TOLEDO, Ohio — This year's Super Fitness Weight Loss Challenge is off and running, so contestants may be looking for the best advice on working out to shed pounds. But you don't have to be in our Super Fitness Weight Loss Challenge to lose weight this season.
Super Fitness trainers are offering tips for better, more effective workouts throughout this year's challenge.
This week, trainer Jen Tufts, a certified ACE and PCT trainer, has some great tips to keep you on track to get healthy and lose weight.
Why is it important? Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy.
Stretching is a great way to begin an exercise program, even if that’s all you do at first, because we need that flexibility to maintain joint and muscle range of motion.
Without stretching, the muscles become tight and shortened. So when you go to use them, they are weak and unable to go to their fullest potential. Thus predisposing you to injury.
Additional benefits of stretching:
*Decreases back pain
*Helps prevent injury
*Decreases muscle soreness post workout
Equipment highlight: The Stretching Cage
The stretching cage allows you to increase your flexibility and prep your muscles for getting stronger. The cage eliminates the need for floor-based stretching or leaning, so it is great for beginners and those with chronic pain.
Tip: Stretching should never be painful. Yes, it is possible to tear a muscle during stretching. The key is to slowly ease into it, and if you feel any twitches or pain, stop immediately. Stretching can be uncomfortable, especially at first, but it should never hurt.
Why is it important? Strength training is one of the most important components to a fitness program that you can do. By building muscular strength, you can improve your quality of life by making day to day activities more achievable and less strenuous overall. Muscle helps protect your joints, and can contribute to better balance.
*Improves bone health/density
*Better cardiovascular health
*Increased energy and metabolism
*Improves mental health/mood
*Enhances brain health
*Helps manage blood sugar levels
*Perfect for those working out alone (you don’t need a spotter!)
Equipment highlight: Pin-select Machines
Machines are excellent choices for all skill levels, especially beginners. It is imperative to learn proper form to avoid injury and to achieve the best results. Machines are perfect for assisting with perfect form, allowing your body to stay aligned throughout the exercise. This is great (and safe) for those with injuries.
Tip: Anatomy of a pin-select machine. Each machine has a guide (cheat-sheet) attached to it. It highlights the targeted muscle group and even explains how to customize the machine setup for your comfort. Weight can be adjusted in very small increments.
Why is it important? You probably already know that cardio is great for burning a lot of calories. By increasing your metabolism and improving your body mass index (BMI), cardio is a great component to a fitness program for weight loss. And once you have achieved your goal, cardio can help you maintain your ideal weight.
*Strengthens your heart and helps it pump blood more efficiently to the rest of your body
*Decreases your chance for heart disease
*Helps control blood pressure
*Strengthens immune system
*Improves sleep and supports mental health
*Helps regulate blood sugar
Equipment highlight: Nu-Step Machine
Nu-Step is an excellent choice to strengthen the muscles around joints, build bone strength, and increase your range of motion (flexibility) to help control/maintain body weight. It provides low-impact, full-body cardio. Nu-step is the machine of choice in physical therapy clinics, and we are the only (gym/public fitness center) in the area that has them!
Nu-Step is great for beginners, those with knee/joint pain, low back pain, cardiac disease, or anyone looking to achieve better cardiovascular health.
Tip: Using the Nu-Step. The resistance level can be customized to your unique goals.
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