Motivate Yourself to Exercise with These 4 Fitness Facts

It is recommended that we ensure at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of high intensity aerobic exercise each week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of us also at some level realize that we should exercise. But the motivation to get out of bed only to exercise can often be difficult to come by. If you’re looking for some inspiration to become more active, here are some fitness facts that can help.

1. Regular exercise increases the number of calories burned throughout the day

It is no secret that working out can help you lose weight. But you might not be aware of the complete science behind it. Not only do you burn more calories while you are working out, you tend to continue to burn calories for many hours after that, according to experts at New York Health & Racquet Club. Regular exercise has been found to increase the metabolic rate, meaning that your body would consume more calories even when you are resting.

2. Regular exercise can help prevent type 2 diabetes

You read that right! Strength training twice a week can help you prevent and manage Type 2 diabetes. Exercises such as squats, push-ups, lunges, lifting weights or pull-ups are great for managing blood sugar levels and weight. If you don’t like strength training, you could try Pilates training. Pilates has been found to be helpful in improving blood sugar levels in women, according to a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

3. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to muscle mass loss

Fitness is not just about losing weight but also about gaining healthy weight. This is particularly important for middle aged people. During this period, the body loses muscle mass at the rate of around 1% a year. Weight training as well as body weight exercises are great for maintaining healthy muscles.

4. Exercise can help improve asthma

Many people suffering from asthma try to avoid exercising, since they fear it might trigger the symptoms. However, under proper guidance, it is safe for people with asthma to exercise. Not only that, recent studies have shown that exercising can improve the fitness of the heart and lungs, as well as the overall quality of life. One of the best exercises for asthma patients is swimming, since it strengthens the muscles needed for breathing.

Exercising can bring a number of positive changes to your life. So, what are you waiting for?!

How to Get the Most of My Gym Sessions?

Woman in NYHRC gym session

The total number of memberships at US health clubs and fitness centers has risen from around 32.8 million in 2000 to about 60.9 million in 2017, according to figures published by Statista. With growing awareness of the importance of fitness and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, joining a gym has gained popularity, not just in the US but across the globe. In fact, the global fitness and health club industry generates more than $80 billion dollars in revenue per year.

Advantages of Joining a Gym

Health and fitness clubs provide the infrastructure for workouts and physical activity as well as guidance from trained professionals. The main reasons driving the rising popularity of gyms are:

Health Benefits

Studies show that regular exercise can help reduce the risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Type II diabetes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

Access Benefits

Gyms provide access to:

  • Expertise of professionals
  • Right equipment
  • Training buddies
  • Knowledge of different workouts

Other Benefits

  • Establishing a healthy routine
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Remaining motivated to achieve fitness goals

Making the Most of Your Time at the Gym

Several factors need to be considered to make the most of the time you spend at the gym. Here are a few:

Choose a Good Gym

This is a critical decision, as it can impact the workout you perform, how motivated you remain and the results you achieve. Consider the following:

  • Full-service health club
  • Has state-of-the-art equipment
  • Offers personal training
  • Has many branches
  • Offers numerous amenities, like steam room, sauna, swimming pool and massage services
  • Is well established

Increase the Effectiveness of Workouts

Commit to it: Be consistent. Commit to at least 30 days.

Have a plan: Set up fitness goals and accordingly select the exercises and diet to include in your routine.

Track your progress: Maintain a journal and put down the exercise sets to follow. Make a note of how much you exercised every day. Measure and weigh yourself and record these on a regular basis, say every month.

Warm up: While this is important, choose a warm-up routine according to your workout.

Mix it up: Performing the same workout can lead to a training plateau. Experts recommend five days of exercise per week, including twice a week of intense activities.

Take help from a professional trainer: An expert can show you the right way to use equipment, help you plan the routine according to your body weight, age and athletic ability, provide diet-related advice, help avoid or manage injuries and make recommendations as per your unique needs.

Have a workout buddy: This will help you enjoy your workouts more and can motivate you into completing your routine.

Avoid multitasking: Don’t think of emailing a colleague while cycling or walking on the treadmill. If you can multitask, exercise your arms instead. Similarly, don’t take a call in between sets. If you don’t need the rest, increase the intensity of your workout!

Role of the Right Diet

What you eat is as important to achieving your fitness goals as the time you spend in the gym and the workout you perform. Here are four foods to make the most of your time at the gym:

Eggs: Rich source of protein and quick and easy to cook.

Broccoli: Rich in calcium, fiber, iron and Vitamin C, which strengthens your bones, builds tissues in the body and aids faster healing of cuts and wounds.

Salmon: Rich in healthy fats, protein, bioactive peptides, iodine and Omega 3 fatty acids.

Bananas: Gives an instant energy boost and, being rich in potassium, helps muscle function, and a good carbohydrate.

Also, ensure that you drink enough water to remain hydrated. The amount would depend on your body weight and exercise routine. It’s a good idea to consult your personal trainer or instructor about this.

Does Swimming Really Have Several Health Benefits?

swim-classes

Swimming has gained immense popularity. This is not only because it’s a fun way of getting some exercise, but also because of its many health benefits.

Top Health Benefits of Swimming

Swimming increases your heart rate without stressing your body. And, it is a pleasurable way to work your entire body and cardiovascular system. Here are some health benefits of swimming:

Workout for the entire body: When swimming, you use your entire body and most of your muscle groups to move against the resistance of water. It’s a great way to tone muscles and build endurance.

Builds cardiovascular strength: Swimming strengthens your heart and lungs. It helps your heart to become larger and more efficient in pumping blood to the rest of your body.

Burns calories: Even when swimming at a moderate pace, one can burn more than 400 calories an hour, depending on the body weight. A more vigorous pace can help burn more than 600 calories an hour.

Lowers the risk of diseases: By building cardiovascular strength and helping to manage weight, swimming can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Improves flexibility: Swimming involves your core, back, arms, legs, ankles and wrists and requires you to stretch and twist. All these activities help remain flexible.

Improves sleep: Swimming improves your quality of sleep. Even people with insomnia have found that this form of exercise helps them sleep better at night.

Reduces inflammations: Studies have shown that swimming regularly reduces inflammation and can provide relief to people with arthritis. It also reduces joint pain and stiffness.

Psychological benefits: Studies show that swimming helps you relax and can improve your mood and reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

Improves coordination, balance and posture: Due to these benefits, swimming is great for kids and the elderly.

Helps with special conditions: Swimming is considered safe during pregnancy, helps people with asthma, dementia and certain injuries.

While there are many health benefits of swimming, it’s important to follow a healthy, well-balanced diet and the required intake of liquids for the best results. A professional can guide you regarding these, according to your body’s unique needs.


Top Swimming FAQs Answered

Is it recommended to swim every day?

Yes, it is not just recommended, but a good idea to swim every day if it is an activity and exercise you enjoy.

Can swimming help with weight loss?

Yes, provided you maintain a good speed. Butterfly and breaststroke as well as water crunches are great for losing weight, plus a well-balanced diet.

What are the best swimming strokes for weight loss?

Stroke, speed and the length of time for which you swim will determine how many calories you burn. To focus on different muscle groups, mix up your routine with:

  • breaststroke
  • backstroke
  • sidestroke
  • butterfly
  • freestyle

It is best to ask an expert trainer to determine your routine to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

How many calories does swimming burn?
Swimming is among the most effective activities for burning calories. Swimming for an hour can burn as much as 500 calories. Of course, this would depend on many factors, including swimming speed, length of the rest intervals and your current weight and athletic ability.

Fun and Effective: Attend a Dance Workout Class in NYC

dance-workout-class

There are so many options for a workouts available these days. But not many are as fun as attending a dance class. In fact, in 2010, the National Dance Day was created to encourage Americans to use dance as a tool for remaining healthy. There are a number of ways in which dancing can improve your life, and it isn’t even dependent on your dancing abilities.

Here are some of the benefits of attending a dance workout class.

1.    Cardiovascular Health

Having 150 minutes to 300 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of high intensity dance sessions per week has been found to considerably improve cardiovascular health, according to experts at New York Health & Racquet Club. In fact, according to a study published by the American Heart Association, dancing the waltz can improve the endothelium-dependent dilation and functional capacity of the heart.

2.    Reduces Depression 

The physical movements of dancing help in reducing feelings of anxiety, depression and stress, while improving your mood. It has been found to induce changes in the part of the brain that regulates anxiety and stress. It also increases the sensitivity of the brain to certain biochemicals, such as norepinephrine and serotonin.

3.    Improves Cognitive Performance

Dancing has been found to improve memory and the ability to think, especially with increasing age. In fact, it was found that the white matter integrity can be improved with the help of dance, according to research published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. The brain’s white matter acts as a connecting tissue. As we age, this tissue begins to break down, which leads to a decrease in the ability to comprehend and process information. It can also lead to weaker memory. But, with dancing, this degeneration process can be slowed down. It has also been found that dancing can reduce dementia risk by 76%.

4.    Improves Strength and Balance

One of the reasons why dancing is such a great workout is that it incorporates a wide range of movements. Traditional workouts, such as running or climbing stairs, take place in a sagittal plane, whereas with dance, your body moves in all planes, including rotational and lateral. This leads to the involvement of multiple muscles and joints at the same time. This helps in improving strength and coordination in the body.

Apart from that, dancing also helps in increasing the metabolic rate. This means that with dancing, you would be able to burn calories at a faster rate. So, are you ready to put on those dancing shoes yet?

Fulfill Your Cardio Needs with Squash and Racquetball

squash-racquetball

Squash and racquetball demand great physical fitness. This was best displayed during Tarek Momen’s victory over Mathieu Castagnet at the 2018 Swedish Open. In that 97-minute match, Momen had covered almost 5kms in front and back sprints!

To put it in perspective, during the longest match of the 2017 Wimbledon Championship between Rafael Nadal and Gilles Muller, Nadal had covered only around 3.7kms. Momen managed to cover 1.3kms more than Nadal in one third the time, according to an article published by PSA World Tour.

Benefits for Cardiovascular Health

Squash is an intense sport that requires you to continuously run, leap, twist and turn, jump and dive. Since you do not get many breaks, your lungs and heart are working at high efficiency for extended periods. This strengthens heart muscles and, due to an increase in blood flow, reduces the chances of blood vessels being clogged.

The other benefits of squash or racquetball for fitness is that they are indoor sports and can be played all year around. Since many regions have harsh winters or summers, outdoor exercise can prove difficult.

Other Health Benefits

Improved Agility and Flexibility

During the game of squash, you are constantly changing direction and moving in rapid intervals. You often need to twist, turn and stretch in ways that you normally would not try. This helps in stretching of your ligaments and joints, while also promoting improved blood flow in different parts of the body.

Increases Strength

Squash is essentially a full body workout and requires bursts of power throughout the game. Such explosive actions, along with continuous movement, help in working out various muscles in your arms, legs and core. The muscles in your abdomen and back are used while playing these sports. Being an intense full body sport, it is great for weight loss. In fact, a 30-minute squash session can help you burn up to 500 calories!

Mental Well Being

Although at first the physicality of the sport may seem overwhelming, squash is often considered as a thinking sport. This is because it requires quick decision making. The mental exercise has proved to be great for lowering stress levels and reducing nervous energy and frustration.

Recognizing the health benefits of the sporting activities, the number of people playing squash has risen from 500,000 in 2006 to 1.49 million in 2017, according to figures provided by Statista. This is great news, given that our lifestyle has become increasingly sedentary.

6 Reasons to Belong to a Health Club

Every decision a person makes with their health affects their well being in the long term. A health club is the key to a much-needed lifestyle change!

Reduce Health Concerns & Diseases

A health club provides the necessary equipment and space needed to strengthen a person’s heart and lungs. Over 20% of deaths in the United States are due to poor diet and inactivity. Studies prove that regular cardiovascular exercise will reduce many health concerns such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis and more!

Access to Equipment

A health club will have all of the best equipment and tools for one’s health. The array of gear creates the ability to target specific muscles all over the body and increase muscle mass. Many ambitious fitness goals cannot be met without the proper equipment.

Learn From the Professionals

Health clubs offer professional personal trainers to help develop fitness plans, learn to use the equipment and feel comfortable in the gym. Many types of exercises are taught by professionals in group classes such as cardio, strength, cycling, HIIT, yoga, barre, pilates, stretching, and dance.

Increase Socialization

A health club membership provides a great way to connect with people that have similar goals and ambitions. It provides you with a community and support system on your fitness journey. A membership can improve relationships with friends and family members. Increased socialization enables a reduction in health concerns and could even lead to a longer lifespan.

Finally, Be Committed

When a person knows they are investing financially, they finally have the incentive needed to get started. Besides, heading to the health club is a great way to get out of the house and complete an effective workout without distractions.

Improved Mental Health & Stress Relief

Exercise helps to regulate cortisol levels, which is the hormone linked to stress. Exercise has been proven to reduce mental health conditions. It also leads to clearer thinking, higher self-esteem, better sleep, and improved resilience.

Prioritize Your Health

People with health club memberships are 14 times more likely to meet or exceed their weekly physical activity standards. Regular exercise will increase longevity and one’s overall quality of life. The multitude of benefits at a health club is worth every penny spent!

Exercises Tips to Burn Fat

exercise

Only one in three adults in the United States get the required amount of physical activity each week. And, less than 5% adults engage in 30 minutes of physical activity each week, says an article on the US HHS Department website. As a result of this, obesity has become a major problem among children and adults in the US.

If you have been trying to lose some extra weight but find that the exercises aren’t yielding the desired results, here’s something for you.

First, to counter the effects of a sedentary lifestyle on your health, make exercise a part of your daily routine. Once you’ve made up your mind to take out time to exercise every day, keep these tips in mind to burn fat quickly.

Put in Maximum Effort

Don’t give in to the false idea that exercising at low intensity is better for losing weight. The higher the intensity of your workout, the more fat you are likely to burn. If you want to work out at a lower intensity, you will need to exercise longer than you typically would at a higher intensity. Also, once you become comfortable with a certain workout intensity level, move to the next level. The body tends to get accustomed to the intensity, which is why doing the same exercises repeatedly have lesser effect in the long run.

Choose Sustainable Exercises

In order to burn fat, it is important to exercise for a reasonable period of time. The American College of Sports Medicine advises 20 to 60 minutes of exercise per session, in a regular manner. Jump rope is an exercise that is capable of burning the highest calorie per minute.

While jumping rope can work great for burning fat, it won’t be useful if you don’t do it for more than 5 minutes each day. Invest time in exercises that you can continue for a longer duration and those that help burn fat.

Exercise the Larger Muscles

Exercises that target the larger muscles of the body, such as in the back, hips and thighs, lead to greater fat burning. So, the greater the involvement of larger muscles in your workout, the more calories will be burned.

Maintain a Good Rest to Work Ratio

A balance needs to be established between exercise and periods of recovery. This is known as interval training. It is considered as one of the best ways to maximize fat burn, improve fitness and make the most of limited time. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one such workout routine.

Combining cardio and weight training can enhance the results to a great extent. Your heart rate increases 12 beats per minute during a cardio session, especially when you have lifted weights before that, says an article by CNN.

6 Things to Know Before you Take a Pilates Class

Pilates

Doing anything new is intimidating at first, and Pilates often seems complicated to people who have never taken a class before. There are names for exercises you’ve never heard of in any other class, and it seems as though there is so much emphasis on form. While it is true that learning how to keep your body in perfect alignment increases the effectiveness of your workout, there is no need to be scared. Get started with Pilates classes in NYC fitness enthusiasts love is easy, and you can use these tips to feel confident the first time you join the group.

There Is a Type of Pilates Class For Everyone

Traditional Pilates typically involves working on a mat or a reformer to perform your exercises. However, we also offer new classes that blend Pilates with your other favorite workouts. For instance, you can try out a blend of Pilates and yoga also known as a Barre class, or add a cardio element that increases the calorie burn.

Let the Instructor Know If You Are a Beginner

PIlates instructors actively watch the participants in a class so that they can offer guidance on form. Let your instructor know if you are new to Pilates so that they can make an extra effort to do things such as show you how to make modifications that increase the effectiveness of each exercise.

Wear the Right Clothing

To help you, your instructor needs to be able to see the lines of your body. Try to wear form fitting clothing such as leggings or capris that allow your instructor to see with a quick glance if you need help with an adjustment. You’ll also find that socks with grip on the soles helps you avoid sliding around as you perform each exercise.

Post-Workout Soreness Is Normal

After a Pilates session, it is common to suddenly become aware of every muscle in your body. This is because all of those fine movements target muscles that you don’t always use every day. Typically, you can expect post-workout soreness to last for a day or two.

You’ll Catch On to the Lingo Fast

Pilates not only has its own special moves, but you’ll also hear new terminology in your classes. For example, a Magic Circle is a piece of equipment that you will use to gently increase resistance during an exercise. While hearing your classmates use words you don’t know might seem intimidating, don’t worry. Everyone loves Pilates so much that they’re happy to share new information with beginners. If you do not know ask! Everyone once was a beginner.

Supplement With Other Workouts

Pilates can be intensive, make sure you maximize your recovery by taking a day or two off between sessions.  Adding in active recovery such as going for a swim at our health club or takeing a dance class to work in some cardio, will help maximize achieving your goals. Mixing it up helps you target all of your fitness needs.

There is definitely a learning curve to Pilates, like there is for anything you’re new to. You’ll find all of the support that you need to move through your exercises with proper form. As you get ready for your first class, just remember that everyone in there once started as a beginner. In fact, it won’t be long at all before you’re sharing tips with the next new member.

5 Reasons You Are Going to Love Cycling Classes

cycling

Cycling is one of the most effective ways to burn calories and this low-impact workout is perfect for everyone to enjoy. In fact, there’s a reason why the spin bikes are one of the most popular pieces of equipment at the gym. Cycling classes give you an opportunity to dedicate an entire workout session to this fun form of exercise, and you’ll look forward to going to your class when you realize that you can enjoy these amazing benefits for your mind and body.

Simulate Riding On the Open Road

When you already love cycling outdoors, it’s hard to give it up during periods of bad weather. Alternatively, you may have had a few close calls with cars and no longer feel safe riding your bike for your normal commute. Cycling classes NYC residents  can join allow you to adjust the settings on your spin bike so that it feels like you are on the open road or your favorite trail. Adding an incline or resistance gives you that extra bit of push to break through your fitness goals.

Knock Out a Workout On Your Lunch Break

Intense cycling classes help you to burn more calories in a shorter period of time, which is exactly what you need when you live a fast-paced lifestyle. Several of our classes are designed to pack a mighty punch in only 30 minutes, and the convenient lunch time hours are perfect for squeezing in a session when your evenings are just too busy. You’ll have so much fun riding to fast paced music that a lunchtime workout feels more like a fun-filled break.

Hit Your Fitness Goals

Whether you need to lose weight or want to refine your cycling abilities, we have a class that helps you meet your goals. For beginners, there is a class that focuses mainly on cycle techniques that you can use to improve your riding skills. There is also a class that incorporates weights to give you a whole body workout that helps you burn the fat fast. You can also pick and choose different classes every couple of weeks to find one that fits you best.

Meet New Workout Friends

There’s something to be said about working out with friends. Not only will you feel a sense of accountability that helps you stay motivated for going to the gym, but you’ll also find that the time flies by when you can workout with likeminded people. While you may be going too fast to talk much most of the time, it’s great to have someone to chat with before and after class.

Enjoy Access to Post-Workout Amenities

When you are looking for fitness clubs in your area, keep an eye out for amenities that promote better post-workout recovery. At our fitness center, you can enjoy a sports massage that works out any kinks before they turn into sore spots, or you can enjoy a hot shower or a dip in the pool. Associating your cycling classes with happy memories reinforces the importance of showing up and pedaling it out.

When you need to shake up your fitness routine, try out one of our cycling classes. From making new strides toward your fitness goals to making new friends, the benefits of cycling in a group just never quit.

Too Cold For The Outdoor Courts? Try NYHRC’s Indoor Basketball Courts

basketball

New York winters are among the most beautiful in the world, yet there is a downside to those gorgeous snow-filled landscapes. Between the blustering wind and the snow melting, trying to do your favorite outdoor activities becomes miserable. The good news is that you don’t have to let your skills on the court waste away during the winter. Instead, you can head to indoor basketball courts  residents use to stay warm and to keep their game on point.

Avoid Injury Delays

The winter weather generates new risks on outdoor courts. Just as rain creates a slippery surface during the spring and summer, it gets even worse when ice and snow arrive. Our indoor courts are cleaned regularly throughout the day so that you always have a safe place to play that prevents delays in your progress from injuries.

Challenge Yourself With New Competition

Playing a few rounds with your buddies is a great way to refine your skills. Yet, you quickly fall into a routine when you know how he or she alway passes the ball a certain way or fails to get those rebounds. At our health club in NYC, you can meet new practice partners and even engage in a few matches that help you learn how to anticipate unfamiliar plays. Challenging yourself against other players gives you an edge on any court. We also have freakquent 3 on 3 basketballl tournaments. Stay tuned for the latest competetions by signing up for our newsletter or going to NYHRC.com/Basketball.

Round Out Your Skills With Strength Training

During your time at the gym, you can also check out programs that help you gain an even bigger edge on the competition. Independent and group strength training programs help you to build the muscles you need to perform that perfect jump shot and run faster down the court. If you play semi-professionally, then you can also work with a personal trainer to identify your weak spots and build them up while the rest of your competition takes a winter day off.

Never Skip a Practice Session

It’s easy to put off a practice session when the temperature drops, but you’ll feel motivated to throw on your court shoes when you have a perfectly climatized gym to head to. Since you can reserve a court, you never have to worry about it being taken over by other people when you want to arrange a practice game. You’ll also find that amenities such as a sports massage afterward help you to get revved up for your practice.

Wrap Up

When those cold winds blow, be sure to head on into the gym for a practice session in an indoor court. From engaging in a 3-on-3 competition to just shooting a few hoops, you’ll stay on top of your game throughout the winter season.