Simple Flexibility Exercises to Make Your Body More Flexible

Flexibility exercises is a crucial component of fitness and plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. It’s a part of your fitness routine that’s easy to overlook or skip, especially post-workout. But stretches for flexibility should definitely be a part of your fitness activities.

We’ve broken down the key benefits of flexibility training below. Keep reading for some simple yet effective exercises you can add to your stretching routine.

The Benefits of Stretching 

Woman doing stretching

Before we get into types of exercises to try, let’s establish the advantages of improved flexibility:

Prevents Injury  

Flexible muscles and joints are less susceptible to strains, sprains, and other injuries. By increasing your range of motion, you reduce the likelihood of overstretching or tearing a muscle in the future.

Enhances Performance 

Athletes in various sports, such as gymnastics, dance, and martial arts, rely on flexibility to perform at their best. Improved flexibility helps you excel in your chosen activity by allowing for greater agility and precision of movement.

Improves Posture

Woman doing yoga

Did you know flexibility training can improve your posture? By addressing muscle imbalances, stretching corrects poor posture and alleviates back and neck pain.

Relieves Stress 

Stretching is just as good for the mind as it is your body. Static stretching activates your parasympathetic nervous system. When this system is activated, it can result in a feeling of calmness. This makes flexibility training a great tool for stress relief and improving mental health. 

Boosts Mobility 

Maintaining flexibility as you grow older significantly impacts your ability to perform daily activities independently. Through regularly practicing mobility stretches, you’ll retain your range of motion and maintain an active lifestyle throughout life.

Simple Flexibility Exercises 

Waman doing Simple flexibility exercises

Now, let’s explore simple fitness techniques that will help you improve your flexibility. If you’re new to stretching, remember to go easy on your body. 

If you only think you can handle holding a pose for a certain amount of time, don’t push your luck. For a full body stretch routine, we recommend doing at least one set of stretches for each muscle type in your body. With that aside, let’s get into some stretches! 

Butterfly Stretches

These are inner thigh stretches that both work your thigh muscles and relieve any discomfort you might be experiencing in that area. The inner thigh is a common source of pain for seasoned athletes, so knowing how to practice a butterfly stretch may come in handy. 

  • Sit on the floor with your back straight. 
  • Push the soles of your feet together, letting your legs fall to the side
  • Next, put your hands over your feet, elbows on your knees, and bend forward.
  • Once you begin feeling pressure in your groin area, hold the position for 60 seconds. 
  • Repeat 3-4 times. 

Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch

The hamstring stretch targets the muscles at the back of your thighs, promoting greater flexibility in your legs and lower back.

  • Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight.
  • Slowly lean forward from your hips, reaching your hands toward your toes.
  • Keep your back straight, and avoid rounding your spine.
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.
  • Repeat 2-3 times.

Leg Stretches 

Keeping your lower body fit and flexible is crucial. Here’s an easy leg stretch technique to test your muscles: 

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a step forward with one leg and bend your knee while keeping the other leg straight
  • Push your hips forward and downward, feeling a stretch in your hip flexors and quadriceps.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds on each leg.
  • Repeat  2-3 times.

Yoga Flexibility Poses 

Yoga flexibility pose

Yoga is a fun way to practice mobility exercises before or after a workout. It’s also a form of active stretching, where your own muscles provide resistance to stretch other parts of your body. Here are two simple yoga stretches to get you moving: 

Downward Dog:

  • Begin in a push-up position with your hands under your shoulders.
  • Push your hips up toward the ceiling, forming an inverted “V” shape with your body.
  • Press your heels toward the floor, feeling a stretch in your calves and hamstrings.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds
  • Repeat as needed. 

Cobra Pose:

Cobra pose
  • Lie face-down on the floor with your hands under your shoulders.
  • Press your upper body off the floor, arching your back and lifting your chest.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds, feeling the stretch in your abdominal muscles and lower back.

We hope this article has given you insight into how important stretching is for your body’s flexibility and well being. If you enjoyed reading this, check out more on everything fitness and health on the Ninefit blog. 

Wearable Technology and How it Helps You

There’s more to a beneficial workout routine than just moving around every once in a while. To truly get the most out of a workout, you need to have a plan, stick with it, and be able to keep track of it to see if you’ve met your goals. That’s a lot for one person to keep track of, but fortunately, wearable technology can take a bit of the load off your shoulders. Here’s everything you need to know about what smart technology is, if it can be used for workouts, and how, specifically, it can use to help you.

What Is Wearable Tech?

Wearable tech is, as the name would suggest. A piece of advanced technology that can easily be worn as an accessory. It takes a number of forms and can be used for a number of purposes. It often links with your smartphone to fulfill these purposes better. As it’s essentially a piece of technology that’s always on your person. The things it can accomplish with some clever use is astounding. From simple conveniences to more or less having a scheduling aide on your wrist at all times. 

Can Wearable Tech Be Used for Workouts?

Smart watch for workouts

Of course, as useful as wearable electronics are in everyday life. It stands to reason that they’d be helpful in your daily workout routine as well. You’d be surprised just how much such a small piece of technology can be used for. From monitoring your heart rate to helping track your fitness goals. With that said, let’s take a closer look at some of the specifics.

Timing Your Workouts

First of all, smart tech can use to time your workouts. Whether you want to see how fast your mile is, time your intervals, or just keep track of how long you’ve been working out overall. All you have to do is press a few buttons and you’re good to go! Timing your workouts can beneficial for a number of reasons. With cardio, for example, time is an incredibly important factor. Most workout experts recommend that each of your cardio sessions lasts at least 20 minutes, as this is generally the point where you’ll start to notice cardiac growth. In addition, exercising for too long can lead to strain and over-exhaustion, which will in turn lead to injury. As mentally keeping track of time is near-impossible while exercising, and keeping your phone strapped to your arm is inconvenient. Wearable devices are by far the best option.

AI-Powered Coaching

Wearable technology with AI-Powered Coaching

As advanced as smart wearable devices were already, they’ve only continued to advance with the recent revolution in artificial intelligence. Now, some fitness-oriented pieces of wearable tech have AI-powered coaching features, which will track your vital signs and activity levels as you exercise. Once your workout session is done, the AI can analyze the results and give you personalized advice to improve your next session. By making use of this powerful tool, you’ll be able to jumpstart your workout routine, making gains faster than ever.

Tracking Natural Cycles

Aware of them or not, your body is always running on a number of cycles, and understanding them is the key to improving your workouts. For example, knowing the times and conditions under which you get the highest-quality sleep allows you to have more energy, and that energy can be applied to your workouts. Of course, being unconscious, you can’t exactly track your own sleep, but wearable smart tech can. Your smartwatch can track your sleep cycles, vital signs during sleep, and overall restfulness throughout the night. This will allow you to greatly improve your sleep quality, and therefore your workout quality.

Helping Track and Meet Your Goals

Wearable technology to meet your goals

The problem with the vast majority of workout goals is just how nebulous they are. While deciding that you want to get in shape is a great decision, that alone won’t give you a plan of action that you can act on and keep track of. Once you’ve put that plan of action together, though, you have to follow it and monitor your progress,. Which can difficult to do mentally or by hand. Smart tech, of course, offers a solution for this as well. A number of fitness-tracking and goal-keeping apps available for users to install. By making effective use of these, you can ensure that your goals are being met, and if they aren’t, diagnose and fix the issue moving forward.

If you’re looking for more great tips, tricks, and products to take your daily workouts to the next level, we’ve got you covered! Feel free to visit us at NineFit today!

Camping Sleeping Bags Guide for Beginners

Camping sleeping bags are essential gear for any outdoor enthusiast. When you’re on a camping trip or hike, having the right one can make all the difference in ensuring a good night’s sleep. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you find the right sleeping bag. We’ll explore factors to consider for your trip, different types of sleeping bags, and everything in between. 

First: Consider Where You’ll Sleep 

Knowing the location and temperature of where you’ll be sleeping is crucial—not just for your comfort, but also your safety. You’ll need the right sleeping bag. Winter’s cold, harsh nights will require warm liners or even a winter sleepsuit. If you’re camping in the summer or in a hot environment, you can get away with using a lightweight sleeping bag.

Choosing the right insulation is also important. If you’ll be near your car or lodgings, you won’t need to worry about a bag’s weight as much. But for long treks, you’ll want a lightweight but strong insulation like goose down. Synthetic insulation tends to be heavier and harder to pack away. 

Types of Camping Sleeping Bags 

Couple is seating beside the tent on mountain in sleeping bags

You might be surprised by the range of options, but there are many different types of sleeping bags. Let’s get into some of the most common you may want to consider. 

Double Sleeping Bags

Doubles are perfect for couples. Or, if you like having extra space, you can keep it all to yourself. They’re spacious enough to accommodate two people, allowing you to snuggle up and stay warm together on chilly nights. Look for double sleeping bags with zippers, so you can use them as two separate bags if needed.

Kids Sleeping Bags 

These are a must-have for any family camping trip you need to camping & hiking gear for full adventure. Kids sleeping bags are designed with children in mind. They feature fun patterned or character prints. Of course, they also come in smaller sizes to keep your little one snug and secure. When picking out a bag, try to hit the sweet spot of finding a size with enough wiggle room to accommodate growth spurts. 

Mountain Sleeping Bags 

Mountain slepping bags

For those tackling high-altitude adventures, a mountain sleeping bag is a must. These bags are engineered to withstand extreme conditions, such as sub-zero temperatures and high winds. Look for features like draft tubes and collars, water-resistance, and good insulation. These will all ensure protection and comfort, even in extreme environments.

Be prepared to pay more for mountain sleeping bags than you might a standard one. Their high quality, expensive materials, and construction all contribute to a higher price tag. 

Travel Sleeping Bags 

Lightweight and made for people on the move, these bags have a couple different uses. They’re easy to pack, carry, and take up very little space. Some can even fit in the palm of your hand when they’re rolled up! You can use travel sleeping bags for couch surfing, in hostels, or any situation where you’re unsure about the cleanliness of your bedding. 

Sleeping Bag Accessories

camping sleeping bags accessories

For those who need a little extra to sleep well at night, a sleeping bag by itself might not cut it. Luckily, there are other options to add to your camping bag. Here are some of the most useful add-ons for sleeping bags: 

1. Camping mat: Let’s face it, sleeping on the cold, hard ground isn’t exactly the best part of camping. Camping mats are simple foam mats that go under your sleeping bag. They give your back a break by serving as a soft surface for rest. 

2. Pillow: It’s easy to forget about bringing a pillow, but they’re not always included with sleeping bags. Get a separate one if you need to. Pillows support your head while you rest and prevent snoring, so they’re not something you want to leave behind. Blow-up pillows are great for family getaways. If you’re concerned about space, opt for compressible pillows instead. 

3. Liner: A sleeping bag liner does two things. First, it provides an extra layer of warmth. It also serves as a barrier between your skin and the bag, meaning you’ll have to wash it less often. Liners can also be used in a pinch if you’re worried about the cleanliness of the bag.

Selecting the right sleeping bag is crucial for any outdoor adventure. No matter what you need, there’s a sleeping bag to suit your preferences and budget. Considering factors like what type of camping sleeping bags you like best, your sleep location, and your sleep needs will set you up for a restful night’s sleep. Whether you need lightweight or warm sleeping bags, Ninefit has you covered with all the essentials. Shop our online store now to find the perfect bag for your next trip. 

5 Reasons to Switch Up Your Workout Routine

Many athletes feel they have to stick to one good workout routine, but the reality is there are many reasons to switch it up. It sometimes takes several tries to find the best workouts, and the only way to get to your ideal routine is through trial and error. Besides, it’s actually good for you to rotate between gym exercises. Let’s break down five key benefits to switching up your workout routine.

 

Weight Loss

Weight loss

If you’ve been doing the same workout routines over and over, there’s a good chance you’ve gotten good at them. Because of the repetition, your body has adapted and learned how to perform gym exercises with efficiency. This can be troublesome for those who exercise for weight loss. Once your body is used to easy workouts, it becomes more difficult to lose stubborn pounds.

In order to make progress on your weight loss plan, the key is to not give your body time to adapt. Switching it up between cardio workouts, strength training, and other exercises will keep your body on its toes. Consider building an outline for your routine, also called a workout split. It divides workouts throughout the week by body region, movement, or lift. This is a huge help in helping you reach your weight loss goals, since it optimizes your weight loss on all fronts. Many of the best workout routines incorporate splits. 

Builds New Muscle

Man doing gym workout

Just as your weight loss plateaus when you consistently perform the same exercises, so do your muscles. By switching things up, you challenge your muscles in new ways. Diversifying exercises helps improve strength by targeting different muscle groups and movement patterns. This balanced approach reduces the risk of muscle imbalances, which can lead to injury over time.

Switching up your routine not only helps build muscle, but it also prevents overuse injuries. Doing repetitive workouts over and over may strain your muscles and joints. Repetitive movements strains specific muscle groups and joints. Changing your routine allows these stressed areas to recover while engaging other muscles.

Here’s a tip: If you’re looking to build new muscle, consider trying CrossFit strength workouts. Crossfit body training is a great way to build muscle, because it involves a variety of many different exercises that get your whole body moving. 

If you’ve built up muscle, you may have already hit a plateau. In that case, try adding 3-5 sets of hypertrophy accessory work on top of your core workouts. For example, during an upper body workout, you could add accessory exercises like pushups or close-grip bench presses. 

Try New Equipment 

Equipment in gym

If you’re already paying to use the entire gym, you might as well try out their equipment. Start by researching the gym’s equipment offerings. Don’t be afraid to ask a staff member or your trainer for more information about them. They can demonstrate proper usage and suggest exercises to try. If you’re purchasing your own equipment, be sure to familiarize yourself with what aligns with your interests and workout preferences.

Start slow with the new equipment to get a feel for it. After that, you can up the intensity and experiment more with different movement patterns, weights, and number of reps. By trying out new equipment, you’ll increase your confidence knowing you tried something new. If you’re strategic about it, you might even see gains. Testing new equipment is an important way to grow as an athlete, as it allows you to push your body to new places. 

 

Keeps Fitness Fun 

Woman doing yoga

Doing the same thing all the time is no fun. Physical fitness is important, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Once you feel yourself going on autopilot during a workout, it’s time to switch things up. For many people, fun is an important motivator for fitness, so it’s important you find a way to exercise that you enjoy! 

You don’t have to limit yourself to trying CrossFit workouts at gyms, either. Try jogging outdoors or at home. Pick up a new sport, whether it’s tennis, soccer, kickboxing, or something completely new to you. Or learn a new skill; swimming, dancing, or even horseback riding are all fun activities that can also get you fit. Remember, if you get bored of the gym, you always have other options.  

Ready to diversify your workout routine and try something new? Shop all types of the best fitness equipment and gear at Ninefit. We’ve got everything you need to take your workouts to the next level.