28Jan
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Preventing injury when exercising

It might sound like I’m preaching to the choir, but preventing injuries when working out is one of those important step to maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

 

Think about it for a moment; you’re exercising away and out of nowhere you feel a strain in your back. That’s a pretty big deal. If you’ve hurt your back enough during that exercise, you might find your ability to exercise will be severely limited for a few weeks.

 

That’s just going to get in the way of all that great work you’ve achieved over the past few months!

 

Before undertaking any exercise, it’s important to warm up. Depending on what type of exercise you’re doing, your warm-ups will vary. For a circuit session you might just simply warm up by riding the bike or cross trainer for a few minutes before hand. If you’re lifting weights, you might want to stretch out the muscles you intend on working on that session.

 

Just simply get the muscles working and the blood flowing.

 

There’s no need to spend a long time warming up. Most personal trainers will use 10% of their session to warm a client up (e.g. 3 minutes of a 30 minute session, or 6 minutes for an hour session). This is by no means a hard and fast guide, and each type or exercise and workout will command a different warm-up strategy.

 

In addition to warming up, technique is another way to prevent injury. It is hard to learn technique when you’re exercising yourself, however if you’re exercising at a Gym or Fitness Club, don’t be afraid to ask the staff questions about technique and how to minimise the risk of injury – it’s their job, it’s what they get paid to do.

 

Most gyms also offer services where they’ll perform a consultation and write up a program for you based on your ability and your goals. They should also walk you through the program, at least once or twice. Any good Gym will ensure their personnel are out on the floor helping customers.

 

Poor technique can not only lead to injury, but also poor results, which is one of the many reasons individuals stop going to a gym or exercising generally.

 

In short, to prevent injuries while working out;

  • Warm-up properly
  • Work on technique
  • Ask questions of qualified staff

 

This will lead to a more positive exercise routine.

21Jan
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App of the month: RunKeeper

Welcome to our new monthly App review series, where we set out to find where health and fitness meets technology and review smartphone apps and websites that make tracking your fitness and health so much easier!

 

This month, we’re reviewing RunKeeper.

 

RunKeeper

app-runkeeper

Author: FitnessKeeper, Inc.

 

Available for: iPhone, Android smartphones

 

Cost: Free (upgrade available)

 

iTunes rating: 4 1/2 stars
Google Play rating: 4 1/2 stars

 

RunKeeper is designed to track and measure your workout activities including Running, Cycling, Walking and even a few odd ones you wouldn’t think an app could track including Skiing, Snowboarding, Rowing, Elliptical and wait for it, Swimming (we’re not quite sure how that last one works, but we’ll endeavor to work it out!).

 

The idea behind tracking and measuring your workouts is improvement and this handy App tracks each exercise and compares it against previous workouts. We can easily see how this would keep most people motivated, especially the competitive ones.

 

It does all of the basics includes tracks time, distance covered, maps out your activity, tracks calories burnt and average pace with a neat bar graph showing intervals. One neat little feature is the ability to set goals, which the App automatically ticks off as your train.

 

Setting a training plan up with easy, with predefined training plans for everything from doing a 20 minute easy workout through to running a marathon, and of course you can add your custom training plans if that suits. At the end of session, simply hit the Stop button and you can save your workout and have the summary read back out to you.

 

It has plenty of settings to fiddle with, including the ability to pair with a Heart Rate Monitor. As with a lot of Apps these days, there’s also a social element so you can friend up, share and compare your workouts and times against others for a more competitive experience. You will need to create an account with RunKeeper to track all your workouts, but for the small amount of time it takes, we think its definitely worth it.

 

There’s a number of different versions available. We looked at the basic version and there is an Elite subscription for $4.99 per month, or $19.99 per year which offers live activity broadcasting, discounted training plans and advanced reporting – for the die hard athletes! For most, the basic free version will be more than enough.

 

The size of the app weighs in at 17.5MB, so best to download over WiFi to avoid excess charges on your mobile data allowance. The one downside to the App is that it uses your phones build in GPS to track your activities, which can decrease your battery life, so be sure to charge your phone before you head out!

 

This is one App we think every fitness and health buff should install on their phone! Get it from iTunes or Google Play now:

 

RunKeeper on iTunes (for iPhones)

 

Runkeeper on Google Play (for Android smartphones)

 

 

Welcome to FitnessNearYou!

How exciting! Our first blog post for FitnessNearYou in what will be a long line of many more to come, not only featuring the crew at FitnessNearYou, but also guest bloggers from the fitness industry.

 

What is FitnessNearYou?

FitnessNearYou is a simple to use website that allows viewers to locate information on health and fitness specialists in their local areas.

 

How do I use FitnessNearYou?

Simply head over to the FitnessNearYou front page, select a category from the search drop down, enter your suburb and click Find. It’s as easy as that!

 

What’s in store for FitnessNearYou?

We built this site with the intention of offering viewers the easiest way to find local fitness and health specialists, while also being able to contribute by way of information about the businesses and customer reviews enabling people to locate the best specialists for their needs.

 

We’re also keen to work with businesses on ideas for FitnessNearYou. Currently we’re building our next stage of offerings, including premium listings for businesses and advertising packages. We’ll also shortly begin featuring special offers, which viewers will be able to search by suburb for.

 

How can you help?

The fitness and health industry is a large one! There’s no doubt we’re not only missing some businesses in our listings, but also some categories that people might find valuable.

 

If you have any suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know of a business or category we might be missing and we’ll do our best to add it in right away!

 

Do you work in the fitness and health industry? Do you like to write?

Well, we might be able to offer you an audience! We’re looking for guest posters on FitnessNearYou. See our article on Guest Posting for more information.

 

We’ll continue to update the site with new listings, update old listings and add new content and features over time, so stay tuned!