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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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1. Refined Carbs – You may be consuming too many sources of simple and refined carbohydrates, all of which is heavily processed. You can think of it as the same difference that exists between whole grain bread and processed white bread, brown rice vs. white rice, popcorn cakes vs. corn on the cob. Include sources of carbohydrates that are natural like nuts, beans, potatoes, brown rice, products made out of whole wheat in lieu of crackers, chips, canned foods, etc.



2. No fat at all? – Zero fat per day is bad for you. This may sound counter intuitive, but adding about 2-3 points of fat per day is considered very good. Our bodies need enough fat in order to properly function. Consume foods like vegetable oils, margarine, butter, salad dressing, avocados, regular or reduced fat (not fat free) mayonnaise, olives, peanut or soy butter, etc. As per nutritionists, 30% of total calories in fat per day are essential for optimum health. The reason lies in that fact that fat contains an essential fatty acid: linoleic acid that our body can’t produce on its own; this fat is needed for proper metabolic and digestive function. If you’re on a super low fat diet, there are increased chances of you to develop gallstones.

3. Drink enough water every day – As a rule, overweight people need more water, because fat cells hold more water than other fat cells in the body. So if you are obese, you cannot just go by the rule of 8 glasses per day. Ideally, you must consume half the amount of water of your body weight. If you weigh 180 pounds, you must drink 80 ounces of water, i.e. about 10 glasses. The color of the urine is the best indicator of your water consumption. If your urine’s color is pale yellow, it’s good. If it is deep yellow, you are not getting enough fluids.

4. Five servings of fruits and vegetables per day – Include non-starchy vegetables, fruits, soups, etc. in your diet. Try to consume all varieties of fruits and vegetables so that you get the best from all. Try out a new fruit or vegetable each month. Have a bowl of soup before dinner to feel fuller.

5. Increase the frequency of your physical activity – If you are not exercising at all, you are not serious about losing weight. There is no excuse to exercising if you really want to shed off extra calories. Find something that you enjoy doing and just do it! Start with as little as a five minute walk and gradually increase it. You will notice that a 5-Min walk will be so enjoyable that you won’t come to know when 10-15 minutes pass by.Gradually include exercises and maintain the rhythm; increase the intensity step-by-step to get the maximum out of your physical activity.

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Posted by on in Fitness Updates

You are exercising well, eating right and losing the desired number of pounds. But all of a sudden, puff! The scale stops moving… it’s just stuck, week after week. Many of you may have experienced this dreaded plateau. Don’t think that this just happens to very few; in actuality most people who are trying to lose weight, experience it one point or the other. If you come across a situation where the scale won’t budge and you still have 5, 10, 15 pounds to lose, you’ve got a choice to make. If you lost enough weight and even with 10 more pounds to go, you sleep well, feel good about yourself and have good amount of energy, then maybe you have been overly ambitious about losing your weight; you may have already achieved your goal. But if you haven’t, you may like to use one or more of the strategies given below to melt your last pounds.



1. Maintain a journal and refer to it every week – At the end of each week, use your journal as a detective tool to see where you may possibly be going wrong. Sometimes you may be thinking that you were eating the right food whereas actually you were not. Your journal can be an eye-opener and help you to access the things rightly.

2. Proper nutrition is essential – You may be eating the same kind of food all the time, ending up consuming more proteins without enough carbs, fat, etc. You need to check your protein to carb ratio and the food choices that you make.

3. Weigh and measure portions – Portions size matter a lot. At times, our portions grow bigger without us realizing it. Use measuring spoons and weigh your portions to ascertain if you are consuming the right amount.

4. Count your points’ right – Read labels carefully for the products that you eat. You may be eating more points than you calculated if you are eating a bigger serving size than the one listed on the label.

5. When it comes to food, zero multiplied by zero is not zero – If you eat one serving of a fat free product, it’s zero points. But if you eat 4 servings with 2 tbsp. of fat free whipped topping, it’s one point. Beware of such hidden extras that may never seem to get counted.

We will bring you more points next time. Stay tuned.

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Posted by on in Fitness Updates

If you went for sneaker shopping recently, you probably may have realized how complicated and confusing it is to choose the right pair of shoes, especially one for exercising. With so many options available, consumers are bound to fall for the latest gimmicks, ending up with wrong choice of athletic footwear while at the same time spending above their budget.

As the New Year ushers in, we bring you some guidelines that you can follow to make the correct choice. Start right by buying the right pair of shoes for you and strive to indulge in some form of exercise this year. We, at Metropolis, wish you a healthy 2014!

The first thing that you must consider is to know what exactly you need. This is the most important step because most sporting goods stores have a variety of shoes for different activities such as walking, jogging, running, playing basketball, football, tennis, etc. Cross trainers (multi-purpose shoes) are good for those who indulge in several activities in a single workout.

Now that you know what kind of shoe you need, the next step is to get a good fit. Make sure to try the shoes and walk some distance with them. This is important because even some of the most popular shoes aren’t comfortable with everyone and can result in blisters if they don’t fit in comfortably.



Guidelines for Buying Athletic Shoes

• Consider your foot type before purchasing shoes for fitness or sports. People with high-arched feet should buy shoes with good cushioning because they require greater shock absorption than people with average feet. Conversely, people with flat feet should buy shoes with less cushioning but greater support and heel control.

• Foot size is maximum at the end of the day, so try to get fitted for footwear towards the evening. It is not surprising for an individual’s foot to increase one-half a shoe size in a day.

• Choose a shoe that is wide enough across the forefoot without slipping from the heel.

• Athletic shoes lose their cushioning after 3 to 6 months of regular usage. If you shoes are no longer absorbing the pounding and jarring action of the sport, it’s time to replace them to avoid knee and ankle injuries.

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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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