Why Would You Use Mirrors In The Gym?

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the strongest of them all? Why would you use mirrors in the gym? There are quite a few good reasons to have some mirrors installed where you workout. No, it isn’t just to admire your great physique. Read on to see why gyms and health clubs have walls and wall of mirrors:

* Check form.
Probably the most important reason for having mirrors is to keep an eye on your from. This is especially important when you are training at home or on your own. It can be incredibly easy to slip into bad habits quickly when working out or lifting weights. Incorrect motions not only result in injuries, but are also pretty much a waste of time. There is no point lifting those weights if you are doing it all wrong.

Poor form can lead to long term and insidious injuries and weaknesses, as well as more noticeable short term injuries that can sideline you while you are recovering. Incorrect form will also mean that the muscle group you are trying to focus on will not tone up as fast as is optimal. The other disadvantage to poor form is that when you are using other muscles to help you with your workout, you will not be burning as many calories as fast as you would be if you were completing the motion correctly.

Mirrors also enable you to see the back half and both sides giving you an all round view of what you are doing. Another benefit of mirrors is that they assist you with your balance. You can easily see that your weight is evenly distributed and that your feet and shoulders are evenly spaced.

* Posture. Keeping your tummy tucked in is important for many workouts. Letting it all hang out is not usually considered an option. This is important when you are asking yourself how to get a six pack of abs, doing abdominal and core work, and the mirrors will come into their own. Correct alignment will ensure that there is no unnecessary pressure placed on crooked backs and necks.

* Cheaper than a trainer. Mirrors play a critical factor when there is no trainer or spotter present. Keep your eye on yourself literally and make sure those reps are being done right. No bending, no cheating, and no cutting corners. Any parts of you that are being lazy or slack are instantly demonstrated. This will prevent you from getting into bad habits that are then difficult to break.

* Determine progress.
Once you get into a workout or training routine you will be able see for yourself how much better you are going through the motions and how much stronger you are getting.

* Stay motivated.
Mirrors really allow you to see just how pumped you are getting. Sure, you can check yourself out in the bathroom mirror, but that is not the same as seeing those muscles bulging when you are doing the exercise correctly. The better the muscles start looking in the mirrors, the more you will be inspired to keep on going.

* Brighten room. Mirrors can also be an excellent way to brighten up a dark space and make it look bigger. Since many of us are working out in basements, or small spaces, this can be worthwhile on its own. A pleasant workout space is much more appealing and inviting, and you will be much more inclined to hang out there. No-one wants to work out in a dungeon.

* Mirrors on a budget.
Try your local hardware store for cheap mirrors that you can attach to the wall in sections. This can be much more cost effective than going to a fitness store. Don’t forget that there will also be bargains to be had on EBay, and possibly garage sales.

* How to use those mirrors.
How you view yourself, will depend on the exercise you are doing. Standing straight on can be great for many while others are best seen from the side. Care should be taken to not be trying to turn your neck around 90 degrees to peer into the mirror. This sort of activity will strain your neck very quickly. For this reason it can be a great idea to mount mirrors on a couple of walls at right angles to each other so you can easily see yourself from more than one angle at a time.

Conclusion.

There are plenty of good reasons for gyms to have those walls of mirrors. No, it isn’t so you can keep an eye on that hot body on the other side of the room. Mirrors in a home gym play a crucial component in keeping proper form. Mirrors are invaluable when trainers and spotters are not around. Being able to track your progress will also keep you motivated and feeling good about your workout program.

What Is The Best Time To Exercise For The Maximium Results

“What is the best time to exercise?” is a frequently asked question. There are advantages and disadvantages to morning, afternoon, and evening exercise regimes. However, all experts agree that ultimately the best time to exercise is when you can regularly and reliably fit it in. For those of you with the luxury of being able to select your own workout time read on to see what workout hour is best for getting rid of you belly fat.

The Morning Workout

Advantages:
* over and done with before the constraints and distractions of the day get in the way.
* gets the endorphins, or feel good hormones, running, ensuring that you are starting the day on a natural high.
* mornings are generally cooler and a less polluted time of day for those exercising outdoors.
* mental alertness and concentration during the rest of the day will all be sharper.
* boosts the metabolism for the longest interval.
* burns more fat as fat stores need to be burned to produce the glycogen, or energy, required for the workout.
* morning exercisers are the group most likely to continue with their routine in the long term.

Disadvantages:

* probably have to get out of bed earlier.
* possible increased risk of injury if insufficient warm up.

The Afternoon or After Work Workout

Advantages:
* some research has shown that the body’s endurance, strength and performance are all marginally improved in the late afternoon making workouts slightly more effective. This can also give the perception to many of a less difficult workout.
* a great way to burn off the stress of the day.
* possible chance of eating less afternoon snacks and a big evening meal.
* decreased chance of sustaining injuries as the body is nicely warmed up.

Disadvantages:
* very easy for work and social activities to interfere.
* may just feel too exhausted or overwhelmed to workout.
* peak time of day at most gyms is straight after work, increasing wait times for equipment, and possible time constraints on equipment usage.

The Late Evening Workout

Advantages:
* may help with sleep disorders.
* can workout while the rest of the house is sleeping.
* reduce the stress of the day.
* gyms less crowded.
* great way to relax your mind.
* may reduce the size of your dinner and after dinner snacks.
* less distractions.

Disadvantages:
* gym may be closed.
* you may just be too exhausted too bother.
* outdoor workouts are less safe at nighttime.
* you may not receive the full benefits of the raise in metabolism for the same length of time after the workout because once you go to sleep, your metabolism automatically slows down.

Conclusion.

While research has shown that most people are best suited physiologically to exercising in the late afternoon or early evening daily distractions can make this time of day inconvenient and unreliable for many. Research shows that those who workout in the morning are more consistent in the long term. Basically, you should select a time of day that is going to work best for you. After all, exercise at any time is better than no exercise at all.

Simple Yet Essential Core Strength Training Exercises And Tips

As the word would suggest, your “core” muscles are central to your body’s ability to move effectively, and to be adequately protected. Your core muscles protect your lower back, allow you to run faster, make you stronger, more flexible, and will provide you with better posture and balance. Weak core muscles can result from a sedentary lifestyle, excess weight, poor posture, previous injury, pregnancy, not enough flexibility,and low fitness. Read on for these simple core strength training exercises and tips.

* Classes such as Pilates, and kick boxing can all be excellent and fun ways to strengthen your core muscles.

* Frequency. Core exercises should be performed at least three times weekly. A well rounded exercise program would incorporate stretching, cardio, and strength training, in addition to working out those core muscles.

* Add resistance. You will build up your core strength by incorporating resistance into your abdominal exercise routine. Machines, weights, medicine balls, and resistance bands can all be used to increase your strength. As a generalization, if you are looking for strength as opposed to endurance, your repetitions should be only about 6-12 before you are feeling fatigued.

* Add a fitness ball.
Fitness balls are a great piece of equipment for core muscle workouts. The firmer the ball, the harder the workout will be. Generally a fitness ball that allows you to sit on it with your knees bent is about the correct size for you. When starting out exercising these muscle try doing 5 of each. As you become stronger and more proficient you can work up to 10 or 15. Abdominal crunches performed while balancing on your ball are a great and simple form of core exercise. Even sitting on a fitness ball and retaining your balance is giving those core muscles a workout. Why not replace your office chair with a fitness ball for improved balance and stability?

For even more inspiration on how to work out with a fitness ball, you may want to visit the Mayo Clinic site here.

Great Ideas For A Home Gym That Will Work Well For Your Workout

Gone are the days of having to sweat it out on your exercise bike next to your bed. Or, perhaps even worse, being locked down in the dingy damp basement with your weights, treadmill and old dodgy black and white TV for company. In the last decade home gyms have really come into their own. Sales of home gym equipment have jumped from $900 million to an astonishing $4.7 billion since the early 1990’s. If you are looking for some inspiration, read on for these great ideas for a home gym.

* Floor space. The general consensus would appear to be that the minimum floor space for an adequate home gym would be 10 feet by 12 feet. This gives you enough space to layout any machines and mats easily. If you have to keep rearranging your equipment to use, you tend to stop.

* Ventilation. It may have been the basement or garage, but that does not mean it has to smell that way. Likewise your spare room does not need to start smelling like a stale locker room. Windows and overhead fans will be adequate. If there are no windows, invest in a great fan.

* Lighting. Daylight or fluoro lighting is best. This type of lighting tends to keep you alert and awake. Beware of spotlights as they will annoy your eyes.

* Entertainment.
Depending on what you type of exercise you are doing in your home gym will determine the appropriate entertainment. If you are into yoga, you will just need a sound system. Fans of exercise bikes may prefer to watch TV while pedaling away the miles. Have your music programmed to your needs. Slow, upbeat, whatever. If you are a fan of DVDs then you will need a system in place to allow you to watch your fitness or exercise program while you workout.

* Extras such as bar fridges, and small sinks can be great for cool refreshments. Shelves for holding towels, and adequate storage systems for weights etc are essential to keep the floor space clear.

* Decoration on the walls to keep you inspired or motivated can be great. Another good idea can be to have a floor length mirror installed to ensure that you are performing your moves correctly. A mirror will also make the room appear larger and lighter.

* Flooring. Rubber flooring is great if you can manage it. The rubber will absorb the sound and impact. It will also prevent the flooring underneath from being damaged if any weights are dropped. Ensure that the flooring is strong enough to carry the weight of the equipment.

Fitness Equipment Needed For

Starting A Fitness And Exercise Program – Things You Need To Know

Once you have decided to start a fitness and exercise program, it is very easy to become over enthusiastic and do too much, too soon. Just another 5 minutes, just another set, just one more lap, is a very easy trap to fall into. We all want to see the results straight away. However, jump in too fast, and the only results you will be seeing will be sprains, strains and injuries.

The key to starting your fitness and exercise program is moderation. The most important step of all is to start off nice and slow. It is also advisable to consult with a medical practitioner before starting any new program if you have been out of action for a while.

Those who have been active in the past, or have done plenty of exercise, will find that they will bounce back into their fitness programs relatively quickly. However, just because you used to run 5 miles a day 10 years ago does not mean that you will be able to, or should even contemplate, doing that the first session back.

The most important part of any exercise campaign is the warm up and cool down. Warm ups and cool downs are essential for not straining any muscles or ligaments. 5 to 10 minutes at the beginning and end of every session will vastly improve how your muscles feel the next day.

The first few sessions of your fitness

The Many Benefits Of Daily Stretching Routines

Stretching routines are beneficial for everybody, irrespective of your age or fitness level. One of the best end results from a daily stretch routine is that your muscles will lengthen, giving you increased flexibility and mobility over time. Those day to day activities that may be a little pesky now will become easier and easier once you start to stretch.

As well as increased mobility, a regular stretching program will improve your muscle coordination, decrease tension in your muscles, reduce lethargy, and increase the blood supply to all parts of your body. Many aches and pains can simply vanish after a regular stretching program has been started. Two great examples of this are the dreaded back or neck pain, and knee pain.

Many people assume that stretching is something you do before and after an exercise routine. Nothing could be further from the truth. A stretching program is going to benefit you even if you never set foot in a gym or run 5 miles. Many people opt to do their stretching first thing in the morning or after they have warmed up in the shower. The important point is to choose a time of day that is easy for you to incorporate as part of your daily routine.

Stretching before and after an exercise program will ensure that your muscles recover faster, less chances of strains and sprains, less muscle pain, and a much less likelihood of injury.

Stretching safely.

Follow these tips to ensure you don’t do yourself an injury while you are stretching: