Strength-Training: All You Need is 15 Minutes, Twice Weekly

October 25, 2012 By: consultant 5 Comments

So many of us fall off our fitness and weight loss programs because we are just too busy at times to fit it all in.  When a workout routine is lengthy, we find ourselves skipping it more often than not.  What most people do not realize is that for the strength-training aspect of a fitness routine, we really only need to commit to 15 minutes, twice per week.  If it sounds too good to be true, read on to learn how to organize your workout in the most expedient and effective way.

Anyone doing cardiovascular activity realizes that it is usually focused on the lower body.  Except for swimming, most aerobic activity stimulates the lower body to maintain strength and muscle.  Even people who do not do formal cardio exercise, still walk, get up and down from couches, chairs, and  climb stairs, etc. What many people, don’t realize, however, is that unless their upper body is also worked somehow, it starts to lose muscle after age 30; without regular and consistent stimulation, upper body muscles atrophy and lose tone and shape.

The key is to follow a balanced program for your upper body resistance, and to make sure that each targeted muscle reaches “temporary muscular failure” (the inability to do one more repetition) by 15 repetitions, at the maximum.  A two set routine gives a person 85% of the strength they could receive from any multi-set routine, so doing two sets for each body part provides plenty of stimulation to encourage the growth of new muscular tissue, as well as forcing the bone to gain density.

Since after the age of 50, the overall process of muscular and skeletal atrophy increases dramatically, it is imperative that the over 50 population includes weight training as part of their weekly routine. Fortunately, it’s never too late to begin a weight training regime! Research shows that even people in their 80’s can fortify their muscles through regular weight training!

If you are looking for a simple and easy to follow, 15- minute upper body routine, come to Shane Diet Resorts and tell one of our Professional Trainers.  They will prepare a personalized strength training routine tailored to your individualized needs.  Our Fitness Instructors are trained to take into consideration any physical limitations you may have and create alternative exercises for you.  Either way, try to incorporate some upper body stimulation in your weekly routine to maintain muscle strength and shape throughout your life!

An Apple a Day

October 17, 2012 By: office 41 Comments

One of the greatest enjoyments of fall is the abundance of fresh, ripe, delicious apples. Apples are a great low calorie snack to help you lose weight, great in a variety of recipes,  a natural mouth freshener, and are very inexpensive.

Why Are Apples Good For You?
Apples are a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber such as pectin actually helps to prevent cholesterol buildup in the lining of blood vessel walls, thus reducing the incident of arteriosclerosis and heart disease. The insoluble fiber provides bulk in the intestinal tract, holding water to cleanse and move food quickly through the digestive system. It is a good idea to eat apples with their skin. Almost half of the vitamin C content is just underneath the skin. Eating the skin also increases insoluble fiber content. Most of an apple’s fragrance cells are also concentrated in the skin and as they ripen, the skin cells develop more aroma and flavor.

HAVE AN APPLE TODAY!
Fuel up with this powerful breakfast with fresh fall apples to energize you through the morning!

Fresh Muesli with Apples and Almonds

Makes 2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup unsalted almonds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 tbsp honey

Directions:
1. Preheat a frying pan over medium heat. Toast the oats and almonds until aromatic (or  you can smell the nutty scent). Keep an eye on them and keep stirring because they will burn easily. Stir in cinnamon and let cool to room temperature.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the oat mixture, yogurt and milk.

3. Cover and refrigerate until oats are soft. About one hour or let soften overnight.

4. Spoon the muesli into two bowls. Top with a diced apple and a drizzle of honey.

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories: 283 kcal
  • Total Fat: 7.4 g
  • Total Carbohydrates: 51.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 7.0 g
  • Protein: 7.7 g

Nutrition Tips:

  • The German word muesli means “mixture” and can include raw or toasted cereals (oats, wheat, millet, barley, etc.), dried fruits (such as raisins, apricots, and apples), nuts, bran, wheat germ that is mixed with milk and yogurt.
  • Muesli is very versatile and you can create it depending on the ingredients you like.
  • Greek  yogurt has a higher protein content than regular yogurt. If you do not like just plain Greek  yogurt, mix half the Greek  yogurt with the yogurt you are used to eating.
  • In the fall apples are in season. Try going to local farmers markets and get fresh apples. Also, try switching up the variety of apples you use.

Can’t get enough apples?  Check out Julie’s post about what types of apples are best for your recipes.

Winter Fitness Tips: Cardio Exercise in Cold Weather

October 8, 2012 By: afeldman 81 Comments

So you have committed yourself to a fitness program to continue your weight loss and have been following it steadily for the past couple of months. You have discovered a passion for running and want to keep your fitness levels up during the cold winter months that are now upon us. It is important to know how cold weather will affect our bodies from an exercise standpoint and also, how to stay safe while exercising outside in the winter. Below are some tips and suggestions that will allow you to stay outside for your morning runs and walks.

 

Our bodies in the cold

In an ideal exercise environment, our bodies heat up from physical activity and sweat will cool us off. Cold weather is different. We are more susceptible to suffering cold related injuries than we are to the overheating dangers in other climates. Since the air we are inhaling is much colder than the temperature of our bodies, it can also become very hard to breathe. With cold air, our body goes through a process to warm all oxygen to an acceptable temperature before it can be used by our muscles and organs. Also, the body will limit blood flow to the fingers and toes in order to keep the muscles and organs warm. If precautions are not taken, heat is lost very rapidly, especially from the head.

Dress appropriately (30-40% heat loss from head)

Since we are exercising in the cold, we need to dress appropriately. Important areas to cover from the cold are the hands, feet, ears, head and neck. Also protect your eyes and face if it is really cold outside. Wear socks that will keep you warm or even double up on pairs. Any layers of clothing that you wear should not be movement restricting, like a large winter coat or big fluffy pants. Layer up if you need to but make sure that you are wearing exercise friendly clothing. Shop for clothes with listed features listed like “breathable” or “dry-fit”. Make sure to dress warm, but remember that your body is still creating heat by exercising. If you overdress, or fail to wear breathable clothing during intense exercise, then you are at risk for overheating, even in the cold.

Warm-up first

Before going outside to run or jog, it is best to warm up inside. This means doing some light calisthenics (jumping jacks, walking/jogging in place or going up and down stairs) for 5-10 minutes to turn on your body’s natural heating system. If you are already warmed up when going outside, then it is a much easier transition to exercise in the cold.

Exercising in the snow or on ice

Be very careful in the winter extremes of snowiness and ice. Try to find a trail or a spot that has been plowed and salted. If you choose to walk/jog in snow, then go through special efforts to protect the legs and feet. This may mean wearing special boots to prevent frostbite. Also, look out for black ice as this will easy blend in with the sidewalks and roads and then sneak up on you. The last thing that anyone wants is an injury.

If it is too much, then stay inside

If the snow, ice and cold temperatures become too overwhelming, then stay inside. There are endless pieces of cardio equipment in the gym for days that you can’t go outside. You can even get creative and do some things in your house. Maybe try some interval training on the treadmill to keep it interesting.

Final precautions to take

Drink plenty of water. Many people make the mistake of not drinking enough fluids while working out in the winter. Your body needs to stay hydrated just like any other scenario. Also, you may need to use lip balm and/or lotions on any skin exposed to the wind in order to prevent skin irritations from the cold and dry air. It is possible to continue an exercise routine outdoors in the winter as long as the proper precautions are taken.

Eating Healthy on a Budget

October 2, 2012 By: consultant 34 Comments

Eating healthy does not need to burn a hole in your pocket. If you are following a food budget, the task of food shopping may seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to. You can save money and still have a variety of healthy foods without breaking the bank.

Simple switches to save money:

  • Limit alcohol
    Alcohol is an additional cost to your weekly budget that if you cut it down or cut it out, it can help you save money and lose weight. Alcohol has “empty calories”, meaning that the food is higher in calories and lower in nutrients.
  • Drink water (aim for 8 cups a day)
    Make 2 purchases that can save you money in the long run: a water filter and a reusable water bottle. You can filter tap water right from your home. Other drinks provide empty calories and can become pricey. Even when you go out to eat, order water. Think water is too boring? Try adding orange or lemon slices to your water bottle for some natural flavoring.
  • Avoid the drive through
    Think you are saving money by hitting up the drive through everyday for lunch. Think again. By skipping the drive through and packing your own lunch can help you save money and keep you on track to healthy eating. Skip the double cheeseburger, fries, coke, and large cookie. Buy a loaf of whole wheat bread, turkey from the deli (often on sale), and fruit (in season is often cheaper). Pack a turkey sandwich, a piece, of fruit and your water bottle. Have a sweet tooth after lunch or dinner? Go for small individually wrapped treats like a couple dark chocolate Hershey kisses.
    This also includes limiting dining out.
  • Make sure to have variety!
    Variety is key. No one wants to eat the same thing everyday. Seasonal foods are cheaper during their peak season. Switch it up all the time. An easy thing to switch up is snacks. Buy a variety of fruits to choose from for a healthy snack.
  • Clip coupons
    Clip your coupons. Do a little research before your shopping trip. See what is on sale to incorporate in your meals for the week. Become a member of the store to get a discount on store items. These might seem little, but they add up to big savings at the end.
  • Buy in bulk
    Buying in bulk is often cheaper. You can freeze perishables like breads and meats and use smaller portions when needed.
  • Make extra
    Double a recipe you like and save the rest for leftovers later in the week or freeze the rest for later.

 

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