Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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4-Step Cooldown

By: Snap Fitness

Just because you’ve finished the “hard part” of your workout doesn’t mean you can pack up and drive home quite yet! A cool-down is a must-do during your post-workout routine. Cool-downs gradually reduce your heart rate and help your body return to a resting state. They also reduce muscle stiffness and soreness. Don’t let sore muscles keep you from getting to the gym! Follow these cool-down steps.

 

Here are four things your cool-down should consist of:

 

Cardio: This doesn’t mean run! Slow your speed to a light pace for five to 10 minutes. This flushes out lactic acid from your muscles, prevents soreness, and aids muscle recovery.

 

Stretch: Spend 30 seconds stretching each major muscle group. If a muscle is especially sore, spend more time on that area. The major muscles include quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, chest, arms, and core.

 

Hydrate: You should be drinking water before, during, and after your workout, but it’s especially important to drink up after you exercise. You need to replenish the water supply you lost during your workout. We recommend you drink 16 ounces per hour of exercise.

 

Replenish: In addition to water, we recommend a recovery shake combination of protein and carbohydrates. Protein rebuilds muscle tissue, while carbohydrates deliver proteins to your cells. Sip down your recovery shake within 30 minutes of your workout to ensure your muscles absorb the nutrients they need.

 

Stick to this cool-down routine and the results will come!

Cardiovascular Intensity Levels Explained

By: Snap Fitness

You never know when that cardio training will come in handy. Don’t get stuck in a running rut! There’s so much more to cardiovascular training than following the “running as fast as you can for as long as your can” mentality.In fact, more isn’t always better. By switching up your intensity level, it prevents both injuries and boredom. Train smarter rather than harder!

 

Here are the three main cardio training categories:

 

Long Slow Distance: Working at a heart rate intensity of 60-70 percent of your max heart rate has long been called the “fat burning zone.” While true, it’s not the most effective way to burn fat and boost cardiovascular fitness. The goal in completing Long Slow Distance cardio is to increase your ability to burn fat while you sleep. You’ll know you’re working aerobically and at a heart rate range of 60-70 percent of your max heart rate if you can easily carry on a conversation. 

 

Do Long Slow Distance training one to three times a week – depending on your weekly total, it should account for 25 percent.

 

Interval Training: What makes Interval Training so great? Not only does it boost your cardio fitness and heart rate, it has a lingering effect on your caloric burn – upwards of 30 percent! That means you can burn 30 percent more calories than you would normally burn throughout the day.

 

Interval Training consists of working at or above 85 percent of your max heart rate for a period of time, followed by a recovery period at 60-70 percent of max your max heart rate.

 

Sounds awesome, right? If you only do this type of training, you also burn more sugars rather than fat during your workout. Do too much interval training and you run the risk of burning that hard earned muscle. 

 

For Interval Training, stick to one to three times a week or 50 percent of your overall cardio training.

 

Steady State Training: The toughest of the three! For this, you wantto work just at or slightly below anaerobic threshold  — roughly 75-85 percent of your maximum heart rate. 

 

This training category is the toughest because you have to stay at a relatively high intensity for five to 20 minutes. In comparison, Long Slow Distance training  is easier to maintain and generally feels good, where Interval Training is far tougher but only last a short while. Challenge yourself to work Steady State Training one to three times a week or 25 percent of your overall training.

Are You Ready For #SnapMadness?

By: Snap Fitness

March is here! For all you college basketball fans out there, arguably the best sporting event of the year is coming up … March Madness! No matter how many brackets you fill out – forever hoping your favorite team hoists up the national championship trophy while “This Magic Moment” plays in the background, nothing is for certain in these games. That’s what makes this tournament so great. A buzzer-beater will either bring you tears of joy or immediate heartbreak. The excitement gets everyone hyped up; players and fans alike.

 

Enter #SnapMadness, our new contest that combines the excitement and fun of “The Big Dance” and challenging workouts. These fitness challenges will not be easy, but that makes accomplishing them that much more rewarding. Sixty-eight teams from across the country lay it all on the line during March Madness. You can do the same at your local Snap Fitness club this month.

 

Over the next four weeks, we'll be posting a #SnapMadness workout for you to attempt. Members who complete all four workouts are entered into a drawing. The winner gets $250 in Snap Fitness gear.

 

Here’s how you play:

1. Complete the workout.
2. Take a photo of yourself next to the distance on your machine’s display screen to prove you completed it.
3. Post your photo on either Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and use the #SnapMadness hashtag.

 

The contest kicks off Thursday, March 6. There will be a new activity posted every Thursday in March. Read the Terms and Conditions here.

 

Your photos need to be posted by the following Thursday at 8 a.m. CST. Example: The first workout is posted Thursday, March 6. Your photo needs to be submitted by 8 a.m. CST Thursday, March 13. The photos – whether they’re posted on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram – need to have the correct hashtag (#SnapMadness) in order to be accepted for our contest.

 

The winner will be announced Thursday, April 3.

 

Let the madness begin!

 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C. age of majority or older. Dates: March 6, 2014 through April 3, 2014. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds and prize descriptions visit http://www.snapfitness.com. Void where prohibited.

The Importance of a Rest Day

By: Snap Fitness

You're not a skipper, but maybe you should be.

 

We know that muscle grows and repairs itself while resting, so continuous training can actually weaken the strongest of us. Research suggests having a rest day from your normal fitness routine at least once a week. Not only does it benefit your body, but it can help maintain a healthy balance between the gym, your job, and your home.

 

Overtraining can cause more damage than you think. You may have reached a weight-loss plateau and/or have trouble sleeping, a bigger appetite, and other major mood swings. Don't beat yourself up over a day without the gym; it's a reward for your hard work every other day!

New Year's Eve Countdown Workout

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

Finish off 2013 with our Countdown Finisher workout! A Finisher is a metabolic boost that is often placed at the end of a workout.  It consists of high intensity movements done with maximal effort.

Start with a 5 minute warm-up on your favorite machine. Once you start the countdown, move from one movement to the next without stopping – good luck!

10 - Burpees

9 – Pushups

8 – Squat Thrusters (Plank position, jump feet to the outsides of hands and repeat, plank to squat for 8 reps)

7 – Jump Squats

6 – Side Plank Dips (each side)

5 – Elbow Plank Pulls (hold elbow plank and pull your body forward and back)

4 – Plank Walks (one elbow down, then the other, one hand to plank, then the other – continue this starting with the right side for 4, then the left side for 4)

3 – Jump Lunges (each leg)

2 – Minute Plank Twist (hold plank or elbow plank for 2 minutes, rotate hips right, dip hip toward the floor, return to center and repeat, alternating sides)

1 – Mile run

Happy New Year!