Working out with poorly fitting or worn out clothing, shoes or other gear can be detrimental to your workout, and your self-image. In some cases, such as with shoes, worn out or poor quality footwear can contribute to injuries.
How Often Should I Replace Fitness Gear?
Fitness clothing, footwear and other equipment takes a lot of abuse. Wear and tear and frequent washings can wear even the most durable gear out. Here's how you know when it's time to replace your stuff:
This is a big one. Shoes that are worn or not fitting properly can cause shin splints, ankle rolls and injuries to your joints and muscles. Wearing them can hurt your performance, too.
So how often should you replace them? It depends on how often and under what conditions you use them. If you run five or six times a week, your shoes will probably last three to six months. Again, this depends on the shoe, how active you are and where you are running.
If you notice the soles are wearing, if you find you are having to tighten your laces so that your shoes feel supportive, or if you are noticing foot, knee or shin pain, you probably need to replace your shoes.
Socks are important. They help keep your feet dry and comfortable in your shoes. If your socks are thin and worn or the elastic is wearing out, then you may be in for some blisters. Replace your socks as soon as they start getting worn so that you can workout comfortably and avoid blisters and other types of irritation.
Shorts, leggings, yoga pants and sports bras – all of these types of clothing need to fit properly to avoid chafing and awkward situations. If you notice the elastic is wearing, the material is pilling or not holding its shape, it is time to replace it. Care for your clothes by washing on gentle cycle and air drying.
4. Balance Balls And Resistance Bands
These also have a shelf life. If they wear out, they can snap or pop during use. Replace them according to manufacturer suggestions, or at least every two years. Do not leave these items out in the sun, as that can drastically reduce their lifespan.
The right gear helps performance, and so does the right workout. If you are struggling with fitness, a personal trainer can help. Contact Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo to find out how a customized workout can help you reach your goals faster.
If you’ve lamented at your BMI (body mass index) numbers recently, take heart. BMI isn't the end all be all measure of health. In fact, there is a growing number of people who maintain that it is an outdated system that can be replaced by more accurate data that better reflects the health of the individual.
Should I Worry About My BMI?
The body mass index is supposed to help you determine whether you are falling in the "average" range for body fat, if you are extremely low in body fat or if you are obese or in danger of being obese.
These numbers can be helpful, but there is danger in relying on them too much. There are factors that BMI does not reflect, such as muscle mass. Thinking that a "good" BMI number means that you are in excellent health is also not a good idea. Don't use that number to lull you into a false sense of security about your health.
When it comes to things like risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes, BMI is just a tiny blip on the screen. There are many other factors, such as family history and diet, to consider. It is possible to have a normal BMI yet have horrible nutritional habits that may put you at risk for health problems.
Another issue is that the BMI may be skewed when it comes to height. This can result in taller people believing they are overweight, and shorter people not realizing they may be overweight. Also, if you’ve built muscle, the BMI may not accurately reflect that.
Not only that, but obsessing over numbers can be counterproductive.
What To Do Instead Of Worrying About BMI
The best way to ensure good health all around is to consume an adequate amount of quality calories. This means protein, healthy fat, whole grains and a reasonable amount of carbs.
This also means developing a fitness plan that works for you. It is important that you find an exercise plan that you will stick with, so find activities you enjoy. The point is to find the method of fitness that feels good for you and is geared toward the results you want. It is important to set your goals, and then create your plan.
If you are struggling with fitness, it may be time for a personal trainer who can develop a program specifically for you and your goals. Personal trainer Ralph Roberts in Amarillo can do just that, and provide support and motivation along the way.
A common definition of density is "the degree to which something is filled, crowded or occupied." That definition is at the heart of density training.
What Is Density Training?
Density training works to increase the density of the workouts you do. Density, in training terms, is a combination of the volume and the duration of your workout. The volume is the total workload you take on during a workout session. You can basically think of it as the number of sets you do multiplied by the number of reps you do in each set. The duration of your workout is how long the workout session lasts.
Take this example. Let's say you did 10 reps of 10 chest presses at a given weight. The workload for that session was 10 reps times 10 presses or 100 repetitions. It took you 15 minutes to complete the session. So, your density was 100 repetitions (volume) in 15 minutes.
How To Implement Density Training
There are two ways to add density training into your workout routine.
First, keep your workout volume the same, but shorten the duration of the workout. So instead of doing 10 reps of 10 chest presses in 15 minutes, you shorten that to 10 minutes. You can do this by shortening the time between reps or by increasing your training speed.
The second method is to keep the duration of the workout the same, but increasing the number of reps you do in that time frame. So instead of doing 10 reps of 10 chest presses in 15 minutes, you increase your volume to 15 reps of 10 chest presses for a total of 150 repetitions. Again, to do this, you would have to shorten the time between reps or increase your training speed.
Why Concentrate On Training Density?
Density training helps your fitness level in a number of ways.
Change can be difficult, especially when it comes to lifestyle changes around food, physical activity and bad habits. If you’re thinking about adopting a new, healthy habit – such as exercise or healthy eating – studies show that making these changes with your partner increases the chances of success.
It makes sense, of course. It seems that it would be easier to avoid eating sugary foods if your partner isn't sitting there eating them in front of you, but this is just part of it.
Should I Go On A Diet With My Partner?
Changing the way you eat with the support of your partner can up your chances of success. Not only because there will be less temptation, but also because the mutual support can help give you the encouragement and motivation you need when times get tough. There’s a sense of obligation and accountability involved, too.
For example, if your partner is struggling, encourage him or her to keep going. This will give you a boost, too. And, the shared success is that much sweeter.
Should My Partner And I Exercise Together?
Absolutely. There are many reasons why this can be effective. Friendly competition, encouragement and fun are all aspects that can help make your new lifestyle a success. The two of you will influence each other to do your best, even if you don't always feel like it.
One of you may have an off day here or there, and that's okay. Because your other half is continuing on with the program, you will be less likely to quit when you hit a snag. You can each set a good example for the other.
If you are serious about getting fit and developing a healthy lifestyle, personal training can make a huge difference. With personal training, you not only get a healthy dose of motivation and encouragement, you also get one-on-one training and a custom routine that works for your current level of fitness and helps you achieve your goals faster.
Ralph Roberts has worked with countless clients over the years and offers training for men and women of all fitness types and activity levels. He can help you kick off your healthy lifestyle and give you tips on how to keep each other motivated, too. You can find Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo.
The best kind of body conditioning targets the whole body. "Spot toning" is something that people used to talk about frequently, but it is not an effective strategy for fitness. If you want to get lean and shapely, you need to work it all.
How Can I Work All My Muscles?
This is easier said than done, especially if you’re new to fitness. You may find yourself expending a lot of energy doing exercises that aren't very effective – a waste of time.
It can be helpful to use someform of equipment to help you get the most out of your workout, and to help you achieve proper resistance, balance and form. Resistance bands, weights and exercise balls are all good choices.
How Can I Work Out With An Exercise Ball?
There are a number of moves you can do with an exercise ball that will have you toned from head to toe.
Push-ups with feet on the exercise ball. Push-ups are a great exercise that helps tone shoulders, arms and back. With the added challenge of resting your feet on an exercise ball, you add increased balance, which also helps tone and strengthen your core and back.
If you want to work your abdominals, the exercise ball is an effective tool. Try the exercise ball crunch. Lie across the ball, feet flat on the ground with the ball supporting your lower and mid back. Keeping your eyes on the ceiling, perform the crunch.
To target those stubborn lower abs and increase core strength, try an Exercise Ball Pull-in. Start in the pushup position, with your feet on the ball. Then, using your feet and legs, pull the ball in toward your chest. Keep your abdominal muscles engaged while you do this.
Work your glutes with an Exercise Ball Bridge. With the ball supporting head, neck and upper back and feet flat on the floor, extend and raise hips toward the ceiling, then bring them back to the starting position.
Work those hamstrings with the Ball Leg Curl. Lie on the floor and prop your feet up on the ball with legs extended. Now, bring the ball towards you. Push it back.
The exercise ball provides an endless list of moves to tone and tighten your body. If you’ve struggled with meeting your fitness goals, a personal trainer can help by creating a customized workout plan that meets your individual needs.
Not only that, but you will get tons of motivation and one on one time. Ralph Roberts has been helping people meet their goals for years. Find him at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo.
I just wanted to remind everyone about The Hope & Healing Place 5th Annual Half Marathon and Mile Memorial Run coming up on May 10. This race raises funds for The Hope & Healing Place, an organization founded in 2003 to help grieving children, families and individuals on their healing journey. Every donation goes directly toward the free programs they offer attendees.
Register for the race here. Having participated in this twice before, I encourage you to support this fantastic cause!
Prepare yourself for the race with this training schedule:
Image credit: http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51312/Half-Marathon-Novice-2-Training-Program
Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and now is the time to start planning that romantic weekend with your special someone. If dinner and candy isn’t your thing and you’re looking for something to please your active, adventurous squeeze, try one of the following in, around or near Amarillo
1. Rock Climbing
Want to do something different, fun and challenging? Take your sweetie out to the Amarillo Rock Climbing House. Gear up and test your strength, endurance and coordination on their variety of wall and boulder stations. Work up an appetite before that romantic dinner and maybe discover a new hobby together.
2. Romantic Outdoor Picnic For Two
Explore and experience the country's second largest canyon, Palo Duro, with a romantic picnic for two. Pack a lunch or early dinner with plenty of savory treats, champagne, or maybe just some coffee or juice.
Stroll along the trails, go horseback riding, mountain biking or just sit and watch the sunset. It’s a beautiful backdrop for a romantic picnic. Bring a blanket, warm clothes and a camera.
3. Skiing Getaway
Take your sweetie away for the weekend on a ski trip to a number of destinations in nearby New Mexico or Colorado. Getting out in the snow, riding the lifts and a full day on the slopes is fun and exciting. Not only that, but cuddling in front of a fire, sipping hot chocolate and exchanging tales of adventure over a savory meal is both romantic and memorable.
Who says you have to do traditional for Valentine's Day? Whether you spend time outdoors, at an indoor rock climbing facility or even a couple hours at the gym, the two of you will be sure to have fun and bond together over activities that you love.
If you’re looking for a gift for your fitness enthusiast, consider the gift of a personal training session. A personal trainer in Amarillo can give your fitness efforts a huge boost in motivation. Personal trainer Ralph Roberts will customize an exercise and nutrition routine based on your current level of fitness, goals and lifestyle.
If you’re into winter sports like snowboarding, skiing and snowshoeing, you know just how much of a toll they can take on your body. If you don't properly prepare for the slopes, you'll likely suffer an injury. Let's take a look at some specific exercises that will get you “slope ready.”
If you can avoid harsh falls while skiing, you'll have a good chance at maintaining your health. To strengthen your lower body, incorporate single-leg squats. Begin by standing with your feet aligned with your hips. Bend your left knee and move your weight over to your right leg. Perform a squat. Perform the exercise in reps of 10 on each side for 4 total sets.
Anyone who has cross-country skied will testify that it is much more demanding than it looks. It taxes your entire upper body and lower body. To enhance your upper body strength, perform a cable pushdown. Use a resistance tube or a FreeMotion machine's arms at the peak position. Face it with your feet aligned with your shoulders. Hold the handles in line with your head, bend your elbows and have your palms face one another. Pull down, allow your elbows to move backward and then resume the beginning position. Perform the cable pushdown 10 times in sets of 3.
Snowboarding works the entire body and demands precise coordination. Make use of a stability ball to build your core. Take things a step further and prepare your abdominal muscles and lumbar back muscles for action by incorporating a wobble plank. If you are looking for a snowboarding-specific exercise, begin in the regular push-up position and place your feet on a pillow. Align your wrists beneath your shoulders and remain in this position for a full minute. Take a breather and perform the exercise 3 more times.
Snowshoeing really taxes the legs. Prepare for the rigors of snowshoeing with the StairMaster challenge. Start out at level 1 and allow yourself to ease into your workout for a few minutes. Boost the resistance every few minutes. After 10 minutes, return to level 1 for a cool down period. If you don't have access to a StairMaster, climb your home or apartment steps instead.
While the exercises outlined above will help you prepare for winter sports, they are no substitute for the experience and advice of an accomplished personal trainer like Ralph Roberts in Amarillo. He'll help you incorporate exercises that are specific to the winter sport(s) you love, sculpt your body and increase your confidence.
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