How Exercise Helps Fight Stress

Stress has been linked to illnesses and a range of other health conditions. It has been proven to accelerate the aging process and can affect a person’s overall mental health. Research shows that exercise can be beneficial to those prone to stress.

If you’re feeling the burden of stress, come to Zero Gravity Fitness in Orlando, and our team of personal trainers will help you exercise your stress away. We offer a variety of services and classes from personal training and Pilates to group fitness and body shock training. Contact Zero Gravity Fitness today to schedule your next session.

Exercise helps restructure the brain

Physical activity has been shown to control the body’s response to stress in a way that reduces anxiety. Researchers at Princeton University published their findings in the Journal of Neuroscience. The mice were exposed to cold water as a part of the study. Physical activity reorganizes the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function, according to a research team based at Princeton University. Since the mice were permitted to exercise regularly, the anxiety levels were better controlled when an event occurred causing a spike in neuronal activity.

Exercise as a coping mechanism for anxiety

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health studied the impact of moderate exercise on the body’s capacity to manage anxiety levels over a prolonged period of time. Researchers discovered that exercise can help counter the effects of stress for a longer period of time in addition to reducing anxiety in the immediate future. In the study, some participants rested for 30 minutes while others participated in moderate cycling. Their anxiety levels were measured before and after the session. All were exposed to photographs and their anxiety levels were evaluated. Those who simply rested saw their anxiety levels increase while others who had exercised exhibited better control over their anxiety systems as time wore on.

How exercises reduces impact of stress on the heart

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that those diagnosed with heart disease in the past showed improvements in blood vessel dilation. In a group of 134 men and women between 40 and 84, medical care was provided. Some patients were assigned an aerobic exercise program while others attended a stress management class. One group only received medical care. Those who received only medical care showed the least improvement in their heart disease markers while those were required to attend a class or take a stress management showed better improvement.

Exercise dramatically improves the body’s overall response to stressors. Exercise reorganizes the brain. It also acts as a coping mechanism for anxiety. Exercise also improves the heart’s response to stress. It appears that exercise is essential to controlling stress levels and enhances the body’s capacity to respond appropriately to stressors.

Importance of Staying Hydrated in Fitness

Most sources agree that the human body needs an ounce to half an ounce of water for every pound of weight. However, there are a few other factors that can affect this general rule. The most significant factor is your fitness level. If you have a regular fitness regimen, then you want to drink regularly during your workout, and you also want to be consistent with how much you drink. Keeping your body hydrated during a workout has a number of significant benefits.

At Zero Gravity Fitness in Orlando, we understand the importance of having a regular fitness regimen, but we also understand the importance of taking care of your body. Our team of trainers encourages you to stay hydrated throughout the day to keep your body performing at its peak levels. To find out more health and fitness tips or to schedule a personal training session, contact Zero Gravity Fitness today.

Replenish Your Body

During a workout, your body is doing so much more than burning calories and building muscle. When you work out, your body also loses precious minerals and electrolytes as you sweat. The best way to replenish your body and to compensate for the loss is to replenish your body. The best way to know how much water you should consume to restore your body to an optimal level is to gauge your sweat rate. Understanding your sweat rate will ensure that you are properly hydrated after and before your next workout. Accounting for these factors improves your overall performance and your energy levels throughout the day.

A Better Workout Next Time

Your cells and 70 percent of your body are comprised of water. When your body is dehydrated, it is unable to perform at optimal levels. Therefore, keeping your body hydrated can ensure that your next workout is successful. For example, when your body is properly hydrated, your heart and other muscles do not need to work as hard to transport blood and nutrients to your body. With the right levels of hydration, your body is able to efficiently and easily perform the job it is designated to do. For the best results, you want to drink before, after, and during your workout.

Muscle Health

The body’s muscles also heavily rely upon hydration to perform well. Those who fail to properly hydrate their body during a workout are more likely to suffer from crippling muscle cramps during and after a workout. While many individuals will attribute muscle cramps to a simple consequence of working out, the reality is that most individuals are dehydrated. Muscles tighten because the water that they need to stay relaxed isn’t present. Aside from cramping, muscles will also be unable to build and become more prominent if they are not properly hydrated. Therefore, drinking enough water is the surest way to keep your muscles healthy and to avoid awful muscle cramps.

If you are going to put the time and effort into working out, then you should take the necessary steps to ensure that your workout leads to the best results possible. Care for your body the right way by drinking the necessary amount of water, relaxing your muscles and sore body with a massage, and treating yourself to relaxing therapies that lead to the results that you are looking for.

Tips to Keeping Your New Year’s Fitness Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions can be used to make permanent healthy changes. The challenging aspect of this is that the motivation often dies out before someone gets the chance to reach their goals. There are several tips that make it possible to follow through with New Year’s Resolutions.

At Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, we can help you stick to your New Year’s fitness resolution.  Whether you’re aiming to lose weight, add muscle, build stamina or anything in between, our fitness staff can help you reach your goals. Let 2015 be your healthiest year, and let Zero Gravity Fitness help you get there. Contact Zero Gravity Fitness today to find out more. Here are some effective ideas that can bring on some inspiration.

Set Reachable Goals

It is easy to jot down 20 different New Year’s resolutions. Although it is good to have the desire to make these many changes, in the long run it does nothing but cause discouragement. Instead of a list of scattered goals, it is better to focus on a few important things. What is something that currently desperately needs a change? These are the things to focus on. For example, it helps to set clear goals that are attainable such as losing 20 pounds in six months or running for 30 minutes, 4 days a week. Attempting to lose 20 pounds in a month is a bit much, which can end up in disappointment. Setting goals that are reachable helps a person be able to maintain them.

Get Up If You Fall

Everybody fails at some point! If everyone realizes this at the beginning of the year, it is less likely to cause a big hindrance in their goals. If you missed the gym for a couple of days, it is better to make the decision to go than to spend a few more days beating yourself up.

There are times when everybody makes bad decisions, the key to making good decisions is just that- to make good decisions! If it has been a week full of bad choices, one good choice breaks that cycle. Fitness is a life-long goal. When it is looked at through this lens, one bad day does not hold enough weight to make someone give up on their goals.

Focus Long-term

One thing that can help someone keep hope when things look dull is to remember the bigger picture. Having short term goals is great, but when times get rough it can be encouraging to remember the long term health goals from the beginning of the year. If improving one’s state of health is important, smaller less serious goals lose their huge impact during discouraging times. It is always helpful to reflect on the most important aspect of a goal. Remembering why this goal is important helps keep perspective.

Document Every Success
Even if it is a one pound weight loss, it is always good to document it. Celebrating successes, no matter how large or small keeps the process fun and exciting. It also provides motivation and hope for more success. When a person sets their New Year’s resolutions for fitness, it is easy to set the bar so high that they fail to see the smaller successes. Did the 20 minute run on the treadmill turn into a 30 minute run on an incline? That is progress, and should be celebrated as such.

Fitness increases over time, so it is important to recognize these good changes. Having small ways to celebrate, such as a new workout outfit, keeps the whole thing fun. Nothing gets a person going more than positive incentives.
New Year’s resolutions do not have to be stressful. With fun incentives and celebrations when goals are reached, resolutions can become something to look forward to. Not only are there plenty of health benefits to be reaped, but self-esteem and confidence grows with each success.

Beating Holiday Stress

The holiday season is in full swing, with Christmas a little more than a week away.

And while the season is filled with family, parties and good cheer, the holidays also can bring stress as people scramble to shop, prepare holiday meals and get the house ready for family.

Give yourself a stress-relieving present this year with a visit to Zero Gravity Fitness. Located in Ocoee, Fla., Zero Gravity offers Pilates and personal training to help you get in shape – and stay in shape.

It’s long been recognized that exercise relieves stress, whether it be during the holidays, or any time of year.

The Mayo Clinic reports that working out boosts endorphins that improve your mood and reduce stress. If you are not athletic, or have not exercised in years, even a little exercise can bring your stress level down.

Exercise improves your overall health, makes you more vital – and it’s fun!

Here are some benefits of exercise:

  • Increased endorphins: Being physically active ramps up production of endorphins, which makes you feel great.
  • Eased Tension: After a good workout, you often forget about life’s irritations because you have concentrated on your body and your workout. As you begin to exercise on a regular basis, you are likely to feel more energized and optimistic. You also should feel calmer in general.
  • Better Mood: Exercise can boost your self-confidence and ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Working out also helps you sleep better, another stress reducer.

You should consult with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program, especially if you have been inactive for a long period of time.

When you start, start slowly. Improve your level of fitness gradually.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has recommended that healthy adults work out at a moderate level for 2.5 hours each week.

And enjoy your exercise. Do what you like to do. It can be walking, jogging, cycling or playing a sport.

Remember to make time for exercise. Schedule time each day to work out or be active. Beginning a workout routine is great – but stick to it.

Here are some tips for sticking with a new routine or reinvigorating a tired workout:

  • Goals: Write down your goals.
  • Don’t Go It Alone: Find a workout partner. Knowing that someone is counting on you will help ensure you keep to your exercise plan.
  • Change Things Up: If you are a competitive athlete, think about non-competitive options that are better for stress reduction. Pilates is a great option.
  • Exercise When You Can: If your schedule doesn’t allow one half-hour walk, try several 10-minute walks. The important thing is regular physical activity becomes part of your routine.

At Zero Gravity Fitness, we can help you reduce stress during the holidays and throughout the year.

To learn more about our training and Pilates programs, contact us today.

And from all of us at Zero Gravity Fitness, Happy Holidays!

Men And Pilates

While more women than men have practiced Pilates in recent years, more and more men are discovering its benefits and using Pilates to become healthier, more fit and gain increased vitality. Male professional athletes routinely utilize Pilates to improve their flexibility and focus, and the practice, once considered not macho enough for male athletes, is gaining male converts in droves. At Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, our professional, highly trained and friendly staff can teach you the benefits of Pilates, whether you are new to the practice or a long-time devotee. Men’s Fitness magazine recently reported on the benefits that Pilates can bring to men who may have been hesitant to try the program. While Pilates can be difficult, men who accept the challenging program can see benefits in many areas and improve their performance – from weightlifting and distance running to better overall health and well-being. Pilates exercises are subtle and concentrated movements that can help men and women. Men’s Fitness offered five areas where men especially can benefit. They include:

  • Strengthening muscles that have long been neglected:

Some muscles dominate everyday movements and thus are stronger than other muscles. With Pilates, you can focus on muscles that are often overlooked and do not get the attention they deserve. Pilates allows you to purposely move with motions designed to build muscles that you don’t develop while lifting weights.

  • Better flexibility:

Generally speaking, if your total muscle mass is pretty big, it’s likely that your flexibility suffers. With Pilates, you can focus on stretching. These movements help prevent sports and other injuries, including many muscle strains, while also improving your overall range of motion.

  • Creating better core strength:

Pilates exercises turn the spotlight on your core and help produce and increase limb movement. Pilates also focuses on transverse abdominal muscles, the base abdominal muscle located under your six-pack.

  • Improving focus:

Pilates is designed to increase your ability to pay attention. Focusing on breathing while performing each movement and concentration on proper form are key to Pilates success. If done correctly, a Pilates session should make you feel refreshed and relaxed, feelings which should carry into the day and even longer in some cases.

  • An enhanced sex life:
  • Pilates bolsters your core and the pelvic region. Experts report men who practice Pilates have more control over this part of the body and that regular Pilates workouts can improve your performance in the bedroom.

Millions of people around the world practice Pilates, with more and more men joining in each day. If you are interested in learning more about Pilates and how it can help you achieve better health and become more vital and into life, contact the professionals at Zero Gravity today.

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!

Zero Gravity Fitness: Pilates can ease back pain

Is lower back pain making your life miserable?

Are easy tasks like bending down to tie your shoe laces becoming difficult because they hurt your back?

Is back pain hurting your job performance?

If lower back pain is negatively impacting your life, Pilates can help you become pain-free, healthier and live a fuller life.

Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee can help you develop a Pilates program to ease back pain and put you on the road to a fitter and more flexible you.
Lower back pain is common and many tolerate the discomfort in silence. Studies show 31 million people in the United States complain of lower back pain at any given time.
Did you know that:

• Lower back pain is the biggest cause of disability across the globe.
• It is one of the top reasons people miss work.
• Back pain is the second most common complaint of patients visiting their doctors. Upper respiratory problems are the number one reason behind visits to the doctor or emergency room.
• About $50 billion is spent on lower back pain issues in the United States each year.
• About 80 percent of people will suffer from lower back pain during their lifetimes.

Pilates can prevent you and your back from becoming part of those painful statistics.
At Zero Gravity, our staff is ready to help you get rid of back pain with the help of Pilates – whether you have never taken a class or are an experienced practitioner.
How does Pilates help your back? And who can benefit from a Pilates program?

Those with back pain caused by excessive movement or degenerative disc disease are likely to find relief through Pilates, which promotes better posture – and in turn cuts pressure and stress on back joints and discs.
Zero Gravity offers hour and half-hour Pilates sessions with trained and certified teachers who will help you get the most out of your Pilates program.
We can assist you in reducing back pain by:

• Teaching proper spinal alignment.
• Building up muscles that support your spine, while staying away from exercises that stress or harm your back.
• Designing a Pilates program that will keep back pain from reappearing and promote better back health.

Those with serious back pain should consult a doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.
To reduce your back pain, improve your flexibility and fitness and to enjoy life to the fullest, consider the Pilates programs offered at Zero Gravity Fitness.
You have nothing to lose – except for that nagging pain in your back!
Contact Zero Gravity today to learn more about Pilates and how it can help you.

Zero Gravity Fitness