Gadgets to help you exercise

Modern technology can help you make gains when you exercise and can help you monitor, adjust and improve your fitness regime.
Here are just a few of the best fitness gadgets on the market to aid you in your mission to build muscle and shift fat.
Jawbone UP3

This stylish bracelet comes with a built-in fitness tracker, heart health monitor and activity tracker. It’s water resistant, the battery lasts a week and it looks good enough to just leave on your wrist, too.

Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless

These wireless headphones don’t just let you listen to music on the go, they contain a fitness tracker, heart-rate monitor based on your in-ear heart rate and they’ll even provide coaching and motivation. It’s like a personal trainer in London, without the expense.

Go Pro Hero 4

This camera won’t actually boost your performance, but it will give you motivation. Record your runs, put the camera on the floor to check your form, even strap it to your foot for a pup’s eye view. It’s waterproof, too, so you can take it swimming.

Fitbit Aria

This high-tech scale goes well beyond simple weights; it can keep an eye on your Body Mass Index and body fat percentage. It can even transfer the data wirelessly to plot a graph of your progress and keep you pushing for the burn on those tough days in the gym.

Sensoria Smart Sock

Wearable tech is the next big thing and this smart sock epitomises the trend. Designed for runners, it analyses pressure from your feet and ankles to see how far you’ve run and your form, to give you feedback on how to up your game.

Umoro One

If you simply can’t handle the concept of taking two bottles to the gym, or adding powder to water, then the Umoro One is for you. It functions like a normal water bottle, but with the push of a button it drops in whey protein for your post-workout recovery drink. Of course you may have to refill the bottle with water before adding the protein.

Push Band

This simple band slips on your forearm and can be programmed with any number of parameters; for instance you can aim for 20 reps on a particular weight in two minutes. You can forget about counting, the band will take that off your hands so you can focus on your lifts.

Goji Play

Gamification is a trend that has gained serious traction in the worlds of business and education and now it’s coming to fitness. Goji Play works in conjunction with an iPhone or iPad and comes with several games that encourage you to cycle or run faster on an exercise bike or treadmill.

Zepp Tennis

This sensor sticks to a tennis racquet and comes with dual accelerometers and gyrometers that work across three axes. This measures your racquet input and analyses your entire game, from the amount of power you employ to the number of slice shots you use.

SmartMat Yoga Mat

The SmartMat works in conjunction with an app to let you know when your posture is wrong and your alignment just isn’t working. It gives you real-time feedback and helps you correct your position, which technically eliminates the need for yoga classes.

The benefits of becoming a Personal Trainer

For many people, work can be a straightforward means to and end to earn money. However if you have a passion for fitness and helping people achieve their health goals, then personal training may be the job for you!

Perhaps you’ve thought about it but always wondered about the hassle it may be to actually go through the training and get qualified? But it may be a lot easier than you think and can start off with a short-term, part time/E-Learning course.

In this guest blog Velocity PT Academy discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages of starting a business in the fitness industry, becoming a personal trainer and whether personal training is for you.

So, what are the benefits of becoming a personal training?

Great earning potential

In every job you must ensure you are earning enough to live on. Depending on who you are, Personal training has great earning potential. Whilst you can charge what you want per hour in most gyms, most PT’s charge between £25-£100 depending on other PT’s in the gym and where they are located. For more info on earning potentials, click here.

Flexible hours

Although it might take you a while to get a good client base, when you do you’ll have great flexibility on the timings you work and can take control of your earnings by working long or short days. Most PT’s say the hours are long however this is often due to looking for new clients. When you have a full client list, you can sit back, relax and work the clients you have in the hours you want to work, focusing on providing a great service to your regulars.

Being your own boss

The best thing about any self-employed business is that you are your own boss! This gives you a great feeling of freedom however it’s still critical to set targets and achieve them to keep yourself on track. When you make sure you’re being a good boss for yourself, you can really start to enjoy not having anyone but yourself to work for! Some personal training courses even have CPD’s qualifications available to help you run a business. Click here to learn more about CPD’s in business skills.

Working in a gym environment

I understand this isn’t for everyone however, if you regularly sit in the office and cant wait to finish so you can get to the gym and train then this is great for you guys! The benefits of working in a gym are free memberships; plenty of time to train between sessions and you are surrounded by people who feel the same about the gym as you!

So what about the disadvantages?        

Hours can be long

Some may say that working, as a personal training is a hard job, which involves long hours. As mentioned earlier, this often refers to a personal trainer who is trying to gain more clients. The more work you put in to start of your career, the easier it will be going forward. Every so often you will have work longer hours to look for new clients if some of your regulars stop having personal training. Also, remember that as a customer focused job, you will often have to work when a client can spare the time – early mornings and evenings are common.

Unreliable Earnings

Although pay for a personal trainer can be impressive, it can also be poor and unreliable. It all comes down to how good you are as a personal trainer and how much you build loyalty with your client base. If you are motivated enough to keep your business alive you can succeed and earn a good wage. You will always have weeks when there are cancellations or weather impacts your numbers in a class, which brings your pay down a little. It is all about being prepared for what could happen and what you will do to keep your business afloat.

Cancellations are completely normal, but you get this quite a lot in personal training and you should be prepared for this as it can get frustrating. The easiest way to stop this affecting your earnings is to put in force a cancellations policy.

Maybe Personal training is for you, maybe its not, however I’m sure you’ll all agree that the potential as a personal trainer far outweighs the disadvantages. If this is something you’d be interested in, visit www.velocitypt.co.uk .

Yoga for beginners – A guide to the different styles

Yoga may be an ancient art, but its popularity has been retained through a number of revisions and adaptations. New styles focusing on certain elements of yoga or teaching it in a specific manner mean that the simple term ‘yoga’ can cover a huge range of exercises and activities. Depending on your body, age, and the type of exercise you’re looking for, you’ll want to find a class that suits you and gives you exactly what you’re looking for from yoga. There are certainly some common features – all share the same ancestor from thousands of years ago, and all should help you find relaxation and peace. This guide will give a brief explanation of the different styles so that you can find the one that suits you best.

Iyengar yoga

One of the most common forms of yoga, Iyengar is a good style for beginners as props can help you make sure you get things perfect from the off, even if you’re not able to hold some of the more advanced poses. Emphasis is placed on alignment, precision and detail, especially with regards to posture and breathing.

Ashtanga yoga

This is a more energetic style of yoga, where poses are held for short periods of time and moved through more quickly. A variation of this style of yoga, Mysore, allows a traditional learning method of one-to-one tuition as students arrive within a certain time-frame to practise in the presence of their teacher.

Kundalini yoga

Kundalini yoga often includes some of the wider aspects of yoga and, as well as poses and physical exertion, includes meditation and special breathing techniques which can help to reduce stress and make the student feel more relaxed. This form of yoga is also known as the ‘yoga of awareness’.

Jivamukti yoga

Although this style of yoga was only founded relatively recently, it has a much wider scope of the ancient practices of yoga, including music. It teaches students to embrace the whole philosophy and apply it to their lives, as well as hold the poses.

Hatha yoga

The antithesis of Jivamukti yoga, this style focuses precisely on the physical activity of yoga, minimising the attention paid to the traditional and philosophical aspects of the art.

Bikram yoga

One of the more esoteric styles of yoga, this style focuses on a specific set of poses which are run through in a heated (usually around 40 °C) environment to give students a thorough physical workout.

While you may find that some styles suit your needs best, all types of yoga are open to absolute beginners, even the more physical styles, so it’s worth giving a few a try. Once you’ve decided which style you like, see if you can find yoga classes near you.