Pet Peeves and Unwritten Rules of Gym Life

I read a great article this week outlining some of the biggest complaints gyms receive according to some recent research. I thought they were interesting so in case you missed it, here’s the link to the article, but I have outlined some of them below.

Biggest complaints:

  1. Overcrowding: 48 per cent
  2. Sweaty equipment (e.g. people not using a towel): 36 per cent
  3. The gym being smelly or untidy: 32 per cent
  4. People not resetting or replacing equipment: 31 per cent
  5. Dirty or smelly changing facilities: 30 per cent
  6. Loud grunting from people working out: 24 per cent
  7. People showing off (e.g. flexing muscles): 22 per cent

Another article outlined some of the unwritten rules of gym etiquette. Here’s the link for that one.

10 Unwritten Rules of Gym Etiquette:

1. Bring a towel

No one wants to lie on a sweaty, smelly bench anymore than you do, so bring a towel and wipe down the equipment when you finish. It keeps the gym hygienic, particularly during peak times when gym staff don’t have time to wipe down the benches for you.

Being in a class environment is usually a little more relaxed, but it always helps to bring a towel, particularly if the class requires the use of shared equipment.

2. Wear deodorant

It’s normal to sweat when you’re working hard, but pungent body odour is enough to throw anyone off their game. Wear deodorant but don’t spray it around like it’s going out of fashion.

3. Watch your chat time

It’s nice to smile and greet people who you recognise in the gym but it’s not the place for a full-on conversation. It cuts into your workout time, distracts others who don’t want to hear about who you hooked up with on the weekend and can leave them frustrated as you converse by equipment that they might be waiting to use.

4. Don’t intimidate others

If someone beat you to the squat rack, don’t stand over them and give them dirty looks. Politely let them know that you’d like to use it after them and use a different piece of equipment while you wait for them to finish.

5. Be quiet 

A well executed grunt can help you power through a tough set, but constant moaning should be avoided at all times. Be careful not to drop weights loudly after a set and don’t blast your music so loud that others can hear your Redfoo through your headphones.

6. Don’t hog the equipment

You might pride yourself on setting up the ultimate circuit, but hogging all the equipment will automatically guarantee you gym-jerk status. If others are unable to find equipment because you’ve moved it all, you’re preventing them from getting their workout done.

7. Put your weights back

If you are strong enough to lift the weight, then you are strong enough to put it away. Be considerate and put weights back where they came from so they’re not in the way of others.

8. Sharing is caring

If the gym has limited squat racks and you see that someone else is waiting to use it, offer them to swap in with you. This means that they can do a set while you’re resting in between sets. This will only work if you are using a similar weight, but it’s always polite to offer.

9. Cover-up

This might come as a surprise to some but most people don’t want to catch a glimpse of your accidental flash. Make sure your active wear sufficiently covers your important bits.

10. Get off your phone

Your Instagram feed may tell you otherwise, but the gym is no place for selfies. Get in, work hard and give the bench or machine to someone else instead of sending snapchats of your guns.

The gym is also a great opportunity to unplug from social media for an hour. Listen to your music (or a podcast) and focus on the task at hand.

At Fit 4 Life we try and have an open and friendly environment so not all these apply, but interesting read all the same.

Christy – Fit 4 Life Staff

Christy

We’re back…..

We’ve been offline for a bit, but we’re back. We hope to bring you some great articles and thoughts related to the four elements of Fit 4 Life – Fitness, Finance, Faith & Friendship. Check our blog each week for an update.

In the meantime, if you live on the North Shore of Auckland, then come and visit the friendliest gym around. Not only do we have good prices, we also offer more than you might find at another gym – free programmes, free fitness assessments, free seminars when offered, free financial planning and more.

All of our prices, times and more info are listed on our website. Check each week for our latest webdeal.

You can call us on 0800 LIFEGYM.

 

Fitness – Stretching

I thought I would blog a little about the value of stretching. I used to stretch a lot in my younger years and always enjoyed it. Back in my teens and early 20’s, before I did my weights workout I would always do a whole body stretch ‘workout’ for 15-20 minutes. I carried on with this stretching routine for years and became quite flexible as a result, but when I suffered a serious lower-back injury in my mid-20’s I stopped stretching as I found it was aggravating my back. Lately, however, in my mid-40’s I’ve been getting back into stretching and am enjoying it and seeing the benefits once again.

There are some great benefits to stretching and staying flexible, especially as you get older. As we age, our muscles become less limber and the range of motion in our joints can decrease. We start to find that ordinary everyday activities and movements – like bending down to put on our shoes, or reaching up to change a light bulb or get a can of beans off the top shelf – seem a lot harder than they were when we were younger. Also, in modern Western society our lifestyles have become much more sedentary over the past 50 years. We now spend a great deal more time sitting down hunched over computer screens or watching TV, and as a result we lose more and more flexibility with each passing year.

The great news about stretching is that anyone can stretch regardless of their age or current flexibility level. Many stretches are very simple to perform – and some stretches you can do even while sitting watching TV, working on the computer, or even in bed! Also stretching does not have to involve a huge time commitment, but it will provide you with great results! Some of the benefits you can expect from a regular stretching program are:

  • Increased circulation in the blood to various parts of your body
  • Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation)
  • Increased range of movement in your joints
  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Faster recovery after injury
  • You will feel better!!

Here are a few pointers to be aware of as you begin a dedicated stretching program:

1. Be consistent with your stretching routine

Like most things in life, you won’t experience the benefits of stretching unless you consistently stretch! One great thing about stretching compared to aerobic (cardio) or anaerobic (weight-training) exercise is that stretching workouts are usually much shorter – in some cases only a few minutes. Put some stretching times into your weekly calendar and watch yourself improve!

2. Be careful when stretching cold muscles

Stretching cold muscles can cause injury, so if you are not warmed up and you want to stretch then you do need to be careful. Some studies have shown that stretching cold muscles actually decreases muscle strength and power for up to an hour after stretching, so usually it is best to do your cardio or weights workout first and then stretch afterwards. There are some fitness practitioners who say you should never stretch before working out – only stretch afterwards – but I think this is a little extreme. As I mentioned in my introduction I stretched before doing my workouts for years and it worked for me. (The reason I stretched before my workouts was that I found that I was too tired after my workouts to stretch, and I never did it unless I did it first!) Ultimately you have to create a fitness routine that works for you, but if you are stretching cold muscles you do need to be careful!

3. Never force a stretch beyond the point of mild tension painful

Stretching should be pleasurable, relaxing and beneficial. Many people believe that to get the most from their stretching they need to stretch to the point of pain, but this is a great mistake. You don’t always have to stretch to the full range of motion of the joint – and beyond! Just take the stretch out to where it feels comfortable and then gently try to stretch just a little beyond that. If you sense pain then back off the stretch to where the stretch is still ‘stretched’ but pain-free.

4. Your flexibility changes

A person’s flexibility levels change from day to day. Your energy levels, your overall health, the weather, and even what you had for dinner last night can affect your body on a daily basis, so you may find you can’t perform your stretching routine in the same manner with the same results at each session. Don’t worry about it; just keep going and look for improved flexibility over the months and years, not necessarily over days and weeks.

5. Never throw your body into a stretch or bounce when stretching

Stretching should be fluid and gentile. Stretching slowly and gently helps to relax your muscles, which in turn makes stretching more pleasurable and beneficial. This also helps avoid muscle tears and strains which may be caused by rapid, jerky movements.

6. Try to increase your time in each stretch

Time yourself and try to increase your time in each stretch by a few seconds each week. Start with 10-15 seconds and try to extend this by 2-3 seconds each week until you can hold a stretch for 30 to 45 seconds.

7. Never stretch an injury

When a bodypart is injured you need to be careful. Stretching an injured bodypart can cause further soft tissue damage, so it is best to rest the injured area until it is fully healed. After you feel your injury has healed sufficiently, then begin stretching the area again but proceed very slowly and carefully. Stop if there is any pain and continue with recovery treatment (rest, heat, ice etc) until the area is fully healed.

8. Stretch your whole body

While stretching is ‘flexible’ (excuse the pun) in that you can spot-stretch different bodypart’s which you may have specific trouble with, it’s best to stretch your whole body and keep it limber. Your body works as a unit and keeping your whole body flexible is something that will benefit you for life. Some muscles and body-parts like your neck and wrists can be stretched for just a few minutes a day, but it is preferable to have 2 or 3 periods each week where you stretch your whole body for a longer period of time, say 20 -30 minutes. I currently do a whole body ‘stretch-workout’ twice a week for 30 minutes after I have finished my cardio workout and it really helps me feel (and be) more limber. The weblink at ACC NZ provides you with a whole body basic stretching routine.

By following the above stretching tips, you’ll be performing your stretches properly and maximizing the benefits which stretching can provide.

Bryce Staveley – Fit 4 Life Staff

Fitness – Why Fitness?

At Fit 4 Life we encourage a healthy fitness philosophy.  What do we mean by that?  Well fitness is one of those things that can easily be taken to the extreme, either extreme inactivity or extreme obsession.

We believe it is very important for everyone’s physical and mental health to include some physical activity in your schedule.  The NZ government recommends 30min of moderate activity every day.  Statistically only 52% of adults in NZ have 30min a day and 10% of NZ adults are active less than 30min per week!

Being physically active has great advantages:

  • better overall health
  • more energy
  • lower stress levels
  • increased self-esteem
  • better posture and balance
  • better weight management and weight control
  • improved fitness
  • stronger muscles and bones
  • better sleep and feel more relaxed

Keeping active can also reduce the risk and/or effects of a number of health conditions:

  • heart disease
  • hypertension
  • obesity
  • strokes
  • diabetes
  • certain cancers (especially colorectal, breast and endometrial)
  • depression
  • osteoporosis
  • osteoarthritis
  • stress
  • some respiratory conditions.

At Fit 4 Life we want to help you to find a good balance of activity in your life.  We offer a variety of group classes as well as program options to help you find an enjoyable way to add regular physical activity to your schedule.  If you ever have any questions or need some advice come talk to any of our friendly staff or volunteers.

Jason – Fit 4 Life Staff

Fitness – Fitness for the Mind

One of the perks of working at Fit 4 Life is that we have a great fitness centre equipped with quality equipment which I can take advantage whenever I like. As I’ve written in other blogs, I enjoy working out and still train hard three to four times a week (although I do miss having some of the advantages of youth such as pain-free joints!)

Of course, everybody knows that physical activity is good for the body but at Fit 4 Life we also believe that life is more than just the singular dimension of the physical realm, and so we encourage our members to develop health in other areas of life including financial, social and spiritual fitness.

This week I thought I would blog about fitness for the mind. There’s an old saying out there that goes, ‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste’, so what are a few ways we can develop and improve our mental health?

I’ve listed ten simple activities below to help improve mental fitness which I found on this website.  The blurb in italics below each heading is from this website, but I’ve also added my own personal comments under each of the blurbs to show how I participate – or don’t participate – in the recommended mental health activity.

1. Play Games

Brain fitness programs and games are a wonderful way to tease and challenge your brain. Sudoku, crosswords and electronic games can all improve your brain’s speed and memory. These games rely on logic, word skills, math and more. These games are also fun. You’ll get benefit more by doing these games a little bit every day — spend 15 minutes or so, not hours.

Our family has always played lots of games (although we’ve slipped a little in the last year!) Often for our family fun-nights we play games together and we usually play a lot of games when relatives come to stay. Sometimes we hold an all day ‘game-marathon’ where we play six or seven different games throughout the day as a family with a prize for the person with the most points at the end. (If you do this be sure to choose a variety of games involving luck, skill and strategy. If you select all skill and strategy games like 500, Risk and Monopoly then younger family members can become bored and they are disadvantaged). As I think back to my childhood my family was always playing games. In fact, even now when mum has us all over for lunch or dinner we usually end up playing card games after the meal. Games and game playing is a great way to keep your mind active!

2. Meditation

Daily meditation is perhaps the single greatest thing you can do for your mind/body health. Meditation not only relaxes you, it gives your brain a workout. By creating a different mental state, you engage your brain in new and interesting ways while increasing your brain fitness.

To me, as a Christian, meditation is prayer. I don’t sit around chanting mantras but I do have a healthy prayer life. At times in my life I have kept a daily prayer journal, although now I usually just pray as I go about my daily business plus I including some specific prayer times a couple of nights of the week when I am by myself. You have to be conscious about including prayer and meditation in your day, or the day just seems to ‘go by’. (As an example, we meet as a family every weekday morning before the kids leave for school and have a ‘family meeting’ during which we always – or almost always – include prayer). The important thing with prayer or meditation is to be conscious about it rather than mindless. Having a focal point such as things to give thanks for, or even pressing matters of concern, helps to focus your mind and prevent it from wandering.

3. Eat for Your Brain

Your brain needs you to eat healthy fats. Focus on fish oils from wild salmon, nuts such as walnuts, seeds such as flax seed and olive oil. Eat more of these foods and less saturated fats. Eliminate trans fats completely from your diet.

I don’t have much to say here because probably in the West we’re getting enough fat for the brain!  My wife has been making my son take fish-oil tablets, as someone told her that it was good for improving kid’s memories and their retention. (I’ve also been sneaking a few of them myself, as my wife and kids say that I am beginning to forget things!)

4. Tell Good Stories

Stories are a way that we solidify memories, interpret events and share moments. Practice telling your stories, both new and old, so that they are interesting, compelling and fun. Some basic storytelling techniques will go a long way in keeping people’s interest both in you and in what you have to say.

People tell me I am a funny story teller. I don’t think that I am, but I realise that I do have a lot of stories – mainly because a lot of bizarre things have happened to me throughout my life! Stories come out naturally when you have a relaxed and trusting atmosphere, so create a dynamic where you can tell your stories – like going out for dinner with friends or family meals. In my family we eat dinner together as much as we can, and having that kind of forum often turns into story-telling time. In fact, just a couple of nights ago I ended up regaling my children with some funny stories from my childhood, and I also shared about things that my grandparents had done that really impressed me when I was growing up. It was a lot of fun and it’s also a great way to capture the past and not forget it. Story-telling is great for the memory!

5. Turn Off Your Television

 The average person watches more than 4 hours of television everyday. Television can stand in the way of relationships, life and more. Turn off your TV and spend more time living and exercising your mind and body.

I don’t have much problem with this one. I don’t watch much TV apart from the occasional nature show or a documentary on the History channel which intrigues me. I recognise that TV isn’t going away anytime soon and I’m certainly not a TV Luddite; (we have two TV’s in our home, although one is mostly used for watching DVD’s). But it does concern me that so many people spend so many thousands of mindless hours watching the tube. Rather than being a source of entertainment it really is ‘amusing them to death’. There’s lots of research on how detrimental TV can be to your mind and body which you can check out on Wikipedia . From a mental health perspective, one of the biggest problems with TV is that it does all the ‘thinking’ for you and you don’t really have to use your mind. When you read a book your brain has to create mental pictures and ‘work’, whereas when you watch TV it provides all the images for your brain so your brain is actually quite sedentary. We also tend to remember a lot of what we read, whereas try to recall even 10% of what you watched last night on TV and you will struggle to do it!

6. Exercise Your Body to Exercise Your Brain

Physical exercise is great brain exercise too. By moving your body, your brain has to learn new muscle skills, estimate distance and practice balance. Choose a variety of exercises to challenge your brain.

I have no comment here apart from encouraging you to come and join Fit 4 Life!

7. Read Something Different

Books are portable, free from libraries and filled with infinite interesting characters, information and facts. Branch out from familiar reading topics. If you usually read history books, try a contemporary novel. Read foreign authors, the classics and random books. Not only will your brain get a workout by imagining different time periods, cultures and peoples, you will also have interesting stories to tell about your reading, what it makes you think of and the connections you draw between modern life and the words.

Following on from point six about TV, the title of this one should be probably be shortened to say, ‘Read Something’! Reading is a dying discipline and the world will be the poorer for it. Ask ten people under the age of 25 what they are reading (apart from the compulsory reading of their school text books) and eight of them will tell you that they don’t read anything! This is a tragedy, as one of the greatest actions humans can participate in is reading. Of course I am promoting the reading of quality and/or educational literature – not the reading of trashy novels or that sort of thing. I love to read and I always have between 6 to 10 different books on the go at any one time. (I have them lying all around the house and even at work, and whenever I have a few spare moments or am eating a meal I usually pick one of the books up and keep reading). It’s a sad fact that when I left school at age 17 for the next eight years until around age 25 I didn’t read much at all – apart from bodybuilding magazines! However, I have more than made up for it in the last 20 years, and now own an extensive library of books in a multitude of literary genres including history, biography, philosophy, Christianity and religion, finance and investing etc.

All of this reading has had a huge positive impact on my life and I can testify that reading on a broad range of subjects is fantastic for mental health. In fact Charlie Munger, the vice-president of Berkshire Hathaway, (Warren Buffett’s company), was quoted as saying, “In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time – none, zero”. Well said Charlie!!

8. Learn a New Skill

 Learning a new skill works multiple areas of the brain. Your memory comes into play, you learn new movements and you associate things differently. Reading Shakespeare, learning to cook and building an airplane out of toothpicks all will challenge your brain and give you something to think about.

I’m not sure I will ever be a great cook as my wife excels in that area, and I don’t see the point of learning the skill because of this. But I do try and learn new skills when I can especially if I see that they are practical and helpful. I have three brothers – two older and one younger – and they are all good at building things with their hands and with engines, mechanical and electrical stuff and that sort of thing. (I was always the klutz in my family when it came to these tactile skills and stories of how I messed things up and broke things abound in my family). However, down through the years through a conscious effort on my part I’ve been able to pick up a few basic carpentry skills and the like. I’m still not great with mechanical stuff, but I feel I have more than made up for it by taking the time to increase my financial and investment skills, so I now pay mechanics to do the work for me rather than fooling around with it myself – only to strip another thread on the engine manifold and then take my anger out on something in close proximity with a sledgehammer(!)

Learn some new skills, but realise part of good mental health and fitness also involves staying calm and serene.

9. Make Simple Changes

We love our routines. We have hobbies and pastimes that we could do for hours on end. But the more something is ‘second nature,’ the less our brains have to work to do it. To really help your brain stay young, challenge it. Change routes to the grocery store, use your opposite hand to open doors and eat dessert first. All this will force your brain to wake up from habits and pay attention again.

 This one is challenging for me as I am a creature of habit. I like my routines, especially my travel routines as they help simplify my life, make me more efficient, and allow me to put mental energy and focus into areas where it really counts – like thinking. If you want to eat your dessert first and open cupboards with your left hand go ahead… I doubt doing these sorts of things will radically contribute to better mental health, but it probably won’t hurt!

10 Train Your Brain.

Brain training is becoming a trend. There are formal courses, websites and books with programs on how to train your brain to work better and faster. There is some research behind these programs, but the basic principles are memory, visualization and reasoning. Work on these three concepts everyday and your brain will be ready for anything.

 I checked out a few of the recommended websites. You can sign up for crosswords, Sudoku, Mensa tests, lateral thinking websites and so on. There’s a lot on the internet to help provide challenges for your brain, and although I’ve never been a huge crossword fan I have set up a reminder in my Outlook to try doing a crossword once a month over the next year. (We’ll see how it goes towards improving my mental fitness and health!)

So hope you found some of these ideas and thoughts useful.

Bryce – Fit 4 Life Director

 

 

 

 

Postscript

This blog is quite long already – but who cares. (You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to!) Anyway, I had written what I had written above when I started thinking about how music could also be a great way to increase one’s mental health and fitness.

 Music is ubiquitous and is found in every culture and civilisation since the dawn of time. Music has communicated stories and transferred knowledge of history and tradition down through the ages. It inspires us to action, challenges our emotions and even connects us with the divine through worship in song. There’s even an old saying – evidently from Playwright William Congreve – that ‘Musik has charms to soothe the savage beast’. (I’m not game to try singing a song to a pit bull the next time it attacks me, but there’s a lot of good things about music, and so take advantage of inspiring songs and lyrics to improve your mental fitness).

 Having said this and in line with my earlier comment about how young people don’t read anymore but are rather immersed in TV and video, I decided to find out what the most popular song in New Zealand is right now to see what the younger generation are listening to and see how their mental health and fitness might be improving through their choice of music.

 From this website  I learned the number one song in New Zealand right now is called ‘Party Rock Anthem’. I had never heard of it before but Wikipedia gave me the following information about the song and the group:

“Party Rock Anthem” is a song performed by American electro hop recording duo LMFAO, featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock. It was released as the second single from their second album ‘Sorry for Party Rocking’ in 2011… The single has gone to number one in Australia, Germany, Belgium, Brazil, France, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It also reached top five in Canada, Norway, Italy and the United States. The song spent eleven weeks at number one in New Zealand and ten weeks in Australia. It is the longest running number one single in New Zealand since Smashproof’s hit single “Brother” in 2009, selling over 30,000 copies there, whereas in Australia it is the longest running number one single since I wish I Was a Punk Rocker With Flowers in My Hair by Sandi Thom in 2006 and is the best-selling single of 2011 and decade so far there. It has sold over 1,350,000 digital downloads in the United States alone, and has reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_Rock_Anthem

There is some benefit to be derived by staying in touch with the world and keeping up to date with trends, so I thought perhaps I had been missing out on something. In additional research I learned that LMFAO consists of two rapper DJ’s called ‘Redfoo’ and ‘Skyblu’, and that the Youtube video for the song ‘Party Rock Anthem’ has had over 109 million views so far. (Also one of my co-workers explained to me what the acronym ‘LMFAO’ stands for but I’m not prepared to tell you!)

I was highly intrigued to find out how people in possession of names such as ‘Redfoo, Skyblu and Goonrock’ could improve my mental health and fitness through their music, and it turns out I really don’t feel that they can.

In fact to prove it I have decided to reproduce the lyrics to the number one song in NZ, ‘Party Rock Anthem’ below for you. (Actually, only the first half of the song’s lyrics have reproduced as I wasn’t prepared to print the second half, seeing they didn’t contain anything more profound than the first half!)

LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem Lyrics

PARTY ROCK
YEA
Wooo!!!!
LET’S GO!!

Party rock is in the house tonight
Everybody just have a good time
And we gonna make you lose your mind
Everybody just have a good time [X2]

We just wanna see yaa!

 Shake That!

 In the club party rock look up on your girl

She on my jock non stop when we in the spot
Booty move away like she on the block
What the track I gots to know
Top jeans tatto cause I’m rock and roll
Half black half white diamino
Gane the money out the door

I’m runnin through these hoes like drano

Yoooo!!

Hey!!! I got that devilish flow rock and roll no halo

We party rock yea! that’s the crew that I’m reppin
On the rise to the top no led in our zeppelin

 Party rock is in the house tonight

Everybody just have a good time
And we gonna make you lose your mind
Everybody just have a good time…  

I respect that in the free world LMFAO can produce this kind of music – if that’s the right term for it. They also don’t have to read my blog; but if you believe lyrics like that improve your mental health and fitness then you probably also believe that a man named ‘Himmler’ dressed in an SS uniform ordering you to take a shower in a gas chamber is doing so because he really cares about your physical hygiene!

However, I do agree with LMFAO and the words of ‘Party Rock Anthem’ on one point, and that is in the second to last line when they wrote, “we gonna make you lose your mind…”. Well said Redfoo, Skyblu and Goonrock… well said.

Fitness – Tips on Getting Fit & Losing Weight

A lot of people come in to the gym wanting to get fitter and lose some weight.  These are great goals and usually go hand in hand.  Here are a few tips to help you lose weight and increase your fitness.

Diet

What you eat and how much you eat are pivotal parts of a weight loss plan.  I am not talking about dieting, but having a healthy diet that you can maintain throughout your life.  Eating a well balanced nutritional diet will give your body all the energy and nutrients it needs to keep you going all day and help you sleep well at night.  Check out this link for some great nutrition advice.

Metabolism

Your metabolic rate is how much energy your body uses to keep you going.  As we age our metabolic rate slows down so we don’t need as much energy.  If you stay active you will raise your metabolic rate and burn more energy.  So staying active is the key.  If you are just starting out then start slow and build up your activities as you go. Walking is a great exercise to start with.  It is low impact  and can be done by almost anyone.  If you can, try and walk for at least half an hour. Our bodies do not burn fat right away so you need to keep active for a longer amount of time to get the optimum fat burning.

Fitness vs Fat Loss

Can you have one without the other?  Yes and no.  In order to increase you fitness level you need to challenge your body.  Walking is great for losing weight if you are unfit because it is low impact, but it will not greatly increase your fitness levels.  If you want to increase your fitness and burn fat try using interval training.  This involves combining a short high intensity exercise with a longer low intensity recovery one.  Here is some more info on setting up an interval workout

Including resistance exercise in your workout will also help raise your metabolic rate.  The more muscle you have the more efficient you body will be at burning energy.

Fitness and weight loss can seem complicated and confusing at times.  There are a million different opinions about these topics and a lot of them are great.  There is, however, some misinformation out there, so let me know if you have any questions or would like some help implementing some of these ideas.  Here at Fit 4 Life we want to be a fitness centre that helps you reach your goals in a safe and fun way.

Jason – Fit 4 Life Staff

Fitness – Workout at Home

Hey fitness friends!

This week is just a short note from me.  I wanted to share this awesome website link that my friend sent me a month or so ago.  Some of you may have seen or heard of Bob Harper on the American TV series “The Biggest Loser”.  He is a personal trainer who inspires me to go to the next level of fitness and is where I get some of my ideas for my K-fit classes.  I encourage you to come along and try these classes out.  See times below!

Bob has some daily challenges on his website which are quite fun to do in the comfort of your own home especially if its wet weather outside.  I particularly like his abs or lunges and squats combo challenges as I like to change things up from what I do!!!  So check out this website link today.  As Bob says…take charge of your own life.  Bob will motivate and train you to get into shape.  He totally ROCKS!!

http://www.mytrainerbob.com/

K-fit times at Fit4Life are:

Mon 6-7pm

Thurs 6-7pm

K-fit lite

Wed 5:30-6pm

Have fun and hopefully I will see you down at Fit4Life so we can work out together!!

Kirstie – Fit 4 Life Staff

Fitness – What does being ‘fit’ really mean?

I have had the privilege of working as a team chaplain with rugby players since 2005. These guys are the epitome of being fit. They eat, breathe and sleep fitness. If they aren’t as fit as the coach, trainer or nutritionist wants them to be, they are immediately told how to get back where they need to be! Unless you’re training as an elite athlete, you probably don’t have the luxury of a fitness team around you like that.

So how do you get fit and stay that way?

I have a different outlook on fitness than most. Yes, physical fitness is beneficial, but there are 2 areas that are overlooked, one more than the other. I’m talking about mental fitness and spiritual fitness.

Mental fitness is easy to figure out. Read a book, take a class or even study a subject on your own to increase your knowledge.

But what about spiritual fitness? How do you increase your spiritual fitness? I believe God has put us on the earth for a reason. He wants us to have personal relationship with Him. He loves us and wants us to rely on Him for strength and wisdom to make it through this life. We are spiritual beings and He wants us to be fit spiritually!

You can start being fit by reading theBible and understanding how God wants us to be spiritually fit. A good place to start is in the book of John in the New Testament. Talk with friends who go to church and ask how they stay spiritually fit. Visit a church and find out why people go to stay fit.

One verse in the bible that sums this up is found in 1 Timothy, chapter 4, verse 8. It says, “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”

Fitness is very important to us all. We’ve all heard the saying, “If you don’t use it you lose it!” Make sure you stay sharp and in shape by using the abilities you’ve been given. Stay fit physically, mentally and most important, spiritually!

 

Jamie – Fit 4 Life Staff

Finance: Sarah’s Shopping Tips – Going Online for Sport/Fitness Gear!

Sport and fitness apparel and items like shoes can be SO expensive! Now with so much information available online, I thought to come up with some resources or ideas to help get a good bargain. (Based in Auckland, New Zealand.)

Some of these points may seem more tedious than others, and even I don’t necessarily do ALL of these in one go, so you can just pick and choose what might suit your purpose and time-frame!

 

List – Have a list of what you are looking for. You can base it on what is worn out from the previous year, or what you might need for the new season, i.e.winter. This is helpful so you can filter products when searching online, as it can be overwhelming with not knowing where to start.

 

Sign-Up– If you have your eye on something or have a preferred store, sign upto their ‘newsletter’ or mail-outs. Many stores now have an email sign-up optionwhere you will be sent information on upcoming sales or member specials.

 

Catalogues– Many stores now put their catalogues online, so if you have time you can go online and check them out before you go into the store, so you know if your item is on sale or not.

 

Sale Patterns– Many stores like Rebel Sport  (http://www.rebelsport.co.nz/) and Kathmandu (www.kathmandu.co.nz ) regularly have sales at certain times.

For example:

  • At the end of the season. There will often be a sale or clearance section when the store gets their new shipment in!
  • On or around public holidays, like Easter, etc. (And go on the first day because then you are more likely to get things in your size/colour!)

 

One Day Sales– Currently, ‘one-day sale’ or ‘daily-deal’ websites are very popular. (Sites like www.onedaydeals.co.nz have a list of many of thesewebsites.) You sign up to them and they email you a daily list of deals on items you order online. These tend to be specific or random items, depending on the website, so if you want you can look for sale websites that are only focused on sport or outdoor gear.

 

Online Shopping– You’ll be surprised how competitive prices can be even if the company is based overseas. Just look out for shipping costs! For example:

  • Ebay (www.ebay.com ) can contain good bargains if shipping fees are not too costly.
  • Fashion website ASOS (www.asos.com ) is based in the U.K. but has free shipping worldwide and has sporting brands like Puma, Adidas and Nike. They also have good end-of-season sales, which can work well for us in NZ because the end of their cool weather means the start of ours!
  • If you have friends/relatives living overseas and someone visiting them like in the US, UK or Canada, etc. you can use websites like Amazon (www.amazon.com), or the respective Amazon UK or Amazon Canada versions as they are different, and choose local shipping to their postal address, then have the ‘someone’ bring the item back to you.

 

Shoes– They can cost so much! Running shoes can cost about $250 a pair and don’t always last that long if you are running a lot. To avoid paying full price, it is firstly helpful to know what shoes work for you. You can be fit with proper shoes at many specialty shoe stores like The Athelete’s Foot, etc. Then when sales come along, you know what brand and make of shoe you are looking for immediately.

  • Smith Sports Shoes (http://www.sportshoes.co.nz/ ) often lists what specificmodels are on sale in the newspaper and online, so you can look out for yours to go on sale! They often are discounted at a decent price.
  • Another alternative is buying sport shoes overseas. If someone who loves you is going to the U.S. or Hong Kong or Singapore , maybe they’ll shop for you. These places can often carry the same big brands for half the price, though the shoes may just be from ‘last season’.
  • If you know what you’re after you can request them be bought for you. Shoes keep fine so you can even buy multiple pairs if you are an avid walker/runner.)

 

TradeMe– TradeMe (www.trademe.co.nz ) is probably one of the most common ways to buy things in NZ these days! It is always a good place to try too, as theylist both second-hand and brand new stuff. It may not be the best for sports clothing and shoes, but you never know. It is definitely useful if you are looking for a wetsuit, a used set of golf clubs, hand-weights or things like that!

Hope this was helpful!

Sarah – Fit 4 Life Staff


Fitness – Round the Bays 2011

When we opened Fit 4 Life in February 2010, I had this great idea for submitting a team for Round the Bays. It didn’t happen in 2010, but in 2011 we were organised and went for it. I signed up along with my 15 year old daughter and paid. I was committed and suddenly regretting my great idea!! 🙂

I hadn’t been doing a whole lot of walking for awhile and all of sudden about two weeks out from Round the Bays, I panicked….will I be able to finish 8.4km? My hubby and I began to walk three times a week for the two weeks leading up to the fun run, but I was super nervous. To be honest, I am not really that fit, though I am trying and I was pretty scared that I would be suffering for the whole time. My thoughts went to blisters, chafing, sore feet, wrong shoes, sunburn, dehydration and the list went on especially since I had developed a small infection in my big toe. Yuck!!

Well, Sunday morning, March 13th dawned and it was a gorgeous day. We headed down to Fit 4 Life where we met the rest of the team. Our manager, Sarah, had us all organised and we had people driving us in and dropping us off which made a HUGE difference. We headed into Auckland City and the excitement started to build. Once I was downtown and saw all the people, I began to realise that it was going to be a great day.

Our support crew - Bryce , Jason and Marlon

Before I knew it we were walking and for the next 2 hours and 11 minutes I had a great time. Our big group split up into three/four groups as we had some runners and faster walkers. I ended up at the back with a group of about five of us. It was nice being back there because it wasn’t too crowded and we could just talk and enjoy the sunshine, the ocean and the gorgeous day. Mission Bay was super fun as our “support crew” was there to greet us and encourage us to finish.

Kirstie and Lanny at the Finish Line

The last time I had walked Round the Bays in 2007 the last few kilometres seemed to take FOREVER!!! This time we reached St Heliers in a blink of an eye it felt. Guess it helped to have a group of friends to talk with. I felt so proud as I crossed the finish line and even more proud that I felt really great and could have walked further. So fun to do it as a Fit 4 Life Team and I can’t wait to do it again next year.

So, if you’re like me, Round the Bays is a great place to get your feet wet in the art of “long distance” walking or running plus proceeds go towards a charity as well. Helping yourself and others at the same time. Plan on joining the Fit 4 Life Team in 2012. We’d love to double the numbers in our team next year!!!

We all made it and look pretty good for having walked or run 8.4 km.

I can’t wait!

Christy – Fit 4 Life Staff