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Everyone Needs to Strength Train...And Everyone Needs a Workout Plan

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Yes, the best form of exercise is one that you love and do consistently, but there’s plenty of evidence that finding a workout plan for strength training and/or weight lifting and sticking to it is crucial. For everyone.

Running may give you that endorphin rush and sense of accomplishment, or yoga might be the activity you look forward to doing every day, that gives your mindfulness practice an extra dimension, but finding a workout plan centered on strength training is important for a few reasons:

Protects Your Primary Pursuit. Weight lifting can totally be content to be a side chick to distance running or cycling, or whatever. In fact, this is how selfless it is; it will help protect you against injuries so that you can be even better at the fitness endeavor that is your first love. Evidence points to competitive runners improving their running economy (using less oxygen) through strength training, and it’s becoming more and more clear that long distance cyclists can combat back pain and power imbalances by finding a workout plan that helps build core and upper body strength. Cross training with weights generally has protective components for almost any activity; overuse can drive up your risk of injury, and building up the muscles that surround the specialized ones for your activity can prevent that.

Ensures Unique Health Benefits. Aerobic exercise enhances heart health, and studies have proven that is has several protective effects against certain conditions. However, anaerobic exercise, like weight training, offers benefits like bone density boosts and can have a positive effect on blood sugar regulation.

Gives an Edge to Weight Loss. Many people on a weight loss journey have found that finding a workout plan that’s designed to build muscle has helped them define their physique, after an initial weight loss spurred by cardio. Even if you’re just starting a weight loss goal, using strength training as a means for fat loss is smart; it increases metabolism and muscle burns fat, so it makes sense to build muscle.

So, why not just do a few exercises on your own? What’s the magic in finding a workout plan with a prescribed format? The answer is that while the reasons for weight lifting are simple, the targeting of specific muscles, balance achieved with sets and reps, etc. is a little more complex, and a plan that is designed for definitive goals--by a professional who has gotten results and has experience--can save you time and get you on the right path, initially.

Discovering more about the science behind weight lifting and designing your own workouts is part of the fun, but you need to allow for a learning curve in the beginning (or when you have a new goal that you want to be sure you’re on track to accomplish). Or you may always want all of the thinking done for you, when it comes to laying out a plan for your strength training.

Either way, there are a multitude of reasons for finding a workout plan that meets your needs, and we have them! Take the quiz today and see which plan would work for you!

Flexibility in Fitness: Yoga, Anyone?

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Changing the body’s abilities and its appearance are two common reasons for starting or ramping up a fitness routine; improving health and feeling better are also common catalysts.

Whatever your motivation, it’s likely you’ve chosen a pursuit for a particular reason. You run because you enjoy how you feel during and after, or you lift weights because you enjoy bodybuilding, or competing.

Even if you’re heavily invested in one activity, however, you’re probably aware of the benefits of cross training.

Runners need strength. Weight lifters need endurance.

And everyone needs flexibility.

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The popularity of yoga during the last few decades has often gone hand in glove with an emphasis on mindfulness, and with good reason; it offers a complement to meditative contemplation that’s valuable. But equally impressive is its contribution to function, as demonstrated in at least one study involving college athletes.

Ten weeks of yoga resulted in significant improvements in flexibility and balance in a group of athletes who engaged in bi-weekly yoga sessions. (No changes were seen in the control group, who did not take part in yoga). Knees, shoulders, hips, and ankles all exhibited greater flexibility, and it doesn’t take a scientist to put together that these improvements could mean significant protection from injury.

Other benefits of yoga that may be of particular interest to weight lifters include a delay in the onset of muscle soreness, increased muscle torque, and an increase in hand grip strength. Runners looking for pluses might enjoy the added strength that yoga can provide as well as the fact that it also enhances cardiovascular performance.

The mental advantages that yoga bestows can also add to the enjoyment of your primary fitness pursuit by improving motivation; it’s been proven to pump that up, as well as reduce depression and anxiety, probably through the connection of deep breathing and intense postures.

If your training is going well, consider keeping it rolling with the addition of yoga for flexibility.

Not only is flexibility a good thing for your mind and all of life’s experience curveballs, it’s a plus in the gym or on the track, as well.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728955/

Can Working Out Make You a More Confident Person?

Can Working Out Make You a More Confident Person?

If you read very many women’s fitness magazines (and the interviews they contain), you’ll notice a common refrain spoken by the women who are talking about whatever fitness-related activity they’re engaged in…

“It gave me a confidence I didn’t have before.”

2018 Girl Power Play List: Empowering Songs for Women

2018 Girl Power Play List: Empowering Songs for Women

And what women's fitness camp would be complete without a girl power play list full of empowering songs for women as background music?

Here's my list so for this year's Camp GORGO. If you have suggestions, I'd love to hear!

Knowing Yourself is Far from Mediocre

Knowing Yourself is Far from Mediocre

We can’t control what others think, how they feel, when they choose to lash out, or the fact that they are committed to misunderstanding us.  All we can do is live a life that is true to ourselves, what we know ourselves to be, and how we want to show up in the world… and that is far from mediocre.

The Busy Mom Gets Fit Diet: An 8 Week Plan

The Busy Mom Gets Fit Diet: An 8 Week Plan

You may have a solid exercise plan, but without a doable nutrition plan you can follow as a busy mom, it’s going to be tough to reach your goals for good.  If you’ve followed me for long, you know I’m an advocate of balance and health.  Let’s stop crash dieting and really make lasting changes for yourself and your family. Check out this complete diet plan.

Mom Guilt: Feel Guilty About Working on Your Own Goals?

Mom Guilt: Feel Guilty About Working on Your Own Goals?

Why do we feel that "mom guilt" when we finally want to go for a run or check our kiddos into the gym childcare for a bit?!  What is up with feeling guilty about working on our own goals?!   Click "play" and I'll share my raw thoughts with you.  It's an emotional topic.  :-)