There are literally hundreds of reasons to participate in a regular strength training program.Continue reading
There is a reason why you hear about athletes hitting the pool after a workout. Using a pool post workout can be a crucial component of training, in turn, helping the body recover faster. There are many known benefits associated with active recovery sessions in the pool. This can come following a hard workout in the gym or after an athletic event. I remember back as an assistant strength & conditioning coach at the University of Connecticut (Go Huskies!), we typically put the football team in the pool as an active recovery following a weekend game. A recovery workout in the pool will help reduce muscle soreness, flush out lactic acid, and prevent a drop-off in athletic performance.
Research from a 2010 study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine concluded “swimming-based recovery sessions enhanced following day exercise performance.” A second study, in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, demonstrated an active pool recovery was the most efficient method at clearing blood lactate in the body, followed by massage, and finally passive recovery.
Swim to Recover Faster
Here is an easy to follow active recovery routine to try. Perform each movement for a lap or two depending on the length of the pool you’re in. Focus on working your muscles through their full range of motion with each movement. The water is great to do this in because there is almost no gravity placed on the body and only about 10 percent of your bodyweight is used in the pool due to the buoyancy.
- Forward walking lunge with arm movement.
- Swim underwater.
- Backward walking lunge with arm movement.
- Swim underwater.
- Walk forwards.
- Jump and dive repeats.
- Walk backwards.
- Squat and jump repeats.
One final note on swimming in general. Researchers at University of South Carolina followed 40,547 adults ages 20 to 90 for more than three decades. They discovered that swimmers, regardless of their age, were about 50 percent less likely to die during the study than were couch potato’s, walkers, or runners.
Water Therapy Post Injury
Another great reason to get in the pool, in addition to helping the body recover faster from a workout, relates to injury recovery. The properties of water – buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure, density – are highly effective for rehabilitation. These properties make water therapy an ideal modality to regain function, muscle strength, balance, and range of motion.
The simple act of deep water running can help reduce your recovery time drastically. Position a “noodle” around your back or chest and under both arms to help you float. Begin, going side-to-side in the pool for laps or designated time. As your endurance improves, start using the full length of the pool. Always use a full range of motion, maintain a tall posture, keep core engaged, and use proper arm action during each lap. Progress to wearing a floating vest or waist unit in order to execute better arms action. It can be a great workout especially after a few weeks of inactivity, it feels great to move pain-free in the water.
Research has shown that swimming laps for an hour burns 690 calories. Treading water – vigorously – expends about 11 calories a minute (same as running a 6-minute mile pace), to give you some context of energy expenditure via the pool.
Stay Active with Jefit
The award-winning Jefit app, was named best app for 2021 by PC Magazine and Men’s Health. It comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong and recover well using Jefit.
Many of us have already been there, with respect to an injury. If not, the odds are you will probably be there at some point; recovering from an injury. It comes with the territory of working out.
The National Health Statistics Reports reported 8.6 million sports injuries, a rate of 34.1 per 1,000 individuals. A second report by the National Safety Council Injury Facts noted 44.5 million injuries in the United States. This past year, the number for exercise-related injuries alone were approximately 500,000; while biking and basketball reported more than 400,000 injuries apiece.
The odds are pretty high that you’ll probably have to deal with an exercise or sports-related injury at some point during your lifetime. The best exercise advice, post injury, is to “just do it” building-up slowly with your exercise duration and intensity. If you’re thinking about taking an exercise class or participating in small group training, beware of the tendency to push a little harder and go beyond your normal limits when working out with others. Avoid the urge to “show off” due to the group dynamic and instead work within your own abilities.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind whenever you get laid up and are dealing with an injury.
The Psychological Toll May Be Greater Than Initially Realize
If an injury progresses from short-term to a chronic issue, you may be effected psychologically more than you realize. You may even experience a bout of mild depression because you are no longer able to reap the “feel good” benefits of daily exercise like you did prior to injury. This could eventually take its toll on your mind, body and spirit. If this is the case, you may want to talk to someone with a medical background. Other possible suggestions that may help are yoga or daily meditation. Remember, “we become what we think about.” Injuries also have the potential to increase stress levels (like cortisol) in our body and the options mentioned here, may be just what the doctor ordered during the recovery process.
Reduced Physical Activity Means Nutritional Modification
This is a must do. When recovering from an injury, your daily activity level decreases. You will no longer expend the same amount of calories as you did previously and consequently, need to eat less. Be cognizant of the fact that if you continue to consume the amount of calories you were eating pre-injury, you most likely will experience an increase in body weight. Talk about another added stress! You are no longer creating a negative deficit or maintaining a “balance” regarding calories in versus calories out. As an example, your number of steps may decrease from an active 10-12,000 steps a day to a sedentary 3,500 steps following a foot injury. If caloric intake is not monitored – you guessed it – an increase in body weight will occur.
Again, this comes down to the type of injury and if you’re totally sedentary or able to do some type of activity. An idea may be to keep a food journal for a few days to look at what you’re consuming. Also, try using an app in order to offer better insight into your nutritional intake. I typically recommended using MyFitnessPal app. This is a very helpful app that offers insightful metrics in respect to what your eating. It also has a great barcode scanner that can take pictures of food or drink products. Finally, it is equipped with a chart showing macro and micronutrient breakdown of meals and snacks. Personally, I like it because it makes life much easier when it comes to monitoring both overall calories and daily sugar consumption.
Find an Alternative Form of Exercise When Recovering From An Injury
The location of your injury will ultimately dictate what you can and cannot do. A foot injury, for example, may allow you to get back into biking or to do some pool therapy.
You can also check out an ElliptiGO SUB (stand-up bike), a cool, fun to use, product that I highly recommend. One of the great things about the SUB is it burns 33 percent more calories than a traditional bike and will avoid any low-back or neck pain typically found using a traditional bike. How about doing more SUB and SUP if you’re able during the recovery process? Two great full-body workouts that burn maximal calories in minimal time without loading the body like other activities.
There are a multitude of factors that can lead to an injury. When you’re recovering from an injury, think about the root cause of your injury and become more mindful of the exercise equipment you’re using. Take a look at what you’re wearing when you workout, for example, are the bottom of your sneakers worn away? Maybe you have logged 500-600 miles in them already? This will change the way you strike the ground not to mention your gait.
In addition, think about being more preventative by adding “pre-hab” exercises to your workout. Always make time to warm-up your body prior to any type of exercise. Finally, adding more restorative work like massage and mobility while paying more attention to post-recovery diet, may also help your cause. Keep your body injury free by becoming strong with Jefit.
Stay Strong With The Jefit App
Join the more than nine million members who’ve had great success using the Jefit app. The award-winning app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Stay strong with Jefit.
Going to the gym is one thing. Completing a workout session that is actually effective and productive is another matter altogether.
A common scenario that athletes and gym goers face is that they head to the gym only to realize that they can’t remember what numbers they hit the previous session. It’s a small thing but it can actually make a big detrimental difference to your fitness success. Fortunately, this can easily be prevented easily through the use of a workout log.
How a Workout Log Can Make Each Workout Session an Effective One
A workout log is a journal, notebook, or an app that helps you keep track of your training so that each session is effective. Here is how:
A workout log means that you always know what you did the previous session, the session before that, and so on. It definitely serves better than your memory, where you can easily forget the smallest details. Recording your training means you can properly plan your next session in a way that further improves your progress on a consistent basis, as opposed to just throwing together a random workout.
It takes the guesswork out of your training regime to get you actual results.
It can be easy to slack off when you are having a long day, or if you are feeling particularly tired. Dragging yourself to the gym is one thing but doing the level of exercise you want is another. We can admit it, sometimes we have those days where we cheat a little and use lighter weights or do fewer sets than we planned.
This is why using a workout log can help. By having to keep track of everything, it holds you accountable for all your sessions. Do you really want to look back and see that you put in half the effort last time?
Which leads us onto our next point…
What a better way to keep yourself motivated than to look back over your workout log and see the progress that you have made?
Even if you can’t see the changes on the scales or if you are in need a pick-me-up, seeing how far you have come can really give you that much-needed boost of motivation. It will enhance your confidence and determination to keep going and maintain focus on your fitness goals.
What if you are not making the gains that you thought you would be? What if your bench progress has soared but your deadlift has stalled?
Unfortunately, when it comes to fitness success, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every exercise program consists of trial-and-error which is why it is important to be able to monitor how your body responds to your regime and make adjustments as needed.
A workout log can assist with this. It provides you with valuable insight into your past training sessions which is fundamental in evaluating your progress. By keeping track of your workouts, you will be able to see what has worked best for you and what needs improvement. It will also help segment each area for analysis. This way you can maintain consistent progress across your entire body and muscle groups.
By planning your future workouts this way, you enhance your productivity and reduce wasted time because then you are not stuck with a program that really isn’t working. It is all about making advancements and with that, comes monitoring your results and keeping them consistent across all muscle groups.
Another important factor that a workout log can assist with is determining how your lifestyle and other external factors affect your sessions. This is something that is not typically given much thought but it can play a significant role in your progress. A key to fitness success is having consistently good workouts.
There may be some days where you do not get enough sleep the night before, or you may have longer work hours on specific days because it is the peak period. By recording this information, you can adjust your program to accommodate to this. It may mean doing a lighter session these days and then making up for it on other days where you have more energy.
Not only will this help you physically but it can also help you mentally.
Instead of taking twice as long to complete a session or “cheating” yourself by cutting your session short and feeling defeated, you will be able to do a workout that you know you can do.
It will also assist in helping you realistically space out and alternate your workouts, especially if are experiencing fatigue or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
By being able to look back at your workout log and records, you can make a difference in your physical and mental results to make sure that every workout is as good as the last one.
Unfortunately, injuries do happen but there are ways to minimize this risk. If you experience nagging signs of an injury, you can identify what workout caused it by using your training records. You can check the exercise as well as the number of sets, reps and weight that you used.
Knowing this information can really help prevent future injuries so you know what not to do.
A workout log is a tool that tends to be undervalued. However, it is a powerful way to enhance accuracy, productivity and motivation for all athletes and gym-goers. It is an integral component in boosting motivation and success for any fitness program.
So are you looking for an easy, simple and efficient workout log tracker? Say goodbye to pen and paper and say hello to Jefit, a gym workout app that simplifies the process of recording workouts for athletes and gym-goers alike. It comes with the ability to record your metrics set by set until your workout is complete, so you can boost motivation and make every workout an efficient one.
Do you use a workout log to track your training? Has it made any difference to your training sessions and results? Let us know in the comments below!
While you can try your best to avoid injuries, unfortunately, most people will experience them once in a while. If you are injured, then it’s best to see a physical therapist or professional that can properly treat it. However, there are some common gym injuries, and here are some solutions to treat them.
How to Treat These Common Gym Injuries
1. Muscle Pulls and Strains
Other common gym injuries include pulling or straining your muscle. This is when a muscle is torn or overstretched. While this can occur anywhere on your body, the most common places are straining your hamstring, or neck and back.
It can occur due to overexertion, being overstretched, and not warming up properly.
Pulling or straining your muscle will limit your mobility and can cause pain once you hit a certain threshold. You may also experience stiffness, swelling or weakness. It can also range from mild to severe.
How to treat it
Depending on how severe it is, there are different ways to treat it. Resting the affected muscle is paramount. It can be tempting to “work through the pain”, however, this can make it worse. So take a couple of days off before slowly starting to incorporate movement with the muscle. Bear in mind though, too much rest can also cause stiffness so you don’t want to keep it immobile for long. Try to find a good balance.
When you do start using it again, don’t push it too much. Overdoing it can exacerbate it.
How to prevent it
Warming up is crucial in preventing these common gym injuries. You need to properly prepare your body for your training session instead of jumping straight in. If your muscles aren’t warm, then you risk tearing it.
A good warmup should be specific. For example, if you’re planning on squatting, then do some air squats to mimic the same movement that you’ll be doing, just without the weight. It may seem tedious but taking the time to warm up can really improve your athletic performance, while also prevent muscle strains and pulls.
Listening to your body and knowing the difference between pain and good pain is important. Good pain is when you’re challenging yourself but not going over your threshold. The bad pain that you don’t want is when you’re hurting yourself to the point where you can potentially pull or strain a muscle.
2. Runner’s Knee
A common gym injury is Runner’s Knee or patellofemoral pain syndrome. This is when you feel pain or soreness around the kneecaps or have trouble sitting, standing, walking. The pain may be exacerbated when you try to walk downwards as well.
It occurs when the kneecap (patella) is misaligned. Weak or tight thigh muscles and overuse of the knee can also cause it.
Despite the name, runner’s are not the only people who can experience this, although it is prevalent among them because running places much demand on the knees. Any other exercise that requires a lot of use of the knee can cause it.
How to treat it
If you feel pain in and around the knee then the first thing that you can do is rest it. Take 3-4 days of training off. If you do exercise, then try to avoid training that involves the knee such as lunging and squatting.
Another good idea is to ice it. Icing it will assist in reducing any swelling.
How to prevent it
Find a good pair of shoes that can offer really great support. This will help reduce the demand on your knee so that you can decrease the risk of getting runner’s knee again. Arch supports will also help with this as well.
Incorporate strengthening exercises into your fitness routine for your knee. Work on your lower body such as your quads, lower back, hips, and abs. This can strengthen the areas around the knee and reduce the stress placed on them. Try the plank and glute bridges.
3. Sprained Wrist
The wrist is an easy area to overload and put too much pressure on. Because it is used in a variety of exercises and takes a lot of weight, wrist strain is a common gym injury.
There may be swelling and tenderness. It’ll also hurt to put pressure on your wrists.
You can get a sprained wrist through repetitive movements that can cause chronic wrist strain. On the other hand, acute wrist strain is when it occurs suddenly such as bending the wrist past the normal threshold.
How to treat it
Ice your wrist to reduce swelling. Also, make sure you rest it. Adding more pressure to it will only make it worse. This means that you should avoid any exercises that involve putting stress on or bending the wrist.
How to prevent it
If you’re prone to wrist strains, then try modified versions of your favorite exercises. Front squat by crossing your arms across your chest instead of using your wrists. Push-ups can also be done by folding your hands into fists so that your wrists remain straight instead of bent.
Wearing a wrist strap can also really assists in taking the pressure off the wrist.
See a professional
If you are experiencing one of these common gym injuries do not improve, then see a professional physiotherapist or doctor. Your physio can properly examine you and provide specific solutions to your needs.
Workout with Jefit
Want a workout app that can recommend some great exercises, help you schedule your workouts, and offers a supportive online community? Jefit is an app that can do all those things and more. It comes with an extensive exercise library, customizable workout planner, as well as a members-only Facebook group where you can connect and interact with your fellow Jefit members.