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Archive for the ‘Fitness Tips’ Category


Lifting Is No Longer Just For Men: More Women Lifting Heavy For Health and Beauty

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Whether you spend a lot of time online or in the gym, chances are you’ve noticed a change in the weight training crowd. Lifting weights is becoming increasingly popular among women, who are enjoying the many benefits of strength training: strength, empowerment, and often a more trim and toned physique. Blasting through the widely-spread and totally false assumption that lifting makes women “bulky” and “masculine-looking”, many women are finding that strength training offers them a way to set and meet fitness goals like never before.

So what’s sparked the surge in strength training for women? The lean, svelte lines of supermodel bodies have long been held as the ideal for Western women, however unattainable it may be. But things are changing. Alongside fears that weight training will cause women to gain too much ‘bulk’, many women have been taught that cardio is the way to go for a thin and feminine body. Well, the times are a changin’, and with more widely available information about fitness and health, these myths have been largely dispelled, leading to greater female interest in this traditionally male workout. For example, lifting weights actually is extremely effective for accomplishing the ‘feminine physique’ that many women spend hours on a treadmill or elliptical for. To achieve rounder bottoms, slimmer waists and toned arms, many strength exercises produce more noticeable results than endless pedaling or running will. Of course, for optimal results, a mix of cardio, strength training, and diet is the best route to take.

If you find yourself more interested in weight training, no matter what your fitness goals are, check out the home gym and fitness accessory offerings at Smooth Fitness. We’d love to help you try new exercise routines and equipment, so let us help you explore!

 

Are You Ready For The SitNCycle?

Monday, August 12th, 2013

If you’ve been following our blog for a while now, you probably remember our April SitNCycle post. Though it’s only been a few months since we excitedly penned that post introducing our unique new product, we have great news—the SitNCycle was so popular that it has sold out!

Delighted but not surprised, we think the basis for this little exercise bike’s popularity is its portability. Its customizable colors don’t hurt, either. With general “busy-ness” levels increasing every year, we know that it can be difficult to work in regular workouts; so the more adaptable your exercise equipment, the better. With its small size and simple design, the SitNCycle appeals to young and old, travelers and homebodies. This is the secret to its success. And did we mention that you can burn up to five hundred calories in one hour of SitNCycling in front of the TV? Burning calories while sitting—it’s every American’s dream.

Need some visuals? Take a look at our spokeswoman, Dorothy Hamill, putting the SitNCycle through its paces:

Dorothy Hamill and the SitNCycle

If you’ve been looking to add an affordable, colorful, and not-so-stationary bike to your workout routine, then taking a moment to look into the SitNCycle is definitely worth your time. Another neat thing about this product is that it’s very easy to incorporate different workout accessories into your routine to get a full body workout.

Of course, if you don’t want to wait until the SitNCycle comes back in stock this fall, you can always take a look at our other exercise bike options available to you. We’re confident that you can find the best exercise bike for you here at Smooth Fitness.

 

Are You Taking These Benefits of Cross-Training For Granted?

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Cardio bunnies and bodybuilders alike may be missing out on key health and fitness benefits that can be obtained through cross training workouts. There are many physical benefits that cross training exercises can give you that cardio or strength training alone cannot. Regular full body workouts help you maintain health, balance, and full body fitness. We’ve put together the top five benefits of cross training workouts that you may never have considered: (more…)

Break free from the limitations of traditional fitness gender roles!

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

If you’re anything like the team here at Smooth Fitness, you’re probably sick of every magazine, TV show and advertisement bombarding you with airbrushed photos of what your “ideal” physique is supposed to resemble: ethereal thinness for women, bulging biceps for men. Unfortunately, those annoying stereotypes set the scene for plenty of consequences, among them an unfairly gendered approach to fitness. Today, we’re here to set the record straight!

When planning a home exercise routine, women often focus solely on burning fat, while men tend to put all their efforts into bulking up. But doing this can leave crucial parts of your body sorely out of shape, which has detrimental effects on your overall health and wellness.

There are plenty of body composition-related differences between the sexes that should not be overlooked when it comes to developing and honing an exercise regimen. For example, men are more prone to heart disease, while women are more susceptible to knee problems. But none of these issues dictate that women must spend all their time on the treadmill and men should set up camp on the weight machines! You can combat the undesirable aspects of your body’s science by tackling workouts designed to strengthen your weaknesses.

So what does that entail? Ladies, it’s time to pick up the weights; gentlemen, start stretching.

It’s important for women to devote time and energy into strength training, since higher muscle mass has all kinds of great health benefits for your body – including increasing your metabolic rate, which enhances that fat burn so many women try to achieve through cardio alone. Leaner, toned muscles can help reduce age-related diseases like arthritis, osteoporosis and depression, while also strengthening your bones. Try the Smooth Fitness Strength Bundle for a great collection of fitness accessories designed to ease you into a comprehensive strength training regimen.

Similarly, it’s essential that men take on forms of exercise that they might not be completely comfortable with, especially as they begin to lose muscle elasticity with age. Working on honing your flexibility will not only improve your athletic performance and decrease your risk for injury, but also reduce muscle soreness and increase the flow of blood and nutrients to your body tissues. What’s not to love? Check out the Smooth Fitness Flexibility Bundle of fitness accessories to start getting long and limber today.

 

This month’s cross workout with Smooth Fitness equipment!

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Last month, Smooth Fitness introduced you to an intense full-body workout called cross training. This kind of home exercise can come in all shapes and sizes, but the gist of it is to challenge your body by incorporating all kinds of movements into a single workout. That means your cardio exercise is interrupted with spurts of strength training designed to burn more fat in less time. Sounds awesome, right?

It is, but it’s also going to kick your butt, especially if you’ve never attempted a cross workout before. So it’s best to ease into it! Here at Smooth Fitness, your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, we’ve put together a beginner’s cross workout that will hopefully help introduce you to the wonderful world of cross training. Of course, one of the best parts is you don’t have to go to a gym to get all the benefits – this workout can be completed with the fitness equipment you already have at home.

Remember, this is a full-body workout, which means you’re going to get full-body sore. But the more you challenge all your muscle groups, the stronger they’ll become – and the more weight you’ll lose in the meantime. So gather up your Smooth fitness equipment and fitness accessories, and get ready for your first cross workout in the comfort of your own home!

  • To begin, put 30 minutes on the clock, prepare your Smooth treadmill and collect the following fitness accessories:
    • Resistance tubes
    • Pushup bars
    • Medicine ball
    • Warm up with some light stretching or walking on the treadmill.
    • Start the clock. During the first five minutes, complete as many rounds as possible of the following:
      • Five resistance tube pull-ups. Sit with your legs extended straight out in front of you, each hand grasping a handle of your resistance tube. Place the middle of the tube at the bottom of your feet, then pull both handles toward your armpits in a slow, rowing motion.
      • Ten pushup bar pushups. Complete ten pushups using your pushup bars. Using these fitness accessories will help alleviate pressure to your shoulder and wrist joints.
      • 15 medicine ball squats. Holding your medicine ball in front of your stomach, place your feet shoulder-width apart and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground (from the side, it should look like you are sitting in a chair). Make sure your knees do not pass the threshold of your toes, as this could cause pain and damage.
      • After the first five minutes, run on your Smooth treadmill for two and a half minutes at an mph that should qualify as about 70 percent of your maximum sprint speed. This will be tough, but it’s only a couple of minutes, so stay strong!
      • Repeat these two steps until the 30 minutes are up. You should end up with four 5-minute strength-training intervals, separated by four 2.5-minute treadmill intervals. Remember, there are no rest breaks in between, so make sure you make every second count!

We hope your first cross workout was successful. If you have any questions or concerns before or after completing your home exercise routine, don’t hesitate to contact the Smooth Fitness team for a bit of friendly advice. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals for personal health and wellness!

 

 

Create your own cross workout with Smooth fitness accessories

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Last week, Smooth Fitness introduced you to a very effective form of exercise called cross training. If you like what you learned, you’ll be interested to discover how easy it is to incorporate cross workouts into your daily home exercise routine – all with the home fitness equipment available for purchase here on our website!

Recall that cross training workouts utilize a unique blend of aerobic and anaerobic activity, fostering functional movements in all areas of strength and conditioning. Brace yourself – your cross workout will demand some pretty extreme physical exertion on your part. But after you notice how much your fitness improves across multiple varieties of exercise, we think you’ll be thanking us after just a few cross training workouts.

So what makes a cross workout so difficult? By combining cardio with strength training, cross workouts require you to develop functional movement proficiency in multiple muscle groups and fitness skills – all in just one workout. In terms of your Smooth fitness equipment, that means running hard – we’re talking sprint level, or at least 80 percent of your maximum speed – on your treadmill or elliptical for intervals of two to four minutes. In between, your “rest” periods should incorporate an ab workout on your yoga mat or exercise ball; arm strengthening with your push up bars or kettle bells; or leg resistance work with slow and even squats, made more difficult with the weight of your medicine ball. You only have a few minutes before you’re back at cardio, so make every crunch count!

Like we said, it’s no walk in the park, but cross training workouts have some serious benefits for your overall health. Best of all, if you’re trying to squeeze in a workout between all the obligations of your busy schedule, cross training is perfect for you: thanks to the high intensity of each exercise interval, most cross workouts can be completed in 30 minutes or less!

In the coming months, Smooth Fitness will provide more specific tips on how to use your fitness accessories alongside your cardio exercise to get the most out of your cross workouts, depending on your goals. So stay tuned to the blog of your favorite source for home fitness equipment and news! We look forward to helping you hone your home exercise routine so you can continue on your path to optimal personal fitness.

Open up new fitness possibilities: the benefits of cross training

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

As your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, Smooth Fitness is always eager to share with you all the exciting ways you can achieve your own optimal levels of health and wellness. Home exercise encompasses everything from running hard on your Smooth treadmill to squeezing in some quick mat work before heading into the office, so today we’d like to suggest you add one more workout program to your repertoire: a cross training workout.

The benefits of cross training come into play in situations like when you’re in great shape from running three miles a day five times a week for years, but you’re somehow out of breath and covered in sweat after a few minutes of rock climbing. That imbalance springs from a lack of cross workouts, which you’ll find provide you with some of the best full body exercise you’ll ever experience thanks to their ability to build comprehensive fitness and stamina – in addition to introducing you to constantly varied types of activities that add flavor to your daily workout routine.

Based on the concept that constantly varied activity better prepares your body for general fitness, cross training workouts tackle head-on the problem that working out only one set of muscles leaves the others sorely out of shape. Not to mention, mixing it up with cross training helps prevent injury to those oft-used muscle sets by giving them a well-deserved break. Win, win, right?

In a typical cross workout, you’ll use a combination of cardio aerobic activity with fitness accessories like kettle bells and similar workout equipment, in order to challenge your body in unfamiliar ways. One particularly successful cross training method is high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which refers to an enhanced form of interval workouts that alternate periods of short intense activity with recovery breaks in between. As one of the best workouts you’ll find that blends cardio with strengthening, HIIT training not only gets your heart pumping and burns tons of fat, but also improves your overall conditioning for future cross workouts.

Now that you know what it means to cross train and what this kind of workout program can do for your body and health, stay tuned to the Smooth Fitness blog for more info – like how you can use your Smooth fitness accessories to create your own personal cross workout at home!

Happy Father’s Day from Smooth Fitness!

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Summer is fast approaching, and with it comes plenty of cookouts, vacations and holidays. Don’t look now, but Father’s Day is already coming up this Sunday, so it’s time to start thinking about how to express your appreciation if you haven’t already done so!

Feeling panicked? Don’t worry. The team here at Smooth Fitness, your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, has plenty of unique ideas for how to show your love this Father’s Day. Whether your own dad is young or old, fit or fat, there’s no better way to prove you care than giving the gift of health. Read on to find the best gift ideas for every kind of father! (more…)

Smooth Fitness weighs the costs of popular home workout videos

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Home exercise comes in all shapes and sizes, and as your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, Smooth Fitness generally supports anything designed to promote health and wellness. But when it comes to weight loss, many people will do anything – and we mean anything! – to try to shed a couple pounds. Hey, we’ve all been there, but sometimes the risks of fad weight loss programs can significantly outweigh the benefits.

Consider popular branded high-impact home workout videos, many of which utilize intense progressive training cycles and highly strenuous stamina routines. As a Smooth Fitness client, you probably know at least one super-fit friend who swears by the “push through the pain” mantra of these kinds of rigorous workout videos. But the biggest problem with home exercise programs that utilize high-impact workouts is that fitness should never adhere to a “one size fits all” philosophy.

Even if we (reluctantly) ignore that such high-impact home workout videos can significantly increase your potential for injury and long-term joint or muscle damage, the fact remains that these kinds of extreme routines are simply not sustainable.

  • The You Factor: Because no two people have the exact same body, everyone requires a different exercise routine that is catered to their own physical limitations and fitness goals. Blame genetics, health history and a whole slew of lifestyle factors, but some people will simply never be capable of achieving the kind of lean, mean bodies promised by many of the popular branded workout video programs on the market today. And that’s not something to be ashamed of! You should be working toward your own personal level of optimal fitness, not one prescribed by a professional, paid athlete.
  • The Future Factor: Most high-impact home video exercise schedules offer only one day of rest in an entire week of hardcore workouts. That might sound like the kind of discipline required to achieve a rockin’ set of abs, but without supplementing these harsh sessions with lighter ones, your body is less likely to adapt to more demanding routines later down the line. This is not the way to build a lasting dedication to fitness; in fact, it’s hardly sustainable for the length of time each workout series requires, let alone for the rest of your life.

So, do home workout videos work? Sure, for a select type of person, for a fixed period of time. If you’re able to complete these high-impact workout video schedules consistently, safely and efficiently – and you can keep it up for years to come – we at Smooth Fitness applaud you. But if you can’t, there’s no need to beat yourself up! Successful home exercise can come in any form, from running on the soft belt of a treadmill, to getting your heart pumping on an elliptical machine, to lifting weights in your basement.

Achieving your own best health possible should be your #1 priority. And at the end of the day, you are the only one who knows just exactly what that should look like.

Give the Gift of Health this Mother’s Day!

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

When it comes time for Mother’s Day, coming up with new ways to express your love and appreciation can be tough. While mom is sure to love the sentimental card and bouquet of flowers, why not switch it up this year with a gift that keeps on giving?

At Smooth Fitness, we suggest nixing the Mother’s Day clichés and opting instead to give the gift of health this Sunday. Wherever your own mom lands on the fitness spectrum, she deserves a present that celebrates her life while keeping her happy and healthy at the same time. From cardio machines to fitness accessories, we are sure to have something that will fit your mom’s unique fitness needs here at your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment.

For the beginner: If your mom is a fitness newbie, she’ll want to start off easy. An elliptical machine is a great way for anyone to ease into regular cardio workouts, thanks to their low-impact nature and multiple program settings that can be customized depending on fitness level. Check out our Elliptical Trainer Buying Guide to determine which of our Smooth ellipticals might be best for your mom.

You might also want to consider purchasing a heart rate monitor alongside any fitness equipment you buy for a mom who’s just getting started on her personal fitness journey. Using a heart rate monitor will allow her to regulate her performance to ensure she’s pacing herself appropriately, as well as track her progress as she becomes more accustomed to working out on a regular basis.

For the busy bee: Many of our moms have full-time jobs, or their hands are full carting the kids to and from school and soccer practice, paying the bills, volunteering, trying to find time for a personal life, or more likely, a combination of all that and more. For the mom who is constantly on the go, you need a gift that fits easily and conveniently in between the responsibilities of raising a family and the obligations of building a successful career.

Our collection of exercise bikes, including the all-new Smooth Fitness SitNCycle, offers the perfect solution: a cardio workout in a hands-free package that allows your mom to answer her emails, make a phone call, check her kid’s homework, or even catch up on some unheard-of leisurely reading all while staying in shape.

For the fitness junkie: If your mom’s already big into fitness, your task might be a little more difficult. Chances are she’s already found the best treadmill or elliptical for her and is fully equipped with all the fitness accessories she uses on a regular basis. But when it comes to health, there’s always room for improvement!

Since she’s been working out regularly for a while, your mom might need an upgrade to her “best treadmill” without even realizing it. Smooth treadmills come in all shapes and sizes, but an advanced runner needs an advanced machine, so check out the selection to see if your mom could use a sturdier belt or larger variety of programs. And to remind her to take care of herself after a hard workout, throw in a foam roller or exercise mat to help relieve any sore or stiff muscles.

This Mother’s Day, ditch the flowers and baked goods for a gift that will really show your mom how much you care. No matter how you choose to celebrate, the team here at Smooth Fitness wishes all our readers and clients a very happy and healthy Mother’s Day!

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