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Run goals
Fitness & Training

Guide to Reach your Health and Wellness Goals

posted by FitnessFirst Team April 10, 2017 0 comments
How many times did you say it to yourself..

“this is it, this time I’m really gonna do it!”?

For many times we keep saying to ourselves and to our friends and family that this is the time that we are actually going to achieve or start doing something for our health and fitness, start working out, gain this amount of muscle, drop this amount of fat, run every day in the morning, etc, etc, etc..

but in reality we only do it for a couple of weeks, if we actually even start it, and then it starts fading out.

fitness-stretch-run-male

I’m pretty sure that most of us have heard about goals and the importance to set them, but do we actually do it? We can easily say we want to run a marathon in 6 months, but what is the breakdown and the actions that will take us there? Where do I have to be in 3 months in order to achieve that? What about in a month? What about next week? What do I have to start doing tomorrow? There’re many ways to set your goals but the one that has been more effective for me over the past years is the SMART structure, that each letter represents a specific word that will help you set your goal. Let’s see below how it works:

On the acronym A some people use the Attainable, I preferably like to use Action plan instead, because it gives you the idea of what you need to do in order to achieve that. So now that we know what SMART goals are, let’s use the marathon example to see how it works:

It’s very common that you first select the time based and then you go to the realistic one, it can get confusing if you think that your goal is realistic but then the timeline that you put into it might not be enough, so I always recommend to get the deadline first and then realize if it is realistic or not. But this is just the beginning, this is the part where everybody can get but then the motivational side starts breaking down, “well, in reality it’s only in 6 months down the line, why do I have to start now? I can only start next week, actually I’m pretty busy with work at this point”, or even worse, “a Marathon is too much for me, what was I thinking?”

This is when you need an action plan and baby steps to get there..

fitness outdoors

You know you’ll be training 5 times a week, but where do you have to be in 1 month? Nothing better than breaking down your big goal into small goals that will help you, and for that you can always use a timeline draw, from a point “A” to “B”, starting from the future until today, let’s see below how it works.

Point A (Today) _________________________________________________Point B (Marathon)

Being “A” today and “B” the Marathon day in 6 months, you start on the Marathon point and go backwards to understand which steps you’ll need to get there. You can start by selecting where do you have to be half way there:

 

Point A (Today) ___________________________|_____________________Point B (Marathon)

3 Months – Run 21KM

By setting up this structure it will start giving you the idea what the steps are, so now its time to break that one into smaller ones:

Point A (Today) _1______2_______3__________4_________5______6____Point B (Marathon)

Now you have your big goal, in SMART goals, with an action plan and a breakdown of smaller goals that you can track your progress and keep you motivated throughout the process, as I mentioned before, if the goal is too big or too far away from today, it’ easy to get demotivated, but more important than that, you have to celebrate and reward yourself by the time you achieve those accomplishments, after all, they are great accomplishments that are taking you to the big picture. We apply the same in real life, we just don’t think about it, take babies as example, we know that eventually they will run, but we also know that before that they will walk, and before they will try to stand up, but never before they crawl, so we know the “baby steps” are there, and how much do they practice? Daily, we just don’t realize that but we’re always keen to celebrate, take pictures and videos and share with our families and friends. Do the same with your small baby steps for your wellness goals.

cardio-machines

Regardless of what is your wellness goal at this point, either exercising, start eating healthier, having a more active lifestyle, always ensure you know exactly what you’re chasing, have an action plan for it and you know where you have to be in short period of time, if necessary print out a piece of paper or even write it down on a sticker, put it on your desk, on your fridge or even or your mobile phone wallpaper, but make sure you see it everyday.

Andre Fox-Martins
Fitness Manager

Fitness & Training

نصائح للحفاظ على اللياقة البدنية خلال العُطلات

posted by FitnessFirst Team December 20, 2016 0 comments

 يُمارس الأشخاص الذين يُخططون لقضاء عُطلاتهم محلياً أو في وطنهم التمارين الرياضية بجِدّ لمظهر وصحّة جيدين من ثلاثة أو أربعة أو خمسة أو ستة أشهر أو حتى قبل عام كامل. ولكن خلال العُطلات، كيف يُمكننا الحفاظ على اللياقة خلال الموسم؟

:هنا بعض النصائح للحفاظ على اللياقة خلال العُطلات

تحديد الأهداف

من المُهمّ أن نُحدد أهدافنا قبل الذهاب في العُطلات. مثل كمية السُعرات الحرارية التي نتناولها، وما نستهلكه من طاقة، وخطة التمارين الرياضية التي سنُمارسها، أي اليوم والوقت، وصالة الألعاب الرياضية، والنزهات الخارجية، والمُعدات، وحدنا ،مع أفراد الأسرة، وما إلى ذلك. أعدّ قائمة بالأنشطة وضعها في مكان ظاهر تماماً، مثل على الثلاجة أو على المرآة التي تستخدمها دائماً. يُطلِق الكثيرون على هذه العملية أو يُسمّونها عكس الأهداف

كمية السُعرات الحرارية التي نحصُل عليها

دائماً ما تكون كمية السُعرات التي نتناولها خلال العطلات هي المُتّهم الأول في اكتساب الأشخاص الوزن خلال الموسم. اضبط كمية السعرات الحرارية التي تتناولها وفقاً للكمية المسموح بها يومياً. وأعد تنظيم كمية السُعرات الحرارية التي تتناولها إذا احتجت لذلك، لا سيما إذا كان هناك حفل ستذهب إليه في نهاية اليوم. قلل من السُعرات الحرارية التي تتناولها في الصباح وفي وجبة الغداء وفي الوجبات الخفيفة في مُنتصف اليوم إذا كنت تنوي أن تُطلِق لنفسك العنان في الحفل

(استهلاك الطاقة (السُعرات الحرارية

راقب استهلاكك من الطاقة. لدينا في فيتنس فيرست “جهاز ماي زون” ليُساعدك في حساب ما تحرقه من سُعرات حرارية في الوقت الحقيقي، إلى جانب نقاط المجهود التي يحسبها جهاز “ماي زون”، وقياس مُعدَّل ضربات القلب والوقت الإجمالي المُستغرَق في التمارين الرياضية. وسواء كنت تُمارس تمارينك الرياضية المُفضَّلة داخل النادي أو تُمارس أي أنشطة خارجية، يُمكن لجهاز “ماي زون” أن يُساعدك في رصد تلك الإحصاءات

خطط لليوم و وقت ممارسة التمارين الرياضية

مع وجود حفلات ستُقام، نحتاج لتخطيط الأنشطة التي سنُمارسها على مدار الموسم والالتزام بها. وعليك بإدارة أيام وتوقيتات ممارستك للأنشطة البدنية. وإذا كان الصباح هو الخيار الوحيد المُتاح أمامك لممارسة التمارين الرياضية لانشغال يومك، إذا عليك بممارستها في الصباح. ويجب أن نتأكد من أننا سنُمارس التمارين الرياضية التي خططنا لها مهما كلَّف الأمر ومهما كانت الظروف

المكان والمُعدّات

نعلم أين سنقضي عُطلاتنا. وإذا كُنت لا تنوي الذهاب خارج البلاد فأبواب نوادينا مفتوحة دائماً لنُحافِظ على نشاطنا. ولكن إذا قررنا أن نُسافر، يُهمنا كثيراً أن نعلم نوع الأنشطة التي يُمكننا مُمارستها في المكان المُعيَّن الذي سنُسافر إليه. هل هناك نادي لياقة محلّي في المنطقة، وإن لم يكن، فأي نوع من الأنشطة الخارجية يُمكننا مُمارستها وما المُعدات التي نحتاجها. نحن نحتاج لارتجال المُعدّات ونوع النشاط أو التمرين. لا تنس إحضار جهاز “ماي زون” معك. في الإمارات يكون الجو بارداً بالخارج وكذلك معظم البُلدان في نصف الكُرة الشمالي. انتهز هذه الفرصة لتحسين حالة قلبك الصحية واذهب للركض خارجاً. سيمنحك الطقس البارد بعضاً من السُعرات الحرارية الإضافية لتحرقها بينما تستمتع بالمشهد الجميل

 “HIIT” – التدريبات المتقطعة عالية الكثَّافة

استهلاك مزيد من الطاقة في وقت أقل

  يُحسِّن من “HIIT” هو نشاط إضافي يُمكننا إضافته لتماريننا الروتينية مرة أسبوعياً في جدولنا المُزدحم. وتُشير الدراسات إلى أن تدريب
من لياقتنا الهوائية واللاهوائية، ويُقلل من الدهون والوزن في منطقة البطن مع المحافظة على الكُتلة العضلية وصحة القلب والأوعية الدموية وفقاً للُكليّة الأمريكية للطب الرياضي. وقد تستغرق الجلسة الواحدة 16 دقيقة من ممارسة التمارين مع وقت إجمالي يبلغ 25 إلى 30 دقيقة شاملة فترات الإحماء، والتمارين، والراحة، والهدنة، والإطالة

التسوق والحفلات

دائماً ما يكون التسوق في العُطلات جزءاً من الموسم. ونوصي بصف السيارة في مكان بعيد عن مراكز التسوق لحرق مزيد من السُعرات الحرارية إلى جانب التنقُّل في أرجاء مركز التسوق. وفي الحفلات ادع مزيداً من أقاربك أو أصدقاءك بدلاً من فقط الانزواء في ركن واحد مع القليل منهم

المأكولات في الحفلات

لن يأكل الكثير من الأشخاص طوال اليوم ليأكلوا في الحفل. وجميعُنا نعلم أنه إذا وصلنا بأنفُسنا إلى مرحلة الجوع الشديد فعلى الأرجح سنأكُل بنهم أكبر، ما سينتهي بنا إلى تناول مزيد من السُعرات الحرارية. ويُستحسن أن نأكُل قبل الذهاب إلى الحفل لكبح شهيتنا. وإذا كنت تنوي أن تشرَب الكحوليات فعليك بتناول بعضاً من الطعام الغني بالبروتين، حيث تقول الأبحاث أن هذا من شأنه أن يُساعد في ضبط مستويات الكحول في الدم.

protein-rich-meals

الماء

شُرب الماء لا يُساعد فقط على هضم الطعام بصورة سليمة، بل إنه يُساعد الجسم في أداء وظائفه بشكل صحيح. وشُرب الماء قبل الذهاب إلى الحفل هو أيضاً حيلة جيدة من شأنها أن تكبح شهيتك وتُساعدك في الالتزام بخُطة السُعرات الحرارية خاصّتك

بون بيكونسيلو
مُدير أوَّل اللياقة البدنية
فيتنس فيرست مُجمَّع السهول السكني، دُبيّ

fitness outdoors
Health & Nutrition

How Exercise Can Help You Fight Diabetes

posted by FitnessFirst Team November 28, 2016 0 comments

Exercise improves diabetes management and delays the onset of type 2 diabetes. Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, or if you are at risk of diabetes, making exercise a part of your lifestyle will improve your diabetes and reduce complications.

Activity fights diabetes in a number of ways. Raising your heart rate — whether by walking, jogging, cycling or swimming — helps your body use insulin more effectively. Exercise also improves blood circulation to all organs, especially the kidneys, brain, heart and eyes, which can be injured by poor diabetes management. Additionally, adults who exercise reap the benefits of stress reduction, decreased LDL cholesterol, blood pressure and weight control. Exercising when you have diabetes also lowers blood sugar and improves protein and fat metabolism, slowing organ damage.

Smart Fueling for Activity

Your new exercise program may lower your blood sugars, and, in turn, your health care provider may adjust your diabetes medication. A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you adjust your meal plan so you have the fuel your body needs.

healthy foodThese guidelines will fuel you for peak performance.

Before Exercise

A small whole-grain or carbohydrate snack with some protein provides enduring energy for your activity. You’ll need about 150 to 200 calories, as found in 1/2 cup oatmeal and 1/2 cup fat-free milk, or a slice of whole-grain bread with a tablespoon of peanut butter.

During Exercise

If you’re exercising for more than an hour, you may need additional carbohydrates (such as eight ounces of a sport beverage, half a banana or a handful of raisins) during activity to prevent low blood sugar.

After Exercise

If you plan to exercise for more than an hour, refuel with a post-workout snack, like six ounces of fat-free yogurt and a small apple.

4-Easy-Diet-Switches-to- Drop-Sugar-for- Good

Fluids

Before, during and after exercising, stay hydrated by drinking water. Drink eight ounces of water before exercise, and continue drinking water so that you have clear urine within two hours of completing your activity. If urine is dark colored, keep drinking water until it is clear.

Whether starting your first exercise program or training for an endurance event — like a marathon or triathlon — increase your training slowly, check your blood sugars and fuel and hydrate before, during and after exercising. Your goal is to be in the blood glucose range that your health care provider recommends. As your fitness improves, you will reap greater health benefits.

Banin Shahin
National Wellness Manager
Fitness First Middle East

mens-health
Health & Nutrition

Grow Mo’ awareness for Men’s Health this November

posted by Adam McCubbin November 7, 2016 1 Comment

It’s that time a year when the moustache population expands worldwide in an effort to raise awareness for men’s health, in particular for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health. This phenomenon, known as Movember, started in 2004 in Australia and New Zealand, has now become a global cause that aims to change the face of men’s health by encouraging men to grow a moustache whilst raising money and awareness.

In past generations, men’s emotions and health were not talked about subjects, for fear of not maintaining a “manly” image or for being seen as a “weakness”. This has been dramatically improved over the last couple of decades by charities and a growing awareness that speaking up and being proactive, is an effective way of dealing with health issues rather than sweeping them under the rug. Showing character and taking a stand for health issues bigger than yourself, are signs of strength and community that should be encouraged by everyone.

You might have heard it all before when it comes to men’s health, but remember “repetition is the mother of all skill.” The more you read something, there is a greater shift in your consciousness and you will take actions without even realising. With this in mind: read, re-read, share and teach others for best results.

There are four pillars for men’s health that must be considered and they are physical activity, sleep, nutrition and mental health. All of them are interlinked and equally important for long-term health and disease prevention. If you think that you can get away with neglecting one area, then think again, because there are countless studies showing the importance of each of the above mentioned pillars.

Physical Activity

Being physically active on a daily basis has a whole myriad of benefits not only on the body itself, but also for mental state and cognitive function. If you’re someone who struggles to enjoy being active then try linking something you’re interested in or passionate about to physical activity. Trust me when I say everything can be improved when you’re physically active. Seemingly unrelated interests such as playing a musical instrument, business or career aspirations or learning a language, can all be improved by taking care of your fitness and physical activity levels. It’s just a matter of anchoring and developing momentum for success. Studies have shown that being physically active significantly reduces the risks of prostate cancer. 1, 2 In older men specifically, 3 hours of vigorous physical activity per week was associated with a dramatic 70% reduction in the risk of dying of prostate cancers. 3

fitness-training-pullups

Studies have shown that being physically active significantly reduces the risks of prostate cancer

Sleep

The old school train of thought by men was that sleep is not important, it gets in the way of work and needs to be kept at a minimum otherwise you are being lazy. Don’t get me wrong, you are not required to sleep all day, however there are numerous health and cognitive benefits for achieving the right amount of good quality sleep. Research has indicated that 7 hours is recommended for people to have optimal levels of cognitive function and increased productivity. 4 Lack of sleep can also increase the chance of depression, weight gain, diabetes and other cardio disease risk factors. 5-7

Nutrition

The food you put into your body has the ability to make or break your health! If you drive a Ferrari or some type of sports car that requires a lot of financial outlay, chances are you will be inclined look after it and use premium grade petrol. However men don’t often equate what types of foods they put in their mouth for better performance and don’t think of the consequences. Your body is a highly tuned machine, just like a sports car. Diets high in processed foods with little fresh fruits and vegetables are linked to increased risks of prostate cancer and poor mental health. 8-10 Inadequate levels of Vitamin D, selenium and zinc have impact on male sex hormones and increase risks of diseases. 11-13

nutrition-fruit-male

Mental Health

Speaking up, sharing your thoughts with others and letting loved ones know when you’re going through a tough time is something that MUST be encouraged of all men. In recent times, meditation and mindfulness practices have also been indicated to improve mental health, cognitive function and reduced rates of depression. 14, 15 Taking care of the three pillars above will make a positive impact on mental health, however there are often outside life situations that cause huge strain on mental health, that need to be addressed by professionals.

fitness-mindbody-yoga-beach

In summary, grow a mo’, speak up, get moving, sleep well and eat fresh foods for men’s health!

To support Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in November, Fitness First will be hosting “Men’s Open Weekend Every Weekend” at all our Fitness First clubs. Find out more and register here for UAE or visit www.fitnessfirstme.com for country specific details.

 

References:

  1. A. W. Hsing, J. K. McLaughlin, W. Zheng, Y.-T. Gao and W. J. Blot, Cancer Causes & Control, 1994, 5, 136-140.
  2. T. J. Hartman, D. Albanes, M. Rautalahti, J. A. Tangrea, J. Virtamo, R. Stolzenberg and P. R. Taylor, Cancer Causes & Control, 1998, 9, 11-18.
  3. E. Giovannucci, Y. Liu, E. A. Platz, M. J. Stampfer and W. C. Willett, International Journal of cancer, 2007, 121, 1571-1578.
  4. D. A. Sternberg, K. Ballard, J. L. Hardy, B. Katz, P. M. Doraiswamy and M. Scanlon, Frontiers in human neuroscience, 2013, 7, 292.
  5. C. A. Perlman, S. L. Johnson and T. A. Mellman, Bipolar disorders, 2006, 8, 271-274.
  6. M. H. Hall, M. F. Muldoon, J. R. Jennings, D. J. Buysse, J. D. Flory and S. B. Manuck, SLEEP-NEW YORK THEN WESTCHESTER-, 2008, 31, 635.
  7. J. E. Gangwisch, S. B. Heymsfield, B. Boden-Albala, R. M. Buijs, F. Kreier, T. G. Pickering, A. G. Rundle, G. K. Zammit and D. Malaspina, hypertension, 2006, 47, 833-839.
  8. M. F. Leitzmann, M. J. Stampfer, D. S. Michaud, K. Augustsson, G. C. Colditz, W. C. Willett and E. L. Giovannucci, The American journal of clinical nutrition, 2004, 80, 204-216.
  9. N. Allen, T. Key, P. Appleby, R. Travis, A. Roddam, A. Tjønneland, N. Johnsen, K. Overvad, J. Linseisen and S. Rohrmann, British journal of cancer, 2008, 98, 1574-1581.
  10. A. Sánchez-Villegas, E. Toledo, J. de Irala, M. Ruiz-Canela, J. Pla-Vidal and M. A. Martínez-González, Public health nutrition, 2012, 15, 424-432.
  11. S. Pilz, S. Frisch, H. Koertke, J. Kuhn, J. Dreier, B. Obermayer-Pietsch, E. Wehr and A. Zittermann, Hormone and Metabolic Research, 2011, 43, 223-225.
  12. N. Oldereid, Y. Thomassen and K. Purvis, Human Reproduction, 1998, 13, 2172-2176.
  13. A. S. Prasad, C. S. Mantzoros, F. W. Beck, J. W. Hess and G. J. Brewer, Nutrition, 1996, 12, 344-348.
  14. B. K. Hölzel, J. Carmody, M. Vangel, C. Congleton, S. M. Yerramsetti, T. Gard and S. W. Lazar, Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 2011, 191, 36-43.
  15. W. Ramel, P. R. Goldin, P. E. Carmona and J. R. McQuaid, Cognitive therapy and research, 2004, 28, 433-455.
Fitness & Training

What Women Should Do to Lower Breast Cancer Risks

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 17, 2016 0 comments

Thousands of breast cancer cases could be avoided, if we simply embrace an active lifestyle. The pain of chemotherapy, the uncertainty of its recurrence and its many psychological effects make it a dreaded disease. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the region’s leading fitness experts at Fitness First are sharing some insights on what you can do to reduce your risks.

Be the first line of defense when it comes to breast cancer. Make way for lifestyle changes such as going alcohol and smoke-free, eating a balanced and nutritious diet and conducting self-examination tests. But controlling your weight through a fit and active lifestyle is most important because it can reduce breast cancer risks substantially. Your optimum weight could differ vastly from someone else’s, which is why it is essential you talk to your doctor, a nutritionist or a fitness-trainer to understand how best to keep your weight in check.

Fitness First experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. This can be broken down into 30 minutes of exercise 5 times per week. To set the ball rolling, you could start off with these simple activities:

1. Brisk Walking

Walking and brisk walking can do wonders to your weekly fitness routine. Try and increase the number of times and amount of time you walk daily. For 30 minutes, try a combination of walking, brisk walking and jogging, adjusting your pace depending on energy levels.

fitness-cardio-ladies

2. Cycling

Dedicated cycling tracks and community parks allow us ample opportunities to jump on the bike. With minimal equipment and little planning, cycling is the best way to help you deal with your energy-spend and calorie-burn. Combine it with a fitness app or your very own MYZONE belt to track your progress and keep the momentum going.

3. Zumba/Aerobics

Dance to the beat and let the moves do more good to your body than just lifting your spirits. 30 minutes of Zumba or Aerobics three times a week will do wonders for your immunity, strength and overall fitness. That’s not all, a Zumba and Aerobics group class provides extra motivation and lets you enjoy the competitive feeling with like-minded people.

Group-Workout-FUN

4. Water Aerobics/Swimming

Dive into fitness with swimming. If you need more action, then an expert led water aerobics session is where you’ve got to be. With no pressure on your joints and a full body workout, swimming and water aerobics are one of the best fitness routines to take up.

5. Body Weight Training

A variety of push-ups, squats, lunges and jumps are waiting to be explored. Speak to a Fitness First expert and discover which body weight exercises you can include in your fitness routine.

blank-core-exercises

Fitness First has been committed to Breast Cancer Awareness for many years and now with the annual adrenalin pumping session of Zumbathon. This year’s ‘Party in Pink’ is happening on the 23rd October at Fitness First Meadows.

Come join the party and spread awareness!

Fitness & Training

6 High Intensity Interval Training Exercises for Heart Health

posted by FitnessFirst Team September 29, 2016 0 comments

Cardio exercises are necessary for any effective training program, not only for fat burning, but also for overall good health. Your heart is a muscle, and we all know that to keep our muscles in shape we need move them.

The best thing about cardio workout is that we can do them anywhere and anytime. What we need is a little imagination and functionality of our own body so that we can run an infinite number of different movements, different intensity and contribute to our cardiovascular health. It is important to keep our body moving and choose a lifestyle that will help us avoid injuries.

Benefits of the Cardio workout:

♦ Faster metabolic system

♦ Decrease in cholesterol levels

♦ Increased secretion of growth

♦ Hormone increase blood flow to the brain,

♦ Improving concentration

♦ Improve digestion

♦ Stress reduction

♦ Strengthening the immune system

♦ Relief from depression and anxiety.

♦ Better sleep

♦ More confidence about how you feel and look

A side of the all advantages, there are people who love cardio exercise as much as “tooth extraction” and sometimes they find it boring to run, ride a bike, row or walk.

Today I choose a different type of cardio, High Intensity Interval Training that will help you to lose body fat, shape and feel great:

1. Lunge single Leg ( 15 second each leg )

2. Jumping Jacks X 30 second

3. Squat MB ball hold X 30 second

4. Shuttle run side 5mX30

5. Row machine Pike X 30 second

6. Burpee X 1 min

Repeat 3X/Max Repetitions/Monitor your progress

1. Lunge Single Leg:

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart
  • Step forward with one foot and lower yourself by bending your knees
  • Your back should be straight throughout the whole movement
  • Stop when your front thigh is parallel with the ground

lunge-single-leg

2. Jumping Jack

  • Stand tall with your back straight
  • Jump outward with feet wider
  • At the same time raise your arms overhead

jumping-jack

3. Squat MB ball hold

  • Stand straight with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Adjust feet to face slightly outward
  • Lower yourself by bending knees and pushing your hips back
  • Keep back straight
  • Stop when your thighs are parallel with the ground
  • When you return press the ball and keep back straight

ball-hold

4. Shuttle run

  • Place 2 cons on a distance of 5m
  • Start from right or left side
  • Explode laterally
  • Run either to the right or left and touch the line with your hand

shuttle-run

5. Row machine – pike

  • Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe
  • Pressing down through your palms, lift your hips up towards the ceiling by drawing your legs towards your chest until you look like an upside-down V, or as high as you can go
  • Slowly lower your legs and return to the starting position 

row-machine-pike

6. Burpee

  • Start with standing position
  • Lower yourself by bending knees to squat position with hands on the floor
  • Drop your feet back into plank position and keep your shoulders extended
  • Return back to the squat position by jumping forward

burpee

Your Hearth Rate Zone should be between 75-90%.

myzone-zonesDon’t forget to monitor your workout. Set and write down the goal and track your achievement. Be proud of every movement you do, this is a gift you are giving to your hearth and your health.

Don’t forget that “The Body achieves what the mind believes”.

Ivana Sargic
Assistant Fitness Manager
Fitness First Ladies Only, Marina Mall Abu Dhabi

Health & Nutrition

Secrets for a Heart Healthy lifestyle

posted by FitnessFirst Team September 15, 2016 0 comments

Heart Disease (which includes strokes and other cardiovascular diseases) still remains the number one cause of death – and when you think about that statistic, it is pretty chilling as there are more deaths to heart disease than all forms of cancer combined!

In 2008, heart disease caused almost 25% of deaths—almost one in every four—in the United States. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2008 were in men. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease. – Source (cardiosmart.org)

Heart disease is also known as the “Silent Killer, as without medical checkups, often the first sign of this is a heart attack and in most cases this is too late. Yes we can go about regular checkups and doctor visits, but quite often they aren’t regular enough or good enough for that matter. I mean let’s face it we’re all guilty of it – How often do you go to the doctor unless you have cold or flu? A bad fall? Or even suffering from cardiac arrhythmia? (Irregular heart beat). Exactly – hardly ever!

My point is, it’s not just about scheduling regular checkups just as you would book your car in for service. It’s about embracing a healthy “active” lifestyle – incorporating nutrition and physical activity together (a recipe that combats most of life’s diseases and stresses).

Super foods for Heart Health

Heart Disease (which includes strokes and other cardiovascular diseases) still remains the number one cause of death – and when you think about that statistic, it is pretty chilling as there are more deaths to heart disease than all forms of cancer combined!

Fatty Fish: Salmon, mackerel and sardines top the list for containing copious amounts of Omega-3, known for lowering the risks of cardiac arrhythmia and atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries).

Oats: Are very high in soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol. They act like a sponge in the digestive tract and absorb cholesterol so it is eliminated from the body and not absorbed into the blood stream.

Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and most other berries contain compounds called flavonoids  (which are antioxidants essentially) and they have a direct effect upon lowering blood pressure. A study was done on a group of people who incorporated 3 portions of blueberries into their weekly diets and in turn were 32% less likely to experience a heart attack, compared to those who ate less.

Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts and macadamias all contain a fiber that is good for your heart. They also are very high in vitamin E, which helps to lower the “bad cholesterol”. A previous thought was that nuts were avoided as they contained higher amounts of fat, but recent studies have shown that people who eat nuts on a daily basis are leaner than those who don’t.

Broccoli, Spinach and Kale:  When it comes to any form of health you really can’t go wrong with vegetable and in particular your “greens”.  Green vegetables are especially high in carotenoids, which are high in antioxidants, cleansing your body from potentially harmful compounds. They also contain high amounts of fiber and tons of vitamins and minerals (“micronutrients”). Kale has one further benefit containing Omega-3 fatty acids.

Supplements for Heart Health

Heart Disease (which includes strokes and other cardiovascular diseases) still remains the number one cause of death – and when you think about that statistic, it is pretty chilling as there are more deaths to heart disease than all forms of cancer combined!

The top 5 recommended supplements for heart health:

1.  Omega-3 (dosage 1,000mg per day)

2. Vitamin D (1,000 IU per day)

3. Turmeric – Recent studies have shown huge benefits for its “anti-inflammatory” benefits, which have been linked to reducing the effects of heart disease.

4. Garlic – Reduces cholesterol

5. Cocoa powders/Dark chocolate – high in flavonoids, (antioxidants) which lower blood pressure

Activity for Heart Health

Heart Disease (which includes strokes and other cardiovascular diseases) still remains the number one cause of death – and when you think about that statistic, it is pretty chilling as there are more deaths to heart disease than all forms of cancer combined!

Unfortunately there is no shortcut to get your “cardio’ in whilst remaining strapped to your desk, you simply have to go out there and earn it!

Whilst’ some find physical activity a chore others live for it and can’t sleep until they have had a “right sweat”. For those who are part of the fitness industry and exercise and play sport regularly understand this concept, however it still seems to baffle the 95% of “desk jockeys” who will put it off and find any Hollywood diet or shortcut to sweating those excess calories out.

Recommended Activity levels by the AHA (American Heart Association):

For Overall Cardiovascular Health:

At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150

OR

At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity

AND

Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.

For Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

An average 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week.

 

Joel Neale
Fitness Manager
Fitness First – Motor City Dubai

cardio-machines
Fitness & Training

7 reasons Fitness First is more than a gym

posted by FitnessFirst Team August 22, 2016 0 comments

For many people, a visit to the gym means following the same routine: warm up, 40 minutes on the treadmill, some weights and then cool down, home. This routine will maintain your fitness, sure! But you may find yourself stuck in your own routine with less motivation in your workout, and perhaps most importantly, you may begin to lose the enjoyment that can be gained from working out.

What a lot of people don’t know is that your gym membership can be your best friend on the journey to a healthier life. With your Fitness First membership, you can experience the advantages of working alongside people who care about your success. A gym does not need to just be a gym, and here’s how we achieve that:

Freestyle Classes

We hold Freestyle Group Training sessions that challenge your body to move, increase everyday mobility. Each session is different which keeps things interesting, and focuses on different parts of the body and planes of motion. Everyone can get involved, and groups of 4-8 club members will enjoy the interactive 30 minute workout on the gym floor, which provides lots of time to get to know your fellow fitness fans.

Personal Training

If you feel like you need a bit more information about how to get fitter, increase your strength or lose some weight, we have accredited personal trainers who can help. They can design a custom program just for you, to assist you in reaching your goals.

Core Juice Bar

Once you’ve finished your workout, you don’t need to rush off – a protein smoothie is the perfect way to end a training session. There is so much variety to choose from, or you can even just make up your own! After a workout is one of the best times to get protein into the body so that the protein can be delivered to your muscles and repair any micro-tears, and of course it helps that the smoothies are delicious! 

MYZONE

Sometimes it feels like there is no obvious change to your body even though you’ve been working out hard. Using a tracking system allows you to keep note of your progress online, with a system that monitors your heart rate, burned calories, and time spent exercising. MYZONE then converts your workout into MYZONE Effort Points that can be exchanged for rewards.

Swim Academy

Did you know that we have a swim program? We operate all over Dubai, from Uptown Mirdif, to Burjuman to Emirates Living. Kids of all ages and abilities can learn how to swim confidently, develop their strokes or even join a competitive team. Adults & teens can also enjoy the water, with swimming based fitness classes.

Discounts and Privileges

What if your gym card didn’t just work in the gym? Well, your membership card provides you with discounts in multiple restaurants across the city, as well as leisurewear outlets such as Adidias, spas and salons, and loads more. Not only that, but you can collect Shukran points when you sign up, and when you purchase any additional services or products from Fitness First. Work hard and shop harder.

International Passport

Fitness First is an international brand, with gyms and facilities all over the world. We know how important a fitness regime is, and travelling can sometimes throw you off-track. But whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, you can rest in the knowledge that you will have access to a Fitness First club wherever you go. Just speak to a member of staff before you travel!

Never again does the gym need to be a monotonous exercise.  Everything you need to keep yourself on a focused and fun fitness journey is available with one card, so make the most of it! Join a new class and try something different, relax in the sauna, socialize in the members lounge, travel and maintain your fitness across the globe, while tracking your amazing progress online.

Our gyms offer more than just a gym. They offer a lifestyle. So start living it!

mtag

Spinach-coconut-water-shake
Health & Nutrition

Green Vanilla Shake

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 12, 2016 0 comments

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of coconut water
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

This recipe is great as a a full post-workout meal.

Nutrition Facts: Provides  around 480 kcal with 19 g of healthy fats, 60 g of carbs, and 47 g of protein.

Almond Butter

Provides a great health benefits for the heart because of the healthy fats and fiber content, it has more 18 g of unsaturated fats with a low carbs content.

Spinach

is an excellent source of vitamin A, Vitamin K, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B12, potassium, protein and vitamin C.

Coconut water

it is a natural sport drink, it is a natural isotonic drink, that provides the body electrolytes, calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium.

strawberry-ginger-smoothie
Health & Nutrition

Ginger Strawberry Shake

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 10, 2016 0 comments

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger root
  • ½ cup of frozen strawberries
  • 1 scoop of strawberry skinny protein

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

Great as a post-workout or  pre-workout meal.

Nutrition Facts:  around 320 kcal, 50 g of carbs, 30 g of protein, and 7 g of fat.

Ginger

has a lot of benefits for the digestive system, loss of appetite, motion sickness.

Almond milk

is a nut milk , high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc. It is a great alternative for lactose intolerant people, and a great milk substitute for vegans.

Banana-dates-smoothie
Health & Nutrition

Banana Date Smoothie

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 8, 2016 0 comments

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium banana ripe
  • ¼ cup of pitted dates
  • 1 ¼  cup of almond milk
  • Dash of cinnamon and sea salt
  • 2 table spoons of chia seeds soaked in water (for 1 hour)

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

Great breakfast or pre-workout meal.

Nutrition Facts: 325 calories, 50 g of carbs, 9 g of healthy fats, and 7 grams of protein.

Chai seeds

Like flax seeds chia seeds are very high in omega 3, in fact it contains omega 3 more than salmon do compared one gram to one gram, omega 3 is very beneficial, for your concentration, memory, skin, vision, and heart health.

Cinnamon

cinnamon can treat muscles spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, infections, and common cold, loss of appetite, and can help maintain blood sugar in the body.

Apricot-vanilla-protein-Smoothie
Health & Nutrition

Qamar Al-Din Smoothie

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 2, 2016 0 comments

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup Qamar al-din
  • 1 cup of frozen yogurt
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 cup of water

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

Great as a post-workout meal.

Nutrition Facts: around 260 kcal, 27 g of carbohydrates, 30 g of protein, and 5 g of fat.

Qamar al-din

is dried apricot, very traditional in Ramadan, it comes in a jelly like form. A simple way do make Qamar al-din at home is to boil dried apricot to a thick paste and pour it on a surface which forms into a sheet. Let it set and dry to be later used.

Apricot

has a lot of benefits for the body mainly the fiber content with this very good for chronic constipation.