Fitness for Weight Loss: Spicing Up Your Cardio

March 30, 2011 By: afeldman 3 Comments

Make the most of your treadmill time for effective weight loss.

Let’s face it, cardio exercise can be very boring, especially in the winter season when a lot of us are forced to be inside during our weight loss efforts. So what do most of us do? We get comfortable walking at a nice easy pace on the treadmill while watching our favorite television program or reading a magazine.

There’s a problem with this. If you only have a half hour to do your cardio session in the gym, then you need to use that time wisely. If you’re able to read a book while doing cardio, then you are not getting the bang for your buck. With a half hour of cardio, you have the potential to burn 300-400 calories but if you’re walking at a nice slow pace, then you’re in the 100-200 calorie range…that’s a big difference. Over a month’s time, that can add up to a 7000 calorie difference, which is 2 pounds! May not sound like much, but over the course of a year, that adds up to 24 pounds. So, what I would like to do is take you out of that comfort zone and get you into that 300-400 calorie range.

Here are three, 30 minute routines that I give clients to use on the treadmill. These can also be done on an elliptical using the resistance level as an incline. You will burn extra calories and the time will pass a little faster.

You will be altering the INCLINE and SPEED settings on the treadmill for these 3 routines

Routine 1              Speed Intervals

The incline setting will remain at 0 for this, but the speed will be changing frequently.

A medium pace is a comfortable walking or jogging pace, but you should still be working.

A fast pace is a pace that should be relatively hard to maintain. The numbers will be different for everyone. If your medium pace is a 2.5mph walk, then try a 3.5 walk. If you are jogging at 6.0 for the medium pace, then try 7.5 for your fast pace.

3 minutes Warm-up (Moderate walking pace)
1 minute Fast
2 minutes Medium
*Run through this 3 minute interval 8-10 times total
3 minutes Cool Down (back to that moderate walking pace) =
30-36 minutes of cardio

Routine 2              The Long Hill

You will maintain the same speed throughout this workout but the incline level of the treadmill will change frequently.

Use the same pace that you would use for a medium level, like in the speed interval workout. If you were comfortable with a 5.0 jog, use that. If you were comfortable with a 3.5 walk, use that. It will get harder as the incline gets higher, so do not get too crazy with speed at the beginning.

2 minutes Warm-up, moderate walking pace on a flat treadmill
After 2 minutes raise the incline up 1-2%
Every 2 minutes, raise the incline up 1-2% until you have totaled 12 minutes on the treadmill
At 12 minutes, lower the incline 1-2% and repeat every 2 minutes until you have reached 20 minutes total
At 20 minutes, Raise the incline 1-3% and repeat every minute until you reach 25 minutes
At 25 minutes bring the incline down by 5-10%
At 27 minutes, bring the incline to 0 and cool down for 3 minutes by continuing a moderate walking pace.

*If you choose to add on time, 1-2 minutes can be added to each stage.

Routine 3              Hill Intervals

This routine is like the speed intervals, but uses hills instead. For this, the speed will stay the same and the incline level will be changing.  Find that comfortable pace that still forces you to work a little bit when the treadmill is set at flat. For some, this may be a speed walk at 3.5 mph. For others, this may be a jog at 6.0 mph and for the advanced, this may be 7.0-7.5 mph.

3 minutes Warm-up
1 minute Flat
2 minutes Hill (4%-8% incline)
*Run through this 3 minute interval 8 times total
3 minutes Cool down

For more fitness tips and resources, visit Shane Diet Resorts’ adult weight loss program’s website.

Weight Loss and Nutrition Tips: Eat Nuts!

March 25, 2011 By: consultant 11 Comments

Going Nuts?  Me too.

Going to EAT nuts, that is.  A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who eat nuts twice per week have a reduced chance of becoming overweight or obese compared to women who do not eat nuts.  Watch out, almonds.  Here I come.

Mixed Nuts

Add some nuts to your diet to prevent excess weight gain!

But it’s not just almonds that have healthy lifestyle benefits.  Walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, hazelnuts (filberts), and pistachios come packed with vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, calcium, selenium, copper, and magnesium.  And let’s not forget our faithful peanut.  As my personal favorite legume, peanuts are a good source of B vitamins and help make peanut butter mighty tasty.

So why exactly do nuts help to prevent excess weight gain?  Though some tend to steer away from these crunchy, delicious foods, the unsaturated fat in nuts is actually quite beneficial.  Fat is necessary for the body to absorb certain vitamins and minerals – notably vitamins A, D, E, and K – and these are needed for proper metabolism.   Some scientists also believe that the human body is not necessarily able to process the entire nut (think fiber and indigestible plant material), which results in the absorption of fewer calories.

So add some chopped walnuts to your morning oatmeal.  Grab a handful of almonds for a quick, filling snack.  Or treat yourself to a few apple slices topped with a creamy swirl of peanut butter.  You’ll be getting some great vitamins and minerals as well as enjoying a tasty treat.  Who doesn’t go nuts every now and then?

Weight Loss Tips: How Can I Lose the Most Weight in the Shortest Time?

March 21, 2011 By: office 21 Comments

“I want to lose weight now.”

Whether you say it or secretly wish it, this is the most popular desire of today’s gym goers. We spend millions of dollars at gyms every year just to achieve this goal of weight loss, but the truth is most of us fail. We don’t know how to do it properly and we’re too afraid to ask for help. After trying countless fitness classes, exercise programs and diets, you can’t get it to stick.

So, how do you lose weight? I would like to share some common concerns that I hear from gym members and explain what is happening. With basic and accurate knowledge, you CAN achieve your healthy weight loss goals through a healthy lifestyle!

Concern #1 “I’ve tried many diets and none of them are working””

Dieting is a very simple concept that is unduly complicated by various authors, doctors and fitness professionals. Here is the bottom line: Your body burns energy by moving and it receives energy by eating, so if you burn more calories (energy) than you consume, then your body will tap into energy storage (fat) and you will lose weight. That is it! That is the formula to weight loss. Imagine if you are eating all of the right foods on a 1700 calorie plan but your body is only currently using or burning 1600 of those calories in a day. 100 calories every day are being stored as fat. Since 3500 calories = 1 pound, after 35 days, you have already gained 1 pound and after 3 years, you’re 30 pounds heavier! The diets you have tried weren’t working because you were not in “calorie deficit.” The best way to reach a calorie deficit is to combine exercise and healthy eating.

Concern #2 “If all I need is to eat fewer calories, then I will just stop eating, right?”

WRONG! This what many people believe. Here is the problem: Your body is very smart and its number one priority is self preservation. If you deprive the body of too much food, then it goes into starvation mode. This means that your body will try to slow itself down to match the calories that are coming in. You will become a very tired, very cranky and very unhappy person and at the end of all of that, any weight that you do lose is going to boomerang right back! You may even become heavier. It is very important to have a healthy diet. You can find articles about healthy eating and other weight loss tips on the Shane blog, at or

Concern #3 “These fitness classes aren‘t helping me lose weight either.”

Fitness classes can be a very valuable tool for losing weight when used correctly. A lot of us don’t see progress when we go to these classes though. It all goes back to Concern #1 with dieting. You need to be in a calorie deficit which exercise will help by increasing the amount of calories that your body burns. Cardio classes will shred calories while you are participating and classes with resistance training will strengthen muscle which allows you to burn more calories at rest. The reason that a lot of us do not see this happening is because we go to the class, but we are not IN the class. When you participate in any activity with the intention of getting the most out of it, you need to concentrate fully on it. With an exercise class, that means focusing on each move that you are doing, having a positive attitude and making sure that you are pushing yourself. Next time you go to an exercise class, instead of simply going through the motions, focus on working hard and getting the most out of your 30 minute or 60 minute class. It will be more fun too.

Aaron Feldman is one of the weight loss fitness trainers at Shane Diet Resorts, a fitness retreat for young adults ages 18-25 and adults ages 26 and up. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport/Exercise Science, a Personal Trainer Certification through the ACSM, a Swim Instructor Certification through the American Red Cross, and he is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Kinesiology- Exercise Science at California State University – Long Beach.

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