Rockin’ Out At Weight Loss Camp

February 6, 2014 By: consultant 10 Comments

There are studies that show that music can fuel your workout. Music is an amazing distraction and can even motivate us to push out an extra 100 calories or dig deep within and log an extra mile or two.  Research is also showing that music can change heart rate, impact blood pressure, change metabolic rate, reduce physical fatigue and mental stress. And we keep these things in mind when we are playing music in any of our fitness classes at our weight loss camp. Here is a list of some of my favorite workout music! I hope you enjoy them as much as  I do! – Fitness Intern Carrie

 

Rock

  • Awake & Alive — Skillet
  • Monster — SkilletP1010511
  • The Hardest Ever — Will.I.Am

Pop

  • Rolling in the Deep — Adele
  • Countdown — Beyonce
  • Evacuate the Dance Floor — Cascade
  • Smooth Criminal — Glee
  • Trouble Maker  — Olly Murs
  • My Heart Skips a Beat — Olly Murs

Dance

  • Let’s Go — Calvin Harris & Ne-Yo
  • Werk Me — Hyper Crush
  • Right on Time — Skrillex
  • Pyromania — Cascade
  • Dinosaur — Glee
  • Misery Business — Paramore
  • Untouched — Paramore

Rap/Hip Hop

  • Drop it Low – Ester Dean & Chris Brown
  • Let it Rock — Kevin Roudolf & Lil Wayne
  • Payphone — Maroon 5 & Wiz Khalifa
  • Move, Shake, Drop — Dynamic Music
  • Thrift Shop — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

 

What is your favorite music to listen to when you’re working out. Tell us what the song is and why it’s a favorite to work out to.

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Office Tips and Exercises from A Weight Loss Camp Trainer

January 20, 2014 By: consultant 1 Comment

According to research, only 20% of jobs in the work force require moderate physical activity. That leaves 80% of jobs that are sedentary or require very little physical activity.  Research is also showing that 1 in 3 Americans are obese. Coincidence? I don’t think so! But instead of blaming your job, use it to your advantage. A trainer at our weight loss camp came up with the below tips and exercises to do around the office and get you moving!

Treadmill Desk from TrekDesk  is a treadmill attached to a desk. It lets you workout while at work.

Treadmill Desk from TrekDesk is a treadmill attached to a desk. It lets you workout while at work.

Tips:

1.  Make the most out of your commute to work. Walk, run or bike.

2.  Walk around the office every chance you get. Instead of emailing the person four doors down, get up  and walk to deliver the message

3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

4. Trade your office chair in for a stability ball. Or stand at your desk instead of sitting.

5. Treadmill Desk – In fact, Mayo Clinic researchers estimate that overweight office workers who replace sitting computer time with walking computer time by two to three hours a day could lose 44 to 66 pounds (20 to 30 kilograms) in a year.

 

Exercises:

1.  Desk Push-up

2.  Desk Moutain climbers

3. Chair sit to stand or Squat

4. Knee lifts or jogging in place

5. Punches

 

Want a workout out of it? Try making the exercises a Circuit!

Grab your phone stopwatch, or a clock. Try completing as many reps as you can of each exercise for 1 full minute. Take a 15 second break in between, and then move to the next exercise. Repeat the circuit 2-4 times and you can get in a quick 10-20 minute office workout!

These days, living without a job is almost impossible, and with that job taking up so many of our waking hours it seems like our personal workout time is always the first thing to go, but now it doesn’t have to. Have fun working out around the office! And if you really want to make it interesting, start a friendly competition with some of your coworkers to see who can get the best workout done around the office.

Do you already work out at the office? If so, tell us what your favorite office exercises are! Or if you’re going to start, tell us how it’s going! We want to know how everyone is doing! 

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Shape Up Your Christmas List – From Your Adult Weight Loss Camp

December 12, 2013 By: consultant 15 Comments

Giving or receiving holiday gifts can be a terrific opportunity to bump up a fitness program. The below list of equipment complied by fitness trainers at our  adult weight loss camp supports a healthy lifestyle, well-being and of course weight loss. You can please your health conscious spouse, a faithful workout partner, and even an open minded couch potato.  Need a gift for office buddies?  Turn it into a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year by developing a time to use the fitness gift during the day on a 15 minute break or lunch hour. You can also use this list to drop hints for yourself.

  • Exercise Tubing and Bands are portable and versatile, perfect for toning muscles. A recent study shows, with proper form, tubes and bands are as effective on muscle development as dumbbells and machines. Great for hiding in a desk drawer.
  • Foam Roller uses self-massage and acupressure techniques to get rid of knots, drive out lactic acid, and relax your muscles after a vigorous workout. Using a foam roller increases circulation to soft tissue.
  • Gift Certificate to Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts will be the best gift of all!  You and your buddies and/or loved ones can come together to one of the wonderful adult weight loss camps to recharge your battery, learn better eating habits, and get inspired with fun creative classes to teach you how to use all these exercise gadgets.
  • Heart Rate Monitor comes with a chest strap you wear during your exercise program. It helps you stay within your target heart rate zone for a safe and more effective workout.
  • Kettlebells are a terrific workout tool.  Studies show that you burn around 20 calories per minute, since it combines strength training and cardio at the same time. Great for adding functional fitness to your existing program. Women should start at 8 lbs, men at 10 lbs.
  • Medicine Balls are fun and functional.  Terrific for abdominal work and come in a variety of sizes and weights to add unlimited variety.
  • Pedometers, perfect for your office buddies.  Wear them during the day at the office and see who accumulates the most steps. They also keep you mindful of achieving your weight loss and fitness goals.
  • Running Shoes are a great idea since we tend to keep our sneakers long after they are worn out. Get a gift certificate so they can be properly-fitted and are happy with the styling.
  • Stability Balls are great to use at home and at the office to sit on as well as exercise and stretch with. They come in a variety of sizes to suit your height. Short – 55cc, Medium – 65 cc, Tall – 75cc.
  • Stretch/Yoga Mats can get worn out with lots of use.  It is always a nice thought to find one that is made from recycled or eco-friendly ingredients. Keep in mind the mats thickness – some people appreciate the extra padding.
  • Stretching Strap/Yoga Tie will come in handy to assist with all types of flexibility exercises for a more effective routine. You relax and let the strap do the work.
  • Yoga Blocks are wonderful for someone beginning a yoga class or who does not have a lot of flexibility.  They help you perform certain standing and seated positions intended to improve strength, stamina, and flexibility.

Remember, you can be a positive influence in the lives of the people you care about. Your gift can enhance some ones quality of life and give you another exercise partner to support you as well.  It is a win-win!

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Weight Loss Camp Trainer, Discusses Excuses

November 12, 2013 By: consultant Post a Comment

Liz-Team-PhotoAs a trainer, I hear “I don’t have enough time to workout” quite a bit and that is one of the biggest obstacles guests at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts weight loss camp ask me how to overcome. Work, kids, job, school, errands, the list goes on. But I promise you there are ways to make time! Here are a few suggestions for you to be able to fit exercise into your daily life.

1. Take 10! 

For those of you that really can’t dedicate a full block of time for exercise, just commit to 10 minute exercise breaks.

The recommended amount of exercise for adults is a moderate to intense cardio respiratory exercise, 30-60 minutes; five times a week minimum and strength guidelines are to work each major muscle group two to three days a week. ACSM guidelines say this time can be divided up throughout the day with smaller bouts of exercise. For example you could complete 10 minutes when you wake up, 10 minutes on your lunch break, and 10 minutes when you get home from work and you have the recommended amount of exercise checked off for that day.

2. Plan ahead.

Here are a few ways to plan ahead:

  • First, plan what time you will exercise. Morning, lunch break, after dinner?
  • Second, schedule the time in your calendar just like an appointment you wouldn’t want to miss and keep that same schedule and time so it becomes a habit.
  • Third, set out your clothes, gym bag, water, iPod, shoes, pre or post workout snack, and whatever else you may need the night before so you can grab it and go the next day.

3. Daily lifestyle and activities

Here are a few options to increase your caloric burn and fit in extra mini workouts:

  • Take the stairs wherever you can. This will increase your heart rate and calorie burn as well as build your backside.
  • Find a parking spot farther away from the entrance.
  • Take 10! Run around with your kids or dog, or take a short walk around the block.
  • Skip the chair. Standing may burn somewhere between 20-50 calories more per hour than sitting. This may not seem like much but over the course of the day it can definitely add up!

 

Most importantly, everyone is different!  See which workout-timing strategies work better for you then keep up the hard work for amazing results!

 

Written by: Liz Mitchell, BS, CPT, NASM WLS

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Weight Loss Camps Talk Circuit Workout Effectiveness

November 5, 2013 By: consultant 16 Comments

Does it accomplish both Strength & Cardio Training, at once?

Guests at our NY resort at a station during our circuit class.

Guests at our NY resort at a station during our circuit class.

In the past few years, the concept of the ‘circuit workout’ has resurfaced in many clubs, and is actually the ONLY option offered in certain franchised gyms.  Is this type of workout effective?  Is it for you?

A circuit involves a workout designed for a specific set of machines that are all arranged in close proximity, and that each focus on a different muscle group.  The group circuit class has gained popularity the past couple of years mostly due to its user-friendly nature.  The fact that the workout takes no longer that 30 minutes, and the fact that the resistance choices are somehow pre-set (whether by the trainer or by the machine itself), causes it to attract a large market: all of those people who are pressed for time.

A traditional workout regime typically involves three components–cardio training, strength training, and flexibility training.  The total time for even a trimmed-down routine would add up to about four and a half hours per week.  The circuit workout promises the same results in about one and a half hours per week.  This reduction of time makes the circuit routine very attractive to a busy individual.  The question is: which workout is right for you? The fitness staff at Shane’s weight loss camps will help you find out based on the criteria below.

The circuit workout claims to be both a cardio and strength training routine, all at once.  The promise of receiving a cardiovascular workout while going through the circuit is based on the fact that there are no 60 second “resting” breaks for muscle recovery, as there are in a traditional strength training workout; this requirement claims to cause enough constant movement of the client to produce an elevated heart rate that equals one produced by a traditional cardio activity.   The question then is, are most clients actually in the ‘training zone’ while performing the circuit, thereby enabling them to kill two birds with one stone?  The answer to that is directly related to the fitness level of the client.

A person just starting or re-starting a fitness routine will benefit the most from a circuit type of workout.  This statement is true for two reasons.  Firstly, the beginner is not yet conditioned to a high level of cardio work, so pushing that client through a circuit with no breaks would most likely cause that person’s heart rate to go above 120 beats per minute,  putting them in the training zone.  A beginner would very likely feel challenged in the lower end of the cardio training zone, which typically range  from 120 to 156 beats per minute.  Secondly, the unconditioned muscles of a beginner will be quite challenged from a one-set strength training routine on each machine, as long as the resistance choices are appropriate.

The type of client least likely to yield cardio benefits from a 30 minute circuit workout is the aerobically-conditioned person.  Someone who usually does between three and five 45 minute workouts per week, and feels comfortable when the heart rate is in the upper end of the training zone, is not going to feel aerobically challenged in a circuit.

In addition, the person who’s used to doing a challenging two or three set strength training routine will not feel equally challenged by the one set routines that most circuits offer.

On the positive side, the benefits of a circuit workout for a starter or re-starter client are incredible.   The circuit provides a solid conditioning base for strength-training, and at the same time, it does cause a beginner’s heart rate to push into the cardio training zone.  Providing the circuit ends with stretching, in a mere 30 minutes, the beginner can accomplish a complete workout.  The wonderful aspect of this is that if the beginner does establish the habit of exercising on a consistent basis, then the circuit has provided the perfect foundation for the next step: a more challenging, intermediate program.

A Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we find out what workout program is safe and best for your body.  Any movement is better than no movement at all, but at Shane we strive to give you the biggest calorie burn for your buck and make it fun at the same time.  The most important factor is to stay consistent and make it part of your routine.

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Weight Loss Camps Pre & Post Workout Meals/Snacks

October 2, 2013 By: consultant 3 Comments

At our weight loss camps, we know there is more to losing weight, getting fit and staying healthy than just exercising and eating nutritious foods. It’s making sure that you are getting the proper foods before and after a work out to make sure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs to make sure that you have a good workout.

Pre-Workout Meals and Snacks

Making sure you are properly fueled before working out is crucial to having a successful workout in which you can push yourself to a good level of intensity and have enough energy to get through without feeling overly fatigued.

The timing of a pre-workout can vary from person to person so it might take time to find out what works best for you specifically.  A good general rule of thumb is to have a snack about 10-15 minutes prior to any workout.  If you’re having a full meal, you’ll want to give yourself 45 minutes to an hour to digest before starting to exercise.

For a pre-workout snack you’re going to want to make sure you have some simple carbohydrates that will break down quickly so you have an immediate source of energy to utilize. This can be anything from a piece of fruit to a small granola bar- something mostly carbohydrates with a small amount of protein.

For a pre-workout meal, make sure you have some complex carbohydrates and a serving of protein in your meal. If you consume your meal about an hour before working out, it will provide your stomach enough time to break down the food and have that energy available to you while working out.

 

Post-Workout Meals and Snacks

The body’s ability to recover properly after a workout depends significantly on getting appropriate nutrition it needs.  During your workout, you are putting a lot of tiny tears in your muscles and it is extremely important to refuel properly afterwards so that those muscles can recover and heal as quickly as possible.

It’s important to make sure that you have your post-workout meal or snack with carbohydrates and protein 15-30 minutes after working out. This is the best way to optimize nutrient absorption.  If you’re worried about caloric intake, a great way to stay on track would be to make your post-workout meal one of your main meals of the day. For a post-workout snack a banana with chocolate milk, or a peanut butter sandwich are great options.  You put the hard work in during the workout, make sure to reap all of the benefits from it!

 

Healthy Snacking

Planning and sticking with your healthy snacks can be even harder than meals sometimes.  You can get caught in the middle of an office party, have an after school snack with the kids, or get sucked into that before bed binge.  Before you know it, your 100-200 calorie snack has turned into an extra meal…or two!

Knowing the times that you’re most likely to fall prey to over snacking means you can now come up with a plan to avoid it in the future.  Whatever your favorite time to snack is, make sure you allot yourself enough calories to have your snack and feel satisfied.  Also be sure to include at least two food groups in order for your body to feel full.

If you’re a person who likes to snack throughout the entire day, five to six small meals as opposed to three larger ones might be a better way to stay within your caloric range without feeling deprived.  If there is only one time where you really get caught over eating, make sure you have a plan where you have a small snack that you enjoy every day during that time.  Just knowing that you will be able to have something that you enjoy again the next day will help to avoid the need to binge on it. Need some ideas? Take a look at a few of our recipes or buy our cookbook Meal Simple.

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Renewing Your Fitness Goals After Weight Loss Camp

September 13, 2013 By: consultant 12 Comments

IMG_2364I am writing this blog to all past guests. Whether you were with us at one of our weight loss camps this season, last season or any prior seasons, I’d like to re-emphasize your journey.

 
Those of you who have been home for some time, know it can be hard to translate an exercise routine from a structured program like ours to your home life. But I would like to remind you that it is never to late to start fresh. If things didn’t work out quite as you had planned when you returned home, ask yourself, why? What was it that made it hard? What can you take away as a learning experience from previous attempts at weight loss? Is there anything that could help alleviate some of the stress?

 
There is one thing I know about this situation, and that is that there’s no such thing as failure if something can be learned from the experience. Let’s face it, we can always learn something from our mistakes of the past, sometimes, we just have to look a little deeper than the surface. For those of you who have fallen off the fitness wagon, I challenge you to think about the steps that lead you there and take what you can out of them to make you a happier and healthier person moving forward. Then, I would like you to use this information, dust yourself off, get back up and get back in the game.

 
When you joined us, you made a promise to yourself to meet a goal, to get from point A to point B. We want to help you keep that promise to yourself.
So here I am asking you, have you been staying true to that promise? It’s okay to be honest with yourself. If you’re one that has been successful at home or that has not been home long enough to know, use these thoughts to prepare yourself for possible hard times in the future. However, if the transition has not gone as planned, let’s address this. Even if you started the transition smoothly but fell off the wagon recently, how can you change direction and start moving forward again? To better help you at home, we would like to provide you with some tools.

 
The Shane Team and I will be posting regular fitness and nutrition blogs with topics relevant to fitness, nutrition, healthy living and motivation to help you get back on the weight loss and wellness journey. Just like we were there for you at the resorts guiding you, we are going to again be here for you and help you stay on track. We will also be posting fitness challenges, exercises, inspirational thoughts and quotes on our social media pages, like Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. If you were with us before, it is not too late to dust off the old exercise program, and get started again. Tomorrow is a good day to also start that healthy eating plan, to start incorporating more movement in your day and to build positive thinking into your life. For those who have not been with us before, visit our website.

 
Think you need a refresher? Check out our Weekend Jumpstart Program at our Texas weight loss camp, a great way to help you get back on the road to success.

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How to Ride Out Dangerous Heat Waves While At Weight Loss Camp or Working Out

June 5, 2013 By: office 6 Comments

Expert Offers Tips on Using The Body’s Own Cooling Mechanisms To Stay Safe During Hot Weather

How-to-Avoid-Summer-Heat(HealthDay News) — Extreme summer heat can be more than uncomfortable, it can be deadly, especially when you are working out or attending a weight loss camp.

Since 1979, about 8,000 Americans have died from heat exposure, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those most susceptible to extreme heat include the elderly and the very young, people with chronic diseases or mental illness, and those taking diuretics or blood pressure medications.

But young and healthy people are also at risk if they do physically strenuous activities in hot weather, according to researchers.

There are a number of ways to prevent overheating and protecting yourself and others from heat exhaustion and heat stroke, said Dr. Larry Mellick of the emergency department at MCGHealth, an academic medical center of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta:

 

  • Schedule outdoor activities for early morning or early evening.
  • Take regular breaks in shady areas or indoors so that your body’s thermostat has a chance to recover.
  • Avoid direct sunlight whenever possible. Always use sunscreen to reduce the heat your body absorbs and to limit moisture loss. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat. People who work in the sun should take frequent breaks and not push themselves too hard.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If you’re doing heavy exercise in the heat, drink two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour. Even when you’re swimming, you need to drink plenty of water.
  • Don’t eat a heavy or hot meal before going outside in hot weather. Doing so will heat your body faster.
  • Avoid liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar — they may cause you to lose more body fluids.
  • If you’re not used to exercising in hot weather, begin slowly and gradually increase your pace. If your heart starts to pound and you’re gasping for breath, stop your activity; find a cool or shady area and rest.
  • During hot weather, monitor the condition of family, friends and co-workers, and have someone do the same for you. During a heat wave, relatives and friends should call elderly people twice a day to ask how they’re doing.
  • If you have air conditioning, try to stay inside. If you don’t have air conditioning, go to a public place that does have it. If you don’t have air conditioning and can’t leave your home, a cool shower or bath can help keep your body temperature cool.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning, avoid running the stove or oven on hot days.
  • Call 911 immediately if you suspect that you or someone else has had a heat stroke, marked by a high body temperature, a rapid pulse, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, headache, seizure and/or hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty.

 

For more information visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about preventing heat-related illnesses. As Shane’s weight loss camp we make sure that the safety of our guests comes first. Have other fitness safety tips? Find us on Facebook and ask us, we’d be happy to answer.

 

SOURCE: MCGHealth, June 2010, news release

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Are You Succeeding With Your Exercise and Weight Loss Resolutions?

May 8, 2013 By: consultant 74 Comments

gymEvery year exercise and weight loss are ranked as the top New Year resolutions that people make. Were you one of them? Whether you’re looking to drop a few pounds, tone up those muscles or improve your overall health, creating a gym in your house can give you the comforts of home while not having to worry that you don’t have time to get to the gym.

Here are some low cost items that are handy to have around the house as well as ideas on how to use items you may already have.

Cardio
Pick up a good sturdy and fairly heavy jump rope at your local sports retailer. If you are planning on jumping rope indoors, make sure you have at least a nine foot ceiling, if not, head outside! Jumping rope burns approximately 110 calories in just 10 minutes. Change the speed at which you’re jumping to create interval training and to ramp up your cardio experience.

If you are looking for a lower impact cardio workout, head out doors. It is recommended that people walk 10,000 steps a day to maintain their weight. By clipping a pedometer to your belt will help you know how close you are to the 10,000 steps a day. Take the jump rope with you and try connecting with your inner child and skip down the street; trust me, it’s fun.

Building Strength
While you are out grabbing the jump rope you can pick up a few low cost free weights and they can be easily stored under your bed. For a change from weights, get a kettle bell. In just 20 minutes, you can burn up to 400 calories and get firm all over. There are plenty of online videos to assist you in creating a routine.

If weights just aren’t your thing, a rubber resistance band, which mimics machine moves, can help target back, hip and inner thigh muscles as well as biceps, triceps and shoulders. Most come with a door attachment or handles for you to change up your routine.

Many household items can easily be used for exercise too. Rather than purchasing hand weights, use gallon sized milk jugs filled with water and that can be used for any exercise that requires dumbbells. Adjust the amount of water in the bottles and you can change how heavy the weight is.

One of my all time favorite pieces of equipment is a stability ball. You can get creative and do many different exercises to flatten the belly, work out the back muscles, do pushups and much more. Of course, when all else fails, there are always the basic body-weight exercises, most of which only require a bit of empty space on the floor or wall. Squats, push-ups and jogging in place are all great ways to work up a sweat and burn calories and they don’t cost a penny to do.

Use these simple tips to help keep you on track with your exercising and weight loss resolutions. Have fun with your exercise routine, utilize free weight loss tools and there’s never any reason why you can’t succeed. If you have questions on how to make your home a gym and using things around your house, just ask! Our Fitness Coaches are always willing to help.

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A Prescription for Better Health & Weight Loss

April 29, 2013 By: office Post a Comment

aaronyoga_page4outof16Most of us spend the vast majority of our time inside. According to one government estimate, the average American spends 90% of his or her life indoors, and as we get older we become even more inclined not to venture out. But is all this indoor time hurting our health and weight loss goals?

Spending time outdoors seems to have discernible benefits for physical and mental health. Granted, some are merely by association and can be achieved by other means, perhaps while indoors, but often only with a great deal more trouble and expense. Here are five potential benefits of spending more time outdoors:

1. Your vitamin D levels will go up

Exposing your skin to sunshine — actually, ultraviolet B (UVB) rays — enables the body to make vitamin D, which is why it’s also known as the “sunshine vitamin.” Research suggests vitamin D may have protective effects against everything from osteoporosis to cancer to depression to heart attacks and stroke.

Of course, it has to be sunny out, and there are some snags. Where you live, the season, and the time of day affect how much UVB reaches your skin. The farther you live from the equator, the less UVB radiation you receive. Vitamin D production is affected by age (people ages 65 and over generate about a fourth as much as people in their 20s) and skin color (African Americans have, on average, about half the levels of vitamin D in their blood as white Americans).

Another problem: sunscreens are most effective at blocking UVB light, the part of the spectrum that causes sunburn, but UVB also happens to be the kind of light that kick-starts the generation of vitamin D in the skin.

The either-or of sunscreen and sunshine vitamin has stirred up a lot of controversy and debate between pro-sunscreen dermatologists and the vitamin D camp. But there is plenty of middle ground here: some limited sun exposure on short walks, wearing a hat and sunglasses to protect sensitive areas and the like, supplemented with vitamin D pills if necessary, and liberal use of sunscreen when you are out for extended periods, particularly during the middle of the day.

2. You’ll get more exercise (especially if you’re a child)

Being outside isn’t a guarantee of being active. Still, there’s no question that being outdoors is associated with activity and indoor living is associated with being sedentary, particularly for children. According to some surveys, American children spend an average of 6½ hours a day with electronic media (video games, television, and so on), time that is spent mainly indoors and sitting down. British researchers found that children are more than doubly active when they are outside.

Adults can go to the gym. Many prefer the controlled environment there. But if you make getting outside a goal, that should mean less time in front of the television and computer and more time walking, biking, gardening, cleaning up the yard, and doing other things that put the body in motion. At the Shane Resorts we use the local playground for a fitness class. Give it a shot – do push-ups on a bench, pull-ups on the jungle gym, swing on the swing and really pump with your legs and abs, etc.

3. You’ll be happier (especially if your exercise is ‘green’)

Light tends to elevate people’s mood, and unless you live in a glass house or are using a light box to treat seasonal affective disorder, there’s usually more light available outside than inside. Physical activity has been shown to relax and cheer people up, so if being outside replaces inactive pursuits with active ones, it might also mean more smiles and laughter.

Researchers at the University of Essex in England are advancing the notion that exercising in the presence of nature has added benefit, particularly for mental health. Their investigations into “green exercise,” as they are calling it, dovetail with research showing benefits from living in proximity to green, open spaces. So pack a healthy picnic in your backpack and go for a hike.

4. Your concentration will improve

A study published in 2008 found that children with ADHD scored higher on a test of concentration after a walk through a park than after a walk through a residential neighborhood or downtown area. Other ADHD studies have also suggested that outdoor exercise could have positive effects on the condition. Truth be told, this research has been done in children, so it’s a stretch to say it applies to adults, even those who have an ADHD diagnosis. But if you have trouble concentrating — as many do — you might see if some outdoor activity, the greener the better, helps. Take a break from work in the afternoon and walk around the block. It only takes a few minutes and it works a lot better than another cup of coffee.

5. You may heal faster

University of Pittsburgh researchers reported in 2005 that spinal surgery patients experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications during their recoveries if they were exposed to natural light. An older study showed that the view out the window (trees vs. a brick wall) had an effect on patient recovery. Of course, windows and views are different than actually being outside, but we’re betting that adding a little fresh air to the equation couldn’t hurt and might help.

Take it from us, at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts we often try to find different fitness routines and activities that can be done outside. So take advantage of the warm weather and take your work and play outside. It will do you a world of good with your health and weight loss goals.

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