Provided by Making Life Better™
Here’s how to change up your workouts — and stay motivated.
When it comes to exercise, you know you need to include cardio, strength and flexibility training. But if you’re fed up with the same old running, lifting and stretching, energize your workout with some new ideas.
If you’ve had enough of the treadmill, try...
It transforms Japanese sword-fighting techniques into a low-impact aerobic workout. Borrowing from kendo and aiki jujitsu, Forza takes you through a series of movements that strengthen your muscles and raise your heart rate. No actual fighting is involved, so if you don’t have a sword handy, a broomstick or a bat will do.
Pulsing Latin rhythms drive this intense dance workout that mixes salsa, merengue and hip-hop. "No dance experience is needed; it’s all based on simple moves," says Gabrielle Taylor, owner of Manhattan Motion Dance Studios. "The high energy of the music is what people love — and the fact that the moves aren’t complicated."
If you’re tired of just lifting weights, try...
"There’s a trend now for a workout that can be done with no weights, and that includes plyometric work," says Los Angeles personal trainer Nancy Krank. "When done right, it’s an effective way to strengthen muscles while decreasing impact forces on the joints." Jumping up and landing softly or throwing a ball with explosive power are examples.
Strength training should be meaningful to everyday life, says Cary Raffle, a Manhattan personal trainer. "Rarely can you lie down and get into a perfect position in life before lifting a weight," he says. Using this philosophy, performing movements that mimic natural movement patterns and strengthening core muscles — used for balance and posture — is especially important. Raffle encourages clients to do strength exercises while standing on one leg or lying on the stability ball.
If your stretching routine has gotten stale, think about...
You can improve flexibility and help avoid injuries by working muscles with a firm foam tube — it’s like giving yourself a deep-tissue massage with a large rolling pin. "The foam roller smoothes out knots in muscles," Raffle says. "If muscles are knotted, they cannot fully stretch. Eventually, you’ll get a tear."
Using cables and pulleys, the Gyrotonic Expansion System® increases flexibility by guiding your movements as you stretch, twist and bend in circular, fluid motions. Joint mobility and balance are also improved; the exercises stimulate the skeletal system as well as the muscles.
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