How Your Workout Can Make Your Hair Even More Lustrous

A recent survey by Voucher Codes Pro found that the British women spend an average of £756 a year on haircare products. That’s nearly £50,000 over their lifetime! We all know that working out has tremendous benefits for your body, but it can also have similar benefits for your hair, and reduce the amount you spend on product to make it look good. A good workout results in increased blood flow, which means your body is drenched in oxygen, which speeds healing and regeneration. This means good things for your muscles and your scalp. Let’s look at some other ways your workout can benefit your hair.

Sweat = Better Sebum

Sebum is an oily substance that the scalp secrets for protection. It’s what we sometimes curse when we have to go a few days between washings, but it’s also essential for keeping your hair moisturised and healthy. Celebrity fitness expert Natasha Sunshine says the more you sweat during a workout, the purer and more conditioning your sebum will be. This is something both straight and curly hair can benefit from. To reap the benefits of that healthier sebum, refrain from washing your hair more than three times a week. Washing more often strips the sebum and dries your scalp out. This can cause itching, dandruff and flyaway hair. Furthermore, when it comes to curly hair, it’s crucial to ensure you use the right diffuser to avoid tangling.

Workouts Reduce Stress

Stress has many troubling effects on the body, and one of them is hair loss. When we’re stressed we release a hormone called cortisol, and it can make hair brittle and dry, which leads to breakage and thinning. Working out is proven to reduce stress and improve mood, and that can keep more hair on your head and out of your hairbrush.

Increased Hair Growth

A good work out increases blood flow which means more oxygen to nourish your hair follicles. The better your follicles are nourished, the healthier they’ll be, and that promotes hair growth. When you sweat during a workout, you flush out toxins from those follicles, resulting in even better health. Exercises, where you hang upside down, are particularly good for increasing blood flow to the scalp.

While eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and taking care of your hair by avoiding harsh hair treatments like bleaching, pulling it back too tightly, or using curling irons and straighteners too much are essential for healthy hair, your workout can help as well. Consider it another incentive to get you to the gym.

Thanks to Jane Sandwood for another great article

Group Fitness And Healthy Ageing

“Exercise is the miracle cure we have all been waiting for” according to the NHS. People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of chronic diseases, stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Physical activity becomes even more important as we get older, improving self-esteem, energy, mood and sleep quality. Recent research has shown that having an exercise companion means you are more likely to exercise and that group fitness classes have benefits that go beyond weight loss and muscle gain. Here are a few popular classes to get you started.

Yoga

Over 5000 years old, yoga is a popular form of exercise which focuses on strength, flexibility, and breathing. Yoga increases joint flexibility, reducing muscle soreness, stiffness, and achiness and increases muscular strength. In turn, this improves balance and reduces the risk of falls as you get older. Yoga can also be effective in preventing or slowing bone density loss. Moreover, yoga has great benefits for the mind and relieves stress and the symptoms of depression.

Aquafit

Aquafit is a high energy aerobics class which takes place in the shallow end of a swimming pool. The movements are the same as in a normal aerobics class but with added benefits due to working out in water. Aquafit is a low impact activity where water supports your body putting less strength on joints and muscles. There is also less strain on the heart by being in the water which in turn moves blood around the body, improving cardio fitness. It builds muscular strength due to the added push of the water and the impact of gravity is reduced by the water allowing a greater range of motion and improving balance.

Zumba

Zumba is a relative newcomer to the fitness class circuit, being created in Columbia in 1990. Zumba combines Latin music with moves from Latin dances such as salsa, mambo, merengue, and samba. Zumba has been described as a workout in disguise as the dance moves mask an intense cardio workout with free flowing movements. It is a great way to alleviate stress, reduce symptoms of depression and improve self confidence. Zumba also improves strength, posture and flexibility as well as benefiting coordination and balance.

These group classes all have one common advantage; they offer the social and motivational benefits of exercising with like-minded people. Exercising in a group reduces stress and increases quality of life at the same time as improving fitness levels.

Written by Jane Sandwood

Want Better Gains? Drink Coffee!

Did you know that coffee can improve your workouts by as much as 33%? Yes, you read that right. According to a 2014 Daily Mail article by Deni Kirkova, the British Coffee Association found that instant coffee taken around an hour before working out can help exercisers perform about a third better. And it’s not just limited to weight training. The performance boost applies to virtually all forms of workouts, so you can do pretty much any type of exercise you want and still reap the benefits.

Better resistance against fatigue

According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), caffeine can help athletes train longer by delaying the onset of fatigue. In addition, it can also aid in the facilitation of force production by the body’s motor units. What all this means is that coffee gives you the ability to squeeze more out of your workouts and consequently see better gains.

Of course, sugar-free black coffee is the way to go for this purpose because it adds virtually zero extra calories to your diet. Unfortunately, if you are like most people, you are probably not a fan of drinking bitter liquid. But don’t worry, though, because by simply adding a little salt to your coffee, you can not only easily neutralize its bitterness, but also bring out its natural sweetness without having to actually use any sugar.

Increased fat oxidation

The second way coffee helps you crush your workouts is by literally giving you the energy to do so. In another NCBI study, coffee is shown to improve fat oxidation, giving you more readily available fuel for exercising. Of course, the more energy you have, the more work you can do in the gym.

But that’s not all improved fat oxidation gives you. By burning more fat during your workouts, you also increase the visibility of your muscles. This is probably why a lot of bodybuilders and professional fitness trainers swear by their pre-workout cup of coffee.

Just don’t go overboard

Unfortunately, there is such a thing as too much coffee. Experts suggest drinking no more than three cups a day. Any more and you could start experiencing problems like constantly elevated heart rates, sleeplessness and dehydration. In contrast, by keeping your intake within the healthy range, you get to enjoy the performance boost and resulting gains without putting your health at risk.

Jane Sandwood

Benefits of Tai Chi for Seniors

The benefits of Tai Chi in general cover all ages, but older people love this form of exercise for its low-impact, time-saving options. A twenty minute workout will present physical and spiritual results as it works on the body and mind as one fluid unit. It is an ancient Chinese martial art form that includes 19 movements with one pose to combine meditation with basic muscle improvements. Many retirees are practicing this art because it is low-impact and has many additional benefits. Tai chi classes are offered in many assisted living environments, with local instructors, and through local gyms, as more people realise the amazing benefits of this simple workout.

Focusing and Relieving

The breathing and movement combination helps focus the mind with the body while relieving stress from both entities. The deep breathing involved relaxes the muscles, expands oxygen intake, and helps the person focus on nothing but the movement. This helps the mind reset, centering thought around what works best for the body. This method has also been proven to help relieve arthritis pain through the slow stretching of the joints. The senior benefits when breathing and stretching are paired with the mental imagery of the exercises for a complete workout. This workout is designed to build lean muscle, rather than larger muscle mass.

Keeping the Mind Sharp

While continuous learning is essential for brain function, this form of exercise assists in keeping up mental facilities. Oxygen supply is increased, supporting brain function, and the meditation helps the brain focus on areas other than logical thought. The senior exercises different parts of the brain during tai chi, which helps the brain stay active and in a continuous state of flux. This helps reduce the amount of brain lost through the aging process, and may help slow the onset of certain brain issues.

Helping the Skeleton and Cardio System

As mentioned, this exercise relieves arthritis. It also helps ward off osteoporosis and its symptoms, as well as speeding recovery after strokes or heart attacks. The slow movements push the blood through the veins at an even pace, helping previously weak muscles improve over time. The bones move slowly, moving calcium through the system and helping to improve their overall structure. The lower leg bones strengthen their bond with the muscles, helping to reduce falls and increase balance. The exercises help relieve some symptoms of Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, as the movements work most muscle groups throughout the body.

 

Thank you to Jane Sandwood for the great post

Group Exercise is More Effective

Group exercise is typically described as exercise performed by a group of individuals led by an instructor. There are a wide range of group exercise classes available and many can be found with a simple web search. Studies have shown that group exercise is much more effective than going to the gym and working out alone. Could this be true? Could working out in a group setting be more effective and provide better results? We decided to take a look at this study and see why group exercise is being hailed as the best way to get in shape or lose weight.

Group exercise offers exposure to a social and fun environment, a safe and effectively designed workout, a consistent exercise schedule, an accountability factor for participating in exercise, and a workout that requires no prior exercise knowledge or experience.

  1. Group exercise keeps you interested in the workout and helps to avoid the boredom of working out alone. It also offers camaraderie and accountability among participants, as well as between the participants and the instructor.
  2. Group exercise shows you what to do and what not to do. Most people avoid going to the gym because they don’t understand the machines or they don’t know what they should be doing. Group exercise offers a workout for all levels, ranging from beginner to advanced and you don’t have to have any experience at all.
  3. Group exercise offers structure, something many people new to the gym want. Group exercise classes often follow a particular structure which includes a warm-up, workout and a cool down period. People who work out alone don’t often follow these steps and they end up getting injured.
  4. Group exercise classes offer consistency in scheduling and are perfect for those on a time constraint. Many classes last 30 to 45 minutes and offer a full body workout.
  5. Group exercise offers diversity. From boot camps at a local park or yoga on the beach, to trekking on the bike trails or fun fitness classes for seniors, group exercise offers people a chance to try new things and get in shape with others in a social setting.

Are you looking for an exercise class in your area? Try My Fitness Times and find one today!

Top tips to boost your fitness motivation

We’ve all been there – you’ve got all the best intentions of getting up and going to the gym, sticking with it and becoming the toned god or goddess you’ve always known was inside you, but somehow it never quite seems to happen because life gets in the way. Check out some of our top tips for getting motivated:

Fitness classes near me

Fitness classes are a great way to ease yourself gently into gym-going, but don’t expect them to be a walk in a park. The motivation of being in a class full of people can be very powerful; all but the least competitive people find it hard to stop for a breather when everyone around them seems to be doing fine.

Find fitness classes near you to maximise your chances of attending; even better, find some that are near your work. That way you’ll have no excuse not to swing by for a bit of cardio on your way home from work, or attend yoga classes in the morning before you start.

Once you’re attending a class regularly you’ll build a relationship with the instructor and feel bad about letting them down by not attending, which is always good motivation. Even better, add other members of your fitness class to your social circle for added accountability.

Buddy up

If you’ve got a friend who’s also looking to get fit, going to the gym together can be an excellent way to stay on track with fitness goals. Your friend will be able to give you a pep-talk when you can’t be bothered, and you can do the same for them.

Someone to talk to could also help to make the gym more interesting for you because you can help one another out and work towards common goals – you might even find yourself looking forward to your sessions on the treadmill.

Create a personal reward system

We all respond well to rewards, and it’s a good way to psychologically programme yourself to enjoy the gym if you’re looking forward to a treat at the end of it. Why not book yourself in for a facial or a massage after every 10 or 20 gym sessions?

You’ll find yourself working towards it with much more enthusiasm – just try to keep your treats healthy and don’t make them all about food – sabotaging your exercise with too many sweet treats could cause your progress to stall and may create an unhealthy relationship with food.

If you’re looking for fitness classes near you to help you keep on top of your fitness goals, take a look at our yoga, pilates and zumba options, all of which will help you to burn calories in a fun environment.

Can having a workout partner help your fitness motivation?

It can be hard to motivate yourself to workout, and it’s equally easy to stop when you exercise alone. Here are some good reasons why working out with a partner can help your fitness motivation.

Share knowledge

Many people haven’t learnt much about sports education since they left school – and UK schools have never been that great about teaching people how to exercise and eat right for their workout goals. A workout partner often has knowledge to share, whether it’s about a new set of cool down stretches or a more interesting way to train your core muscles. Exchanging knowledge with someone is a way to advance your sports science knowledge and share your own tips.

Find new ways to workout

It’s easy to get into a rut with exercising and many people stick to the same gym routine for years on end. It’s good to shake it up once in a while. For many people, trying new forms of exercise starts and ends with a Google search for ‘exercise classes near me‘. A workout partner can really challenge you to try new forms of exercise that aren’t always findable in an internet search. One regular runner swapped her workout routine with that of a gym-loving friend and both were astonished at how badly they performed in the unfamiliar workout. It’s good to try new things and challenge your body in different ways.

Keep you motivated

An exercise partner can really raise your fitness motivation – especially if you’re the competitive type. Find a friend that you have healthy competition with and keep pushing each other when you workout.

Someone to spot you

It’s useful to have a spot partner, whether you’re lifting weights and need a safety buddy to supervise you, or whether you want to try some stretches where it’s good to have a partner involved. Working out with someone else can open up new avenues or possibilities in terms of the ways you can workout. It also means you’re able to enjoy sports that require a partner, such as tennis.

Make it fun and sociable

Working out with someone is a fun way to socialise with a friend. Chat as you stretch and gossip as you cool down – it’s all part of the fun of exercising together. Look at our page for exercise classes near me if you and a friend want to find fun sessions to try in a sociable environment.

Safety

As the nights draw in it can be safer to be with someone if your schedule means you need to exercise after dark. If you’re a night time jogger, consider going with a pal in order to feel safer in the dark. Exercising in a pair also means that you may feel more comfortable going to isolated areas such as woods in order to run or cycle. And if you’re tackling an exercise that’s potentially hazardous (such as mountain biking) then it’s much safer to go with someone in case you have an accident.

A reason to get out of bed!

Knowing that your workout buddy is waiting for you in the park at 6am is a great motivating factor for getting out of bed!

Clubbercise – nightclub dancing takes a new fitness twist

Picture club anthems turned up loud, flashing disco lights, glow sticks, and some serious adrenaline-pumping dancing. It’s new fitness craze Clubbercise which is taking the UK by storm.

If you like the idea of a workout that burns around 500 calories but feels more like a night out on the town then Clubbercise is probably right up your street. Part aerobic, part dance, it’s taught in a darkened room with disco lighting set to a soundtrack of uplifting club anthems, with anything from 90’s classics like N-Trance, Set You Free to the very latest floorfiller from David Guetta. The trademark flashing LED glow sticks are not only great fun, but as a bonus they also tone up the arms due to the full body workout that a Clubbercise class offers.

Sam Haith, 40, a Clubbercise convert from Doncaster says “I’m completely hooked! I love that it’s so carefree, nobody worries about looking silly you get such a buzz from the music and lights. It’s brilliant for me as a single mum, I get to dance to fantastic tunes, chat to interesting people, get home at a decent time and there’s no terrible hangover the next morning! My cardio fitness has really improved and I’ve toned up as well”.

Clubbercise was created in the UK by three friends who say they hate the gym but love to dance. Co-founder Claire Burlison Green explains “So many people, including ourselves, don’t go clubbing regularly but still love the music and want to keep fit so we decided to start our own Clubbercise class to see if people liked the idea. We quickly realised there was huge demand for more classes so we started running instructor training courses. We launched in early 2014 and have already trained about 250 instructors, the response has been overwhelming!”

There are hundreds of Clubbercise classes up and running throughout the UK, with new ones launching frequently. Find out more at www.clubbercise.com