Are Group Exercises More Motivating?

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With the crop up of a lot of different exercise programs, the question has been plaguing our minds: are group exercises actually more motivating than working out solo? Perhaps you have seen the classes advertised at your local gym and considered them for a fleeting moment before moving on with your day. But perhaps you should be giving those classes a second glance.

Some of the exercise programs that have appeared in the past few years have included:

  • CrossFit
  • Pilates
  • Zumba
  • Yoga Flow
  • TRX

So you can do these all in group classes. Does that mean that they will help you lose more weight or stay healthier and in better shape?

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Here are some ways that working out in a group can benefit you:

  1. Motivating: Unless you are one of those rare unicorns who can pop out of bed at 5:00 am and go for a run, working out first thing in the morning is tough. But if you have a class waiting for you or if it is something that you have paid for, you have the incentive to trudge out of bed and get your body going. Chances are that most people in that class are just as exhausted as you are so you can all wakeup together.
  2. Creates Accountability: Just like it was when you were a kid getting up for school, knowing that you are supposed to be somewhere at a certain time will make you automatically get up. I’m not saying that you still won’t need that cup of coffee, but I still say it’s easier to move. And once it is integrated as part of your schedule, just like going to work, you will make it happen no matter how exhausted you are. Also like school, the class instructor is like a teacher: they will keep track of tardiness. And you don’t want to be the guy that comes in after class has already started so everyone turns around and looks at you. Well, at least I can’t stand to be that guy! It can be awkward. So you will push yourself to be on time.
  3. Building Friendships: Most of the time, people enjoy being around some people. You can joke, have fun, and enjoy socializing. And this completely translates to working out. You will be able to joke with your fellow classmates in a group setting, laugh at how you fail at doing something together, or even bond about how tired you all are. That will give you something to look forward to and enjoy with your workout class. It will not be something that you dread going to like a chore, but instead will be something that you can look forward to doing, like a fun place to socialize. Not only do you get good, positive social interaction, but you are keeping your body in great working order all at the same time.

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Well regardless, one thing is for sure: working out in a group setting is usually way more entertaining than working out alone. The time passes faster. You are more motivated to try new things. And you don’t usually feel bad if you are not completely successful doing a move or something, because others are not going to be one hundred percent amazing at it either. And even if they are better at the workout than you are, it gives you something to aspire to be able to do.

Most places will let you drop in to a single class for free or a small amount to see if it interests you before you sing up for the whole thing. Try a couple out. Maybe you will find a new passion or pastime.

7 Steps to Learn to Swim

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Swimming is not just a life-saving skill that everyone should have. It is also incredibly good for your body. With low intensity in the water but still resistance for strength building, swimming can make anyone healthier in spite of any bodily issues that you could be experiencing. By swimming you get a cardio workout as well as weight training. Even if you are already in great shape, you may find yourself completely out of breath after swimming for a while. This is because swimming requires you to control your breathing while your face is in the water, which will take practice. And it is also just an amazing workout.

Ideally, if you are just starting out with how to learn to swim, you should check with your local pool to see about taking private lessons. That said, there is still plenty of things that you can do on your own to help you get started.

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Step 1:

Start at the shallow end of the pool. Try walking around where your feet are securely on the bottom of the pool and you still have plenty of room to breathe easily. This is how you will get a feel for how the water affects your body. Move toward the deep end of the pool and letting the water level go up to your shoulders. While this could be scary for you, especially if you do not have experience in the water, this is important in helping you overcome any fears that you may have about the water. Being afraid of water can cause you a lot more trouble swimming than being over confident in the water because panicking will make you sink.

Step 2:

Go back to the shallow end of the pool and hang onto the side. Put your face into the water and try blowing bubbles. Then stand up and breathe as you normally do. Then repeat. Once you are comfortable, move to deeper water and do the same thing until you are comfortable.

Step 3:

This is getting serious. Here is where you should learn how to float. Hold onto the side of the pool to start. Take a big, deep breath and push your feet out in front of you so you are laying on your back. It will take a few tries, but you should be able to feel yourself floating. Try it until you can float easily for 30 seconds. Then try it without holding onto the pool. Keep doing it in the shallow end so you have the safety of standing up if you need to.

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Step 4:

Grabbing onto the side of the pool, take a deep breath and put your face into the water while you are kicking your feet behind you. Then try to float. Keep trying until you can float for about 15 seconds. Then try to do it without holding onto the side of the pool.

Step 5:

Grab one a floatation device of some kind. Most pools have them. They are noodles or kick boards usually. You don’t want to use a life jacket for this exercise. With a kick board, you will hold onto the sides with your arms straight in front of you. If you are using a noodle, it will go under your chest. Try pushing off the wall while kicking your feet behind you and practicing rotating your head to breathe.

Step 6:

Try swimming laps with your kick board or noodle. Using a kick board, lift one arm off of the kickboard, scooping it like you would scoop ice cream. Then grab the kickboard again and use the other arm.

Step 7:

Once you have the hang of scooping your arms with a kickboard, try doing it without the kickboard. Put the kickboard ahead of you so you have to try to swim to it. Do this until you don’t need the kickboard at all.

Top 10 Reasons You Need to Go to the Gym

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Sure, you have heard the importance of diet and exercise on your overall health and well-being, but maybe you need more information as to why that is important. It has been touted for years that exercising 30 minutes 3 times a week will help you stay healthy. So what does that have to do with the gym?

Here are the top 10 reasons you should go to the gym:

  1. Going to the gym will give you a dedicated place to work out. You will not be interrupted by a thousand distractions like you would at home, keeping you focused on the task at hand.
  2. You will never be bored. Because there is so much equipment to use at the gym, you can change up your routine on a regular basis. This will not only keep you from being bored, but exercise variety will help you get into shape and stay that way.Life On Kandahar Air Base
  3. There are a variety of things you can do at the gym. A gym will have more equipment than you could ever have when you are at your own home. This lets you work out in a variety of ways and help sculpt your body and muscles.
  4. It can give you unconscious competition. Working out where everyone is working out is motivating. You will want to run on the treadmill if the person next to you is doing it. You can throw in an extra pushup if the person next to you is doing a bunch.
  5. Group classes are fun. Most gyms will offer group classes that can get you moving. Group classes often include spinning classes, Zumba, yoga, weight training, and so much more. Then you are working out in a controlled setting with other people and it can be a lot of home.
  6. There are personal trainers there. If you are having trouble losing weight, you could hire a personal trainer to get you on a workout schedule that works well for where you are in your physical health as well as what your workout goals are. And they will know exactly how to use all of the equipment at the gym so you will learn how to maximize your workout experience.get123
  7. The weather is not a never an excuse for not working out. If you are an outdoor runner, having a gym pass will eliminate the excuse that the weather is too poor to work out. Now you don’t have a good reason to not make it to the gym.
  8. There is usually child watch at the gym. This is especially good for parents with small children who have a hard time getting to the gym. Most gyms offer a daycare service on site so while you are working out or taking a class, your kids are cared for and having a blast playing. They can enjoy the gym too.
  9. You will not regret working out. Seriously think about it. While sometimes it may be hard to get your butt in gear to get to the gym, once you have worked out, you feel so much better than you did when you were dragging your feet. You never hear people say, “I really shouldn’t have gone to the gym today,” but you do hear, “I should have gone to the gym today.”
  10. Exercise is good for you. I know this seems obvious, but it really has to be said. There is truly nothing better than diet and exercise to keep your body running well and staying healthy. Having a solid exercise routine and schedule will keep your body running for years to come, lowering your risks for things like heart disease and diabetes while warding off the risks associated with being overweight. And it is a natural anti-depressant.