Some Great Reasons to Swim Regularly

man swimming in pool

It is often said that experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of rigorous exercise each week. But you might not always feel motivated to sweat it out at a gym. Swimming is a great way to get regular aerobic exercise. It is also the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In fact, swimming is easy on the joints while being a high intensity workout and also working well for strength training, says an article by New York Health & Racquet Club. Here’s a look at some of the key benefits of regular swimming.

Full Body Workout

Swimming is an activity that works your entire body, from head to toe. There are different strokes in swimming, such as butterfly, freestyle, backstroke, etc., with each focusing on a different muscle group. Regardless of the type of stroke you use, swimming helps to tone your muscles, while also building endurance, increasing strength and raising your heart rate without stressing your body. Plus, exercising in water adds extra resistance, meaning that a 30-minute session in the pool is equivalent to 45 minutes of exercise on land.

Reduces Stress and Improves Sleep

According to a survey published out of a group of 101 swimmers at the YMCA in New Taipei City, Taiwan, 44 reported being mildly stressed and depressed. After a swimming session, the number of people who reported stress and depression declined to just 8. Swimming has been found to reduce anxiety and depression by other studies as well.

Nearly 50% of older adults are reported to be suffering from some sort of insomnia, according to a report by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Swimming is an excellent exercise that improves sleeping patterns and boosts quality of life.

Burns Calories

Swimming is one of the most effective ways to burn calories. Research shows that an hour long swimming session at a low or moderate pace burns 423 calories for a 160 pound person, according to an article by Mayo Clinic. For the same duration of time, a person would only burn 160 calories with yoga and 300 calories with walking.

Great for People with Arthritis

Swimming can be a great option for people arthritis, disability, injury, or any other condition that makes high impact exercises difficult for them. In fact, people with osteoarthritis display a significant decrease in stiffness and joint pain after engaging in swimming, according to a study published on The Journal of Rheumatology.

Whether it is to reduce that holiday weight, to recover from an injury, or for general fitness, incorporating swimming in your weekly routine can offer several benefits.

Cardio Tips for Beginners

Cardio Tips for Beginners - Man running on mountain road

Would it surprise you to know that 28% of Americans, which is about 80.2 million people, aged 6 years and older, do not participate in any physical activity? It has already been predicted that by the end of 2030, almost 115 million adults residing in the United States will be obese, says an article by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The good news is that cardio can help you lose weight quickly. The rhythmic activity boosts your heart rate into a specific heart rate zone, where you burn fat and calories faster. The miles you cover on your treadmill might seem endless at times, but they offer benefits for both your physique as well as your overall health.

If you are a beginner at cardio, here are a few useful tips for you for a smooth and result-oriented cardio experience.

Tips Beginners Should Keep in Mind

The best thing about cardio is that you do not have to work out for long hours to see the results. Even if you exercise for 15 minutes each day, it can help lower your blood pressure, while boosting your mood. So, here’s a look at a few tips to keep in mind before you begin your cardio session.

1. Choose the Right Workout

Choosing an intense exercise, like running, helps yield better results than slow-paced activities, like walking. However, at the end of the day, you must be comfortable and not force and exhaust yourself. Letting your body fall apart to keep yourself fit is never a solution. You can start with a low intensity exercise and work your way up to high intensity ones.

2. Choose the Right Time

Although there is no particular time when you should start your cardio, research has shown that when you do so before breakfast, you burn the most fat. Another suitable time would be to include cardio during your regular workouts. It is best to do a strength training session in the beginning and the cardio at the end for maximum benefits.

3. Choose the Right Place

To be honest, cardio brings the outdoors to mind, where we think of cycling or running along a long stretch of road. However, let bad weather or lack of time not keep you from doing your exercises. You can comfortably pick a suitable exercise to carry out at your home itself.

Apart from these, it is always best to pick something simple, which you will enjoy doing at least three times a week for 20 minutes, says an article on Very Well Fit. And, for those you need to keep up their motivation, it is best to get yourself a personal trainer or join a class with others who can keep you going for longer.

Signs That You Need to Join a Health Club

Woman unrolling yoga mat

Did you know that statistics reveal that less than 5% of American adults participate in physical activity that lasts 30 minutes each day? Or that only one in three adults get the recommended dose of physical activity each week? These alarming numbers were revealed by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Physical activity isn’t only about losing and gaining weight, it can actually help with a lot of health issues. Joining a health club contributes to your overall well-being in numerous ways. Your body constantly talks to you through symptoms that tell you it is time to join a gym. Are you listening?

Signs You Need to be More Active

  1. You feel laziness creeping in: Sometimes, the right amount of food and sleep is not really enough to keep you from being lethargic. Often, you might feel you are literally dragging yourself through the day and would much prefer to lie on that couch in front of the TV.How to combat it: A study by the University of Georgia revealed that 20% of energy levels can actively be increased by doing a 20 minutes aerobic exercise thrice a week.
  2. You are more often stressed than not: Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University say that stress has drastically increased by 18% in women and 24% in men within a span of 26 years. Stress is overlooked as something that is temporary, but it can persist and make us really ill. Being constantly overwhelmed is not a positive sign.How to combat it: Classes in activities like yoga, Pilates, barre and more, cannot just help you get physically fit, they can have a positive impact on mental health as well, according to an article by New York Health & Racquet Club. Neurotransmitters like Serotonin and Dopamine are released through physical activity, which helps in decreasing cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in the body.
  3. Sudden stiffness and pain: Insufficient body movement can lead to sores as much as overdoing exercises can. Stiff knees and joints, pain in the lower back, aching shoulder muscles and more can result from the lack of motion. Improving the strength and stability of your muscles and bones is important to avoid these conditions.How to combat it: Moving your muscles daily helps blood circulation, which lessens pain in various parts of the body. Even long-term ailments like arthritis can be improved with regular activity.

Among 153,000 health clubs across the globe, 20% of them are located in the US! The clubs worldwide serve 131.7 million members, according to an article on Credit Donkey. If you are waking up to any of the above issues, it is time to enroll yourself at your nearest gym!

How to Motivate Yourself to Reach Your Fitness Goals

White neon sign against blue background displaying the phrase Work Harder

Did you know that only one in three adults receives the required amount of physical activity every week and that less than 5% of them participate in 30 minutes of physical activity every day? A study done by the US Department of Health & Human Services revealed these startling statistics. The question now is why does this seem to occur among adults.

One logical explanation is that we might possess a lack of motivation that prevents us from working out on a regular basis. Overcoming this obstacle is not a Herculean task. Here are some simple things you can do to inspire yourself to achieve your fitness goals.

Mix it Up

Performing the same redundant exercise routine every week is not useful for both your body and your mind. If you are not focusing on specific challenges, then you are not going to witness an extensive amount of positive results after your workout. That is why it is crucial to keep yourself motivated by evolving and adapting your routine.

You can improve your weekly routine by alternating between different forms of exercise. This will lead to some really good results for your overall fitness. You will be able to improve your focus, since the varied styles will force you to readjust quickly and improve your flexibility. In this way, you can achieve your goals at a relatively faster rate.

However, ensure that you do not engage in “program hopping,” which is the act of starting off with a new regime without completely finishing the previous one. This won’t allow you to reap the benefits of the different training programs.

Some of the regimes that you can include are interval training, core strength training, group exercise classes, low/high-intensity training and circuit training.

Change Your Mindset Regarding Exercise

Include exercises in your daily routine and think of it as an everyday activity. When you do this, your mind will stop sending you negative messages about exercising and you will learn to discover the joy and satisfaction associated with it.

Workout with People Who Share the Same Goals

An excellent way of keeping your motivation levels up is to take part in group exercise classes. Here, you will be surrounded by like-minded people, who share the same fitness goals. Although all of us can have our off days, we can seek inspiration by watching the commitment of others around us. So, the company of positive people can work wonders to change your attitude towards life and exercise.

Grab a Cup of Coffee

A hot cup of java may be a strict no-no for some people, but it can be quite beneficial. The caffeine from coffee can help increase endurance and motivation by improving your mood and reducing the rate of adenosine deposition in the muscles, according to a study by Coventry University.

So, are you ready to challenge yourself to achieve those fitness goals?

Top Benefits of Regular Exercise

Man deadlifting barbell set

It has been medically proven that people who engage in regular physical activity have a 30% lower risk of early death, says an article on NHS.

Due to our sedentary lifestyles and various modern gadgets, most of us don’t engage in any major physical activity anymore. This can harm our overall health in the long run. So, to motivate you to adopt a healthier lifestyle, here are some of the benefits of what regular exercise can do to boost your mental and physical health.

It Keeps You Happy

Regular exercise can induce changes in the parts of the brain that control anxiety and stress. It can increase the production of endorphins, which are commonly known as the “feel good” hormones. This will help you stay positive and even reduce pain. Apart from this, the brain’s sensitivity towards the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine will also increase. This can play a crucial role in lowering the risk of anxiety and depression.

A common myth is that exercising in the morning gives the best results. This isn’t true. You can exercise at any time of the day that suits you, as long as you are working out regularly since your body will gradually adjust to the routine, says an article by New York Health & Racket Club.

Improves Skin Health

Skin health is dependent on the amount of toxins in your body as well as blood circulation. When you exercise, you allow the impurities and toxins in the body to be eliminated through sweat. Exercise also improves blood circulation and can help not just skin health but also heart health.

Strengthens Memory and Brain Health

The heart rate increases during exercise, which leads to an increased flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. This helps the brain to think better and improves thinking as well as memory capabilities.

Also, new brain cell growth can get stimulated due to regular exercise. The part of the brain associated with thinking, the Hippocampus, can even grow in size, leading to significant improvement in mental function.

Apart from these benefits, regular exercise can also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50%, says an article on Helpguide.

How to Stay Fit When You Work in an Office

Woman typing on computer

Fitness often takes a backseat when long hours and stress rear their ugly heads. While you may be tempted to skip that workout when you have a pile of work on your desk, you need to remember that physical activity helps increase your productivity by making it easier to think clearly and deal with stress. As you review your current daily routine, use these tips to stay fit and counteract the time you spend sitting in meeting

Enjoy a Lunch and Learn

If you are struggling with fitness, then your coworkers are also likely to be having trouble sticking to their healthy lifestyle goals. Our Lunch and Learn workshops cover tons of different topics that are all relevant to busy professionals who understand the value of eating right and working out. Whether you want to know more about how to be more mindful with your eating habits or are eager to embrace a vegan diet, your lunch hour can be turned into an opportunity to learn inspiring new ideas.

Stash Your Gear at the Gym

When you’ve been working all day, the last thing you want to do is haul a heavy gym bag to your health club. Look into locker rentals and other amenities such as laundry service that allow you to be ready for a workout without having to give it extra thought. When you know that your workout gear is already waiting for you, you’ll have one less reason to procrastinate.

Work With a Personal Trainer

Office jobs are known for contributing to fitness concerns such as stiff joints and lower back pain. Too much sitting can also make it harder to burn calories and keep your muscles strong. Personal trainers can help you get back in shape by showing you specific exercises that reduce the effects of the strain that comes with sitting behind a desk. You’ll also feel a sense of accountability to show up for your sessions that makes you more likely to stick with your new regimen.

Strike a Pose During Quick Breaks

Our NYC health club offers yoga classes to give you the opportunity to learn new poses that stave off weight gain and stress-related health issues. However, you don’t have to only do yoga when you are in the classes. Many yoga poses are easily adaptable to an office environment. Try striking a warrior pose just before a big meeting or shut the door and do a downward dog to stretch out your lower back.

Mix Fitness With Pleasure

If motivation is your problem, then stop thinking of fitness as a drudgery. Gyms with pools that NYC residents go to are the perfect place to blow off some excess workplace steam while burning some serious calories. To make this even more fun, invite a colleague to tag along. Turning your workout into a networking session helps you get more out of every minute.

Sum it Up

With a little planning and ingenuity, you can have the best of both worlds with an office position and a healthy body. Prioritizing fitness pushes it to the top of your to-do list, and your renewed efforts at improving your health create a ripple effect that also leads to greater success in the workplace.

No Rest, No Gains: Why Sleep is Essential

man sleeping in bed

Eating healthy and working out are two of the most important factors in building a better body, but nutrition and exercise can’t do it alone. If your sleep routine is off, all your hard work could go to waste.

“Sleep is essential because it not only gives your body time to recover from workouts, but also helps with chemical and hormonal balances,” says NYHRC 23rd Street Personal Trainer, Elysia Cronheim. “A lot of the time, people unknowingly overwork their bodies with frequent high intensity workouts. To reduce stress caused to your body during your workouts, there’s only one solution – rest.”

Everyone’s idea of “rest” is different, so it’s important to know what proper rest really is. “A proper form of rest isn’t sitting on the couch watching TV or binge watching the latest shows on Netflix,” says NYHRC 23rd Street Personal Trainer, Luis Pertuz. “Rest means getting the right amount of sleep that’s appropriate for you. Getting rest is similar to a well-balanced nutrition plan and is just as important as working out. Our brains and bodies reset themselves when they receive an appropriate amount of rest.”

Still not sold on sleep? “Just remember,” says Luis, “muscles heal while you sleep. No sleep means no gains!”

Looking for more tips on how to build a healthier lifestyle? Book a consultation with an NYHRC personal trainer today. https://nyhrc.com/personal-training/

How to Recharge in NYC

Statue of Liberty with golden sunset skies behind it.

Summer is a busy time for New Yorkers. Hit the reset button with these relaxing activities from NYHRC to ensure you don’t run out of fuel:

NYHRC Yacht
Enjoy breathtaking skyline views of Manhattan aboard NYHRC’s yacht. Make your reservation for a weekly sunset or weekend brunch cruise or one of our exclusive specialty cruises. Below are a few reasons to come aboard:

  • Spend quality time with family and friends. The 75-foot yacht offers plenty of room to bring up to ten guests. Enjoy the summer breeze together, eat delicious food, and chill out as you watch the sun set behind the Statue of Liberty.
  • Meet new people. The friendly atmosphere and relaxed vibe guarantees a chance to meet new people and mingle with other NYHRC members.
  • De-stress. Escape from the hustle and bustle of NYC by soaking up sweeping skyline views as you sail around the southern tip of Manhattan.

NYHRC Massage
Massage is essential to your overall health. It helps you relax and relieve built up tension while promoting healing and muscle recovery. NYHRC offers many massage services including:

  • Sports massage. By incorporating deep pressure techniques on specific muscle groups, sports massage increases flexibility, stimulates circulation and minimizes muscle soreness.
  • Shiatsu massage. Applied pressure to various parts of the body removes blockages and alleviates headaches, stress, anxiety and more.

NYHRC Yoga classes
Find your Zen with one of NYHRC’s many yoga and meditation classes. We offer over 10 different types including:

  • Yoga on the Deck. Salutations and shavasana in the sun on the 23rd Street sundeck.
  • Belly Laugh Yoga. Includes interactive comic relief to create a welcoming environment.
  • Urban Meditation. Calm the mind and improve your focus with guided imagery and breathing techniques.

Looking for more relaxing activities? Visit https://nyhrc.com/amenities/ for our full list of amenities.

Benefits of Team Sports

Team High-Fiving

We all know the health benefits of playing on a sports team, but did you know that being a team player also benefits you in the game of life? Here’s a list of some of the cool stuff that happens when you join a team:

Build Confidence
Reaching a goal on the playing field provides the motivation you need to reach even greater personal goals.

Make Friends
Your teammates are the ones right by your side, sharing with you both the wins and the losses. This creates long lasting bonds and built-in support to help you tackle challenges both on and off the court.

Learn to Compromise
Sometimes, decisions will not always go your way, but that’s completely okay! Teams teach you how to compromise, pick your battles and understand differing opinions.

Stay Motivated
When an entire team depends on you, you’re less likely to miss a practice or game. Keeping up with your teammates keeps you motivated, even when you feel like throwing in the towel.

Want to book a court, play in a league, or compete in a 3-on-3-basketball tournament? Visit https://nyhrc.com/amenity/sports/ to find out more.

What’s New: Erwin Gonzalez Discusses Rehab Treatments on WCBS Radio

New Year, New You

“New Year, New You” has been the mantra around New York Health & Racquet Club since the beginning of the year. One of our fantastic group fitness instructors, Erwin Gonzalez, recently discussed the strategic steps that new gym members should take toward fulfilling their new year’s resolution.

According to Fresh 102.7’s website, Gonzalez stated that new exercisers often become too aggressive in meeting goals, i.e. going from 0 to 60 and subsequently burning out. Gonzalez stressed the importance of a gradual progression.

He also suggested that those just starting a new fitness routine should make a plan, set benchmarks and scale their activities in order to prevent burnout. New exercisers or those who have taken time off should also start out with 30 minute visits and gradually build up to an hour after a few weeks or a month. This will ensure that as the newness of the year wears off, folks are continuing the resolution and are better able to make the routine part of our lifestyle.

Follow the link to Fresh 102.7’s website and scroll to the bottom to hear Erwin’s full interview with Deb Gordon.

Keep those resolutions going strong into February!