Why Swimming is a Great Form of Exercise

Why Swimming is a Great Form of Exercise

Americans have become increasingly health conscious and much more proactive in health matters. Apart from reading the ingredients on labels, more Americans are now following a regular workout routine. Revenues generated by the global fitness and health club industry has crossed $80 billion, with the US accounting for around $30 billion of this, according to figures released by Statista. Adding swimming to your regimen can complete your workout session. This brings together aerobic and anaerobic exercises, making it one of the greatest forms of physical activity.

Swimming helps to build strength and can burn up to 500 calories in just one hour, say experts at New York Health & Racquet Club. So, if you are about to begin exercising, here’s why you should consider swimming.

Maintains Lung Health

Swimming is known to increase lung capacity. The regular movement trains you to breathe rhythmically. Also, since you try to fill your lungs with the maximum oxygen to last till the next time your head is out of water, the capacity gradually increases. Swimming activating large muscle groups, making the lungs work more effectively. Swimming regularly makes your lungs stronger and keeps away disorders like asthma.

Improves Mental Health

Being in water can release the feel-good hormone – endorphins, which brightens your mood. It stimulates brain chemicals and produces stress reducing hormones like ANP, according an article on Psych Central. Water has a calming effect on your mind and the rhythmic movements keep you away from external distractions. In fact, swimming also helps to build self confidence in young children, since it is an essential life skill.

Diabetes Management

Apart from walking and jogging, swimming should be a part of every diabetic’s daily schedule. Since it is an aerobic exercise, insulin sensitivity is significantly improved. Swimming burns fat and is extremely effective to control blood glucose levels.

Low Key Cardio

Swimming is a low impact exercise, unlike core and strength training. So, it increases your heart rate without stressing your body. If you don’t enjoy running or cycling, diving into the water can really improve your health.

Swimming is a full-body workout, as it works all your entire body, including your hand, leg and back muscles. Moreover, it is a great choice for people suffering from injuries or joint pain due to arthritis, which can make high impact exercise difficult.

So, what are you waiting for? Enroll yourself in a swimming club and reap its amazing benefits.

Tips to Finding a Great Personal Trainer in NYC

Dumbbells, weights and running shoes

A personal trainer can play a crucial role in helping you achieve your fitness goals. Americans today are extremely conscious of their health and fitness and actively make time to achieve optimal physical health. No wonder the employment of fitness instructors is estimated to increase 13% in between 2018 to 2028, according to a study published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A professional trainer can be specialized in many areas of fitness, having themselves undergone rigorous training first and then helping you go above expectations in terms of performance, say experts at New York Health & Racquet Club.

However, in a survey of 2,000 Americans, 76% wished that hiring a personal trainer was affordable. If you have already decided to get one for yourself, read this guide to make sure it is worth the investment.

Work Experience

Instead of choosing a newly certified trainer, try and go for the one who has a few years of experience. They have most likely perfected their skills and are able to handle different types of clients. An experienced person will be able to design the training sessions as per your needs and medical conditions. However, note that a more seasoned trainer’s prices will likely be higher.

Specific Expertise

Ensure your trainer specializes in the area you want to be trained in. This can make or break your entire experience. Whether you want gym-based workouts, strength training, balance and flexibility or power lifts, your trainer should be a good fit. So, you will need to look for someone who can offer hands-on guidance in your chosen area.


A personal trainer should be able to work with you at the time of your preference, inspiring you to lead a fit life and create a routine, as per your needs, according to experts at National Federation of Professional Trainers. Make sure they are ready to accommodate your schedule, without compromising on the fitness facilities. They should be available regularly and be punctual and flexible with their workout programs. The trainer also needs to be consistent with sessions to achieve the desired goals.

Go for a consultation session with your soon to be trainer. You can also ask for a free trial workout to see if it is a good fit for you. This will also help you determine your compatibility with the trainer. Ask questions, talk about your goals and expectations. Lastly, make sure they are updated on the latest fitness advancements.

Motivate Yourself to Exercise with These 4 Fitness Facts

Man working out with dumbbells

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?

water in swimming pool

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

Man and woman in 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

Man playing racketball

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

Infographic - 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

Woman running through the woods

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

Workout equipment and running shoes

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.