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Jan 20, 2017

HIIT Cardio: break out the six pack

Busy schedules combined with the desire for instant results, has placed High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT, in the top 3 spots of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends since 2014. If you haven’t gotten on board yet here’s how to start.

Make your workouts more powerful

HIIT alternates short bursts of intense exercise like sprinting, jumping jacks and pushups with short rest periods and moderate to low intensity exercises like jogging or walking. Most HIIT workouts can be done in 30 minutes - some even requiring less than 10 minutes of your time.

This type of training is mainly reserved for people who already have a high fitness level, like athletes, but so long as the person is in good health, nearly anyone can do HIIT. It’s just important to take it slow with one workout per week and then increasing it to three to four times after that. Sure, you want to be shredded, but we doubt you’d like to wind up in crutches!

The key to being a master at HIIT is to give the exercises 110%+ of your effort and to ensure you have proper technique when you perform them. HIIT can be done alone or added to your physical activity of choice, like running, biking, and tennis. Equipment isn’t needed, but kettlebells, dumbbells, and even jump ropes can take your workout to the next level – the choice is totally yours. When HIIT is practiced on a regular basis your metabolism with improve, as well as both energy systems (anaerobic and aerobic).

Tips to HIIT the right way

Pump up your playlists: Music that motivates is important for HIIT workouts – it helps you push yourself and perform better. Before heading out to your first HIIT session, check some playlists out on Spotify or update your own with music that ignites your inner fire.

Amp up your apps: One very important application to add to your phone is a timer for your workouts like Caynax HIIT. It’s a free high intensity interval training timer that will act like your ‘coach’ to let you know when it’s time to switch to the next exercise. Consider downloading apps that also include workouts if you need some ideas on how to get started or how to change up your normal routine.

Insta(nt) Inspiration: Over a million tags exist on Instagram under #hiit. People post photos and videos of their workouts and progress daily. We guarantee the below videos will want you to start HIIT today:

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January 20, 2017
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Feb 10, 2017

5 minutes to kick your rear into a higher gear

Think you need to set aside 30 minutes a day to get great glutes? With higher intensity workouts increasing in popularity, all you need is 5. Read on.

Quick tone-up

If you’re looking to tone up your backside, do the routine below three times a week. Do these exercises for 1 minute each and use a stopwatch to track your time. Add weights like 3-pound and 5-pound dumbbells to take the workout to anoher level.

Dancer squats

Stand with your feet hip-wide apart and turn them at a 45-degree angle. Place your hands in front of you or on your hips and then lower yourself down with feet planted firmly on the ground, making sure your knees don’t go over your ankles. When you rise back up, take the exercise a step further by lifting your heels off the ground.

Explosive lunges

Start by stepping your right foot into a forward lunge, with your left knee dropped behind you, towards the floor. Hold the position for three seconds and then switch legs by jumping up into the air and bringing the left leg into a forward lunge. Repeat this sequence until the one minute is up.

Fire hydrant

Kneel down on the ground and place your hands in front of you. Keeping your right knee bended, raise your leg up towards the right side of your body and then bring your leg back to starting position. Repeat 10 times and do the same thing on the left side. Keep switching sides until the stopwatch tells you to do the next exercise.

Leg lifts

Remain in the same position as the fire hydrant and lift your right leg up behind you, knee bended. Flex your foot, and then raise your bended leg towards the ceiling. Do 15 reps and then switch sides. Repeat.

Bridge pose

Lie down on your back and bend your knees. Keep your shoulders and feet flat on the ground and then raise your butt up - hold the position for 10 seconds. Lower back down completely, and repeat 5 times.

No matter how crunched on time you are, 5 minutes is all it takes to get buns of steel.

February 10, 2017
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Feb 4, 2017

What kind of runner are you?

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re wonder woman on the track, we’re here to help you discover your running personality.

Research suggests that women are better marathon runners than men (girl power!) and that the number of women participating in long-distance running events is on the rise. Whether you’re just getting into the sport or you’ve already won a few races, everyone has their own unique personality once their feet hit the pavement. Discover yours below!

Someone who we all love to hate…

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You manage to look graceful when you run, and the wind blows gently through your hair. Do you remember that famous Baywatch scene where Pamela Anderson jogs down the beach? Yeah, well you’re like her. So basically you’re perfect.

Someone who runs just to impress their partner…

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…and then instantly regrets it. You hate running on Sunday mornings, but seeing your significant other get up every single weekend makes you feel guilty so you want to prove to them that you have just as much drive. However once you step outside, most of your brisk jogs turn into a stop at the local bakery and then you often start running…back to your warm bed. It’s okay – we can relate.

Someone who’s just starting out…

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You’re determined to succeed and you want to prove to yourself (as well as everyone else) that running is the sport for you – we applaud you! The only thing standing in your way from becoming a champion runner is finding your rhythm. But don’t worry: we know you’ll get there soon.

Someone who doesn’t like to run alone…

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Running is fun for you, but only if you can do it with someone else. It makes you want to push yourself harder to prove that you’re not the weakest link and you love the fact that you can catch up on the latest gossip with a friend while you’re out doing something that’s good for you.

Someone who needs to be motivated – a lot…

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You’re the type of runner that if you’re promised to be wined and dined, then you suddenly become a star runner and you whiz past everyone on the track – however without any incentive you often choose to do anything but go for a run.

So, what kind of runner are you? Leave a comment on our FB page - we’d love to know!

February 04, 2017
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Feb 6, 2017

Is your workout in line with the FITT principles?

Get the most out of your workout by following the F.I.T.T. principles.

Exercising is great, but doing it at your own pace is even better. To reach your goals and get long-lasting results, it’s important to choose a physical activity based on your fitness level and what you hope to achieve through your workouts. To get fit fast follow the FITT principles:

F for Frequency: How often you should work out each week

If you’d like to start seeing results after only a few weeks, it’s recommended to exercise for at least 20 minutes 3 times a week. Create a schedule for yourself where you leave a rest day between each workout (for example: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) and make sure to stretch daily to increase your flexibility and to avoid injury.

I for Intensity: Feel the burn, but not pain

Pushing yourself to perform better is one thing, but hurting yourself is another. Three types of intensity exist: weak, moderate and intense. For cardio workouts it’s important to workout in your target heart rate zone so that you don’t get winded or overexert yourself. For strength training make sure to give your muscles a rest between each exercise. Your workout should make you feel powerful – not in pain!

T for time: How long you should work out for

It’s important to find the perfect balance between working out too much and too little. The amount of effort (intensity) you are putting in is usually more important than the amount of time you exercise for, but in general it’s a good idea to spend 20 minutes doing cardio and around 30-45 minutes strength training per session (rest minutes included).

T for Type: The kind of exercise that’s for you

Trends come and go. Unless there’s a trending workout routine or exercise that really piques your interest, you should try to avoid jumping on the bandwagon and doing the same thing as everyone else. Listen to your body and do sports or activities that you really enjoy, because this is what will help you stay motivated and stick to your fitness goals. However, if possible, try to do something that combine cardio, strength training and flexibility all in one, like pilates or yoga.

Let’s recap: Do a sport or physical activity that is adapted to your fitness level and what you hope to achieve fitness-wise. Don’t set goals that are unrealistic and slowly pump up the intensity level, length of time spent exercising, and how often you go to the gym.

If you follow the FITT principles you’ll feel very accomplished and great about yourself. Not only will it help you #LiveMore, you’ll become #MoreFit in the process.

February 06, 2017
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Feb 9, 2017

5 Instagram runners that will make you want to put your sneakers on

If you’re not a runner already, these people are about to change your life. With over 20,000 posts tagged under #runspo on Instagram, the once solitary sport is today shared by millions.

Below are five of the most inspirational runners to follow on Instagram:

Liza Maman // 73.1K // For the urban-dwellers

Account: @lizamaman

Why follow her: A fitness trainer based in Tel Aviv that shares gorgeous shots of herself running and working out coupled with a motivational quote, mantra, or tip. You’ll want to keep coming back to see what she posts next.

Anne Dubndidu // 53.5k // For the globetrotters

Account: @annedubndidu

Why follow her: Her running locations will give you serious wanderlust and make you want to jump into the photos to go on the runs with her – the cute cat pictures don’t hurt either.

Zanna van Dijk // 70K // For the wannabe runners

Account: @zannavandijk

Why follow her: Blogger, trainer and model, currently living in the UK. She’s not a “runner” in the traditional sense, but she recently pushed herself to run a marathon, proving that anyone is capable of reaching a goal if they set their mind to it. Her uplifting, light-hearted posts are sure to make you smile.

Finn Vogler // 36.1K // For the nature lovers

Account: @finnrunner

Why follow him: His account is chock-full of breathtaking nature shots that will make you want to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

Scott Jurek // 84K // For the risk takers

Account: @scottjurek

Why follow him: A true adventurer at heart, he posts gorgeous scenic shots of his impressive runs and hikes. His posts are inspiring and he is the ultimate ultrarunner.

These Instagrammers will give you the motivation you need to reach the finish line.

February 09, 2017
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Feb 1, 2017

Athleisure: sportswear is the new chic

The athleisure trend caters to the public’s undeniable love for leggings and sports bras and lets people wear them wherever they want, when they want.

Thanks to fashion designers who are creating their own lines of workout clothes and Beyoncé’s recent launch of Ivy Park (yeah, our Instagram feeds have been flooded with #ivypark posts too), the athleisure trend is not going anywhere anytime soon and it’s (finally!) made wearing yoga pants to the grocery store cool.

Athleisure, bringing the gym to the street

Athleisure clothing is athletic leisure. The clothes are meant to be comfortable enough to be worn to Zumba or a Buti Yoga class and yet be stylish enough to leave on for a coffee date with a friend right after – no need to change! The term was first spotted in 1976, and the trend has become so popular that athleisure is getting its very own entry in the Merriam-Webster dictionary this year. The trick to pulling off this style is to choose athletic pieces that are unique and detailed (think patterned leggings, lace tanks, flowy t-shirts) and then adding streetwear accessories like a handbag, boots, flats, or even a shawl to help the outfit transition seamlessly from a gym session to shopping at the mall (which can be a workout in itself!). Check out some of the looks below for inspiration:

Fitness is becoming part of our everyday lives

The athleisure trend hasn’t been successful solely because the clothes are comfortable – athleisure goes beyond that: it represents a lifestyle. Gym memberships are growing each year as more and more people are becoming interested in fitness, health and wellness and finding ways to squeeze workouts into their busy schedules.

However athletes and fitness buffs aren’t the only ones who are rocking the athleisure style. According to the theory enclothed cognition, simply wearing athletic clothes can give a person motivation to work out and feel healthier. And the first step towards being fit is feeling like it – maybe the athleisure trend is onto something after all!

Athleisure is a stylish way of helping people become #morefit and we’re glad the trend is here to stay!

February 01, 2017
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Jan 27, 2017

Getting the recommended 10,000 steps a day just got a lot simpler

Get #morefit – quick – just by adding more steps into your day.

We’ve always been told that walking 10,000 steps a day can keep us healthy. This number originated in Japan in the 60s and has been extensively studied and recommended to the general public ever since. While it may seem like a lot, it’s actually quite easy to achieve. Follow our suggestions and you’ll reach your daily goal before bedtime.

How to add extra steps to your day

Wear a fitness tracker: Smartwatches – and wearable technology in general – are extremely popular right now. These devices let you track your fitness progress and monitor how many steps that you take in a day. If you wear one every day you’ll be able to observe if you need to increase your physical activity, and by how much.

Compete with a friend: Wouldn’t you agree that an activity always becomes more enjoyable when there’s a little friendly competition thrown into the mix? If you and a friend (or significant other) each have fitness trackers, challenge them to see who can take the most steps in a week. Log your activity for seven days - the winner gets a free 20-30 minute back massage at a spa (or by the loser!) or a free healthy breakfast at the café of their choice.

Go for a walk after lunch: Even just 10 minutes of brisk walking can add 1,000 steps to your day. Use this time to disconnect from your job, enjoy a bit of nature, listen to a podcast, or make a quick call to a friend to catch up.

Take the stairs: It can be tempting to take the elevator or escalator (even we’re guilty of it sometimes!), but taking the stairs can add up to 311 steps a minute. You’d have to move at a pretty brisk pace, but do it a few times a day and those steps will pile up quick.

Get off a stop earlier: If you take public transportation, you can easily add extra steps in your day just by getting off a stop earlier. Those extra few minutes of walking to your job (and house) can really help.

If you follow our tips you’ll be able to meet the 10,000 step quota. But just don’t forget to do some cardio activity at least three times a week!

January 27, 2017
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Feb 2, 2017

4 fitness myths debunked

Now you can exercise the way you want to.

Exercising can be a lot of fun, but isn’t it frustrating when you’re told that you “have” to work out a certain way? The good news is that you can ignore many of those rules – below you’ll find four examples.

“Don’t eat breakfast before a workout”

Your body needs fuel, so it’s actually important to eat something before you hit the gym. Just keep it light – plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt with a banana is great.

‘’No pain, no gain’’

Exercising can cause discomfort (which is normal), but if it hurts –stop! Pushing yourself in workouts is fine, but never do it to the point where you could potentially injure yourself.

“You have to ‘rest’ on rest days”

Rest days are different for everyone. Some people prefer to sit and watch Netflix all day, while others need to keep moving. If you fall into the latter category, you’ll be happy to know that doing some light physical activity like restorative yoga or going for a walk in the park is actually okay – just don’t do a full workout because your body does need to recover.

‘’You should never do a workout at night”

Contrary to popular belief, exercising at night won’t affect your quality of sleep, according to research. We don’t recommend that you work out right before bedtime, but now you can be certain that going for a run to blow off steam after work is totally fine – phew!

As long as you take the right precautions, never feel obligated to exercise the same way as everyone else – you’ll enjoy your workouts a lot more!

February 02, 2017

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