• twitter
  • facebook

Fitness in history

If nothing else can make you take up a sport or go to the gym, how about a trip to the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology? A survey of sporting clothing will leave you in awe of how much effort goes into designing the perfect clothing for exercise. It would be a pity to let it go to waste.

Old fashioned tennis
Courtesy of the Powerhouse Museum

Compare the outfits on these three young ladies holding tennis racquets to the much more comfortable but also fashionable outfit by Norma Kamali from the 1980s.

Norma Kamali
Courtesy of the Museum at FIT

No matter what you think of it, the truth is that exercising makes you look confident and contributes to your good looks.




Side lunges

Everyone has one or two favorite moves. We decided to begin sharing ours with you. If you have any favorites, do post a comment here or email us at: to share it with the entire community.

One of our most favorites is the side lunge. It works your abs, obliques, and butt. Extra bonus: It can be performed anywhere.





Tricep dips

This exercise is great not only because it builds muscle in one of your arm's less trained spots but also because it can be done anywhere. This means that you can perform a set of tricep dips either at the gym or at home or park, using a low but sturdy surface to support your weight.









Where to begin with Pilates? It is not an easy method to master and yet the benefits to your core and upper-body muscular endurance will be noticeable once you begin a Pilates routine.

A very good place with tutorials on correct posture and a variety of exercises is Shape Magazine's Pilates page. Our advice: Learn two moves every day. Soon, you will have a whole repertory of beneficial Pilates moves.

Resting and circuit training

No one has time for longer workout sessions, especially now that schools are about to open. Homework, social activities, and family time are equally important. How can you optimize the time you spend at the gym?

Instead of taking a minute to rest between sets of strength training, do some cardio. You have plenty of options, such as jogging in place, doing step-ups, or jumping rope. Do this "flash" cardio for a minute between sets and then move on to the next strength training exercise. 

The outcome: You will burn more calories during and after your workout.




Flex time

We are not talking about flexible schedules but rather about time dedicated to stretching to increase your flexibility. 

While most of us stretch before and after cardio, we often forget to do so when training with weights. Stretching on weight training days is equally essential because it increases the temporary trauma to your muscles and forces them to work harder to rebuild. Ultimately, you are building strength.








Yoga session with Kristin McGee

Mark your calendars! On September 21st, Kristin will teach a free yoga class at Paragon. Remember to register in order to attend. Information below:






The importance of resting

Now that you have finally committed to a regular exercise schedule, you hesitate taking a break from it. You should remember though that resting is important for two reasons: 

1. If you do primarily cardio, you are depleting your muscles. You probably feel tired and need a little motivation to get to the gym. This is because your muscles need some rest.

2. If you do weight training, you are tearing muscle tissue. If you want to build up muscle you need to give your muscles time to recover. 

How much should one rest? You should probably do cardio only 5 out of the 7 days. As for weight training, you should work out different muscle groups each time so that you give them time to recover in between training sessions.

Bonus: Take a day off from working out during the week. This will feel like a real treat, especially if you tend to stress out about school, homework, work or other engagements. Choose which day is the most difficult for you, and allow your body to rest. You can work out a little extra hard during the weekend!



Gym ball exercises

Do you have a gym ball and no idea how to use it? Take a look at the pictures below for some inspiration.




Muscle confusion

Muscle confusion is key in weight training. It will result to more muscle build-up more quickly. To achieve that type of result you will need to train the same group of muscles from different angles so that what you ask your muscles to perform each time is new.

For example, let's say you are working on your chest muscles and you have chosen to do that with chest presses. Take a look at the images that follow to realize how many different ways there are for you to perform a chest press. In fact, you should alternate between different types even on the same day. Remember that both quality and quantity are responsible for great results.


Type One



Type Two


Type Three


Type Four