5 Best Reasons to Cycle on a Stationary Bike for Fitness

As gyms and other exercise facilities were closed these days due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more people resort to sedentary lifestyles and replaced workout routines with stress eating, thus making obese persons more likely to gain added weight. So, if you are looking for a new way to get more activity, then you may want to give cycling on a stationary bike a try.

A stationary bike is one of the best cardio equipment that puts less stress on your joints yet, still provides an outstanding aerobic workout.

Stationary Bike for Fitness

There are several benefits that you can reap from cycling. Below are some of those benefits:

Convenience

Stationary cycling is something that you can do almost anywhere and anytime. You do not have to worry about spending a lot of money on a bunch of fancy equipment. All you need is a stationary bike which you can also buy online. Furthermore, it is very easy to find ways to fit cycling into your day.

Improves Your Heart Health

Heart disease is a major concern in many developing countries. One of the best things that you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease is engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise. Study shows that people who do cycling on a regular basis were half as likely to develop heart disease.

Cycling on a Stationary Bike Burns Calories

Obesity is another major health concern today. This problem can put a person at risk for developing a host of other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, arthritis, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Indoor cycling helps burn calories, so it can help you either lose weight or maintain healthy body weight. Calculate your burned calories using a tool like calorie burned calculator so you can monitor the number of calories you burn in every cycling session.

Depending on your body weight and the intensity of your workout, you can burn as much as 600 calories an hour with a stationary bike workout. It is a very effective way to reduce belly fat. Remember, burning more calories than you consume is the key to weight loss.

Furthermore, cycling helps build muscle. This helps increase your metabolism so that your body continues to burn calories when it is at rest.

Indoor Cycling Helps Reduce Your Stress

To reduce worries and stress about the coronavirus pandemic, have a routine, minimize screen time and browsing newsfeeds, eat healthy foods, and do simple daily physical exercises.

When you cycle, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins help promote a feeling of calmness. These hormones can also help alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression.

Cycling Helps Boost Your Immune System

Cardiovascular exercises like cycling help strengthen your immune system. When you have a strong immune system, you are less likely to develop influenza, the common cold, and cancer. More importantly, a strong immune system can protect you from catching the Covid-19 virus.

 

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels

 

Enjoying Exercise: 5 Tips To Keep Smiling During Workouts As Well After

exercise

We all know that exercise elicits a great feeling of satisfaction. Moreover, the positivity pumping through our veins is made all the more enjoyable when we see improvements in health and looks. However, the fun shouldn’t be limited to post-workout rewards. You should be able to actively enjoy those activities too.

 

Here are five simple yet effective ways to do just that.

 

Choose comfortable clothing: Many people assume that the clothes worn during exercise aren’t overly important. In truth, though, your attire makes a big impact in all aspects of modern life. This is especially true when working out as ill-fitting or poorly made clothes will bring discomfort. Avoiding chaffing and other issues will ensure that exercise remains more enjoyable. So while big brands aren’t essential, your comfort is king. If you have any injuries, it’s vital that you equip yourself with the right supports and bandages also.

 

Choose mentally beneficial workouts: The physical rewards of regular exercise are clear for all to see. However, it’s possible to take your fitness plans to the next level by focusing on mental health issues too. Yoga can be a particularly effective tool in this fast-paced modern world.  While this probably won’t be the only part of your regime, it can play a crucial role. The fact that those tasks can be completed at any time, even at home, should not go unnoticed either.

 

Choose competition: Adding a competitive nature to your physical activities will always provide an incentive to work harder. But it can also make exercise more fun. Whether it’s playing for an amateur sports team or signing up for a marathon doesn’t matter. Giving yourself another reason to perform will keep you smiling throughout. Moreover, those achievements are bound to add a sense of joy and pride. If that doesn’t keep you on the road to fitness success, what will?

 

Choose a social atmosphere: Getting fit is a personal journey that requires a slightly selfish attitude. Having said that, working out alone can lead to boredom, especially if you’re doing long cardio sessions. If none of your friends are eager to exercise, you can find a partner at www.meetup.com/. As well as adding a social aspect to the exercise plans, it will provide a great source of motivation. In turn, that should make your strategies more rewarding and more enjoyable in one fell swoop.

 

Choose effective workouts: Ultimately, knowing that your workouts are working is the greatest source of happiness. HIIT workouts have become increasingly popular in recent times, especially as people are starved of time. But whatever solution you opt for, it’s imperative that your plans are built for success. The knowledge that your hard work pays off will provide huge inspiration during workouts. In turn, that will make the short and long-term challenges feel far less daunting. From this point on it should be smiles all around.

 

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Buns of Steel – The Workouts

The Buns of Steel exercises were first presented by Greg Smithey. Being a fitness trainer, he understood the importance of these workouts and ever since then, thousands of individuals from around the globe have followed him. In fact, these workouts are available in form of a DVDs wherein a series of these exercises have been recorded by Greg Smithey. This form of exercise basically involves workouts that tone up the butt, hips, and the thighs. Ideally, you will be required to perform 3 to 4 sets of these exercises twice or 4 times a week.

It is important to keep in mind that if the exercises and the steps are performed in an appropriate manner, the results are even more effective. Not only that any wrong sequence or faulty posture in the workout regime can adversely affect the body.

 

Buns of Steel

 

Under such circumstances, you will not be able to derive the optimum benefit from the Buns of Steel exercises. In fact, this holds true not just for this series of exercises but also for any other form of exercise you perform.

More about these workouts have been mentioned in the paragraphs that follow. Check them out. The following types of exercises are included in the Buns of Steel workout regime.

  • Squats – Squats have been found to be very effective in this series of exercises. In this form of exercise, you will be required to stand with feet hip wide apart simultaneously keeping your hands by the side. Hips have to be pushed backwards with bended knees. Most importantly, you will have to squat till the thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Fire Hydrants – This targets the butt and you don’t have to use the knee joints. You will be required to kneel down on all 4. The shoulders have to be directly over hands and hips have to be over the knees. Neck should be long and lower back should be neutral. The exact sequence of the steps of fire hydrants can be followed best when seen on the DVDs.
  • Lunges – This form of exercise involves the legs but targets the butt. You can perform this exercise with or without weights. Lunges make your butt work really hard. And ideally, the range of movement is enhanced at the hip area. It works better if you perform the exercise on a low step.

Aside from the above form of exercises, the others in the series include the following-

  • Side lying leg lifts
  • Rover’s Revenge
  • Lying hip lifts

 

Essential aspects of Buns of Steel

This form of workout is more than 2 decades old. Over the years, the individual forms of exercises in the workout series have evolved for the better. Sports experts and fitness experts have time and again analyzed the benefits and risks involved in any exercise and recommended the same to the world. However, it has to be kept in mind that there are also exercises that have been around for more than 2 decades and these very exercises have worked wonders for many individuals.

 

Image credit: fitnessgoals.com

 

The wonders that regular planks can do to your body – Secret to staying fit

In the world of fitness, bodyweight exercises are gradually gaining momentum due to the numerous people, both men and women who are trying to get back in shape and shed those extra pounds. The simplicity and practicality of regaining the best shape of your body using your own body weight is perhaps the best thing about planks. Planks will literally never go out of fashion as they’re one of the most effective exercises that you can do everyday. You don’t require enough time to invest in doing daily planks and they offer you a substantial result in a very short span of time.

planks

Core strength – What is the importance of it for your body?

Our abdominal muscles should offer support to our entire body and the spinal cord. While providing this support, they even play an important role in preventing your body from injuries. But what should you do in order to make them perform successfully? Our core muscles need to be strong enough and for that you have to train yourself on a daily basis. This clearly means doing plank exercises everyday as this will strengthen your core and also support your spinal cord.

What happens to your body when you start doing planks regularly?

 

  • Improves your performance and core definition

Planks tend to be an ideal exercise for each and every abdominal muscle since they engage the core muscle groups which include the rectus abdominus, the transverse abdominus, the external oblique muscle and also the glutes. You can’t ever underestimate the vitality of strengthening each muscle group as each of them serves their own purpose. Once you start doing planks everyday, you’ll find yourself being able to lift heavier weights, doing better sports performance, better capacity for twisting your waist and above all, a shapely butt.

  • Less risk of injury in the spinal column and the back portion

When you do planks, you allow yourself to build muscle while also ensuring that you don’t exert too much pressure on your hips. As per the American Council on Exercise, regular planks considerably reduce back pain and also make your muscles strong to give a strong support to your entire back.

  • A boost to your metabolism rate

Planking is one of the best ways of challenging your total body as you’ll start burning more calories as compared to all other abdominal exercises like sit-ups and crunches. You will gradually burn more energy when you’re at rest. This is more important for all those who sit in front of a computer for all day. When you do this exercise daily for 10-1 minute everyday, you will also see a boost in your metabolic rate.

  • Your posture will get a noteworthy improvement

When you do planks, it can improve your ability to stand up straight and also with a stable posture. This is also possible due to a strengthened core which will let you maintain the best posture during all times, when you’re sitting or standing. The abdominal muscles have a huge impact on the overall condition of your shoulders, neck, back and chest.

  • Increased overall flexibility

Flexibility is one of the most touted benefits of doing plank daily as this form stretches and expands your posterior group of muscles. Your shoulder blades, shoulders and collarbone will all be improved and you can find yourself hyper-extending your toes.

So, what are you waiting for? Take on the 30 day plank challenge as soon as possible and strive hard to reap the above listed health and fitness benefits from doing planks regularly.

 

Image credits to http://fitnessgoals.com/

Running: Do it the Right Way!

Running can be a great exercise, but only if you do it right. If you don’t do it properly, you could end up seriously injuring yourself. Have a read through this post to ensure that you’re running properly, and you’ll get the best results:

Start off Slowly

If you’ve never been running before, it’s imperative that you start off slowly. You should do it at a pace that suits you, and only run a short distance. Make sure you build yourself up gradually. Doing more than you’re used to right from the off can leave you with injuries and a reluctance to do anything again! Use an app to monitor your runs and go from there. Remember, it’s not about beating anybody else; you’re only in competition with yourself!

Warm Up First

Make sure you warm up a little first before you start running. Don’t stretch, as doing this to cold muscles can actually hinder your performance. Instead, do things like air squats, lunges, and star jumps. This is called a dynamic warm up and will get your blood pumping!

Wear the Right Shoes

If you plan on running, you absolutely must wear the right running shoes. You can go to any sports shop and ask if you’re unsure, or check out a retailer online. The best running shoes have a bit of a spring to them to cushion the foot.

Running Styles
Image credit: Chris Hunkeler – https://flic.kr/p/dggKZg

Practice Proper Form

Just like weight lifting, running has a proper form too. You can’t start running like Phoebe from Friends and expect not to get injured! You should make sure your knees stay behind your toes, and that you don’t hunch while you run. Your hands should be loose, and arms just under your chest. It doesn’t matter too much whether you bounce off your heel or toe, but you should aim to land softly to avoid injury. Make sure your breathing is steady too! It may take some time for you to find what works for you and that’s fine. Just don’t hurt yourself!

Give Yourself Time to Recover

It can be tempting to run every day once you’ve started, but this won’t help you in the long run. You may actually find that you exhaust yourself more than anything. You need to give yourself an adequate amount of time to recover in between your runs. Aim to go 3 times a week to start with, and only build up when you feel ready. You can do cardio every day if you like, but you shouldn’t make your sessions too long as that’s definitely overdoing it. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and take a hot bath with salts sometimes too. It should help to ease aches and pains!

This guide will help you get into running the right way and stick to it. You’ll avoid injury, and before you know it you’ll be running like you never thought you would. Keep an eye on any strange pains, and if they persist see your doctor. Aching is normal, but hurting is not! Thanks for reading!

Here Are My Favourite Ways To Ease The Boredom Of Regular Workouts

I love that I am exercising more each week now than ever before. I feel reinvigorated and more youthful. My body is leaner and stronger and even more flexible than it was years ago. But it hasn’t all come easy. Anyone who has come a long way with their fitness will tell you the battle is with your mind. Boredom, lack of focus, and a lack of tenacity can undo weeks of work in just a few days. So how do you overcome the boredom of an exercise routine?

Boot Camp

I love boot camps. They are such a great way to test your fitness level. Boot camps can push you harder to achieve more. The sense of satisfaction you can get at the end more than makes up for the fatigue you’re feeling. There is an annual boot camp open to all fitness levels in Hyde Park. You can click here to find out what is best to wear at weekend boot camp. Boot camps are also a great way to network with other people just like you. I’ve met plenty of other online fitness friends in the flesh this way.

Capoeira Boot Camp Cornwall 2008
Image credit: Ben30 – https://flic.kr/p/5esXoN

Yoga Retreat

Whether you already commit to a weekly Yoga class or not, a retreat will help you develop your practice further. It’s great to meet other people interested in the health benefits of Yoga. It also helps you to become more interested in Yoga itself. Learn new poses, or just attend to feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

In the meantime, explore this online library of yoga poses to find new postures and mix up your routine.

butterfly-yoga-fertility-synergybyjasmine
Image credit: Jasmine Kaloudis – https://flic.kr/p/bnCSLT

Mix It Up

Swap out one or two of your regular activities. Instead of running on a Tuesday, go swimming. Instead of an hour in the gym on Friday, head to the squash court. If you make swaps every four weeks or so, you shouldn’t find yourself getting stuck in a rut. It’s a great way to increase your all round fitness too. Different exercises and activities deliver different physical benefits.

Freestyle catch
Image credit: Simply Swim UK – https://flic.kr/p/e62WpU

Try Something New

If you’ve never tried rock climbing before, why not book into your local indoor centre for a taster session? How about skiing? If you’ve never picked up a rugby ball then now is definitely the time to try that! Finding new sports and activities is the perfect way to test your body out in new situations. Stretch the limits of your current abilities and use your new activity to enhance your body further.

LORRAINE - BELGIQUE RUGBY Féminin à 7
Image credit: alainalele – https://flic.kr/p/9BiLC3

Train For An Event

Now could be a great time to enter yourself into a race or event. If you’ve been running for a while, why not try out a 5k fun run? For the more seasoned runner, you could try a half marathon! Set yourself the challenge to inspire you to better yourself. Find a training programme online, or speak to your running club.

Image credit: Phil Roeder – https://flic.kr/p/htj69g

Keeping fit can sometimes be lonely, especially if you do a lot of exercises alone at home. There are some great apps to help you track your progress and that of your friends. Alternatively, why not use FaceBook to compare notes on your successes and achievements? Everyone gets a little bored with the same old things every day. See what you can do to spice up your fitness.