Tag Archives | Health

Health is the reason why we pursue fitness. It is one of the key indicators of quality of life. In addition to fitness, health also incorporates diet and sleep.  We would love to be a part of your journey to improved health, providing all of your new & used fitness equipment. Call us at (714) 957-2765 or visit our new 10,000 square foot showroom in Santa Ana, CA. We serve client across the entire United States and Internationally.

What’s the best time of day to exercise?

Finding time to exercise can be hard to come by, so if your time is limited, working out whenever you can find time is recommended. If you do have the luxury of picking and choosing when you work out, then you might be wondering what time is best? Unfortunately, there is no definite answer on an optimal time to exercise, but there are different merits and benefits associated with working out at different times of the day.

Working out in the morning can make you more active throughout the day and help you sleep better

For the early birds out there, a morning workout can be an extremely beneficial way to start off the day. If you’re the type of person who hits the alarm before it goes off and springs out of bed, working out in the morning would be optimal. Exercise in the morning can boost metabolism for the rest of the day and also encourages more activity.

One of the keys to getting fit is routine and habit. Studies have shown that people who exercise in the morning are more likely to adhere to a regular workout schedule. If you don’t have a set time for exercise, other life events might overwhelm you and you might never get that workout in. It’s always much simpler to just wake up a little earlier to make time for fitness.

Another great benefit of working out in the morning is that you’ll have better and deeper sleep. This is a cycle of benefits as deeper, more restful sleep allows you to wake up more easily in the morning to work out again! Another way a morning workout contributes to sleep is that it prevents you from working out too close at night. Exercise raises your body temperature and gives you energy, which are two things that prevent quality sleep.

Evening workouts are usually more intense

Workouts later in the day are a definite must for fans of the snooze button. If you struggle to even get up in the morning, it is highly unlikely that you will stick to a consistent morning routine for working out.

It is also much more likely that you will exercise harder later in the day because due to the rise in temperature and your activity throughout the day, your body temperature will be higher. A higher body temperature means that you perform better athletically and a chance of injury is also greatly reduced.

Conclusion: The bottom line is, it all depends on the person. The key factors that you should consider when working out are when you feel best and at a time that you can consistently make. There are merits to working out both in the day and evening so ultimately, whatever fits your schedule is optimal. You can also try working out at different times a few weeks at a time and see what feels right. Once you find a good time, you can stop by our site to shop for some used fitness equipment!

Should you drink coffee before a workout?#

Should you drink coffee before a workout?#

A majority of people start off their day with their routine cup of joe or a workout, but could the combination of both actually be beneficial? Coffee, or more accurately, caffeine in general is perceived to give high amounts of energy initially followed by a crash. Contrary to this belief, there are actually benefits to drink coffee before a workout.

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1. It skews your perception of exertion 

Caffeine increases energy and output which creates the perception that your workout is actually easier than normal. With this increased feeling of ease, you are much more likely to work out longer and harder than usual. The caffeine aids in increasing output and duration of a workout.

2. It improves circulation

Coffee or caffeine in general, if used in moderation, can increase circulation and blood flow. Quality circulation is absolutely vital in a workout because blood carries the oxygen to the muscles which are being pushed to their limits during strenuous exercise. With a more efficient flow of blood and oxygen, your workout effectiveness will drastically increase.

3. It can increase fat burning

An interesting fact about coffee is that if it is consumed before a workout, it can actually encourage the body to use fat cells as energy instead of glycogen during a workout. This is obviously a huge plus because almost everyone exercises with the goal of fat burning in mind. A short term effect is that it also temporarily increases metabolism which will burn more calories during your workout.

4. You feel less tired after exercise

In addition to increasing performance, the after effects are also drastically reduced if coffee is consumed prior to the workout. Researchers also noticed that athletes that took caffeine before their workouts also had much less potassium in the fluid between their muscles. Potassium is associated with the fatigued feelings of muscles after an intense workout.

5. It makes you sharper

In addition to the physical benefits, coffee can improve mental sharpness and cognitive functions. It improves alertness and fine motor skills in addition to improving mood. With sharper skills, you will drastically reduce the chance of injuries and increase effectiveness.

Even though caffeine can benefit a workout, like everything in life, moderation is key. A single cup of black coffee will be more than adequate in order to get results. Make sure your coffee isn’t filled with sugar and creamer because those may cause you to become jittery or experience a crash midway through your workout. So brew up a roast and go work out!

How to use gym equipment#

How to use gym equipment#

Every gym machine is different so of course there are multiple ways of using different equipment. What we are providing you here are general tips on how to use fitness equipment so that you’ll not only prevent injuries, but also get the maximum benefit out of them. Some of this advice does not apply to every machine so use your best judgement.

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1. Find the right machine for you

In order to use equipment correctly, you have to first choose what type of equipment to use. This is a pretty simple process because no matter what your goal is, whether it be strength building or calorie burning, you have to enjoy using the machine. If you don’t enjoy the machine, you’re not going to get any benefits because you won’t be working as hard and you won’t be as motivated to keep going.

2. Adjust the machine

In almost every case, you can’t just jump onto a machine after someone has been using it and begin  your workout. Everyone’s body is different, size-wise and movement-wise. Here are general adjustment tips for all the major machines:

1) Treadmills

Treadmills are very easy to use and can accommodate users of every fitness level. The main adjustments you can make on a treadmill are speed and incline. Logically, users with higher fitness levels will want faster speeds and steeper inclines.

2) Exercise bikes

This low impact option generally has only one adjustment option, the seat height. Most people generally sit too low which may cause more pressure on the knees and reduces the range of movement and calorie burning impact of cycling. Your knees should only be slightly bent, maybe a 10 degree angle at most. Some people like biking with their feet flat on the pedal, but putting the ball of your foot on the pedal is recommended. You want your leg to experience a full range of motion in order to optimal benefit.

3) Ellipticals

Ellipticals are also low impact cardio machines with different adjustable settings. There are two main type of ellipticals, those with upper body (movable arms) and those without. People new to working out should stick to just the lower body for the time being in order to focus on building up their stamina and endurance.

Generally cardio machines are very straightforward and simple to adjust because many of them have electronic consoles. Strength machines on the other hand, do not offer as much straight forward guidance when it comes to adjusting.

3. Know your limits

There are many experts in the gym lifting a ridiculous amounts of weights and this can be both intimidating and encouraging. If you’re new to fitness, lifting and using machines, it is important to know your limits so that you get the most out of your workout and don’t hurt yourself. If you are following a pre-set routine, you should have enough weights to complete the desired amount of reps and no more. You should feel fatigued by the end of the rep.

If you do not have a set routine, always start off low. Once you find a comfortable weight where you can do 8-15 reps on to fatigue, that is when you know you’ve found the right amount of weight.

 

 

11 Ways to Make your Life More Active

Life can get hectic at times so it may be difficult to get a full blown workout in every single day but there are plenty of little ways you can stay active in everyday life. Even if you are not breaking a sweat, there are still great benefits to getting some extra movement in.

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1. Workout at work

As we’ve previously detailed before, working out at work can be a great way to help energize yourself throughout the work day. Even these micro-workouts can elevate the heart-rate a bit and serve as minor cardio. Besides the exercises we’ve detailed in that post there are many other ways you can get some exercise during your 8 hour day.

1. Take the stairs as often as you can

2. Instead of driving to lunch, take a walk with some coworkers and maybe even have some quality bonding time.

3. If you find yourself constantly using your phone to page your coworkers, try walking to their physical offices instead. Unless the matter is extremely time sensitive, then you should probably stick with using the phone.

4. Encourage social sporting outings after work and maybe even form a team. Or have sporting competitions between departments.

5. If your commute is short enough, you can even ride a bike to work. On that note,

2. Ride your bike 

If you do not have a bicycle, it is well worth it to invest in one. Try to ride is everywhere whenever possible.

3. Let the remote collect dust

Even during your relaxation time, you can find a way to get a little more movement by getting off the couch and manually changing the channels. This also prevents soreness and dangerous conditions which may arise from sitting still for an extended period of time.

4. Clean the house

This piece of advice offers you two great benefits. First, you can easily work up a sweat cleaning up your house by intensely vacuuming or taking mopping to the extreme. The second benefit is that your house will be clean.

5. Find an active hobby

It doesn’t have to be a sport, but sports are a great and fun way to get into shape and stay active. Other active hobbies include carpentry, gardening, wood chopping, biking and many more.

6. Find someone who is active and tag along with them (or make someone active)

Workout partners are the best. Being active is always more fun when you have someone to socialize with and you can hold each other accountable. You can also take your dogs for walks. Dogs are generally always up to be more active.

7. Stand up at work or just whenever possible

As stated before, sitting down can negatively impact health, so if possible, standing at work can help you feel better and more energized throughout the day. There has also been an increase in popularity recently for the desk treadmills. While the technology isn’t quite there yet, standing at work can still help you be a little more active.

8. Dance

Whether it’s at a club or just in your living room, dancing can be an awesome way to burn a few calories. If you have a significant other, take them out to swing dancing or salsa or any of the other festive dances out there. If you don’t have a significant other, there is no shame in dancing alone. Everyone does it.

9. Go shopping

Not online shopping, that doesn’t count. Walking around the mall at a brisk pace can also be a way to move around in a fun environment. Malls are especially great during hot days since they’re air conditioned. Just make sure to keep your credit card at home so you don’t get too tempted by all the goodies.

10. Park far away

When you’re at the mall or anywhere else, try to park a good distance away in order to squeeze in a little more fitness time. Avoid parking a great distance away at night though. That may be harmful.

11. Exercise while doing other stuff

Multitasking is highly recommended if you’re too ridiculously busy to work out all the time.

1. Do wall-sits while brushing your teeth

2. Work while sitting on an exercise ball. Trying to stabilize yourself will work out your core muscles.

3. Ride a stationary bike while reading

4. Ride a stationary bike while watching television

5. Ride a stationary bike while contemplating the true meaning of life

6. Do calf-lifts while standing in line

The possibilities are endless. There are always ways to make everything a little more active. You just have to get creative.

 

5 Ways to Treat Soreness#

5 Ways to Treat Soreness#

Many fitness fanatics love that feeling of soreness after an intense workout. Although many enjoy it, if the soreness is overwhelming it can drastically hinder subsequent workouts. Soreness can also discourage many newcomers to the fitness world. What causes soreness is the build up of lactic acid which is a byproduct of muscle metabolism. Although it is impossible to completely prevent muscle soreness after an intense workout, there are a variety of methods to reduce the intensity of the soreness.

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1. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated not only helps to prevent intense soreness, it’s just a great habit to have overall. Staying hydrated before, during and after your workout is absolutely vital in not only getting a better workout but also in staying healthy.

2. Warm up properly

Warming up is an absolutely great way to prevent muscle soreness and also decrease the chance of injury. Warming up does not mean only stretching though. Warming up should begin with light cardio to increase your body temperature and then movement that will increase the elasticity of your muscles.

3. Eat after you workout

You do not have to immediately eat a big meal after a workout, but it is important to put something in your body, proteins and carbohydrates are adequate, in order repair and build your muscles. Your body can benefit from a protein shake or a small snack of chicken and rice in order to get the necessary nutrition that will prevent soreness.

4. Ice

Ice is the preferred method of recovery for many top athletes around the world for a reason. The immediate effect of ice is that it reduces inflammation and alleviates pain from the onset of soreness. An ice bath constricts blood flow and once out of the ice bath, will promote new blood to improve healing. This also flushes out the lactic acid that has been building in the muscle after a workout.

5. Stretching

After your workout, when your muscles are still warm, is the best time to get some stretching in. Stretching serves to bring blood to certain body parts to promote recovery.

These are just a few proven methods to battle soreness so you can get back to your workout. If the soreness is too much though, remember to rest and let your body heal itself.

 

Can vegans and vegetarians be bodybuilders?

There are some who doubt that vegans and vegetarians can even intake enough nutrients to live a healthy life, so body-building while on a plant based diet could seem a little extreme. Plant based diets have been shown to have long term health benefits, but are they sufficient for building muscle? The short answer to our headline is yes, but it may take a little more effort than their carnivorous counterparts. One of the most essential nutrients in bodybuilding is definitely protein, which may be lacking in a vegan or vegetarian diet. One of the staples of a bodybuilding diet is chicken breast, which a vegan or vegetarian obviously cannot eat. Luckily, there are many useful tips and alternatives that will allow vegans and vegetarians to bodybuild successfully.

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1. Have enough calories

In order to build muscle, you need a surplus of calories compared to your normal diet. If you do not have enough calories to burn when working out, your body may use protein instead which will be counter-productive in building muscle. Make sure that your surplus calories are coming from healthy sources though such as vegetables, fruits, nuts alongside protein.

2. Have enough proteins

While plants may not be as densely protein packed as meats, there are tons of great options for adding extra protein to your vegan or vegetarian diet. One great source of protein, that is also delicious, are chickpeas. As we’ve detailed before, hummus is a great post workout snack. Another effective source of protein is quinoa, which you can eat instead of brown rice because it is more protein dense. Nuts and seeds can also give you an adequate amount of protein for a bodybuilding diet.

3. Vary your diet

The best way to ensure that you are not lacking in any nutrients is to not gravitate toward the same food day after day. Each food offers a variety of different benefits so filling your diet with a plethora of different options will help you intake enough nutrients.

4. Make sure to have enough healthy fats

Contrary to its bad reputation, fat is essential to life and a healthy body. Not all fats are created equally though. The best kinds of fat are the ones from natural sources such as avocados, peanut or almond butter, and of course nuts. Make sure to limit your intake though, as even healthy fat does easily convert into body fat.

5. Consider taking supplements 

This is not absolutely essential, but there are some nutrients that vegetarians and vegans are more likely to lack. The main ones are iron and calcium. If you’re not a fan of supplements, there is food that contain these nutrients.

In conclusion, it may not be easy to be a vegetarian or vegan bodybuilder, but it is far from impossible. With a well planned diet, a great workout routine, maybe some used fitness equipment, you can build the body you’ve always dreamed of while maintaining your plant based diet.

How long should you work out?#

How long should you work out?#

There are many misconceptions about how long you should work out to get maximum benefits. You may hear of some of your friends doing three hour marathon sessions at the gym and others doing high intensity, shorter workouts. There are a wide spectrum of workout lengths ranging from 10 minute intervals to 90 minutes or more. Here are a few ways to help determine how long your workouts should be.

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It depends on your fitness goals, but 30 minutes a day is the minimum for healthy adults.

Across the board, the magic minimum workout number appears to be at least 30 minutes of moderate activity a day. This rule applies to all healthy adults and serves to maintain a healthy weight and lower the chance of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis just to name a few. The Department of Health and Human Services is a little more lenient and suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity or alternatively 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. You can also mix and match both moderate activity and strenuous aerobic activity. The Department of Health and Human Services also recommends at least two days of strength training a week, although doesn’t specify the type of activity or length.

Is there such a thing as to short of a workout or too long of one?

Free time is very difficult to come by and many people may not even have a 30 minute chunk to dedicate to a workout. This is not a problem at all, as shorter 10 minute intervals that add up to 30 minutes can benefit you just as much as one longer session. If you notice that you are still gaining weight, feel free to lengthen your workouts or add more vigorous exercises. Workouts can even be extended to 90 minutes which is extremely beneficial for overweight individuals who are in the process of losing weight or maintaining their weight loss. There is no magic amount of time that you should be aiming for, but if you begin to feel pain, not soreness, then you should stop your routine because that is never a good sign.

Should I have a time limit then?

It all depends on you. If you have places to go and a limited time frame, then yes set a time limit. Another benefit of setting a time limit is that it will keep you from dilly-dallying or overworking yourself and causing harm to your body. You should not design a routine with a time limit in mind though, but find a routine that is optimized for your body and that will help you meet your goals.

Again, we should specify that the time associated with your routine should be the time actually spent working out, not waiting in line for the machine or socializing.  A great way to reduce that machine waiting time is to buy your own used fitness equipment!

 

Best Gym Machines for Abs

Many people go the gym and workout with the sole dream of that flat stomach or those six-pack abs but aren’t sure of what machines or exercises can help them reach their goals. Besides aesthetics, strengthening your abs is great for your overall fitness. We have detailed what we believe to be the five best machines for working your abs.

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1. Cardio Machines

As we’ve detailed in our previous blog post, spot burning fat is not a real thing, so essentially any cardio machine would be great in helping you flatten your stomach. In order to see those six pack abs or flat stomach, you need to lower your body fat percentage by burning calories. All cardio machines are great if you’re putting enough effort into them. We’ve explained the pros and cons of each cardio machine, but at the end of the day you should pick the machine that you enjoy the most. If you want the maximum calories burned per minute rate though, a treadmill is usually your best bet.

2. Row Machine

Have you ever noticed that rowers usually have extremely ripped and toned bodies? This is because the rowing motion is amazingly effective for working out a variety of muscle groups, including the abs. More specifically, in addition to the abs, a rowing machine works the arms, back and chest. To increase effectiveness of the ab workout, remember to consciously keep them engaged when rowing. The rowing machine also doubles as a great cardio workout so this is one of the must have machines if you want to work out your abs.

3. Ab Bench

Also occasionally called sit-up machines or just benches, the ab bench is a fundamentally sound piece of equipment where you can perform a variety of ab-targeted exercises on. Your best bet would be to purchase an adjustable bench which will allow you adjust the incline and decline of the bench. From this, you can perform sit-ups, leg raises, crunches, etc.

These are just a few of the effective and affordable options when looking for fitness equipment that will give you the abs that you desire. With enough hard work and dedication, anyone can get the body they dream of.

5 Fitness Myths That You Should Stop Believing

Finding information on fitness can be quite the task because new information is coming out every single day. There are always new studies, new experiments or new diets that will make all other fitness information irrelevant. With such contradictory information consistently being released, it is difficult to know what is real and what isn’t. Luckily, we have compiled five fitness “facts” that science and studies have easily shown to be wrong.

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1. Certain exercises can burn fat in certain spots

There are some websites out there that lead people to believe that there are certain exercises that can target certain areas and burn fat there only. For example, doing tons of crunches or sit-ups can “spot burn” fat at the stomach area and give you a flat stomach or six pack abs. The reality is there is no way to just burn fat at a certain body part. The keys to having a toned or ripped body are by having a low body fat percentage. Fat is burned evenly throughout the body with exercise. A balanced routine that incorporates both cardio and strength training is what will truly help you burn away the calories and lose the fat.

2. You have to stretch before you exercise

We first must clarify that stretching is absolutely vital to a successful workout routine, but stretching before you do any other activities can do more harm than good. This is because before working out, your muscles are not warmed up and therefore less limber. Stretching these cold muscles can actually decrease your range of motion and lead to injury. If you feel that you absolutely must stretch before your routine, do so after a warm up. A short jog, some jumping jacks or fast feet will be adequate to warm up your muscles so you do not injure yourself.

3. Lifting weights will make women bulky and manly

Many women fear picking up weights and lifting because there’s a notion that they will bulk up and get big. No matter how many weights or how intense women lift, it is much much more difficult for them to become “bulky” because the primary hormone which creates those large muscles is testosterone, which women produce very little of. Gaining muscle can help women significantly slim down because muscle is much more efficient at burning fat.

4. More sweat means you’re working out harder

Dripping buckets of sweat is commonly associated with working out hard, which is mostly true but not absolutely essential. Sweating does not necessarily mean that you are working out hard, it just means that your body is hot. You sweat in order to keep your body cool. It is completely possible to burn a ton of calories with minimal sweating.

5. Take a hot shower after you workout

As we’ve detailed before, showering after working out is great for your skin. What we didn’t go over is the water temperature. Icing down after  you workout is a great way to keep from becoming too sore and an ice bath is great for your body’s recovery. Kobe Bryant swears by it and he is one of the most elite athletes of our time. The reasoning behind this is that when you workout your blood vessels widen in order to carry oxygen to the parts you’re working out. These widened veins are susceptible to waste products like lactic acid. A cold shower will constrict these veins and prevent soreness.

There are so many more fitness “facts” out there that are untrue. It is important to do your research before believing anything you read or hear that is fitness related.

 

5 Benefits of Treadmillls

Treadmills are pretty awesome. They allow you to run without worrying about the weather, you don’t have to be afraid of stepping on any rocks, curbs or cracks in the sidewalk that may break your mother’s back. They’re also ridiculously easy to use, because walking and running is pretty fundamentally simple. If you’ve been spending hours and hours on the treadmill, it would be nice to know what benefits you’re receiving. Here are five of the great perks that running or walking on a treadmill will grant you.

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1. Increased cardiovascular fitness

Treadmills are great at increasing your cardiovascular fitness. Any prolonged exertion will increase your endurance, but treadmills are great for this because of their simplicity of use. You’re not only strengthening your legs when running, but also your heart. In the long term, regular physical activity will strengthen the heart, increase circulation which can lower the chances of heart disease.

2. It increases bone strength

There is a lot about how impact cardio exercises like running on a treadmill can damage your bones and joints, but in actuality weight bearing exercises (like walking or running on a treadmill) can promote increases in bone density. The force exerted on the bones can actually play a role in preventing bone diseases such as osteoporosis.

3. Burns calories

Running on the treadmill is one of the quickest ways to burn calories. Not only does it burn calories now, but it also increases the metabolic rate which allows your body to burn more calories even when you’re not working out. Running has one of the highest rates for calories burned per minute so treadmill running is a great way to melt away the fat.

4. Multitasking

Intensity is absolutely vital to having a great working out getting the full benefits, so if you can keep up the intensity while multitasking then more power to you. Many treadmills come equipped with television sets or one can be added very easily. You can not only catch up on your favorite shows, but binge watching will actually help you more as you’ll spend longer working out!

5. It helps your mental and emotional health

Ever been confused by people saying that they feel great after a workout? Logically, shouldn’t they be extremely tired and upset? Well it turns out that exercise releases endorphin, or the chemicals in your brain that make you feel good.

So there you have it, these are just a small portion of the great benefits that running on a treadmill can get you. Not only will your body feel better, but your emotions too!

 

5 Best Foods for Bodybuilding

In order to sculpt the perfect body, it is important to eat the right food in order to fuel your workouts. Not all calories are created equally and there are definitely foods that would benefit you much more than others. It is also important to remember when to eat and how much to eat in order to reap the full benefits of eating the right food. For serious bodybuilders, it is recommended to eat at least one small meal every three hours that includes 30 grams of protein. But what type of food should go into these meals?

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1. Chicken Breast

This is the staple of bodybuilding foods and proteins. If eating for bodybuilding had a face, it would be the face of a grilled white chicken breast. Now what makes this food so beloved and revered by all fitness fanatics out there? It’s a very simple concept. Chicken breast is high in protein and extremely low in fat. Especially if you trim it all out and aren’t frying it in bacon fat. There is also another great reason that grilled chicken breast is so popular, it actually tastes pretty good. You can save by buying these in bulk in the freezer section.

2. Salmon

If you’re going for an extremely clean bulk, you’re probably avoiding most if not all fats. While salmon does contain some fat, it’s the good fat, the heart healthy fat that your body desperately needs and benefits from. Baking the salmon is also the preferred way to eat it as there is very little or no oil required, and it also tastes delicious. You can also buy a fillet to save time and not pick the bones out.

3. Turkey Breast

Turkey isn’t just for Thanksgiving anymore. After you begin to grow tired of your 500th grilled chicken breast, turkey breast is a great alternative because it’s extremely lean and filled with proteins. Generally turkey isn’t grilled like chicken, but roasting it will get the same benefits and flavors.

4. Sweet Potatoes 

It may be a big thing, but serious body builders know that cutting carbs out of your diet isn’t going to help you build a body. Carbohydrates are necessary in fueling your workouts, but there are carbs that are better than others at providing energy without packing on the unwanted pounds. Sweet potatoes are a great tool in building mass.

5. Spinach

Popeye was on to something here. As your mother probably told you, vegetables are important for a balanced diet, and this is no different for bodybuilders either. Spinach has been shown to increase strength and contains plenty of great nutrients just for your overall health.

These are just a few of the great foods that can benefit you in your quest to build your body. Remember that you don’t have to eat the same meal day after day. There are a variety of foods that are just as beneficial

 

5 Benefits of Elliptical Machines

The elliptical machine is easily one of the most popular machines in the gym, but does this machine truly merit the fame? Are people just mindlessly lining up behind the ellipticals because that’s the only thing they’ve ever known? Luckily, you don’t have to worry about the elliptical machines being all hype, because there are a variety of great benefits.

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1. It’s a low impact way to get cardio

Not everyone is an athletic beasts training to compete in fitness competitions and marathons, so it’s great to know that there are machines that are designed so that anyone of any fitness level and benefit from. For individuals with bone or joint conditions, the elliptical is a great choice because it’s low impact on the joints. Unlike the treadmill, your feet generally do not leave the floor on an elliptical so there is no harsh impact on your joints and bones.

2. It works your calf and hamstring muscles

A fun fact about elliptical machines is that may of them also go backwards. If you have ever tried moonwalking, you may have noticed that it utilizes different muscles than walking forward. The same concept is true of ellipticals that allow you to go backwards. While going forward on an elliptical will also work  your calf and hamstring muscles, backward movement will put more emphasis on these muscles.

3. It also works your gluteus maximus and hip muscles

The elliptical is a great machine to firm up your behind and get strength in your hips, which is important for basically any daily activity. While the gluteus maximus does get a lot of emphasis and attention in the fitness world, the external hip muscles are a little more under the radar. Using an elliptical is a great way to strengthen both of these very important muscles.

4. It’s a full body exercise

Another positive of an elliptical machine is that many of them have movable arms which allows for a full body workout. A full body workout not only burns more calories, but it also works to tone and firm the muscles in your arm. An elliptical with movable arms will not only work  your legs, but your chest, shoulders and arms also. This allows for a quick full body cardio workout.

5. Workouts are full customizable

This depends on the type of elliptical you have, but in general, most ellipticals have a variety of settings. The most common one being resistance.  Adjusting resistance will increase or decrease the level of difficulty to properly suit your goals. Many ellipticals also have built in workout routines which are tailored for whatever you are training for.

When is the Best Time to do Cardio?

Cardio is essential to anyone trying to get or stay in shape. Without cardio, even lifting becomes difficult because you will not have the necessary endurance to lift long enough to get quality gains. Cardio is a little more simple than lifting because it does not require as much precision in form. There are also a wide array of different way to get cardio, whether it’s from running  outside or using a cardio machine such as an elliptical, treadmill, exercise bike or stepper. Everyone knows cardio is important, but when you do it is essential in determining how much benefit you will reap from it. This issue has been widely debate and there are thousands of pages written on it, but we’ll try to give you the quick rundown.

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Do not do cardio on an empty stomach

Before we can determine the optimal time to do cardio, we have to understand the optimal situation. One of the most common mistakes that people make is that they start their day off with cardio, before eating anything. Cardio on an empty stomach is not only ineffective, it is even harmful to the body. Without any carbohydrates or anything else to fuel the workout, your body will start looking at your muscles to gain some energy. Also the fact of the matter is that you won’t have the energy to perform anything substantial. This is not to say that you cannot do cardio in the morning, but make sure to eat a balanced breakfast at least 45 minutes to an hour before.

Do not do cardio before lifting

This is also not only not helpful, but harmful to your body. Intense cardio will drain you body of energy which makes your weightlifting session shorter and ineffective. Weightlifting properly is dependent on form, which tends to break down with fatigue. Lifting with incorrect form will not benefit you and can also damage your muscles. Your body benefits most from pushing through your last grueling reps, which you will be unable to do if you’re exhausted from cardio.

You can do cardio after lifting, but it may not be as effective

Lifting does not drain your energy nearly enough as cardio, so you most likely have some energy left to perform some cardio after your weightlifting session. For maximum benefit though, wait a couple of hours after to restore your energy.

Best time for cardio is separate from your weightlifting program

Before we elaborate more on the optimal time for cardio, we must first establish that it is perfectly fine to do cardio everyday. Try to separate the two sessions though if you plan to do both cardio and lifting in the same day. This may be difficult, but can be simplified if you have a home gym so you don’t have to drive to the gym twice.  Keeping your cardio and weight lifting separate will allow you to exert maximum effort.

In conclusion, do cardio when you have the most energy

If you’re a morning person, do some cardio in the morning, after you eat of course. If you’re more of a night owl, get some cardio in later in the day, but not too close to bedtime. The best time for cardio is when you can exert full effort without having to worry about saving energy. Also, schedule cardio far away from leg day as possible.

 

4 Reasons You Need a Workout Partner

15407_wpm_lowresIf you’re looking for that extra push when exercising, there is no better motivator than a workout partner. There are countless benefits to having a workout buddy that’ll not only encourage you to actually go and work out, but also to exercise harder when you are at the gym. Now comes the question of how to choose your partner. What if you are a fitness fanatic and all your friends are not really fans of the gym? This may be a slight challenge but it can also be a great opportunity to help guide your friend and bring him/her to your level of fitness so you can work out as equals. Or if they are fitter than you, that’s even better because they can bring you up to their level. There are a few key factors that you should be looking for when choosing a fitness partner. Make sure that your friend isn’t someone who consistently makes excuses, as accountability is one of the key perks of a workout buddy. Also make sure that your partner has similar fitness goals, whether it’s to lose weight, build muscle, or become better at a sport.

Now that you know what to look for when browsing for a fitness buddy, let’s see why getting one is beneficial.

1. Holds you accountable

A workout buddy will stop you from making lame excuses on why you can’t work out today. If you get a really motivated buddy, they’ll even go and drag you to go exercise even if you keep refusing. There is also a psychological basis behind this phenomena. If a person tells others that they’re going to accomplish a goal, they are more motivated to actually meet that goal because they fear that they will look like a liar in front of their peers. A workout partner will consistently remind you of your goals and not letting them down will keep you motivated to go work out.

2. Helps push you to the next level

Some people are motivated by the drill sergeant method while others prefer more encouraging positive motivation. No matter which way helps you exceed your limit, a workout partner can push you to new limits. That is also another important part of having a companion when working out. They can help you not only continue with your routine, but push yourself harder and implement new, more challenging exercises.

3. It creates competition

There is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. When you’re working out with a partner, you can create challenges or competitions to up the ante a little. Competition can bring out the best in the two of you and make you work harder.

4. Makes working out more fun

A workout doesn’t have to be pure intensity with burning muscles and excessive sweating, it can also be fun. This is why it’s important to pick a fitness partner that you genuinely enjoy being around. When you have fun working out, you look forward to working out, when you look forward to it, you tend to do it more often. It is also vital to remember that  you shouldn’t be primarily goofing around while working out, as results are important also.

These are just a few of the great reasons that you shouldn’t be working out alone. There are benefits for both party and it’ll make reaching your goals that much easier. You can also team up and invest in some machines together to create a home gym. In a wonderful coincidence, Primo Fitness sells commercial grade used fitness equipment for your future home gym.

5 Ways Exercise Makes You More Attractive

It’s common knowledge that exercise has a variety of health benefits from warding off diseases and making the body run more effectively, but working out regularly will also increase attractiveness in a variety of ways. When you’re working out, whether it’s just a run or using some amazing used fitness equipment, you’re not only improving your health but your beauty also. This goes far beyond “it just makes you look better,” there are specific facets of your body that is improved.

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1. Exercising can help you grow healthy hair more quickly

This may seem a little odd, but the explanation is pretty simple. The body is like a machine that uses nutrients as a fuel to keep itself alive. Being active and having a healthy lifestyle will make the body run like a well oiled machine. When the body is in top shape, nutrients are used more efficiently, leaving leftover resources to protect and build your hair. Working out also promotes circulation, which helps deliver those nutrients to your hair.

2. It helps you get your “beauty sleep”

Regular exercise promotes deeper and more restful sleeps which combats symptoms of sleep deprivation which can take a toll on your body. Quality sleep will prevent the sagging of skin, eye bags and premature wrinkling. When sleeping, the body “repairs” itself by generating new skin cells keeping a youthful appearance. Sleeping also burns calories, not a huge amount, but every little bit does help. Sleep is absolutely vital to looking good, youthful and healthy and working out will promote deep and restful sleep.

3. Sweating can help improve your skin

Although it should be noted that just sweating more isn’t going to improve your skin alone. There are a couple of ways that sweat helps to improve your skin. The first is the contents of the sweat itself. If you’re big on spas and skincare, you may be aware of those exfoliating salt scrubs. Although it may not be as effective as that, salt does contain sodium which may help. The other main way that sweat can help your skin comes from how we sweat. In order to sweat, the body opens up its pores, which allows it to be deep cleaned. You should make sure to actually clean it though, because if sweat sits on your skin too long it can cause rashes.

4. It burns fat

This one is painfully obvious, but there is also another dimension to the fat burning that exercise does. On the surface level, it does burns the fat that’s visible, such as love handles and beer bellies. This is the fat that can be touched, pinched and jiggled. Then there is the fat under the surface, called visceral fat. This is the fat that lines your organs and produces a plethora of health risks. Regular exercise promotes the burning of this visceral fat, increases your metabolism, which improves your body’s ability to burn the surface fat.

5. It improves self esteem and confidence 

Confidence is attractive. Working out can improve your feelings of self worth. For many, this happens before they even see a significant physical change in their body. Exercise just feels good and being happy leads to being more confident.

So in summary, working out can help you become a well rested, fat burning machine, with luscious hair, that’s confident in their own beautiful skin. Want a convenient way to start working out? Check out our shop filled with used gym equipment.

5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

We all know the benefits of exercising, but sometimes it is still really hard to get up and start moving. You can browse Instagram and read motivational quotes to your heart’s content, which may work for some; for others, we have to get a little more creative. When looking inside your heart for inspiration and motivation isn’t enough, we have other methods to get you psyched up to work out.

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1. Get a workout buddy

Having a friend to work out with is a great way to keep both of you accountable. Everyone has their off days where they can’t find the willpower to go to the gym or work out, but having a friend to drag you along It also serves as a social activity to bond over sweat and soreness. There’s no ship more sturdy and solid than friendship.Having workout partner can also breed friendly competition between the two of you, encouraging you to work harder and get better results.

2. Punish yourself for not working out

Back in your childhood, you may have remembered having a swear jar that you had to put money into every time you cursed. This principle worked because of negative reinforcement. Swearing was associated with losing money, which is associated with depression, so naturally you’d swear less in order to avoid that feeling. This same concept can apply to workouts. Whenever you skip exercising, put some money into a jar to feel bad about yourself. Eventually if you skip enough times, you can use the jar money to buy an exercise machine for your home, which leads us to

3. Get a home gym

One of the most common excuses to working out is that people are too tired after work to drive all the way to the gym. The best way to solve this problem is to get a gym right in your home! You don’t need to spend a ton of money on it. You can buy some high quality, commercial grade used gym machines that will last. Having a gym in  your house will also slowly eat away at you if you constantly walk by it without exercising. You don’t need an entire set up. A single cardio machine and a couple of strength machines can be more than enough to get a full body workout.

4. Track your progress

There’s no better motivation than actually seeing results and having your body change before your eyes. Not only should you write down your weight every week or so, you should also track fitness goals like how many pounds you lifted or how many miles you ran. You can also take it up a notch and do before and after photos to track your physical progress.

5. Have a goal

It is absolutely essential to have something to reach for, something to strive for. Although it’s great to have general goals like lose weight or get fit, it is even better to quantify these goals. Maybe lose 20 pounds or run a mile in under eight minutes. Goals that you can reach, but will take some effort to reach are the best kind of goals. Once you reach your goal, pat yourself on the back and set another one. Fitness is not a one time event, it’s a lifestyle.

Once you’re up and motivated, you can check out our warehouse for some great prices on used fitness equipment. We’re located in Orange County and we ship worldwide! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

5 Different Exercises Around the World

It seems like everyday there’s a new type of exercise craze sweeping the United States. Whether it’s p90x or crossfit there seems to be something new and exciting every few months. Despite innovative and exciting ways to workout constantly being created and imported to the United States, there are many of these workouts that you may have never seen before. For this blog post, we’re taking a tour around the world and seeing how they get fit.

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1. Yoga (India)

We know how popular yoga pants have become as a fashion statement, but it’s always great to look at the exercise that spawned the beloved leggings. Yoga originated in India is based on the concept of mental and physical discipline. Yoga can range from spiritual to physical and emphasizes flexibility and strength. Yoga is a wonderful way to increase flexibility, tone muscles and relax and find peace.

2. Zumba (Colombia)

Zumba is the preferred choice of workouts for many trying to lose weight because at its core, it’s just very fun. Zumba is primarily focused on dance moves to burn calories. Zumba was actually created because an instructor could not his find his aerobics tape and opted to just listen to music on the radio and created a routine from it. Zumba includes music with changing tempos and combines salsa, merengue and many other dances. A wonderful aspect of Zumba is that is very versatile and flexible. There are Zumba classes for children to the elderly.

3. Radio Taiso (Japan)

Radio Taiso, also known as radio calisthenics, refers to a warm-up calisthenics workout that is broadcasted on the radio in Japan every day. Many students do these warm-ups during school to energize themselves before the day, workers tune in together to form camaraderie and teamwork and seniors generally do them in the park. It is a wonderful way to start off the day moving and stretching.

4. Belly Dancing (Middle East)

Not only is belly dancing sultry, it is also a great tool to strengthen your core. Belly dancing emphasizes isolating muscles and learning how to move them independently. Belly dancing is a great way to get some cardio in and also tighten your abs. Strengthening your core also serves to help your overall fitness and allows you to better perform your other exercises.

5. Karaoke Spin Class (USA)

If spin class isn’t challenging enough for you, try pumping your legs while belting out your favorite tunes. Not only are your legs getting a workout, so are your vocal chords. The logic behind this is that singing helps to elevate the heart rate to an optimal fat burning level. Also, it’s pretty fun.

Here are just a few of the exciting and innovative ways people are working out around the world. Next time you go travel, don’t just gorge out on food and see the sights (although those are essential to a great trip), hit up the local gym and see how others are working out!

Also, we sell used fitness equipment and you should buy from us if you want awesome prices.

5 Overlooked Benefits of Working Out

We all know working out and staying active is great way to burn calories and build muscle, but what else does it do to our bodies? There are some, not exactly hidden, but overlooked benefits that working out impacts us in a positive way. We hope these facts will motivate you to get moving and pumping those weights.

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1. It helps you sleep better

Not only does exercise give you more energy throughout the day, it’ll improve your sleep when you’re all done with your exciting activities. Regular physical activity helps you fall asleep quicker and promotes a deeper, more invigorating sleep. It is important to remember though that exercising too close to your bedtime can keep you awake with too much abundant energy. How this works is that your body temperature increases during the day, and lowers during the night which causes you to fall asleep. Exercising increases the body temperature higher than not exercising, which then leads to a lower body temperature later on, increasing the likelihood of quality sleep.

2. It makes you feel better, chemically.

For some, the thought of working out is associated with feelings of exhaustion and pain. This may be true for some of the process, but working out actually chemically makes you feel better. 30 minutes of actively working out releases “positive” chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals also work as stress relievers and have a soothing effect on our bodies. Working out also increases blood flow to the brain, which is great for thinking.

3. It makes you feel better, emotionally.

In addition to the clear biological and physical benefits, for many, exercise provides emotional and intrinsic benefits. Working out frequently can increase self-esteem and body image. That doesn’t mean that you have to have sub 10% body fat or rock hard abs, but seeing small changes to your body and fitness level can do wonders for confidence.

4. It helps the brain

Keeping your brain running smoothly is pretty important since it keeps everything else running smoothly. It may come as no surprise then that running and physical activity can help keep the brain in tip top shape. Exercising actually promotes the growth of more brain cells and formation of more connections between those cells, which in turns promotes learning. Of course, complicated exercises or sports further increase this benefit and working out has also been shown to improve concentration.

5. It increases your immune system

Tired of being tired and getting the sniffles and taking sick days? Regular exercise can actually improve your immune system and help your body fight off those nasty viruses and bacteria. Working out stimulates cells involved in the immune system and help to battle the decline of the immune system with older age. Not only does it increase the immune system, it also decreases the chances of many diseases.

Now that you know the amazing benefits of working out, it’s important to get out there and do it. Maybe start with some commercial grade gym equipment. Whichever way you choose, exercise will only help you.

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