Are you a creature of habit? If so, you're not alone. When it comes to exercise, many of us head for the same class at the gym, log the same workout on the elliptical, and run the same route every time we go out. While regular exercise is good for you, it’s also important to vary your fitness routine. Both your body and brain will reap benefits when you try new activities; it’s the key to stimulating different muscle groups and preventing boredom.
Here are a few benefits that come with mixing up your exercise routine.
Break Through Plateaus
When you do the same activity all the time, your body gets used to it and becomes very efficient. Eventually, that adaptation will mean you burn fewer calories even when you’re doing the same amount of exercise. If you challenge your body in a way that it’s not used to your body will have to work harder as it adjusts to the new activity, which means that you’ll burn more calories.
There’s a reason why you get hurt when you put your body through the same motions over and over again. This type of injury often occurs from doing lots of repetitive motions, such as running, hitting a tennis ball, kicking (in kickboxing or martial arts classes), etc. By mixing things up, you give those overused muscles, joints, and ligaments a chance to rest and recover before putting them into action again.
Build New Muscles
For most people, the best approach in exercise is to do a little of everything. This approach helps you to build a strong heart (for endurance), muscular legs, and a powerful upper body. You’ll look great and be physically ready to take on a variety of sports and activities.
If you find yourself literally counting down the seconds left in your elliptical workout or can hardly stand the sight of the same streets as you run down them, it’s time to switch up your routine. Keep your workouts from getting stale by constantly trying new things. At Evolve Fitness Studios we offer more than 80 classes each week so there are plenty to choose from so you can have a total change of pace.
Meet New Workout Partners
One of the best ways to stay engaged with exercise and committed to a regular schedule of activity is to find people you want to work out with. Join a running group, try a Pilates or Broga class with a friend, or bring a friend to join you for personal training as a duo.
Keep Your Brain Healthy
Exercise is essential for keeping your brain sharp and helping to prevent memory loss. Learning new skills also helps keep your neurons in better shape. When you learn a new exercise activity, it's a win-win for your body and your brain. The key is to choose activities that keep you engaged; don’t pick things that you can do like a braindead zombie. You don’t need to overexert yourself to reap the benefits of exercise for your brain and memory, but you should exercise regularly. Research shows that when you are active you have a lower risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and stroke, all of which can affect memory.
Get Excited About Exercise, Again!
When you start feeling dread rather than enthusiasm for working out, it's time to switch things up. It might take a little sampling of different activities before you find the right mix that works for you, but stick with it and you'll find something you enjoy. Just make sure you include several different types of activities each week and swap out something new every once in a while to keep your routine fresh.
If you've made the choice to pursue your fitness goals, it can be incredibly helpful to have someone who can help you reach them. This is where a personal trainer comes in. Not only does having the support of a personal trainer keep you more motivated and accountable when it comes to your workouts, but he or she can also play a role in helping you maximize your time at the gym, prevent injury, and see more consistent results.
But how do you know how to choose the right person who will help you set the correct goals to achieve your desired results? Each trainer has their own style and approach to training. Therefore, it's crucial to do your due diligence as you go about choosing a trainer; all it takes is a little legwork to determine whether or not someone will be a good fit for your needs. After all, it's called "personal" training for a reason. Working closely together creates a bond that will help you to stay engaged and motivated throughout the process.
To help you with selecting the best personal trainer for your needs, take into consideration the following criteria:
A trainer should be able to show you a fitness certification in their particular area of expertise. To become certified, personal trainers must pass an exam through accredited organizations such as The American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), etc. This ensures they've met certain standards of professionalism and competence from a trustworthy organization.
A trainer who has been working with individuals over time has likely tested and perfected his or her process for providing the best cues to help you get the most out of every workout. Newer trainers can be wonderful, but there is also a higher risk that you'll be their guinea pig as they fine-tune their coaching style and methods.
What motivates you? Some people do well with positive reinforcement and lots of cheerleading, while others like a more forceful, no-nonsense approach and scared into pushing further. Either way, talk to the trainer and get a feel for his or her style to see if it connects with what works for you.
This is a subtle, yet critical, point of differentiation because it can end up making or breaking your experience. How does the trainer develop his or her program, and on what beliefs will it be based? Are they tied to gym-based workouts or will your workouts be outside? Will you be using machines or sticking solely to free weights or other tools? Ask them about their philosophy and make sure it aligns with your goals and preferences.
If you're looking to reach a very specific goal, for example, improving your running times or burst of speed on the field, you will want someone familiar with the nuances of your sport. Not only will he or she have more expertise in your desired area, but chances are they will be more passionate about it, as well.
Just as experience, personality, and philosophy can range vastly between trainers so can their hourly rate, depending on certifications, specialty and location (sometimes as much as hundreds of dollars). So before you begin your search, think about your budget. If hourly solo sessions are currently beyond your means, some trainers offer semi-private sessions or their gym might offer a discount for buying a multiple-session training package.
Because consistency is key when working with a trainer, it's a good idea to ask about his or her schedule. How many clients do they have and are they booked solid all of the time? Do they like to book them at the same time each week, or will your appointments be at different times? How far in advance will you need to book appointments? What is their cancellation policy?
Are you willing to drive across town, or do you need a training option within walking distance in order to stay motivated? And where do you like to train? Some people get inspired by seeing others in a traditional gym setting, others like the one-on-one approach of a fitness studio, and still others prefer to work out in the privacy of their own home. Be sure to ask what your options are with potential trainers.
These guidelines can help you in selecting the right trainer for your needs but not all of these might be important to you. Either way, it's about listening to yourself and making sure you find a trainer you feel matches well with your style and your goals.
At Evolve Fitness Studios, we are conveniently located in downtown Eugene and feature some of the area's best personal trainers. Each has their own area of expertise and style so chances are we have a trainer who can meet your needs. We also offer personal training 3-packs so you can get to know a trainer and see if he or she is right for you.
Give us a call today to schedule a tour and meet our staff. 541-844-1295. See you soon!
by Tina O'Sullivan, Certified Pilates Instructor
Wall bridges are a great way you can strengthen your core. Watch Pilates instructor, Tina, show you how. You can also sign up to attend our Pilates classes, offered several times throughout the week.
For many of us, the start of the year brings the desire to get back in shape, or take up a fitness routine for the first time. If that is true for you, watch this video for a little advice on how to have a successful start so your resolution doesn't fade away.
Like what you see? Give us a call today for a tour of Evolve Fitness Studios. You'll quickly see how we are different. 541-844-1295
We've all heard that water is good for us, and to be honest, most of us probably tune this out to some degree. But, as you are working on your overall health and fitness, drinking water is an essential component to reaching your goals. Here are just a few of the many reasons why water is vital for attaining good health.
1. Water lubricates the joints
In our bodies, cartilage, which is found in joints and the disks of the spine, contains approximately 80 percent water. If you don't drink enough water, this can lead to long-term dehydration that reduces the joints' shock-absorbing ability and increases the likelihood of joint pain.
2. Water delivers oxygen throughout the body
Oxygen is carried throughout the different parts of our body through our blood, which happens to be more than 90 percent water.
3. Water boosts skin health and beauty
When you don't drink enough water, your skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and premature wrinkling. Dehydration can make your skin look dull, whereas drinking plenty of water can help give your skin a glow.
4. Water cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues
A lack of water can affect your brain structure and function. Water is also involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters, so when you suffer prolonged dehydration, you might begin to experience problems with thinking and reasoning.
5. Water regulates body temperature
Water that is stored in the middle layers of the skin comes to the skin's surface as sweat when the body heats up. As it evaporates, it cools the body. Some scientists have suggested that when there is too little water in the body, heat storage increases and you are less able to tolerate heat strain. Having a lot of water in your body may reduce physical strain if heat stress occurs during exercise.
6. The digestive system depends on water
For your bowel to work properly, it needs water. But, when you are dehydrated, you can experience digestive problems, constipation, and an overly acidic stomach. This increases the risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers.
7. Water helps maintain blood pressure
When we don't have enough water in our bodies, our blood can become thicker, increasing blood pressure.
8. Water makes minerals and nutrients accessible
Minerals and different nutrients often dissolve in water, which makes it possible for them to reach different parts of the body where they are needed.
9. Water boosts performance during exercise
If you've ever felt sluggish during a workout, it might be because you weren't getting enough water. Some scientists have proposed that consuming more water might enhance performance during strenuous activity. This is especially true for activities lasting longer than 30 minutes.
10. Water helps with weight loss
Water may help with weight loss if it is consumed instead of sweetened juices and sodas. "Preloading" with water before meals can also help prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness.
So how much water is enough?
How much water we need to consume is influenced by a number of factors, even the climate. The amount of water needed each day varies from person to person, depending on how active they are, how much they sweat, and so on. While there is no fixed amount of water that must be consumed daily, there is general agreement on what a healthy fluid intake is.
According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the average recommended daily intake of water from both food and drink is:
For men: Around 125 ounces
For women: Around 91 ounces
About 80 percent of this should come from drinks, including water, and the rest will be from food.
by Skye Nacel, Certified Personal Trainer (MovNat Level 2), Certified Broga Instructor
We are excited to announce our new Maces and Movement classes coming to Evolve Fitness Studios this winter! The steel mace is a training tool with ancient origins that has stood the test of time, and we use them regularly in our programing at Evolve, as well as with physical therapy patients at our sister company, Staszak Physical Therapy & Wellness Center. We think of the steel mace as one of the most functional tools you can possibly use which is why we invested in a fleet of Set for Set steel maces and trained the staff in their usage.
Steel maces are incredible for overall mobility, strength, and conditioning and there are literally hundreds of moves that our expert instructors can teach you, ranging from basic to advanced moves. The weight distribution of the mace requires full core integration throughout all of the movements and, of course, grip strength is another area of importance that the mace helps to develop.
We are also pleased to offer this class to non members as a winter series and will release pricing details on the website soon. The class is slated as an intermediate to advanced class or those who are very comfortable in any of the classes currently at Evolve Fitness Studios. Stay tuned for updates and details on our social media pages.
by Skye Nacel, Certified Personal Trainer (MovNat Level 2), Certified Broga Instructor
"Lead your child out into Nature. Tutor him on the hilltop and in the valley. There he will listen better and the sense of freedom will give him more strength to overcome difficulties." (Johan Pestalozzi, 1774).
The winters in the PNW are historically dark and wet and are the time of year that many struggle to get outside. If we are looking at health from a health-first perspective however, we know that natural exposure is critical all times of the year. We say train hard inside but only so you can have more fun, outside!
There have been some incredible studies vouching for the importance of outdoor exposure or even natural light including those in hospitals that showed that those with a room with a window view to the outdoors had shorter stays, required less pain medication and had fewer complications. (Forencich. 2003).
Our bodies are also armed with amazing immunity that is designed to get cold, wet, hot, and even dirty and mount a natural response to these situations. When we take these factors out of our lives, just like unused muscles or cognitive function, we are in danger of imbalances.
There is another common saying in the outdoor world that says, "No bad days, only bad gear." So, after a hard Core Align session or Broga class, you may need to put on some rain gear to go out for a headlamp-lit hike up Spencers Butte or drive out to storm watch at the coast.
Winter weekends are a great time in the PNW to get on outside and test that work you have been putting in indoors, test yourself, and get that clean fresh air. The Willamette Valley is home to year round waterfalls, hikes, climbing, mountain bike trails, etc. and since the climate is so mild here, you can continue to SUP, surf, and of course, head to the snow to ski, snowboard, sled or trek.
Most of the classes at Evolve Fitness Studios are done barefoot which has great year round benefits. Many classes also focus on core development and overall conditioning, which can greatly help your outdoor endeavors and prevent injuries whether you are on the slopes or raging down whitewater.
All of the trainers at Evolve Fitness Studios believe in the importance of outdoor exposure for numerous reasons, some pure science, others just plain natural pick me ups, but most of all, it is usually just fun and relieves stress. If you need any tips on ways or places to get outdoors this winter, hit us up, we are glad to help!
One aspect of starting a workout regimen that people dread is the soreness that comes with it. The day after a workout can be tough for even the most dedicated gym goers. It is important to recognize the difference between soreness and a sports-related injury.
Soreness is very common and naturally occurring caused by muscles stretching and growing during and after workouts. Typically, you will notice the first signs of soreness either the night of or the morning after your workout. With soreness, you may feel weak and have aching pains in the muscles that you used at the gym. In addition, you may have tenderness and stiffness.To treat soreness, ice the muscles that are causing you trouble and continue light activity that keeps you moving but doesn’t cause extra stress to the impacted muscle groups. Let your trainer or instructor know if you're feeling sore so they can adjust your workout. Normal activity should resume once you feel strong enough to do so.
Unlike soreness, an injury will typically show itself as a sharp stabbing pain. If this occurs, it is time to see a medical professional. Sometimes though, an injury is not as obvious and can disguise itself as common soreness. The difference between an injury and soreness is the length of recovery. Soreness should only last a few days, and anything longer than that could potentially be a sign of underlying injury. If movement is hindered and home treatments like icing are not working, it is time to make an appointment to let a professional determine what is causing your pain.
Physical therapy can help in both treating an injury and preventing injuries from occurring in the first place. Before you begin a workout regimen, consult a physical therapist to determine what your body can handle and to learn proper techniques when working out. If an injury occurs, a physical therapist can create an individualized workout plan to get you back to full strength and back in the gym.
For more information about the differences between soreness and injury and how physical therapy can help with these problems, contact the team at Staszak Physical Therapy & Wellness Center at 541-505-8180. Their team of therapists and trainers (some of whom also teach here at Evolve Fitness Studios) wants to help you reach your full potential. Together, we will focus on you and your situation to create a fitness plan that will help you achieve your goals.
If you've never tried Pilates, there are many reasons why you might want to add it to your fitness routine. One of the biggest reasons for this is that it helps you form a foundation for your fitness routine by focusing on core strength and stability. To help you have a better understanding of what Pilates is all about, the following is a primer to get you up to speed.
Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates during World War I when he was held in an internment camp. While there, he devised a fitness training regimen for other prisoners and hospital patients using various props. When the war was over, Joseph continued to refine his regimen, and over the years, his workouts have become the "go to" workout for dancers around the world.
Pilates focuses on helping you tone your muscles rather than build bulk. Because of this, Pilates is popular with people who want to be strong, stable, and flexible. During workouts, there is a strong emphasis on breathing and instructors often give students cues on when and how to breathe at different times. In addition, every workout begins with some form of abdominal engagement and spinal alignment — making sure you have good form is key. While Pilates is not an intense cardio workout, know that you will likely work up a good sweat as you work through each move or pose.
Types of Pilates Classes
There are different types of Pilates classes: mat and reformer.
Mat classes require limited equipment and are a great place to start for beginners as the learning curve is not as steep. In a mat Pilates class, you are likely to work through a mix of core exercises like various forms of sit-ups, planks, and balance routines.
Reformer classes involve working with a piece of fitness equipment that has a movable carriage on rails where you are seated, standing, or laying on during the workout. Your movements are regulated by your body weight and resistance from the springs that work to keep the carriage in place. In a reformer class, you will also use straps and pulleys to work through different exercises. While a reformer class works your core, it is also better at working your arms and legs.
Here at Evolve Fitness Studios, we offer a variety of mat and reformer classes for people of all abilities. Check out our class schedule online and sign up for a class today. We'd love to see you!
by Tina O'Sullivan, Certified Pilates Instructor
If you know me at all you know I LOVE to be upside down, and I usually get one of two response when I share my inverted experience… either ‘WOW’ or ‘OW.’ Although I want everyone else to be as excited as I am to get upside down, I totally understand the initial “OW” reaction.
Inversions are not all about being flashy on Instagram, and showing off how cool I look with all the blood rushing to my face… #joking. There are actually many benefits to getting a different view of things every once and a while (on and off the mat).
***Practice SAFELY and under the supervision of your personal trainer/instructor.
Don’t let all the beautiful half-naked women on Instagram intimidate you. You don’t need to be able to hold a handstand for a minute to get the benefits of being upside down. You can use different props/equipment to help you gain a better understanding of the “upside-down.”
My recommendation is to take it slow and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! It took me over 3 years to even be able to hold a headstand without support. I am still working on my handstand daily, its a process, and enjoy the ride!!!
Evolve Fitness Studios
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