The Best Ways To Overcome Gym Anxiety This Year

The Best Ways To Overcome Gym Anxiety This Year

Not everyone at Team Worx in Alexandria, VA, had gym anxiety. Those with anxiety overcame the problem and started on the road to good health and fitness. There are as many ways to defeat anxiety as there are reasons it exists. Some people are perfectionists, so facing something new can be intimidating since they know they won’t be able to do it perfectly. Hiring a personal trainer and doing one-to-one training can ease your mind. The trainer will show you the proper form first, so there’s no need to worry.

Get all your information first.

Are you worried you won’t know what to do or where to go? Before you start, ask questions. Before you sign up, ask a lot of questions. Ask for a tour of the facility and learn where everything is and the typical workout session. Check out the gym’s site online. The more information you have, the more comfortable you’ll feel on your first day.

Start slowly and work your way to a more strenuous routine.

Everyone is a beginner at some time in their life. Some people start exercise programs very young, so they don’t remember how scary it was. If you’ve never exercised before and worry you’ll look foolish or won’t be able to keep up with others, know that it will be true. Doesn’t that make you feel more anxious? Not if you realize there are always fitter people, regardless of how good you are. Most people are too focused on how to get fit or too self-conscious about what others think, to worry about you. If someone is focusing on you, aren’t they procrastinating and scared too?

Workout with a friend.

Going to a gym alone can be intimidating if you’re a beginner. However, if you go with a friend who is also a beginner, it’s more fun and less scary. If you go with a friend who already works out at that gym, they can guide you through the process and ease your fears. Joining a beginner’s group fitness class can also help ease your anxiety. Everyone in the class will be a beginner, just like you. It eases you into exercise until you feel comfortable working out alone.

  • Going to the gym after an injury or illness can be intimidating. Talk to your healthcare professional first to get an okay. Use a personal trainer to modify your workout to match your fitness level.
  • Find a time when the gym is less crowded. Ask the staff for help using the machines. If you have problems changing in front of others in the locker room, it’s also a time that it’s less likely to happen.
  • Don’t force yourself to stay for an entire session. Do as many as you comfortably can on the first day and build on that, increasing how long you stay each time.
  • Overcome the worry that you’re too out of shape. It’s why you’re going to the gym. Set a starting date and increase your activity daily to prepare for the gym.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

How To Get Bigger And Stronger

How To Get Bigger And Stronger

People come to Team Worx in Alexandria, VA, for many different reasons. Some come to lower blood pressure, lose weight, or build endurance. Others want to get bigger muscles or want to become stronger. Some want both. Building larger muscles doesn’t necessarily make you stronger. That requires a different type of exercise. You have to build opposing muscle groups to get the best results. You can start by lifting something heavy. While most new mothers don’t develop bulky muscles, they develop the strength to lift the baby and as the baby grows increase that lifting ability.

You use different workouts to build big muscles than you do to build strong muscles.

When you first start training, you’ll build both muscles and strength. Most bodybuilders workout to achieve larger muscle size—hypertrophy. While they’ll gain some strength initially, it won’t be as much as powerlifters, who focus only on strength. What’s the difference between the two? It’s not the type of exercise you do but how you do it. When you build muscle tissue, as bodybuilders do, you do more reps and less weight or resistance.

Build your biceps with lifting and curling exercises.

According to ACE—American College on Exercise—building biceps requires exercises that involve curling weights toward your shoulders or lifting weights. Use a weight you can lift for 12-15 repetitions before your form deteriorates. Do one set of each of these exercises two or three days a week, ensuring you have 48 to 72 hours of rest between sessions to allow muscles to recover. As you get stronger, don’t increase the reps, but increase the sets.

Several exercises can build your lower body strength.

You don’t need weights to build or define your thighs and glutes. Squats and lunges can do the job. These traditional calisthenics build leg and back muscles. Hold weights to build more strength. Curls are excellent for strengthening upper arms. So are push-ups and planks. The two also build core strength and improve balance and mobility. Crunches and bridges can build midsection core muscles.

  • Focus on form when doing all types of exercise, especially strength-building exercises. Don’t forget to do warm-up and cool-down exercises.
  • Women have to work harder to build bulky body muscles. It takes a special diet and a specially designed workout routine. Don’t worry. Strength-building exercises won’t turn you into the Hulk without extra effort.
  • Eat a small snack or meal after your workout. It should contain carbohydrates and protein. Eat it as soon after the workout as possible to boost recovery and provide adequate protein to build muscle tissue.
  • Slowly increase the weight you lift as you get stronger. Don’t go too fast, or it will affect your form. The trainers at Team Worx will help you find the right weight and time to make the change.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

How To Stay In Shape With A Busy Lifestyle

How To Stay In Shape With A Busy Lifestyle

You might think you can’t workout because you have a busy lifestyle, but the truth is, if you want to stay in shape, you have to make the time. Schedule your workout at the same time each day. Consider the gym a way to avoid many doctor’s appointments. Being fit diminishes your potential for serious illness. It increases strength, boosts your immune system, and helps prevent pain from existing conditions. It can prevent obesity, which leads to heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Your diet plays a vital role in your fitness.

It takes no extra effort to eat healthy since you have to eat. You can make it even easier with meal planning. You plan your meals one day a week, shop for ingredients the next, and cook on the third day. Cooking all in one day saves time. You can use the oven for several dishes, divide the meals into individual serving sizes, and use the excess meat and vegetables for several meals. Then heat it and serve during the week.

Workout early or after work.

If you have a hectic day, workout before it starts. Get up before the kids and do your workout. It prevents emergencies or unexpected intrusions into your schedule. You’ll be ready to take a shower right after the workout and begin your day. If your day ends when you walk out the door at the office and you seldom work past your regular hours, working out after your workday ends is perfect. If neither works for you, break up your workout into shorter sessions of 10-15 minutes each.

Workout smarter and with more intensity.

A shorter workout provides more benefits if you use HIIT—high intensity interval training. It’s not a specific workout but a way of doing any exercise. You alternate between high intensity and recovery rate for a minute or two each. Studies show that HIIT workouts offer the same benefits in a half hour as steady-state workouts provide in an hour. Other types of training that get more done in less time include kettlebell training, circuit training, and full-body workouts.

  • You don’t have to go to the gym to get exercise. Alternate your days at the gym with active recreation. Ride bikes with the kids, go for a walk or go dancing. Include your family in your fitness regimen and make it fun.
  • Get plenty of sleep. You may think you should stay up to finish a project, but you won’t be working as efficiently. Lack of sleep also increases the hunger hormone and diminishes the satiety hormone, so you eat more.
  • If you stop for a drink with friends after work, suggest you all go to the gym instead. You’ll burn off stress hormones, just like liquor does, but you’ll lose weight not gain it and feel better in the morning.
  • Staying hydrated is vital to staying fit. Always carry a bottle of water with you and sip on it throughout the day. It’s the perfect pick-me-up that increases your energy better than coffee does.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

How To "Fit In" Exercise Each Week

How To “Fit In” Exercise Each Week

Like every other city in the nation, people in Alexandria, VA, often find it difficult to fit in their exercise program each week, Life’s busy, and it’s hard to fit everything in a week, so you have to prioritize. Considering all the benefits you reap from exercise and how it relieves stress and boosts energy, it should be your top priority.

Make the time shorter by increasing the intensity.

Worldwide studies have shown that you need between 150 and 300 minutes of moderate exercise or between 75 and 150 minutes of intense exercise weekly. Cut your exercise time by turning up the intensity with HIIT—high intensity interval training. It’s a way of doing any exercise. Do a minute or two at peak intensity and then reduce it to moderate recovery intensity for the same or longer time. Alternate continuously between the two intensities. You get the same benefits in half the time as steady-state moderate exercise.

Break your workout into shorter sessions throughout the day.

You don’t have to do your exercise all at once. You can break it up into smaller sessions throughout the day. If you opt for intense workouts seven days a week, just do ten minutes every morning and ten minutes at the end of the day. That’s 20 minutes a day or 140 minutes of intense exercise. If you decide to go less intense, start your day with fifteen minutes of exercise, walk fifteen minutes at lunch, and exercise another fifteen minutes at the end of the day. You can work out longer some days and skip others. Just don’t try to pack all your exercise into one or two days.

Create a five-minute workout you can do on breaks or do a nitric oxide dump.

Even though going to the gym and a full workout is best, it’s not always an option. Be prepared with a workout you can do at your desk or in the breakroom. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be chair leg lifts, wall slides, or chair rises. A nitric oxide dump is a four-minute exercise you can do anywhere. It combines squats, snow angels, tin soldiers, and a military press, doing three intervals of ten repetitions of each exercise.

  • Put fitness on your schedule. If your day is always unpredictable, work out in the morning before any crisis starts. If you have a rigid schedule that doesn’t change, pick a time each day to work out and make it a standing appointment.
  • Get Rover or Kitty in shape and prevent pet obesity. Run with Rover and do active play with the cats, like dangling a string with a toy at the end and letting them chase you.
  • Combine sedentary entertainment with an active workout. If you’re watching TV or streaming at home, do exercises while you do it. Planks, crunches, lunges, and squats let you watch while you exercise.
  • Play with the kids or take them on a walk. Not all exercises have to be calisthenics. Shooting hoops, playing tag, or jumping rope with the kids are vigorous exercises that will help you get fit faster.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Will "Cheat Days" Ruin My Fitness Success?

Will “Cheat Days” Ruin My Fitness Success?

When people crave some of their favorite unhealthy foods but are trying to focus on eating only healthy ones, cheat days may be an option. There are debates about whether cheat days will still provide success or whether they will destroy a fitness plan. To understand each viewpoint, you have to know what a cheat day is. It’s not a day of gluttony, but a day where you can eat normally and indulge in a slice of cake, fries, or other often forbidden food.

Cheat days may save your efforts to eat healthier.

Craving junk food is a problem, especially when starting a fitness regimen. If you have continual cravings, it can make your life miserable. Even worse, giving in to cravings can cause you to eat everything in sight. A cheat day lets you give in to your cravings without feeling like you’ve failed, so you won’t give up your plan to eat healthier. It provides a time to eat like others when you’re out for burgers with friends and family.

Cheat days may boost your metabolism.

Continuously eating fewer calories can cause your metabolism to slow. Exercise will keep the fires burning hotter, but so can a cheat day. Temporarily increasing caloric intake keeps the metabolic fires burning hot. Your body doesn’t sense potential starvation, so it doesn’t slow metabolism. Keeping metabolism running high is a theory proven true in some short-term studies. They show that cheat days may even increase metabolism by 10%, but only for 24 hours.

The verdict is in, cheat days work for some people and not for others.

For some people, cheat days are perfect for all the reasons mentioned. There are downsides, however. Cheat days can slow weight loss. It takes a 3,500-calorie deficit to lose one pound. Cutting calories by 500 a day causes a one-pound weight loss in a week. If you only consume the additional 500 calories you had removed from your diet, you’ll lose a pound in 8 rather than seven. Some people splurge on cheat days and eat far more than the 500 calories they usually cut from their diet. That can significantly slow your fitness progress.

  • If you consume sugary foods or high-fat foods, it can be even harder to remove them from your diet the next day. These foods are addictive. Some people can’t get back on a healthy eating path.
  • Planning cheat days around special events, like holiday get-togethers or parties, can make it better for you. You don’t have to turn down foods you love and can eat like others without feeling guilty.
  • If you have a friend who never has a weight problem, they probably eat like people who use cheat days. They eat a healthy menu most days, except when they’re out with friends. Then they eat whatever they want.
  • You can have a cheat day once a week or schedule more time between cheat days. Don’t forget to be kind to your stomach on cheat day. Eat slowly and savor every bite. Give time for your stomach to signal to the brain that it’s full.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Signs You're Working Out Too Much

Signs You’re Working Out Too Much

When you come to Team Worx in Alexandria, VA, we motivate you to push yourself to maximize your benefits. Pushing yourself has its limits. If you’re working out too hard, too often, there are consequences. For instance, if you do intense strength training every day, it can break down your muscles and impede your success. Other signs that working out too much can be disastrous. Look for these signs to make sure you’re staying safe and still getting the results you want.

More is not always better.

Working out too much—-overtraining—can set you back, especially if you’re continuously doing strenuous workouts that take a toll on your body. It can cause stress on your body. While exercise relieves stress, it also causes stress. It doesn’t allow the body to recover adequately. That can cause your immune system to be less effective, so if you’re exercising too hard and too much, you’ll be more prone to minor illnesses like colds or the flu or major problems.

If you’re pushing hard but not making progress, you may be over-exercising.

Your muscles need up to 72 hours after being pushed to the limit. To build muscles, you have to cause microtears in the muscles by working out. The tissue builds as they heal and makes your muscles bigger and stronger. If you don’t allow the tears to heal, the muscle tissue doesn’t heal, and you don’t progress or become weaker than you were previously.

Working out too much can affect more than the body.

If you start to feel depressed or show signs of confusion, irritability, or moodiness, it might be from overworking your body. You might find you’re exhausted after a workout, even though you used to feel great. If your muscle recovery takes longer than it used to take, it’s time to slow down. Give yourself a break between intense workouts. Do recovery exercises, like walking at a moderate pace.

  • Working out longer or exercising several times a day at peak intensity is overworking your body. If you don’t get enough sleep between workout sessions, at least six hours, it also can be a problem.
  • Check your resting heart rate. If it’s high, it’s a sign you’re over-exercising. If a fit person has a heart rate between 40-60 and jumps to 75 or higher, it’s a signal to take it easy.
  • The inability to sleep can happen to anyone, but if it’s occurring regularly, it may be a sign you’ve spent too much time working out. Insomnia can cause too little sleep, which can add to the problem.
  • Working out does more than cause muscle loss. It can decrease thyroid hormones and cause weight gain. It also can increase cortisol, the stress hormone. There’s a link between cortisol and the accumulation of belly fat.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Why Cardio Is The Best Exercise For Weight Loss?

Why Cardio Is The Best Exercise For Weight Loss?

If your goal is weight loss, doing cardio can help you reach your goal. Cardio is the best type of exercise to burn a lot of calories. It torches calories. Unfortunately, those calories can come from both fat and muscle tissue. It’s one drawback of cardio. The less muscle tissue you have, the harder it is to lose weight. Muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does, so it boosts your metabolism to burn extra calories 24/7.

Some types of cardio burn more calories than others do.

Most people understand that running at peak speed will burn more calories per hour than the same amount of time spent on a leisurely walk. There are also differences between a steady-state workout and a HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout. Steady-state is just as it sounds. You exercise at a consistent pace. HIIT varies the intensity between peak intensity and recovery. HIIT burns more calories and gets faster results.

HIIT workouts continue burning calories after the workout ends.

If you’ve run several miles alternating between high intensity and recovery, you’ll burn calories even after you quit. HIIT workouts cause excess post-exercise oxygen consumption—EPOC. It’s the reason HIIT burns more calories than a steady-state cardio session. HIIT also increases growth hormone levels in the body. It burns body fat and helps you lose weight.

Do cardio, but don’t forget other types of exercise.

You need all types of fitness training, cardio, strength, flexibility, and balance. Both strength and cardio increase HGH—human growth hormone—and burn a large amount of calories. Flexibility training helps prevent injury that can put your exercise program on pause. It extends your range of motion. Flexibility training also burns calories, just not as many as strength or cardio. So do balance exercises.

  • If you want to burn a lot of calories, try jumping rope. It’s a compound exercise that uses several muscle groups and joints, so it requires energy to move all those areas.
  • You can increase weight loss by increasing your activity when you’re not in the gym. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Climbing stairs is a cardio activity. Walk to close destinations rather than taking the car.
  • How can you tell the intensity of a cardio workout? One method is the sing method. If you can carry on a conversation, but can’t sing, it’s moderate. If you’re gasping for air and can only get out a few words, it’s intense.
  • Vary your workout to burn more calories. If you consistently do the same workout, your body becomes efficient at the moves and burns fewer calories.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Is My Weight Loss Goal Realistic?

Is My Weight Loss Goal Realistic?

Success starts with setting a goal. It should be exciting but also realistic. At TeamWorX in Alexandria, VA, we can help you with fitness and weight loss goals. Setting expectations too high can be unhealthy if you achieve it and defeating if you don’t. To lose one pound, you need a deficit of 3500 calories. You can increase your calorie output by exercising and reducing your intake with a healthy diet to achieve that.

The number of calories you burn depends on age, weight, activity level, and gender.

Men burn more calories than women do. Adults 30 and under and teens burn more calories daily than older individuals. Active people burn more calories than sedentary ones. An average, extremely active woman burns 2400 calories a day. An average extremely active man burns 3,000 calories. If an average woman changed from a sedentary lifestyle to an extremely active one and ate nothing, her maximum calorie deficit per week would be 16,800. The most she could lose would be 4.8 pounds weekly. Eating nothing isn’t sustainable or healthy. A healthy option would be reducing calorie intake by 500 calories daily and boosting output by 500 calories daily. It would lead to a two-pound loss per week.

How much weight do you want to lose?

Deciding the amount of weight to lose also needs to be realistic. The amount you should weigh will vary by gender, build, amount of muscle, and age. If you’re a 30-year-old 5’6″ female who is muscular with broad shoulders and a large who lacks muscle. Once you find your ideal weight, subtract it from your present weight and divide it by the number of pounds you intend to lose weekly. That’s how long it will take you.

To have lasting results you have to change your habits.

Most people want to change their weight faster than a slow but steady technique provides. You can crash diet, but the lost weight returns when you revert to old eating habits. It took a long time to develop the habits that added the extra weight. It will take a while to break those habits and lose the weight. Once you do change habits, you’ll never have to lose weight again.

  • People who are obese may have better weight loss results initially. The more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn. You’re carrying extra weight every minute of the day, if you carried a five to ten-pound dumbbell everywhere you went, you’d also burn more calories.
  • Track your progress. Winners keep score. Track your weight loss, measurements, and progress in the gym. If you can do more sets, lift heavier weights, or do an exercise you couldn’t do before, you’re also making progress.
  • Be realistic and understand you can’t change some things. Having a healthy and attainable body image to strive for is vital. If you’re large framed, you’ll never have a petite look, just like someone with size 9 shoes will never wear a size 3 no matter how much weight they lost.
  • Our trainers will help you set a healthy goal and break it down into mini goals you can achieve each week. We also provide nutritional advice and meal plans to help you lose weight easier.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Best Stretches To Do Before A Workout

Best Stretches To Do Before A Workout

Working out regularly is vital to fitness. You’ll benefit from any exercise, but a planned exercise program is best for your overall health. Every session should start with stretches. When you stretch before a workout, you’re warming the muscles used during that session to loosen them and increase circulation. Stretching before working out prepares the heart for the increased effort of exercise.

Get ready for a full-body workout with a session on a stationary bike followed by arm circles.

Riding a stationary bike increases circulation throughout the body and increases your heart rate. Don’t pedal at top speed, just start slowly and build. If you’re out of shape, reduce the tension to make pedaling easier. The stationary bike can warm the lower-body muscles, but you also need to loosen the upper-body muscles. Stand next to the bike and extend your arms straight out to the side. Start making small circles with your hands and increase their size until they’re large circles. Reverse direction and reduce the size to small circles.

If you’re going for a run, start with a walk.

Whether you start by walking the path you’ll take for the run or just walk in circles, it’s a good warm-up that prepares your body for more exertion from the run. You can add walking lunges to stretch the leg muscles. Increase circulation even more by shaking your hands like you’re shaking off water as you do lunges and walk. You can even twist at the waist as you lunge forward to add a “twist” to the warm-up.

No matter what part of the body you’re exercising, stretch the muscles you’ll use.

Stretching helps prevent injury and improves your overall performance. If you’re working core muscles, twisting your upper body side-to-side with your arms extended straight out and parallel to the ground is a good warm-up. Keep your feet spread to shoulder width for stability. Now bend to one side and tap your fingers on the side of your leg. Stand straight and bend to the other side, doing the same.

  • Mix walking with knees high marching. Lift your knees as high as possible, attempting to press your thighs to your chest. Work into it, bringing them closer with each step. Switch to butt kicks as you pace.
  • Lift one leg behind you and grab your heel, pulling it toward your body as you feel the stretch. It’s an excellent stretch for runners.
  • A movement as simple as jumping jacks can be an excellent warm-up stretch. If you have issues with your leg joints, avoid the impact of the jump and just do the upper body movement as you step to the side and back.
  • Do lunges. Forward lunges, backward lunges, and walking lunges are all excellent warm-up stretches. Try a lateral lunge by stepping to the side as wide as you can. Bend one knee, lunging to that side as you straighten the other leg doing it.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness