What does athletic mean to you?

When you hear the word athletic what comes to mind? A runner? A swimmer? A weight lifter? What does it take to be considered athletic? The average person is active for about two hours a week, which is just below the recommended two and half hours a week. The average athlete works out 1-2 hours…

What does athletic mean to you? was originally published on Self Evolve

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When you hear the word athletic what comes to mind? A runner? A swimmer? A weight lifter?

What does it take to be considered athletic? The average person is active for about two hours a week, which is just below the recommended two and half hours a week. The average athlete works out 1-2 hours a day with a rest day each week, so about 10 hours week. And the type of training depends on what they’re preparing for, but across the board most athletes incorporate strength training and cardio into their workout regimes. And high intensity interval training (HIIT) is a common go-to training style across the board.

In addition to athletes using HIIT, there are many benefits being seen through recent fitness studies on this style of training. Beyond it being one of the best ways to train, it has benefits on the cellular level. HIIT combined with weight training can improve cellular function and slow the aging process at a cellular level. So not only will you look athletic and fit, you’ll also feel younger and better! But back to the image that comes to mind..

When you hear athletic, do you think about muscles or just a slim body? Do you like the athletic body or do you prefer a little more cushion? Do you think athletic is sexy or scary?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

What does athletic mean to you? was originally published on Self Evolve

What to wear while working out

For seasoned athletes and beginners alike, what you wear while exercising can either help or hinder you. Clothing goes beyond what it makes you look like in today’s article, although for some it does matter what they wear to the gym or that exercise class with the cute guy in it. There are some key factors…

What to wear while working out was originally published on Self Evolve

For seasoned athletes and beginners alike, what you wear while exercising can either help or hinder you. Clothing goes beyond what it makes you look like in today’s article, although for some it does matter what they wear to the gym or that exercise class with the cute guy in it.

There are some key factors to think about when trying on workout clothing prior to purchasing it.

  1. Material: What is the material of the clothing you’re wearing? While cotton is soft, it isn’t very breathable. Many athletes prefer polyester, or a technical blend of materials that are more breathable. It’s helpful during a sweat sesh to be able to cool down more effectively with the proper materials.
  2. Fit: How do the clothes fit? Are they tight or loose? It’s ideal to wear looser clothing, especially for activities that get you moving in all directions. But you don’t want the clothing to be too baggy where it’s drooping off of you. Some opt for tighter fitting clothes, but keep in mind that material may stretch and become see through during that downward dog position in your Yoga class.
  3. Color: For the most part, the color doesn’t matter. But if you plan on running in the early morning or late evening, buy those brightly colored shirts and shorts! Also, get reflective gear to go along with it. There’s this new Safety Skin (see below) that basically is a reflective skin spread that you can rub on your skin so that you’re visible in the dark.
  4. Style: While style isn’t the biggest concern, it is helpful to get clothes that you at least feel cute or handsome in. For me, there are days I don’t feel like working out until I think about how cute my outfit is. Sometimes it’s the little things that push me to get my butt into the gym.
  5. Brand: Brand doesn’t matter too much, but some brands cost more than others. I’ve found great clothes at Old Navy and Target that are comparable to Athleta and Lulu Lemon clothes. While my favorite workout clothes usually come from Athleta, I can’t always afford their high prices. I try to keep an open mind when shopping for exercise gear, and I’ve had good luck with the clearance rack at Dick’s sporting goods, TJ Maxx, and Marshall’s.

 

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What do you look for in a workout outfit? Do you pay attention to what you wear or do you just throw on whatever is clean enough to be presentable for the gym? Do you have a favorite brand? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

What to wear while working out was originally published on Self Evolve

Barre it all

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to try a few free Barre classes at two different The Barre Code locations and this is my review. I went into these Barre classes thinking “how hard can it be?” and needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was sweating and…

Barre it all was originally published on Self Evolve

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to try a few free Barre classes at two different The Barre Code locations and this is my review. I went into these Barre classes thinking “how hard can it be?” and needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was sweating and…

Barre it all was originally published on Self Evolve

So you want to lift weights

Lately I’ve been hearing quite a few women (and some men) tell me how they get intimidated when they go to the gym, and not by the treadmills or ellipticals. It’s the weight area that is filled with those extra-beefy men lifting those extra-heavy weights. While the view is nice, most beginners are worried they will…

So you want to lift weights was originally published on Self Evolve

Lately I’ve been hearing quite a few women (and some men) tell me how they get intimidated when they go to the gym, and not by the treadmills or ellipticals. It’s the weight area that is filled with those extra-beefy men lifting those extra-heavy weights. While the view is nice, most beginners are worried they will look like fools while trying to lift weights. Also, if you’re anything like me, you don’t want those beef-heads talking to you, trying to tell you how good you look lifting. (which is why I wear headphones to the gym all the time, works about 90% of the time)

I’m here to tell you there’s nothing to fear! Free weights and even those bars are nothing to worry about. Here are a few important tips to keep in mind next time you’re in the gym:

  1. Warm up before lifting weights! A simple 5 to 10 minutes on the treadmill will do, be sure to get the heart rate to at least 100 to 110 BPM!
  2. For the beginner, start super light! Don’t feel bad grabbing only 5 pound weights, or starting with just the bare bar. Start low and you can always add weight if it’s too easy! It’s better to go up than to go too heavy and injure yourself.
  3. Start with a simple 3 sets of 10-12 reps. Give yourself 30 to 60 seconds between each set for rest.
  4. Exhale while contracting your muscles, i.e. exhale while curling up on bicep curls and inhale while going back down.
  5. Maintain control throughout every movement. It isn’t a race, and you get the most out of the exercises if you do them with control. Focus on the movements and don’t let gravity or momentum take over.
  6. Proper form is key. Overall, the general rule is to keep your core engaged, your knees should never be fully locked, and you want to watch yourself in the mirror if available to make sure you’re not hunched over or letting your form slip.

If you’re not even sure what proper form looks or feels like for you, I can help you find your proper form through a few personal training sessions. Even if you’re not local to Oak Park, it is beneficial to find a personal trainer to help you learn proper form while lifting weights. Many people in the gym may be willing to help you as well, but take advice with a grain of salt. Unless they are fitness professionals, they may not know the proper form for you. Everyone is a little different and your form might not look exactly like that beef-cake who weighs 300 pounds. Just saying. 🙂

Also, another myth busted: lifting weights doesn’t make you super huge. You will gain muscle and tone up, but in order to get huge like a bodybuilder you’d have to do way more lifting than any normal person at the gym does. So unless you really try, you will only get stronger muscles and look sexier of course.

Do you lift weights? If so, how did you start? Are you intimidated by the weight section of the gym? If so, why? What’s your biggest fear? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

So you want to lift weights was originally published on Self Evolve

Downward Facing Goat

I’ve taken quite a few yoga classes before, but never with so many farm animals until this past weekend. On Sunday, I went to Kamins farm up in Grayslake, IL for an hour long session of yoga, with the additional bonus of farm animals. Not only goats were involved, there were also some potbellied pigs,…

Downward Facing Goat was originally published on Self Evolve

I’ve taken quite a few yoga classes before, but never with so many farm animals until this past weekend. On Sunday, I went to Kamins farm up in Grayslake, IL for an hour long session of yoga, with the additional bonus of farm animals. Not only goats were involved, there were also some potbellied pigs,…

Downward Facing Goat was originally published on Self Evolve

SPENGA what?

SPENGA: Spin, Strength, Yoga. Last week I tried my first SPENGA class, kinda. It was on a rooftop and not in the studio, so unfortunately there were no bikes and therefore only strength and yoga (50/50). Despite missing the spin, I had a great time! It was a gorgeous, breezy night in Oak Park, and I…

SPENGA what? was originally published on Self Evolve

SPENGA: Spin, Strength, Yoga. Last week I tried my first SPENGA class, kinda. It was on a rooftop and not in the studio, so unfortunately there were no bikes and therefore only strength and yoga (50/50). Despite missing the spin, I had a great time! It was a gorgeous, breezy night in Oak Park, and I…

SPENGA what? was originally published on Self Evolve

Track Your Fitness

If you’re like me, you like to track how many steps you take in a day. If you run like me, you also like to know how far and what your pace is while running. Cherry on the top? I also want to know what my heart-rate is in order to make sure I’m not…

Track Your Fitness was originally published on Self Evolve

If you’re like me, you like to track how many steps you take in a day. If you run like me, you also like to know how far and what your pace is while running. Cherry on the top? I also want to know what my heart-rate is in order to make sure I’m not…

Track Your Fitness was originally published on Self Evolve