Beginner’s Guide to The Gym

Beginner’s Guide to The Gym

So, you’ve secured a gym membership. Congrats! You’re one step closer to your health and fitness goals. With so many options at your gym–classes, trainers, equipment–where to begin? Then, there’s gym etiquette. How long can you stay on the treadmill before everybody starts forming a queue behind you? More importantly, are you certain that you’re maximising your time and money spent at the gym? Before you turn around to exit and quit before you’ve even begun, you’ll want to sit down and read a few pointers on how to survive your first few days at the gym.

First Steps

personal trainer near meIf you’re a real beginner, but serious about starting a gym program, there are a few things you can try out first to test the waters. What you need to know is that there’s no need to go solo! Joining classes is the easiest way to see what you like and to build relationships with teachers and fellow gym-goers. You can also consult with a personal trainer, who can assess your wants, needs and goals. You can also get the best of both classes and small group fitness classes. Lastly, don’t be afraid to try out new equipment, no matter how cutting edge and complicated they may seem. This will help cut through the boredom. Just be sure to ask the trainers for a quick explanation so you don’t get injured or make a fool of yourself.


How often should you go to the gym? Since you’re starting out, you shouldn’t expect to have the same mental and physical capacity as those who hit the gym six days out of the week. Aim for two to three times a week. It’s enough to make progress and keep up momentum. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to go to the gym more than two to three days a week if you have extra time but build up slowly.

Making Progress

Once you’ve settled into your routine, you might begin to worry about progressing. What you can do is slowly get out of your comfort zone. Gradually shift your goals each week/ month. You could accomplish this by increasing your reps or intensity for each of the exercises. You could even try running for longer distances or adding different types of exercise such as rowing, cycling, Pilates or yoga. You’ll also want to keep a record of your gym sessions. Log your workouts and note the day’s accomplishments. You can also make things more fun and interesting by establishing relationships at the gym and making workouts competitive. Join a team sport or simply hang around with stronger and more experienced gym-goers who have the same mindset as you.

Equipment Etiquette

Most gyms should have time limits for equipment and will be clearly posted for you to see. Be mindful of sticking to that time limit. If somebody is waiting to use the machine, you could even suggest to take turns after each set. And, when you’re on that particular machine, make sure you’re actually using it and not spending time on your phone or just resting, especially when there are other people waiting. When you’re done with whatever machine you’ve used, always wipe it down with a towel. Nobody wants to sit in another person’s sweat. When using weights, don’t leave them lying around after you have used them and return them to the rack where you got them. This is not only courteous, but weights left lying around can be a safety hazard.

Advantages of Being a Runner

Advantages of Being a Runner

Runners, especially those who run long distance, generally have two things in common: sinewy quads and a heavy duty set of lungs. But the perks of running does not stop there. There is so much more that long-distance running can do for you including for your mind and body.

In a recent study done in Finland, researchers found that long distance runners tend to be smarter. In this research, they studied the effects of resistance training on adult rat brains. They used rats with both genetically high and low response to aerobic training. All subjects underwent a 6 to 8 week aerobic training in which they were urged to complete HIIT or resistance training workouts and run.

Fitness Training KenmorePrior to doing the research, the scientists had already established the fact that aerobic exercises do have positive effects on the function and structure of the brain. However, they did not know whether HIIT or anaerobic resistance training had the same effect on the brain, specifically to the growth of neurons in it.

It has quite a similar effect to humans. Here are some of the amazing health perks enjoyed by those who run very, very far.

Good memory

Humans, mice and monkeys share a common peculiarity:  a protein that is identified with memory flows in the brain after a run, as stated in the research that was published in Cell Press.

Another odd discovery was unearthed by the University of North Florida when they found that running barefoot can also enhance your working memory. There is about 16% increase in working memory performance in barefoot runners after exercise. This was determined by their ability to remember instructions, directions and understanding information. It is believed that the extra “tactile and proprioceptive demands” stimulates your brain into tapping your working memory more forcefully, boosting its growth and function.

Strong knees

It’s a common notion that running can ultimately have a bad effect on your knees and joints. In some degree, this is true especially when running on high terrain, your knees may experience some pain due to excessive use. On the other hand, something good can actually be benefited from long distance running. According to a research at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, regular running can actually put off late onset knee pain.

Longer life

It seems that running is particularly advantageous in fighting cancer, according to a research issued by the British Journal of Sports Medicine. In this research, they took 2,560 middle aged men as their subjects and observed their health over the span of 17 years. They have observed that the men who were more physically active were less likely to develop cancer. In fact, runners who run for at least 30 minutes per day are 50% less likely to acquire the disease.

Live happier

A long distance run can put you on a high. Anyone who’s been jogging regularly can attest to feeling much better after a not so pleasing day at work — once you’ve gotten past the first few kilometres.

If you’re still not convinced, there is further research done where it was discovered that jogging (as well as other aerobic exercises) changes the skeletal muscles and removes kynurenine (an amino acid that accumulates when you are stressed and depressed) from the blood. After a run, the body also releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that improves your disposition.

The Benefits of Lemon Water

The Benefits of Lemon Water

Quenching your thirst with your favourite soft drink or some other sweet and refreshing drink can be so tempting. When jump-starting your day, you also probably prefer to make a cup of coffee, and, for your mid-afternoon boost of energy, you might reach for an energy drink or a cup of tea. There’s one drink that can see to all your thirst-quenching and energy-boosting needs and it’s simply lemon-infused water.

What’s so great about lemon water? How could it possibly beat out your favourite drinks? For one, it has zero calories. We’re always encouraged to drink more water and infusing it with lemon can make it more flavoursome. Not to mention, lemon has a multitude of health benefits. Soon, you’ll be stocking up your fridge with bottles of lemon water when you learn just how invigorating, healing and therapeutic it can be.

Consuming water alone is one of the simplest and most helpful things we can do to maintain our health. Water is a key component in every system of the body and a requirement in all bodily functions. Water flushes out toxins, delivers nutrients and supports a healthy environment for the tissues in the ear, throat and nose. If you’ve ever experienced dehydration you know how harmful it can be and this is because the systems of the body are struggling to function properly without water. The ideal amount of water to drink is based on your body weight and be calculated as 0.03 litres of water per kilogram of body weight.

Meanwhile, lemon is one of the most nutritional fruits available, being low in fat and sodium while high in folate, potassium and vitamin C. Folate is especially beneficial to women and can prevent cognitive problems, cancer, some psychiatric illnesses and cardiovascular issues. Potassium is great for building protein and muscle, while vitamin C repairs parts of the body. Lemon also has antioxidant properties, which means it can block the negative effects of cancer-causing free radicals.

Weight loss Pinjarra HillsWhen combined together, lemon and water can pack some pretty powerful benefits including aiding digestion. Lemon water has also been found to prevent constipation and is considered a gentle early morning laxative. Lemon water can also keep your breath fresh and can help neutralise the odour after eating some particularly strong-smelling foods, like garlic, onions or fish. The citric acid in lemon also decreases the risk of calcium stones. Even your skin can gain positive effects from drinking lemon water since vitamin C has been found to reduce the risk of wrinkles and dry skin.

Lemon water does come with some adverse effects, though. The citric acid in lemon can erode tooth enamel. You can protect your teeth by drinking through a straw and rinsing your mouth afterwards. Citric acid can also cause heartburn. Furthermore, lemon juice can increase urine production.

If you want to make the perfect lemon water, use filtered water and fresh and organic lemons. You can drink it either hot or cold and you can also add mint, honey and ginger for even more flavour and health benefits.

Daily Habits for Losing Weight

Daily Habits for Losing Weight

Losing weight seems like the most impossible task. Who has the time? Who has the money? Who has the willpower? You’d be surprised that making some small lifestyle changes can make a huge difference. And, you don’t even have to (completely) give up your favourite foods in the process. Sounds too good to be true? Read on and you’ll be shedding weight in no time.

Always start your day with a protein-packed meal

The idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day holds true for most people. Try to carve some time to prepare and sit down for that first meal of the day. Your breakfast should be full of lean protein and rich in fibre. This will deliver you the energy you need to get the day going without slowing you down. Steer clear of sugary carbohydrates like bagels, cold cereal, and pastries. You can cook up something as simple as scrambled eggs on whole grain toast with a cup of fruit or Greek yoghurt on the side.

Put your knife and fork down after each bite

It can seem like such a trivial thing, but you’ll soon notice how putting your knife and fork down after each bite can make you feel fuller for a longer period of time. The recommended amount of time you should spend consuming a meal is 20 minutes. By setting down your knife and fork after each bite, you’re giving your stomach more time to process and allow the feeling of satiety to ‘kick in’.

Stay focused on your meal

Weight Loss Program KenmoreEating in front of a screen can seem like a great way to multitask or decompress after a long day, but this habit can actually have an effect on the way you eat. According to experts, keeping your mind busy while eating can block certain signals alerting you that you’re satiated or full. You’ve probably been staring at screens the whole day anyway, so why not take 20 minutes off to just enjoy the food you have in front of you?

Stay hydrated

Most nutritionists agree that we commonly mistake thirst for hunger. So, instead of reaching for that pack of crisps, try drinking a glass of water first. If you’re having trouble keeping track of staying hydrated, you can add flavour by making infused water with lemons, cucumbers, or berries.

Eat in

Ideally, you should be making and consuming most of your meals at home. It can be difficult to track the nutritional content of foods from restaurants. There may be more sugar, salt, or even just portions than you need.

Prep meals

If you’re having trouble figuring ways and time to cook meals at home, make a plan or else you’ll be reaching for a microwavable meal or ordering take-away.

Be mindful when eating out

If you are dining out, there are a few easy tips you should remember. Start with a salad since that can help you stay fuller for longer. Be decisive by being the first to order, since some studies have shown that a group will make similar choices to the first person to voice their order. You can even look up the menu online on your way to the restaurant and have a decision ready by the time you’re seated.

Don’t eat after 9 PM

High-energy foods like sugar and fat will not only make you gain weight but eating them late in the evening will make it harder for you to fall asleep. And, a lack of sleep has been proven to be detrimental to weight loss goals. Try to go to bed as early as possible to break that midnight snacking habit.