October 28, 2011 | Filed Under Partners, Support Network, Workout Routines | No Comments
Most of the time, a workout routine is easier to maintain if it involves a social element. It’s harder to break plans when you’ve made them with a friend, and it’s impossible to overestimate the motivation we gain when others are cheering us on. And there are few things more satisfying than offering the same support and encouragement to someone else who needs a hand.
But sometimes it’s a better idea to work out alone. And sometimes it can be beneficial to keep our plans and goals to ourselves until we gain a strong foothold and establish a stable new routine on our way to a healthy lifestyle. If your situation fits any of these descriptions, it may be best go it alone for a while, and gather a social network later on:
1. You’ll be ashamed if you don’t succeed or can’t maintain a consistent routine.
If you don’t want others to track your progress and judge you, that’s fine. Don’t let this fear stand in the way of your health. Work out during times when it’s convenient for you to get away, and stay close to the vest about your progress until you find your feet.
2. You’ve tried working out before and it didn’t go well.
If you’ve stumbled in the past and you’re afraid you may be taxing the patience of your supporters, get the gear, find the time, and gather the motivation your need on your own. Once your routine is well in place and you’re comfortable with your progress, then you can let others in on your plans.
3. Your willpower is fragile.
If one word of discouragement could potentially derail your plans, protect yourself from that word. Don’t make yourself vulnerable to anyone who might criticize you or stand in your way. Not yet anyway.
4. You’re anxious about your body.
Don’t let this concern keep you trapped in a body that isn’t healthy. The only way to get out is to get moving. Just clear your path of unnecessary challenges. Workout when crowds are light and stay focused on your goals, not the mirrors around you.
October 26, 2011 | Filed Under Finding a Trainer, Workout Goals | No Comments
Working out feels great, as experienced athletes know. But sometimes, even when we know we’ll feel fantastic at the end of a session, it can still be difficult to get off the couch or out of bed when it’s time to put on our gear and begin exercising. Working out with a friend can help, but sometimes the buddy system isn’t quite enough. When your willpower flags and your workout partner cancels, it can be helpful to have a commitment or appointment already in place. Especially if the appointment is with a professional trainer or the commitment is to a class that only happens once or twice a week.
Most professional trainers are not just fit and knowledgeable about exercise science—They also know how to tailor a workout routine to meet the individual needs of every client. An excellent trainer can shout at someone who needs to be pushed and find other strategies for those who respond to gentler tactics. Make sure you find someone who listens to you and clearly understands your fitness goals. And remember that a positive relationship with a trainer is built on trust. She’ll tailor a plan for you, but you need to be willing to rise to the challenge, show up on time, and follow her directions.
If you’re investigating a class, watch a session for a few minutes to see if the pace and the environment are right for you. If you need competition to succeed, find a class where you can show off your skills. If you’re turned off by competition, find a class where you can move at your own pace. Within limits, accommodate your weaknesses. If you have a bad ankle, don’t take a high impact class with lots of jumping. And use the phone. If you need to target or favor a certain body area, make some calls and ask questions about zumba, cycling, yoga, martial arts or any other classes that are available in your local area. Once you sign up, follow through. Even if the class doesn’t seem right for you at first, attend at least a few sessions before you make up your mind.
October 24, 2011 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle, Motivation, Progress | No Comments
Your workout plans have gotten off to an excellent start. You realized it was time to get moving, you put a plan in place, and you’ve been following it to the letter. Your healthy habits are on track, your workout goals are realistic, and your support team is fully behind you. There’s only one problem: Your body hasn’t yet gotten the memo. No matter how many reps you do or how thoroughly you exhaust yourself, your body remains stubbornly resistant to change. The reps you’re able to sustain have not budged, your strength and endurance don’t seem to be increasing, and your fat is just as settled in and comfortable as it’s ever been. Those rolls aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. What’s wrong? And what can you do about it before you lose motivation and drop the project altogether?
First, remember that adding exercise to your weekly routine is a lifelong change. Exercise is one small part of a healthy lifestyle, not a quick fix for any specific problem. Just like breathing clean air, exercise is not a short term treatment plan. Instead, it’s a fundamental aspect of health and something your body both requires and deserves. You may not see changes during the first week, but that’s no reason to stop. If you’re getting frustrated, take steps to protect your enjoyment of the process. Change your routine to something more fun. And make sure your gear isn’t part of the problem. Your clothes should be comfortable, your workout environment should be encouraging and your hands and feet should be protected from blisters. Use your Gripads and choose the right shoes for your routine.
Second, be patient. If you’re giving your all, your body will get the message eventually. You may experience lags now and then, but if you stay on track, these moments will pass. Share your feelings with your support team or your trainer to get the tips and encouragement you need.
October 22, 2011 | Filed Under Gear, Hand Protection | No Comments
The right gear can have a huge impact on the success of your workout. If you choose your shoes, clothes and equipment carefully, you’ll be comfortable and protected from poor technique and possible injury. On the other hand, the wrong gear can lead to a frustrating workout, slow results and flagging motivation. In the worst case, we can end up blaming ourselves for our poor results when a simple change in gear would have made all the difference.
This is especially true when it comes to hand protection. If you spend significant time using resistance machines or training with free weights, you understand the toll that bars, ropes and equipment handles can take on the palms of your hands. The heavier the resistance and the more intense the workout, the greater the chance of blisters and abrasions that can interfere with your training regimen. Chalk can reduce slippage, and gloves can protect your hands from injury, but both of these solutions have limits. Chalk is messy and offers minimal protection from abrasions. And gloves can prevent your hands from breathing naturally and can restrict your range of motion. Sweat and moisture can also build up inside, fostering bacteria and unpleasant smells.
But now there’s an alternative that can provide everything you need from a workout glove with none of the restriction, sweat, grime and mildew. The Gripad is a lightweight neoprene pad that’s both soft and incredibly durable. Gripads slip on easily and stay on, protecting your hands during even the most intense workouts. But they only cover your palms, so the rest of your hand stays unconfined and unrestricted. The neoprene layer wicks moisture away, leaving your palms dry and comfortable, and the padded surface helps you maintain your grip on equipment so you can stay focused on your technique. Try a pair of Gripads during your next workout. You’ll feel the difference.
October 20, 2011 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition | No Comments
No workout plan is complete if it only extends as far as the door of the gym. Your chances of staying motivated, seeing results, and feeling great will increase if you maintain your focus on a healthy lifestyle and carry it with you throughout the day. Sleep, stress management, hydration and nutrition should all play a role in your normal routine from early morning until bedtime. If you maintain healthy habits twenty four hours a day, you’ll see the difference in your strength and endurance as you exercise.
Start with nutrition. If you’re ready to make positive changes to your eating habits, begin by paying attention to what you’re doing now. What exactly are you eating and how often? Now is the time to place limits on unconscious snacking and make sure that your regular meals are planned and balanced.
Raise your intake of leafy green vegetables and fruits. Exchange processed crackers and cookies for whole grain carbohydrates. And switch from beef and pork products to lean proteins like fish, chicken, nuts and legumes. Each of these moves represents a small, easy change that can improve your health and focus and may have a positive impact on your workout goals.
Don’t skip breakfast. If you’re interested in cutting calories, start by exchanging high calorie, low quality foods for healthier options. Then get a handle on snacking and reduce portion sizes during lunch and dinner. But don’t cut corners on breakfast. For a long list of reasons, our bodies need breakfast to trigger our metabolisms out of sleep mode. Studies show that those who eat a complete healthy breakfast actually lose more weight and stay better focused throughout the day than those who don’t.
Maintain consistent, healthy eating habits and when it’s time to grab your Gripads and head for the gym, your body will be properly fueled and ready for your high energy workout.
October 15, 2011 | Filed Under Stretching, Workout Routines | No Comments
Stretching before and after a period of exertion was once considered part of a simple equation: The more limber our muscles, the better our performance. A few lunges and hamstring stretches would start the routine, and away we would go.
But in recent years, the formula for proper stretching has become more complex. The wrong kind of stretching with bouncing and twisting elements can cause back trouble, and some studies have even shown that too much stretching performed on cold muscles can actually increase the risk of injury during some activities.
The general formula for proper stretching before and after a workout seems to settle on the idea that cold muscles are like cold taffy. If they’re gently warmed before athletes engage in sustained stretching movements guided by common sense, muscle fibers lengthen and loosen. Oxygen delivery to muscle tissue improves and workout benefits increase.
Stretching should not be painful or abrupt. The process should feel good, and the muscles you plan to engage the most should receive additional attention before your workout routine. If you’ll be lifting weights or targeting the back, abs, obliques, or legs, make sure these areas are warmed gently and then stretched for at least a few minutes before you slip on your Gripads and begin your reps. And when your routine ends, whether it involved weight training, aerobic exercise or both, take a few minutes to stretch your muscle fibers again. Increasing circulation to taxed muscles not only feels good, it may ease your soreness later on.
When it’s done properly, stretching should have a pleasant, lasting effect that you can feel throughout the workout and into the day, especially if you stretch often. For pointers on your stretching technique, sign up for a yoga class or get a few tips from a professional trainer.
October 13, 2011 | Filed Under Hand Protection, Workout Goals | No Comments
You’re doing everything you can to get the most out of your workout, both on and off the gym floor. You’re eating a balanced diet loaded with plenty of whole grain carbohydrates, green leafy vegetables and lean protein. You’re getting at least six hours of sleep each night. You’ve found a strong support network among your family and friends. You’re staying hydrated, motivated, and on schedule.
But there are a few additional things you can do to clear the path to your goals and protect the value you get out of each hour you spend at the gym. Let’s talk about your gear.
Your clothes, shoes and hand protection should all be part of the system you rely on to keep your performance at optimum levels. Choose your gear carefully, since small details can have an effect that you may not feel at first. The difference between the right and wrong running shoes may not become apparent until months down the road, and the difference between the right and wrong hand protection may affect your technique, the amount you’re able to lift, and the reps you can sustain.
Gripads can protect your hands from sweat, germs, blisters and slippage during one workout. But if you use your Gripads consistently, they can protect not only your hands, but your overall workout goals. Gripads can prevent the minor injuries that can cause you to favor a hand without realizing it and lose your technique. And they also protect your motivation. Healthy, blister-free, injury-free hands won’t slow you down, and they won’t let your workout turn into a painful chore.
From your choice of gear, to the location of your gym, to the time of day you choose to work out, make things easy on yourself. Don’t let minor obstacles and irritations interfere with your goals. Gripads can help.
October 4, 2011 | Filed Under Partners, Workout Tips | No Comments
Making exercise a regular part of your lifestyle can provide a long list of benefits, from improved strength and weight loss to an increased metabolism, better sleep, more energy, improved posture and a more positive outlook. But exercise can offer additional, often under-recognized benefits for your social life.
Working out can be a very social activity, and few things offer more powerful motivation than the sound of friends and partners cheering you on. If you’ve just joined a gym or you’ve recently started adding exercise to your regular routine, consider making use of the buddy system. Bring a friend along on your runs or resistance training sessions. Choose someone who shares at least some of your general workout goals, someone with a similar approach and level of commitment. If you work out with a partner, you can keep each other on track and motivated when things get difficult. You can also offer tips and pointers on technique and give each other perspective when progress seems slow.
If you don’t have a potential workout partner in your circle, head to the gym solo but keep an eye out for classes that might interest you. Group sessions can be fun and can provide a great way to get and give positive reinforcement. Even if you’re shy, regular attendance will eventually help you get to know the other members of the group, who may be friendlier and more encouraging than you realize. Signing up for a regularly scheduled class will also help you stay committed, especially if you begin to see progress (which you will) and you want to keep moving forward.
The process will be easier if you choose a gym or class with like-minded people who seem to share your approach. But don’t be afraid to expose yourself to new people and new situations that can help you grow.
October 2, 2011 | Filed Under Hand Protection, Workouts | No Comments
When you head to the gym for resistance training or weightlifting, your hands play an integral role in the success of your workout. It’s easy to underestimate the importance of protecting them, but if your hands are in good shape, you can get the most out of your routine. And if your hands are uncomfortable, confined, sweaty, or injured, you may be giving less than one hundred percent without even realizing it.
Proper hand protection means two things: 1. maintaining a tight, effortless grip on weights, handles and bars, and 2. keeping your hands safe from blisters, calluses, injuries, and germs.
A tight grip allows you to stop thinking about your hands and keep your attention where it belongs: on your technique and on the amount of weight you’re lifting or pulling. Chalk can help, but chalk is messy and wears off quickly. You still need to watch out for unstable grip that can come from excess sweat, and you still aren’t fully protected from blisters and small injuries that can hold you back.
Gloves offer an improvement over barehanded lifting, but our hands like to breathe and have access to an unrestricted range of motion. Gloves can be confining and sweaty. They can also collect grime and moisture that can provide a breeding ground for odor and bacteria.
So what’s a dedicated resistance trainer to do? Keep your hands safe and your grip strong with durable, breathable Gripads. Gripad’s soft but powerful pad stands between your skin and the bar or weight. And while the neoprene layer wicks moisture away from your palm, the rest of your hand is left exposed and comfortable. Gripads are tight, flexible, and tough. They’ll help you maintain your grip without losing focus on your workout.