Wednesday, January 16, 2019

I Love Push-Ups! ~Said No One EVER (Except Me!) with Group Fitness Instructor Lisa Schwarz

Lol! It’s true, if you know me, you know I love push-ups – and I always have! Why? It’s one of the best total body exercises out there! The #1 question I get asked at the gym is, "How do I get better at doing push-ups?" Know how you get better at push-ups? By doing them! But don’t despair, if you’re not able to get on your toes to do them – that’s OK! If you can only do a couple  – that’s OK! You gotta start somewhere. And here are a few helpful hints....

Just read this study from Dr. Jinger Gottschall about the benefits of push-ups, and how you can get from your knees to your toes in no time! A new study published in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics explains that both the toe and knee variations of the push-up are worthwhile. The findings are very encouraging, explains Jinger Gottschall, Associate Professor at Penn State University. “We were able to demonstrate that the overall ratio of muscle activation in the upper body when you do a push-up on your knees or toes is actually the same. It shows that knee push-ups are a surprisingly valuable alternative if you cannot perform a push-up on your toes with proper technique.” 

What makes push-ups so good? Push-ups are much more than just an upper body exercise. 
  • They work the pecs, deltoids and triceps while strengthening the muscles of the core. 
  • On top of improved upper body definition push-ups build muscular endurance and create lean muscle mass that improves overall fitness and good health. 
  • When compared to the bench press, another popular chest exercise, push-ups provide more effective functional training. 
The Penn State University study participants generated 50 percent more activation in the abdominals during push-ups compared to bench press repetitions with parallel weight. The best push-up technique There’s no dispute that the most effective push-ups are push-ups on your toes, as they engage a greater amount of activation in the muscles of the upper body and core – demanding whole body integration. 

However, push-ups on your toes can be pretty challenging and many people, especially older adults or individuals new to exercise, cannot safely complete multiple push-ups on their toes. All too often the hips and neck are not aligned properly and consequently the risk of injury outweighs the rewards. “When people are struggling to lower themselves towards the ground in a toe push-up position, they shouldn’t give up or feel discouraged, says Gottschall. “We can now be confident that push-ups on your knees are an effective modification.” 

How to progress from knee push-ups to toe push-ups The good news is that if you do enough push-ups on your knees you’ll be up on your toes in no time. Bryce Hastings, Les Mills’ Head of Research and Technical Advisor agrees with Gottschall’s advice, saying once you are confident doing 16 push-ups on the knees, then you are ready to try push-ups on your toes. 

Stay Fit, stay healthy, and stay with me! Kia Kaha! Lisa 😊

Twitter: Fit4Urocks

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Realizing Your Goals in 2019 with Zumba™ Fitness Instructor Teryck Coles

We’ve finally made it! A new year is upon us and many of us are ready to start things anew. Whether you create resolutions, goals, or a vision board for the new year, one thing is certain: we need to CLEARLY REALIZE those dreams. Let’s unpack what that means. So many of us (yes, I’m speaking to you too) merely THINK about what we want. We create a list of things we want to accomplish in our mind, then quickly forget them within the first week of the new year as we return to a sense of normalcy after the festivity of the holidays. When we do this, our thoughts transition into wasted ideas and never come to fruition. 

So, what's next? Some of us take things a little further and take the time to write our goals out on paper. This is a GREAT step in actualizing goals! When we write things down—particularly by hand—we connect with the goal in a much stronger manner.  We’re thinking it, we’re writing it, we’re seeing it: the desire to commit to the goal is created here. However....
  • How many of us find that we tuck that piece of paper away somewhere? 
  • How many of us close the notebook and set it aside? How many of us find that we transition at this point back to
    our former selves and continue with old routines? 
So, now what? 
  • How do we vision forward to realize and actualize our goals? 
Well, we start with all of the former steps of thinking them out, writing them out, and reading/speaking them out loud. The next best step is to place your goals in a place where you will see them EVERY day; when we see something daily, we have a greater likelihood of achieving those goals. It’s always a great idea to write goals out in present tense. Rather than writing, “I will” or “I want to”, we can write “I am”—this creates within us the feeling of actively completing goals. 

Also, we should rid ourselves of the “go with the flow” mentality. I’ve heard many people (including myself) say to others, “Oh! I’m just going to go with the flow this year”. This can cause us to sabotage our own goals. What do I mean? “Going with the flow” means we’re taking whatever opportunities come our way—even opportunities that do not support or align with our own vision. These random opportunities can easily cause us to stray from our path. 

Think of it this way: Scent hounds have a very specific job—to pursue scents. When released in a field to trail a scent, they feverishly work to track down the source of the scent. They are not deterred by anything else. Now, if they are NOT given a specific scent to follow and placed in the SAME field, what do you think they’ll do? Well, they’re dogs; they’ll run all over the place! 

So, in preparing for a new year and manifesting our vision for ourselves, we are going to: 
  • THINK about them; 
  • WRITE about them; 
  • SPEAK them out loud; 
  • POST them in an accessible space, and;
  • SEIZE/CREATE opportunities that align with and support our goals. 
Following these steps are a clear way of setting ourselves up for success in the coming year and actualizing our visions into reality. YOU CAN DO IT!

Find Tee Online!
Move with Tee, LLC
Instagram: movewithteellc
Photo Source: The Wise Family

Friday, January 11, 2019

Taking #SELFIES and #GROUPIES Like a Pro to Promote Your Zumba® Fitness Classes
Written by: Zumba® Fitness Instructor Lizz Larrauri 

Have you ever noticed that Zumba® instructors love taking pictures? The trend of taking selfies before class even starts and group pictures after class is not my original idea, but it is something that I love to do! ZINs® have been capturing the happiness and love Zumba® fitness exudes for years to
promote themselves and their classes. We love taking pictures at events, with other instructors and with our students. Let me tell you how it started for me....

If you saw my Facebook page, you wouldn't believe me, but I historically wasn’t the type of person who used to take pictures of myself all the time (I am serious)!! Once in a while I would take a selfie to update my Facebook profile, and I loved taking pictures of my kids and objects. I still love it but now I take more Zumba® pics than anything.  

When I started my Zumba® Career five years ago (believe it or not, five years is considered a long time in the Zumba® world), I wanted to promote my classes.  I did not know where to start or what to do. So as many instructors do, I started using memes I found on Google. In a short period of time I ran out of Zumba® memes.

One day, I took a selfie in my car and used it to make a post promoting my class.  I saw it worked! People were engaged and starting interacting with my posts. In my opinion the best way to let the world know about your classes are through pictures because they can see an image of who you are and feel motivated to come to your class.  Videos work great too, but we will talk about that in another occasion. After a couple weeks, I noticed my participants wanted to be included in my pictures.  To them it was a fun way to show that they had fun at the gym.  Some of them like their friends and family to see that they go to Zumba®

Suddenly, my students also started taking pics after class and posting on Facebook. Notice: I am not saying, this is something that only happens at my class.  In today’s culture, people love taking pictures and documenting everything they do.  We are living in an era where social media takes part of our lives.  There is nothing wrong with that.

Here are a Few Tips to Taking Selfies & Groupies Like a Pro:

1.If you don’t have a long arm, get a selfie stick.  They are very affordable and convenient.
2. Take your selfies from the top, not directly to your face or from the bottom.  That way you will look slimmer and and avoid the picture depicting a double chin from looking down.
3. Hug, hug, hug! To get a slimmer waist hug the person beside you. Besides, we want to share the Zumba® love!
4. Don’t be so serious! By this I mean, once in a while you can take some crazy pics with your students by making silly faces and poses.
5. Use filters moderately.  We all know that there are hundreds of apps to fix your pictures but please don’t put make up on your pics, exaggeratedly erase wrinkles or lines, make eyes super big (cartoon eyes), make yourself taller, etc. I use an application called Beauty Plus and I only use it up to level 5 to make sure pics still look natural.  Sometimes I don’t edit my pics at all and just use natural light and then on Instagram set my pictures filter to Juno or Clarendon.
Lastly and perhaps the most important tip! Don’t be afraid of taking pictures after sweating. I love showing that sexy Zumba® Glow after class ends.  It shows you had a great workout.  Everyone looks happy and distressed.  Just fix your hair to the side or put your hat on and SAY CHEESE 🧀!

Find Lizz on Facebook!

Connect with Lizz on Instagram

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

I am Sorry I Can't Go Out Tonight, I Have my Zumba® Fitness Class!

Have you ever gotten the "eye roll" from your friends or family the third time you say you are unable to go out when asked because of your Zumba® class? My favorite response is, "Why don't you just get a sub". Mmmmmm, that would be a resounding "NO". The prospect of a substitute instructor is reserved for the flu, mandatory work travel or a broken leg. Even when I have to get a sub (which is rare), I feel a sense of anxiety. I know that anxiety stems from passion!

I will go out on a limb here and say that most Zumba® Fitness Instructors I know are the most passionate, dedicated and enthusiastic people I have met about their classes, their Zumba® families, and their "job" whether it is their primary source of income or just a part-time job. 

I would also venture to say those hours we spend together in the gym, for our Zumba® fitness classes with our Zumba® family are the most fulfilling hours of the day (Caveat here: Outside of our time spent with our kids and spouses😁).

Here is why...For me my Zumba® Classes are:
1. Insta-Energy. I can drag myself half-way through the workday, drive to the gym half asleep and yawn through the doors of the gym. That FIRST moment when I see a smiling face waiting in the Group Ex room I immediately pep up. Those smiles coupled with music and physical fitness that I LOVE immediately change the demeanor of my mood.  That happiness continues throughout the remainder of the day.  
2. Sweat-fest. As a fitness instructor I teach and take a lot of classes across various formats. I am constantly in awe of the sweat-o-licious outcome every single time Zumba® music comes on, and we start moving. I am talking about dripping, drenched, soaked clothes. It is unbelievable! Our classes are truly a sweat-fest. I crave that level of detoxification. 
3.  My Social Hour. While we ARE there to exercise of course, I love nothing more than seeing the Z family at class. True, we do talk throughout the week, but being in class together is different. Literally, if you were looking through the glass of the group ex room, it would look like we hadn't seen each other in months when you see our welcome hugs. I truly look forward to seeing the Z family each week!  
4. My Responsibility. While it is true I have to be at class because I am getting "paid" to be there, I feel a profound sense of responsibility for every single person in the room. For new members, it is my responsibility to introduce Zumba® fitness into their lives and have it resonate and blossom. For returning members, friends, and family, it is my responsibility to create an experience that not only encompasses fitness, self-improvement and happiness, but an experience that for ONE hour takes people away from reality. Most importantly, it is my responsibility to make every single person in the room feel important.  If I sub my class out, I can't achieve any of these important pillars for my students and myself. 

It is pretty safe to say after five plus years of teaching, those asking me for plans know my teaching schedule, and we make arrangements to go out after class. Maintaining a well-balanced social life in and out of the gym is an important part of finding balance in life 💓.

Monday, January 7, 2019

I am Pee’sed to Inform You...
rought to you by Megan Hernandez, Zumba®️ Fitness Instructor


Yep, it’s about to get REAL!  Let me start by telling you a little bit about my own story. When I was 33 years old, I had surgery that caused trauma to my bladder. The surgery left me with a hole in my bladder called a fistula. This fistula left me needing another surgery!! To paint a picture for you, they had to go in and fix my “flat tire”. Post-surgery wasn’t that bad, a little bit of pain but I felt like I healed right up! Little did I know…  a lot had changed. Everyone knows what it feels like when you have to pee, your body tells you it’s time to go. If you hold it, then you really have to go! And if you keep holding it… well at that point your risking peeing yourself or your eyes watering because you just can’t hold it anymore. My Ah Ha! moment post-surgery was that my body no longer had this warning system! When I had to pee, I HAD TO PEE! I didn’t understand what happened or why. 

So, as time went on it was something I learned to deal with. There was NO time to hold my pee. I learned how to cope with my new bladder over the next ten years, until I decided to become a fitness instructor. Then, out of nowhere, I had a whole new issue. An issue… I think a lot of us experience.
When I jumped, I peed. Of course, I NEVER said anything to anyone. How embarrassing! But then as time went by, I started hearing whispers among the women coming to my classes about leaking when they were jumping. Am I not the only one? I would joke at the beginning of class and tell everyone it was a jumping jack day and make sure they pee’d before class. This led to a chorus of nervous laughter from the class. It was then, that I realized I wasn’t the only one experiencing this. It ended up opening the door for me to find out what causes it and if there was a treatment or solution. I sat down with the acclaimed urologist from Baptist Health in Fernandina Beach, FL., Dr. Kenneth Son. He gave me the basics. The bladders only purpose is to store and release urine. That is all. There are two different reasons for bladder leakage.
  • One reason is “urge urinary incontinence” also known as (hyper-overactive bladder). This happens because the bladder never fully relaxes, and it needs to empty itself before it’s full. Think about that commercial where the woman is being pulled around by her bladder. With this condition, you would feel the urge to urinate and run to the bathroom, and barely get yourself situated before you begin peeing. 
The treatment for this condition is medication and rarely if ever would require surgical intervention. Medication can commonly be taken for just a few months and you will have relief from your symptoms for an extended period. 
  • The second reason for leakage is from the bladder neck falling due to a weakening of the fascia between the vagina and bladder. This is called stress urinary incontinence and it affects 1 in 3 women in the world, 13 million Americans, 85% who are women. Typical activities that provoke leakage of urine are running, jumping, coughing, sneezing, laughing and even sexual intercourse. Stress urinary incontinence can develop slowly with age and may often be a result of childbirth. It can also occur with chronic or repetitive straining from constipation, chronic coughing, and high impact aerobics. As well as, menopause or a hysterectomy. 
The treatment for this starts out with non-surgical options, pelvic muscle exercises (Kegels), protective undergarments, physical therapy and panty liners. If it begins to affect your lifestyle then a doctor may suggest a surgical solution such as a mesh sling. An example that affects your lifestyle would include stopping going to your favorite Zumba®️ Fitness class because of leakage. 
So, to wrap things up, know that you aren’t alone if you are experiencing leakage problems. Take the time to speak to a doctor about your leakage and see what kind of solutions are available to you and do those Kegels!! They are going to help you more than you know! And remember, you are not alone. There is a vast community of women who experience the same aches and pains as you. They could even be in your Zumba®️ Fitness class or a click away online. Don’t be afraid to talk openly about your experiences because you could have the answers someone just like you are looking for.
Photo source: gpointstudio/Shutterstock

Friday, January 4, 2019

Top 10 Tips for Longevity and Happiness as a Zumba™ Fitness Instructor

Written by: Zumba™ Fitness Instructor: Mirna Arroyo

Being a Zumba instructor has many amazing peaks (a.k.a: that Zumba™ high), as well as a few valleys (a.k.a: those Zumba™ lows). To achieve longevity and most importantly your happiness as a Zumba™ Fitness Instructor, sometimes we need to be reminded of the things that really matter day-to-day. Take a look at the list below. Print it out. Put it in your car. Leave a copy in your gym bag. Read often, especially #1!
1. Be authentically YOU.
2. Find your tribe.
3. Cultivate your tribe.
4. Wear supportive insoles.
5. Wear compression sleeves to protect y0ur calves.
6. Wear high tops sneakers to provide stability to your ankles.
7. Keep things fresh and exciting.
8. Constantly assess your classes. Didn't work?--Tweak and try again. Miserable?--Move on, it should be fun.
9. Be 100% ready to give AND receive energy.
10. Connect with like-minded instructors and genuinely support each other!
Photo Source: Little Zumba™ Things

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The ZBeat Welcoming the New Year! 

Image result for gym in january memeWe all know that for many people the start of the New Year is a fresh start, a clean slate and a time to resolve to be fit and go to the gym! We have all seen the gym memes poking fun of new and excited members who will workout for an average of 2-3 weeks, maybe even up to six weeks. I must say that as an instructor across many formats, I am elated at the influx of participants in classes. 

While I do smile a little when looking at the plethora of funny New Year Resolution memes, I also take this opportunity to think about:
1. How to make sure everyone feels welcome in my classes.
2. How to engage new gym members who may be tackling personal issues or constraints or previous failures.
3. How to create an environment that is welcoming and safe for new gym members. 

Here are a few things I do every class to engage members not just at the turn of the new year but throughout the year. Given the time of year with New Years resolutions, I thought the tips below were worth sharing.....
1. I introduce myself to the class, and let everyone know what they can expect. This message will differ across formats, but it should include class length, queuing expectations, opportunities to modify moves, and of course the "if you leave early please give me the thumbs up so I know you are OK" part.
2. I remind people to take it at their own pace and have fun. One of the reasons people don't come back to the gym is because they do too much too soon. Giving people permission to do their own thing at their own pace sets the tone for a comfortable environment.
3. I make it personal for EVERYONE in the room, not just the people I know! I make sure to walk around the room before class to say hi, give hugs and high-fives. I make introductions between members so they can start conversations among themselves.
4. During class...I SMILE SMILE SMILE and make eye contact. I also shoot a thumbs up to someone who is doing a great job modifying or making class their own. I work on not only teaching but providing constant positive feedback. Remember it is NOT easy for some people to make it to the gym. 
5. At the end of class, I thank everyone for coming, and PROMOTE my next class as well as OTHER people's classes. GASP! Yes I said it! I PROMOTE OTHER PEOPLE'S classes. We want people to come back to the gym to attend our own classes of course, as well as others. I promise that promoting others will reap positive benefits across the fitness community. 

Stay tuned for a month ahead of great tips, articles and content from our AMAZING ZBeat Team who each bring their own point of views and experiences to the blog.
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