Archive for the ‘Working Out’ Category
Posted by terrepruitt on June 30, 2012
I teach Nia. I have been teaching Nia for three and a half years. Not as many people who I talk to have heard of Nia as have heard of Zumba so I am constantly being asked the difference between Nia and Zumba. Since I am often asked I am often thinking about them and comparing them. First, they are actually the same in that music is played and participants dance to it. Second, in both the instructor leads the participants through the various dance moves. Third, participants of both claim they are both fun. One difference is Nia is an experience in five sensations, Zumba seems to concentrate on one.
The experience is such a big part of Nia we actually call them the five sensations of Nia. I have posted about them before (FAMSS). They are the sensation of flexibility, of agility, of mobility, of strength, and of stability. In a Nia class your body will move in a way that allows you to sense the energy moving out and away. You will bend and stretch to play with flexibility, either retaining what you have or improving upon it. There are moves in the routines that require the start and the stop. The movement that is agility could be done with our feet, our arms, our hands, our bodies, our heads or a combination of body parts but we sense the start and the stop. With every routine there is a lot of mobility, some routines have more than others, but all of them that I have experienced have a lot. With mobility it is just the same as agility in that it could be a body part that is moving or our whole body. Whatever the case there is a lot of movement from each joint that helps create a healthy joint by allowing the fluid to move to it and within it. Then we also play with strength. We might squeeze our muscles sensing the energy moving in as if the bones are being hugged by the muscles. We might do squats or sit-ups, punches and/or kicks, but there is time where we play with strength. I say Nia is very big on balance because we do many moves that requires us to be stable. Many of our moves are balancing on one leg, could be a kick, could be a stance, but it requires stability. Moving from one move to the next often requires us to call upon our stability. In a Nia routine we experience all of these sensations. I’ve reached the conclusion that Zumba is primarily agility.
In Zumba the moves are always fast. So it is a constant state of start and stop. The only sensation I sense while doing Zumba is agility. Fast start, fast stop . . . . even when there is a stretch where your muscles are yearning for a second to move to their fullest length, it is a fast stretch that does not allow for the muscle to be fully stretched. Doing a full hour of agility is not a bad thing at all. It can be fun and it can produce a lot of sweat. And many of us are programmed to think that sweat equals a good workout. I think that if you are adding Zumba to a stretching program that has some balance practice in it that is great.
I am also a believer that there are a lot of things that compliment Nia too. I actually think that if you like Nia and Zumba and you are able to do both that is a nice combination. You get two different types of cardio. One that is a workout in the sensation of agility and one that can move you through more use of the entire body to get that heart pumping.
I really believe that whatever gets you moving is GREAT. I think that you have to like what you do in order to make it a constant in your life. So Zumba, Nia, Jazzercise, U-Jam, yoga, kickboxing, bootcamp, weight training, whatever works for you is great. Do what you will do! That is the key!
It is that I am always asked about the difference between Zumba and Nia that I am always thinking about it and this was my latest thought after I did a Zumba class. I think I posted before about how I am left wanting to extend and finish my moves in Zumba and it dawned on me that it is the sensation of agility that is predominant in Zumba. Some Zumba classes I have attended do take a song to stretch at the end, but not all of them. So I guess it depends on the instructor. Nia instructors are encouraged to infuse their classes and the routines with their personalities, so I am sure that every Nia class has a few differences too.
Both Nia and Zumba are great cardio workouts. It just depends on what you want to do during your workout and what you want to get out of it. Do what you will do!
So, what is it that you do?
Posted in Nia, Working Out | Tagged: agility, bootcamp, cardio dance, cardio workout, dance exercise, FAMSS, five sensations, flexibility, Jazzercise, kickboxing, Mobility, Nia, Nia Classes, Nia instructor, Nia Moves, Nia participants, Nia routines, Nia Teacher, Nia vs Zumba, stability, strength, U-Jam, Ujam, weight training, Yoga, Zumba, Zumba classes, Zumba instructor, Zumba participants, Zumba routines | 11 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on October 8, 2011
I teach Nia. Nia is a cardio dance workout done in bare feet. It is no impact (or very low – I tend to hop a bit because I am having so much fun!) but allows for high intensity. Impact and intensity are different. I love Nia, but I also love other types of workouts. When I do other types of workouts they usually require shoes because often times the workouts get their intensity from impact. You might already know all of this because I have shared it before. You might also know — because I have shared this before — that I also love Turbo Jam. That is the exercise program designed for home use, as in DVDs, by the incredibly cute and bubbly Chalene Johnson. You have probably read me say before, “No matter how many times I do Chalene’s DVDs she makes me smile.” Her energy is infectious. Well, I’ve done the DVDs I have a lot over the years so today I decided to do them a little different. I decided to combine two things I love. I wore my MBTs while doing Turbo Jam.
Because of my toe/foot situation I had not been doing Turbo Jam a lot, but I am starting to do it again. I do it regular tennis shoes, just some cross trainers, and I sometimes have to think a lot to not move my foot in a toe position that hurts. When you do any type of workout in which you wear shoes you have to think about it a bit more when you are on carpet. Carpet tends to make it a little more difficult to twist on your toes and things, so sometimes it is better to not do that so much in order to 1) save the carpet and 2) save your knees. Even though I have always wanted to do a Turbo Jam workout in my MBTs I thought it would be more strenuous on my recovering foot. But it wasn’t really. It was fine. It was fun. MBTs really have the body using different muscles because the way the sole is engineered. So it was really fun to do a workout I have done at least a hundred times and have it feel different.
The MBTs really made me concentrate on what I was doing. When I do my Turbo Jam DVDs I have a tendency to think about other things. I just follow the moves and think or sing, I am not always concentrating on what I am doing. The Masai Barefoot Technology footwear really had me thinking about balancing properly and not just throwing my limb out. When I threw it out too far without being aware then I somewhat got off balance. Not just off balance in a way that the shoe is designed to make you be unbalanced, but my foot was positioned incorrectly in the MBT so I had to be aware of how I was extending. It was really nice. As I said it was nice to experience the workout in a very new way even though I have done it at least a hundred times. It was nice to have to really think about the muscles that enable balance. It was nice to have to think about balance in order to make certain my alignment was not off.
Now that my foot is so much better and I have confirmed that using my MBTs to do my cardio workouts that require shoes will not bother my foot, I plan to use them all the time. That is really one of the reasons I bought them. But I was not ready until now because I thought it would challenge my foot too much. It actually made toe movements easier because of the curve of the sole. The curve allows for easy almost automatic ball of foot or on the toe movements.
Yay! Newness in an old-but-beloved workout! Do you workout to DVDs? If you do, what is your favorite? Have you done them enough that you are ready to change ‘em up a bit?
Posted in Just stuff, Working Out | Tagged: bare foot workouts, cardio dance workout, Chalene Johnson, curved sole shoes, high intensity, high intensity workout, low impact workout, Masai Barefoot Technology, MBTs, Nia, Nia Teacher, no impact workout, Turbo Jam, workout DVDs | 8 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on August 18, 2011
One of my favorite workouts DVD besides my Nia routines is a ten minute one. It might be considered an old one as it is from 2004, but I love it. They always sell these things as a “Don’t have time to exercise” type of thing, but doing only a ten minute workout all the time won’t get you far. As I have said before when I was sharing my little ten minute workout in June, it is good when that is all you have time for but only every once in a while, honestly more is needed to reach fitness and health goals. This DVD, done by Lara Hudson, has five ten minute workouts on it. It has capability built into the DVD that allows you to play one workout or pick more than one to make a longer workout and they will play right in a row. You don’t have to start one, do it, then manually start another. When you set up the workout you pick the order you want them to play in. You can even pick one workout twice so you can do it two times.
The five workouts are an ab workout, a buns and thighs workout, an arm workout, a cardio workout, and a flexibility workout. There are about 10 exercises per workout — even with the leg workout. The number of times you do each exercise varies from 4 to 12.
I’ve actually only done the cardio workout once or twice because I prefer to do Nia or Turbo Jam as my cardio. I also like to do more than 10 minutes of cardio, but it could be that all of these together would work for you.
Lara has an easy way about her. The instruction is clear and easy to follow. Some times in her instructions she ends the word in a high tone and it never fails to make me laugh. She is pleasant to work out to. She also is very good at reminding you throughout the video to concentrate on each movement. She often says, “Controoool.” in a way that encourages you to keep the movement controlled. Precision is another key to Pilates and she does a good job getting you to remember that, too.
In the ab workout there are various sit-ups and leg lifts. There are roll ups and roll overs. Lara is very clear with her instruction regarding breathing, which is very helpful. This workout is done lying down.
The leg workout is done on the floor also. It contains the usual leg lifts and bridges, and maybe some other exercises that are not so usual. This workout has you do a set of exercises for one leg, then switch to the other leg. Then there is another set you do for each leg. Even though the workout is only ten minutes the pacing is nice and you really are able to get through about 10 different exercises.
They call the arm workout “Sculpting Pilates”. It is bicep curls and triceps extensions. There is shoulder and back work in there too. There might be some exercises in each workout that are new to you, but nothing to drastic. For this workout the basic stance is the Pilates V, heels together with the feet forming a V. At times we separate the feet, but most of it is done standing in the V.
The cardio portion of this DVD is a series of planks, push ups, curls, dipping lunges, leg lifts, swimmers, and mermaids. As with all of the workouts the flow is nice and Lara keeps you moving reasonable pace. Also, as with all the workouts, she gets a stretch in there. It isn’t a long stretch but just enough to help you “reset” if you need to.
The flexibility one consists of the cat and the cow, and other stretches that really get pretty much every part of your body — all in ten minutes.
I think this is a GREAT little Pilates workout DVD. It could even be a nice way to start to doing Pilates. If you have never done Pilates this could give you an idea of what to expect if you were to go to a class. It could help you learn a bit of the concentration and breathing. I really like this DVD. I feel it is a great addition to any workout program. It allows you to do from 10 minutes to 50 minutes in the order you want.
Have you ever done Pilates?
Posted in Working Out | Tagged: a buns and thighs workout, a cardio workout, ab workout, an arm workout, bridges, cardio workout, cat and the cow, center, concentration, control, flexibility workout, flow, full body stretch, leg lifts, lunges, Nia, Nia DVD, Nia exercise, Nia routine, Nia workout, Pilates, Pilates exercises, Pilates V, Pilates workout, planks, precision, sculpting exercises, sculpting workout, ten minute workout | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on May 31, 2011
There are a lot of 10 minute workouts. Ten minutes is really not a long time, it probably won’t get you to any lofty fitness goals, but that is where specificity comes in. If your goal is to run a marathon or bench press 200 pounds then 10 minutes of working out won’t get you there. You need to train specifically for specific goals. Ten minute workouts are good for other things. If you are really pressed for time and just need a quick fix. If you are new to exercising. If you are doing another form of working out and just want to add a little something more. If you are recovering from an injury. If you are just learning a new exercise. If you have ADD. There are a lot of good reasons and ways to incorporate a ten minute workout into your day.
There are also different ways you can do a workout for ten minutes. Again, how you do it depends on why you are doing it. If you are pressed for time sometimes just getting through it is what you need to do. That ten minutes will just help you feel like you did something good for yourself even if the rest of the day is jammed packed with a lot of other stuff. If you are just starting an exercise program it could be that getting through ten minutes is all you can do . . . it depends on the workout. If you have a great program that you do, say cardio, like Nia, but you want to add in a little training with weights or additional stretching a 10 minute workout could be perfect. And if you are recovering from an injury it could be that 10 minutes is all that you can do safely. When learning a new exercise it could be that 10 minutes is all that your brain can take at a time. Again, it all depends on why you are doing it AND what you are doing.
Before I hurt my foot, I had come up with a little 10 minute workout I felt was a good way to get a quick workout all over. I designed it to be done with the workout tools and toys I have. I only did it a few times before I hurt my foot. Since I really was having to concentrate on teaching my classes, I pretty much stopped doing everything else. So now I am feeling that a ten minute workout would be great for me because of a few of the reasons I stated above.
The list/workout is what you see pictured here. It is nothing revolutionary it is just 10 exercises that you do 10 times each in 10 minutes. In my next regularly scheduled post (Thursday) I will explain the list. In subsequent regularly scheduled posts (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays) I will give more detailed explanations of the exercises, modifications, and various things that come up related to this 10 minute workout. And everyday, I will post when I have done it. I will actually be doing some of the exercises in a modified fashion because of my foot. I have to modify my activity based on my teaching schedule and daily activity.
Anytime you want you to can do this list. Post in the comment that you did it too. Ask questions and I will either answer them in the comments or in a separate post. I think this is a great way for me to share some exercises with you. I hope you will join me in this 10 minute workout. Really 10 minutes isn’t that long. Ten exercises done 10 times each in 10 minutes. Ten Ten in Ten. You can do it. And you can let me know when you’ve done it. Ok? What do you say? Are you in?
Posted in Ten Minute Workout (Posts), Working Out | Tagged: 10 minute workout, bands, bent over lateral raises, biceps curls, BOSU, exercise, exercise program, fitness goals, hamstring curls, long lunges, lunges, modified activity, modified exercise, Nia, Nia exercise, Nia workout, push up, recovering from an injury, run a marathon, sit ups, specificity, squats, stability ball pass, stability ball sit up, ten minute workout, triceps, triceps extension, Triceps kick backs, workout | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on May 10, 2011
I heard about Nia about three years ago. I have been a Nia Teacher for almost two and a half years. Nia has been around since the early 80s, so about 28 years. Jazzercise has been around even longer than that, since 1969—if you can believe that. And Zumba, it has only been around 10 years. All of these dance workouts could have, at one point been considered exercise fads. But they have proven to be here to stay. This is a good thing. They will adjust and change over the years and probably be around for another 28, 42, and 10 years or more. But what about some of the fads?
A lot of exercise fads have been equipment. Do you remember the Thighmaster? The Gazelle sold by that huge guy with long hair (Tony Little)? The Ab -blaster, -rocker, -roller, you name it there was/is an “AB”-something or rather? What about the shake weight? What is up with that?
What about Tae Bo? Still around? Rollerblading? Yes, a lot of these things, these “fads” are still around. But at one point they were HUGELY popular—-seemed like EVERYONE was doing them (whatever the “IN” thing is at the time)–well that is what a fad is. But you know what is kinda cool? Some people continue to do them. So while not everyone you know is out rollerblading there are people who still do it. It is something they enjoy doing. It is how they get their exercise or just relax. There are people who still do Tae Bo. And if not Tae Bo one of the hundreds of other classes like it. Tae Bo might have started it. It was a fad, but it is still going on. Someone somewhere is still doing it.
What I am getting at is unless the fad is actually dangerous or unhealthy they are good. They get people moving. Most of the “machines” or equipment won’t actually do what they promise, but some of it can get people moving. If they are really worth anything they will be proven to be worth it. If they stay around for any length of time they will also adjust because in order to last they need to change as things change. We learn new things about exercise and the body all the time so a long-lasting workout or exercise machine/equipment will have to adapt. But in the mean time a lot of the fads just get people up and moving and that really is a good thing.
Have you bought anything you are brave enough to admit? Is there a fad that you joined in on, but then really love it so you still do it?
Posted in Working Out | Tagged: Abblaster, abrocker, abroller, aerobic classes, aerobic workouts, Cardio classes, cardio workouts, dance workouts, exercise equiment, exercise fads, exercise machines, Gazelle, Jazzercise, Jazzercise class, Nia, Nia class, Nia Teacher, Roller blading, rollerblading, shake weight, Tae Bo, Thighmaster, Zumba, Zumba class | 6 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on November 16, 2010
Nia is a non-impact aerobic exercise. I often get a quizzical look when I explain that to people. It is done to music so maybe that might make it a challenge for people to understand. It’s almost as if it is difficult to imagine a dance exercise class that is non-impact. Or maybe it is the idea that we have been programmed with–you have to jump to get a good cardio workout. But that’s when I need to remind them about:
—walking up hill
—cross country skiing
All of these things can get your heart rate going without impact on the body. It is a matter of intensity. That’s what non-impact cardio is; getting your heart rate up with the level of intensity. With the aforementioned exercises eight of them involve your legs, four of them involve your arms AND legs. One of them doesn’t involve legs at all. intensity–enough to bring the heart rate up–can be done by moving your arms only. So, this is just a reminder, using exercises that most of us are familiar with, that you CAN have a cardio workout without the impact. So if you have knees that prefer not to jump, tender feet, or delicate ankles you can still find something to do that is a cardiovascular workout.
Posted in Working Out | Tagged: aerobic exercise, aerobics class, bicycling, cardio workout, dance class, exercise class, Nia, Nia class, Nia dance class, Nia exercise, Nia exercise class, Non-Impact Aerobics, swimming | 3 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 12, 2010
So I mentioned, in the old days we were taught to static stretch before exercise or working out. But research is showing that this is not really keeping people from getting injured and might actually do the opposite of what we used to think. It is not the best way to ready a muscle for a workout.
The best way is movement. Get the body moving. There are two types of warm-ups and many ways to do either. The first is just a full body warm up something like easy jumping jacks, or jumping rope, or jogging in place, or lunges. This gets the heart pumping, and the blood to the entire body. The other type is more exercise specific, say you were warming up before a golf game, then you would just mimic the movements you would do while you were playing golf but at a slower pace and a lower intensity level, and stretching the muscles in a dynamic stretch. If tennis is the exercise gently swinging the racket and/or hitting a few balls get the body ready for the task it is about to undertake. The dynamic stretch is where we are extending the muscle but gently as it moves, whereas a static stretch is stretching the muscle and holding it.
Whichever method you choose the idea is to gently warm up the body and the muscles. Movement is the best way to get the body ready to move. The practice of static stretching before a workout is being proven to do the opposite. It is stopping the body’s motion. Moving the entire body or concentrating on the muscles are about to work is now the preferred way to warm up before a workout.
In Nia classes we warm-up doing both methods to get the entire body warm. We might start the Nia workout using one body part – dynamically stretching – as we sense the music, but most often, by the time the first song is over we have warmed up the entire body; muscles, lungs, and heart. The blood is starting to move in preparation for the get moving portion of the workout. Nia also employs a bit of stretching in the cool down and floorplay to assist in giving the body a well rounded workout.
So where are you in the warm up arena? Do you participate in the latest idea for warming up? If you move to warm up what type do you do, the general or the exercise specific?
Posted in Working Out | Tagged: best type of stretching before workout, floor play, jogging, Nia, Nia class, Nia exercise, Nia Movement, Nia workout, warm-up, Warming-up | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 10, 2010
When I was young the thing to do, what we were taught to do, before exercise was to stretch. Static stretching, moving into a position that stretches the muscle, then hold it for about 30 seconds. The idea was to stretch every muscle in the body, from the top to the bottom or the bottom to the top. This was considered a proper warm-up. This was the correct way to get our bodies ready for exercise. This we were told would prevent injury. Research and knowledge has changed that.
With advances in exercise technology and body knowledge, it is now a popular belief that this type of stretching, static stretching could actual harm the muscles or in the very least keep them from operating at their peak. Some researchers believe that stretching before exercise actually causes the muscle to contract and tire, therefore not perform as efficiently.
A study done by the University of Nevada found that athlete’s muscle strength was decreased by as much as 30%. If a muscles strength is decreased you are either going to be able to do less or injure yourself trying to do more than you muscle is able to do at the time.
So many of us have been taught to warm up this way for so long it is difficult for us to let go and to move on to the correct way to warm up. This type of stretching — static stretch — is best left for the purpose of improving flexibility (and strength in the case of asanas) and is best done after a workout (unless it IS your workout as in the case of a yoga). What type of warm up do you do? Do you stretch before or after a workout?
Posted in Working Out | Tagged: asanas, exercises, improve flexibility, static stretching, strength, stretching before workout, workout, Yoga | 6 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on December 5, 2009
Cardio Party Mix 1, this is the main workout that is on the Beachbody DVD by Chalene Johnson. Its the Turbo Jam DVD with five workouts on it.
Timer says 43:26 total time and 3:51 for the warm-up
Warm up starts at about 3:24. And all the warm-ups that I have seen are basically the same.
“Roll them shoulders”. Then some bobs and weaves and punches and jabs.
Then there is the “Punches & Wheels” section for 7:12 minutes. Then for 7:28 there are “Squats & Kick”.
Then the next portion is called “Speedbags” and that is a series of movements, punches, hips, and a variety of things including speedbags for 7:18.
Then the “Turbo” is clocked at 1:30 including 15 seconds of jumping rope. The Turbo is where you really push it and give it ALL you have. It is moves that you are familiar with but done at high speed! The break is 21 seconds. A break does not mean stop, it just means get water and mop off — but KEEP MOVING. And Chalene reminds you of that.
The next section, “Recovery Dance Party” is timed at 6:04. This section goes into the next a bit.
The timer shows that the “Finale” starts at about 4:44, but, it really doesn’t start until about 3:44. So at about 3:44 you start the “Finale” which is not anaerobic like Turbo, but it is the final little push before the DVD takes you through the cool down.
The next to the last bit times at 3:00 Finesse / Cool Down. Chalene calls it a “stylized way of doing kicks and a few stretches.” So you do a few steps starting with one leg then you do it on the other side.
The next section is called Tai Chi / Stretch and timed at 1:38.
So with this DVD you really get about 35 minutes of Cardio if you don’t count the warm up. To me it is good to know how much cardio or aerobic workout you are going to get so you can plan accordingly. If you want to get 45 minutes of cardio in and you grab this DVD thinking, “Eh, 43 minutes is close enough.” Well you are actually only getting about 35. It is important to warm up and cool down so it is great that these DVDs contain that. I just like to have a breakdown of how long the warm up and cool down is.
I really enjoy my Turbo Jam DVDs. I hope my descriptions will allow you to make an informed choice so that you will know what you are getting and enjoy them as much as I do.
Posted in Working Out | Tagged: aerobic, aerobic workout, anaerobic, Beachbody, cardio exercise, Cardio Party, Cardio Party mix 1, cardio workout, Chalene Johnson, finesse, Tai Chi, Turbo Jam, Turbo Kick | 2 Comments »