Stretching is something you should get in the habit of doing before and after working out.  It is important for several reasons:

  • -Improves circulationStretch1  
  • -Improves range of motion
  • -Improves posture
  • -Improves your ability to relax
  • -Decreases muscle tension
  • -Decreases pain and soreness

Most importantly, it reduces your risk for injury so you can keep up with your routine!

Before ou workout, stretch until your muscles are warm and flexible. After you workout, make sure to stretch out any tightness you feel, to reduce muscle aches later. There are several types of stretching you can try…

Dynamic stretching moves most of your body parts and slowly increases reach and/or speed of movement. These are controlled, slow stretches within your normal range of motion, and are best performed in reps of 10.
Ex: Doing 10 reps of toe touches while standing.

Active stretching is holding a stretch position without any assistance, and only the use of the muscle by itself.
Ex: Rolling your neck in a circular motion for a few reps.

Stretch3 Passive stretching is holding a stretch position with the assistance of another body part. Doing this to the farthest point you can and holding is known as Static Stretching.
Ex: The classic quadriceps stretch of holding your ankle behind you with your hand.

Isometric stretchingis the fastest way to develop flexibility. It is a type of static stretch using tensing of the muscles. It is usually preceded by a dynamic stretch.
Ex: Holding the ball of your foot while using your cal muscles to point your toes.

 Good stretches for running or jogging:

  • Calf raisesStretch2
  • Standing and touching your toes
  • Heel drops (best done by standing with front half of feet on a curb and dropping heels)
  • Sitting a reaching for your toes with legs spread
  • Standing and holding your ankle behind you
  • A good warm up/cool down slow jog


Good stretches for Aerobics type workouts:

  • Calf raises
  • Standing and touching your toes
  • sitting and reaching for your toes with your legs spread
  • Arm circles
  • Bicep and triceps stretches
  • Twisting your upper body with your feet planted
  • Rolling your head in circular motions
  • A light aerobic warm up such as a jog or jumping rope

Having the Right Heart Rate

HeartWant some facts about your heart rate to help you reach your fitness goals for real this new years? Did you know that heart rate actually plays a key role in weight loss during exercise? It's actually very important to find your target heart rate during your work out so you can measure your initial fitness and monitor your progress in a fitness program. 

When working out, you should never exceed your maximum heart rate. This will help avoid to avoid injury and help you to have a healthier and more productive work out. A good way to estimate your MAXIMUM heart rate is to subtract your age from 220.

Ex: 40 years old would be 220- 40, so your maximum heart rate is 180 beats per minute or bpm.


Your TARGET HEART RATE  should be 50-85% of your Maximum heart rate.

EX: A 40 Year old would have a max heart rate of 180 bpm, that number multiplied by .5 and .85 gives you 90-153 bpm.

When you begin a fitness regime, you should aim for the lower end of your target heart rate (50%). Then gradually work yourself up to the higher part of your target heart range. (75-85%). Just be sure to pace yourself. It is important to ensure that your receive a proper workout without overexerting your body.



 Below is a website that will help you calculate your Exact target heart rate. It will also show you where you need to be for optimum fat burning, or cardio fitness. 

First, you must find your resting heart rate. The best way to do this is to check it first thing in the morning. You can count how many beats you have in a minute, or count for 6 seconds and multiply it by ten. Then simply click and fill out the information.

Have a Happy Workout and Happy New Year!   ~Healthy Girl

Swimming for Fitness

Maybe swimSwimming for fitness…. have you ever tried it? There is always lap swimming, which is a great way to get in shape and beat the summer heat! Most pools set aside lanes for swimmers to do laps in during certain hours of the day. The pools are usually in the “down time” of the day, so you don’t have to worry about children getting into your lane, or being self conscious about your bathing suit. It’s just you, the pool, and the lifeguard, and trust me, the lifeguard is the last person you should be self conscious in front of. (Coming from a person who used to be one!) The pool is their job, and all they are concerned about is if you are still breathing.

Ok so you have a suit, the goggles, and you know about lap swimming. What’s still keeping you away? Maybe lap swim isn’t for you. After all, it is a very repetitive exercise. Some of you dear readers may even have  a hard time swimming. Well I have the perfect water cure for you!

Aquasize: A new workout system that is becoming more popular is called Aquasize. It is a different form of swiming exorcises that runs more like a fitness class. This is a class that is taught with an instructor, like yoga or Zumba, but in the water. There is shallow and deep water aquasize, depending on how fit you are and how well you swim. Shallow water aquasize is a lighter workout for those starting out. They have small weights you strap on your ankles, and many tools for new and exciting ways to work out! If that doesn’t seem like a hard enough workout, you and upgrade to deep water aquasize. Call your local pool today and see what they have to offer!

Take away the Aches: For those with achy joints, arthritis, and stiff muscles, a “take away the aches” class might be right for you. This class is still gaining popularity, so not all pools will have it, but if you are having these kinds of problems and your pool offers it, it is worth it to try it. This class is one that I have taught personally, so I know the benefits! It is not much in the realms of a workout, but more of a body loosener. This will help ease pains that come with age and medical conditions. I highly recommend this class if it is available to you.

Of course every pool is going to be different, and will offer different services. Go ahead, give your pool a call, see what they have to offer. What have you got to lose?