Fitness Gift Guide – Give a healthy gift this season!

With the holidays just a couple weeks away, everybody is busy shopping for gifts for family and friends. More challenging than the actual shopping is thinking up unique gift ideas, that your loved ones will be able to appreciate, and use throughout the year. Fitness related gifts can make some great unique gift ideas and help your loved ones  jump-starting a new fitness regimen for the new year.

Here are some of the Smart Workout staffs favorite fitness gifts:

Heart Rate Monitor

This is an excellent device for any exerciser looking to get the most out of his or her workout. There are many different types of heart rate monitors, but you should look for one with a heart rate strap, so the exerciser can see a continuous heart rate at a glance. Fancier models include a GPS, which will track pace, speed, location, etc.

 

 

Hydryx Workout Towel

At first thought, giving someone a towel as a present may not seem like an extraordinary gift, but this towel is pretty unique. Once you take it out of the included tube, it instantly cools to help keep your workouts more comfortable. It’s great for the gym, which can get steamy with all the body heat, or for warmer weather workouts as well.

Kettlebells

Kettlebells are currently a very popular trend in fitness and a good choice if the person you are getting the gift for likes a challenge. There are a variety of kettlebells on the market, from medicine-ball like bells to basic iron models. If giving kettlebells as a gift, it may also be a good idea to pair it with a kettlebell video, to allow the exerciser asset of instructions in doing this workout, so in time they will be able to pick up the kettlebells whenever they’d like and do reps of various exercises! Many places, like Smart Workout, are giving Kettlebell classes, so this would be the perfect gift for someone who wants to continue their training at home!

Personal Training Sessions or Gym Membership

Personal Training sessions are a great gift if your loved one has expressed interest in training but is reluctant to spend money, or intimidated to sign up on their own. Every trainer charges a different fee for their services, ranging from about $50.00 to $100.00 per session. This is a great idea for anyone looking for more personalized workout sessions. You may want to first purchase only one or two sessions for them, and let them decide if they want more. Like the gift of personal trainings, a gym membership is a good gift idea only if the person has been talking about it and considering it for some time, but for one reason or another, has not yet signed up for it. There are tons of different gyms to consider, so find out what type the person is looking for (size, location, small group classes offered.) Another option is to get them a coupon for free tours of gyms nearby and let them browse first before you buy.

Many gyms also offer a package that will help a person jump start a fitness routine. Especially if a friend or family member expressed interest, a package like Smart Workouts 6-Week Shape up or Fitness Vacation. The 6-week shape up combines classes and personal training, while the Fitness Vacation combines classes, nutritional education and lectures and some fun activities around NYC!

Healthy Dieter BasketHeart-Healthy Holidays Gift Basket

Found on Wellbaskets.com, this basket includes all kinds of healthy foods including green tea, soy coffee, smoked salmon, soy chips, and dried fruit. Also included is a pedometer and a guided weight loss CD. This particular basket is $85.00, but it can launch a great idea for to make you own unique healthy basket for a loved one as a gift, working with your own budget and making it as inexpensive or pricey as you wish!

 


Happy Shopping from Smart Workout!


-written by Victoria Arrigo, Fitness Asisistant

Back to School Workout – Smart Workouts Fall Kidz Fit

 

 

Get your work out in and entertain your little one at the same time!

 

 

 

Smart Workouts Kidz Fit program is a family fitness program that includes fitness classes for parent and child in the same location. You will receive luxury small group fitness classes, while your child engages in age appropriate strength training, boxing fun and healthy cooking education. It is a win/win situation for your entire family!

Fall Program Details

Dates/Classes:
Saturday, October 29;

Kidz Class- Mighty Muscles, Parent Class- Kickboxing

Saturday, November 5;

Kidz Class Big Kid Boxing, Parent Class- Kettlebells

Saturday, November 12;

Kidz Class- Small Frye Cooking, Parent Class- Warrior Workout

Time: Both parent and child classes are 11:30-12:30pm. You and your child must participate together, as we cannot have any children dropped off without a parent attending.

Price: $132.50 for one child and one parent (includes all 6 classes) ; $80 per additional sibling

Location: Smart Workout, 124 East 40th Street, Suite 603, midtown Manhattan near Grand Central Station

Discounts/Specials: For returnees (those of you who have regisstered for Kidz Fit before), there is a 10% discount off the price .

Early bird special: Anyone who pays by 10/15 there is an earlybird discount of 10%

These two discounts can be combined!

We permit complimentary guests for the first two weeks* (a registrant may bring a parent and a child as their guest). There is no limit to the number of guests that you can bring, except that you can not bring the same guest more than once.

Want to get the fall started with some family fun? Call (212) 661-1660 today to register. But be sure to call soon as spaces are filling up quickly!

 

*There are no complimentary guests permitted for the third week, but a friend can purchase the third week for $67.50 for a parent and child.

Kickboxing – The benefits are endless

There are many benefits to participating in a kickboxing class. Especially after a stressful day, participating in a kickboxing class can be a great way to release aggression, and tension, while also achieving a great workout.

Mentally kickboxing is stimulating and engaging. Instructors create a variety of combinations of kicks, punches and intense cardio intervals to keep participants actively involved throughout the duration of the class. In addition, kickboxing combines cardio and strength or resistance training together, allowing the participants to accomplish a great overall workout in a short amount of time. The benefits of a time efficient workout is often of high importance to many people.

Kickboxing classes are designed to incorporate many essential fitness goals such as cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength and flexibility. It is a total body workout that stimulates weight loss and muscular toning.

Kickboxing also allows those involved to learn basic, useful self defense skills. Although you will not engage in the physical application of these moves, learning and practicing the basic movements of a kickboxing class may become useful in a time of need.

Finally, and most importantly, kickboxing is FUN! Kickboxing classes are never the same! They play motivational music, use scenarios to encourage accuracy and energy, and all while participants are actively engaging in an exercise program.

So come on in and try a kickboxing class, and see for yourself the benefits that are attainable!!

Top 3 Reasons Why Kids Should Exercise

As a Fitness Assistant and Ballet instructor, I deal with kids and exercise on a daily basis. I teach multiple level ballet classes to students 5-15 and have developed fitness programs for many pre-teen groups.

I love working with kids, and find that there are many reasons why it is important for kids to exercise on a regular basis.

 

Top 3 reasons kids should exercise:

1.) Starting at a young age makes exercise a lifestyle. If you want your child to grow up to be a healthy, happy and active adult, then the answer is to start young. By introducing activity into a childs life at an early age, you are shaping habits that they will keep throughout their lives. Stressing importance on activity without making it feel like a chore is a great way to keep kids healthy.

2.) It gives kids a form of discipline, while still having fun. Wheather its a class, a week-long camp, or a kids exercise program, having your child participate in a structured form of exercises is teaching them structure, how to follow rules, and social qualities. Programs like Smart Workouts Kidz Fit, is a great way for your child to have fun, learn to enjoy being active and learn many other qualities (like paying attention, listening to an instructor, learning to share) that will be useful as they grow.

3.) It may even make your child smarter! Recent studies have shown that healthy, active children tend to do better in cognitive tests as well. Especially when it came to complex memory tests, children that were more fit tended to test higher than those that were considered to be the lower percentile.

More times than not, I find active kids to be more pleasant, well-rounded individuals with a real thirst for life. Now why wouldnt you want that for your child? So get out and get moving with them!!!

-Written by Cara McMullen, Fitness Assistant

Resources:
Brain Res. 2010 Oct 28;1358:172-83. Epub 2010 Aug 22.
NY Times, September 15, 2010

Photo: fitnesslines.com

Top 5 Reasons to take a Spin Class

By now I am sure that all of you have already seen, taken and/or heard of spinning. Spinning is becoming an increasingly popular exercise class and workout. So if you are already a spin lover or have yet to take a class, read on to find the top 5 reasons why spin is so beneficial and get yourself on a  spin bike!

1)       Cardio Workout

In spin, there is not a single minute that goes by where you are not pedaling. As most spin classes are 45 to 60 minutes in length, this means that you are constantly moving for at least that amount of time, making for a great cardiovascular workout.

2)       Muscle Endurance

Spin classes combine speed and resistance training while moving between different positions. Segments of the class call for high resistance which targets every major muscle group in the lower body, including your abs. Pushing through resistance over a prolonged period of time (45 to 60 minute class) will provide the muscular endurance that your body seeks.

3)       No joint pain here

Pedaling on a stationary bike means puts no impact on your joints. So unlike walking or running, spinning is a pain free exercise for your joints.

4)  Its about YOU

Throughout a spin class, the instructor will direct each participant to increase or decrease the resistance on your individual bike. You are the only person who can not only adjust the resistance on your bike but who can increase/decrease the pedaling speed, therefore giving you the control over the intensity of your workout. For a beginner spin participant, this allows you to adjust to the class at your own pace. For an experienced spinner, this allows you to intensify your workout as you see fit.

5)     FUN

Music and instructor motivation make spin a class where it is hard not to feel good about yourself after it is all said and done. Pedaling to a beat and hearing words of inspiration from provides for an upbeat, positive class that makes it fun to be burning calories.

If youre ready to get rolling towards your weight loss goals, visit our website www.smartworkout.com for more information!

-written by Devin Almedia, Fitness Assistant