Seven Simple Ways to Improve Fitness and See Results

Seven simple ways to improve fitness and see resultsToo busy to head to the gym? Bored with your workout? Not seeing the results you were hoping for? Don’t let these be the excuses that prevent you from exercising this week.

Here are seven simple ways to revamp your workout, improve fitness and see results.

  1. Deskercize. Exercise doesn’t always have to happen at the gym. In fact, there are plenty of desk exercises that you can do right at your desk to improve fitness.
  2. Change it up. If you’re doing the same exercise routine over and over again, it’s bound to get a little repetitive. Try changing up your routine by adding a new type of exercise, like CrossFit, to your program. Having a well-balanced exercise regimen can prevent injury and improve your endurance, strength and range of motion.
  3. Stretch it out. Don’t let stretching take the backseat to your exercise routine. Stretching not only improves flexibility and range of motion, but also improves your athletic performance and decreases chances of injury. Try adding pilates or yoga techniques into to your exercise program to challenge yourself, increase flexibility and improve fitness.
  4. Take a class. Workout classes allow you to have a fitness instructor motivating you to work harder and encouraging you to take your fitness to the next level. If you don’t have access to fitness classes, there are tons of personal training apps available for download that will help you improve fitness and see results.
  5. Workout with a friend. It’s much harder to blow off a workout when someone else is involved, so find a workout buddy to help keep you accountable and motivated and introduce you to new exercises.
  6. Pump up the volume. Music can improve fitness by helping you set the pace, last longer and enjoy your workout more. Check out this list of 100 best workout songs to get you going.
  7. Healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is a combination of everything you do, including your sleeping habits. Sleep is essential after any fitness program. The REM-Fit Rest Adjustable Pillow is great for athletes who need to rest. It’s designed for those with an active lifestyle and you can you can add or remove filling to tailor it to your specific sleep style, helping you to rest comfortably, recover and stay motivated.

To reach your full fitness potential, you have to let go of excuses and dedicate yourself to hard work and much-needed recovery periods. Over time, you’ll see results and, most importantly, feel great!

 

Five things to know before running a marathon

Five things to know before running a marathonFor many, running a marathon is high up on the bucket list. It’s a major accomplishment, but getting to the starting line is a daunting, three to six-month task. And once you’re at the starting line, you have 26.2 intimidating miles staring you in the face.

But, with a proper pre-race ritual, and a positive mindset, you can turn running a marathon from scary to exciting. Here are five things you should know to help you prepare for your best 26.2 yet.

Fuel up wisely before the race. “Carbo-load” is one of the first things many new runners associate with race weekend. While getting sufficient carbohydrates is important, you need to avoid overdoing it. Try this endurance calculator to see how many carbohydrates you need to meet your goal time.

Get your best sleep two nights before the race. It’s nearly impossible to avoid those nervous butterflies the night before your big race. That’s why experts suggest that the sleep two nights before your race is the most important. To make sure you’re getting proper rest before the big day, follow the REM-Fit race weekend rest plan.

Visualize the course the night before your race. As mentioned above, getting a full-night’s rest before the big day is tough. To ease your nerves, spend some time visualizing yourself running the course. Note milestones to look for that will make running a marathon more exciting.

Find out where you will get water/ sports drinks, and make a plan for fueling up with your electrolyte-filled sports chews. You can also spend time navigating the start corrals to give you a feel for where the bathrooms are, and how to get where you need to be on time.

Segment the race into smaller milestones. Don’t think of running a marathon as 26.2 miles; that will suck all the mental willpower out of you very quickly in the beginning of the race.

Instead, portion the race out into smaller chunks. Get through the first seven with a conservative pace – don’t push yourself too early. Then, think of seven through 20 as a half marathon. Follow your race pace during these miles. Get through that half, and you have six to go. Use your heart as your guide here, and finish strong. You’re almost there!

Enjoy the day! Easier said than done, of course, but while you’re out there, remember the goal you had from day one – and how far you’ve come.

Enjoy the supportive crowd, blare your favorite tunes and wear a smile on your face. When times get tough, remember the terrible hill run you did in the rain. When you need motivation, think about your excited friends and family waiting for you at the finish line.

And when you finish, don’t just focus on the time on the clock. Embrace the fact that you stuck through it and completed 26.2 miles – a feat many can only dream of.

How to combat seasonal allergies for healthy sleep

How to combat seasonal allergies for healthy sleepFall has often been touted as the best season. And why wouldn’t it be? With the fall season comes football, sweaters, Halloween and Thanksgiving, pumpkin spice lattes and the list goes on.

Unfortunately, this coveted time of year also brings seasonal allergies, which for the estimated 50 million Americans (1 in 5) who suffer from allergies, means unwanted sneezing, sniffling and watery eyes in the coming months. And if things couldn’t get any worse, more than half of nasal allergy sufferers experience sleep issues because of their symptoms. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help combat seasonal allergies for a healthy night’s sleep.

  • Keep the windows closed. It may be tempting to keep those windows open on cool, autumn nights, but you may be letting pollen and ragweed into your home, which can sink into furniture and fabrics that you might not think about cleaning.
  • Take a shower before bed. Taking a hot shower before bedtime can help loosen nasal congestion so you’ll breathe easier when you sleep. In addition, seasonal allergies, like pollen, that circulate through the air can also get stuck in your hair and washing it out in the shower can help prevent it from transferring onto your sheets and pillowcases.
  • Wash your sheets. That being said, you should wash your sheets and pillowcases at least once a week. Make sure the water is hot though – at least 130 F (54 C) – so that it’ll kill any dust mites harboring in your sheets, which can also trigger allergy symptoms. Mattress encasements and pillow protectors, like the AllerZip® Smooth Mattress Encasement and AllerZip® Smooth Pillow Protector, can help. They’re designed specifically for allergy sufferers to provide a protective barrier against dust mites, bacteria and other allergens.
  • Rinse out your nose. Just like washing your hair, cleaning out your nostrils with a salt water nasal spray can help relieve allergy symptoms.  Many of these are available at your local drug store.

If you’re running a fall race or looking to ramp up your fitness, avoiding the sniffles is key. By beating fall allergies, you’ll sleep better and, consequentially, improve your exercise routine. Check out the REM-Fit Motivate Plush Mattress Protector and REM-Fit Motivate Plush Pillow Protector, which are designed for athletes who need protection from dust mites, allergens and other irritants, helping you to rest comfortably, recover and stay motivated to achieve your fitness goals.

How to prevent sports injuries

How to prevent sports injuriesAs with any sport or exercise program, there are always associated risks and the possibility of getting injured. However, research has suggested that “injury rates could be reduced by 25 percent if athletes took appropriate preventative action.” Here are a few strategies that can help reduce the risk of sports injuries.

 

  • Be in proper shape. Don’t expect the sport to get you in shape. One of the best ways to prevent sports injuries is to build and condition the muscles for the sport or activity you are doing.

 

  • Know the proper form. If you’re starting a new exercise program or sport, don’t be afraid to take a lesson or class. Poor or incorrect form can result in both acute and chronic injuries. A trained professional can identify bad habits, train you on proper form and help prevent injuries from occurring.

 

  • Warm up and cool down. Warming up and cooling down can help reduce your risk of sports injuries and also improve your athletic performance. Warming up raises your muscles’ temperature for better flexibility and range of motion. Cooling down allows your heart rate and blood pressure to gradually recover after intense activity. Stopping suddenly can cause your heart rate and blood pressure to drop, which can make you feel dizzy or light-headed. Here are some examples of warm-up and cool-down activities.

 

  • Avoid playing or exercising when fatigued or in pain. It’s important to learn to listen to your body. Ignoring the warning signs that your body gives you could result in a more serious injury.

 

  • Rest days. Playing or exercising hard every day takes a toll on your body. Rest days reduce injury risks because they give muscles time to repair themselves. Experts recommend that at least one day a week be dedicated to rest. The REM-Fit Rest Adjustable Pillow is great for athletes who need to rest. It’s designed for those with an active lifestyle and you can can add or remove filling to tailor it to your specific sleep style, helping you to rest comfortably, recover and stay motivated.

 

  • Treating an injury. If you do sustain a sports injury, it’s good to remember RICE, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Using the RICE method as soon as possible after an injury can reduce pain and swelling. As with any injury, it’s best to contact your doctor or health care provider before attempting to treat the injury at home.

 

When you have a persistent problem, such as an aching CrossFit injury, make sure to talk to your doctor or a medical professional.

CrossFit Injuries: Three Ways to Avoid the Sport’s Risks

We’ve seen the headlines. We’ve read the rumors. According to “experts,” CrossFit is dangerous and causes injury.

But these speculations are neither true nor false. As with any exercise program, including CrossFit, there are always associated risks and the possibility of getting injured. But it’s not a given.

Whether you’re a new or old pro, you can avoid CrossFit injuries with three simple steps.

 

1. Find a good gym and a coach.

With CrossFit gaining in popularity, boxes are popping up everywhere, so it’s important to do your research. A good CrossFit studio will have introductory or “on ramp” programs, which will introduce beginners to new movements, teach form and position, and assesses your level of flexibility.

A good coach should be invested in your well-being and modify exercises for individual ability, which is particularly important for preventing CrossFit injuries in those who are new to the sport. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your coach questions, and make sure whoever is coaching you is CrossFit Level 1 certified!

2. Listen to your body.

CrossFit injuries: Three ways to avoid the sport’s risksIf you experience extreme muscle soreness following a workout, feel weak or light-headed during exercise, pay attention. This is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and that you need a break.

To help prevent CrossFit injuries, learn to listen to your body and recognize the signs of overtraining before they occur.

3. Sleep.

This should be a no-brainer, but sleep is essential after any intense exercise, as your body heals itself while you’re sleeping. This is particularly important after strength training programs, like CrossFit, where your muscles have been torn down to some degree and need time to repair.

The REM-Fit Rest Adjustable Pillow can help. It’s designed for those with an active lifestyle and you can add or remove filling to tailor it to your specific sleep style, helping you to rest comfortably, recover and stay motivated.

 

Still nervous about picking up CrossFit? Here’s your insider guide to all things CrossFit, including wardrobe suggestions, lingo and, most importantly, how to rest up and reach your fitness goals.