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Jan 3

Omicron collides with New Year’s resolutions – Axios

Gyms, fitness studios and other workout facilities have been slowly getting back into shape since the pandemic devastated their businesses, but the emergence of the Omicron variant threatens to reverse that momentum at the worst possible time.

The big picture: New Year's is typically a big boon to gym memberships, but Omicron threatens to undermine it if Americans decide to stick with now-ubiquitous at-home fitness options.

Where it stands: When COVID restrictions began lifting and vaccinations started in early 2021, Americans grew increasingly comfortable leaving their homes to work up a sweat.

Who's at risk: Chains like Planet Fitness, Equinox, Soul Cycle, Life Time Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness thought they had put the worst behind them, leaving stay-at-home brands such as Peloton and Tonal scrambling to build on the success they enjoyed during COVID lockdowns.

Yes, but: Omicron is spreading rapidly just as the new year begins. Home workout equipment, streaming services and fitness apps are readily available.

Expand chart

By the numbers: 22% of health and fitness clubs have closed for good during the pandemic, totaling about 9,100 locations, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. Usage declined by more than 50% during the height of the pandemic.

What we're watching: Many Americans have largely returned to normal, and Republican-controlled states are unlikely to restore mask mandates or impose capacity limits on gyms.

Our thought bubble: Nov. 4 feels like a long time ago.

The bottom line: Americans have embraced home workout equipment and fitness apps. But many want to work out in person again which means government restrictions could decide the fate of gyms.

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Omicron collides with New Year's resolutions - Axios


Jan 3

How to stick with a New Year’s fitness resolution – WYFF4 Greenville

As people around the country look to begin New Year's resolutions, gyms and fitness centers are gearing up for an increase in participants."We're here to help you," said Sarah Gunter, a certified personal trainer at Sportsclub Wellness and Fitness in Simpsonville. She and others here have seen an increase of people during the first few months of each year, including another Sportsclub personal trainer, Jason Brown. "I was a personal trainer throughout my 20s, as well, and we were looking forward to January, February, March because there would be an influx of people coming in but we would see a majority of those people tend to kind of fade prior to summer arriving," said Brown. He said to avoid that fade, set very small goals for yourself and what he called tangible wins. "Everyone is motivated until they get into a painful situation or into a cold situation or a very hard, difficult situation. So I would say look at the big picture," he said. "Know your 'why' and let that be what allows you to commit to your journey."Gunter said it's important to start small. "We want to start with little increments one-by-one and what I always say is take it day-by-day," she said. "If you can make it one day, then you can make it through the next day and then the next day."A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology suggests just 46% of people with New Year's resolutions accomplish them. If you do fade, it doesn't mean you have to stop altogether, said Lindsay Drakulic, club manager at Sportsclub Fitness and Wellness. "If you fall off the wagon you can come back in 6 months, 8 months, whatever," she said. "A lot of people think that if you fall off the routine, then they just have to quit and it's just, be kind to yourself. Start slow and stick around no matter what."

As people around the country look to begin New Year's resolutions, gyms and fitness centers are gearing up for an increase in participants.

"We're here to help you," said Sarah Gunter, a certified personal trainer at Sportsclub Wellness and Fitness in Simpsonville.

She and others here have seen an increase of people during the first few months of each year, including another Sportsclub personal trainer, Jason Brown.

"I was a personal trainer throughout my 20s, as well, and we were looking forward to January, February, March because there would be an influx of people coming in but we would see a majority of those people tend to kind of fade prior to summer arriving," said Brown.

He said to avoid that fade, set very small goals for yourself and what he called tangible wins.

"Everyone is motivated until they get into a painful situation or into a cold situation or a very hard, difficult situation. So I would say look at the big picture," he said. "Know your 'why' and let that be what allows you to commit to your journey."

Gunter said it's important to start small.

"We want to start with little increments one-by-one and what I always say is take it day-by-day," she said. "If you can make it one day, then you can make it through the next day and then the next day."

A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology suggests just 46% of people with New Year's resolutions accomplish them.

If you do fade, it doesn't mean you have to stop altogether, said Lindsay Drakulic, club manager at Sportsclub Fitness and Wellness.

"If you fall off the wagon you can come back in 6 months, 8 months, whatever," she said. "A lot of people think that if you fall off the routine, then they just have to quit and it's just, be kind to yourself. Start slow and stick around no matter what."

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How to stick with a New Year's fitness resolution - WYFF4 Greenville


Jan 3

YMCA ready to help with fitness resolutions – Sunbury Daily Item

Everyone has done it: Started the year with the best of intentions and made resolutions to work on becoming our best selves. Warning: More than half will fail, with a third of resolutioners not making it until the end of January.

In 2022, The Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA is ready to be a partner in attaining New Years Fitness goals across the Valley After a successful debut last year with approximately 100 participants, Resolution Solution will return on Jan. 17.

Registration began Saturday for the 8-week fitness program designed to help Valley residents state consistent with workouts, try new classes and different gym equipment and, most of all, start the New Year out with a fun and challenging program.

Each week participants will receive a personally tailored fitness passport designed for you by Group Exercise Instructors.

After completing the challenges on the Passport, you will return it to the Front Desk to earn an entry in a drawing at the completion of the challenge. Prizes at the Lewisburg branch include $100, $50 and $25 gift cards from the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership.

At the other branches Sunbury, Milton, Mifflinburg prizes include A $100 Visa card and gift cards for Coles hardware, Ards, Weis Markets, A Plus office Store; Y merchandise, month-long TRX session, and personal training sessions

Having the motivation to try new and different things they wouldnt normally try is the biggest benefit for program participants, Sarah Paris, a Group Exercise Coordinator at the Lewisburg YMCA, said.

Passport challenges include attending different types of group fitness classes, trying different equipment in the gym and integrating health habits like trying a new healthy recipe and meeting hydration goals. This challenge is for all of our members ages 14 and up, She said. Ages 14-17 must have a waiver signed by a guardian. You dont have to attend regular group exercise, just be a GSV YMCA member.

Paris also said that most program participants continue with regular workouts after the program ends. Jen Harer of Northumberland, will be a repeat participant in 2022. The program motivated me to actually do more.

A Sunbury branch member, she continues to take classes every day. Its very good for your mind and body.

You meet a lot of good people through the program. You feel healthier.

Registration for the members-only program begins on January 1 and closes on January 31. Cost for the program is $10 and will include a Y fitness towel. Not a member? Enroll by January 15 to take advantage of the Pay the Day special and the fee to join will be equal to the day of the month. Join on January 2 and pay $2. The earlier you join, the more you save.

One membership covers facilities in Sunbury, Milton, Lewisburg and Mifflinburg. Swimming pools in Sunbury and Milton have a variety of classes and open swim times. Additional opportunities for varying your personal Resolution Solution are basketball, fitness classes, work-out studios and lots more. Check out the programs that are being offered, the facilities that are available for you to use and any schedules and fees at gsvymca.com.

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YMCA ready to help with fitness resolutions - Sunbury Daily Item


Jan 3

7 fitness goals to set for the new year and beyond – CNET

Nodar Chemishev/Getty

After an indulgent holiday season,New Year's resolutionsoften focus on weight loss. But do you really need to start another diet that won't work or last? Maybe it's time to have a different approach. What if instead you concentrated on setting fitness-specific goals? I'm talking about committing to running your first 5K race orlearning how to do a pull up.

A goal requires planning -- make sure it's attainable and that you have a clear vision on how to achieve it. The best part about these goals is that you don't have to limit them to New Year's resolutions. They can become habits you work toward everyday. Whether you're ready to take on your first marathon or want to achieve your first handstand, there are many ways to reach your target and even go beyond. Take a look at some of the coolest goals you can add to your fitness regimen this year.

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Creating a regular workout schedule is a good goal if you have a hard time maintaining an exercise program throughout the year. It's inevitable that there will be busy periods when it seems impossible to step away for fitness. Planning ahead with a realistic exercise schedule can help keep you accountable.

One way to stay consistent is by scheduling shorter workouts, such asHIIT exercises,into your regimen. Choosing the same time daily and sticking to it is also a good way to remain committed. Another helpful method is having a workout buddy to keep you going. With the manyinteractive fitness appsthat exist, it's easier to find a group of people or a friend for moral support.

Push-ups only require your body weight, and they're one of the best workouts to gain upper body strength. I've been strength training for over a decade, and I still do push-ups consistently. They're an excellent core exercise targeting your chest, back, shoulders and arms. However, push-ups are oftendone improperly. To do them right, have your form reviewed by a trainer. If you don't have access to one, you can practice by doing planks, negative push-ups, incline push-ups and push-ups from your knees.

It's more important to strive for quality push-ups with good form than to just do higher reps. Once you learn to do them well, you can make them more challenging by increasing the volume, slowing down the pace, adding weight or changing the angle.

Achieving your first pull-up is a badge of honor -- even if the last time you did one was during PE in elementary school. Women may have a harder time with this exercise than men because they tend to haveless upper body muscle mass. However, this doesn't mean it's impossible for women to master. It just means they need to practice additional exercise drills to help them achieve this goal.

According to John Gardner, a NASM-certified personal trainer and the CEO and co-founder of Kickoff, there are various ways to achieve a pull-up. "Using a resistance band helps you understand the technique if you're unable to perform a pull-up on your own, as well as doing a dead hang -- or holding on to the bar for a long period of time," Gardner suggests. Other ways to help you achieve your first pull-up include addingplanks,inverted rows,lat pulldownsandhollow holdsto your workout.

If you've decided this is the year to run your first 5K, half marathon or marathon, come up with astrategy to achieve your goal. A 5K is going to require less training and preparation than a longer distance race, such as a marathon, but if it's your first time tackling this distance you still need to know what to expect.

Training for your first race -- no matter the distance -- sets you up for success and gives you confidence to complete it. When I first started training for my first marathon, I remember how daunting the distance seemed at first. But I followed a training plan that prepared me. I trusted the process and was able to accomplish that goal from my bucket list.

There are a variety of training plans online to choose from. If you're looking for something more personalized, there are running coaches who can design a custom plan based on your experience and goals.

You can start by researching coaches through theUSA Track and Fielddirectory or theRoad Runners Club of Americato find one in your area. Remember that fees vary per coach depending on how hands-on they'll be and how long of a training plan you'll need.

Strength training builds muscle, gets you stronger, protects your bones, reduces risk of disease and more. The beauty of strength training is that your fitness level doesn't matter and it's never too late to begin. If you've never strength trained before or you feel intimidated stepping into the weight room at your gym, seek out a trainer who can show you some basic moves. Most gyms provide either a free or reduced-cost training session for new members. Having a trainer do an assessment first will determine your fitness level and address any health concerns before you start an exercise regimen.

Once you're cleared to strength train, you'll learn how to properly do key exercises and how to fit them into a weekly schedule that matches your fitness level and goals.

During my fitness journey, one of my most empowering experiences was being able to deadlift twice my body weight. The deadlift is one of the best exercises tobuild your posterior chainand get stronger. Before lifting any weight off the floor, it's important to make sure you have good form to avoid lower back injuries.

If you're just getting started and want to understand the basics of how to do the movement, you could take a strength training class at the gym. If you're working out from home with a set of dumbbells, you can download a strength training class through a fitness app, such asLesMills Bodypump workout, where the instructor can properly demonstrate the exercise.

Once you're already well-versed with the deadlift and you have a goal to lift twice your body weight, it's recommended that youhire a personal traineror strength coach who can guide you. Having an expert assess your form and challenge your abilities will also be a good motivator and learning experience.

Handstands are most commonly seen in Crossfit, yoga or gymnastics, and are an impressive feat. This exercise requires a lot of core strength, decent upper body strength and good shoulder mobility. To determine if you're ready to take on a handstand, you should be comfortable being inverted and holding up your own body weight.

You should avoid handstands if you're pregnant, if you have high or low blood pressure, or if you have shoulder, back or wrist issues. If you aren't sure if you should be doing inversion exercises, check with your doctor first. Regardless of your physical condition, it can be helpful to seek out an expert to guide you through this process and to determine if you're a good candidate for the handstand.

There aremultiple drills you can doto improve your chances of achieving a strong handstand. L.A-based certified personal trainer Morgan Rees says there are various ways to achieve your goal. "Having a wall or cushion behind you is very important to avoid any accidents," she recommends. Rees says practicing stepping forward onto your hands and lifting your legs up against the wall while upside down is essential.

Focusing on your form is also crucial. You should concentrate on keeping your arms by your ears, pushing through your shoulder as well as squeezing your butt and engaging your core. Once you've mastered this drill, you can try slowly moving your legs away from the wall and seeing if you can hold the handstand without needing the wall's assistance.

Most importantly, do not rush through this exercise. Though some may grasp it faster than others, it requires practice. Once you are a handstand pro, you can spice up the move with new variations of the exercise such as handstand push-ups or walking handstands.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Excerpt from:
7 fitness goals to set for the new year and beyond - CNET


Jan 3

Exeters Jack Nowell starting to reap rewards of fitness drive – Yahoo News

Exeter and England wing Jack Nowell has shown signs of getting back to top form (Steve Haag/PA). (PA Wire)

England international Jack Nowell has cut out alcohol and lost around 10 kilos in weight as part of his drive to help stay injury-free.

The Exeter wing last played Test rugby during Englands 2019 World Cup campaign.

He missed a chunk of last season after undergoing surgery on damaged toe ligaments and has also suffered hamstring problems during a frustrating period in his career.

Jack Nowell in action for England against Wales (David Davies/PA) (PA Archive)

But Nowell is showing signs of recapturing top form, impressing during Exeters Gallagher Premiership victory over Bristol.

I feel I am getting there, said Nowell, who has won 34 England caps and played in two Tests for the British and Irish Lions on their 2017 New Zealand tour.

For me, I am just targeting trying to be on the field each week. The last couple of years, everyone knows Ive suffered a bit with injuries, but I feel I am going in the right direction.

I dont feel like I am at my best yet I feel I have still got a lot more to give but I am going in the right direction, along with the team.

I have lost about 10 kilos since the (Premiership) final last year. For a 5ft 11in guy, weighing over 100 kilos is probably not the best. I am back down to about 90 kilos, and I am feeling good and feeling light.

I have stopped drinking. I am not saying I was a big drinker or anything, but rugby players, and especially our team, we enjoy going out for a few beers after each game, and sometimes that leads on to going into town and early mornings.

I have completely cut that out. I felt it was just letting me down a little bit. With (game) recovery on a Monday and a Tuesday, it was taking me longer and I am getting a bit older as well.

Its not just down to that. Obviously, dropping 10 kilos has been big for me as well and the way the team manage me during the week.

I was out for three or four weeks and I thought, 'Look, enough is enough'

Exeter wing Jack Nowell

Leicester away, our first game of the season, we had a few (drinks) on the bus on the way home and got a bit carried away and then I tore my hamstring that week.

Story continues

I was out for three or four weeks and I thought, Look, enough is enough, sometimes. I want to get on the field and to get back playing.

Nowell was a key part of Exeters domestic and European trophy double success in 2020, but he then faced several months on the sidelines recovering from a toe injury.

Ambitions for club and country were put on hold during a lengthy rehabilitation process, but current form suggests he could be on course for an England squad recall ahead of this seasons Guinness Six Nations campaign.

England head coach Eddie Jones (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)

Eddie (England head coach Eddie Jones) has always been in touch with me, Nowell added. He asks me how I am and how I am feeling.

He understands that he needs the best for his team and he obviously knows whats best for me as well, so the last couple of times he has said about concentrating on myself and getting myself back to where I need to be. It was quite pleasing to hear that and to have that contact with the team still.

For me, I have always wanted to get back in there. My body, in terms of how I am feeling at the moment, is probably the best Ive felt in a long, long time.

The rest is here:
Exeters Jack Nowell starting to reap rewards of fitness drive - Yahoo News


Jan 3

How about welcoming the new year with a fitness challenge? – The Hindu

One thousand and still counting. Each of us can help Chennai bag the top place at the inter-city Freedom to Walk and Cycle Challenge being organised by the Smart Cities Mission of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Christened Singara Chennai 2.0 Veedhi Vizha by the Greater Chennai Corporation, this is a 26-day challenge that opened on January 1. There is a choice of events cycling, running or walking. One can register for them, choosing a convenient day and time.

Chennai is competing with 75 other cities across India and as per the latest count it is in the top position with the maximum number of registrations (Ajmer, Belagavi, Lucknow and Chandigarh are among cites that are giving Chennai a tough fight). The city that covers the maximum distance in these two events will be declared winner and recognised by the Ministry, which means greater the number of participants,the greater the chances of being on the top.

All that one has to do is register for the challenge by downloading STRAVA app and sign up for Freedom2Walk or Freedom2cycle event. Strava is required to track the rides/walks and it should be linked in the All for Sports (AFS) portal to make sure the tracked exercise is counted in the city challenge.

Such campaigns to promote green mobility is not new. In June 2020, the Smart Cities Mission launched India Cycles4Change Challenge to encourage cities to empower more people to access and use cycles, thereby pushing for infrastructural interventions to ensure road safety and personal security.

Freedom to Walk and Cycle challenge is an extension of the campaign, with walking as a new addition. The challenge is being conducted to celebrate 75 years of Independence and to push citizens to take a new year resolution to work towards a healthy lifestyle.

For Chennaiites, this is another opportunity to push the civic body to introduce and improve the cycling and walking infrastructure. The permanent ramp that was constructed recently on the Marina beach is an example of citizens and government working together to create inclusive spaces.

The Namma Chennai app is going to have a feature called Road Sharing that will inform the public about amenities available at various public places.

Christy Leema E, public engagement and partnerships officer at Chennai Smart City, says to drum up support from various fitness groups, they have been holding meetings. Notifications were sent to all users of SmartBikes. We are expecting around 5000 registrations, says Christy.

The top 10 participants from Chennai will be honoured by the GCC.

We want citizens to take up projects in their neighbourhood

Sneha Divakaran, deputy commissioner, Education, Greater Chennai Corporation, who also oversees public engagement initiatives, says the main objective behind Veedhi Vizha is to encourage people to get themselves into any fitness regime.

Once citizens participation is ensured, we get better feedback and that helps us to plan various people-friendly projects, says Sneha.

The all-women night cycle rally held in September 2021 was an attempt to gauge the safety of women cyclists that exists and work on improving infrastructure where its grossly inadequate.

One of the most fervent pleas from cyclists has been to create dedicated lanes to offer them a safe and shared space. Sneha says that is a policy decision and needs discussion with various stakeholders. Meanwhile what we can ensure is make lanes safe by ensuring there are no potholes or other obstructions and providing street lights, says Sneha.

For pedestrians using pavements, she says, placing bollards was an attempt to discourage motorists from parking on them. Towards encouraging citizens to embrace a healthy lifestyle, Sneha says GCC is turning OSR lands into parks with minimal infrastructure like a walkway, some trees and benches. This is being done under Namakku Naame Thittam, wherein the public can also take up projects in their neighbourhood, says Sneha.

She says both Singara Chennai and Nalmigu Chennai focuses on playfields and parks. Based on public consultation the GCC is currently developing 28 parks and eight playfields, she adds.

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How about welcoming the new year with a fitness challenge? - The Hindu


Jan 3

‘Run your body like a business’ How to take up the fitness habit for new year – The Scotsman

But fitness instructor Alex Pedley knows those good intentions fade fast. As a fitness coach for business people - over the last two decades, he's persuaded a variety of high flyers - and me - to get up from their desks for a few hours each week and attend to their wellbeing - he's seen plenty of people struggle to keep early momentum up.

His first book - Reach Your Peak - has been published just in time for this month of high hopes. In it, he urges people not to over-reach in the first, heady days of the New Year - but instead start small, and build their fitness up over time. He says building new habits, and an entirely new perception of yourself as the sort of person who takes exercise and eats healthily, is more important than simply shedding lots of weight after the festive binge.

I sat down with Pedley to discuss the new book, and ask where we should all be starting. This exchange has been edited for clarity and length.

NM: What would you say is the underlying theme of the book?

AP: The book focuses on nine habits in three key areas that have been impacted by 21st Century living. Those areas are how we exercise, eat and recover. Each has a massive impact on our health, happiness and performance.

It is common for people to suffer from achy joints, feel out of shape, suffer from high stress and have trouble sleeping. Many of these things can be improved by focusing on building better habits. Its not easy but it is achievable, and will be transformational.

The book essentially gives you a framework to follow to progressively implement these nine habits and make it work within a busy life.

NM: But these are difficult times: there's a pandemic, we're dealing with working in very different ways to before. Many people will just be trying to keep it together. Isn't striving for more going to be difficult?

AP: When we go through a big life change - and when I say a big life change I mean getting a new job, having a baby, managing through a pandemic - we do what we need to do to survive those periods. We go through a period of managing it, we exercise less, we grab food more on the go, our sleep routine will generally change, we tend to sleep less. We're just continuously keep pushing on, just to get through this period and stabilise.

That's fine if we can then switch back into old habits. But most people don't. So we continue with those habits.

And the problem is, from a stress point of view, we only have a certain tolerance, and that tolerance to stress is defined by many things, including the amount of stress we're under, our sleep quality, our nutrition, and how fit we are.

So if we can improve our wellness - become fitter, sleep better, get more mental downtime during the day, improve our nutrition - we will then be able to improve our tolerance to stress. And then, running alongside that, we will also get into better shape.

NM: And what is fit in your mind? What level do people need to achieve all these benefits?

AP: Fitness is relative. Relative to your age, to your goals. For me, purely from a fitness point of view, it is being aerobically fit - where you're able to run, or cycle a longer distance, and also be able to recover faster. Aerobic fitness is shown to be one of the biggest markers for longevity. It's massively important.

If we're talking about in shape, then it's relative - it's feeling confident in your body. It's being able to lift things without your lower back hurting, being able to run for a bus without feeling out of breath. It's about being able to use your body in the way that it was intended to be used, for whatever you need to use it for.

NM: Your books big on habits, but building habit is hard. How do you build up healthy habits when youre busy with everything else in life?

AP: One key, key thing for me is starting small. Theres a really good book called Tiny Habits (Tiny Habits, by BJ Fogg), and it encourages you to start with the smallest possible thing you can. Its the polar opposite of what we do in modern life. If people want to get fit today, they tend to go for quite a severe measures - high intensity training, restrictive diets. But starting small is important.

Then its about planning. We plan our working lives and business meetings carefully, but we dont plan how we are going to exercise or when even going for a walk is going to fit into our diary. We dont plan how to structure nutrition into our routine.

Another habit is to analyse whats happening in your life and try to improve. We often analyse what happens from a business point of view. But we dont really analyse what we are doing [for our health and wellbeing].

NM: So youre really applying some of the rules and routines of business to someones health?

AP: Yes, absolutely. One of the things I say in the book is to run your body as if it was a business.

NM: The marketing around high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is quite seductive - those programmes promise short bursts of activity, where you really knock yourself out. But youre not a fan. Why is that?

AP: Im a fan of HIIT for the right person, at the right time, if its done in the right way. HIIT is a short workout and its intense, and what its meant to do - and what the studies show - is that it can get us in shape a lot faster. But a lot of these studies are done on people who are potentially athletes, or who are younger people who are able to tolerate that sort of exercise.

Whats happening in many of the classes is that people are pushing their clients for 30 seconds, with a 30 second recovery. But if someones out of shape, thats not enough [recovery] so all theyre doing is staying in the anaerobic zone, with an elevated heart rate, for the whole period. That doesnt improve their aerobic base.

You need to, progressively, keep building. If you get past the first three months, which is the worst part of starting anything new - a job, a child, anything thats a shift in the way our routine is constructed - it gets better. Everything gets better. Youre fitter, youre seeing the benefit, its becoming a bit more habitual.

NM: OK. So were full of good intentions at this time of year. How you do start?

AP: My first step is to evaluate. To work out where you are now. Im a massive believer in keeping a food diary. It's essential because you can only change what you understand. If you track your food for a while a get an idea of when youre eating and why youre eating at certain times. You can start to learn how to adapt.

Then work out. If youre not training, start with one session of 20 minutes. If you do one session thats 20 minutes, and then you can move to two sessions that are 20 minutes, you are winning. Psychologically, thats a massive thing.

Reach Your Peak: 9 habits to get in shape, control stress and perform at your best, by Alex Pedley, is published by Rethink Press.

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'Run your body like a business' How to take up the fitness habit for new year - The Scotsman


Jan 3

Will the Army Combat Fitness Test go live in April as planned? – ArmyTimes.com

The Army aims to formally implement the Army Combat Fitness Test its biggest overhaul to fitness testing since 1980 by April 2022, the services top NCO says.

Theres one potential hang-up, though.

Congress put the brakes on using the ACFT for promotion or career consideration and mandated an independent review of the test in the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. Lawmakers were concerned that the new test may disadvantage women in their career paths.

The RAND Corporation is conducting the review, which will likely be complete before the new year. Its the second independent review of the ACFT; the University of Iowa did one of an earlier version of the test.

Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston said the service believes that the third version of the test, which made the plank event a permanent scored alternative to the leg tuck, will pass the review.

Im extremely confident that on April 1, we will have a test for record, and I am hopeful it will be the ACFT, he said in an interview with Army Times ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army conference in October.

Its not clear yet, though, whether the tests gender-neutral scoring will remain gender-neutral when it comes to personnel considerations.

Army senior leaders have floated the idea of implementing performance categories that sort men and women by performance into percentile categories relative to their gender.

Lt. Col. Gabe Ramirez, an Army spokesperson, told Army Times that once the NDAA-directed independent study is complete and Army senior leaders have studyinformed data to make decisions, the Army will finalize the personnel polices relative to the ACFT.

Davis Winkie is a staff reporter covering the Army. He originally joined Military Times as a reporting intern in 2020. Before journalism, Davis worked as a military historian. He is also a human resources officer in the Army National Guard.

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Will the Army Combat Fitness Test go live in April as planned? - ArmyTimes.com


Jan 3

Positive fitness news for Leicester on Maddison and Barnes – Foxes of Leicester

James Maddison and Harvey Barnes of Leicester City (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)

Ahead of the start of their FA Cup defence, Leicester City have been boosted by positive fitness news with regards to James Maddison and Harvey Barnes.

Maddisons return to top form has collided with the absence of Barnes, and the emergence of a two-striker system. Kelechi Iheanacho, Jamie Vardy and Patson Daka have shared the roles; Daka and Vardy being more prominent until their injuries.

Iheanacho has now joined the Nigeria international squad for the African Cup of Nations this month. That competition lasts into February, so options are now limited in the Foxes forward area.

Therefore the England capped wingers re-emergence is well-timed; Ayoze Perez may find himself flanked by Barnes and Ademola Lookman whilst Maddison is hopefully is behind, as his status is confirmed:

James Maddison should be fine.

Harveys just come back, obviously, having a period out. Hes trained his first training session today with the squad which is good news.

Brendan Rodgers, lcfc.com

Vardy is expected to be sidelined for up to a month; meanwhile Daka could be back training in under two weeks. A recall for on-loan George Hirst at Portsmouth seems unlikely because Leicester are said to be happy with his Pompey progress.

Barnesy and Madders were also in the so-called news this weekend for attending a sporting event, which seems a bit unfair. Clearly the pair, along with Leicester City Football Club Academy graduates Hamza Choudhury and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, were obviously allowed to be present at the World Darts Championships as they were photographed enjoying themselves and holding a comical sign.

Daily Mail showed pictures of the four having a night out among 3,000 other fans in London. The publication suggests that LCFC officials will be concerned that Maddison, Barnes, Choudhury and Dewsbury-Hall had been present, yet there is no evidence or source presented to support that claim.

In fact, the athletes are likely testing for covid daily, with the east Midlands outfit almost certainly aware of planned trips. Even though it is the players spare time to spend how they wish, within set out rules.

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Positive fitness news for Leicester on Maddison and Barnes - Foxes of Leicester


Jan 3

The Best Fitness Gear Checklist for New Years Resolutions – The Manual

With the new year just around the corner, now is the time when many of us start setting fitness-related new years resolutions. Maybe your goal is to lose weight, or maybe youre trying to get stronger, or perhaps your intention is to take your existing training routine to the next level. Whatever the case, you need the right gear to help you reach your goal. To that end, weve put together the best fitness gear checklist for supporting your New Years Resolution.

This list of fitness gear recommendations covers all the bases in terms of the key products you need, from shoes to clothes to headphones and more. Consider this your checklist of the fitness equipment must-haves for helping you reach your goals and achieve your resolution for the coming year.

Few things are as integral to a solid fitness routine as a great pair of running shoes. These days running shoes are something of technological marvels, designed to maximize your comfort, performance, and longevity.

We Recommend: Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2

Nike has always made great running shoes, but with the latest versions of the React Infinity Run Flyknits the company has really upped the game. These are among the brands most meticulously tested and crafted shoes, designed to deliver a pillowy-cushioned running experience along with outstanding support and stability. Theyre also built to last and will provide years (and miles) of comfortable running.

Whether youre hitting the gym to improve your fitness a bit, or youre a powerlifter looking to bulk on the gains, the foundation provided by a solid pair of lifting shoes can be instrumental to getting the most out of your performance. They can also help ensure that you have the stable footing necessary to avoid injury.

We Recommend: Reebok Nano X1 Mens Training Shoes

When it comes to shoeing your hooves with some truly great trainers, its hard to beat the Nano X1s from Reebok. Not only are they highly comfortable thanks to their lightweight, breathable design, but their three-quarter flat soles and up-curved toes provide both the stability needed for lifting in place and the versatility necessary to make moves.

Training shirts come in a wide variety of styles and designs, but whatever the case you should aim to have a shirt that is comfortable and functional no matter what activity youre engaged in. That means that it fits well, feels good on the skin, is breathable, and keeps the sweat from accumulating too much.

We Recommend: Lululemon Drysense Training Short Sleeve Shirt

This shirt from Lululemon is all-around fantastic whether youre looking to run, lift, or stretch. Its tech fabric wicks sweat away, and not only is it comfortable, but it looks great too. Its also designed to last, boasting little details like a loop on the back of the neck for hanging it to dry without stretching the elastic.

There may be no piece of workout clothes more integral to your routine than a quality pair of gym shorts. While you can go without pretty much any other piece of gear, shorts are a must for obvious reasons. In choosing a pair of gym shorts, your goal should be to achieve comfort and a functional fit that allows you to move with ease.

We Recommend: Puma Cloudspun 8-inch Training Shorts

If youre looking for the softest, most comfortable training shortsmoney can buy, youve found them. Puma has really outdone themselves this time, designing shorts that feel nothing short of amazing. Theyre perfect for any activity, whether youre in the gym, on a run, or in the yoga studio, and they look great too.

A quality gym sweatshirt can be invaluable for your comfort when heading to and from the gym, or for outdoor workouts in cooler climes. It can also help keep your muscles warmed up and ready to go if youre waiting on the sidelines.

We Recommend: NOBULL Performance Zip-up Hoodie

To these ends, this zip-up hoodie from NOBULL is amazing. Not only is it soft and cozy, boasting some of the best-feeling fabric on the market, but it looks absolutely fantastic. Its the only sweatshirt weve found designed to fit an athletic build like a glove.

The type of socks you wear to the gym might seem like a little detail, but sometimes success is in the details. They can ensure that you train in comfort, bolster your stability somewhat, and even keep you safe from blisters, which can devastate your performance.

We Recommend: Feetures Elite Max Cushion No Show Tab

These socks from Feetures provide a truly unparalleled level of comfort. They fit perfectly, providing not only a comfortable experience but reducing the likelihood of blisters. Theyre also built to last.

No workout is complete without a soundtrack, which means you need a solid pair of gym headphones. Look for a pair that fit well, have a long-lasting battery, and are resilient enough to withstand sweat and wear. They should also sound great, of course.

We Recommend: Jabra Elite 7 Active Headphones

The Elite 7 Active headphones from Jabra deliver the best training audio experience out there. Super slip-resistant, durable, and waterproof, theyre tough enough to handle whatever you throw at them. They also have an outstanding sound that is bolstered by Active Noise Cancellation.

When it comes to training at home, you need weights. While dumbbells tend to be the best option for a home gym, to get the range of weight necessary to enjoy a truly comprehensive workout takes up a ton of space and even more money.

We Recommend: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

These adjustable dumbbells from Bowflex provide the perfect solution. They bring home the equivalent of 15 dumbbell sets, and theyre easier to adjust than other similar products.

A kettlebell can be an amazing tool for a home gym thanks to the versatility it offers. With one you can perform a wide variety of isolated and full-body motions, allowing you to get a truly comprehensive training experience.

We Recommend: Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Kettlebell

Like the adjustable dumbbells mentioned above, this adjustable kettlebell from Kettlebell Kings solves the major issue of bringing home a wide range of weights without eating up too much space and money. With a weight range of 10 to 40 pounds, it offers the variety you need to hit a slew of different workouts and difficulty levels. Its also effortless to adjust between different weight settings.

These days wearable tech is changing the fitness game, allowing dedicated fitness enthusiasts to collect all the data they need to get the most out of their workout. Quality fitness trackers help to ensure that youre getting the most out of your performance and recovery, and that youre truly working toward your goals.

We Recommend: Fitbit Charge 5

When it comes to tracking your training (and just about everything else going on in your body), few if any fitness trackers compare to the new Charge 5 from Fitbit. Not only does it collect data on calories burned, heart rate, and other basic fitness information, but it provides sleep coaching, GPS, and even stress management. If youre looking to gather and make the most of your biometrics, the Charge 5 is hard to beat.

Link:
The Best Fitness Gear Checklist for New Years Resolutions - The Manual



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