Sportsmith Blog
27Jan/100

YOGA Products and Accessories

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22Jan/100

TOP 10 BENEFITS OF YOGA EXERCISE

Recently modern scientists and researchers have begun delving into the health benefits of an exercise program that’s over 5000 years old. That program is Yoga. Every day it seems that some new benefit is discovered, but here are the ones that are most important, and the reason most people take up Yoga in the first place.

FLEXIBILITY

This is probably the greatest and most obvious benefit of Yoga. The postures and positions (called Asanas) that Yoga places the body in will lead to much greater muscle and joint flexibility. For many years now, professional gymnasts and other athletes have used Yoga to help their overall flexibility and agility, and with Yoga’s current popularity, many others are now discovering the heightened muscle movement that comes from the exercises.

STRENGTH

Not only will Yoga make the body more flexible, it will also add more strength to the muscles and tendons. Again, many professional athletes perform Yoga to aid in their daily exercise, and bodybuilders and weightlifters are no exception. Keeping the body in certain positions for a certain period of time will strengthen the body. This has been known for thousands of years, by many cultures. Tai Chi Chuan, the traditional Chinese martial art and exercise form, uses a similar philosophy; maintaining prescribed positions for a period of time to strengthen muscles.

STRESS MANAGEMENT

While all the benefits of Yoga may truly never be known, this is one that anybody who’s ever practiced it will attest to. Yoga induces a feeling of inner calm and peace. Of course, this is what the traditional Yogis (one who practices Yoga) were aiming for, as Yoga was originally a religious path to enlightenment and inner peace. While modern Yoga focuses mostly on the exercise and health benefits, the other, less easily defined benefits still remain. Yoga is a perfect exercise for today’s busy lifestyle. We all need to manage the stress of daily life in some way, and what better way than something that will not only give you exercise and energy, but also calm and de-stress you in the process!

MUSCLE TONE

We all want to look good, that’s a given. There are literally thousands of exercise programs designed to help us burn fat and get in shape. Yoga practitioners have known of its toning properties for literally thousands of years. Along with a sensible diet, Yoga has been proven to burn fat and tone muscle, sometimes far more effectively than many of the “fly by night” exercise programs that seemingly pop up daily. While you won’t acquire the massive body of a bodybuilder, Yoga will help you to acquire a sleek, much more natural body tone than weightlifting will. There are even varieties of Yoga now that are considered “high intensity” that put the heart into the “fat burning zone”, and will help with weight reduction and fat loss.

PAIN REDUCTION

Many physical rehabilitation facilities are beginning to incorporate elements of Yoga into their exercise and training regimens. This is because Yoga has a bodily healing effect. While someone with an injury might not be able to perform all of the positions, some of even the most basic positions have a therapeutic effect on the body. This is especially true with upper and lower back pain, something that literally millions and millions of people suffer with daily. Yoga stretches and works muscles that might otherwise go unexercised, and those muscles in turn help to strengthen muscles and tendons that are strained or damaged in some way. Definitely check with your doctor before starting ANY exercise regimen when you are physically injured, however.

POSTURE

This is something most of us have trouble with. How many times when you were younger did your mother tell you to “sit up straight”? Well, Yoga can help you do just that. You will gain a greater understanding of your body’s overall posture, and the positions help keep muscles responsible for good posture strong and supple. You will slump your shoulders less, and you will come to understand your body’s center of gravity and how to maintain that center at all times, whether seated or standing.

HEIGHTENED ENERGY LEVELS

Most of us in today’s busy world need an energy boost now and again. Whether this is something artificial, like caffeine, or something natural, like the energy you gain from eating a piece of fruit, is a personal choice. Yoga gives you extra energy to get through your day without having to resort to outside means. Imagine being able to get through a hard day without those extra cups of coffee or cans of soda? Not only would that save you money, its overall better for your health. The fewer artificial things we ingest, the better!

PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS

Doctors have long known that mental health is at least as important as physical health for a person’s overall well-being. Many Yoga practitioners report that after an exercise session, they experience a feeling of calm, peace, and overall harmony and balance. Yoga’s original purpose was as a path to religious enlightenment, and mentioned earlier, some of the less defined benefits still remain. Though modern Yoga’s purpose is for exercise and bodily health, the psychological benefits cannot be denied.

EASE

Yoga is quite easy to perform. Unlike many exercises today that focus on elaborate equipment, large and clunky machines, or require a radio to blast loud music, Yoga needs only a scant few things for a person to practice it effectively. A “sticky” mat that allows you to maintain the positions without slipping is really all that is required. Some people need what are known as “Yoga straps” to help them maintain some of the more difficult positions as well. Both of these products are inexpensive and easily transportable and storable. While other products do exist, such as rollers, blocks, mats and gloves for the hands and feet to prevent slipping, they are all optional. The term “user friendly” certainly applies to Yoga, as almost anyone can do it, and the things you require are minimal.

BALANCE AND CORE STRENGTH

Recently, scientists and exercise professionals have discovered that having a strong “core” is essential to having a strong body. The “core” muscles work to support and stabilize the spine, pelvis, and abdominal region. Many exercise programs have been developed with strengthening these particular muscles as their primary focus (Pilates currently being the most popular). Yoga exercises these muscles along with other muscles, so you essentially get a workout that combines the best elements of other exercise programs. Since many of the positions also require you to balance the body in certain ways, Yoga will also help with learning and maintaining overall body balance. This benefit in particular is why many gymnasts perform Yoga regularly, as balance is essential to their sport.

The benefits of Yoga are many, and the ten listed here are just a sample of what Yoga can do for you, both physically and mentally. Of course, consult your instructor if you have any questions or concerns about what benefits you might gain from performing Yoga regularly.

12Jan/100

SPORTSMITH™ Launches 2010 With Warehouse and Catalog Expansion

Sportsmith Catalog 57

Tulsa, OK -- January 6, 2010 -- SPORTSMITH™, the nation’s largest fitness products and  equipment parts  supplier, today announced the release of its expanded 2010 Winter Edition Catalog. Concurrently, SPORTSMITH™ completed its expansion into an additional  20,000 sq. foot office warehouse. A new company blog and user forum, accessible through www.sportsmith.net, has been designed and introduced to enhance the user experience. Customers still receive same-day delivery on products and equipment parts purchased online and through the company’s 192-page direct mail catalog.

“We’re extremely proud to launch our massive 2010 Winter Edition Catalog,” explained Brad Schupp, President of SPORTSMITH LLC. “We developed this publication to act as the ultimate facility maintenance reference tool for Health Club operators, complete with maintenance charts, equipment diagrams, fitness equipment parts, functional training products and maintenance information for the most popular fitness equipment brands including Life Fitness®, Star Trac®, StairMaster®, Schwinn®, Precor® and Landice®.”

The new catalog encompasses the largest selection of fitness equipment parts along with strength and functional training products and the latest eco-friendly yoga mats, blocks and straps. Notable additions include:

Life Fitness® Parts and Equipment:

  • T-Series 91T, 97TI and 90T Treadmills
  • 95X Elevation and 95Xi Arctic Silver Cross Trainers
  • 95 Se and 93S Steppers
  • 95R Elevation Indoor Recumbent and Upright Cycles

Star Trac® Parts and Equipment:

  • E-Series E-TRE and E-TRxe Touch-Screen Treadmills
  • E-Series E-TR, ETRx and E-TR Generation 1 Treadmills
  • S-Series S-TRc and S-TRx Treadmills

Matrix® Parts and Equipment:

  • T3x, T3xi and T5x Treadmills
  • Treadmill Running Belts, Rollers and Decks

True Parts and Equipment:

  • CS1.0, CS4.0, CS6.0 and CS8.0 Treadmills
  • CS 8.0 and PS 900 Indoor Cycle Parts

Cybex Parts and Equipment:

  • LCX-425T, CX445T and CX455T Treadmills

Precor® Parts and Equipment:

  • EFX C576i and Amt C100i Elliptical Replacement Parts
  • C966i Treadmill Replacement Parts

Nautilus® Parts and Equipment:

  • T912, T914 and T916 Treadmill Replacement Parts

The SPORTSMITH™ 2010 Winter Edition Catalog also features additional savings on the most popular commercial model OEM and SPORTSMITH™ brand treadmill running belts, decks and rollers along with an expanded selection of sports performance training equipment from Agility Dots, Agility Domes, Mini Hurdles, Agility Ladders and Lateral Power Trainers.

Group exercise products now incorporate Polar® heart rate monitors, SportStep, the Original Health Club Step™, SPORTSMITH resistance bands, medicine and stability balls, yoga and exercise mats. Functional training product selection has been expanded to include specialty items tailored for balance and stability, speed and agility, sports-specific training, fitness assessment and weighted resistance.

To further boost interactivity and knowledge-sharing, SPORTSMITH™ has also established its new website blog and user forum. These features are available to anyone free-of-charge at sportsmith.net. The company blog will provide readers with up-to-date industry and company new stories, announcements and articles of interest to health club owners, journalists and health-conscious individuals.

The new SPORTSMITH™ user forum provides a real-time, moderated platform for discussion on various industry topics. Threads will include advice and dialog on topics of interest to subscribers including health center business operations, facility marketing, industry trends, employee hiring and management strategies.

“Our latest innovations reaffirm our commitment to supplying the most popular and functional fitness equipment parts and personal training products in the industry,“ Schupp explained. “SPORTSMITH™ is proud to offer the added advantage of hassle-free customer service, 24/7 online ordering and express same-day shipment.” All SPORTSMITH™ fitness equipment parts meet or exceed OEM specifications and include the full SPORTSMITH™ warranty.

For more information, call 888-713-2880 or visit www.sportsmith.net.

About SPORTSMITH™

Founded in 1995, SPORTSMITH™ is the nation’s largest supplier of fitness equipment and parts for health clubs and health-conscious individuals. The company is recognized for its superior quality, express same-day shipment on all orders, comprehensive selection of more than 40,000 individual items and overall value, with products 10 to 30 percent below competitive retail prices. The company serves customers through its 20,000 sq. foot state-of-the-art office warehouse, with orders placed by mail, fax, phone or online via its direct mail catalog and secure ecommerce website.

7Jan/100

Preventive Equipment Maintenance Is Good for Business!

Sportsmith: Shop Online 888-713-2880 www.sportsmith.net
"Out of service" signs are bad for business. Routine preventive maintenance minimizes down time, extends equipment life and reduces your possible liability. You save money on parts, repairs and keep your clients happy.

Cleanliness and lubrication are perhaps the two most important factors in equipment maintenance and longevity," reports Brad Schupp, SPORTSMITH president. "Whether you have a few pieces of equipment or a hundred, following manufacturer guidelines for service, cleaning and lubrication optimizes equipment performance and significantly extends its useful life."

Perspiration is a major corrosive force, so constant attention is required to minimize damage. Your equipment should be cleaned after each use with equipment wipes, especially those parts in contact with exercisers (grips, seats, pads and consoles).

If you make the cleanser and towels, available many exercisers will clean as courtesy to the next user. Be sure to read cleanser labels thoroughly and consult equipment operations manuals to avoid any harmful materials.

"It is wise to establish a daily cleaning routine backed by a weekly and monthly maintenance schedule. Create an inspection checklist numbering each piece of equipment to keep an accurate log," says Schupp. "Cardiovascular equipment requires more frequent maintenance, especially indoor group exercise cycles and treadmills. All your indoor cycles should be tuned on a weekly basis to assure optimum and uniform performance. Worn grips, seats and pedals should be replaced immediately."

Regular inspections help prevent damage to equipment drive systems and electronics, which are the most costly items to repair. To reduce downtime it is wise to stock OEM-quality replacement parts for the most common repairs. Depending on your equipment, these include belts, chains, pedal straps, strength cables, pulleys, pads and grips. Although cardiovascular equipment requires the most attention, be sure to keep your strength equipment guide rods lubricated and replace pulleys and cables at the first signs of wear.