The Fitness Guide

Rosie Gomez's Guide to Getting Fit!


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Yoga Styles: Which One Is Right for You?

Yoga workoutYoga has become incredibly popular in the United States over the last few years, with over 16 million people practicing on a regular basis. With a history steeped in the religions of South Asia, yoga was originally used as a way to quiet the mind by controlling the breath in a series of movements and postures.

While yoga is still an excellent way to relieve some of the stresses and worries in our hectic lives, it is also great exercise, and the very nature of yoga poses encourages stretching and the development of long and lean muscle.

Just 10 short years ago, yoga classes were not considered as mainstream as they are today, and one didn’t have many styles of yoga to choose from. Now that its popularity has soared and yoga teachers are learning more about the many different styles, it might seem confusing to a newbie.

If you’re looking to add yoga to your fitness routine but don’t know where to begin check out this handy list of three styles and the benefits of each.

1. Hatha Yoga

This type of yoga is excellent for beginners and while it’s not always considered easy, it is the best type for those who have never practiced yoga before. The poses tend to be more manageable and each pose blends seamlessly into the next.

The focus in Hatha yoga is about breathing and placing your body in the proper alignment. Blocks and other aids are often used to assist beginners in the poses, and the teachers are often very free with corrections to ensure that you get it right. Hatha is also good for those with injuries or other situations that might have hindered their flexibility.

2. Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga, also called hot yoga, is a challenging class that takes place in a room that is heated to over 100 degrees. The poses are more difficult and the heat adds to the overall effectiveness of this type of yoga, by loosening the muscles.

This type of yoga is best practiced by those with substantial experience, and you must check with your doctor before beginning, as certain health conditions could be exacerbated by Bikram yoga. However, if you do decide this is the class for you, you can expect to lose weight and build muscle if you follow a regular schedule.

Working out together3. Power Yoga

Easily the most challenging of all the yoga styles, Power yoga is designed as an intense workout and eliminates some or all of the spiritual practices of other types of yoga. The poses are difficult and each flows directly into the next with no pauses in between. Wear your monitor from HeartRateMonitors.com to really see how this type of yoga compares to other forms of exercise.

Power yoga is best for those who already have some strength and flexibility, and who have practiced other types of yoga in the past. If you’re already involved in other intense forms of exercise such as running or cycling, power yoga can be a great way to build upper body strength and keep your other muscles loose and strong.

Whether you’re interested in stress relief or want to lose weight and become more fit, yoga is the perfect way to accomplish all of those things. Simply assess your ability carefully and consult your doctor, then join the ranks of the millions of people for whom yoga has become their go-to form of exercise.


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Bikini Season and How to Get Ready for It

Bikini WeatherIt’s getting closer and closer to that time of year again! While it’s true that much of the United States is still blanketed in snow, the days of sun, vacations, and bikinis are just around the corner. While this might seem like a great time to freak out about the state of your body after a winter of less exercise than normal, there are plenty of things that you can do now to ensure that you’re ready. Obviously the first step is to choose your bikini, unless you plan to recycle the one from last season. In some ways this can be beneficial because you already know what your toned body looks like in that particular suit. If you decide to buy a new one perhaps keep it similar to the style of the old one. While you may already have a tried and true exercise regime, specific workouts can target those areas that are more prominent when you’re in a bikini. Try some of these moves to be certain that everything stay in places and looks fab when you’re on the beach this summer.

1. Squats

Squats are a bikini girl’s best friend. This exercise targets your quads, glutes, and calves and ensure that you look good both coming and going when you’re clad in your bikini. While these exercises are tough and may have you ready to give up, if you keep with it, the rewards are worth the effort. Start by standing with your feet hip distance apart, and sit back like you’re going to sit a chair. Ensure that your knees never extend beyond your toes, and then squeeze your glutes as you return to standing. Start by doing 20 reps in sets of three if you can, then increase the reps by 10 each, day after day. As always, be sure that your form is correct or you may risk injury.

Working out your abs2. Crunches

Crunches can feel like an exercise that the devil himself came up with, but there is really no better way to ensure that your abs are toned and ready for summer. Again, the proper form is crucial when performing crunches, otherwise the proper muscles won’t be targeted and you could hurt your neck or back. Lie on the floor on a yoga mat or blanket and bend your knees. Clasp your hands behind your head and keep your eyes focused on the ceiling. This can help keep your neck from rolling forward. Raise up, contracting your abs and keeping your back straight, until you are about eight inches from the floor. Keep your abs contracted as you return to a flat position. Start with three sets of 15 reps and increase that amount daily. While it’s certainly not the easiest of workouts, crunches are the fastest way to get that slim and shapely torso that you’re looking for.

3. Yoga

If an all-around workout is more your style definitely consider a yoga class. The movements and poses in yoga target the whole body and can help you develop long, lean muscles that will certainly get you, and your bikini, noticed. Shop around for yoga studios in your area and arrange to meet with the instructors. If you can be clear about your fitness goals they can help you choose the right class that can help you succeed. If you attend the classes regularly you’ll find that results come rather quickly. You can also combine yoga with other targeted exercises to see results even faster. Summer is closer than you think so now is the time to prepare. Pull that bikini out of the closet and get ready for some hard work, but you’ll be thanking yourself later.