Showing all posts in ‘Exercise Tips’

Perfect Your Golf Swing with help from a Vibration Plate

Do you enjoy a round of golf but not that stiff, achy feeling in your muscles the next day? To hit a golf ball with any degree of speed or accuracy you need to have a strong core and this includes abs, back, buttocks, hamstring and arm muscles. And this is where vibration plate training can help…

Vibration plates simulate muscle groups on an involuntary basis (meaning the muscles flex rapidly without resistance). Put in simple terms, a 45hz vibration will cause a muscle to contract and expand a massive 45 times per second. An exercise routine performed on a vibration plate rather than a solid floor will therefore be 45 times more effective.

Use a Vibration Plate for an effective cardio workout

Vibration plates can be used to help golfers build strength in their core muscle groups and will help posture. Targeted workouts are not only effective, but they also deliver results quickly and with an increase in core muscle strength you will be able to hit the ball with more power, more accurately and with less stiffness the morning after.


Bodybuilding and Strength Training

Body building differs from strength training in that its primary goals are to maximise muscle mass (promote hypertrophy) while reducing body fat, so sculpting your physique. It is a cosmetic activity, in which any gain in strength or power is a by-product.

On the positive side, bodybuilding has undoubtedly inspired many people to get involved in strength training and to think about improving their fitness. The sport certainly provides some spectacular visuals, especially at the highest competitive levels. However, for every person who is enthralled at the prospect of huge biceps, there is another whose primary aim is to simply keep his or her body healthy.

You may not want to be a bodybuilder, weightlifter or powerlifter. Instead you may simply want to look a bit better, increase your muscle mass a small amount and reduce your body fat levels. Perhaps you want to be able to cope better with the demands of daily life and be able to do this effectively into old age. Resistance training can assist you in achieving any or all of these goals.



Want To Stay Fitter For Longer?

If you think exercise is something that diminished with age then think again. If you want to stay healthy throughout your life then exercise is crucial. But how do we stay in shape when our bodies are perhaps telling us to slow down? Well, there are a number of tricks and tips you need to keep in mind; follow them and you will certainly be on your way towards a healthier life, no matter how old you are.

1. Do not ignore an injury

No matter what you age, an injury should never be ignored. If you ignore an injury in your youth you may well find it returns to haunt you in later life because you never gave the injury the full opportunity to recover. If you do receive an injury seek our professional advice at one, either from your doctor or a qualified sports therapist. Injury rehabilitation is not a standardised formality. The time it takes you to heal will be different that the time it takes someone else to heal. Let your body dictate the pace of recovery, but do keep up with any exercises your physiotherapist may set you.

2. Compete

There is no doubt that a little competition is good for you. Exercising alone can be boring, so try and workout with a partner or a group and set some challenges. They don’t need to be ultra competitive to spur you on so whether it is running a race or setting a new record time the competition will help you to stay motivated. If you use home gym equipment then set yourself some goals and challenges using one of the many pre-programmed routines your machine most likely has included in its computer.

3. Water

Hydration is crucial when exercising (in truth, it is crucial even when not exercising). With age the thirst sensation can decrease. If you find yourself feeling less thirsty don’t be fooled; keep drinking ideally up to 8 glasses of water each day. Before a run you should hydrate yourself with water, take sips throughout the run and drink more when you have finished the routine.

4. Massage

With age you will find it takes longer for your body to recover from exercise. In this instance you should treat yourself to a regular massage. Massage those tired legs by hand or grab yourself a massage tool from a health store. If your budget will allow why not pay for a specialist sports masseuse to give those tired legs, arms and back a monthly going over.

5. Keep Going!

Above all, you need to keep going with an active lifestyle. If some exercises become too much for you swap them for something a little less strenuous. A two mile jog could be changed to a two mile walk. The fresh air and exercise will still deliver a huge health benefit; the exercise will ensure you stay supple and the fresh air will clear your head and lift your spirits.

Staying active is so crucial, right throughout your life. So make a little effort today to do some exercise – keep up with it and you will be reaping the rewards in years to come.

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Increase Resistance & Boost Your Burn Rate

Want to get more from your fitness equipment? If your workout has reached a plateau and you are no longer seeing desired results you need to add some resistance to your routine. Did you know that running up stairs can increase your calorific burn rate by as much as 50%? If you work out on a cross trainer you can mimic this stair climbing action by ramping up the resistance. It may feel like you are wading through quick sand, but the demanding routine is certainly worth it.

By raising the resistance levels you force your body to fight harder against gravity and this will only have a beneficial effect on those thighs. Don’t be afraid to really set a high level of resistance; you don’t need to work out at this rate for long before you start seeing the effects.


Treadmill Workout Tip

A treadmill offers a great way for anyone to workout at home. But there are some tricks you need to know to help you make the most of your workout…

When outdoors, runners are often battling against the wind. Even a slight breeze can offer a certain amount of resistance and this forces you to run a little bit harder. When running indoors you do not have this, so you need to find other ways to challenge yourself. The incline you run on is a great way to add resistance to your treadmill workout. Set it to 1 or 2% and you will start battling against gravity, which ultimately forces your muscles to work harder.

You could also try alternatinge between incline and speed. Set and incline and run slower, then reduce it back to flat and run faster. Doing this during one workout can really boost your results.


Easy Ways to Boost Your Workout Session

If you are currently exercising at home and want to get the most from your fitness equipment then there are a few simple tips you should keep in mind. Give them a go, and see if your results improve:

  • Exercise in the morning

Exercising in the morning, before eating breakfast, can encourage your body to burn up more fat. But be sure you have stocked up on food the night before. If you exercise whilst feeling very hungry you will lack energy and this will be counter productive.

  • Bulk up on Fibre

After your morning exercise routine try and eat a fibre packed breakfast. Fibre helps to balance your energy levels and aids digestion. Oats are a great source of fibre, soa bowl of porridge each morning is a good idea.

  • Keep drinking

Water is so important and you need to stay well hydrated before, during and after exercising. Water helps the body to absorb vitamins and minerals. It also helps you to stay alert.

  • Eat regularly

If you are trying to lose weight it can be all to tempting to simply starve yourself. This is wrong and is not healthy. Instead, eat three healthy meals per day and up to three healthy snacks. Make sure your meals are balanced.

Give these tips a go and you should not only see your exercise results improve, but you should also feel much healthier, both in mind and body.


Vibration Plate Training for Accelerated Weight Loss

Vibration Plates offer one of the fastest ways to tone your body and shed weight.  The way we look and feel relies on strong muscles. Even when we are resting our bodies burn calories in line with our metabolism. The more muscles we have, the more calories we burn.

If your metabolism is sluggish then vibration plate training may give it the boost it needs… up to an 18% increase from three 10 minute sessions per week for 6 weeks (Bonner Physical Therapy, 2003). So, even when relaxing you may be burning through considerably more calories with Vibration Training. When you combine vibration training with a cardio workout you have the complete package – firming and toning and optimum weight loss!


Avoiding the Dreaded Plateau

Is your exercise routine showing slow signs of progress? You may have reached the dreaded plateau stage, where despite your best efforts your body has become resistant to the exercise routine. So, how do you give your body that much needed boost? Simple… get out of that comfort zone and mix things up a little! Try combining your usual routine with something new – doing squats and lunges on a Vibration Plate will only take up 10 minutes of your time, but will give you serious results. Instead of simply jogging throughout the week why not try adding rowing to your routine.

By breaking out of your comfort zone you will start exercising muscles which are usually neglected. Granted, this is not for the feint hearted but hard work and determination will pay dividends in the end!


Thinking of eating that chocolate bar? Think again…

Chocolate – we all love it and it is often so hard to resist. But before you remove that wrapper and take a bite have a think about how long it will take you to burn off those calories…

A four finger Kit-Kat contains 233 calories. As yummy as they taste, do you really want to eat all four fingers if you need to exercise this much just to burn off those calories:

Swimming for 25 minutes

or Running on a Treadmill for 27 minutes

or Cycling on a Bike or Exercise Bike for 30 minutes

or Aerobics or workoing out on a Treamill for 37 minutes.

Those chocolatey treats do taste good, but if you are serious about your weight loss goals then you need to really curb your intake. If you need that cocoa hit then by all means have a little bit, but not the whole bar. Save a little for later. It will be worth it in the long run!


How much Exercise do I need?

We all know that we need to exercise throughout the week to stay fit and healthy. But do we know how much exercise is required?

According the the NHS Live Well Campaign we should all participate in physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days of the week. Physical activity can be described as anything that gets you out of breath, so could be anything from running to stair climbing. Children should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

If you think that 30 minutes is too much for you to complete you should remember that this does not need to be done all at once. Split the physical activity into three 10 minute bursts – you will be amazed at how good it makes you feel.

So, whether you are walking to work each day or are exercising on a treadmill each evening you will be on the way to a fitter, more healthy body. Keep up the good work!


Choosing the Right Fitness Equipment

Orbus Leisure have a great range of home fitness equipment, but if you are unsure about which piece of aerobic apparatus is right for you read out quick guide:

Elliptical Cross Trainers

These are low impact machines which are suitable for all abilities. They place less stress and strain on your joints and workout the whole body, improving cardio vascular fitness and stamina over time. An elliptical cross trainer allows you to burn muscle and shed weight faster than other pieces of gym equipment. For this reason they are incredibly popular.

Exercise Bikes

Cycling is a great cardio exercise and if you want to tone your lower body then an exercise bike is ideal. There are two main types of exercise bike; upright and recumbent. An upright closely resembles a traditional bicycle whereas a recumbent has the pedals positioned in front of the user.  Like a cross trainer, an exercise bike offers a low impact workout.

Treadmills (Running Machines)

A treadmill has long been one of the most popular pieces of fitness equipment, both for home use and in a commercial gym setting. The user can use the treadmill to walk, jog, run and sprint so you can train whatever the weather. If space is tight opt for a folding treadmill.

Rowing Machines

Rowing machines offer a challenging yet rewarding workout. The user will exercise the legs, torso, abs, arms and back and over time will improve suppleness and posture. Because the motion is rhythmical and flowing the exercise is low impact, reducing stress on your joints.

We hope this brief overview helps you to decide which piece of gym equipment is right for you. However, if you are still unsure just give us a call – we are the experts in home fitness and our friendly advisors will be able to help you choose the product that is right for you.


Tips to Keep You Motivated

Motivation is the key to any successful exercise regime; lose it and you will see results stall. You need to keep your motivation levels high but this is often easier said than done. Here are our top tips to help you stay focused and motivated in order to get the most from your fitness equipment:

1.       Set yourself targets. Targets are a great way to really challenge yourself. The trick is to set realistic targets, like imaginary stepping stones. Once you have reached the first target you will feel inspired to reach the next.

2.       Reward yourself. Once you have reached a certain target why not treat yourself… for example, one target may be to drop a dress size. When you achieve this why not reward yourself with that pair of “skinny” jeans you have had your eye on?

3.       Surround yourself with motivated people. Do not let a bad influence rub off on you! You could try exercising with a friend or a team. The chances are if they are motivated they will help you to stay in the same frame of mind.

4.       Fit in a workout, even when you are busy. We all have busy weeks but it can be far too easy to skip exercise all together, blaming the pressures of life. But take at least ten minutes to exercise even when busy. You can do thinks like  using the stairs instead of the lift, or parking a little further away from the office. It all helps.

So as you can see there are a number of ways you can keep your desire and determination levels high. If you have any other tips why not share them with us?


Go on a “Fun Run” with your Treadmill and your iPod

A treadmill is one of the most popular pieces of home fitness equipment, but by their nature the routine is repetitive and it is easy to become bored. Thankfully, you can now buy treadmills with MP3 technology, meaning you can plug in your iPod and listen to music and watch videos whilst running.

And for an added bit of fun you can now download an App called the “Run Fun Trainer” (for iPod and iPhone). This amazing app allows you to follow any route in the world whilst on your treadmill. Fancy a race? You can stimulate real race routes in real time; the app tells you when to raise and lower the gradient and the visuals make you feel like you are really there.

Anything that makes exercise more fun gets the big Thumbs Up from us!


Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

The terminology that surrounds exercise can be confusing. Two of the most confusing, yet crucial terms are “aerobic” and “anaerobic”. To get the most from any workout you need to complete a level of both aerobic and anaerobic training. But what exactly do these two terms actually mean?

Aerobic training is generally a steady form of exercise. It means that you are exercising with sufficient oxygen to meet all your body’s needs; your circulation is boosted and O2 is being pumped to all your organs. A brisk walk or a light jog could be considered as aerobic exercise.

Anaerobic exercise is much more demanding. You will be training at a high intensity for short periods of time and it is during this type of exercise that you will find you become short of breath, perspiring and with red cheeks. Sprinting, rowing or weight training are classed as anaerobic forms of exercise.

During any workout session you should try and combine both. Aerobic exercise will help to keep your heart healthy and your fitness levels high. Anaerobic exercise will then boost your stamina and aid recovery. Again, we go back to variety being the key to your workout. Look to complete at least one anaerobic session and two aerobic sessions per week.

You can choose to workout with fitness equipment for a combination of the two; a cross trainer workout can combine both if you use the programme settings which will incorporate a warm up, a period of high intensity exercise and a cool down.


Choosing the Right Fitness Equipment

Making the decision to get fit and healthy is one of the most important things that you will do in your life.  For many of us, taking care of our body can be low on our list of priorities.  In the rush and bustle of modern life, we can find it hard to find the time to exercise.  Using fitness equipment to exercise can make it a little bit easier to stay motivated and to schedule time in for exercise.

Fitness Equipment for Weight Loss

One of the very best ways to lose weight is to combine exercise with a healthy diet.  You need to make sure that you eat lots of fruit and vegetables and restrict your carbohydrate intake.   Once you have sorted out your diet, you can help your body to burn kilojoules by exercising on a regular basis.  There are lots of different types of fitness machines that you can use to help you burn fat.  One of the most popular fitness machines used to lose weight is the cross-trainer.  This piece of fitness equipment works all of your major muscle groups simultaneously, so it can be very effective.

Fitness Equipment for Cardiovascular Health

Increasing your heart rate on a regular basis can really help to reduce the risk of having a heart attack.  Lots of people try to focus on working out in a way that involves increasing the flow of blood to the heart.  A running machine can be a very good piece of exercise equipment for aerobic fitness.  It also has the advantage of letting you work out in a safe environment, regardless of the weather conditions.

Planning Your Workout Routine

It is very important to plan your routine so that you can stick to it.  Draw up a list of times during the week that you have free and schedule regular exercise.  Many people aim for 3 sessions per week at 30 minutes to 1 hour per session.


Want to Try a New Sport for 2011 – Part 4: Rowing

All month we are looking at new sports you can try this year. Today we are focusing on rowing; a super activity that is often overlooked.

Rowing is not some elitist activity reserved for the boat clubs of Oxford and Cambridge. You can enjoy this activity at a number of parks throughout the country and even if you only do it for fun a thirty minute rowing session can work wonders for your health and piece of mind.

Of course, the British weather does not always favour a trip out to the local boating lake, so you could consider using a rowing machine. Like any other home fitness equipment, a rowing machine can be used throughout the year and if used regularly it can deliver exceptional results.

A rowing machine is great for anyone looking to lose weight thanks to its huge calorie burning potential. When using a rower you are actually exercising large groups of muscles in both your upper and lower body in a stable and rythmic manner. As you build speed, this cardio workout really can blitz the fat on your thighs, stomach, arms and buttocks.

As a rowing machine offers you an all over body workout you are looking at a shorter exercise routine than an exercise bike. A good session will be between 15-25 minutes and if you are a beginner expect to come of the machine with shaky legs and red cheeks. You cannot really slack off on a rowing machine – the machine demands a lot from you and in turn delivers a great deal.

Rowing machines are affordable and make a great investment for anyone serious about getting in shape and losing some weight. Why not try one today!


Want to Try a New Sport for 2011 – Part 3: Vibration Plates

Want to shape up in a hurry? Find you have very little spare time to dedicate to exercise? If the answer to either question is “Yes” then a Vibration Plate workout may be just want you need.

Vibration Plates are enjoying huge global recognition right now and with little wonder… Not only can then help to improve your overall fitness levels but they can also help reduce cellulite, improve circulation and encourage weight loss, all from a relatively short workout session of around 10 minutes, 3-4 times per week.

It is important to understand that Vibration Plates do not provide you with a no effort workout. In order to get the most from your exercise session you do need to exercise whilst using them. But these exercises can be straightforward and easy to complete, such as squats, lunges and press-ups. The vibrations cause your muscles to flex, contract and expand at a rapid rate and when combined with light exercise the benefits are huge. Put simply, you would need to undertake around 50minutes of a standard aerobic workout to gain the same results as a ten-minute vibration plate workout.

Vibration plates were one reserved exclusively for gyms thanks to their prohibitive price tag. However, they are now widely available for home use. Orbus Leisure can offer unbeatable deals on Vibration Plates from leading names BH Fitness and Crazy Fit.


Want to Try a New Sport for 2011 – Part 2: Treadmill Workouts

The treadmill is one of the most popular pieces of fitness equipment around. Look in any gym and the chances are you will see several cross trainers lined up and in use. And it is easy to understand why… Running, jogging, sprinting and walking are activities we can all do and a treadmill allows you to do all four in one straightforward routine.

Check out the BH Fitness EC02 Treadmill from Orbus Leisure

To get the most from your treadmill workout there are a few things you may not have considered…

1.       You control the Pace

With a good quality treadmill you are able to set the pace. This means that you can tailor the workout to suit your ability and deliver on your overall goals. You should avoid using the treadmill at one single speed. Variety is the key to any workout, so start off with a warm up and then try incorporating some hill climbs and descents. These will really get the heart pumping and the muscles working to the max.

2.       Get your Running Posture Right

Posture is important, particularly when you are running on a treadmill because you can be tempted to cling on to the hand rails and slouch forward. Let go, stand tall and run with a straight spine. If you are hunched over you will not be running comfortably and you could risk injury.

3.       Get Motivated

We often talk about how hard it is to stay motivated. Many of us are as keen as mustard in January to get fit and lose weight, but by Easter our good intentions have fallen by the wayside. Think about why you are running and what you want to achieve from your treadmill workout. If necessary, pin a photo of a slimmer you onto the wall in front of the unit, so as you run you can visualise how you will look with a little hard work and effort. If you find you get bored get some music on or watch TV whilst you run. This stimulation can really help you to get in a rhythm.

If you are serious about getting in shape then a treadmill is really worth some serious consideration. Running is a great exercise that can really transform the shape of your body (for the better). If you are thinking of buying a treadmill check out our quality models today.


Want to Try a New Sport for 2011 – Part 1: Jogging

Want to get in shape? Has getting fit and losing weight featured in your New Year Resolutions list? Most of us would admit that we want to live a little healthier but it is no good just saying it; words mean nothing without action. So, get up, dust of your running shoes and get moving.

Over the next few weeks we will be updating our blog with some great health and fitness tips and will feature exercises that are easy to do, even if you have never worked out before.

In our first article we are focusing on jogging.

Jogging is perhaps the easiest and cheapest of all sports. In terms of fitness equipment all you need is a good pair of running shoes, shorts and a T-Shirt and you are ready to start. If you have never jogged before don’t be too ambitious. Plan a relatively short and simple route close to your home and head out with a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated. If jogging the entire route proves too challenging try alternating between jogging and fast walking. This is actually a great way to achieve a good cardio workout and when you are ready you can even add fast sprints into the mix. As your ability increases you should lengthen the course and try to add more challenging obstacles like hills and steps. Anything that increases your burn rate will deliver more impressive results.

If you don’t like the idea of running solo why not join a local running club? They offer sessions for people of all abilities and ages so as well as getting fit you may also improve your social life!

Many people are put off jogging by two things, the first being the great British weather (after all, who wants to run when it is cold, wet and windy outside?!). The second is our long dark nights, which can be particularly off-putting for the lone female jogger. In this case why not consider buying a treadmill. Treadmills (also known as running machines) can offer you a great run from the comfort of your own home and many models include settings that offer variety in terms of speed and levels of difficulty.  Orbus Leisure has a great treadmill from leading fitness equipment manufacturer BH Fitness starting at an affordable £499 with free delivery. Look for the BH Fitness EC02 Treadmill today.

Whatever your preference, jogging really is a superb form of exercise that will boost your health and fitness levels within weeks. With this in mind, get those old running shoes out of the cupboard and get moving!

The BH Fitness EC02 Treadmill from Orbus Leisure


Losing Weight and Exercising More Top New Year Resolution Polls

According to British newspaper the Mirror around 66% of us will be making a new year’s resolution and at the top of the list is weight loss, with 55% of people saying they want to drop the pounds during 2011. Exercise also features highly, with 49% of people saying they intend to workout more over the course of the year.

But, we all know the hard part of any new year resolution is actually sticking to it. If you are serious about shaping up in 2011 then grab yourself some fitness equipment for use at home. We have a number of products available with free fitness guides and workout charts and out best selling Vibration Plate, the Powervibe CF1250 even comes with a free workout DVD, designed to help you get the most from your workout.


Why Exercising at Home Makes Great Sense

In these tricky financial times a gym membership really is an expensive luxury and with such a vast array of fitness equipment on the market right now it could be worth considering working out at home instead. Think about it… you can work out in the comfort of your own home, jump in your own bath or shower afterwards and avoid the car journey to and from the gym whilst saving yourself the monthly membership fee.

There are plenty of things you can do to get in shape and none require gym membership. If your budget is completely restricted then pull on your trainers and get out jogging. It’s free and will help you to shape up. Alternatively, if your budget will stretch to it why not buy yourself a piece of home gym equipment? These are some great products that can literally transform your physique if used regularly. If space is limited then you may be surprised to find some great compact products, such as the Orbus Leisure eTone Compact Vibration Plate, that are just as effective as their full size counterparts.

Exercising at home should be no less fun than the gym and you could save yourself a fortune, so dust off your trainers, turn up your favourite CD on the stereo and get moving!


Are Vibration Plate Trainers Better than Aerobics?

Vibration exercise, favoured by Sports Stars to Pop Icons, is better than aerobics or swimming at fighting the flab, a study has found.

Females, who followed a sensible diet and used a Vibration Plate or Power Plate three times a week, lost almost twice as much weight as those who combines their diet with more conventional forms of exercise.

The machines were proven to be particularly effective at reducing dangerous fat from around the stomach, research has proved.

Vibration Plates look like something like large weighing scales with a central platform with vibrates. The user stands, sits, leans or does simple and gentle exercise on the platform. The theory is that the vibrations cause the muscles to contract and relax much more frequently than in a normal exercise scenario.

Researchers from the European Congress on Obesity tracked 61 overweight and obese women and men, who were given a variety of diet and exercise programs to follow for a period of six months. Those participants who used a Vibration Plate along with a low-calorie diet, lost on average 11 per cent of their original bodyweight, the researchers found. This compared with 6 per cent for those who dieted but did no exercise and 7 per cent for those who dieted and did conventional work-outs such as aerobics, running and cycling.

That is almost a 90% increase in effectiveness for someone looking to reduce their weight and improve their physique.


Why Rest is as important as Exercise when it comes to Weight Loss and Fitness Levels

Your eyes are not deceiving you…! Rest really is crucial when it comes to losing weight, sharpening up your physique and improving your overall levels of fitness. But before you head off for a night slouched on the sofa you need to note that we are advocating quality rest, not laziness! And the best kind of rest you can give yourself is a good nights’ sleep.

Let’s think about it… if you have a short amount of sleep at night, then work a full day and arrive back home shattered you are more likely to eat a quick and often unhealthy evening meal, reach for that glass of wine or beer and end up sitting in front of the TV, before retiring to bed to complete the same cycle over and over again. If you are tired you are far less likely to hop on to your cross trainer for a 30 minute session of intensive exercise.

According to research the average adult needs around seven hours sleep each night. Any less than this and you increase the chances that your body will produce higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone known to promote hunger and fat retention.

So, if your weight loss goals seem a mile away have a good think about your sleeping habits. Improve your sleeping patterns and you will be much more inclined to come home from a busy day at work with enough energy to do some exercise at home. And of course, exercise boosts your happy hormones and will make a good nights’ sleep far more likely.


3 Easy Ways to Stay in Shape This Christmas

Christmas is a tricky time of year when it comes to over indulgence and many of us find it all too easy to allow our fitness and weight loss goals to be de-railed. Whilst we are not advising you to avoid letting your hair down we do have some tips to share with you that will help you stay on track this December. Why not give them a go…

1.      Alcohol

Alcohol is packed full of “invisible” calories. The chances are you have several parties and get-togethers planned for December and alcohol will possibly feature at most, if not all of them. If you are going to drink alcohol try alternating with a glass of water. And if you drink spirits with mixers go for the low calorie options. Avoid binge eating at the end of the night and don’t nurse your hangover with a fry-up! Instead drink plenty of water at bed time and eat lots of fibre and fruit in the morning.

2.      Keep Active!

If you want to keep on top of your health and fitness levels over Christmas you really do need to stay active. Ok, so you may not have the time to work out as much but you can burn off those calories in other ways. Enjoy the time off work with some long walks in the fresh winter air, or perhaps ask your better half for a new piece of home fitness equipment like a Vibration Plate or Treadmill. Encourage the kids to get moving by taking them on a bike ride or a trip to the beach. You will all feel the benefit rather than a day slouched in front of the television.

3.      Shop Sensibly

The supermarkets love to distract you from your healthy routine over Christmas. They practically encourage over consumption with bargain offers of multipacks of calorie packed snacks, treats and puddings. Even some pre-prepared vegetables can be coated in butter and oil so take a minute to note the nutrition information on the packaging. The average Christmas dinner provides a whopping 3000 calories, but yours doesn’t need to. With lean turkey, freshly steamed veggies and low fat deserts you can make wonderful, guilt free feast for the family.

The key to a healthy Christmas is moderation. Of course have a drink or two but take it steady. Think about what you are buying because if it goes in your shopping trolley it will more than likely end up in your mouth. Whatever you do, enjoy yourself. And remember, there is always the New Year to get back in shape if it all goes a little pear shaped!


Getting the Most from your Rowing Machine Workout

The rowing machine is one of the best ways to achieve a good cardio vascular workout, but it is also one of the most physically demanding pieces of home gym equipment. Despite offering great results, many users find a rowing machine simply too physically demanding so avoid it all together.

To get the most from your rowing machine you need to follow some simple steps. Use it correctly and you will be amazed at the rapid change in your physique.

Pace Yourself

You should start your rowing routine slowly, to allow your muscles to warm up and avoid placing negative stress on your hips, knees, ankles and back. Start with a low resistance and row at a steady, comfortable pace. Even at this preliminary stage you can set yourself goals, so keep an eye on your strokes per minute.

Increase the Intensity

After a warn-up session of around 5-10 minutes you can start to up the pace. To challenge your body as your strength builds you can also try increasing the resistance. Again, set yourself goals and challenge your previous personal best.

Increase the Distance

Over time you will find that you are able to increase the distance you can row. Set targets and increase the distance in around 200 metre increments. Keep checking your strokes per minute and on the next session try and push yourself to increase this.

Warm Down

As important as a warm up, a warm down is crucial. Rowing is so physically intensive that if you simply stop and jump off your muscles will be incredible sore the next day (to the point that you risk injury).  So, reduce the intensity, reduce the pace and row slowly and steadily for at least ten minutes, decreasing the pace until you come to a natural stop.

The Orbus Leisure R-Elite Rowing Machine