Cardio for Better Brain Function

Being in good mental shape is good. Being in good physical shape is good. Exercising takes all of these “goods” and combines them into a “best” that improves not only the body as a whole but the brain as well. Most people know that cardio exercises are particularly good for the heart, but they may not know that cardio is great for the brain in multiple ways.

At Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, we understand the importance of cardio exercise for a healthy body and a healthy mind.  Contact Zero Gravity for even more information about the brain boosting power of cardio.

Oxygen Boost

Conventional wisdom says that cardio exercise is good because it ups the heart rate, which increases heart strength and improves circulation. An increased heart rate has a bonus function that is good for the brain: it increases oxygen. The more oxygen the brain gets, the better it performs. Memory, decision-making abilities, and problem-solving abilities all get boosts in effectiveness and efficiency from the increased oxygen that goes to the brain during cardio exercise.

Hormone Release

Hormones can cause trouble for people at certain points and in certain circumstances, but cardio exercise causes the brain to release hormones that benefit people. During exercise, the brain releases serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These hormones improve mood, attention, and learning abilities. Cardio exercise makes the brain happy, which makes people happy – what better reason could there be for doing cardio exercise?

Brain Growth

Not only does cardio exercise make the brain happy: it also makes the brain bigger. The rush of blood, oxygen, and hormones the brain gets from cardio exercise leads to brain growth. Scientists have detected growth in the area of the brain that coordinates learning and memory in people who regularly do cardio exercise, which leads to better focus and recall. Cardio exercise helps people bulk up their hearts and their brains.

Productivity Increase

The daily grind can wear a person out physically and mentally, but cardio exercise can energize the brain so it can make it through the workday. A recent study shows that those who exercised before or during the workday were nearly 25 percent more productive during the workday than those who did not exercise. Cardio exercise can also help the brain think faster, which can help people complete tasks more quickly and efficiently.

Stress Decrease

The negative physical tolls of stress are well-documented, but stress can cause numerous mental problems as well. Cardio exercise works out much of the tension that can build up due to stress and can produce long-lasting mood boosts that help the brain deal with stress. In fact, one study suggests that cardio exercise might help the brain process stress by presenting a physical challenge for the body and brain to overcome.

In order to be effective, people must do cardio exercise at least 3 times a week with the best results coming after regular exercise. While the exercise sessions should be fairly rigorous, they do not have to be completely exhausting. Even moderate exercises like brisk walking or biking at a regular pace can be beneficial to the brain.

Pregnancy and Exercise

For decades, pregnant women were advised to rest, take it easy and avoid any strenuous activity in the months leading up to the birth of their children.

While some women with medical issues are advised to stay off their feet and rest, many mothers-to-be are hitting the gym to stay in shape – which is good for them, and their babies.

At Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, we offer prenatal Pilates and other programs for pregnant women to help them stay healthy and active as they prepare to give birth.

The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota reports that simply sitting around while you are pregnant is not the best route for women to take, even if exercise has never been part of their lives.

Why should women exercise when pregnant? Here are some key reasons:

  • Reduce or eliminate back pain and other aches and pains that come while pregnant.
  • Improve your mood and boost your energy.
  • Sleep longer and more soundly.
  • Fight off weight gain.
  • Bolster stamina and increase your muscle strength.

Exercising while pregnant can also cut the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. It also can help ward off symptoms of postpartum depression. Your unborn child also can benefit from your exercise regimen before he or she comes into the world by decreasing the chance your baby is born with larger than average size, known as fetal macrosomia. While exercising while pregnant is a positive move for many women, it can cause health problems for others and complicate pregnancies. Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.

Some health issues that may keep you from exercising while pregnant include:

  • Lung or heart disease.
  • High blood pressure related to your pregnancy.
  • Cervical issues.
  • Vaginal bleeding.
  • Early labor during prior pregnancy.
  • Multiple pregnancy risk of preterm labor.

For most pregnant women, a moderate amount of exercise is fine, with a half hour workout recommended most days of the week. Walking is an easy and fun way to start because if offers a moderate aerobic workout and does not stress your joints. Other attractive workout choices are swimming, low-impact aerobics or riding a stationary bike. Lifting weights is fine – just stay away from the heavy numbers. Like everyone who exercises, warm up and cool down, and drink enough fluids to stay hydrated. The Mayo Clinic offers guidelines for the various fitness levels

Depending on your fitness history, consider these guidelines:

If it’s been a good while since you have exercised, start slowly. Five minutes a day is fine to start. Increase that time to 10 minutes, then to 15 and so on as your body adjusts and becomes stronger.

Before you know it, you will be up to the half-hour mark. If you exercised prior to becoming pregnant, you can stay at your current workout level while pregnant. But if you don’t feel right at some point, stop and check with your doctor.

Nine months of pregnancy does not have to mean nine months of couch potato inactivity.

Contact Zero Gravity Fitness to learn how you can stay in shape for a smoother and happier pregnancy.

Zero Gravity Fitness: Body Shock

There is no electric current used in our Body Shock fitness program, but you will find yourself energized and in better shape after taking part in this multi-faceted training approach.

At Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, our trained professional staff can help you get in the best shape of your life with Body Shock – classes that offer a little bit of everything you need to achieve your fitness and weight loss goals.

Body Shock offers a variety of programs to improve your strength, agility and stamina. At Zero Gravity, our instructors can help you train with free weights, design sports drill regimens to meet your specific needs and cardiovascular work to achieve improved overall health and fitness.
When is the best time to begin Body Shock?
For most, it’s when your workout routine has become – too routine.
Many people settle in to workout regimens and stick with them, and that’s a good thing. You become more physically fit and your strength, stamina and other areas improve.
But eventually, the results you see from your regular routine begin to plateau. That’s because your body has become accustomed to the workout routine you have introduced it to – often again and again and again.
When your body catches up to your routine, it could be time for Body Shock.
Changing your workout regimen can shock muscles and improve your results. And it gives you a fresh workout to reinvigorate your fitness program, change that will keep you coming back to the gym and decreasing the chances you will become bored with your regimen.

One Zero Gravity client said she turned to Body Shock – and loved the results.
Danielle Murphy took part in 20 half-hour Body Shock workouts at Zero Gravity.
In three months, Danielle reported she dropped nearly 20 pounds.

”People were not recognizing me!” Murphy said. ”I have always worked out…but was never able to target the areas Body Shock was blasting. My arms were toning up, waist was slimming down, upper back was getting smaller and my “mommy” posture was improving! People were not recognizing me and I felt wonderful…I completed my first half marathon in 1:50 and was so excited that I broke two hours! I signed myself up for my first full marathon and bought another Body Shock package. I was hooked and determined to get into the best shape of my life! I continued to work…to balance my personal training, incorporating Pilates into my Body Shock routine, stretching, strength training, interval work, resistance training, you name it. I was doing things that I had not done in years; pull-ups, jumping on benches, frog jumps, kettle bell swings. It was great!
I ran my first marathon in a Boston qualifying time of 3:29! Zero Gravity was instrumental in achieving this overwhelming feat and has been a life-changing gym experience. This was something I never even dreamed I could accomplish.”

So if you are ready to shake up your workout regimen and achieve personal goals you once thought were beyond your grasp, contact Zero Gravity to start a Body Shock program today!

Come and Feel the Zero Gravity Difference

Summer is coming. The gyms are humming, and many of the big chains are seeking new clients. At this time of year, it seems worth our while to tell you (if you haven’t already come in and seen it for yourself) how we’re different from the big chain gyms, and why clients with discerning taste choose us over the big boxes.

An intimate setting: We keep it small and we’re proud of that fact. Even our group fitness classes will never have more than ten people in attendance. Our small class sizes allow us to give each and every client serious personal attention, so we can ensure proper form, promote safety and (most importantly) maximize results.

Amazing classes: In addition to the small class sizes, we also offer cutting edge interventions that you won’t find at your average mass-market gym. Kettle bells. Barre. Body shock. And of course, Pilates, both Mat and Reformer. We pride ourselves on keeping up with the latest science and workout trends, so you can be guaranteed we’ll keep you on the cutting edge of fitness.

An awesome staff: We also pride ourselves on hiring the best-trained and most personable trainers and teachers. Everyone who works here understands that personal attention and a client-oriented focus is the Zero Gravity way. You won’t just get a gym with us, you’ll get a community.

A big picture view: At Zero Gravity, we know it’s not just about the classes and the workouts, although we’re confident they can help you get a killer body. We also work with clients on their nutrition, health and general well being. We care about wellness and not just weight loss. We want to help you feel stronger, healthier, and more centered, so you can be on your best game both inside the gym – and out of it.

A wonderful clientele: Okay, so we can’t take all the credit here. We are so blessed that Zero Gravity attracts the kind of serious-minded professional who wants to get the best, most efficient workout possible in a focused and serene environment. We just hope that you’ll join their ranks – and join us.

But don’t just take our word for it. Read just some of what our clients are saying about us:

“Zero Gravity Fitness Rocks!!! The center is chock full of the latest and greatest equipment and people.”

“The personal attention that everyone receives at Zero Gravity is immeasurable. The group expertise of the trainers is remarkable and they all really care about each and every one of their clients.”

“Zero Gravity gave me my life back.”

To see more, go to our Testimonials page.

Zero Gravity Fitness