Running for Fitness: Steps Toward a Sensible Exercise Routine

One of our favorite cardio exercises is one of the simplest: running/jogging. It requires minimal equipment: just a good pair of shoes and suitable clothing. And you can do it almost anywhere: the only significant concerns being the weather and the safeness of the neighborhood.

Now, before we go any further, PLEASE, PLEASE schedule a complete physical with your doctor so you know your capabilities going in. Trying to do too much too soon can literally be life-threatening, so don’t skip this step.

runningIf the best you can do to start out is a walk around the block, or even just from your front door to the street and back, that’s perfectly fine. We all began from somewhere. I’m recalling a cheer from my high school athletic days: “Take it easy, take it slow: let’s go!”

Next, now that you understand your current physical limitations, educate yourself on how best to start working your way up to a healthy, effective running routine. Runner’s World provides an excellent five-step guide to help you get going.

Again, though, it would be wise to consult a fitness professional who can help you develop a personal exercise regimen, especially if you have significant health issues and need to work up to a more strenuous workouts gradually.

Finally, as we mentioned above, while walking or running outdoors may be the most enjoyable way to get some cardio, your local environment may not always cooperate. With that in mind, investing in a running treadmill is worth considering.

These machines come in a variety of sizes and capabilities, as well as a range of prices, so there should be a model that suits your needs. For example, many models will fold up to help save space, while others provide a variety of functions that measure your progress and/or help keep you entertained while working out.

Regardless, if you’re ultimate goal is building up to running or jogging, make sure your machine is capable of handling the greater impact of these activities, as opposed to simply walking. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for in these instances.

Of course, you might also decide a gym membership is the best option for you. Many people find the fact that they’re paying a monthly fee motivating, so they are more likely to show up and get in their workout. Also, many of these facilities have trained fitness experts on site to help you get started.

In the end, a simple cardio routine based on walking or running is a simple, proven way to improve your health. Follow the basic steps outlined here, check out our recommended resources, and we hope to see you out on the jogging trail soon!

Rowing for Health and Happiness

Up in the high country near us, many people enjoy white water sports. There are rapids nearby to suit every level of experience, and it can be an exhilarating activity, shooting along surrounded by forest and mountains underneath a cerulean sky.

Still, this isn’t everyone’s style, and while it is a good workout, a safer and arguably more complete one can be had from rowing on lakes or calmer streams and rivers.

RowerWhat are some of the benefits?

For starters, it uses all of the major muscles in your body, working upper and lower extremities in addition to building core strength. This leads to greater stability, as it helps develop the “neutral” muscles that are often ignored in other exercise regimens. Increasing this stability means you are less likely to get strains and sprains from everyday activities like lifting and bending.

Another advantage of rowing is its cardio benefits. Even in calm waters with a light shell, pushing the oars through the water is going to raise the pulse rate significantly, promoting better heart health.

Furthermore, rowing can be a great stress reliever. As you become more adept, you’ll develop a steady, satisfying rhythm that can be very calming as you work your way through the water. Many experts agree that combining physical activity with meditative practices is exceptionally beneficial.

Getting started in rowing isn’t that difficult. Here’s a video showing some of the basics if you are brand-new to this sport:

Of course, the weather won’t always cooperate for you. While a light rain likely won’t be a problem, open water rowing in more severe conditions is not wise, especially for beginners. And of course, the winter months will make outdoor rowing virtually impossible in many parts of the world.

With that in mind, investing in an indoor rowing machine is a good idea. The folks at http://compactrowingmachine.com offer an excellent guide on selecting one to suit your needs.

Overall, then, we highly recommend taking up this sport as a great way to improve your health, relieve tension, and enjoy the great outdoors. Do some research to find clubs or organizations in your area that can help you get started, and have fun!

Home Gym Air Quality

Finding space for a workout area in your home can be a challenge. You likely have a fair number of machines, plus free weights, and then you need floor space for stretching and other exercises.

Often, the most convenient place might be somewhere like the basement or garage, but this is hardly ideal. For one thing, using spaces like this for your fitness routines can actually be hazardous to your health. Let us explain.

free weightsWe’re sure it will come as no surprise to you that you breathe harder and deeper when working out. After all, your body needs that oxygen to keep going. Some estimates suggest that you are increasing your air intake by as much as three or four times while exercising.

The question is, what’s in that air you’re taking in? If you’re like most people, the garage and basement don’t get the same kind of housekeeping attention the rest of your home does. There is bound to be more dust and other impurities in the air in those spaces.

Add to this the fact that many folks store harsh chemicals in these areas that may give off noxious fumes, as well as the ongoing concern about naturally-occurring gases like radon, and that workout space in the cellar starts looking less and less attractive.

What to do? Well, assuming that you really have no other space available, the short answer is to make your fitness “room” a healthier place to be.

Number one, of course, is to give it a good cleaning, and keep it clean. Get rid of the accumulated dust and mold, and perhaps consider getting an air purifier. The site http://airfiltermachine.com provides an excellent overview of how to select a good one.

Next, remove any chemicals stored in the area to another location, and ensure they have air-tight caps. Also, make sure your workout space is well-ventilated. This can be as simple as opening a couple of windows while you’re exercising, and maybe adding a fan to pull air through the area.

Finally, especially if you’re using the lower level of your home for fitness, make sure you have a test done for radon levels. If there are high levels, you’ll likely need to have a system installed to extract it from the air. Even if you decide to move your workout room someplace else, radon will impact the air quality throughout your home, and as a carcinogen, it’s nothing to mess with.

Hopefully, these tips will help you set up a clean, healthy environment for your home gym. Let’s get moving!

Let’s Get Moving!

Hello, and welcome to Rocky Mountain Sport and Fitness.

In future posts, we’re going to be covering tips and advice on a wide range of ways to stay fit and have fun.

We love the outdoors, and here in the American Rocky Mountains, there are countless ways to enjoy it.  From hiking to mountain biking and beyond, we’ll be exploring all of these and more.  And our focus won’t just be on our region.  We’ll also share ideas for active adventures in fabulous locations throughout the North American continent.

If there’s one thing we understand, though, it’s that getting outside is not always the easiest thing to do.  We know something about snow in our neck of the woods, and while getting out for some cross country skiing is one of our favorites, you still need a backup plan if getting out the door isn’t convenient or possible.

With that in mind, we’ll also be covering indoor workout routines and equipment, including how to make exercising indoors more interesting and motivating.

That’s about it for now, but remember to check back again soon.  Thanks!