Top 10 Ways to Practice Good Gym Hygiene & Etiquette

   Attending a local gym can be a great way to establish and maintain an exercise program. With many people coming and going throughout the facility in a day, it’s important to do your part in keeping it a safe and healthy environment. We’re going to take a closer look at the top 10 ways to practice good gym hygiene and etiquette. Wash Your Hands Wash your hands before and after your exercise session to avoid bringing germs in or out of the gym. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer or wipes in your gym bag for when you’re in a pinch. Wipe Down Equipment The number one way you can avoid germs and be courteous to others is to wipe down your equipment with provided disinfectants before and after you use it. Be cautious when spraying disinfectant around electronic [...]

Back to Exercise Basics

  So, you want to create an exercise habit, but this is a new area for you. Or maybe it’s just been a while since you’ve had a good, consistent routine. Class is officially in session, and we’re going to take a closer look at the basics of exercise. When you start with the building blocks that form a solid foundation, it is easier to begin and stick to your exercise goals long-term. What are the Recommendations? First, let’s review the Physical Activity Guidelines set by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the U.S. Department of Health. Adults are encouraged to participate in at least 150 – 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity each week. A combination of varying intensities is beneficial as well. Additionally, adults are encouraged to incorporate muscle-strengthening exercises that [...]

Hydration, Electrolytes, and Exercise

  Hydration is a key factor when it comes to physical activity. Our bodies need adequate water intake to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, and bring important nutrients throughout your body for energy. When you’re not well-hydrated, it can greatly impact your performance with exercise, and even more importantly, it can take a toll on things like organ function and blood pressure. From light intensity to high intensity and on hot days and even cold days, it is imperative to practice good hydration before, during, and after exercise. What Factors Affect Hydration? Many factors can affect hydration during exercise and activity. During physical activity, your body loses fluid through sweat. Sweating can occur on hot summer days, as well as cold winter days, and every other day in between. Sweating can occur without it being visible. For example, did [...]

Great Ways to Exercise Outdoors

Summertime is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than getting outside. In fact, June is National Great Outdoors Month! This is a great time to explore our nation’s beautiful and numerous parks, trails, and natural wonders. Here are five ways to get moving in the great outdoors. Go for a Walk or Run Whether you are on a quick lunch break or training for a race, a walk or run around the block is a great way to be active this summer. Very minimal equipment is needed for this kind of exercise, making it easier to squeeze into your day. All you will need is a supportive pair of gym shoes, extra water for hydration, and sunscreen. If you’re on the go, consider a small running belt to bring along any additional items like your phone, [...]

Exercise and Mental Health

  Mental health is an important factor in overall wellness. Many Americans face mental health challenges daily, which magnifies the need for understanding and managing it. Exercise is proven to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. Let’s take a closer look at how exercise can aid mental health. The Benefits The latest exercise guidelines published by the Department of Health and Human Services noted how physical activity has “brain health benefits, including possible improved cognitive function, reduced anxiety and depression risk, and improved sleep and quality of life.” Exercise increases the body’s production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters help the body stabilize mood, feel more happy and motivated, and stay more focused (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Physical activity also releases endorphins, often referred to as the “feel-good” hormone, and are a natural pain killer for [...]

Move More Month-April

Did you know April is Move More Month? The American Heart Association (AHA) established this wellness campaign to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity. As nature is springing back to life this season, it’s time to relight our motivation for more movement.  How Much Exercise is Recommended? You might be wondering how much exercise is recommended. The American College of Sports Medicine and The Department of Health encourages adults to participate in at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activities along with at least two days of strength exercises each week. If you’re beginning, start small, then gradually work towards this amount. Even short bouts of activity can benefit your health! For more information on exercise recommendations for all ages and populations check out the Department of Health’s Guidelines HERE.  5 Ways to Sneak Movement into Your [...]

Exercise for Stress Relief

Our days can be full of stressful situations and feelings. No matter how much we’d like to get rid of stress altogether, we find that is virtually impossible. Instead, a more realistic approach is to manage how we react and respond to stress. Exercise has numerous benefits for the body, including stress relief. It increases the body’s production of endorphins, which are hormones that act as natural pain relievers and encourage feelings of pleasure (Mayo Clinic). Physical activity is a good way to give your mind a rest by focusing on the present moment. It’s known to help improve your mood by lowering feelings of depression and anxiety. When we’re feeling stressed, it’s easy to turn to unhealthy coping habits like extra snacking or drinking. Exercise provides a healthier choice for coping. Let’s look at several examples of exercises that [...]

Top 10 Outdoor Activities for Spring

Spring is the time of year when exercise starts to sound a little more motivating again. Warmer temperatures and more daylight might make it easier to be active outdoors, but where do we even begin? Grab the whole family and check out 10 of our favorite ways to get moving this season.   Take a Walk After a long winter, fresh air and sunshine feel so good! Walking is a great form of exercise and can even help with stress management. Try hiking a trail in a local park. Or get the entire family involved and go for a short walk after dinner.   Plant a Garden Planting a garden can be a relaxing and rewarding activity. Whether you’re planting colorful flowers or delicious fruits and veggies, you’re sure to add a pop of color to Spring. Tending and watering the garden [...]

Exercise before Bedtime

  A consistent exercise routine is great for getting better quality sleep. However, can the time of day you exercise negatively impact it? We’re going to take a closer look at the research around sleep and exercise, the best time for activity, and tips for creating healthy routines. How Does Exercise Affect Sleep? For years many have believed that evening and late-night exercise would disrupt sleep. Recently, more studies have explored this notion to figure out how physical activity affects sleep quality. Exercise raises heart rate, body temperature, and adrenaline levels which can impact the body’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. However, the Sleep Foundation’s findings from a compilation of studies indicate that those who exercise after 8 pm fall asleep quickly and have similar amounts of deep sleep as those who exercise between the hours of 4 [...]

Keeping Exercise Fun for Kids

  An alarming 76% of children ages 6-17 do not meet the daily physical activity recommendations given by the Department of Health (CDC). Highlighting the importance of physical activity at an early age will encourage continued participation as an adult. As we know all too well, it’s hard to make a habit out of something you don’t like doing. This emphasizes why it is so pivotal for kids to engage in physical activity that they find fun and enjoyable.  Exercise for Healthy Hearts Heart disease is often thought of as an adult’s issue. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics notes hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) has been found in children as young as 10. This shows how a heart-healthy future starts with the habits formed in childhood. Regular physical activity plays a large role in improved cardiovascular function and will [...]