Starting a new and exciting prospect always brings this feeling of exhilaration and wonder. Drumming up the nerve and getting that initial high is easy, but maintaining that interest afterwards is not. Fitness is no different, and working towards a healthy and active lifestyle is no easy feat. Breaking your New Year’s resolutions is only discouraging and wanes your motivation to pursue that choice.
If you’re falling out of your current fitness plan, then perhaps re-evaluating your fitness goals will help you get back on your feet. Setting small goals (while keeping the overall big picture goal in mind) helps keeps things realistically attainable. We may become too focused on the little things and sometimes forget the what the long-term plan is. Willpower alone will not remedy the lack of motivation. Having the desire to become fit is great, but what we think in our minds, ideal as it may be, doesn’t always reflect the actual reality around us and vice versa. Sometimes we just need a little extra help in reaching our goal.
Juggling is not one of the first things to come to mind when designing a fitness plan, but the surprising benefits of this exercise make it a great addition to any routine. Juggling provides cardiovascular exercise, stress relief, enhanced coordination, a brain workout, and more. It’s also an engaging, goal-based workout that can spice things up and make it easy to fit in quick bouts of exercise at various points throughout your day.
Common Misconceptions About Juggling
Let’s start off by dispelling a few of the common misconceptions about juggling.
- It’s not exercise. All it takes is five minutes of trying your hand at juggling to realize it is a cardio exercise. Practicing juggling burns up to 280 calories an hour (depending on body weight), similar to walking. Using proper stance and engaging core muscles increases the exercise factor of juggling.
- It’s just for clowns. Chances are that at least one of your friends or family members knows how to juggle. It’s for people of all ages and body types. Many professional athletes use juggling to improve coordination, reaction time, and sharpen focus. A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals even credits his amazing catching ability to juggling.
- It’s difficult to learn and is for coordinated people. Just like with anything, the key to learning to juggle is using the right resources that teach the skill in a simple way. If something isn’t working, switch methods or teachers. Coordination is by no means required to juggle; in fact, juggling is one of the best ways to increase coordination, an important but often overlooked element of fitness. Having taught people from ages four to eighty four, including pro athletes and people with Parkinson’s disease, I’ve found that anyone can learn to juggle.
Still trying to keep that New Year’s resolution? Today’s Fitness 101 post comes from guest Elyse Familant, a personal trainer with over 25 years of experience in the fitness world, who teaches core, yoga, and spinning classes. Here, she gives us an overview of what yoga is and its benefits. If you are starting off the New Year looking for a workout, give yoga a try!
Yoga, the 5000 year old practice has become one of the hottest exercise trends with almost 11 million Americans participating. Everybody seems to be doing it and touting the benefits. Locally, yoga studios and gyms have seen their class sizes expand dramatically.
And for good reason. Practicing the postures, breathing exercises and meditation makes your mind, body and spirit run like a well-oiled machine. Yoga makes you healthier, happier and gets you in shape — all at the same time.
But don’t take my word for it, there are hundreds of studies and scientific research that show that yoga helps manage or control anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, headaches, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, stress and more.
As anyone knows, starting a fitness regimen can be hard when you have a multitude of questions floating around in your head as you try to take on your New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, they aren’t simple to answer, and situations vary from person to person. Addressing weight loss and workout sessions and everything in between all at once will become overwhelming, hard to track, and the failure will only be demotivating.
Let’s start with some typical New Year’s resolutions. They tend to sound like this:
- “I want to be fit.”
- “I want to be healthy.”
- “I want to lose weight.”
What is wrong with these statements? They are overly broad, generalized, vague statements that are unfocused, open to interpretation, and don’t say anything specific about what you really want or should do. Note that asking general questions like these also don’t make very good questions on the Fitness Stack Exchange and are likely to be closed. Without sitting down and really putting the mental effort into saying what you want, losing sight of your New Year’s resolution becomes very easy.
Here at the Fitness Stack Exchange, we believe that exercise and proper nutrition is vital for a healthy lifestyle. Even though some of us are enthusiastic about staying fit, we realize that not everyone has an idea of what to do or where to start. So to help everyone who has made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get started with exercise and healthy living, we have devised a Fitness 101 series to offer tips and resources.
Fitness 101 is not a full-fledged fitness program or exercise regimen; it is a starting point and guide for people to venture on their own paths. We want people to pursue their own goals, stay active, and hopefully learn more about themselves. The Fitness 101 series and our Fitness & Nutrition Q&A site will be great resources for people doing that. We welcome and encourage everyone to visit our site and ask whatever questions they have about fitness, and we as a community will do our best to give you good advice.
Weightlifting is one of the most popular tags on Fitness and Nutrition Stack Exchange. We all know that weight training involves moving chunks of metal around, but beyond that it can get confusing. One reason for this is that information about training can be based in science or based in anecdotal evidence (personal experience). In this article, I will summarize basic, scientifically-established weight-training advice. That said, I’m not saying you shouldn’t try other things: sometimes athletes get ahead by taking a chance on an anecdotal technique, and it ends up giving them an edge. This usually piques interest in the scientific community, leading to studies which may provide more legitimate support for the technique. more »