sports participation.  However, non-traditional activities are fast becoming preferred alternatives to the traditional exercise regimen.  Sport climbing is one of the alternative activities that have become increasingly popular throughout the last two decades. At one time viewed as an extreme activity, sport climbing is now a mainstream alternative activity that is equally attractive to youth and adults.  Rock climbing and/or bouldering facilities are popping up all over the place.  Check for a facility near you!

Jump Rope:  Jumping rope is one the best cardiovascular exercises that you can do and it can be done almost anywhere!  Jumping rope is fantastic for cardiovascular fitness, weight loss, and improving the strength and muscle tone of your lower body.

Spin: Spin classes are becoming more and more popular throughout the country.  It is easy to tell why these classes are building up so much momentum.  These high intensity workouts are filled with enthusiastic instructors and energetic music that push you to achieving your fitness goals.  The energy that you will feel from your fellow spin-mates is contagious and can be just what you need to break your winter blues!

Just because the weather is colder, doesn’t mean that your commitment to being the fittest version of yourself has to be shelved for a few months. Remember summer bodies are made in the winter!  So find the weather friendly activity that you enjoy most and keep those winter pounds away!

HIIT It Hard!

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HIIT It Hard!

High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT for short, is by far my favorite style of training.   HIIT workouts require you to engage in a high intensity movement or exercise circuit followed by a brief rest period or low intensity movement.  The high intensity movement jump starts your heart rate and makes you feel like your body is on fire.  The low intensity movement or rest period calms the heart rate back down to normal. There are several benefits of HITT workouts, including, but not limited to:

  • Quick and efficient: Performing 20 minutes of a HIIT workout can burn more calories and provide better results than 60 minutes of steady state cardio workouts.
  • Long lasting caloric expenditure: Your body will continue to burn fat and calories for up to 24 hours after performing a HIIT workout.
  • Increased endurance: HIIT workouts increase your overall physical endurance by pushing your body to the limit.

HIIT workouts, just like any other type of exercise, can cause harm to your body if not done properly or done too frequently. However, many of the dangers that can be attributed to HIIT training are the same dangers attributable to any type of exercise program.

  • Overtraining: Most of the dangers associated with HIIT training result from overtraining. For most adults, two to three HIIT sessions per week is more than sufficient to achieve the desired goals.
  • Poor form: The other notable danger results from lack of proper form as participants become more and more fatigued during their workouts.

Here are two great HIIT workouts that you can incorporate into your workout routine:

HIIT Workout #1 – Sprint for 30 seconds.  Then walk for 60 seconds.  Repeat 10 times.

HIIT Workout #2 – Do each exercise for 30 seconds with a 15 second break before going to the next exercise.  Complete 5 rounds.

Jumping Jacks

Squats

Burpees

Alternating Lunges

HIIT is a great way to help you reduce fat, boost your metabolism, and increase your aerobic ability.  When done correctly, incorporating HIIT workouts into your workout routine will lead to awesome results! Try it out during your next workout!

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Get Back On The Wagon!

Summertime is filled with days at the beach, rooftop happy hours, and cookouts.  Many people devote a lot of winter and springtime  hours getting in shape to look good during the summer months.  However, once the fun summer activities get started, a lot of people tend to throw their workouts on the back burner. Well, with the end of the summer and the start of the fall, its the perfect time to re-dedicate yourself to your fitness mentality and shed some of those excess summer pounds.  Here are few tips to help get you back on the fitness wagon.

1) Make your goals bigger than your excuses.  Whether your excuse is work, the kids, or you’re just plain tired, there will always be something that can distract your focus and give you an excuse to miss your workouts.  Because those excuses will always be there, you have to take control and remember why it is that you are working out in the first place.  Whether its just to stay healthy, shed a few pounds, or preparing for an event, find your “why” and make sure to constantly remind yourself that your “why” is more important than any excuse standing in the way.

2) Set attainable goals.  One bad meal will not make you fat, just like one good workout will not get you in incredible shape.   Remind yourself that getting back into shape is a process, not an overnight phenomenon.  There aren’t many things more frustrating than working hard and not feeling like you are making enough progress.  This frustration can lead some people to quit all together.  Start with smaller, short-term goals instead of focusing on larger, long-term goals.  For example, instead of setting a goal of losing 30 pounds, set a goal of losing at least 5 pounds a month.  Once you reach this goal, set another new goal and continue to repeat the process!

3) Take a step back in the beginning.  After taking an extended break from working out, a lot of people make the mistake of jumping right back into their previous workout routine. This often leads to frustration as we have quickly forgotten how long it took us to work up to our previous workout routine in the first place!  Our muscles very much follow the “use it or lose it” philosophy.  And if you have gone awhile without using your muscles, you can’t have the same performance expectations that you had before your workout hiatus.  Instead, ease back into your workout routine and give your body a chance to re-familiarize itself with the movements and workload.

Keep these 3 simple concepts in your mind as you jump back on the fitness wagon.  The only thing stopping all of us from obtaining the level of physical fitness that we desire is ourselves.  Lets get out of our own way and make this happen!jackfit logo-1

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