Benefits of a morning workout!

It's been a great first week and we have loved seeing so many of the local community coming in, checking us out and signing up. 

A regular question we have had is "when is the best time to workout?"

Well, it is generally a matter of personal preference, but we are big fans of the morning workout. There are heaps of documented reasons for this (including that it benefits your hair) but one of the key ones for us is that you are getting your sweat on before the business of the day gets in the road. 

Below are 5 good reasons for working out in the morning... have a read and we will see you bright and early tomorrow (we are open from 5am)!

1. A Consistent Workout

A big barrier to getting enough exercise is often the fact that it’s hard to fit it into a daily schedule. It’s extra hard if you have kids, work unpredictable hours, or have a somewhat spontaneous social life. If you commit to working out in the morning, however, you’re way less likely to have the excuse of things just popping up. Plus, you won’t be exhausted from a rough day at the office. 

2. Better Cardiovascular Impact

One of the reasons you’re plugging in time on the treadmill or pounding the pavement is to improve your heart health, right? Well, working out in the morning can actually increase the impact that exercise has on your heart. Why? One of the ways that your body naturally wakes you up is by increasing levels of hormones like adrenaline, which causes your heart to beat faster. This means that you can eke out some extra cardiovascular benefits when you work out in the morning.

3. Brain Boosting Power

Exercise has been proven to increase mental focus for up to ten whole hours post-workout. If you’re squeezing in your exercise regimen after work, you’re not taking full advantage of those ten hours, since you’re likely sleeping for most of them. An A.M. workout means that both your brain and your body are in good shape all day.

4. Better Weight Loss

If you’re working out to shed some pounds, it looks like the morning is the optimal exercise time for you. An early trip to the gym has been shown to result in fewer food cravings throughout the day. Perhaps even better, working out in the morning means that your body will burn calories faster and more efficiently throughout the day. 

5. More Energy

Exercise releases feel-good compounds like endorphins that improve your mood and energy levels, an effect that can last well into the afternoon if you get your workout in early. Plus, exercising in the morning can help you sleep better than if you work out later in the evening, since you’re not getting that extra energy boost as you’re trying to settle in for the night.

Quick tips to keep you hydrated...

At Culture Fitness we are delighted to be working with a great group of partners to provide our gym members with the best in training equipment, instructors and nutrition. We love the team and product at PURE Sports Nutrition and are stoked to be able to give you a little bit of their insight when it comes to hydration and nutrition. 

Here is what you should be looking to do for Training up to 1 hour (light to medium)

  • Water is perfect for hydration when exercising for up to an hour and you may not need any other nutrition like gels, food etc . You can also use sports drinks with low/no top up electrolytes if desired.
  • Listen to your body, if you're feeling dehydrated before your training session you should drink 500 - 750ml water or sports drink before you head out to train to avoid a poor training session caused by dehydration.

To find out more about PURE Sports Nutrition and to read the complete article head over to their new website.

At Culture Fitness we are stockists of the PURE range so if you have any questions, or need to get hold of some product, just ask one of the team.

The importance of a good warm-up

We have all seen it, and some of us are probably guilty of it. We turn up to the gym or our Saturday sport, neglect to warm-up and then 15 minutes later we are struck down with injury or a lower performance than we hoped. 

Having a warm-up plan that supports the exercise or sport you are participating is vital to your overall success. Below is some information that you might find of interest when considering your warm-up.

6 REASONS TO WARM-UP:

  1. Warming up increases overall body and muscle temperatures which increase blood flow to the active muscles.
  2. Warm-up increases the body and muscle temperature which helps to increase the rate of energy production.
  3. Contraction and reflex times are improved with higher muscle temperatures.
  4. Exercising without warm-up places a potentially dangerous stress on the heart.  Warming up reduces the stress on the heart.
  5. Soft tissue (tendons, ligaments, muscles) injuries are less likely with proper warm-up.
  6. There is also a psychological benefit from proper warm-up (the athlete feels more ready to participate).

TYPES OF WARM-UP PROGRAMS
There are three basic types of warm-up programs that will be discussed. They are:

  1. Passive
  2. General
  3. Specific Warm-up

PASSIVE WARM-UP – This is the least effective of all three methods.  It basically consists of the use of an external source of heat, such as a Jacuzzi, sauna, or steam room.  Various types of sports creams are also used by some people to help with warming up.  None of these methods are effective, unless accompanied by one or more of the other forms of warm-up because they do little to increase the temperature deep within the muscles.

GENERAL WARM-UP – Involves activities that stimulate and increase the blood flow to the working muscles.  Such activities as jogging, jumping jacks or some basic calisthenics, are effective warm-up exercises.  They stimulate the cardiovascular system and lungs, as well as preparing the muscles for vigorous activity.

SPECIFIC WARM-UP – Is necessary in skill activities (tennis, baseball, basketball, etc.) and when training with heavy weights.  As the term implies, the specific warm-up prepares the specific muscles that will be used in an activity.  For example, hurdlers generally do not do push-ups before a race but engage in some mild running and practicing specific leg movements involved in hurdling.

DURATION OF A WARM-UP – Prior to your more specific warm-up, a general warm-up should last in the 5 to 10 minute range.  The more vigorous the exercise program or higher skill of the sport, the longer the warm-up should be.

WARM-UP INDICATIONS – Heart rate is a good indicator for judging the effectiveness of your warm-up.  The heart rate should be no more than 10 beats above or below the low-end of your training heart rate range.  A break of light sweat is also another good indicator of a sufficient warm-up.

If you have any questions about your warm-up plan have a chat to Bex or one of our PT's. They are all more than happy to help you out.

What to ask before joining a gym...

We are fizzing to be in the Halswell community and welcome all of our new members. But here is a cautionary tale...

It is one thing to join a gym, but it is another thing to actually commit and make it part of your daily or weekly routine. We have all heard the excuses about why not to go, but when it boils down to it, it is all about fitness personality, and finding the right type of exercise for you! 

To help you with this, we have found a great wee article from the Diet Detective on 'What to ask before joining a Gym'. Below are some excerpts from this. 

How should I choose a gym?

Look at the gyms in your area. See how far they are from your home or office. Some facilities offer trial memberships. Take advantage, and don't be pressured to join. Don't be sold a bill of goods. Take your time, especially if a long-term commitment is involved. Ask for a tour, write down what you like and dislike so you can compare. Check out the gyms' Web sites for their class schedules. And make sure to observe several of the classes in session during the time you would ordinarily be there. Don't go at an off-peak time to observe if you plan on working out at a peak time. Check out the crowd to see if you would feel comfortable.

When making your choice, what factors should you consider?

Take a look at the equipment, facility, classes and staff. If you're looking for good equipment, see if they have the kinds of machines and weights you like, and make sure the machines aren't too crowded at the time of day you'll be going. If you're looking for group exercise classes, see what variety they have and if the times are convenient for you. If you're going to be showering and dressing there, see if the locker rooms are clean. If amenities are important, look for child care, day spa services, a pool, etc. In addition, look for a facility within 12 minutes of your home or work. Research shows you are more likely to use it if it's close.

Questions to ask when signing up for a membership?

  • Can you freeze your membership without fees? Under what conditions?
  • What is the length of the contract?
  • What does the membership fee include?
  • Are there any fees or penalties for cancellation?
  • What about automatic renewable contracts/memberships?
  • What method of payment is accepted? 
  • Are there any other fees, such as for towel use or group fitness classes?
  • Can monthly fees be raised without notice?
  • What are the initiation or joining fees?
  • Is a package including fitness assessment tests and/or personal-training sessions available with a membership?
  • Is there a group package or corporate account program available?
  • Is there a trial membership program?
  • Is there a grace period during which you can cancel your membership and receive a full or partial refund?
  • Is there more than one type of membership, and are all the fees for services posted?
  • Does the facility provide you with a written set of rules and policies?
  • Is the gym clean? Look at locker rooms, gym floor and the equipment (e.g., rusty, creaky or missing any parts).
  • Do you like the music? Is it too loud to use your iPod?

So there you have it... we look forward to meeting you, showing you around and chatting with you about our membership options.

Hi, from the new kid on the block!

Hi,

Thanks for checking us out. We are stoked to be opening our first gym in the heart of one of Christchurch's fastest growing residential areas. The feedback we have received from the community online and when we have been fitting out has confirmed we made the right decision.

We are looking forward meeting you and helping you achieve your goals. 

Our blog area is a space where we will provide you with training tips, information and other news about what is hot and what is not in the fitness industry. Some of these will be our own views, some of these will be thoughts and ideas shared from others, and from time to time we will have guest bloggers provide insight on a specific fitness aspect.

Most importantly, we want it to be a blog that you find of interest, so if there is a specific topic or area you are interested in, then tell us, and we will see what we can do for you!

We have no great bits of information this time round, so instead here is a compilation of Ellen's Funniest Fitness Videos