Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Put Some Spark in Traditional Exercise: Do you want to get energized with your workout or wind down?


For some people a good workout can energize them, while others get tired and are ready for a nap. Everybody is different. The point of this question isn't what you feel like after the workout, but how you want to feel during the workout.

For those of you who are looking to get energized, pumped up and excited while exercising, you need to do some type of aerobic class or lift weights. As I mentioned in the last section, an aerobic class or any other cardiovascular activity will get your heart pumping and that is what you want to do-get your heart pumping! Too many people hop on a treadmill and walk at a pace that hardly stimulates the heart. Get moving!

There are even aerobic classes that combine aerobic activity with a strength segment. Wow, the best of both worlds!

Strength training with free weights can be an awesome experience. Feeling the pump in the muscles, seeing your strength increase and knowing that with each workout you are going to look better leads to an energizing experience. All you ladies out there need to realize that strength training isn't just for men. More and more women are getting involved and realizing that exercise is more than just participating in aerobic activity.

Now we come to the second half of the question: do you want to exercise to help wind down? For some the thought of going through an aerobics class and jumping around is not what they're looking for after a long day at work. Or, maybe you have a physical job and can't bear the thought of lifting weights when the day is done. For many people these are legitimate concerns. So you're probably thinking, "Oh good, I've got an excuse not to exercise." Wrong!

Right now there are classes becoming very popular across the country that may be just right for you. I'm talking about yoga, Pilates or tai chi. What a great way to wind down your day and get a good dose of exercise in the process.

Yoga is more popular today than ever before. There are various styles of yoga ranging from powerful and intense to soothing and relaxing. The benefits include increased muscular endurance, balance and flexibility to skeletal alignment, rehabilitation and stress relief depending on the style of yoga you choose.

Pilates emphasizes the uniform development of all muscle groups while in the process promoting flexibility, circulation and skeletal alignment. The abdominal region is the main focus along with emphasis on the back and upper leg musculature. According to the 2002 Superstudy of Sports Participation conducted by American Sports Data, Inc., Pilates was the top growth activity in the fitness industry in 2001.

Tai chi is considered a moving form of yoga and meditation combined. It can enhance balance, flexibility, gait, posture, digestion, concentration, memory and overall physical and mental well-being.