10 at-Home Winter Wellness Tips

It’s official: it’s cold outside!

The holidays have passed and you’re back to the grinding stone.  There are no more festive parties to look forward to and the remnants of the joyous season can be seen on your credit card bills.  What to do?  While other animals are snug and cozy enjoying their hibernation, we’re forced to work our way through the freezing temperatures one day at a time.   So… how do you stay warm, healthy, and happy when January has you blue?

  1. Think technology!  And think simple.  At-home fitness is the new fad, and there is very little reason to not get on board.  Exercising at home can save you time and money.  Not to mention keep those pesky winter pounds from creeping on.  Here are a few favorites:
  • Nintendo Wii Fit & Wii games:  Not just for the kiddies! Interactive and fun, the Wii system is designed to keep you moving and burning calories all in the privacy of your own home.
  • Xbox Kinect:  Jump, dance, and move fit! The Xbox Kinect takes at-home fitness to a whole new level.  No controllers required, just chose your game or fitness program and get moving.
  • P90X: With dumbbells or resistance bands, a pull-up bar, and one hour a day, you too can get in shape in just 90 days.  Designed around the theory of muscle confusion, P90X keeps its participants challenged and sweaty
  • Exercise TV on Demand:  Time Warner Cable’s solution to at-home fitness.  Choose from a variety of free programming all day, every day.  Channels range from beginner to advanced and include everything from Zumba to Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and Yoga.  There is absolutely something for everyone.
  1. Not interested in television?  Not to worry!  Try these simple at-home exercises to keep your muscles toned.  Aim for 2 sets of 15 repetitions, three days a week:
  • Dips on a chair
  • Wall push-ups
  • Lunges
  • Squats over a chair
  • Calf raises on a step
  • Abdominal curls
  • Yoga Plank

Or check out GoodHouseKeeping.com for other at-home workout ideas.

  1. Get plenty of rest – but don’t oversleep! It’s easy to do on these cold, gray days. Too much sleep will leave you feeling groggy. Do yourself a favor and limit the number of times you hit the snooze!
  2. Drink water! The bitter temps. wreak havoc on your skin.  Plus, water is the number one weight loss trick out there! Keep your body hydrated, your skin soft, and the pounds from adding up simply by sipping!
  3. Wash your hands!  Colds, flu, and other germs run rampant in the winter. Keep yourself healthy by frequently washing with hot, soapy water for 20 seconds!
  4. Need to warm up?  Try a cup of herbal tea or sugar-free cocoa.  For snacks, try oatmeal with brown sugar (better yet, brown sugar Splenda).
  5. Rely on fresh frozen fruits and veggies to get your much-needed intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  6. Bundle up and get outside! Think layers and hustle!  You’ll be amazed how quickly your body heats up when you’ve dressed appropriately and moved at a good pace. Plus, your body burns more calories in the winter than in summer, so get outdoors and get moving!
  7. Walk the dog. Have kids? Make it a family affair. Just because it’s chilly and darker than usual doesn’t mean the family pooch couldn’t use a nice walk too.  A brisk walk after dinner will leave the whole family feeling energized.

10.Think spring!  Now think about how much happier you’ll be when you’ve maintained your routine all winter long! No last-minute diets or exercise marathons for you…you’ve been busy keeping fit all winter long!

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5 Reasons To Take a Flywheel Cycle Class

A dusky room blaring with funky music and muffled gasps of fatigued, yet fervent cyclists can only mean one thing…you’ve entered the “Fly Zone.”

For 45 heart pounding, sweat drenching, muscle cramping minutes, your physical and mental endurance had better be made of steel.  It’s like having an out-of-body experience on a stationary bike.

And Flywheel Sports wouldn’t have it any other way.

As director of the Boca studio, and the soon to be open South Beach location, Angela Lutin’s students get their money’s worth. By creating an atmosphere of infectious energy, Lutin’s classes are always filled with enthusiastic participants who push themselves to the limit…and then some.

” I think my classes are well received because I have fun with it while also challenging the riders to take their performance to a level they didn’t think possible, “ Lutin said. “ I like to say we are getting “comfortable with uncomfortable” in my classes.  “I can’t ask anyone to do something that I haven’t done myself.  “I talk the talk but I also walk the walk. “People see that and respect it. “

Lutin, a Baptiste  trained Power Yoga instructor  and an avid runner, has been the studio director at Flywheel, Boca since December 2010.The New York based studio, which is redifining the indoor cycling experience, has 8 other locations including Atlanta and Chicago.

So what puts the “fly” in Flywheel?

  1. Unique equipment & weight training

According to Lutin, Flywheel’s cycle classes cannot compare to your “typical” spin class. Top instructors, theatrical lighting and stadium seating give Flywheel participants the ultimate experience in indoor cycling. Additionally, a “TorqBoard” that tracks personal performance data allow participants to see their progress and compete with themselves or others.

“Flybarre” is an additional weight training segment where students can receive core workouts that sculpts and tones the body.

  1. Complimentary cycle shoes

Cycle or spin shoes can be a bit pricey,however, Flywheel provides them at no extra charge. Cycling shoes allow more powerful pedal strokes due their stiff soles, according to Lutin. By attaching the shoes to clipless pedals, efficient pedal strokes are easier by facilitating a “push and pull action.” Towels and water are also complimentary at Flywheel.

  1. No membership requirements

Participants can pay for as many classes as they’d like without the pressure of signing up for a membership.  A single ride at the Boca studio is $25.

  1. Having the right blend of music

Inhouse DJs supply Flywheel spinning instructors with fresh and upbeat music, steering away from the trance and techno found in so many other spin classes. Lutin also does her own research by listening to satellite radio, searching for that unique song. According to her, a special song can make a rider feel emotionally connected during class.

  1. Fabulous instructors

Flywheel instructors  take their profession seriously. A teacher’s enthusiasm (or lethargy) is contagious, so it’s very important to keep the energy level to a maximum. According to Lutin, spin class also means leaving your troubles at the door and focusing on having the best ride of your life. “Nothing is better for me than to see someone bopping their head to the music, “ she said. “ And, of course, the ultimate compliment is when I see them give a fist pump.  That’s when I know I’ve got them in the zone!”

For more information on Flywheel, visit their website here or call 561.368.3246. Be sure to see the attached video on Flywheel co-founder Ruth Zuckerman.v

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Which Is Better For Recovery: A Massage Thumper or Massage Gun?

When you’re looking into incorporating massage into your post-workout routine and have examined your options, you may be wondering which is better: a massage thumper or massage gun? They are both percussive massagers that massage deeply into your tissues to help you experience relief from stiff muscles and soreness after a workout, which can, in turn, help you recover more quickly and get back to your usual routine sooner.

For most of the readers (and swimmers) that will be reading this article, I believe this will help you figure out which is a better tool for recovery. I know a lot of athletes who use swimming as a safe alternative to running (or road work). If you’re a big-time runner, you may be reading this due to finding a tool that can help with recovery.

While it is true that both of these types of massagers may at a glance seem like a good choice for what you need to accomplish, each one of them poses its own unique benefits. So what makes them different, and which one is better?

But, before we get into it, I just want to say a lot of the information here is from my own personal experience and should be taken into consideration before you purchase any of these devices. If you have any serious injuries consult with your doctor the best alternative to help with your recovery. But, not that’s out of the way, let’s get started with the article.

Massage Thumper

The massage thumper provides you with a full-body massage that helps to warm up your muscles, releasing muscle tension, increasing blood flow, and helping with the mobility of your joints for a full-body experience. The long handle attached to the thumper makes it easy for you to reach different parts of the body including the lower legs, thighs, arms, shoulders, and feet with ease, so you can more easily get to the areas that need attention.

If you have a hard time reaching certain parts of your body you’d like to massage, a thumper may be what you’re looking for. It’s a great tool overview. Thumpers come with two spheres instead of one like a massage gun, allowing it to cover more ground at once. Ultimately, if there’s a general area you’re trying to cover, a thumper is made for you. Unlike a thumper, a massage gun is specifically for targetted areas.

With no kickback when you use it, you can use it for long periods of time. The main drawback of the Thumper, as opposed to a massage gun, is that it is hard to use it directly in one single spot due to its wide body and two heads that operate at once.

Massage Gun

Using a massage gun will allow you to target very specific muscles, tissues, and joints on your body in a more direct manner. Massage guns feature just one head, but that head harnesses all of the percussive power of the gun in a concentrated way that helps you to get relief from tension and soreness in a certain muscle or area. It features a gun shape that makes it easy to hold onto and wield around various parts of your body with an intuitive shape that will make it easy to grip for long periods of time. The massage gun also tends to be more portable, letting you give yourself massages on the go.

For massage guns, I find them to be stronger than thumpers. Don’t get me wrong, I love thumpers but I find that massage guns give a deeper massage to targetted areas to them being more stronger. I find massage guns to be for more athletic people and massage thumpers to be for more casual users.

The main drawback of a massage gun, as opposed to a thumper, is that it does not have a long arm, making it difficult for you to reach certain parts of your body such as behind your shoulders or your lower back. You’d have to be somewhat flexible to use a massage gun for your back. But, saying this, if you can get it to your back, it feels amazing.

Note: If you’re looking for good quality massage guns, check out sponsors at massage shogun to get your massage gun at a discounted rate.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, both the massage gun and the thumper are going to help you work the tension and stiffness out of your muscles through deep tissue massage. So which is better: a massage thumper or a massage gun? At the end of the day, it comes down to your own preferences and needs. Whether you choose between the thumper or the gun, being able to treat yourself to a massage after your workout routine is sure to work wonders on your body’s recovery.

If you need a device that covers a wide area to massage, get a massage thumper. If you’re looking for a device that provides a deeper massage for targetted areas, get a massage gun.

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