Browse Tag: Fitness


Low Impact Workouts for Beginners

So you know you need to pick up some exercise routines, but you aren’t quite sure where to start. There are a lot of options out there and they can be difficult to navigate on your own, even more so when you have specific needs when it comes to your workout regimen. If you require something that’s low impact either because of a medical condition or just because you don’t want to stress out your body too much the first time you take it out for a test spin at the gym, here are a few great work outs to try that will help get you in shape without a lot of wear and tear on your joints.

Jog in Place Jacks

The great thing about this particular workout is that you can adjust it depending on your desired intensity level, so you can tone it down when you start out and amp it up when you’re ready for a bit more of a challenge. To start you can take it nice and slow. Walk in place with a slow jumping jack like motion with your arms. It may take you a second to coordinate, but that’s fine. As you need to progress, feel free to change your walking motion to marching, jogging, high knees or full blown jumping jacks, increasing the speed of your arm movement as you increase the difficulty of your leg movements.

Windmill Steps

When you first start out, this exercise is just a simple side step. Let your trailing leg come behind you with a slight tap and add a large circular arm swing. Much like the jog in place jacks, this exercise is great because you can increase the speed and strain as you need more resistance in your workout. When you want to put a little more kick into your workout, drop your hips lower to the ground, turning your stance into a squatting position. You can also slowly increase the step width and speed until you can replace the motion with a lateral jump entirely rather than just a step.

Stutter Step

Stutter Step Can Be Difficult For Some
Stutter Step Can Be Difficult For Some
This one is a little trickier than our other workouts and can seem a tad more difficult. The easiest version of this exercise starts with all your weight on one leg with only a slight bend, placing your opposite leg back a few inches behind you and bringing your knee up in front of you slowly as you bring your hands down. You can increase the depth of your squat on your supporting leg while extending the moving leg further and further behind you to increase the difficulty of this particular workout. At the same time, you can start increasing the speed with which you move your arms and leg.

Static Squat + Punches

Static SquatStart out with a very shallow squat and a punching motion using both fists without any additional weight. You don’t have to hold the squat for long; keep the position for a few seconds before coming up to continue your punches. As you get more comfortable with the exercise, stay down longer, squat lower, and start using dumbbells in conjunction with your punching motion. Just make sure you don’t increase the speed of the punches themselves, especially if you’re using extra weight with them.

Static Lunge + Curls

Begin with a shallow lunge, keeping your feet relatively close together and using either very light dumbbells or just arm weight for your bicep curls if you’re new to those as well. As you progress, make your lunges deeper and keep your feet further apart to make the exercise a little more challenging. You can also increase the amount of weight you use with your curl as your biceps adjust to the exercise, though as above, make sure not to increase the actual speed of your curl.


Tips for Overcoming Social Anxiety at the Gym

It’s hard enough to motivate yourself to go to the gym on a regular basis. Add in a healthy dose of social anxiety and it becomes almost impossible. The hardest part of going to the gym is actually getting to the gym, and overcoming all of the insecurities that come with the trip. If you’ve found yourself struggling to even get yourself there, and wanting to run back home the whole time you’re there, then this little guide is for you. Even if you thought it was impossible to ever enjoy yourself at the gym, you too can have fun and get a great workout at the same time. Your social anxiety shouldn’t hold you back from being healthy, so follow these steps and get it into gear.

Pep Talks

Motivate yourself to go on a regular basis
Motivate yourself to go on a regular basis
Before you go, spend some time prepping yourself for the trip. At first, only plan for small trips. Give yourself a manageable timeframe to deal with, and go from there. Start with maybe half an hour at the gym two times a week. As you get ready to head there, give yourself a small pep talk. Your biggest supporter should be yourself, so make sure you know how much you believe in yourself. Take your time, and tell yourself that you can do this. Going to the gym is for your own health and general wellbeing, and even though it’s going to make you anxious, it’ll pay off in the long run. Also make sure to remind yourself to not make comparisons. You are not the buff guy at the gym or the hot girl on the treadmill, so don’t compare yourself to them. They have their own bodies and have made progress in their own ways, and you need to focus on your own progress. Once you go to the gym for a while, you’ll see results and you can compare them to how you were when you started.


Use Headphones at the gymIf you feel like you’re getting stares when you go to the gym and have a hard time focusing on your actual workout, try some headphones. Playing your own music can help you get in the zone while you’re working out, and it keeps you from paying attention to the other people around you. Keep in mind that these people are here for themselves. They don’t go to the gym to stare at you, and they’re too busy with their own workouts to worry about how you almost dropped that weight or if you look awkward in that stance. Creating your own playlist that lasts a set amount of time can also help motivate you. Use upbeat songs that keep your energy levels high, and wind them down near the end of your workout. You can always add more songs as you make your trips longer, and most people with social anxiety find it much easier to cope when outside noises are taken away. Earbuds work best for the gym, and even better is how they function like earplugs to block out external stimuli that might be distracting.

Going With Friends

Go With A Group Of Friends
Go With A Group Of Friends
Going anywhere alone can be hard when you have social anxiety, so if you can get a group of friends or even just one to go with you it’ll help for sure. Just explain to them that you would really love to hit the gym every once in a while to lose weight and improve your health, and that you would appreciate having a buddy to come with you. Who knows, maybe that friend has been looking for an excuse to work out and just hasn’t started doing it yet. Bringing someone else with you will keep you motivated to keep going as long as they do, and it’ll keep you on track with your weight loss goals. Having friends at the gym also makes going seem less like a chore and more like a fun outing with your friend. Try it out, it’s guaranteed to make a huge difference for you.


Working Out From an Office Cube

It can be hard to figure out how to fit in a decent work-out when you’re sitting at a desk all day. Sitting at your desk all day is ruining your posture, and ruining your posture is making harder to work out. But when you’re chained to your desk for nine hours or more a day, it’s had to find time to make it to the gym. Thankfully there are several workout regimens you can do right from your desk without having to worry about taking a break or trying to squeeze in a jog before or after work. Try these exercises to keep yourself fit from your cube.

The Magic Carpet Ride

This one is great for your arms and your core. Your core is especially important if you spend a lot of time sitting down all day as a weak core can easily lead to a sore lower back. If your chair has wheels, lock them in place. Sit cross-legged in your chair and place your hands on the armrests. Suck in your gut and raise yourself a few inches off the seat, using your hands and stomach muscles. Hold for ten to twenty seconds, or as long as you can if less, then rest for thirty seconds. Repeat five times.

Tricep Desk Dips

Sitting at your desk all day is ruining your posture
Sitting at your desk all day is ruining your posture
Your arms can get sore when you’re at a desk all day too, especially if you spend a lot of time on the phone or tend to lean on your desk to one side. This exercise will help enhance your upper body strength and stretch out sore and stiff muscles. Place your rear on the edge of our desk, then place your palms on the edge of the desk to either side of you. Keep your feet together and bend at your elbows, sliding your rear off the desk and dip down a few inches, then push back up. Try to dip to a point where your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle. Do this 20 times.

Carpal Tunnel Reliever

If you’re typing all day, carpal tunnel is a real potential threat. To help fight it off, stand up at your desk and place your palms on the desk knuckle first, fingers pointed towards you and keeping your arms straight. Lower your body until you feel a stretch. Hold for fifteen seconds. Repeat as needed through the day, though it’s recommended that you give this a try at least once a day.

The Wooden Leg

Workout at WorkTo keep your legs from getting stiff doing the day, there’s a great exercise that’s rather ironically named after exactly what you don’t want your leg to become. Sit in your chair and extend one leg straight out in front of you. Hold it for two seconds, then raise it up as high as you can and hold it for another two seconds. Lower your leg and repeat it with your other leg. Repeat 15 times.

Sitting Spinal Stretch

This one is great for those long days when your lower back is really starting to cause you some stress. Sit tall in your chair and stretch your arms up towards the ceiling. With one hand placed on your desk, rab the back of the chair with your other hand and twist. Hold it for ten seconds and then repeat with the other side. Do this as many times as you like.

Shoulder Spin

Tense Shoulders Are A Common Complaint
Tense Shoulders Are A Common Complaint
One of the most common complaints from office worker is tense shoulders. This is in large part due to how much slouching you do at a desk all day. A great way to keep your shoulders from tightening up too badly is the shoulder spin. Sit tall in your chair and reach your left hand behind your back between your shoulder blades, then bring your right hand up and try to grasp your left hand. If you can reach it, hold it for ten seconds. If you can’t quite make it, grab onto your shirt at the furthest point you can reach and keep on practicing. Switch arms and repeat.

The Little Mermaid at Work

Another great one for core strength and also flexibility, this exercise will help keep your shoulders limber and your lower back from getting too sore. Sit up in your chair and hold your right wrist over your head. Wrap your left hand around your wrist and pull it, stretching out your right side. Hold for ten seconds and repeat with your other arm.


The Real Cost of Regular Checkups with Your Doctor

No one likes going to the doctor’s office, and many of us avoid it due to the expenses that we rack up whenever we step foot into a hospital. A doctor’s checkup can feel like a waste of time, especially if the result is that there is nothing wrong with you. A lot of people don’t even go to the doctor’s when they feel sick, and prefer to tough out their problems rather than pay a huge fee. But is it better to go to the doctor and pay up immediately, or to wait until you have a big problem and pay for it then? Here are some incentives to go to the doctor’s office more frequently, and some alternative practices that are cheaper than a checkup.

Checkups Cost

The older you get, the more  you should see your doctor
The older you get, the more you should see your doctor
A regular physical should take place once every two to three years if you are under thirty five, Once every two years if you are older than thirty five and younger than fifty, and once every year if you are over fifty. The older you get, the more often you should go see the doctor, to make sure that you aren’t developing any of the health conditions that are associated with age. That way, you might catch any ailment before it gets too serious. You should also visit the doctor any time you feel any discomfort that lasts for longer than a week, like a cold or flu. The cost to come to the doctor’s office should be about fifty dollars if you have insurance, which can seem pretty expensive. However, not getting a regular checkup could be more costly for you, especially because you should only need a checkup once a year or less.

Emergency Room

Energency RoomsThe cost to go to the ER is significantly higher than making an appointment with your doctor. The costs of using the ER can be upwards of a thousand dollars, and an ambulance ride alone might cost $1200. Depending on your problem and your insurance levels, you might end up paying a lot of money for something that could have been prevented. Considering that a visit to your doctor is only about fifty dollars, it might be a better idea to schedule an appointment rather than heading off straight to the ER, especially if your problem isn’t life threatening.

Urgent Care

Urgent Care centers are significantly less expensive than your average emergency room, and it will cost you only about a hundred dollars to use the kind of facilities that an urgent care will provide. It is still less expensive to make an appointment with your doctor, but if your problem is truly dire going to an urgent care facility is a much better option than going to the ER.

Big Injury Bill

Regular Checkups Will Save You Long Term
Regular Checkups Will Save You Long Term
The cost of full blown cancer treatment annually is around 40 grand on the incredibly low side, and around 120 grand on the high side of the spectrum. Often times, when cancer gets to this point, it is nearly too late for the patient. Going to a yearly checkup can prevent the patient from allowing cancerous cells to grow within their bodies. In other words, by going to checkups for only 50 dollars annually, you could avoid spending up to a hundred grand each year you struggle with full blown malignant cancer. It’s the same thing for plenty of other diseases like heart disease and other preventable ailments that increase with age. Type II diabetes costs on average 11,700 dollars a year for each person who contracts it, and this disease is often times preventable with proper warning.

Going to the doctor for your yearly checkup, while annoying, is much, much cheaper than any of the alternatives. If you want to save yourself money, skipping out on going to the doctor’s office is not the way to do it. Save yourself a lot of pain and go see your doctor when you are scheduled to.