Tag Archives: aerobic workout

Research Discovers that Exercises Builds the Brain: “Musclehead” Takes on New Meaning!

We all know that exercise builds muscles, but newly released scientific research indicates that it may also build the brain – literally! A team at the University of Edinburgh followed more than 600 people who were 70 years old at the time the study began. The subjects provided details on their daily physical, mental and social activities.

Three years later, using imaging scans, the scientists found that the subjects who engaged in the most physical exercise had less shrinkage and damage in the brain’s white matter – the “wiring” of the brain’s communication system. The relationship remained even after factoring for such variables as age, health, social class and I.Q.

The study, reported in the journal Neurology, also indicated that exercise had a more positive effect in preventing brain shrinkage than engagement in mentally stimulating activities or having an active social life. While the authors of the study couldn’t rule out the possibility that people with less brain deterioration were just more likely to be physically active, they said that based on their findings, they would recommend that people take up physical exercise whatever their age.

If you’re already keeping your brain toned and pumped, you’re ahead of the game! If you’re looking for a fitness program that will be fun, challenging and beneficial – regardless of your age or fitness level – spend some time learning about all the great classes and programs Future Fitness offers. We now have something to improve every brain as well as every body!


Common Sense Exercise Tips

If you’re considering starting a workout routine and have reached this blog for some advice, congratulations! If you’ve recently joined Future Fitness and want to be sure you have every advantage in keeping your commitment to a healthy lifestyle, here are five simple tips:

1. Consult a fitness professional – Have a professional assessment to determine what types of exercise will be most beneficial. You may learn that following a program based on aerobics or resistance training will get you where you want to go. You’ll also learn the areas in which you need the most attention, and how to avoid injury.

Future Fitness provides free sessions with a personal trainer, plus the industry’s leading instructors for all classes and programs. You can begin your program with complete confidence that you’ll enjoy the maximum benefits – as long as you follow the subsequent tips!

2. Follow an effective exercise routine – The American Council on Exercise (ACE) surveyed 1,000 ACE-certified personal trainers about the best techniques to get fit. They recommended a combination of strength training to help tone the entire body, interval training and cardio/aerobic exercise.

3. Choose a fitness regime you enjoy – Don’t take up a program that you’ll approach like a chore, or a fad workout that’s getting all the media buzz (unless you find that it really is a good program for you, and not just the celebrity who made it famous). For example, spinning may appeal more to you than walking on a treadmill (or vice versa).

Future Fitness members have an advantage in being able to take free demos of classes and programs, and in discussing the range of activities they like with instructors who can recommend the appropriate exercises.

4. Set realistic goals and be patient – If you’ve been a long-term couch potato, don’t expect to see a new slimmer, toned and ripped “you” in a few weeks. Trying to do too much too soon sets you up for injury and/or a lot of frustration. Either way, you’re more likely to give up.

Also, don’t strive for perfection or a goal that’s improbable based upon your physical limitations (which we all have). Talk with your instructor or trainer about your fitness goals, and the process involved in reaching them.

5. Be consistent – Achieving physical fitness is a process, and progress is made in increments. Schedule a regular time (at least three times weekly) for your workout. No matter how good your program, you won’t get results unless you do it consistently.

Reach the Next Level of Fitness with Cross Training

Ready to take your workout program to the next level? Cross training can produce numerous significant benefits ranging from preventing burnout to improving overall fitness.

Cross training refers to a training routine that includes several different forms of exercise. It’s common to settle on one particular workout program when you begin a fitness regimen, but a lack of variation over time can lead to boredom (which means you may lose interest and stop exercising), and causes you to plateau at a certain fitness level.

Cross training allows you to vary the stress placed on certain muscles – as well as your cardiovascular system. This limits the stress that occurs on a specific muscle group because different activities use muscles in somewhat different ways. It also helps reduce the risk of injury from repetitive strain or overuse.

Other benefits of cross training include:

  • Flexibility in accommodating your training needs and plans
  • Produces a higher level of overall conditioning
  • Works some muscles while others rest and recover
  • Increases your basal metabolic rate
  • Improves your agility and balance

There are basic types of exercise that make up a good cross training routine:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Strength training
  • Calisthenics
  • Flexibility (stretching, yoga)
  • Speed, agility and balance drills
  • Circuit training, sprinting and other kinds of skill conditioning

A convenient way to get a total cross training workout that meets your needs and will help best achieve your fitness goals is to check out the classes at your favorite Future Fitness location. Our experienced instructors will lead you through a series of routines utilizing a variety of exercises and exercise equipment. You can achieve all the advantages that cross training provides in one convenient place!



Add More Life to Your Later Years with Exercise

People are living well into their eighth or ninth decade, but not necessarily in the good health they assumed advances in medical science would make possible. Fortunately, a recent study has found that starting an exercise program in mid-life can help you stay healthier and more fit through old age, so you can really enjoy those additional years.

Published in Archives of Internal Medicine, the study indicates that becoming fit in middle age delays the onset of debilitating chronic illnesses and physical decline for a much longer period than being sedentary – or compounding a fondness for the couch with poor nutritional choices. According to the study, middle-age people who work out regularly can expect to live with chronic disease for only the last five years of their life – instead of the final 10 to 20 years of those who don’t.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Cooper Institute in Dallas. The researchers gathered medical records for 18,670 middle-age men and women who had visited the Cooper Clinic (the medical division of the Cooper Institute) for a standard physical exam in 1970.

The subjects had an average age of 49, and were healthy and free of chronic illness. All had taken a treadmill test to determine their aerobic fitness. Based on the results, the group was divided into five fitness categories. From the years 1999 through 2009 – when most participants were in their 70s or 80s – researches checked their Medicare claim records (study participants gave permission).

Their findings: People who had been the least fit at the time the study began were the most likely to have developed serious or chronic conditions – such as heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s – early in the aging process. Those who had been the most aerobically fit did not experience such illnesses until much later, resulting in a higher quality of life.

So don’t assume it’s too late to start a fitness program because you remember when phones had a rotary dial. Future Fitness members have access to the fitness industry’s leading personal trainers, who can plan a workout program that will allow you to build muscle tone, strength and stamina in a safe manner. Plunging into an exercise program by doing too much too soon is a common cause of injury – which is definitely counterproductive.

Our excellent fitness classes and programs appeal to a wide range of interests, and offer something for people at every level of fitness. You’re sure to find an exercise routine you enjoy!

Just remember fitness icon Jack LaLanne’s famous declaration that he’d rather wear out than rust out. Although he passed earlier this year at age 96, no one could say he broke down. LaLanne lived every day to the fullest, remaining active and enthusiastic. We should all do the same to not only live as long as LaLanne, but as well.


From Swimsuits to Snowsuits Already – Keeping Fit Through the Holiday Season

It seems we were just gearing up our workout routine for swimsuit season, and now summer is ending. Because the holiday season seems to start earlier every year, it isn’t too soon to make a plan for keeping fit during the fall/winter festival of food and over-indulgence. Fortunately, if you’re a Future Fitness member, our instructors can give you the best advice in the industry on modifying your schedule to accommodate extra demands on your time, and recommending new exercises to help you continue achieving great results.

While most articles about keeping fit through months of temptation and extra socializing focus on diet, staying on your fitness schedule is equally important. Here’s why:

Routines get disrupted during the holidays for many reasons. When family comes to visit, and/or you’re running all over town, attending social gatherings, sports events, and other activities, it can be easy to skip your workout program. Like the TV commercial in which one small event leads to a quickly escalating series of disasters, you’re more likely to let other things slide when you quit visiting the fitness center on a regular basis. For example, you’re less likely to say “no” to that extra serving or slice. After all, it’s a(n):

1.    Major feast day

2.    Family gathering

3.    Office party

4.    Block party

5.    Tailgate party

6.    Bowl party

7.    Group of old friends in town

8.    Party for kid’s school, team, etc.

9.    Etc.

Even if you’re vigilant about enjoying holiday goodies in moderation, however, missing workouts can have detrimental effects. Common end-of-the-year activities tend to produce stress. The energy, stamina and strength you get from following a regular exercise schedule give you the resources to meet the season’s extra demands. When your body isn’t stressed, you’re also less likely to catch a cold or come down with the flu.

Another good reason for keeping up your exercise routine is the fact that getting back into it after an absence is more difficult. In order to avoid injury, it may be necessary to cut back reps or use lighter weights until your muscles build up again.

So how can you stay on schedule during the long holiday season? It helps to plan with a smartphone or old-school calendar. Make note of the dates when special or extra activities will occur, and work out time for the fitness center accordingly. You’ll be less likely to dismiss it or put if off if you’re looking at specific blocks of time.

If you do have to miss at least one week of working out at the fitness center, do something else that provides aerobic benefits – like walking or cycling. If you have family visiting, go out for a walk together through the neighborhood, park or nature trails. Taking a brisk walk through the mall is a good alternative during inclement weather – just be sure to keep up a good pace, and don’t browse. Of course, use your home fitness equipment to stay toned.

But make sure to come back as soon as possible. There may be no place like home, but home doesn’t have the state-of-the-art facilities, equipment or the invigorating, inspiring classes and workout programs of your favorite Future Fitness location! Have fun and be fit all through the holidays with us, and get a great start on 2013!