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Walking as a fitness activity is growing popular among people of all age groups. Low risk and easy to start, walking has proved its health benefits in numerous studies. As per studies, people who walk 30 minutes a day have a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercise.

A regular walking program can help:

• Lower blood cholesterol

• Decrease blood pressure

• Boost up cardiovascular endurance

• Strengthen bones 

• Burn calories and keep weight down

An exercise like walking is one of the simplest things to start. All you need are comfortable clothes and a pair of shoes designed for walking. 

Before you start off, begin with brief warm-up session and a few simple stretches to loosen up any tension that you may have built up. Because walking primarily works the major muscles of the legs, stretch your back, shoulders and arms to get the blood flowing to the muscles in all parts of the body. This will make your walk more effective and more enjoyable too. 

 

 

For Beginners

If you are a first-timer or are starting to walk after a long break, keep in mind the following:

1. Walk short distances and gradually increase your distance. Begin with a five-minute stroll the first day, adding a few minutes daily.

2. Walk at a comfortable pace without worrying about the speed. Focus on good posture, keeping your head lifted and shoulders relaxed.

3. Swing your arms naturally, and breathe deeply. If you can’t catch your breath, slow down your pace. Avoid hills in the first few weeks of your walking schedule.

4. Make sure you can talk while walking. If you can’t, you are walking too fast.

 

Get Going!

When it comes to walking, there is no best schedule. There are numerous options that you can try. The main aim is to keep walking regularly. Once you reach a point where you can walk a few miles with relative ease, start to vary the intensity. Try walking uphill. This helps in increasing cardiovascular endurance in addition to toning the legs. Gradually lengthen your stride and increase your speed. To prevent sore muscles, include a few minutes relaxing stretches after each workout. Energize your workout by listening to lively music. Although there are no hard and fast rules for walking, a minimum of 20 minutes a day is recommended. If you cannot walk for 20 minutes at a stretch, you can take two 10-minute walks each day or even hour-long walks two to three times a week. 

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Posted by on in Fitness Updates

Breast cancer is one of the most common diseases in women. About 1 in 8 women have high chances of getting diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lives. Here are 4 ways to help protect your breast health.

 

 

1. Keep your weight under control: Being obese often carries a high risk of breast cancer. The chances are more so after menopause. For post menopausal women, the main reason of estrogen is not ovaries but the accumulation of fatty tissues. If you have a healthy weight, try to maintain it all times. However, if you carry extra pounds, take extra steps to lose weight to lower breast cancer risk.

2. Eat healthy and exercise regularly: We have been posting various blogs on healthy eating. Go through them and chose a well-balanced, healthy diet to reduce breast cancer risk. Besides, exercise regularly for a minimum of 20 minutes per day to lower the risk further. You can also do 75 to 150 minutes of brisk walking if you can’t indulge in vigorous activity on a regular basis. Make sure to indulge in some form of physical activity daily.

3. Avoid smoking and alcohol: Women who consume alcohol and smoke have double the chances of getting diagnosed with breast cancer compared to those who don’t drink and smoke at all. The American Cancer Society recommends to have not more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men, a single drink amounting to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine and 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

4. Limit menopausal hormone therapy: Taking estrogen and progesterone for troublesome symptoms of menopause increase the risk to develop breast cancer. If you have problem of night sweats, hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, discuss with your doctor about all the safe options that you can use.

However, if at all you decide to use HRT’s, take the lowest dose that works best for you for as short a time as possible. According to researchers, breast cancer risk returns to normal within 5 years of discontinuing using the combination of hormones.

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Before you begin exercising, you need to consider a few things that every safe and effective exercise program should have.

 

 

Exercise Essentials:

 

1. A complete exercise program must have a combination of aerobics, muscular strength and endurance conditioning and flexibility exercise. Aerobics are great for the cardiovascular system and help a lot in weight management. Muscular conditioning improves strength and posture and reduces the risk of lower back injury besides being extremely beneficial for weight management program. Flexibility exercise maintains joint range of motion and reduces the risk of injury and muscle soreness.

2. Simple exercises like walking, jogging, skipping, dancing, etc. are also excellent ways to manage weight and stay fit. All these are actually weight-bearing aerobic exercises. Aerobics includes anything that uses large muscle groups in a continuous and rhythmic manner for sustained time period. Activities like bicycling, stationary cycling, swimming and rowing, etc. are non-weight-bearing aerobic exercises that can also be implemented in your exercise program.

3. Exercise at a comfortable pace. Intensity is a very important aspect of an exercise program. Measure your heart rate when you stop exercising by taking your pulse count. Count your heartbeat for 10 seconds and multiply it by six; this converts it to one-minute heart rate. Ideal exercise heart rate should be between 55 percent and 80 percent of an estimated maximum heart rate (220 minus your age).

4. How often and how long your exercise is also very essential to consider.For general health maintenance, 3-4 days of activity is good enough. If you want to lose weight, exercise for more than four days a week while taking an off once a week. It is recommended to work up to 20 or more minutes per session for general health maintenance while up to 45 minutes for weight-loss management.

5. Include strength training for every major muscle group including the muscles of the arms, chest, back, stomach, hips and legs. Try calisthenics, free weights or machines, whatever suits you the best. Start with a weight that you can handle comfortably and keep it for eight repetitions. Gradually increase up to 12 repetitions.

6. Stretching is often ignored by many; however, this should be an important part of your exercise program. Proper stretching involves holding a mild stretch of 10 to 30 seconds while breathing normally. Always warm up before you stretch. Include stretching for all major muscle groups.

At Metropolis Fitness, our professionals ensure to take care of all the exercise essentials so that you can reap maximum results.

 

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