Fitness – Running for the non-runner

Today was an auspicious day for me, I started running (a bit). Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a runner in any way, shape or form. However, over the last few years I have been surrounded by people who run – they run 5k’s, marathons and half-marathons. Initially I was very resistant, in fact, I would say I kind of got mad at all of them for running. Why would you do that to yourself!

As time has passed by, I’ve got older, had some health issues and realised that I need to improve my fitness. I work out with weights at Fit 4 Life, but I need to work on my cardiovascular fitness. We have great group fitness classes here, but to be honest, they are just not my thing, so what was I going to do.

Recently, I decided that I was going to try to run. My plan is to run/walk and build up until I can run 20 minutes. Then, go from there. Long term…I think I would feel amazing if I ran a 5k (or ran most of it). We’ll see.

I recently acquired some good running shoes at a reasonable price, had a chat to my teenage daughter and convinced her to join me to keep me accountable and help her too and today was the day.

To be honest, it was not too bad. My calves hurt a bit and the old shins are a bit achy, but I didn’t die and I am kind of excited about seeing the progress. Here’s hoping the weather cooperates too. Anyway, just to encourage anyone out there who is a non-runner like me….give it a go and see…you might just love it!!

Christy – Fit 4 Life Staff

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 – Our Group Fitness Classes at Fit 4 Life

Group fitness classes are great because there’s something about having a scheduled time, that makes us get over our procrastination and get our bodies going! It is also helpful to have an instructor tell or show you what to do.

Group classes can be great for those who want to work out with others, adding that social element as we can do it with friends. They are a nice alternative to other activities like running, walking or swimming, especially if the weather is bad and it is a weather-reliant sport or activity. (Which we may encounter in Auckland!)

Personally, I like to stand at the back in group classes as I get really self-conscious about my movements. I do enjoy them once I do them a few times though, so if you are a bit shy of classes like me, give them a shot!

At Fit4Life we try to provide a casual and relaxed feel. Class sizes are also not huge, so they are not too intimidating for the different fitness levels.

Currently at Fit4Life, we have two group fitness classes going on, Zumba and K-Fit!

Many of you may already know about Zumba as it is popular in many places. It is led by our enthusiastic instuctor Careen and it is a class based on Latin-dance moves and a lot of fun. It is also for all fitness levels! Careen is an experienced Zumba instructor who makes it easy to follow and get into.  If you feel a bit ‘un-co’ at first like I did, don’t worry, it take a few tries to get into the groove. It is the kind of class where you won’t notice you are working out until the song ends- or at least not quite as much as other activities.

If you are into something of higher-intensity and up for more of a sweat, try out ** K-Fit **, our BRAND NEW class led by our own energetic staff member Kirstie. It is a full-body work out combining cardio, resistance and core

Feeling the burn during our K-Fit class

work. You will probably feel the burn but it may be a good class if you want to take your fitness to an improved level. (A few men have tried it out too and enjoyed it so don’t think that these classes are just for the girls!)

Here are our class times:

Zumba- Wednesday 6pm and Saturday 11am

K-Fit- Monday 6pm and Thursday 6pm

Free for members, and $10 for a casual entry.

Do check out our website for more details- www.fit4lifefitness.co.nz

Sarah – Fit 4 Life Staff


Fitness – Gasp, gasp….I can do it!!- Getting Fit in my 40’s

Exercise and me are like oil and water!! We don’t really get along, but I’ve hit my 40’s and after a decade of having kids, raising kids and basically neglecting the whole exercise thing, I’m back in the gym. It certainly has helped that the hubby and I have opened Fit 4 Life  and I can go for free!!! The Lord knew I needed that.

I was pretty scared though. There is something about being the most unfit person in the room and wondering if you can truly do the exercises, wondering if you will be crippled with pain the next day (I hate sore muscles!!) and wondering if there will be any lasting impact from today’s puny effort. It took me a few weeks to really feel confident enough to get back into the gym, but a new weights program helped. My kind hubby made one for me and a friend. It’s been a lot of fun!! I have seen some weights go up and I haven’t been crippled by muscle soreness which is good (maybe those weights need to go up?)!

The next challenge was a group fitness class. About 6 months ago I purchased the Zumba Fitness DVDs and finally got round to working out. I actually enjoyed it!!! I was dying from un-fitness, but enjoyed it. The last time I did any kind of group class was in 1994!!!! I never LOVED them so when Zumba Fitness started at Fit 4 Life last week, I was once again filled with trepidation!!! Will I make 50  minutes? Will I look like an idiot? Will I die? 🙂

I pushed all my doubts aside and plunged in!! It was like I had just been swimming by the end because my hair was soaking, my face was like a beetroot, BUT I had a great time and even more important, I conquered a fear!! My hubby told me so many times how proud he was that I had done it ( I think he had  his doubts that I would turn up!!).  Zumba Fitness was so much fun because it really did feel like dancing and I love to dance and I had a great time doing it with friends and people I have met at Fit 4 Life.

Exercise is still not my favourite thing, I long for the day when I look forward to it, but for now I am trying to get fit in my 40’s!!!! If you’re like me and it’s been awhile since you and exercise have been “friends” come and join me down at Fit 4 Life. We want to promote a healthy fitness philosophy here at Fit 4 Life and that  means just getting up and doing something everyday….not being a ‘superhero’ exerciser!!! The perfect place for someone like me!!!!!

Christy  – Fit 4 Life Staff and fellow “exerciser”