Exercises for Mobility

Five Exercises for Mobility to Help You Move Well

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As you age, you may begin to feel more aches and pains, and mobility becomes more challenging. Getting in a workout might mean it comes with more soreness. Incorporating joint mobility exercises into your workout can help ease that pain and stiffness and give you better performance and function, inside and outside of the gym.

Why is joint mobility important?

Adding joint mobility exercises into your workout helps you move better, and with less pain and stiffness. Here’s how doing exercises for mobility can help your body in various ways:

Prevent injuries

Warming up before a workout and cooling down after a workout are critical to preventing injuries. Tight or stiff muscles around a joint can make it more prone to injury. Supple muscles are less prone to pulls and tears.

Improved performance

Better mobility means better performance. Properly moving the joints around certain muscles can help you better perform exercises that use those muscles.

Less stiffness

Joint mobility exercises help your body recover after a workout. Doing mobility exercises regularly can help ease your everyday aches and pains, and give you more range of motion.

Mobility Exercises

Here are 5 simple joint mobility exercises to try. Do these exercises 10-12 times before each workout for better joint mobility.

#1 – Hip Openers

The hips are key contributors to balance and stability. Hip openers are a simple movement you can do that works your hips and glutes, which are a powerhouse for the rest of your body.

How to:

1. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.

2. Lift your right leg first. Bring it across your body, then out to the side, and then back on the ground, making a circle with your knee.

3. Repeat with the left leg.

 

#2 – Scapular Wall Slides

Keep your shoulders healthy and improve your posture with this simple exercise.

How to:

1. Stand with your back against a wall with your back and neck elongated.

2. Raise your arms while resting your forearms vertically against the wall.

3. Take your arms up overhead, keeping your shoulder blades tight against the wall. Slide arms up until they are straight.

4. Pull them back down again, focusing on squeezing your shoulder blades together.

 

#3 – Sumo Squat

A lower body exercise that you can do anywhere, without any equipment. Sumo squats help mobility around the hip, pelvis, knees, and ankles.

How to:

1. Place your feet wider than hip-width apart with your toes facing outward, 45 degrees.

2. Lower your hips into a squat position, so your knees go slightly over your toes.

3. Move your body back up, keeping your shoulders and hips vertically aligned.

 

#4 – Ankle Mobility

This exercise helps increase ankle mobility, which helps improve balance and decreases the chance of falls.

How to:

1. Stand facing a wall and place your hands on the wall for support.

2. Slowly rock forward onto your toes, coming onto your tiptoes.

3. Slowly rock back onto your heels, lifting your toes off the ground.

 

#5 – Foam Rolling

Rolling your muscles after a workout helps ease tension, releases knots, and improves flexibility.

How to:

1. Grab a foam roller or tennis ball and place it under the muscles you want to massage.

2. Using your body weight, roll over areas of your body to smooth out the kinks.

3. When you hit a troubled spot, do shorter back and forth movements to get the knots out.

4. Use more or less pressure depending on what feels right to you.

 

Stay active in your golden years by regularly doing joint exercises for mobility. They’ll improve your aging process, in more ways than one.

Fitness Wearables

Top Fitness Wearables for Tracking Workouts

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Take the guesswork out of your workouts with a fitness wearable! Fitness wearables monitor your activity and health throughout the day, so you don’t have to. They can track your movement, including workouts and steps, and other health markers like sleep, pulse rate, and calories.

Take your fitness to the next level with some of these top fitness wearables.

Garmin Vivosport

The Garmin Vivosport has similar features of the Vivosmart, and adds a color display and built-in GPS so you can track your indoor and outdoor workouts with ease. Track distance, time, speed, pace, calories burned, and heart rate. The slim profile and stylish, comfortable design mean you can wear it from work to workout. Hop in the shower or go for a swim with it too because it’s also water-resistant.

Why we love it: The built-in GPS is the big selling feature here. You can use it for your next outdoor run or ride, mapping out your route while collecting data without lugging your phone around.

Buy it: $169.99. The higher price tag is worth it because of the built-in GPS and you might be able to snag a deal on Amazon or Best Buy.

FitBit Charge 3

A more lightweight and improved fitness tracker for the company’s third-generation device. The FitBit Charge 3 has a large black and white display and is waterproof. Its slimmer and sleeker design means you can wear it for all occasions.

Why we love it: The screen is 40% larger than the Charge 2, making it a cinch to track and see stats like heart rate, calories, and sleep. The battery life lasts up to 7 days and the touchscreen makes it easy to navigate. It’s also completely waterproof so you can track swims as well.

Buy it: $149 for sale at Wal-Mart, or Amazon.

Fitness Wearables

Xiaomi Mi Band 3

The Xiaomi Mi Band 3 packs a lot of features into a smaller price tag. The daily pedometer, heart rate monitor, sleep quality monitor, and sedentary reminder are just a few of the things you can track with this fitness wearable.

Why we love it: It’s budget price tag makes it an easy no-nonsense buy for those who want a fitness tracker without spending a ton. It’s also waterproof up to 50 meters and has a long battery life (up to 20 days).

Buy it: $32.99 on Amazon

Apple Watch Series 4

True to the Apple brand, this watch and fitness wearable is packed with features. A phone, watch, and fitness tracker all in one, the Apple Watch Series 4 offers compatibility from all major fitness apps, GPS tracking, and an onboard heart rate monitor.

Why we love it: The electrocardiogram (ECG) app, goes beyond recording your heart rate, showing heart rhythm and certified by the Food & Drug Administration, making it the first over-the-counter ECG alternative for consumers.

Buy it: Starting at $399 from Apple, Best Buy and Amazon.

Having the right fitness wearable can help you set and achieve your fitness goals. Tracking things like heart rate, calories, and sleep quality can give you an insight to your current health and help you set new goals to up your health and fitness levels.

Maximize your Gym Routine

Maximize your Gym Time with these Workout Routines and Tips

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We can think of so many things you’d rather do than spend all day at the gym. You don’t have to clock in hours on a treadmill to get the results you want. After all, no one has time for that! Choosing the right workouts and self-care can help you boost results so you can achieve health, even with your busy lifestyle.

How To Maximize Your Gym Workout Routines

Get It Done

High-intensity workouts maximize your efficiency by boosting your energy and helping you build muscle. Work your hardest for a set amount of time and leave your energy out on the gym floor. Your time and body will see the difference. Tabata training is great for this, giving you all-out bursts of intensity followed by short recovery periods.

Take A Stand

Most of us already sit for a large portion of our day. We sit on the way to work, at our desks, while we’re eating lunch, and then again as we relax in the evening. Avoid sitting while you’re exercising too. You can do the same exercises while standing for a more efficient workout. Standing engages your core and improves your posture, maximizing your workout just by being on two feet. Try standing while doing your sets of bicep curls or lateral raises.

Try Something New

Switch up your regular gym workout routine once in awhile so your muscles get to try new movements. Taking a new class such as TRX or Cycle keeps you from getting bored and helps you strengthen muscles more effectively.

Maximize Your Time Outside of The Gym

You’ll see the best results when you focus on your body even when you aren’t working out. Set yourself up for success by making the most of your time before and after your workout as well.

 

Eating Well

Eating well

Your body needs fuel to get through its workout. Eating proper nutrients before going to the gym will help keep you energized during your workout. Eating the right nutrients after your workout helps your body recover better.

Drink Up

Without proper hydration, your body can’t perform at its highest level. Water gives you energy, regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. Staying hydrated before, during, and after a workout helps you avoid cramps, dizziness, and fatigue.

Stretch It Out

Stretching protects your mobility and allows you to perform movements better, in and outside of the gym. It can be tempting to shave ten minutes off your workout time by avoiding stretching, but you’ll miss all the benefits. Stretching helps improve your flexibility and your overall performance.

You can maximize your time at the gym and maximize your results with these few simple tricks. Subscribe to our blog for even more tips on fitness and nutrition and maintaining a healthy lifestyle inside and out of the gym. And to see upcoming events at Forma Gym, please visit our Event Calendar.

Why You Need a Fitness Community

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How Your Gym Family Helps Extend Your Life

Trying new things is hard! Most of us are set in our ways and don’t venture outside our routine very often. And while trying out a new gym can be a challenge, it also has a lot of benefits.

One of those benefits is the chance to develop new social connections. The right gym will not only help you reach your fitness goals, but it will also help you build a sense of community. Read More

Improve your mood

Improve your Mood with Exercise

By | Fitness, Mind Body | No Comments

How Working Out Affects Your Mood

Getting regular exercise doesn’t just help you look better. It helps you feel better too. Working out is great for your body and physical health, but even more importantly, it improves your mental health, energy, and overall mood.

For those prone to depression, anxiety, or just general feelings of blah-ness (and isn’t that all of us at times?), regular exercise brings out the mood-boosting endorphins you need to get through your slump.

5 Ways Exercise Improves Your Mental Health

1. Instant Mood Boost

While it might take weeks or even months to notice the physical benefits from exercising, you will notice the mood-boosting advantages within minutes. Exercise really can be a quick fix. After just five minutes of moderate exercise, you can feel your mood lifting. It’s the most natural way to get a mood boost.

2. A Clear Mind

Anxiety and stress can take over your thoughts, leaving you paralyzed to make decisions or fearful of “what-if” statements. Exercises like Yoga, Kickboxing and Zumba take complete concentration. Concentrating only on your movement takes you away from your stress and helps leave it behind. You’ll come out of your workout with a more clear and focused mind.

3. Better Sleep

Start your day groggy and the whole thing gets thrown off. No one can think clearly or feel great on a night of restless sleep. Research has indicated that regular exercise can boost sleep duration and sleep quality. Expending energy through exercise can help you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer.

4. Reduce Anxiety

According to an ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) survey, 7 out of 10 adults in the U.S. experience stress or anxiety daily. Constant stress can take a toll on your mental health and overall well-being. Luckily, exercise reduces anxiety by releasing feel-good chemicals that affect neurotransmitters. Exercise also increases body temperature, which helps induce a sense of calm. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.

5. Fight Depression

There’s no doubt that exercise has an impact on depression. One study showed that people who exercised regularly reported having fewer poor mental health days. It makes perfect sense because when you exercise, your body produces endorphins. These natural mood boosters increase optimistic feelings while reducing anxiety and stress hormones.

If there ever was a key to happiness, it has to be exercise. A short stint of physical activity can help you sleep better, clear your mind, reduce your stress, and help you feel better overall. Next time you’ve got the blues, go for a short run or take a new class, and feel the positive effects of exercise.

Happy Hour Hacks

6 Hacks for a Healthier Happy Hour

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Happy Hour Hacks – How to Have Fun + Stay in Shape

Whether you need to blow off steam after work or you’re attending a corporate mixer after hours, happy hours are often an extension of your professional career. Grabbing a drink with a co-worker or meeting others in your industry for drinks can be good for your personal and professional lives.

But it isn’t always good for your fitness. Avoiding these events is nearly impossible—so we’ve created some hacks so you don’t have to undo all the hard work you’ve been putting in at the gym. Here’s how you can enjoy yourself after work, without sabotaging your gains.

Hack #1 – Beware of beer

Some types of beer can have 300 or more calories per pint. Those calories can add up quickly, especially if you drink more than one.

A good rule to remember for beer is that the higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories. If you know you’ll just drink one, you might want to splurge for your favorite. But if a longer night means you’re going to keep them coming, you might want to opt for light beer instead.

Happy Hour Tips

Hack #2 – Choose cocktails wisely

The majority of the calories in cocktails comes from the mixers. Drinks are quickly loaded with sugar when juice or pre-made mixes are added. Add flavor to liquor by adding in seltzer, club soda, and lemon or lime wedges.

Some drinks that won’t set you back too far include:

 – Vodka seltzer

 – Old fashioned

 – Gin and tonic

 – Scotch on the rocks with a splash of water

 – Tequila, club soda and lime

Hack #3 – Snack Smart

Choose snacks with protein like meatballs, shrimp cocktail and hummus. These foods will fuel you and help fill you up. Avoid filler foods like chips and fried cheese. These snacks will leave you feeling heavy, but not satiated.

Hack #4 – Try to eat beforehand

Going to a party or restaurant on an empty stomach is a surefire way to sabotage your efforts at the gym. Add in a few drinks that night and you’re bound to overeat on foods full of fat and carbs. Enjoy a healthy and filling lunch, and maybe even an afternoon snack so you aren’t showing up to your event famished.  

Hack #5 – Hydrate

Drinking water throughout the night will help hydrate you and make you feel fuller. It will also slow you down and prevent you from ordering too many drinks, while also keeping your caloric intake lower for the night.

Hack #6 – Be Mindful of the Snacks

It’s really easy to nosh all night and not even realize how much you ate at the end. Instead of grabbing bites here and there, make a plate and pay attention to what you’re eating. You’ll be more aware of what you consume and more satisfied in the end as well.

Keep your gains in the gym and not on your bar tab. Hit your next happy hour with these tips and you can enjoy a night out with friends or co-workers while staying in shape!

3 Group Fitness Classes You Haven’t Tried—But Definitely Should

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We know you don’t always have time to stay up on the latest fitness trends or try the hottest new workout routine. But you still deserve to have fun and get a killer workout!

Group fitness classes are particularly amazing for those with a busy schedule because they do most of the work for you! While you make so many decisions and have multiple thoughts throughout your day, these classes will let you turn off your mind and just be in the moment. Just show up to the class, follow the instructor and you’ll get a kick butt workout and have fun while relieving stress.

These group fitness classes provide just the right amount of fun and fitness that you need to stay sane in your busy world! Here are three group fitness classes that if you haven’t tried yet, you definitely should!

Group Fitness Classes

1. Dance Class (Groov3 / U-Jam / Zumba / Hip Hop)

Ever feel like you’ve lost your groove? Our dance classes will get you sweating as you learn a choreographed routine to some awesome beats. Don’t sweat it if it’s been a while since you’ve hit the dance floor. These classes are for all levels and will make you feel like your 21 at the dance club all over again!

2. Interval Training (HIIT / Tabata / Extreme Interval Training / Power Kickbox)

Bring your fiercest self and get ready to burn mega calories doing these high-intensity interval workouts. You’ll sweat out your stress in the cardio portion and then have a chance to catch a breather and reset during recovery. Don’t hold anything back!

3. Mindful Flow Yoga

Breathe in today’s worries. Breathe out relief as you tell them goodbye. This class allows your body, mind, and spirit to move more freely by focusing on breathwork postures, alignment, and meditation in a flow-inspired class. Experience a constant meditative state as you expand your awareness and your body’s ability to feel light, strong, and grounded. This class is for all levels, so don’t feel like you need to be a Yogi to join in.

Come try one of these group fitness classes with us. You’ll find that making yourself a priority and getting in some exercise will give you more stamina to handle all your tasks, not to mention enough energy to keep up with your hectic life!

Stress Relief Exercises for Moms

Knock Out Stress with these 5 Exercises for Busy Moms

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Life is stressful! From shuffling the kids around, to caring for the home and all the little (and big) people who depend on you, the stress seems constant some days. Since stress can sometimes seem like its synonymous with mom, it’s best to find ways to release it.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Exercise helps relieve stress by bumping up your endorphins, improving your sleep, lowering your anxiety, and improving your overall mood. After a kick-butt Zumba class or a brisk walk, you may find that you’ve forgotten all about the day’s troubles. Read More

working out after 50

The Top Benefits of Working Out After 50

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Isn’t retirement grand? You get to travel, enjoy your hobbies, and the best part of all—spending time with your grandkids. But spending your days without regular physical activity can have its downfalls.

After all, working out after 50 won’t give you abs of steel. So why bother? It turns out there are many benefits to working out in your golden years, including physical and mental. So while you might not get the six-pack you had in your twenties, you will reap plenty of other benefits! Read More

flexibility exercises

Forma’s Top Exercises for Maintaining Flexibility and Alignment

By | Stretching & Mobility | No Comments

Getting older means your body doesn’t always feel the way it used to. Things might ache and crack more, are tighter than usual, and getting back up from a seated position or off the floor takes longer than it ever did in your twenties.

As age increases, mobility often decreases. If you want to stay active, we believe it’s wise to focus on flexibility and mobility to keep you moving. Read More