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    Natracure Blog — workout

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    5 Reasons to Start Working Out at Work

    You know you should exercise. What you might not know is that you need to this at work, or – even better -- during work. Our best intentions can easily fall by the wayside when they meet the realities of a packed schedule, bad weather and a comfortable couch. How about skipping that trip to the gym and exercising right at the office instead. Not only does working out at work save you time (and help you avoid the temptations of your living room), it’s also a great way to boost your professional performance, according to recent research out Leeds Metropolitan University and Bristol University. Exercise is hugely beneficial, but only short term. While lots of studies compare the average level of health, anxiety, creativity and productivity of people who exercise versus those that don’t, this study led by Dr. J.C. Coulson focused on measuring how increased levels of activity affected the same individual. If you moved more, how did that change how you felt and performed? The research team found that exercise changes our attitude towards our work, our team, and even ourselves. It makes us more positive and more productive by improving our focus and ability to manage our time and tasks efficiently. It also makes people more cheerful and resilient in the face of stress. In short, exercise has remarkable benefits, but only in the short term. Working out caused an immediate spike in subjects’ mental and physical health, but the next day they were basically back to square one. If you want to get the productivity-boosting benefits of working out, in other words, you should leave as small a gap as possible between climbing off the treadmill or stationary bike and getting back to work. That’s reason one to consider working up a sweat while you’re actually at the office. Exercise boosts teamwork. The mood-boosting effects of exercise aren’t just on the individual level. Whole teams can feel the benefits of being more active during the workday, the study shows. On days when they exercised, subjects felt more tolerant and positive towards colleagues. Unsurprisingly, workplace relationships improved. “This implies that exercising at work has a key morale-building effect,” claim the researchers. Adding a bit of exercise to the workday had a particularly positive effect on employees suffering from anxiety and depression, two conditions that are clearly hugely detrimental to professional performance. But even for those not struggling with any mental health issues, the impact of exercise on mood was profound. And happy employees, it turns out, are productive employees. “Emotional affect may predict job performance more than job satisfaction,” the researchers conclude. You don’t have to train for a triathlon. But I don’t want to go through the hassle of changing into my workout gear and getting all sweaty at work, you might object. Not to worry. You don’t need to prepare for a triathlon to get the benefits of working out at work. Even something as simple as going out for a short walk could be an effective performance booster. Danish researcher Cecilie Thogersen-Ntoumani has shown that a 30-minute lunchtime walk can improve enthusiasm and relaxation, and relieve nervousness. You might not even need to leave your desk. In fact, according to another study, you might not even have to leave your desk to experience the benefits of working out at work. The yearlong experiment introduced treadmill workstations at a financial services company, so that participants were able to choose between a standard desk-and-chair arrangement or working while walking at a modest speed of zero to two miles per hour. The new arrangement took some getting used to -- performance initially fell while employees adjusted to the new setup -- but then amazing things started happening. Participants’ work performance improved by almost any measure. Both the quality and quantity of their output went up, their interactions with co-workers improved, even their self-rating of their work, as well as the ratings of their supervisors, increased significantly. On-site exercise even helps those who work on their feet. Is on-site exercise only for those with sedentary jobs who sit all day? Not at all, according to science. Even those like cashiers, hair stylists, and nurses who spend most of their time on their feet can benefit from adding a few targeted exercises into their work routines. The right combination of stretches and activities can help prevent sore feet, aching backs, and injuries caused by repetitive movements. That’s why “the post office and companies like FedEx hire athletic trainers to develop exercise routines for employees, give them pointers on what to eat and pinpoint ergonomic risks. (For example, athletic trainers with degrees in biomechanics and kinesiology watch delivery people lift boxes to correct their form.),” reports the New York Times. What’s the bottom line of all this science? Working out while you’re actually at work, not only has huge benefits for productivity, collaboration, and mood, but is also dead simple to implement.

    By Michael Hollauf via msn health

    How to Choose a Health Club

    Getting in shape is a popular New Year’s resolution. So, millions of gym memberships are originated at the start of each year. However, most gym memberships are underused. In fact, only 18% of health club members attend their gym regularly. The main reason for underuse is, yes, you guessed it: lack of motivation. But it’s also true that if you don’t like your gym, you’ll be unlikely to drop in much. So if you’re in the market for a ‘new you’, let’s take a look at some of the factors you’ll want to consider when choosing your gym or health club.   When’s It Open? When you take your tour, there will be a whirlwind of information coming your way. So remember to determine the facility’s hours of operation. And if you’re an early bird or a night owl, you’ll want to pay close attention. But the truth is, most people’s schedules are more unpredictable than ever. And you may never know when your opportunity to pop into the gym will come. So you may want to give special consideration to clubs that are open for the greatest number of hours each day. After all, some are even open 24 hours!   Expert Staff You’ve heard the adage: “It’s hard to find good help.” Actually, the real problem is finding enough money to pay for good help. Gyms compete furiously for your business. And with so many fixed costs that can’t be avoided, the only way they know how to cut costs is by running a skeleton crew of employees. If you’re a seasoned member, you might not mind the lack of attention this approach will get you. But if you’re new to the scene or just a bit rusty, your experience may not be a good one.  If you think you could benefit from a little more attention, keep an eye out for gyms that employ a full staff of experts.  

    Free Classes You’re right. Nothing’s free. But if you have to shell out extra cash for spin, yoga, or kettlebell class, you’re probably going to pass. So, consider trumping up to a club that includes a variety of fitness or mind/body classes for you to pop into at your leisure. You might often find yourself saying: “why not?”
      Cleanliness Incredibly, many gyms are filthy, where no one cleans the machines after using them, and a cleaning crew doesn’t help to keep the place sanitary. Take a good hard look when taking your tour or during your “free trial” workout, if provided. Pay extra attention to the locker rooms. And if you are in the building for 30 minutes without seeing a maintenance worker cleaning during any point of your visit, you can be pretty sure that the gym is not a spic and span environment.
      Locker Rooms Cleanliness is not the only consideration when sizing up a gym’s locker room! Most facilities only have lockers and a bathroom with showers. But some of the higher-end gyms also include a Jacuzzi, sauna, and/or a steam room, which can be a wonderful treat after a workout. In fact, looking forward to these post-workout luxuries can often make the difference between deciding to make the trip to the gym or stay seated on the couch. So if you want to stack the deck in your favor, trump up to a gym that has one or more of these niceties.
      Finding the gym that’s right for you doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated. But putting yourself in the best position to keep going to gym should be your main focus. So keep these tips in mind when you start your search and you’ll be on the road to good health in the New Year.
      By Pat DeRiso

    The 10-Minute Workout: Can It Really Work?

    We’ve all heard it time and time again. You need 20-30 minutes of exercise at least three times per week. It’s a great formula for a healthy lifestyle, but is it completely necessary? With people getting busier and busier they’re looking for faster ways to bolster their health. The good news is that the 10-minute workout can be beneficial for you! However, it’s not as clear cut as you’d hope. Walking around the block for 10-minutes a day isn’t going to accomplish weight-loss goals. But when you swap out the walking for running, now you’re on to something.  As Tamilee Webb, the creator of Buns & Abs of Steel, states, “The key isn’t really how long the duration…it’s the intensity and the consistency”.  Vigorous workouts in short bursts can be just as effective if not more so than longer, less intense workouts. Think running and calisthenics rather than walking or casual biking.
    However, it isn’t enough to just think you can go all-out for 10 minutes each day. Although this is helpful, you really should break up workouts into multiple, 10 minute intervals. This is great news for people who can’t seem to find the time to work out. It is certainly easier to find 2 or 3, 10-minute blocks during your day to exercise as opposed to 30 or more minutes at a time. The trend of breaking up workouts has inspired a countless number of DVDs and short workout clips on the internet. You may remember seeing titles such as “8-minute Abs” or “Best Belly Fat-Blasters”. Although many view these as scams to get their money, the idea behind them is valid. People just can’t seem to find the time to exercise or are intimidated by long workouts. Regardless of the effectiveness of DVDs like these, the idea of working out in short, intense bursts is effective. Naturally, not every trainer is sold on the idea. Popular TV star and personal trainer Jillian Michaels isn’t buying it. “Ten minutes?” she said. “Forget it. What are you going to burn? A hundred calories. A pound is 3,500 calories. I’m so tired of sending Americans a false message. ‘Hey, just take the stairs.’” She does make a good point. In some cases, 10-minutes will never be enough. But you can decide to make those 10 minute workouts count by making sure they are as intense as you can handle and by repeating them at least twice daily. This will be just as beneficial and much less daunting than longer, more intimidating exercise regimens. The key takeaway here is to do what you can. If 10 minutes is all you have or all you want to commit to, that’s fine. Any exercise is better than no exercise. So start small and work your way up. The journey to your healthiest self starts with baby steps. Get up and get active and as you workout more you will be able to raise the intensity as well as the duration!
    By Pat DeRiso  Sources: fitnessmagazine.com, cbc