According to some recent studies, the increase in urbanization and lack of green spaces has a direct correlation to an increase in mental illness. Research shows that recreating in nature improves mental health by relieving anxiety and the occurrence of negative thoughts, which can result in a lower risk of depression (“First in Science: Outdoor Recreation Improves Mental Health – National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL)”, 2018). Natural light increases your serotonin, which is one of your body’s feel-good chemicals, contributing to an overall sense of well-being. Sunlight also provides us with vitamin D, promoting calcium absorption, reducing inflammation, and increasing immune function.
Physical activity in the outdoors can be exhilarating and offer challenges that give one a real sense of accomplishment, improving self-esteem, as well as encouraging growth. Being outdoors can even be therapeutic and has helped many who have suffered from severe trauma.
Fortunately, the High Country offers plenty of land dedicated to outdoor recreation. With mild temperatures in the spring and summer, those from off the mountain have been flocking to this area to escape the heat for decades. The climate provides a comfortable environment for participating in all sorts of outdoor activities, including mountain biking, water sports, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing, cycling, climbing, and bouldering. If you are new to any of these activities, you will usually find the outdoor community is welcoming and more than happy to offer some assistance. For more information about getting involved or finding the right gear for your new outdoor endeavor, visit http://www.exploreboone.com/outdoors/
First in Science: Outdoor Recreation Improves Mental Health – National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL). (2018, September 18). Retrieved May 10, 2019, from https://www.ncel.net/2018/07/09/first-in-science-outdoor-recreation-improves-mental-health/
By: Michael Darling
When most people think about fat loss, they usually think cardiovascular exercise is the only means of burning calories and losing weight. Resistance training is a great way to lose weight as well. Combining the two can be the most powerful way for fat loss success.
Advantages of Resistance Training for Fat Loss
Strength training helps your body build muscle. Having a higher muscle percentage in the body raises your resting metabolic rate. This requires your body to expend more energy throughout the day to keep your bodily systems flowing. This increases the number of calories burned per day. An important part of resistance training is helping maintain the muscle you already have. When you lose weight, you lose a combination of fat and muscle. Resistance training helps to maintain the muscle already there while burning off the excess fat.
Advantages of Cardio for Fat loss
Cardio has an advantage of allowing you to exercise at a moderate intensity for a much longer time period when compared to resistance training. This allows you to maintain exercise longer in order to burn more calories and in return, allows you to burn off fat more quickly. Cardio can also be done more frequent when compared to resistance training due to recovery time. Cardio allows you to vary the intensity more easily in order to boost your calorie burn.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is considered one of the best cardiovascular exercises. It involves burst of strenuous exercise followed by a rest/much lower intensity period. Resistance exercises can also be added into this type of training. This training increases your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Consuming extra oxygen in a longer recovery phase from training allows for a greater increase in energy expenditure. This will cause you to lose fat more quickly. The important thing is finding what works best for you and sticking with it. Don’t stick with cardio because you’re scared of the weight room. Sign up with one of our trainers to get a well balanced exercise program designed just for you. You’ll see fat loss in no time!
On Mondays & Thursdays at 8:15 the Wellness Center offers a kickboxing class that is unlike a traditional kickboxing class. If you attend with the intent of a Tae Bo style class, you are mistaken. This class focuses on fitness first, defense second and great community third.
Each class is different focusing on different skills, partner work, and more. However, it’s not for the faint of heart. You’ll be tested physically and mentally though the 45 minute class, but the experience you receive is like none other.
Modeled after traditional Muay Thai (Thai boxing) training, with each striking part of the body utilized. The arms, legs, knees, and elbows are all moving during class to receive a workout unrivaled by any other. Additionally, pairing with a partner allows for your mind to become a tool to be honed and improved upon.
No class is identical. Each experience is unique. The skills you gain are not only for fitness, but for having the ability to defend yourself also. You come in not knowing what you are capable of, and leave feeling empowered.
Join the community of fighters who see an improvement in their lives both physically and mentally. Join us on Mondays & Thursdays at 8:15.
By, Martin Hubner MS, Pn1
For years weight training has been a topic of discussion for today’s adolescent. This is due to the most common myth that early resistance training will stunt their growth due to damage of the growth plates that control the lengths and shapes of their bones. The issue with this is that weightlifting itself does not cause the damage, the damage to the growth plates come from improper form which causes undue stress to the growing areas. Take a barbell squat for example; the lift needs to be done correctly to assure the growth plates at the knees are protected. If the lift is done incorrectly there is a greater amount of stress directed towards the growth plates, which ultimately causes the damage. As long as the weightlifting movements are done correctly direct injury can be avoided. (more…)
Yes, cardio exercise and building muscle are important. But it’s also important not to skimp on the third element of overall health: flexibility. As we age we tend to lose flexibility. Keeping yourself active can help maintain your flexibility.
Why does flexibility matter?
When you focus on stretching and flexibility, you will:
- Move more freely
- Have better posture
- Be more relaxed and serene
- Reduce muscle tension and soreness
- Reduce the risk of injury
Dos and don’ts of stretching
- Warm up your muscles BEFORE stretching. Failure to warm up may increase your risk of injury. Do a light walk on the treadmill or an easy ride on the bike to get your blood flowing.
- Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds at a time. Do this 2-4 times alternating left and right sides.
- Ask for help. The Wellness Center personal trainers can give you tips and creative stretches.
- Do not overstretch the muscle. In other words, if it hurts, then do not stretch that far.
- Don’t bounce. You could strain a muscle or even worse, injure it.
- Don’t hold your breath! Breathing is important to carry oxygen to your muscles as they stretch.
To learn how to incorporate stretching into your workouts, visit the front desk or Contact us online to ask about fitness instruction.