Hiking. Good for the body, mind, and your cardio

It’s summer. WHAT ARE YOU DOING INDOORS?

Get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. There are hundreds of ways to exercise outdoors and one is guaranteed to clear your mind, energize your body, and shake up your cardio. As George Wherry said, “The outside of a mountain is good for the inside of a man,” so take a hike!

It’s no secret that nature is therapeutic.

Perhaps some of the best medication you can take is a break away from wifi, notifications, and alarms. Technology does wonders to your body- and not the good kind. Computers, phones, tablets- these all tend to cause bad posture, sedentary behavior, and stress. The result? High blood pressure, headaches, back pain, and an unhappy heart, to name a few. Amazingly, getting outside, soaking up some Vitamin D from the sun’s rays, inhaling some fresh oxygen, looking at the serenity of nature, and taking time away from the city and work-life is enough to combat stress and its symptoms. Hiking is most definitely helpful in clearing your mind and helping you see things larger than life.

No matter who you are, hiking is for you.

The mountain is your playground; choose your difficulty by picking a path fit for your needs, including incline, terrain, and length. Many of us complete our cardio workouts on the treadmill and equipment in the gym. Instead of pushing the “hills” setting, why not do the real thing? Hiking provides more than genuine hills- real life HIIT (high intensity interval training). Unpredictable paths naturally vary the incline, intensity, and as a result, your heart rate. It’s a perfect workout for weight loss and conditioning; it’s perfect for any budget; it’s even perfect with a group. Pretty much hiking is perfect for everyone.

It is always a good idea to change up your routine.

Different modes of exercise challenge your body and prevent you from getting bored. Each hike can be different and exciting with new views and scenery. Plus, varying terrain trains balance, stability, and increases muscle recruitment. Hiking is good for more than cardio; it’s a great lower body workout too. Don’t be surprised if you experience muscle soreness days after hiking. DOMS (muscle soreness) is more likely to happen with eccentric movement- the kind of movement you do hiking downhill. You’ll be working your muscles in ways you aren’t accustomed to and it will be great!

Change up your workout and try a fun hike in your area. You’ll be amazed at what is in your backyard. We recommend these hikes IN OUR AREAS:

UTAH

  1. Donut Falls (easy)
  2. Stewart Falls (moderate)
  3. Angels Landing (difficult)

COLORADO

  1. Trading Post Trail at Red Rocks Park (easy)
  2. Vrain Mountain Hike (moderate)
  3. Bierstadt Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park (easy to difficult)

ARIZONA

  1. Faye Canyon (Easy)
  2. Devils Bridge (Moderate)
  3. Camelback Mountain (Difficult)

OKLAHOMA

  1. Wichita Mountains Forty-Foot Hole (Easy)
  2. Friends Trail Loop (Moderate)
  3. Skyline Trail (Difficult)

KANSAS

  1. Castle Rock (Easy)
  2. Flint Hills (Moderate)
  3. Elk River (Difficult)

INDIANA

  1. Camp Creek and FAll Creek Loop (Easy)
  2. Cowles Bog (Moderate)
  3. Three Lakes (Difficult)

Get out there and remember, “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” – John Muir

The post Hiking. Good for the body, mind, and your cardio appeared first on VASA Fitness.

Original source: https://vasafitness.com/2021/05/hiking-good-for-the-body-mind-and-your-cardio/

5 exercises, 5 sets, 5 Rep TRX Workout

Need a quick workout and to try something new? This full-body TRX workout is perfect! Try this workout out to work different muscle groups and get your workout in. Do each exercise for 5 reps and repeat 5 times.

5 Exercises, 5 Sets, 5 Rep TRX Workout
  • TRX Lateral Lunges

  • TRX Chest Press
  • TRX Inverted Row
  • TRX Hamstring Curl
  • TRX Knee Tuck

The post 5 exercises, 5 sets, 5 Rep TRX Workout appeared first on VASA Fitness.

Original source: https://vasafitness.com/2021/05/cinco-de-mayo-5-exercises-5-sets-5-rep-workout/

What is Calisthenics? 

What is Calisthenics? 

When you hear the term “calisthenics,” what images come to mind? 

Is it black and white footage of Jack LaLanne teaching calisthenics on TV? Military training montages? Maybe it conjures images of Olympic gymnasts doing their thing on bar events. 

Calisthenics training is certainly a factor in all of these, but those images are a little old school, even outdated. What you may not realize is that calisthenics is extremely common today. The modern fitness world is chock-full of it, and there’s a good chance you’re already doing it in your health and fitness routine. 

In this article, we’re going to explore calisthenics—from its basic ideas to its advanced applications—so you can incorporate it into your health journey. 

Calisthenics Definition

Calisthenics is a category of bodyweight exercises. If you’ve ever done a push-up, you’ve already delved into calisthenics before. 

This can be a little confusing because lots of people use “calisthenics” and “bodyweight exercises” interchangeably, but they certainly are not the same thing. 

“Bodyweight exercise” is an umbrella term for any workout routine or discipline that you can perform using your body weight for resistance. 

“Calisthenics” is one of those disciplines. Others include zygostatics, yoga, and parkour. Gymnastics also falls under this category, but it’s one that actually incorporates some movements that you can also find in calisthenics, like tricep dips on parallel bars. We understand that the overlap is a bit confusing, so remember: all calisthenic exercises are bodyweight exercises, but not all bodyweight exercises constitute calisthenics. 

Calisthenics movement actually dates as far back as Ancient Greece and was used by Alexander the Great’s armies to train. The word itself actually comes from the Greek words “kalos” and “sthenos,” which translate to “beautiful” and “strength,” respectively, because calisthenics is all about training strength and physique. 

Why Should I Try Calisthenics Exercise? 

You should give calisthenics a shot because it comes with a whole lot of benefits, like:

Body Awareness

Working with your body weight is a surefire way to learn all about how your body works. When we load our muscles with weight at the gym, sometimes it’s easy to lose track of exactly what’s going on just under the skin. Gaining strength with calisthenics workouts requires a deep understanding of how your body moves and what it takes to have great form. 

Familiarity 

The exercises associated with calisthenics are classic. If you went to public school in the United States, you’ll probably recognize them from old fitness tests. There’s a good chance you won’t have to learn anything new to start doing calisthenics. 

Accessibility 

Calisthenics is available to anyone who can exercise. If you can use your arms, you can do a push-up. If you can use your legs, you can do a squat. Kids can do it. The elderly can do it. Anyone in between can do it. 

Cost

Calisthenics can definitely be enhanced by equipment like pull-up bars but, for the most part, can be done outside at no cost. 

It’s Fun!

Plain and simple, calisthenics is a good time. Sometimes it feels more like playing than exercising, making it easy to get lost in (in the best way). 

Who is Calisthenics Good For? 

Calisthenics is good for everyone—from exercise novices to Olympic athletes. It makes us more spatially aware, and it provides the muscle strength we need to support our bodies in the gym and our day-to-day lives and the movements therein.

The one drawback to calisthenics to keep in mind is that it has limits, specifically in the lower body. It takes a lot of squats and lunges to build muscle once you reach a certain level of strength training, which brings us to our next point:

You don’t just have to do calisthenics. You can incorporate it into other workout routines. If you already frequent our gym locations, there’s a good chance you’re already doing this. 

What Are Some Examples of Calisthenic Exercises?

Basic calisthenic exercises include: 

  • Push-Ups
  • Sit-Ups
  • Tricep Dips 
  • Planks
  • Lunges
  • Jumping Jacks

We’re sure you recognize these, which is why we love calisthenics: it can act as a potential stepping stone into the fitness world. 

Once you dig deeper into the discipline, you’ll see more advanced exercises like:

  • Muscle-Ups take you from a hanging position on a bar to being on top of the bar with your arms straight, upper thighs touching the bar, and feet pointing down. 
  • Flag, a static position in which you hold two points of a vertical bar with your body parallel to the floor. Yes, this is as incredible as it sounds. 
  • Pistol Squat, a single-leg squat in which your glutes just about touch the floor. 

Calisthenics is an incredible way to gain some mind-body connection while building a whole lot of strength and looking extremely cool while you do it. It’s a great introduction to exercising altogether—it’s a low-equipment, low-pressure, and high-energy way to get your body charging toward all of your fitness goals!

The post What is Calisthenics?  appeared first on Chuze Fitness.

Delicious and Easy Stuffed Peppers

Delicious and Easy Stuffed Peppers

 

Need a new healthy and fun dinner recipe?! This will be your new go-to! These stuffed peppers and perfect for meal prep or dinner – plus, the whole family is sure to enjoy them.

 

Ingredients
  • 6 Large Bell Peppers
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 lb ground turkey (or meatless alternative)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. Cut bell peppers in half and remove seeds and core. Place cut peppers into pan.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add onions. Cook until soft for 5 minutes. Add corn, ground turkey, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until meat is done.
  4. Mix in salsa, taco seasonings, cooked rice, black beans, and vegetable broth.
  5. Fill pepper halves with the mixture. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove peppers from the oven and top with cheese. Bake for 15 minutes and serve!

The post Delicious and Easy Stuffed Peppers appeared first on VASA Fitness.

Original source: https://vasafitness.com/2021/05/delicious-and-easy-stuffed-peppers/

Kids Club News: May 2021

Hello Kids Club Families!

May’s newsletter is all about celebrating Mothers and the great outdoors. We would love to see how your family celebrates this month. Share your fun with us on Instagram #ChuzeFamily. 

We want to encourage our Chuze Family to consider donating diapers to a local diaper bank this Mother’s day to support families in need.

With all of our gratitude and appreciation,
The Chuze Fitness Kids Club Team

If your local Kids Club remains closed, not to worry! You won’t be charged Kids Club dues until we’re up and running again.

 

May Craft Calendar

We love to see your family’s creativity with each of these crafts.

May 7th- National Space Day

May 10th- National Clean Your Room Day

May 13th- International Hummus Day

May 13th- National Apple Pie Day

May 29th- Learn About Composting Day

May 24th- National Scavenger Hunt Day

May 26th- National Paper Airplane Day

Get inspiration for more outdoor activities with PBS Kids for Parents.

 

Inclusive Mother’s Day Celebration

  1. Mama Played Baseball by David A. Adler
  2. Mama Outside, Mama Inside by Dianna Hutts
  3. A Mama for Owen by Marion Dane Bauer
  4. My Mom by Anthony Browne 
  5. Does A Kangaroo Have A Mother Too? By Eric Carle
  6. Deep in The Sahara by Kelly Cunnane
  7. Her Mother’s Face by Roddy Doyle
  8. Is Your Mama a Llama? By Deborah Guarino
  9. Most Loved in All the World by Tonya Cherie Hegamin
  10. Hush by Mingfong Ho
  11. Mama, Do You Love Me? By Barbara M. Joosse
  12. Did I Tell You I Love You Today? By Deloris Jordan
  13. Where is Baby’s Mommy? By Karen Katz
  14. Lala Salama: A Tanzanian Lullaby by Patricia MacLachlan
  15. Mama’s Saris by Pooja Makhijani
  16. I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
  17. Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee
  18. Someday by Alison McGhee
  19. Mommy, Mama, and Me by Leslea Newman
  20. A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager
  21. The Mommy Book by Todd Parr
  22. The Kissing Hand by Audry Penn
  23. In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco
  24. Back into Mommy’s Tummy by Thierry Robberecht
  25. Have You Seen My Duckling? By Nancy Tafui
  26. Hair for Mama by Kelly A. Tinkham
  27. My Mama Says There Aren’t Any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins or Things by Judith Viorst
  28. Piglet and Mama by Margaret Wild
  29. A Chair for My Mother 25th Anniversary Edition (Reading Rainbow Books) by Vera B. Williams
  30. Mama Always Comes Home by Karma Wilson

For tips to make Mother’s Day and everyday more inclusive, check out SesameWorkshop.org.

  1. Talk about all kinds of families. Not every family has one mom and one dad. Make it safe to celebrate any supportive relationship a child has.
  2. Ask children in LGBTQ families for direction and follow their lead. Use their words when talking about their families.
  3. Talk to older children about gender stereotypes. Ask about the qualities that mothers and fathers have or the roles they often play and why these have been culturally assigned to each gender. Ask if either a mom or dad could have these qualities or fill these roles.

 

Kids Club Fitness

We’ve got a special Mother’s Day workout coming your way! Keep an eye out for an email from us, or watch our social media to learn how to join our FREE Mother’s Day workout on iChuze Fitness.

Don’t forget to also check out our FREE family workouts on Chuze On Demand.

 

Snack Corner

Nutella Bears by Teaspoons of Goodness

Ingredients: 

  • Rice cakes
  • Nutella
  • Bananas (sliced)
  • Blueberries

Steps: 

  1. Use a spatula to spread a couple tablespoons of Nutella onto each rice cake
  2. Slice a banana into 1/4″ pieces, place three on each rice cake, two for the ears, and one for the nose
  3. Now place two blueberries in the center of the rice cake for the eyes and one onto the banana nose (use a little bit of Nutella to keep it in place)
  4. Enjoy!

Watermelon Popsicles by Hello Little Home

Ingredients: 

  • 4 cups watermelon, seedless
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Steps: 

  1. Start by cutting the watermelon into one-inch cubes. Then combine the fruit in a blender with the fresh lime juice and a little sugar.
  2. Puree the watermelon until it’s totally smooth. It should only take a minute or two.
  3. Pour juice into popsicle molds and place in freezer until frozen
  4. Enjoy!

 

Jokes

Q: Does February like March?

A: No, but April May

Q: What season is it best to go on a trampoline?

A: Spring Time

Q: Why didn’t the elephant carry a suitcase on his RV trip?

A: Because he already had a trunk!

The post Kids Club News: May 2021 appeared first on Chuze Fitness.

What Is The Difference Between Mindfulness vs. Meditation?

What Is The Difference Between Mindfulness vs. Meditation?

Every health journey, regardless of why you started it, is about both the mind and the body. If you ignore one piece of this duo, you can only get so far along that journey.  

If you are anywhere on the mental health side of this path, there’s a good chance that you’ve come across the terms “mindfulness” and “meditation.” Sometimes these are used interchangeably, which can make figuring out how to incorporate them into your health practice difficult. When it comes to anything—especially your health—knowledge is power. So, let’s break down these two concepts and explore how you can use them in your life.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the quality of being conscious about yourself and your surroundings in the present moment. 

Mindfulness is all about awareness. Think about yourself right now. What time of day is it? What colors and smells are around you? What does the seat you’re sitting in (or ground you’re standing on) feel like against your skin and the muscles beneath it? How do your clothes feel on your body? How is the quality of your breath? 

As you consider these questions and feel your mind moving around the room to sense the answers to them, you’re experiencing mindfulness. The purpose of this is to be present, to be in this very moment that’s happening to you right now. But what’s the point of that?

Well, being present and mindful can boost performance, reduce stress, and provide an environment for you to really consider any issue in. Being mindful allows you to have perspective, to recognize what’s important to you. We still need to consider the future when making choices and we need to acknowledge our pasts in order to move forward, but being present helps you put all of those ideas and worries onto the backburner so you can fully engage in the present moment. 

What is Meditation?

What going to the gym is for the body, meditation is for the mind. 

Meditation is a practice whereby we consciously take some time—be it thirty seconds or two hours—to train our sense of awareness. 

When you think about meditation, an image of a peaceful Monk in saffron-colored robes sitting with their legs crossed just might come to mind. While Buddhist Monks do train for a very long time to master meditation, the art isn’t exclusive to them. Meditation is a skill that has been and can be developed by people all around the world and there’s a good chance that you’ve actually done some meditative exercises without even realizing it (if you’ve ever prayed or paused for a second to take a deep breath while stressed, you’ve already dipped your toes into this practice).  

There are many types of meditation, but they all serve the same purpose: training awareness to help us get some perspective. Some types are meant to calm us down, others to develop qualities like compassion or gratitude. 

The benefits of meditation are actually pretty similar to those of mindfulness (we’ll get to why that is later), and include improved sleep, focus, self-awareness, and more, and is an excellent way to get to know yourself in your body and become more present. 

Mindfulness vs. Meditation 

We love this quote from Positive Psychology: mindfulness is a quality, meditation is a practice

We seek to be mindful all the time; moving through life while enjoying the present is what cheesy-but-accurate wood-carved signs are made of (“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow,” anyone?). Mindfulness is one of the keys to enjoying life and taking full advantage of it as it goes by. 

Meditation is more of a skill, that’s why it’s called a “practice”—you really need to practice it for it to work and improve your life. While we should strive to be mindful all day, meditation requires you to set aside a few moments to get your practice in. Think of it like going to the mental gym. 

Mindfulness and meditation are certainly connected, but they’re definitely not interchangeable concepts. It can be confusing when terms like “Mindfulness Meditation” (which is the practice of meditation specifically dedicated to cultivating more mindfulness) come into play. 

One way to wrap your head around this is to recognize that when we practice meditation, we are being mindful, but when we are being mindful, we aren’t always practicing meditation. 

How Do I Practice Mindfulness And Meditation? 

As we said, mindfulness is all about living in this moment. Since the default for most of us is not being mindful, there are a few things we can stop doing to improve mindfulness—like endless phone scrolling and TV binging, doing multiple things at once, and spending too much time, a. fretting over the past and b. worrying about the future. 

Meditation can be practiced in so many different ways, so how you want to approach it is really a personal decision. You can follow guided meditations on digital platforms like iChuze Fitness. You can go to a sound bath. You can even use physical movement like yoga to meditate. We have a whole blog post completely dedicated to how you can get started. 

Regardless of whether you decide to simply find more mindful moments in your life or to dedicate hours a day meditating, the pursuit of being present is always one full of potential for health and happiness. If you would like to get started today, try a 7-day free trial on iChuzeFitness.com and join in on a guided meditation with us.

 

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