Is Group Exercise More Efficient Than Solo Exercise?

Exercise and the effort to get in better shape seems to be getting more and more complicated as the years go by. It seems as though there’s a new article coming out every week that contradicts previous articles and just sows more confusion about the most effective time to exercise, what we should eat while trying to get in shape, and which new diet fad really is the easiest way to lose that winter weight! One of the more recent developments in the world of fitness is group exercise classes and the “tribes” that are created from them. While the “tribe” aspect is really just a clever marketing scheme aimed at small groups of those who are passionate and think similarly when it comes to exercise, they’re becoming more and more of a reality in the exercise world thanks to companies like Soul Cycle and Crossfit.bryan_lockley_workingout

The traditional form of exercise is going to the gym alone and just working out and then leaving. People who work out like this are called lone wolves and they prefer the privacy that comes from working out alone and following your own routine with no regard for what others want to do. While some people say that joining a tribe that exercises in a way you love is the best way to go about losing weight and getting healthy, others think that the lone wolf approach is better because it forces you to rely on yourself and keep yourself motivated.

At the end of the day, people need to figure out the best way to exercise (it is, after all, the reason those articles keep getting written). So which is the most effective form of exercise? Well like so many other questions, it depends on the person and what they’re looking to accomplish. Those who need a group to keep them focused and motivated on exercising should probably find a tribe of like-minded individuals to exercise with. The only caveat is that these tribes are jokingly referred to as cults for a reason; they can be all consuming and take over your life. People who join tribes definitely shouldn’t close themselves off to making friends and taking full part in the activities, but they should also make sure that they don’t become absorbed and change as a person. People who have the motivation and know what to do should probably go the lone wolf route of exercise. There is no need to join a tribe (other than to make friends and have fun) if you have the motivation and know-how to exercise by yourself. The support system isn’t needed and you might not want to workout alongside everyone else if you don’t like the exercise they’re doing. Either way though, as long as you’re exercising and getting healthy then you’re on the right track!

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

How to Maximise your Fitness Band

Fitness bands are becoming a more and more common accessory amongst both people who are in control of their health and those who are looking to start getting healthy and need the extra support. While they all seem to promise results and an easier way to keep track of your fitness and health, people still seem surprised when the weight doesn’t just fall off and when they need to actually put effort into their weight loss efforts. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you maximise your fitness band experience.

  1. Monetary Motivation: One of the best motivators for anyone trying to accomplish anything is money. Everyone loves to make money but people seem to hate losing money even more and so it makes a great motivator for weight loss. People always seem to have issues doing what they know is good for them (like exercise) and so the threat of monetary punishment is frequently enough to help tip the scales in favor of being healthier. There are a number of websites and apps that will create commitment contracts that stipulate how much money you would lose if you don’t meet your daily or weekly goals. Use these to add extra incentive to your health kick!
  2. Don’t Over-Complicate and Accessorize: One of the greatest things about fitness trackers is that they’re so easy and convenient to add to your daily routine. With that in mind, if you over-complicate the addition of your fitness band in your daily routine then you run the risk of making it a much less effective weight loss tool. Keep it simple and make sure that the addition of your band is as natural and seamless as possible to make sure that there are no excuses for using it properly.
  3. Be Realistic: One of the most disheartening things when trying to lose weight is failure or not reaching your goals. Keep it simple and keep those goals reasonable and realistic so that you can reach them and use that pride to further motivate you. Weight loss takes time and so don’t sprint out the gate during what will become a marathon.
  4. Support, support, support: Don’t do this alone. So many fitness bands have websites or apps attached to them that have a large and incredibly supportive community. No one will make fun of you for trying and these groups can be the extra kick you need to help boost your weight loss efforts into overdrive. Use them!

Hopefully these tips will help you use your fitness band better and help your weight loss goals! If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

2015’s Hottest Fitness Trends

2014 is dead and gone and with it are all of our failed New Years resolutions and the shame that came with them. 2015 is now here and with it come all of the same resolutions as 2014 but with a side of shame and a possibly some extra inspiration. To help all of those out there looking to lose weight, gain muscle, and get healthy, here are two hot new fitness trends that should help keep the pounds off and your goals in reach! These new trends are less about just gaining muscles and getting ripped and more about overall health and happiness.


This is the first trend that is picking up steam in the health world for a number of reasons including ease of access. Body weight training means exactly what it sounds like: using your own body as weights and for resistance when it comes to training. While this sort of training has been around for a while, it is getting more and more popular. The use of your own body means that this sort of training is perfect for people who don’t have time to go to the gym or who don’t have equipment. Your body follows you everywhere and so it can be used for training anywhere that’s appropriate. The lack of equipment also means that there is less of a chance for injury because the only weight you’re using is weight you can control. With the ability to workout anywhere and use any number of devices and immobile objects to help you, this training is rightfully getting more and more popular.


Function training can be seen as a natural and logical progression of body weight training. With less of a focus on muscle mass and more of a focus on posture, breathing, balance, and flexibility, functional training can be used for exercise as well as physical therapy having to do with muscles and joints. This has also become more popular because it is easier and more beneficial for the elderly and they’re taking a renewed interest in their health. People who work at desks are also adopting it to help with posture issues and back problems.

These are just two new exercise trends that are starting to gain steam and there will be so many more as the year progresses. If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

5 Healthy Tips For the Holidays

It’s that time of year again: family, friends, fun, and full bellies. Many of us overindulge our appetites during this time, and because we may be dissuaded by the cold from going outside, our mass increases accordingly. But do not be afraid! There are some surefire tips you can use to stay slim during these nippy months.

Healthy Habit Focus: Specifically, you should only be zeroing in on one habit that will keep you healthy, instead of juggling too many practices. For example, personal trainer Gunnar Peterson (of Kardashian and Vergara Fame) will choose to abstain from alcohol, or pass on appetizers or desserts. By limiting yourself to stick with the elimination of just one vice, you’re more likely to stick to your own rules.

New Playlist: When you’re working out, don’t worry about playing the same playlist over and over again. Instead load up with new music, but make sure the time totals the number of minutes you plan on working out. So, if you’re going on a 30 minute jog, load up six five-minute songs. That way, as soon as the music stops, you can too.

Go skinny on the buffet: If you’re in a buffet style setting, wander through first, so you know what you want to grab– as opposed to loading up from the start on anything your eyes fall upon. Also sit a considerable distance away from the food.

Approach Water Differently: It’s an absolute must that you stay hydrated. Also, it turns out that a lot of times when you’re hungry, you’re actually thirsty. Health recommends that you carry a glass of water with you in one hand, and your phone or bag in the other. By keeping both hands full, you’ll be less inclined to reach for that plate of hors d’oeuvres or sugary snack. Also, try drinking a spritzer made with seltzer and a twist of lemon or lime as a drink in between cocktails.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

Is There Going to be a $12 Fitness Band?

People use all sorts of excuses to prevent themselves from working out and making a positive, yet difficult, change to their lives. One of the major complaints people use as an excuse is how expensive the gear aimed at helping people to lose weight and get healthier costs; many existing fitness bands and exercise counters run into the hundreds of dollars. While the invention of fitness bands and the apps and programs that use them to their max potential have revolutionized home fitness and how people take control of their workouts, the cost in high enough that it prohibits all but the truly committed from giving exercise a shot and seeing the results for themselves. This sort of seemingly elitist attitude is a common complaint aimed at gyms, workout technology, and exercise programs that seem to cater towards those who are already in shape and don’t have to dig themselves out of the fitness hole they’ve dug themselves.

It seems as though these complaints, whether spoken or otherwise, have been heard and have gained ground; a company called Pivotal Living has announced that they are releasing a fitness band and app that only costs about $1 a month to use. Called the Life Tracker 1, this fitness band can do all of the things that it’s more expensive counterparts can do. While wearing it, you can keep track of how many steps you walk, how much you weigh, the quality of your sleep, and even how much water you’ve had during the day. With an accompanying app and a founder that used to work for Microsoft, Pivotal Living seems to be poised to take the fitness world by storm. By offering comparable service for a much lower price and a company that it committed to introducing this sort of technology to every home in the country, the Life Tracker 1 and Pivotal Living are looking to change the way people work out and live their lives by seamlessly integrating the two.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

Is DNA a Fitness Blueprint?

Everyone knows that DNA is the genetic code for life and how people think, act, and look different than the billions of other humans who walk this earth. See as how DNA is what makes us unique, it makes sense that it could also be used to figure out how our individual bodies are unique in the ways we gain, store, and lose fat and weight. A company is claiming that by analyzing your DNA, they can give you an accurate workout and diet plan that will help you shed the weight much faster than dieting and exercising on your own. By reading your DNA, the company claims that it can figure out how your body uniquely stores and burns foods and fat and then let you know how you can maximise your weight loss efforts.

To many this might sound too good to be true. It sounds so good that some doctors and genetic counselors are urging caution when using the company due to the relatively young age of genetic testing. They are also urging caution due to the fact there are definitely unscrupulous companies out there who are looking to make fast money off of people desperate enough to pay for their services. While that might not be the case for this specific company, it is important to realize that these sorts of services aren’t monitored or overseen in any way by the FDA and there’s no way to hold them accountable for whatever information they might release. That being said, if the claims are true then it’s very possible that the diet industry has found an enemy it will never be able to lose. It also means that the fight against obesity might be forever changed.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

How Fitness Can Help You Find A Job

When people are thinking about how to improve their chances of finding work, one of the things they rarely think about is fitness and exercise. While it may never be on the front of peoples minds, fitness can actually improve your chances of finding work in ways beyond simply creating a healthier and more confident you. Along with boosting confidence and self-worth (which definitely show during things such as interviews), working out also helps in ways that are more esoteric and mental. Just because the benefits aren’t visible doesn’t mean that they aren’t real.

The most obvious benefit to working out is getting healthier, which leads to improved confidence. While confidence is obviously important, especially when interviewing, it isn’t the only thing that is needed in a job hunt. Along with boosting confidence, working out also increases focus and builds stamina; both are incredibly important in the working world. The high energy levels that come from working out are another boon to look forward too. Exercise such as yoga also has benefits such as improving creativity, improving decision making, and deepening connections with and empathy for others. Having a routine also means that you can commit to things that are difficult and, potentially, uncomfortable. All of these things are important in the work environment and exercise and being healthy can help with them.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

The Dangers of Celebrity Endorsements

There is denying the fact that this country of ours treats its celebrities with an unhealthy degree of respect and adoration. While this usually isn’t an issue when it comes to things such as fashion and lifestyle, it takes a significantly darker turn when celebrities are trusted for their health advice. While many celebrity doctors are legitimate doctors with degrees, people need to remember that they are still celebrities and are looking to make money and play to the masses. Doctor Mehmet Oz is one of those celebrity doctors who has taken a once legitimate medical career and has started pandering to the masses for money. Recently his actions and endorsements have brought scrutiny upon him, his show, and his practice by the federal government.

Led by senator Claire McCaskill, lawmakers in DC brought Doctor Oz before them and chastised him for using his pulpit to promote shoddy fad diets and potentially unhealthy weight-loss tips and supplements. The lawmakers made the point to not only chastise the good doctors for his shady advice, but also to ask him to please actually work towards helping fight the obesity epidemic that is sweeping the country. It is incredibly sad that someone who has so much reach over such a wide variety of people and who is also a trained and licensed medical professional chose to line his own pockets over help those who look to him for advice. It’s even sadder that it took a governmental hearing for him to realize that he was in the wrong and that maybe, he should actually try to help. I don’t know if Doctor Oz learned his lesson from this but I can only hope that he will actually try to promote legitimate practices now.


If you’d like to read more, the link is here.