Achieving your fitness goals is a holistic journey, and it all starts with proper nutrition and fitness. Balancing your diet and exercise routine is crucial for long-term success. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to overlook the importance of these foundational pillars of health. Let’s delve deeper into the synergy between nutrition and fitness and how they can transform your life.
The Nutritional Foundation: Fueling Your Success
Your body is like a high-performance machine, and it requires the right fuel to operate optimally. When you provide it with the right nutrients, it rewards you with enhanced energy levels, mental clarity, and overall well-being. It’s not just about counting calories; it’s about the quality of those calories.
Start by incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense foods into your diet. Lean proteins like chicken, fish, and tofu provide essential amino acids for muscle repair and growth. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains and legumes supply steady energy throughout the day. Don’t forget the importance of healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, and olive oil.
Balancing these elements ensures your body has the tools it needs to recover from workouts and perform at its best. A well-rounded diet also supports your immune system and promotes longevity. To delve deeper into crafting a personalized nutrition plan, check out reputable sources like [Healthline].
Fitness: The Path to Vitality
Coupled with proper nutrition, fitness is your gateway to a healthier, more vibrant life. Regular physical activity not only helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight but also reduces the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
Exercise isn’t limited to intense gym sessions. It can encompass a variety of activities that you enjoy, such as swimming, hiking, dancing, or even gardening. The key is consistency. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with strength training exercises on two or more days.
Fitness is not just about the physical benefits; it also enhances your mental health. It releases endorphins, reducing stress and boosting your mood. Moreover, it promotes better sleep, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the challenges of each day.
For more guidance on crafting a balanced fitness routine, explore resources from renowned fitness organizations such as the [American Council on Exercise].
In conclusion, nutrition and fitness are the cornerstones of a healthier, more fulfilling life. By nourishing your body with the right nutrients and staying active, you unlock your potential to achieve your goals and enjoy a higher quality of life. Remember, this journey is not about perfection but about progress, and every step you take brings you closer to your best self.
https://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Yoga-poses-to-help-you-sleep-better-30.png12602240Shannon Austinhttps://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/FeverLogo_YCS_2023-300x140.pngShannon Austin2023-10-06 15:06:112023-10-06 15:06:11Unlocking Your Potential: The Power of Nutrition and Fitness
Barre is an accessible and beginner-friendly form of exercise for everyone, regardless of skill or fitness level. In this blog, we’ll walk through how barre was created, basic barre movements and terms, equipment used in barre classes, the unique benefits of barre classes, and explain everything you need to know before taking your first barre class.
What is Barre?
Barre was created in the 1950s by Lotte Berk, a ballerina who, after sustaining a back injury, began combining her traditional ballet routines with rehabilitative therapy exercises. Since then, barre has developed into a popular form of full-body exercise that combines movements and positions borrowed from ballet with low-impact, repetitive strength exercises.
Understanding Basic Barre Movements & Terms
Because barre borrows movements from ballet, several terms and movements may be unfamiliar to beginners. However, no prior dance experience or knowledge is required to participate in barre—you’ll get the hang of it in no time. To get you started, here are some common barre movements and terms to know:
Common Barre Positions:
First Position: Standing on the floor with your heels touching and your toes apart, forming a narrow V shape.
Second Position: Standing on the floor with your feet slightly wider than shoulder distance and your toes slightly pointing on an outward diagonal (also sometimes called “wide second”).
Parallel: Standing on the floor with your feet straight and facing forward (like the number 11), either together or hip-width apart.
Neutral Spine: A relaxed position where your back is perfectly in line from the tailbone to the spine to the neck and head, not straining in either direction.
Common Barre Movements:
Pulse: A small, controlled muscle movement typically done to the beat of music. Pulses involve a small range of motion, often indicated by the phrase “up an inch, down an inch.”
Relevé: Taken from ballet, this instruction simply means to lift your heel(s) off the ground.
Point/Flex: A point means to extend your toes pointing away from your body, lengthening your leg muscles outward. The opposite of a point, a flex means to pull your toes upward toward your body, stretching your calves and hamstrings.
Plié: Also from ballet, a plié indicates bending the knees then straightening them again, typically with hips and feet turned outward and the heels pressed together.
Equipment Used in Barre Classes
There are two pieces of equipment unique to barre classes: a ballet-style barre often used for support during exercises and a stall barre, which is a tall piece of exercise equipment with rungs of various heights often used for stretching and corrective exercises.
While many barre movements require only your body weight, barre instructors may incorporate light hand or ankle weights, resistance bands, exercise ballers, or sliders to further challenge and tone your muscles.
The Benefits of Barre
Barre is often praised for its ability to help isolate and tone lean muscle throughout all parts of the body, including your core, glutes, arms, and thighs/legs. The use of repeated slow, small movements allows you to work these muscles in a more focused way than traditional strength training exercises and target deeper muscles that high-intensity workouts might miss.
In addition to gaining strength and toning muscles, barre exercises help to increase flexibility, build a stronger core, and improve posture and balance. This increased mobility and range of motion are not only helpful for your workouts, but for the quality of your everyday life. The low-impact movements of barre are also easier on your joints than high-impact strength training, which means quicker recovery times and a lessened chance of injury.
Like all forms of exercise, barre is beneficial for overall physical health and longevity. And because of the emphasis on the mind-body connection, barre is also known for increasing mental clarity and reducing stress through the release of endorphins.
What to Expect from Your First Barre Class
What to Wear: Women should wear a supportive sports bra with an exercise tank top or fitted shirt. For bottoms, fitted capris, leggings, or exercise pants are all appropriate, but wearing shorts is discouraged. Most barre classes require grip/sticky socks, as no shoes are worn during the class (grip socks may be available for purchase at the fitness studio).
What to Bring: All of the equipment needed for your class will be provided, so you only need to bring yourself and some water to stay hydrated.
What to Expect: While classes vary in style and length, all barre classes will focus on a variety of mobility, range of motion, and strength/toning exercises. In most classes, these exercises will be timed to the beat of music.
Barre classes often rotate through sections focusing on arms, core/abs, and lower body, repeating small isometric movements until all muscle groups are fatigued and end with a cooldown/stretching period.
Modern barre studios may offer fusion classes that combine barre with another form of exercise such as cardio barre, HIIT barre, or pilates and barre. If it’s your first time taking a barre class, consider arriving a few minutes early to get familiar with the equipment and to ask any questions about the class format to the instructor. Your barre instructor is an expert there to help you succeed and get the most out of your class.
Barre is a unique form of full-body exercise that combines positions and moves borrowed from ballet with small, repetitive muscle movements. Barre classes have increased in popularity over the years as fitness lovers are discovering its fun, distinctive format and numerous benefits.
Some of the many benefits of barre classes include:
Benefit #1: Overall Muscle Toning and Strengthening
Barre classes offer a full body workout, toning your core, glutes, arms, and thighs/legs. Due to its use of small, isometric movements, barre often targets the deeper muscles in the body that are missed in other high-intensity workouts—and instructors may incorporate light weights, resistance bands, and/or stability balls to work your muscles even harder.
Benefit #2: Increased Flexibility and Mobility
Barre classes focus on both strength and flexibility, often incorporating several stretching and lengthening exercises throughout. This increased mobility and range of motion are helpful not only for future workouts, but for everyday life. Don’t worry, no flexibility is required to begin taking barre classes, but you’ll be impressed with how much your flexibility improves after just a few weeks!
Benefit #3: Better Posture and Balance
Because barre classes are both strengthening and lengthening for your muscles, you may notice improved posture and balance over time. Barre focuses heavily on maintaining proper alignment and strengthens your chest and shoulders, which helps prevent slouching. Good posture has benefits beyond what you may realize: it can help with deeper breathing as well as prevent back pain and injury.
Benefit #4: Reduced Stress and Increased Clarity
Like all forms of exercise, barre is great for reducing stress and increasing mental clarity. More than some higher-intensity workouts, though, barre requires a deep intentional focus and mindfulness to maintain a mind-body connection. Exercise also leads to increased production of the endorphins that keep our minds sharp and clear.
Benefit #5: Faster Recovery and Lower Impact than Other Workouts
Barre is an excellent form of low-impact exercise that can be easily modified, making it safe and accessible for people of all life stages (including pregnancy) and skill levels. Barre’s gentleness on the joints also leads to faster recovery times, meaning fewer rest days needed between classes and a decreased chance of injury during and after the workout.
The benefits of barre are almost endless for beginners and pros alike—so what are you waiting for?
Jump in and schedule your next barre class today.
https://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Yoga-Fuel.png12602240Shannon Austinhttps://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/FeverLogo_YCS_2023-300x140.pngShannon Austin2023-04-24 09:59:432023-04-24 10:00:48Top 5 Benefits of Barre Classes
The vast array of fitness classes and workout options available today can be both exciting and, let’s face it, overwhelming. With so many styles to choose from, it can be difficult to know what workouts best suit our lifestyle and will benefit us most in the long run.
In this blog, we’ll unpack the basics of two popular workouts, barre and strength training, discuss the unique benefits of each workout, and explain what workout is best for your fitness goals.
Understanding Barre vs. Strength Training
Barre is a form of full-body exercise that combines movements and positions borrowed from ballet with low-impact, repetitive strength exercises, designed to isolate and strengthen muscles. Barre classes often rotate through sections focusing on arms, core/abs, and lower body, repeating small, isometric movements targeting one muscle area until all muscles are fatigued. While barre can be done without equipment, classes typically incorporate a ballet barre and light weights, resistance bands, sliders, and/or exercise balls.
Strength training (also known as resistance training) is a form of exercise focused on gaining muscle mass, building strength, and increasing endurance. Strength training encompasses a wide variety of exercises, using body weight or equipment, with a focus on building muscle mass in all major muscle groups. Bodyweight exercises like lunges, squats, push-ups, and planks are examples of strength training, as are movements that incorporate weights and resistance machines.
The Benefits of Barre
Barre offers a full body workout, toning your core, glutes, arms, and thighs/legs. Due to its use of small, isometric movements, barre often targets the deeper muscles in the body that are missed in other workouts. And, because barre is low-impact and easy on joints and muscles, there is a decreased chance of injury and recovery is often faster than higher-intensity workouts.
Barre classes focus on both strength and flexibility, often incorporating stretching and lengthening exercises throughout. These exercises contribute to increased mobility and range of motion that are beneficial in everyday life and lead to better posture and balance, as well.
The mind-body connection and focus required for barre classes help reduce stress and increase mental clarity—not to mention the feel-good endorphins that come after.
The Benefits of Strength Training
The most obvious benefit of strength training is an overall increase in muscle mass and a toned physique. However, strength training also helps build bone density, joint flexibility, and balance—all of which lead to a higher quality of life and a lower risk of injury overall.
Strength training may also be an ideal form of exercise for those pursuing fat loss, as increased muscle mass leads to a higher resting metabolic rate. This means that your body consistently burns more calories when at rest, rather than just during your workout.
Alongside its physical benefits, consistent strength training also contributes to overall health and longevity, better sleep, and mental clarity.
Barre vs. Strength Training: What is Best for Your Workout?
The simple answer is that both exercises can be extremely beneficial for your overall health and what workout is “best” will depend on your unique fitness goals and preferences.
We recommend incorporating a combination of barre, strength training, and other exercises into your routine to increase your overall strength and help you avoid injury, mental boredom, and burnout. Switching up your workouts will continue to challenge your body and help you see more consistent results over time.
However, when it comes to exercise, it’s also important to do what you love—if a barre class gets you excited to wake up in the morning, do that! If a strength training plan helps you unwind after a long day, do that! Prioritizing the forms of exercise that you
enjoy the most will ensure you stay consistent over time and see exercise as a gift to your body and mind, not a punishment.
Whether it’s a strength class, a barre class, or one of our fusion options, Fever would love to be a part of your fitness journey. Schedule a class today.
https://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/pure-8.5-×-11-in-Blog-Banner-14.png12602240Shannon Austinhttps://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/FeverLogo_YCS_2023-300x140.pngShannon Austin2023-02-17 10:20:522023-09-03 10:38:41Barre vs. Strength Training: What is Best for Your Workout?
Barre is an increasingly popular form of full-body exercise, combining movements and positions borrowed from ballet with low-impact, repetitive strength exercises. Although somewhat similar to other toning workouts like pilates, there are many pieces of equipment, positions, and movements that are unique to barre.
To help prepare you before you hit the barre, here are some common terms to know:
Barre Equipment Terms: Ballet Barre: In barre classes, a ballet-style barre is often used for support during exercises (hence the name!).
Stall Barre: A stall barre is a tall piece of exercise equipment with rungs of various heights, like a ladder. The stall barre is often used for stretching and corrective exercises. Typically, people hold the very top rung and allow their bodies to hang and lengthen.
Barre Positions to Know:
● First Position: In first position, you are standing on the floor with your heels touching and your toes apart, forming a narrow V shape.
● Second Position: In second position (also sometimes called “wide second”), you are standing on the floor with your feet slightly wider than shoulder distance and your toes slightly pointed on an outward diagonal.
● Parallel: In parallel position, you are standing on the floor with your feet straight and facing forward (like the number 11), either together or hip-width apart.
● Neutral Spine: A neutral spine is a relaxed position where your back is perfectly in line from the tailbone to the spine to the neck and head, not straining in either direction.
Barre Movement Terms:
● Pulse: A pulse is a small, controlled muscle movement. Typically done to the beat of music, pulses involve a small range of motion, often indicated by the phrase “up an inch, down an inch.”
●Relevé: Taken from ballet, this instruction simply means to lift your heel(s) off the ground.
Point/Flex: A point is when you extend your toes pointing away from your body, lengthening your leg muscles. The opposite of a point, a flex is when you pull your toes upward toward your body, stretching your calves and hamstrings.
●Plié: Also taken from ballet, a plié means to bend the knees and straighten them again, typically with hips and feet turned outward and the heels pressed together. Tuck: A tuck is a movement involving your pelvic muscles, done by dropping your tailbone down and then pulling your abdominal muscles up toward your spine. This move is often performed lying down, pushing the hips forward rhythmically to a beat.
●Seat Work: In barre, seat work refers to exercises and movements focused on your hamstrings/upper thighs and glutes—the area that touches a seat.
If it’s familiar with the equipment and to ask any questions to the instructor beforehand. If you still feel confused or unsure of how to use the equipment or how to perform certain exercises, your barre instructor is an expert there to help you succeed and get the most out of all barre has to offer!
Ready to get started? Schedule your first barre class at YogaFever | Yoga Cycle Strength today!
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Are you considering trying out your very first barre class? Barre is a great exercise option for beginners and fitness pros alike! Barre classes combine movements and positions borrowed from ballet with low-impact, repetitive strength exercises, designed to tone and strengthen muscles—but no prior dance experience is required.
Before you head into your first barre class, here’s what you can expect:
You may be wondering what type of athletic wear is best suited for barre class (no, tutus and ballet shoes are not required!). We suggest that women wear a supportive sports bra with an exercise tank top or fitted shirt. For bottoms, fitted capris, leggings, or exercise pants are all appropriate, but wearing shorts is discouraged.
Some barre classes may require grip/sticky socks, as (typically) no shoes are worn during the class. Grip socks are available for purchase at the studio or can be purchased online beforehand. Honestly, you can go barefoot and be just as productive + safe. All of the other equipment needed for the class will be provided for you, so you simply need to bring yourself, maybe socks, and some water to stay hydrated!
What to Expect from Your First Barre Class
While classes vary in style and length, all barre classes will focus on mobility, range of motion, and strength/toning. Barre classes often rotate through sections focusing on arms, core/abs, and lower body, repeating small isometric movements until muscles are fatigued (prepare to be shaking!) At most classes, these exercises will be timed to the beat of music.
Alongside the use of bodyweight and the ballet barre, many barre classes also incorporate resistance bands, sliders, hand or ankle weights, or exercise balls to further challenge and fatigue muscles. Modern barre studios may offer “fusion” classes, such as cardio barre, HIIT and barre, pilates and barre, and more. It would be helpful to arrive a few minutes early to your first class to ask your instructor any questions about the class format and to become familiar with the equipment you’ll be using.
Because barre borrows exercises and positions from ballet, there may be terminology and movements you are unfamiliar with. Don’t worry—your instructor is there to help you through it!
What to Do After Your First Barre Class
Once your first class is over, congratulate yourself: You did it! Enjoy those post-workout endorphins. Although classes typically include a cooldown and stretching period at the end, don’t forget to give your sore muscles some extra TLC after class. Hydration, stretching, and rest are the keys to ensuring proper muscle recovery after exercise.
Because barre is low-impact, recovery is often quicker than more high-intensity workouts. That means after a day or so, it’s time to schedule your next barre class!
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Indoor cycling studios are quickly taking the fitness world by storm. While there are plenty of ways to get your workout these days, spinning stands out as one of the best. Stationary spin bikes allow you to focus on what’s happening in your workout. Your speed and resistance help you build muscle through strength training while weights and choreography make it a full body workout. The benefits of indoor cycling aren’t just physical either. Making spin class a part of your regular fitness routine can have a positive impact on your mental health as well.
If you are looking to step up your cardiovascular health and take care of your bones and joints look no further than your local indoor cycling studio. A typical spin class will combine resistance training and speed intervals with choreography intended to give you an intense full body workout that can burn anywhere from 300-600+ calories in one class. In addition to the benefits of combining cardio and strength training, it’s easy on the knees. Cycling uses repetitive low impact motions that can help strengthen bones and keep joints lubricated which can help you avoid future damage, while also being a great option for individuals recovering from previous injuries. Research has shown that regular cardio exercise can boost your natural energy levels, increase endurance and improve your oxygen uptake which means more oxygen, blood and nutrients are flowing to your muscles. Cycling is an excellent low impact workout with maximum results.
In addition to the physical benefits of spinning, you will likely begin to see an improvement in your mental health as well with regular spin classes. Cardio exercises release endorphins, also known as happy hormones that help to lower stress and cortisol levels. These endorphins can also help relieve the physical symptoms of anxiety. Indoor cycling workouts can increase your focus and mental clarity as well as improving your rest and sleep habits. If you are struggling to pick up a new workout routine, it is important to find exercise you can enjoy doing so that making it a part of your day becomes fun. Taking classes at your local cycling studio allows you to meet and join a community of people who have similar interests and meet new friends.
Our favorite part of spin classes? The high energy music that keeps you going! Indoor cycling is gaining in popularity and for good reason. Combining a calorie scorching cardio workout with resistance and strength training, indoor cycling builds lean muscles,boosts energy and keeps your bones and joints healthy. Not to mention improved focus, less stress and better sleep. If you haven’t given spinning a try yet, join us for a class and see what you’ve been missing!
author: Megan Lewis
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As the new year approaches, many of us begin thinking about the resolutions, goals, or intentions we want to set for the year ahead. And I don’t know about you, but I used to be hesitant about setting resolutions, because, midway through the year, my motivation would drop and I’d start slipping away from the behaviors I had so eagerly envisioned in January.
Commitment is hard, especially when it comes to life-changing habits and behaviors, like eating a vegan diet or consistently exercising. Whatever you repeatedly do forms the person you become, the things you believe, and the personality you portray. So if you want to improve, or form new habits, how should you go about it?
Over the years, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks for creating habits that endure past the last snowfall.
The 3 R’s to Forming New Habits:
Reminder– this is the trigger that initiates the behavior you’re trying to enact. Several weeks into your commitment, it can be easy to start slipping back into your old ways. Set a reminder to execute your habit every day. It doesn’t matter whether this is a phone alert, a physical cue, or something else – what matters is that you see or hear a reminder that prompts you to take action. Routine– this is the behavior itself, or the action you take. Commit to 30 days of whatever habit you’re trying to form, whether it’s eating vegan, flossing your teeth, moving your body daily or practicing yoga. Three to four weeks is all the time you need to make a habit automatic, and a month is a good amount of time to commit to, since it easily fits in your calendar! Reward– this is the benefit you gain from doing the behavior. If you’re committing yourself to creating a new habit, it most likely is because you want to improve on some aspect of your life. Therefore, there are usually innate benefits to forming the habit, such as a healthier immune system, stronger teeth, or a more toned body. But it doesn’t hurt to personally reward yourself, as well! It’s important to celebrate because we like continuing actions that make us feel good. Whether you quietly tell yourself “Good job. You made progress today!” or physically reward yourself with some form of treat, what matters is acknowledging your progress.
A Few Other Helpful Tips:
Find a Buddy: Find a friend who will join you in the pursuit of this new habit. There’s nothing like an accountability partner to keep you motivated if you feel like quitting.
Be Imperfect: You can’t expect your attempt to change huge lifestyle behaviors to be successful immediately. You might fall astray during your 30 day commitment, or it might even take longer to fully form. No worries, friends! Just expect a few bumps along the way.
Be Consistent in Your Timing: For habits like exercising and yoga, being consistent in the time you choose to practice is key. During your 30 day challenge, commit yourself to practicing your new habit at the same time each day, whether that’s morning, evening, or right after work.
https://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/how-to-form-habits-that-youll-keep-for-life.png12602240Shannon Austinhttps://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/FeverLogo_YCS_2023-300x140.pngShannon Austin2022-11-21 17:19:172022-11-20 16:46:04How to Form Habits that You’ll Keep for Life
Indoor cycling is a workout that has become vastly popular in recent years. You may be wondering: What exactly is indoor cycling? What are the benefits of indoor cycling? And why should I choose indoor cycling over a different form of exercise? We’ll walk through all of that and more.
What Is Indoor Cycling?
To put it simply, indoor cycling is a form of cardio exercise performed on a specific style of stationary bike. Indoor cycling classes typically follow an interval style, rotating between resistance work, speed work, and combination endurance, mimicking the “hills and valleys” of an outdoor cycling experience. These classes are often characterized by their intense pace and high-energy music and atmosphere.
The Benefits of Indoor Cycling
The fun music and upbeat vibes at an indoor cycling class are sure to put you in a good mood, but the benefits don’t end there. While this type of cycling is primarily thought of as a high-intensity cardio workout, it’s also great for building lower body strength.
Alongside the obvious cardiovascular benefits of this heart-pumping workout, you’ll find that it strengthens and builds your core, calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. Some instructors will even incorporate upper body strength work into their classes, either body weight or with a light dumbbell or bar, making indoor cycling a full-body burn!
The Equipment Needed for Indoor Cycling
One awesome perk of indoor cycling is that there is very little equipment needed to get started. Whatever workout apparel you typically exercise in should work just fine for your indoor cycling class. However, cycling-specific shoes are the one piece special equipment you may want to invest in.
Most bikes at cycling studios and gyms will have pedals suited for either regular tennis shoes that slide into toe cages with straps, or cycling shoes that clip into the pedals.
So, unless your studio requires them, cycling shoes aren’t totally necessary—but they do have some clear advantages over regular road shoes.
Cycling shoes that clip-in securely to your bike pedals will increase your stability and power during your workout. They also decrease risk of injury by making sure your weight is evenly distributed throughout your feet, and that your feet won’t slide off the pedals mid-workout.
Why Choose Indoor Cycling?
If you’ve gotten this far and are still wondering, “why choose indoor cycling over a different type of exercise?,” there are a few unique benefits worth noting.
As previously mentioned, indoor cycling classes work in an interval style that is challenging for both your muscles and your heart. But did you know that this type of training actually gets your heart and metabolism working faster than a typical steady-state workout? That means more calories burned during your workout and even after the fact (due to higher oxygen consumption post-workout)—making indoor cycling a great choice for fat burn and weight loss.
Another benefit of indoor cycling is that it is low-impact, meaning you can expect less joint pain, lower risk of injury, and shorter recovery periods between workouts compared to an activity like running.
Last but not least, indoor cycling classes are known for their fun and encouraging atmosphere. At most studios, you can expect dimmed lights, upbeat music, and an energetic spirit that makes classes feel more like a party than a workout!
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Ask any yoga teacher, and they’ll easily share a handful of questions or excuses they often hear as to why new students think yoga isn’t right for them.
Perhaps the most common one is the belief that you have to be flexible before ever setting foot on a yoga mat.
And I really can’t blame you for thinking this. Take a look at any Instagram account or magazine cover and you’ll see yogis bent into ridiculously perfect poses.
Thinking you have to be flexible to try yoga is like saying you have to be in shape to go to the gym or know how to cook to take a cooking class. The truth is, practicing yoga regularly will help you become more flexible over time.
But it’s called practice for a reason. You have to start somewhere.
I simply ask that you give it a try, commit to a regular practice (2-3 times per week to start), and stay patient. Also, take the following pieces of advice to heart.
Tips for building flexibility through yoga
Befriend your props: Props – including straps, blocks, and blankets – are not just for beginners. Smart yogis use them on any given day for a number of reasons. One is to bring the ground closer to you to release strain on your hamstrings. A second is they allow you to rest in restorative poses to tone down the intensity of certain shapes. Make it a habit to grab props before each and every class.
Develop a stretching routine: Everyone has certain body parts that are far tighter than others. Maybe it’s your hamstrings, hips, shoulders, or neck. To avoid common yoga injuries as you build flexibility and strength, identify which body parts are your weaknesses. Then target those daily with a small handful of stretches. Learn to identify the difference between sensation and pain.
Breathe through your muscles: Even and sustained breathing brings oxygen into your muscles. I’ve found that many new yogis notice the loud, even breaths of their neighbors throughout class and wonder “Do I have to do this too?” Yes, absolutely! A strong breath practice not only keeps you energized throughout class but also sends oxygen into the places you need it most.
Feel the heat: While you can certainly practice yoga anywhere, the reason we crank the heat in our studio is that it loosens your muscles, making it easier to build flexibility without causing injury. This means two things. One, don’t push too far in a heated space, as your muscles might be deceiving you. Two, accept the fact that you won’t feel quite as flexible in a colder space as you do in our studio.
Very few yoga students walk into their first class wildly flexible. But that’s okay because flexibility isn’t the main goal of yoga anyway. Yoga helps you practice mindfulness, live in the present, and increase your self-confidence.
Flexibility is certainly a perk of steady yoga practice, but it shouldn’t be a fear that keeps you away from ever stepping onto your mat.
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The practice of gratitude improves health and happiness, builds a positive outlook, and doesn’t cost a thing. Even in the stressful, unclear times of our lives, we all have something to be thankful for. And if we choose to live as if everything is a gift, we live with deep appreciation and gratitude.
So as I prepare for Thanksgiving this year, I’m reflecting on 9 simply ways we can cultivate gratitude in our daily lives – on or off the mat.
On the Mat:
Set Grateful Intentions– I’ve written before about the importance of setting intentions for your yoga practice. And while these can vary tremendously, why not try setting one related to gratefulness for a few weeks? Make your goal throughout your practice be to appreciate every moment – every drop of sweat dripping down your body, every muscle stretching, and every deep breath that moves through you.
Meditate Daily– The practice of meditation can take many forms, but the goal is always the same: to quiet our busy minds and help us find some internal peace. While it can be tough to settle into a time of stillness, this is where you’ll find the ability to reflect on the people, places, and things in your life that serve you. If you’re religious, prayerful meditation is a great way to honor the aspects of your life that bring you joy.
Count Your Blessings, Not Your Breaths– This one is nearly impossible to do throughout an entire yoga session, but why not try it during one long pose – half pigeon, anyone? Instead of spending your time wishing you could leave the pose, try thinking of one thing you’re grateful for with each round of breath.
Never Skip Savasana– I don’t know about you, but I find it quite easy to be grateful when I move into savasana at the end of class. The intensity and heat are finally over and my tired muscles can melt into corpse pose. Whether in the studio or in your personal practice, always ensure you make time to spend 5-10 minutes in this final, resting pose.
Off the Mat:
Move Your Body– Yeah, yeah. You know this one, right? But there’s a difference between exercising just to lose weight and exercising because you love and want to honor your body. Find whatever method you enjoy and do it! Whether that’s yoga, long walks, biking, swimming, kayaking, running, or lifting weights, take time to appreciate and respect your body’s need for movement.
Read– Ditch your screens, crack open a physical book, and get lost in it. Allow yourself to absorb new ideas, learn about different cultures, or discover inspirational quotes and poetry. I promise you’ll experience gratefulness for a world outside your own.
Write It Down– This tip is simple, yet extremely effective. Find the time of day that suits you and jot down three things each day that bring you joy. Sometimes your entries will be short and sweet, while others may include great detail. See if you notice a pattern of the people or things that you’re thankful for, and find ways to incorporate them into your daily life.
Self-Care– Show your whole being – body, mind, and soul- some gratitude by starting some self-care habits. Create a skin-care routine or fuel your body with wholesome nutrients. Get a massage or take daily walks to clear your mind.
Give Back– Once you have begun this journey toward thankfulness, it’s time to give back. Maybe you choose to donate to a favorite charity or volunteer with a cause near to your heart. Or perhaps it’s simply by teaching a loved one how to live gratefully every single day.
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As you get ready to take your first indoor cycling class, you may be wondering: do I need special shoes for indoor cycling? If so, what are the best ones?
The beauty of indoor cycling is that, no, you don’t need specific shoes or gear to get started—any tennis shoe or shoe designed for exercise should work just fine on most indoor cycling bikes. However, some bikes may require shoes that attach to the pedals of your bike, called “clip-ins.” Let’s dive into the differences, pros, and cons of indoor cycling with regular tennis shoes vs. designated clip-in cycling shoes.
Indoor Cycling with Tennis Shoes
At most indoor cycling studios and gyms, bikes will be equipped with an option for regular tennis shoes and feature adjustable toe cages and straps to ensure a secure and comfortable fit. So the biggest advantage of indoor cycling with tennis shoes is that you don’t need to make any additional purchases to start your cycling journey.
While tennis shoes often suffice, there are some disadvantages. If you’re not clipped in, you may find that your feet slip out of the pedals more frequently, especially when riding out of the saddle. And because tennis shoes have flexible soles that aren’t designed with cycling in mind, they can put unnecessary pressure on the front part of your foot, rather than evenly distributing your weight. Both of these factors contribute to a higher likelihood of injuring your feet or ankles when cycling.
Indoor Cycling with Clip-In Shoes
There are several advantages to cycling with clip-in shoes. Cycling shoes are designed with hard soles, which ensure that your weight is distributed evenly throughout your whole foot. Because they clip in securely to the pedals of the bike, you’ll also experience increased stability, especially when riding out of the saddle.
Clip-in cycling shoes also allow you to exert more power during your ride and help ensure that the correct muscles in your legs are being targeted as you pull up and push down on the pedals. They can also help prevent injuries in your feet and ankles by keeping your feet secure and aligned with the pedals.
If you’re just starting out your indoor cycling journey, your regular pair of tennis shoes will probably suffice for your first few sessions. But when you’re ready to take your rides to the next level, clip-in cycling shoes will make for a safer, smoother, and more effective workout.
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Indoor cycling is usually thought of as a cardio activity rather than a strength workout, but when done intentionally, it can provide both benefits. In fact, indoor cycling actually helps strengthen and build some of your biggest and most important muscle groups! So, what muscles does indoor cycling work?
Indoor Cycling Strengthens Your Lower Body
Because indoor cycling is mostly a lower body focused workout, most of the “burn” is felt throughout the legs in the thighs (hamstrings and quadriceps), calves, and in the glutes. These are some of the largest muscle groups in your body, and when strengthened, help to improve your overall health and physique.
The higher the resistance on your bike, the more strain you will feel on the muscles in your legs when seated. Rising up into a standing position (“out of the saddle”) and hinging your body forward while indoor cycling is particularly effective in targeting your gluteus muscles.
Indoor Cycling is Great for Your Core
Your core is the key to proper form when indoor cycling. A strong core will help ensure that your body stays in the correct upright position both in and out of the saddle—leaning forward toward the handlebars, but without any strain on your back or weight in your arms. As you strengthen your core, you’ll notice increased stability and strength in all of your workouts and routine daily activities.
Indoor Cycling Build Strength in the Arms
When practicing proper form on your bike, there should be little to no strain on your arms. However, some indoor cycling classes will incorporate your upper body into the workout through bodyweight push-ups on the bike or through the use of added dumbbells or a weighted bar.
Indoor Cycling Works Your Heart and Lungs
Your heart is arguably the most valuable muscle you can develop. All forms of cardio exercise, like indoor cycling, help to increase the output capacity of your heart as well as the ability of your heart and lungs to consume oxygen (called your VO2 max). And improving the health of your heart and lungs is vital to overall health and quality of life.
It’s clear that indoor cycling provides numerous benefits for your body, both in stamina and strength. Are you ready to get started building muscles in a fun and approachable way? Schedule your first spin class at Yoga Fever.
https://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/how-to.png12602240Shannon Austinhttps://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/FeverLogo_YCS_2023-300x140.pngShannon Austin2022-08-30 12:41:112022-08-30 12:41:11What Muscles Does Indoor Cycling Work?
Last week we covered seven basic, overarching ways to avoid yoga-related injuries. Now, let’s dive deeper into some of the most common body parts that yogis injure – and learn practical ways to protect yourself.
Hamstrings: One of the most common body parts that can get injured due to yoga is your hamstrings. Forcing your legs straight into any pose – whether you’re standing, sitting, or lying down – can damage your hamstring muscles. This kind of injury often builds up gradually, turning into hamstring tendonitis.
How to avoid hamstring injuries: Avoid forcing your legs into any stretches and you’ll find these injuries quite easy to avoid. If hamstrings are not your most flexible body part, apply added focus on contracting the front of your body (quads and lower abs) when you fold forward to let your hamstrings feel safe letting go. Don’t use your hands to pull your body deeper into forward folds. Those of you with a lot of mobility in your hamstrings need to be cautious and focus on engaging your outer hips, as it’s possible for you to overstretch and cause injury.
Shoulders: Yoga can cause shoulder injuries as a result of improper overuse. Poses like plank, chaturanga, cobra pose, and upward facing are common culprits. I’ve also seen shoulder injuries arise due to students not listening to their bodies’ signs of fatigue. Don’t push through chaturanga when your body is screaming for a modification or a rest.
How to avoid shoulder injuries: Avoid putting heavy weight on the joint by keeping the shoulders locked into the back on the poses listed above. Be sure to hug the elbows into the side body as you lower down through chaturanga and drop your knees down if this is hard to accomplish. Nail the elbows grazing into the ribs as you lower first – then try to lower down in one line with knees lifted. In your updog and cobra poses be sure to expand into the collar bones and externally rotate the shoulders and pull them down into the back pockets.
Wrists: Much like elbow injuries, wrist pain is a result of repetitive stress. This small joint is often already aggravated by too much computer usage. Those of you with weaker upper arms and forearms are at a higher risk because you won’t be able to press your palm firmly enough into your mat to relieve the weight placed on your wrist.
How to avoid wrist injuries: Supplement your yoga practice with some basic arm exercises designed to tone and strengthen. Use dumbbells or resistance bands when you visit the gym. The stronger your arms are, the less pressure you’ll place on your wrists. Alternatively, I recommend placing your knees on the ground to modify poses, like chaturanga, while you build wrist strength.
Lower back: Among the most frequent yoga injuries, lower back pain is often caused by rounding your spine in forward folds or downward dog. Rounding and overstretching is a recipe for injury and irritation, as it causes your spine to flex the opposite way it is supposed to.
How to avoid lower back injuries: Don’t shy away from bending your knees in forward folds; this allows your back to decompress and relax. Engage your lower belly in most poses – especially chair – as core strength contributes to a strong, healthy back. Keep a small bend in your knees throughout practice and remember to tuck your pelvis under your spine.
Knees: Knee injuries are often related to a lack of flexibility, especially in poses that target your tight hips. Other times, they’re the result of your knees falling out of alignment in poses like Warrior or triangle pose.
How to avoid knee injuries: When bending your knee in a pose like Warrior 2, always check that it is tracking over your middle toe. You never want it to cave inward because it adds unnecessary strain. When your knee is straight, avoid locking your knee joint. Additionally, avoid spending long periods of time in deep hip openers until you build flexibility there.
Neck: Any time you apply pressure to your neck – such as during a headstand – you’re compressing your neck. This can lead to pain in your cervical vertebrae. Your neck is one of the scariest places to harm since it takes so long to heal properly.
How to avoid neck injuries: Never put pressure on your head in any kind of inversion – including when you prepare for full wheel. Don’t force yourself into poses that the rest of your body (shoulders, wrists, abs) isn’t prepared to support you in.
Given all the proven benefits of yoga, but also the many potential risks, what should you yogis do? My biggest advice to avoiding yoga injuries is a combination of gradually easing into each practice, noting when your body feels pain over sensation, and mixing yoga with other exercise forms to strengthen weak areas.
At YogaFever | Yoga Cycle Strength, it’s our mission to teach an anatomically-sound yoga practice that keeps your bodies safe and strong! If you ever start noticing pain or discomfort, let your yoga instructor know so we can help adjust you or modify your pose.
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Doesn’t it always seem that just as you’re getting really comfortable and strong in your yoga practice, an injury comes along that knocks you off your feet and requires you to slow down? Whether it’s a strained muscle or a broken bone, the lesson is simple: time to rest and heal.
Thankfully, yoga is a form of exercise that thrives off of alterations, changes, and meeting you where you are each time you step on your mat. It offers plenty of variations for those needing to ease up, and it actually can help you prevent or recover from injuries.
When You’ve Gone Too Far
As a general rule, you should never feel pain in your joints. If you do feel pinching sensations, it’s an indication to stop and relearn your technical approach.
Muscles are a different story. Muscular soreness is an unavoidable sensation caused by any physical activity: running, biking, weight lifting, dancing. This kind of soreness is natural. But if you start feeling pain in your joints – such as in the vertebrae or shoulder joints – while attempting complex movements, it’s time to modify.
Wave your yoga instructor down and ask for a few pointers. At Yoga Fever, we do our best to help students right during class, but if we can’t answer all your questions, please grab us before or after class!
Conquering the Ego
If you are experiencing an injury, one of the hardest things to face is your own ego. You’ll begin to cringe when you have to back out of a pose or rest in child’s pose rather than following the sequence you used to easily flow through. I’ve got some blunt honesty for you: let the ego bleed itself to death. This is exactly what you’ll need to free yourself from the whiny voice in your head that thinks your value is tied to your success.
Then, you’ll be able to reframe your mind. Injury demands you to ask what your priority in yoga really is. When you can no longer do the “cool” poses, you must identify whether your motivation is finding inner peace or simply mastering advanced poses.
1. Sudden or Acute Pain– Do you know the difference between stretching within your limits and pushing beyond them? Often, we slip into the latter and our body gives a shout of pain.
What to Do: Speak up if something doesn’t feel quite right when your instructor makes an adjustment. Give yourself some compassion when you have the desire to force or contort yourself into a posture that’s just not happening today!
2. Connective Tissue Tears– Occasionally, your joint may take on too heavy of a load, such as your knees in Chair Pose or your elbows and wrists in arm balances.
What to Do: Stop what you were doing immediately before making the injury worse. You may want to take a few days off, but when you do return to your mat, remember to focus on stability rather than stretching; this way you’ll stay within your limits.
3. Repetitive Stress Injuries– Dedicated yogis occasionally experience stress injuries – like tendonitis – from repeatedly doing the same movements.
What to Do: Though you may have a favorite style of yoga, mixing things up and trying not only different yoga classes but also other forms of exercise, is a great way to shift the frequency away from overused body parts.
Indoor cycling classes are often known for their upbeat music, fast pace, and party-like atmosphere. But is indoor cycling really a good workout? Can an exercise that’s fun be effective, too? Let’s explore the strength, cardio, and weight loss benefits of indoor cycling.
Indoor cycling helps to build and strengthen many of the largest muscle groups in your body, including your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. These core muscles power your cycling workout—and the higher you set your resistance, the harder these muscles will work.
Cycling also helps to strengthen your core, which keeps your body aligned and stable when sitting or standing on the bike. Cycling instructors may also incorporate upper body work into a class through the use of dumbbells, a weighted bar, or through push up movements on the bike.
The Cardio Benefits of Indoor Cycling
Cardio exercises, especially those that are medium to high-intensity like indoor cycling, are extremely beneficial for cardiovascular health. Regular cardio exercise helps increase the output capacity of your heart as well as your VO2 max—the ability of your heart and lungs to consume oxygen.
This improved capacity and stamina in your heart and lungs means that you’ll be able to cycle and exercise harder, faster, and for longer. And even more importantly, your heart and lungs will be healthier for your everyday activities and life.
Tip: One extra benefit of indoor cycling over other cardio activities like running is that it is low-impact and easier on your joints. That means shorter recovery times and a lessened risk of injury over time.
The Weight Loss Benefits of Indoor Cycling
The interval style of indoor cycling classes offers unique benefits for calorie burn and weight loss: most classes include a rotation of focus on high speed, high resistance, and overall endurance that causes your heart rate to rise, fall, and rise again. This style of training gets your heart pumping and metabolism burning faster than a typical steady-state workout, and also contributes to higher oxygen consumption post-workout—meaning that you’ll keep burning calories at a higher rate even after the workout is done.
If you’re looking to challenge your muscles, get your heart pumping, and leave your next workout both sweaty and smiling, indoor cycling is the perfect choice for you. Schedule a class at YogaFever | Yoga Cycle Strengthtoday.
https://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Blog-Banner-for-Website-Content-11.png12602240Shannon Austinhttps://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/FeverLogo_YCS_2023-300x140.pngShannon Austin2022-05-31 05:16:142022-11-20 16:26:37Is Indoor Cycling a Good Workout?
Leading health organizations recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, every week. That means we should be getting around 20 minutes of moderate-intensity physical exercise 7 days a week, or around 30 minutes 5 days a week.
Depending on the class and your personal output, indoor cycling could fall in either the moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity activity category, which means 30 minutes is actually a great length for your daily workout.
Your calories burned during a 30 minute indoor cycling class will vary based on a variety of factors, including your weight, age, gender, and as mentioned, the intensity of your workout. As a general reference, though, average riders report 250-400 calories burned in one 30 minute class.
Over time, you may notice that as your stamina and endurance increase, and that your 30 minutes of indoor cycling is no longer physically challenging. If that occurs, try bumping up your cycling sessions to 45 or 60 minutes!
Maximizing Your 30 Minute Indoor Cycling Workout
It’s important to focus on the quality, rather than just the quantity, of your workout. So, when taking a 30 minute indoor cycling class, focus on giving your maximum effort from start to finish. Giving your best and challenging yourself to push for the full 30 minutes will ensure optimal results, but do be careful not to overexert yourself to the point of harm or injury. Take rest and water breaks when needed.
Whether it’s for 15, 30, or 60 minutes, indoor cycling is a great way to build your strength, increase your stamina, burn calories, and release those feel-good endorphins.
Indoor cycling (also known as “spin” or “spinning”) has risen in popularity over the years. But you may be wondering: can a workout this fun actually help you lose weight? AND can I participate in indoor cycling as a beginner?
Short answer: YES! Like all forms of exercise, when combined with a balanced diet, indoor cycling can contribute to healthy weight loss. Here’s how.
The Weight Loss Advantages of Indoor Cycling
All cardio exercises are great for maximizing your calorie burn, but indoor cycling has some unique benefits. Indoor cycling classes typically follow an interval style, alternating between sections that focus on high speed with lower resistance, slower speeds with higher resistance, and a combination of both. This type of workout is especially great for weight loss because it gets your metabolism running faster than an even-paced, steady-state workout would.
This variation of pace and exertion also contributes to higher oxygen consumption post-workout, which means you’ll continue to burn calories even after you’ve finished your session!
Indoor cycling is also great for healthy and sustainable weight loss because it’s low-impact and easier on your joints than most other cardio activities, like running. This ensures shorter recovery times and a lessened risk of injury.
While typically seen as cardio exercise, high-resistance indoor cycling can also help build and strengthen the muscles in your lower body, including your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and even your core! Not only does this help with a stronger physique, but more muscle on your body actually means more calories burned throughout your day—even when at rest.
Indoor cycling, also known as “spin,” simply means the act of cycling on an indoor stationary bike as opposed to out on the open road. This type of workout has grown in popularity over the years through studio classes like SoulCycle and at-home workouts like Peloton.
Trying a new style of workout can be intimidating, but there’s nothing to fear. Indoor cycling is great for beginners and requires very little knowledge or equipment to get started. If you’re wondering what all the hype is about, read on to discover the unique benefits of indoor cycling and what you can expect at your first indoor cycling class.
What are the Benefits of Indoor Cycling?
Indoor cycling offers numerous benefits for your physical and mental health. Medium to high-intensity cardio exercises like indoor cycling are extremely beneficial for cardiovascular health as they help to increase the output capacity of your heart as well as your VO2 max—the ability of your heart and lungs to consume oxygen.
Indoor cycling helps to build and strengthen many of the largest muscle groups in your lower body, such as your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. It also helps strengthen your core, which acts as a stabilizer throughout the workout.
Indoor cycling classes are often known for their feel-good, endorphin-pumping atmosphere. And because indoor cycling is low impact, you can expect fewer injuries and quicker recovery times than other cardio activities, like HIIT style workouts or running.
Do You Need Special Equipment for Indoor Cycling?
When it comes to clothing, your typical workout apparel is just fine for an indoor cycling class—whether it’s bike shorts, leggings, or anything in between, wear what makes you feel most confident and comfortable.
Some indoor cycling gyms or studios may require cycling-specific shoes that clip into the pedals of the stationary bike, but most have bikes that are equipped with an option for regular shoes as well. It’s always best to check beforehand.
While not totally necessary, cycling shoes have many benefits: they ensure that your bodyweight is distributed evenly across your feet, increase your stability on the bike, help you exert more power with every stroke, and decrease risk of injury. Bikes equipped for regular tennis shoes will often have adjustable toe cages and straps to ensure a secure and comfortable fit—but if you’re not clipped in, you may find that your feet slip out of the pedals more frequently.
What to Expect at Your First Indoor Cycling Class
Indoor cycling classes typically range from 30 minutes, to 45 minutes, to a full hour. If you’re new to indoor cycling, plan to arrive 5-10 minutes before class so that your instructor can help you get settled in. Indoor cycling bikes have adjustment options for height, seat, and handlebar placement, so don’t hesitate to ask your instructor to help you find the perfect fit on your bike.
Your indoor cycling class will start with an easy song or two to warm up your legs. Your instructor should walk you through the various settings on your bike and explain how to adjust your resistance up and down. From there, you can expect a rotation of focus on speed work, resistance work, and overall endurance. Classes typically keep the energy high with loud music and lights, and many instructors plan your workout to match the tempo of the song (beats per minute) to the speed of your legs (rotations per minute).
At certain points in the workout, your instructor may indicate to “come out of the saddle,” which means to move to a standing position. Your instructor may also incorporate arm work into your class through hand weights, a weighted bar, or push ups on the handlebars of your bike. As you near the end of your class, you’ll slow things down and stretch before dismounting the bike.
If it seems overwhelming, know that your instructor will talk you through the whole experience. Don’t hesitate to tone down your speed or resistance, or take a short break, when needed.
With every indoor cycling class you take, you’ll walk away with more strength, more stamina, and more confidence. So what are you waiting for? Schedule your first indoor cycling class at YogaFever | Yoga Cycle Strength today.
https://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Blog-Banner-for-Website-Content-5.png12602240Shannon Austinhttps://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/FeverLogo_YCS_2023-300x140.pngShannon Austin2022-03-23 17:00:502022-11-20 16:28:24Indoor Cycling: A Beginners Guide (Everything You Need to Know!)
Indoor cycling is an increasingly popular form of high-intensity exercise—but do the health benefits live up to the hype? We certainly think so! When incorporated into your fitness routine, indoor cycling can provide many benefits, including:
Heart Health and Stamina
High-intensity exercises like indoor cycling are ideal for improving your cardiovascular health. When engaging in this type of exercise regularly, you’ll notice an increase in both lung capacity and overall stamina. That means that, over time, you’ll be able to cycle harder, faster, and for longer. This increase in heart and lung capacity is beneficial not only for your workouts, but for your everyday quality of life.
Indoor cycling targets many of the largest and most important muscle groups in your body, while still remaining low-impact on your joints. Your whole lower body, including your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes, power your cycling workout—and the higher the resistance, the harder they’ll work. Cycling also strengthens your core, which acts as a stabilizer when sitting or standing on the bike. Cycling instructors may also incorporate upper body work into a class.
Maximized Calorie Burn
Indoor cycling provides unique weight loss benefits when compared to other styles of cardio exercise, namely, the benefits of interval-style training. Cycling workouts typically include a rotation of focus on speed, resistance, and endurance. Interval-style training that allows your heart rate to rise, fall, and rise again, increases your metabolism more than a steady-state workout. This type of training also contributes to higher oxygen consumption after the workout, which means your body will keep burning calories even after you’ve finished your cycling session.
Improved Mental Health
Exercise is known for improving mental health and decreasing stress due to the release of dopamine and endorphins, and indoor cycling is no exception! Spin classes specifically are often characterized by their fun, upbeat music and pace, which can make the workouts feel more like a party than a chore.
https://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Blog-Banner-for-Website-Content-3.png12602240Shannon Austinhttps://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/FeverLogo_YCS_2023-300x140.pngShannon Austin2022-03-16 15:26:262022-11-20 16:24:54What are the Benefits of Indoor Cycling?
Ever heard your yoga teacher call out “chaturanga” and wonder if you’re doing it correctly? We feel you. Chaturanga Dandasana – or four-limbed staff pose – is the one yoga pose yogis love to hate. Most of us do it incorrectly or half-heartedly for years before finding the light.
Because this is such a physically and emotionally challenging pose, there’s a tendency to rush through it to get it over with. But a lack of attention is perhaps the biggest problem. While chaturanga can be a great way to tone your arms and core, your alignment needs to be spot on. Otherwise, you’ll risk shoulder or back injury.
The Benefits of Chaturanga:
Why do we put ourselves through this tough pose? There are several reasons why yoga instructors sprinkle chaturanga dandasana throughout their classes. Here are some of my favorite reasons for using chaturanga to transition between your yoga sequences.
It makes your wrists stronger and more flexible.
It builds muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms.
It tones and stretches your core muscles.
Add all of this together and it’s a great preparatory pose for arm balances and inversions
The upper-body and lower-belly strength you acquire by practicing chaturanga translates wonderfully into the power and core consciousness you need for arm balances like crow pose and side plank.
Where Most of Us Go Wrong:
It’s challenging to know when you are doing your chaturanga correctly. And since it’s a pose of repetition, it can lead to injury when performed incorrectly over and over again. Here are a couple ways even the best of us mess up our chaturangas sometimes.
Our hands are too close to our shoulders, causing our elbows to bend further than 90 degrees.
Our bodies either collapse to the ground with a saggy back or we stick our butt out toward the ceiling putting too much pressure on our shoulders.
Our elbows fall outward instead of hugging our core.
We lazily move through chaturanga, barely bending at the elbow before quickly rushing into upward dog.
How to Make Chaturanga More Accessible:
One option is to practice the pose with your knees on the floor – there’s no shame in this. It will help you build strength to lower down in one line. Closely monitor your elbow alignment. Next, recognize how deep you go as you lower yourself toward the floor, catching yourself before you begin to sag. Finally, share the strength of the pose between your upper and lower body so that your legs can ease the burden.
It’s no secret that regular cardiovascular (cardio) exercise is one of the keys to a healthy heart—and when it comes to different forms of cardio, the benefits and options are endless! While all forms of cardio are beneficial to your overall health, here are some of our personal favorites.
Indoor Cycling (Spinning)
Indoor cycling has gained some serious hype in the past few years (we see you, Peloton and SoulCycle) and it’s not hard to understand why. Indoor cycling classes are usually fast-paced and high-energy, getting your heart rate up and your endorphins pumping with each spin. It’s also a great workout for those who need a more low-impact form of cardio—cycling is easy on your joints while still targeting your legs and glutes (some classes may incorporate arms as well). Like all cardio exercises, indoor cycling can help lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and combat high cholesterol. With a great instructor to guide you and some hype music to keep you motivated, indoor cycling can feel more like a party than a workout!
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a general term used for workouts with short periods of intense exertion followed by recovery periods (40 seconds of work with 20 seconds of rest, 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest, etc.) The actual exercises done within this format vary from running to jumping rope to cycling to bodyweight exercises (burpees, jumping jacks, etc.), with the expectation that work periods are intense.
HIIT is an especially effective form of cardio exercise because it produces similar results in improving aerobic capacity (ability to use oxygen well) in a much shorter amount of time than other forms of exercise. HIIT has also been found beneficial in reducing heart rate, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar (hello, healthier heart!). HIIT typically burns more calories per minute than most other exercises and increases your metabolism even after the workout is complete, so it can be a great form of exercise to incorporate in a weight loss journey.
Circuit training describes a workout format of cycling through multiple exercises targeting different muscle groups in a pattern without much rest in between. These exercises are often a mix of cardio and strength training, making it a great full-body option and the perfect routine for those with minimal time or a shorter attention span. Like HIIT, circuit training is known to boost your metabolism and increase fat burn. By pumping up your heart rate and targeting a wide range of muscle groups, you challenge your whole body and burn major calories in the process. All of that red-faced, heavy-breathing work contributes to a healthier heart and a healthier you!
It’s never too early or too late to begin focusing on your health. Whether you’re a life-long fitness lover or recently decided to make a change, seeing health and fitness as a way of life rather than an obligation will help you stay motivated and consistent on your health journey for the years to come. It’s important that we stop seeing wellness as separate from the rest of our life and ignoring all of the ways it helps us to thrive beyond just the physical. Pursuing health and fitness in a holistic, balanced way will help you flourish in your 40s and beyond.
Benefits of Regular Exercise
The physical and mental benefits of regular exercise are numerous, regardless of your age. Regular physical activity after 40 reduces risk of heart attack, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and decreases likelihood of type 2 diabetes and other health conditions. Exercise also helps build stronger bones, joints, and muscles, increasing your flexibility and balance.
The mental benefits of exercise are vital in maintaining your mental health and increasing longevity. Exercise releases serotonin and endorphins into your brain and has proven to be extremely effective in reducing stress. The older we get, the more important these things are for our overall quality of life.
No matter when you begin your exercise journey, these mental and physical benefits are available to you and increase as you stay consistent in your routine.
Incorporating Fitness Into Your Everyday Routine
If you’re just beginning to prioritize your health later in life, it can seem intimidating to sign up for a fitness class or walk into a gym. You might want to start by making small changes, like taking a walk during your lunch break or biking to work instead of driving. These small changes made over time will help you stay motivated and avoid becoming defeated or overwhelmed in your journey. As you gain confidence and stamina, begin incorporating strength and balance/flexibility exercises alongside your regular aerobic activity.
If you’re in your 40s and already have a regular exercise routine, there’s no reason to slow down or pull back because of your age. Continue to push yourself and try new forms of exercise while making sure to prioritize rest and recovery.
Focusing on your physical and mental health through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and plenty of sleep will help you flourish at any age. It’s never too late to begin your life-long journey of self-care and self-love.
https://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/staying-fit-after-40-2.png12602240Shannon Austinhttps://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/FeverLogo_YCS_2023-300x140.pngShannon Austin2022-01-03 18:49:382022-01-03 18:59:15Staying Fit After 40
There is lots of talk in our present day about the immune system. You might hear the terms “herd immunity” or “building immunity” tossed around more than usual and wonder, how does immunity really work? What is the immune system, and how can you improve yours?
How Our Immune System Works
The human immune system is the natural defense mechanism used to fight against bacteria, viruses, and toxins. This system consists of several organs, cells, and proteins that work together to defend you from foreign substances not natural to the body.
There are two main parts of the immune system: the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system. The innate immune system is the one we are born with that recognizes foreign substances and kicks into action to kill them. The adaptive immune system then learns from the innate immune system and begins producing antibodies, building up your body’s protection from those same foreign substances in the future.
Importance of a Healthy Immune System
A healthy immune system is a vital part of an overall healthy body. A weakened immune system will have several adverse symptoms. People with weakened immune systems may experience frequent infections, fatigue and overall low energy levels, and slow-healing wounds. Poor digestion and gut health are also signs of weakness in the immune system. Over time, these symptoms increase stress on our bodies and harm our overall well being.
How to Boost Your Immune System
It’s clear that our immune system is vital for our overall health, so how can we work to improve it? While vitamins and supplements may help, there is no quick fix or magic pill you can take to build a healthy immune system. However, the concrete steps you can take to improve your immunity are more obvious than you might think:
Exercise regularly: even if it’s just a walk, regular movement increases overall well being and releases helpful endorphins throughout the body.
Practice proper nutrition: sticking to a whole foods, balanced diet and cutting out high-sugar foods will help your body get the vitamins and antioxidants it needs.
Prioritize sleep: sufficient sleep allows your body adequate time to rest and recover, while getting too-little or poor-quality sleep will increase stress and strain on your body.
These steps might seem overly simple. Sleep, eat well, and exercise? As simple as it sounds, yes—these are the keys to maintaining a healthy immune system and an overall healthy body.
https://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/What-is-the-Immune-System-How-Does-It-Work.png12602240Shannon Austinhttps://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/FeverLogo_YCS_2023-300x140.pngShannon Austin2021-11-12 08:29:102021-11-12 08:29:10What is the Immune System & How Does It Work?
Looking to boost your metabolism, increase your strength, and enhance your mental clarity? Enter strength training. When incorporated regularly into your workout routine, strength training can provide many benefits. Let’s explore the basic concepts of strength training and how you can maximize the results and benefits it provides.
What is Strength Training?
Strength training (also known as resistance training) is a form of exercise focused on gaining muscle mass, building strength, and increasing endurance. Strength training encompasses a wide variety of exercises, using bodyweight or equipment, with a focus on building muscle mass in all major muscle groups – upper body, lower body, and core.
Strength training has many forms. Bodyweight exercises like lunges, squats, push ups, and planks are examples of strength training, as are movements that incorporate kettlebells and dumbbells. Resistance and weight machines like leg press, chest press, cables, leg abductors, and pull up machines can all be incorporated into a strength training workout.
Maximizing Results from Strength Training
Warming up your muscles through dynamic stretching before engaging in strength training is important for maximizing your workouts and avoiding injury. Also essential in avoiding injury is proper rest and recovery between strength training sessions. In order to allow muscle recovery between more intense workouts, workout “splits” (focusing on one main muscle group per workout and alternating between them in a pattern) can be beneficial. Regardless of workout intensity, proper stretching and refueling post-workout will assist in muscle growth and recovery.
Health Benefits of Strength Training
The most obvious benefit of strength training is an increase in muscle mass and a toned physique, but this form of exercise also helps build bone density and joint flexibility. Strength training may also be ideal for fat loss as increased muscle mass leads to a higher resting metabolic rate (calories burned at rest). Along with physical benefits, engaging in consistent exercise like strength training contributes to overall health (better sleep!) and mental clarity.
Strength training may seem intimidating at first, but it is a beneficial practice for people at all skill and strength levels. If you’re new to strength training, start with smaller weights or lower reps and increase gradually as you build strength and confidence. Make sure to focus on your warm up, practice proper form, and allow time for recovery to decrease your soreness and maximize your results.
https://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/blog-post-3.png12602240Shannon Austinhttps://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/FeverLogo_YCS_2023-300x140.pngShannon Austin2021-04-02 15:46:152021-04-02 16:30:58An Introduction to Strength Training
Cardiovascular exercise (“cardio”), or aerobic exercise, is fundamental for health and overall well being. Aerobic just means “with oxygen,” so any exercise that gets your body moving and your breath heavy can be cardio exercise. These exercises that increase our heart rate help to increase our aerobic capacity (how well we can use our oxygen) and offer numerous benefits for our heart and overall physical health. Let’s explore what these benefits are and see why cardio is so important.
Benefits of Cardio Exercise
You might gather this from the name, but yes, regular cardiovascular exercise improves overall cardiovascular health! This helps to reduce risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Regular physical activity also helps regulate blood sugar and strengthens our immune system.
Cardio exercise is often associated with weight loss, and it’s true that the blood-pumping, heart-racing, heavy-breathing state burns serious calories. Compared to most other forms of exercise (like weight lifting, yoga, or pilates), cardio does burn more calories per session. And unless you’re doing vigorous high-impact workouts, cardio doesn’t require the same recovery period as strength training or weight lifting, so it can be incorporated into your daily routine with ease. When paired with a healthy diet, frequent cardio exercise can be a great strategy for losing weight in a healthy way.
Cardio isn’t just good for your heart—it’s also great for your mind. Cardio exercise sends endorphins to your brain that will leave you feeling happier (think “runner’s high”) and reduce stress, leading to increased energy during the day and more restful sleep at night. Regular cardio can even improve memory capacity and help fight against the loss of brain tissue that comes with aging.
Examples of Cardio Exercise
Convinced yet? If you’re ready to start incorporating cardio into your routine, the good news is that most forms of cardio are simple and free. Examples of cardio exercise include:
Brisk walking or running
Indoor cycling and outdoor bike riding
HIIT or high intensity interval training
Elliptical or stair climber
Sports such as soccer, volleyball, basketball, etc.
Because the key to a healthy routine is long-term sustainability, be open to experimenting with various forms of cardio exercise until you find an activity that you truly enjoy (dance party, anyone?).
Once you find a style of workout you enjoy, it’s easy to get stuck in a routine. Other forms of exercise might seem difficult or intimidating, so you avoid them altogether and stick to what you know. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with focusing on one form of exercise, you might be missing out on potential results and the opportunity to increase your overall strength. Cross-training is one way you can keep achieving results and avoid getting in a rut.
Put simply, cross-training means practicing a different form of exercise than your typical routine, or regularly incorporating a variety of workouts that target different muscle groups. The purpose of cross-training is to improve your fitness and performance by increasing your overall strength and fill in any gaps or shortcomings created by your typical form of exercise.
Although any exercise is good exercise, being intentional about the type of cross-training you choose can help you achieve your goals and build strength in specific areas you want to improve. For example, a runner might swap out one run a week for a 30 minute HIIT, or add an indoor cycling class to their weekly routine to increase their endurance. Someone who practices yoga frequently might benefit from adding in strength-training sessions to build their overall muscle, flexibility, and core strength.
Benefits of Cross-Training
In addition to helping you build strength, one of the main benefits of cross-training is avoiding mental boredom and burnout. No matter how much you love your yoga sessions or your cycling class, you may find yourself feeling complacent and seeing slower results if you focus all your energy on one type of exercise. Trying different types of workouts might be the boost you need, challenging your mind and body to stay engaged and achieve new goals.
Incorporating different workouts in your routine will not only help you keep things interesting, but it will also help you avoid injury from over-exertion. Cross-training allows certain muscles to rest and recover while you focus on others, and will even allow you to continue training if you do experience injury in one muscle group.
Focusing on full-body conditioning will give you a higher level of strength in whatever workout you choose to do and improves your overall endurance, agility, and balance. Switching up your workouts also keeps your body from getting too well-adjusted to your routine and will help you continue to see results over time.
This week, challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and incorporate cross-training into your routine. The options are endless:Feverycs.com
https://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/what-is-cross-training.png12602240Shannon Austinhttps://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/FeverLogo_YCS_2023-300x140.pngShannon Austin2021-02-09 23:06:162023-11-02 11:36:53What is Cross-Training?
Today we’ll explore the basics of what barre is, the equipment it uses, and discover the unique benefits of this form of exercise.
Barre was created by ballerina Lotte Berk in 1959. After a back injury, Berk began combining her normal ballet routines with her rehabilitative therapy exercises and formed what we know today as barre. So what is barre, exactly? And how different is it from ballet and other forms of exercise?
Basics of Barre
Barre is a form of full-body exercise that combines movements and positions borrowed from ballet with low-impact, repetitive strength exercises, designed to isolate and strengthen muscles. Barre classes often rotate through sections focusing on arms, core/abs, and lower body, repeating small isometric movements targeting one muscle area until muscles are fatigued (yes, you’ll be shaking!) While these movements are the basis of barre exercise, modern barre may include “fusion” classes, incorporating barre movements alongside cardio, HIIT, pilates, and more.
Equipment Used in Barre
Although barre gets its name from the use of the ballet barre, that isn’t the only piece of equipment used in barre exercise. Many barre classes also incorporate resistance bands, sliders, hand or ankle weights, or exercise balls. Body weight movements are often included and, when used, weights are kept light due to the repetitive nature of the exercises. Participants may exercise in bare feet or in socks (socks with special grips may be preferred).
Benefits of Barre
Barre is often praised for its ability to help isolate and tone lean muscle throughout all parts of the body. The slow, repetitive movements used allow you to work muscles in a more focused way than traditional strength training exercises (think squats, push ups, or mountain climbers). The low-impact movements of barre are also significantly easier on your joints than high-impact strength training. In addition to building strength, participants can expect to see increased flexibility and a stronger core. Another benefit? Improved posture and balance. And, like all forms of exercise, barre is beneficial in improving overall health, reducing stress, and increasing mental clarity.
You definitely don’t need a dance background to experience the benefits and fun that barre classes have to offer, so don’t let that intimidate you! In fact, no prior experience or knowledge is required to participate in barre. Whether you’re a total beginner or a former ballerina, barre is a fantastic option for anyonelooking to build strength, tone muscle, and increase their mind-body connection.
Do you ever have a sudden urge to throw on your favorite song and dance around the room? Are you tired of putting yourself through grueling workout sessions just to lose weight? Are you ready to experiment with a fierce new combination of yoga, strength, and cardio?
If this sounds like you, wait until you learn about BUTI yoga. It will rock your world!
WHAT IS BUTI YOGA?
BUTI yoga is a unique practice, known for it’s cardio-intensive bursts of tribal dance, primal movement, and conditioning. Created by celebrity trainer Bizzie Gold, it’s designed to offer a calorie-scorching, body-sculpting, and dynamic yoga practice.
I’m not going to lie. When I first heard about BUTI yoga, I was intimidated. It sounds intense, right? But once I learned more, and watched a few videos, I discovered I was really intrigued to try this soulful and playful form of exercise.
The word ‘buti’ is a Marathi Indian term for “the cure to something that’s been hidden away or kept secret.” The movement involved in a BUTI class is designed to help everyone develop body confidence. It will help you fall in love with your workout, break through emotional and physical barriers, and transform your body.
WHAT ARE THE PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF BUTI?
As I mentioned, BUTI yoga is a physically-demanding sweat session. Yet, it’s approachable for all-levels. Just as in our regular yoga classes, you’ll begin where you are and grow at your own pace.
In a BUTI class, you can expect explosive movements, a quick pace, killer ab sequences, and lots of upbeat music – there’s nothing dainty about this practice! However, it will allow you to kick all that repetitive weight lifting, sit-ups, and elliptical work to the curb. The infectious group energy, filled with hoots, hollers, and lots of movement, will carry you through the experience.
HOW IS BUTI UNIQUE?
In Bizzie Gold’s creation, the signature strengthening approach is called Spiral Structure Technique (SST). The major movements you’ll do in BUTI are designed to activate all of the abdominal muscle groups. While most crunches and ab exercises only target the front part of the core, the reality is our abdomen is cylindrical. This method will build lean, strong muscles.
WHAT ABOUT THE EMOTIONAL BENEFITS OF BUTI?
The movement involved in BUTI yoga focuses on removing obstacles to our first and second chakras. The power that originates in these chakras often gets muted, resulting in tight hips and closed minds. BUTI yoga follows the lead of many cultures – such as Native American and African tribes, that have dance rituals using hip and pelvic spiraling. So in BUTI, you’ll sweat with intention, seeking both physical and emotional benefits.
GOT ANY TIPS FOR ME?
Wear yoga clothes and prepare to sweat – A LOT (no heat is even necessary!!). Drink water before, during, and after the process. Obey your body when it needs a break; it’s always okay to take a different movement or pose, or to simply rest. Share energy, strength, and a few giggles with your tribe (aka, your classmates).
Most importantly, you’re gonna have to leave your judgment at the door. Yes, you’ll be doing some movements you’ve never done before. And yes, it’s going to feel weird and scary at first. But if you can commit to celebrating yourself exactly as you are in this moment, you’ll find a community of fellow warriors willing to lift you up.
At some point, you’ll stop wondering what everyone thinks of your gyrations and simply enjoy the freedom to move in new ways. Though you may not instantly love everything about your body, I have a feeling you’ll feel much more at ease with yourself.
Yoga Nidra, commonly known as yogic sleep, is an immensely powerful meditation technique that is easy to develop and maintain.
While you rest comfortably in savasana, your instructor will vocally and systematically guide you through the practice. You’ll start at one end of your body and work all the way to the other. Yoga Nidra instructors speak rhythmically: “Right big toe, right little toe, top of the foot, the heel of the foot, calf muscle…”
By bringing your attention repeatedly to these sensations in your body, you become habituated and can even forget the sensation altogether. This forgetting of the space around you lets you draw your attention inward.
Anyone can do Yoga Nidra: While not everyone can participate in intense vinyasa flows, everyone – from children to seniors – can practice Yoga Nidra. All you need to do is lie down on the floor, though it can be done seated if necessary.
You cannot incorrectly practice Yoga Nidra: All you have to do is follow the voice – whether instructor or recording – as it guides you. You’ll experience something new each time, which is great! And falling asleep is even okay, as you’ll still receive the benefits from your unconscious mind.
It’s a simple way to reduce stress: As you can imagine, feeling well-rested is life-changing, but Yoga Nidra also improves symptoms of anxiety and depression for many practitioners.
Yoga Nidra is easy to incorporate into your life: Since it’s always guided, you will experience less frustration compared to trying to clear your mind all on your own. Also, this practice can be as short as five minutes or as long as an hour.
It helps you learn about yourself more intimately: Yoga Nidra offers a space to explore whatever you need and come face-to-face with long-held emotions.
Start by setting an intention for your practice – whether your goal is to relax and rest or to dig into a particular emotion or sensation.
As you wait for your instructor to begin leading you, take a few moments to scan your body. Move your awareness from top to bottom, preparing for the guided meditation to follow.
Throughout the practice, be aware of your breath. Simply observe the natural flow of oxygen and the rise and fall of your abdomen. Notice the flowing energy that your breath stimulates throughout your body.
Welcome your feelings and thoughts without trying to change any sensations or emotions that are present. As you sense each one, try to welcome its opposite within your body. For example, if you feel worried, call up feelings of serenity. Experience sensations of joy or bliss that spread throughout your body.
As you transition back into your waking life, pause to take a moment of reflection and gratitude for the time you’ve taken to benefit yourself.
https://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Yoga-Nidra-2.png12602240Shannon Austinhttps://feverycs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/FeverLogo_YCS_2023-300x140.pngShannon Austin2021-01-25 13:36:152021-02-28 14:11:25Yoga Nidra: A Powerful Meditation Technique