Health & Wellness at the La Cantera Hill Country Resort

April 29, 2014 By: office Comments Off

Original Article Courtesy: La Agencia De Viajes Magazine.
Translation: Miranda Southwell

San Antonio is, for many, the shopping mecca of the United States. But, beyond the shopping, the locale offers an ideal space for travelers looking to change their eating habits for the better. Shane Diet & Fitness Resort is located in the La Cantera Hill Country Resort hotel and offers physical fitness and weight loss programs for adults. The Executives: Ziporah Janowski, co-founder and president; Debbie Davis, program director and fitness coach; and Jackie Poplanski, program developer and behavior coach, are the ones responsible for personally tending to guests of the resort and offering them access to nutrition programs, physical fitness and dietary counseling so that, day by day, they learn to incorporate healthier choices into their lifestyle.

IMG_0003

Eating proper portions of well-balanced meals, learning how to change unhealthy dietary habits, developing a regular exercise plan and being able to do it all in a setting that truly encourages and inspires its guests are the four fundamental cornerstones that the program offers potential visitors.

Regarding the variety of different people that attend the program, Janowski commented that there were distinct plans to accommodate every circumstance, such as their Corporate Weight Loss and Bridal Packages. “The Corporate Package is designed for business executives and human resource professionals who need to deal with their own weight issues and physical fitness needs with a personalized plan of 3, 7 or 21 days,” she told us.

It’s important to note that Shane Diet & Fitness Resort is in operation throughout the year with programs that vary in length, starting with the shortest 3-day program. Rates include luxury accommodations, meals, group classes, workshops and activities as well as individual sessions with nutrition and fitness professionals.

 

What Exercise Fits You Best?

April 22, 2014 By: office Comments Off

By: Debbie Davis

“What exercise fits you best?” is a pretty straight forward question with an even more straight forward answer. It’s simply the kind of exercises that you like and are more likely to do! The bigger issue here is that our preferred exercise is usually not enough. Our guests at Shane Diet and Fitness Resorts tell us all the time, “I love Zumba but I hate cardio, weights etc.” Rarely do they incorporate strength training, stretching and cardio into what would be a more balanced, effective workout regime.

Personal_trainer_showing_a_client_how_to_exercise_the_right_way_and_educating_them_along_the_way

The exercise that fits you best is clearly the exercise you will do. If you enjoy it, you’re more inclined to do it with more consistency. But the key point to remember is to make sure you are including a balance of all exercises. You may never love stretching but it is imperative for overall performance that you stretch your muscles. You may never run a 10K, but cardio training is critical for your overall heart and lung health. Many won’t be entering Strong Man competitions, but strength training is critical for bone and muscle preservation, which additionally benefits your quality of life as you age.

So, by all means begin with the exercise you most enjoy doing, take that exercise and excel, practice, train and challenge yourself. Then take the forms of the exercise that are not your favorite and implement them into your routine in an effective way. If cardio is your thing and you perform cardio 5 days a week, consider taking that to 4 days a week and adding 2 days of strength training (one of which can be included on a cardio day). Another idea is possibly taking two days a week to perform a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout which has a cardio component as well as a strength training component. Stretching for better range of motion and flexibility should be included in your daily workout routine. As a personal trainer for over 15 years, I understand loving some forms of exercise and hating others. I would like to challenge you, though, to continue to excel at what you enjoy but to also consider taking your challenge one step further and adding what you’re not so comfortable with for better overall physical health. Your body will thank you!

Below is a link to a fun quiz that reveals your exercise personality type, it takes 1 minute. See how accurate it is for yourself and then post it on our Facebook page. Happy Fitness!

http://exercise.about.com/library/blfitnesspersonalityquiz.htm

13 Things I Learned At Weight Loss Camp

April 15, 2014 By: office Comments Off

By: Eugenia Correa, @eucorrea
Originally Published: April 11, 2014 on ‘Blog de BabyCenter’
(translation: Miranda Southwell)

A month ago I was invited to spend a week at a weight loss camp in San Antonio, Texas. Even though I don’t consider myself overweight, I will admit that since the birth of my baby, it’s been much more difficult for me to control my diet, do exercise and keep myself in shape. It was a hard week because it made me realize that I’m very far from my ideal physical condition. Additionally, my daily meal portions tended to be much larger than they ought to have been.

weight loss camp

A week in this resort was enough to make me see that I can improve, day-by-day and that daily habits are the ones that make a difference in your desire to lose weight. This experience granted me the tools for transformation that I needed to create substantial change in my daily life. While I was there, I lost a kilo (approx. 2.2 lbs.), and after one month at home, I lost two more by making simple changes to my routine. Here are some of the things that I learned during my stint in the program that have helped me keep the weight off:

  • You don’t have to wait until you become what you believe to be the worst version of yourself to join one of these programs. It’s a program of behavior modification that can help you far sooner.
  • Involving yourself in one of these programs is a decision rooted in self-love. No one can be obligated to go. It only works for those who are thoroughly convinced that they need a vital change to improve their lives.
  • It’s never too late to change your eating or fitness habits. Every day is a good day to start to work toward better health. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s also about changing your habits in ways that you can keep up with over time.
  • Doing exercise is a habit we can all acquire. In a weight loss program, you simply show yourself that it’s just a matter of taking that first step and discovering that exercise can be a fun habit, which also changes your energy levels and outlook on life for the better.
  • One of the most valuable tips that I learned is that you should stop drinking your calories! Sugary drinks are not your friend. There are lots of drinks disguised as “healthy” or “natural,” when in reality they’re anything but. There’s no healthier substitute out there for you than that clean, natural old staple…water.
  • There isn’t a better way to know what you’re really eating than by cooking it for yourself and choosing all your own ingredients. By avoiding processed products or fast food, you’re saving both yourself and your family, a boatload of calories and unnecessary toxins.
  • When exercise is a daily habit, your body starts craving healthier, lighter foods instead of greasy, heavy ones.
  • Cooking healthy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor! My favorite: a blueberry muffin recipe is one of many you can learn to make during your stay at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort, since healthy cooking classes are included in the program.
  • Eating slowly and enjoying each bite makes you feel full faster. Eating quickly is one of your enemies when trying to lose weight.
  • Upon arriving at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort, you quickly realize that you’re not alone. There are lots of other people who deal with many of the same battles you’re facing. Being able to discuss and listen to common experiences allows you to put your life (and your weight) into perspective.
  • In many cases, the way you feel in the clothes you wear has a direct impact on your self-esteem. In the Shane Diet & Fitness program, fashionable fitness accessories are provided to make you feel comfortable in your own skin.
  • The program at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort offers you a short, daily exercise program that you can complete in just a half-hour. This makes continuing the process at home much easier.
  • Temptations will always be around. They’re in the supermarket, on TV, at the movie theater and even in your own pantry. A behavior modification program gives you the tools you need to keep those temptations from overpowering you.

The program I went to is the Shane Diet & Fitness Resort. There, you’ll find programs for adults, children and entire families; although there are also many other weight loss camps out there to suit your own unique needs.

Are You Succeeding With Your Exercise and Weight Loss Resolutions?

May 8, 2013 By: consultant 72 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.

Get Stepping Toward Weight Loss

April 17, 2013 By: amiller 19 Comments

A lot of us assume that if we go to the gym and workout at least 30 minutes a day, everything will be okay, but what about the other 23 and a half hours of the day? Studies have shown that as a whole Americans have all become more desk bound  meaning that many of us spend the majority of the day sitting down. This is neither helpful with weight loss, nor living a healthy lifestyle.

A study published in 2012 by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that watching several hours of TV and YouTube videos, even if participants engaged in seven or more hours of rigorous exercise, was connected to a higher risk of death, including cardiovascular disease.

We need to do more than just workout 30 minutes a day. One beneficial habit to take up is to walk or use the stairs throughout your day in conjunction with your 30 minute workout. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, an increasing number of people have started tracking their movement with pedometers (tracking steps) or accelerometers (rate a person moves and the calories used). And according to the Director of the Center for Behavior and Health at Northwestern University, Bonnie Spring, there has been so much focus on making sure we have our 30 minute workout, that we are not focused on how most of us spend the rest of our day.

According to the American Heart Association, a goal for everyone should be to take 10,000 steps a day, a 2010 study conducted by the Journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise; Americans take 5,117 steps a day on average. By increasing our steps, it can help in modest weight loss and better glucose tolerance for individuals at risk of diabetes.

How many steps is 10,000 steps? Dr. David Basset Jr. from the University of Tennessee compares 2,000 steps to walking approximately one mile and climbing 10 stairs is approximately taking 40 steps on level ground.

It has been shown that states with a higher step count have lower rates of obesity, although there is no proof of cause and effect. The map below show the states color coordinated with their obesity level. For example, Colorado is yellow and their average step count is 6,500. Arkansas is orange and has an average step count of 4,500.

obesity by state map

Getting started is easy. Get yourself a pedometer or install a pedometer app on your phone like Pedometer FREE GPS + for iPhone. Go through your day like you would any other day and track your steps for a week. Then challenge yourself. If you’re under 10,000 steps a day, work towards hitting that every day. If you are over 10,000 steps, challenge yourself to do more. It’s easy to do; take the stairs rather than the elevator, when going somewhere park as far away from the door as you can, and instead of trying to get everything done in one trip, take multiple. Doing so will not only help you reach the recommended number of steps, but it will help you reach your weight loss goals and achieve an overall healthier lifestyle.

Better Than a Magic Pill For Losing Weight & Getting Healthy

February 5, 2013 By: consultant 5 Comments

1   shutterstock_95045926Question: What has a major impact on weight reduction, better cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, improved blood sugar control, stronger bones, a healthier heart, and more?

Answer: Exercise, pure and simple.

If that weren’t enough for you to slide on your sneakers, here are some more reasons to get moving, get healthy and lose weight. Every month new studies appear listing more benefits. Here is a sample of some discoveries during 2012.

  • Arthritis: Aerobic and aquatic exercises reduce the disability of osteoarthritis in the knees and other forms of arthritis. The study form Annals of Internal Medicine also showed that strength training reduces pain and improves function. Adherence to an exercise program was the key to its success.
  • Brain Health: According to a study published in Neurology, older people who are more physically active experience less brain shrinkage (linked to cognitive decline and dementia) then their sedentary counterparts. MRI’s revealed that participating in mental or social activities did not affect brain size.
  • Breast Cancer: A large study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reported that women who exercise regularly (both in the past and present), had a reduced risk of developing the disease. Maintaining a healthy weight is also essential, the study found. Weight gain, especially after menopause, nearly wiped out the exercise benefits, so it is important to work out and eat right on a regular basis.
  • Dementia: A multi-nation European study reported in the journal Stroke, found that exercise was associated with a 40% reduction in the risk of cognitive impairment and a 60% decrease in vascular-related dementia (such as those resulting from a stroke).
  • Fatigue from Cancer: A study involving people with breast or prostate cancer confirmed that exercise like brisk walking or cycling can help reduce fatigue related to cancer and its treatments. This was a review of 56 different studies by the Cochrane Collaboration.
  • Longevity: Analysis from the National Cancer Institute in PLOS Medicine used data from 650,000 people in six long-term studies and found that physical activity can add years to people’s lives. Those who exercised moderately (like walking briskly 150 minutes per week) lived about 4 years longer than their sedentary counterparts. Even those who did modest amounts 975 minutes of walking per week) lived about 2 years longer and the benefits were seen in everyone from obese to thin.
  • Sense of Well-Being: Two studies from Penn State, published in Health Psychology reported that participants who increased their usual daily exercise by even modest amounts, reported a greater sense of satisfaction with life and positive attitude.

So log off your computer and get moving! Not sure where to start? Search the Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts web site for fitness ideas, or come to one of our resorts to become inspired and to get a jump start on losing weight and getting healthy!

 

Exercise Tips for Busy Schedules

September 28, 2012 By: afeldman 4 Comments

 

Not enough time to exercise is the number one excuse that we make for ourselves to get out of taking care of our bodies. How can we fit an exercise session into a busy schedule? Here are some tips:

1.Organize your time

If you don’t have a planner, then buy one or download one on your phone. If your schedule is jam packed with activities, start recording them as a doctor or CEO would to schedule appointments. This will allow you to see exactly how you spend your time. If you spend an hour studying or cleaning the house, throw that on this schedule. Try to structure your schedule so all tasks become clustered into one area of the day. For example if you go to class in the morning, try to fit your studying and chores in right after class to give you a larger free time window after. Next, schedule exercise into free time windows, even if they are smaller 10 minute time windows throughout the day.

2. Take advantage of unexpected downtime

If you have a cancelled class or an appointment becomes rescheduled, take advantage of this time to fit an exercise session in. This may mean using the time to get ahead on work so you can exercise later or dropping what you are doing to exercise and then returning later.

3. Limit your lazy time

Set a limit on the amount of time that you are sitting around watching television, playing on facebook or playing words with friends. If you have time to do those things, then you have time to exercise. Put a little sign on the inside of your laptop under the screen that asks you if you exercised yet today. Put an hourly reminder on your phone that lights up and asks the same thing.

4. Have equipment and space easily accessible for down time

If you are operating on limited amounts of time then you need to move quick. This means having everything that you need to exercise ready to go. Have multiple gym bags; one in your car, one in the office and one in your room. This way, when you have a half hour for lunch or before you have to pick up the kids, you can change quickly to get your workout in.

5. Multi-task

Do you have to watch the kids for the day? Then exercise while they are watching tv for a half hour or while they are doing chores. Go outside and play basketball with them or go to the park. Take them for a walk around the neighborhood. Do you have a dog that needs walked? Take him for a jog or a longer walk. Do you have to walk to your next class? Take the long way, use the stairs and do an extra lap around campus. Do you have to do chores? Move fast to turn it into activity.

6. Wake-up earlier and exercise first

Exercise before you start anything else for the day. That way it is done and there is no excuse of missing it as the day gets closer to an end. Set your alarm clock that much earlier, put your clothing out and have a plan- meeting a friend for a walk or jog is a great way to prevent you from just hitting the snooze button.

7. Choose your priorities

What is important to you? List all of the activities or responsibilities that you have over the course of the week. Number them in order of importance. Where does exercise fit into this? Does it score high or low? Theoretically, exercise should take precedence over anything that it scored higher then. Exercise involves taking care of yourself and if that does not fit high on the priority list, then it will be harder to schedule in. If it does score high on the priority list, which it should, then you need to make time for it. That means getting rid of other things so you can fit exercise in. If you are a student, this may mean registering a lower credit load at school or turning down some extra hours at work; at the end of the day, what is more important than health?

How can you restructure your day to MAKE time for exercise?

 

Interval Training for Weight Loss

September 11, 2012 By: afeldman 1 Comment

Let’s talk about this concept known as interval training. This is not some new type of training, it has been around for years. What is interval training? in simple terms, it is doing something hard until it is too hard, then easing up until you are ready to do it hard again. From an exercise standpoint, it would mean taking an exercise move and moving very intense with the exercise, fast and strong, until you become too fatigued to continue at which point you would slow the move down enough to catch your breath and then repeat. When this is done over and over in one session, it becomes an entire workout.

The question is, how does this type of training help you reach weight loss goals and how is it relevant? Even though interval training, isn’t the only way to get in an effective workout, it is still one of the most effective ways to challenge your body. There are 5 reasons here on how it can truly help get you get you to your goals.

1. It gets you used to a faster pace for better fitness – The faster you can move over a 30 minute time frame, the more calories you can burn in that period. Interval training will get you more comfortable with moving at that faster pace. It will get you faster and faster until you are shredding through calories during a 30 minute time window. For example, if you do not currently have the fitness level to jog for more than 1 minute until you get extremely winded, then interval training will get you to a point at which you can jog for 10 minutes without getting extremely winded. The more that you can go at that faster pace, the more fit you become and the more calories you have the potential of burning during a workout. Advanced exercisers can think of that jog as more of a full run.
2. It forces you out of the comfort zone that most people fall into during steady state exercise – As we find our groove with something, it becomes comfortable, which can be good because that means we are becoming proficient at it. The problem is that if you stop taking yourself out of that comfort zone then progress will stop. By having set times that you pick up the intensity and speed during a workout, it forces you to get out of that comfort zone that you’ve become good at maintaining.
3. It gets your heart better at recovery, making you more fit – Recovery takes time during exercise and after exercise. Interval training teaches your heart to recover faster allowing you to feel better more quickly during rest periods and when exercise comes to an end for the day. By working out at a high intensity for a period and then slowing it down for a period numerous times, your heart gets used to having that small recovery period and it begins using that time much more efficiently. This is just one of the many ways that your heart becomes more fit.
4. It breaks up the monotony of normal exercise – This is my favorite. When there is an hour of cardio, we tend to think “Great, 59 minutes until I’m done” or “halfway done, 30 minutes left”. Thinking like that makes time go by very, very slowly. With intervals, you are always thinking ahead to the next interval. The thought process becomes this: “30 seconds until my next hard round” or “only 15 seconds until my next recovery paced minute”. By the time you get through a couple intervals, 20 minutes may have already passed! It’s a great way to make the time during cardio exercise go by more quickly.
5. Learn to control pace and intensity better – This is especially important for those who have goals of completing 5ks, 10ks or eventual long distance marathons. Interval training will allow you to figure out your pacing and speed for running, walking, biking, etc. You’ll learn what a hard pace is for your current level, a medium pace and a complete recovery pace. The only way to learn that is through experimentation during exercise. This is done with interval training. Doing intervals on a track or a cardio machine (treadmill, bike, elliptical, etc.) in the gym will allow you to see your speed during hard, easy and medium paced exercise so you can get precise with goal setting and reaching the proper level of intensity during exercise to see progress.

Now that I’ve talked about why interval training is important for fitness and weight loss, I want to talk about how it should be incorporated into your exercise routine. A recovery pace should be one that is just easy enough to allow you to catch your breath. A medium pace is one that you should be able to maintain for 5-15 minutes, you are working. A hard pace is one that’s just as it sounds, hard. You should be too winded to continue it after 60-90 seconds.
The first thing to do is decide what you’re speeds/resistance is going to be for each pace. The resistance on machines should atleast be at a level where you are not bouncing through the move uncontrollably.
Speed: On a treadmill, find out the exact numbers for each pace. 2.5-3.5 mph is a walking pace, 5.0-6.0 is a jogging pace and 6.1 + would be considered a running pace. On an elliptical, bike or similar equipment, look at strides per minute or rotations per minute to experiment around with speed. Just make sure that the level stays the same if your speed is what is changing. If you are exercising away from a machine, just pay closer attention to what you are doing. Learn how fast you’re body should be moving to reach each level.
Resistance/Level: Instead of changing speed, you would play around with the level settings. On a treadmill, this would mean the incline; on other pieces of equipment, it would mean changing the resistance. At a consistent speed, figure out what levels what be considered recovery, medium and hard.
Example Interval Training Program #1:
5 Minute Easy Warm-Up
1 minute recovery/1minute medium/1minute hard x5
3 minute recovery pace
1 minute recovery/1 minute medium/1 minute hardx5
5 minute Cool Down

Example Interval Training Program #2

5 Minute Easy Warm-Up
5 Minute Medium Pace
1 Minute Hard/1 Minute Recovery x5
3 Minute Recovery Pace
1 Minute Hard/1 Minute Recovery x5
5 Minute Medium Pace
5 Minute Cool Down

Example Interval Training Program #3

5 Minute Easy Warm-Up
5 Minute Medium Pace
1 Minute Hard/2 Minutes Recovery/3 Minutes Medium x4
or 1 Song on your IPOD combining Hard/Recovery/1 Song Medium x4
5 Minute Easy Pace
5 Minute Cooldown

**If Running outside or around track, you may have to approximate time or bring a stop watch. On outside runs, you can also use place markers for the intervals such as stop signs, lamp posts or etc. With a track, time your lap to go off of distance for your intervals instead of time.

High Intensity Fitness Tips to Bust through Plateaus

November 11, 2011 By: afeldman 2 Comments

Recently, one of my former clients from Ohio got in touch with me to inform me of her progress in the weight room.  She asked an interesting question that I would like to address in order to help others with their weight loss efforts.

Fitness Tips

If you feel like you've reached a plateau in your fitness plan, it's time to mix up your routine.

Since she has recently hit a plateau in her training, she asked me for some tips to turn her routine from boring to intense.  Once you start a workout plan, whether it is something you read in a magazine or something that was designed for you, it is very important that it becomes harder as you get in better shape.  The goal of any program is to make progress, in whatever form it comes.  So, once you see progress, your body is adapting to the demands of your workout and you must make adjustments to accommodate greater intensity.  If your body is no longer adapting to physical demands, the progress will stop. Examples of challenging your body during a workout include adding weight to an exercise, changing the movement, adjusting speed, etc.

I would like to share some personal techniques that raise the intensity and force you out of your comfort zone.  If you recently started an exercise program, stick to weight increases during strength movements and speed/resistance increases during cardio exercise.  The tips below are for the intermediate to advanced exerciser that has been at it for at least 4-6 months with a higher level of knowledge on how to perform weight room exercises safely and correctly.

1. Drop sets – Instead of religiously sticking to the three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions, throw in a week or two of drop sets.  A drop set is a workout set done normally, followed by you adjusting the weight to a lower setting.  Without resting, immediately go into a second set at the lighter weight (10 to 30% lighter).  For example, after you finish a set of dumbbell bench presses with 25 pound weights, grab the 15s or 20s immediately after and keep going.  You can also do a triple or a quadruple drop set if you’re really feeling strong.  If done correctly, this will greatly fatigue your muscles after just one set.

2. Interval Supersets – These are a good way to break up the monotony of a generic cardio routine that has you on a machine for 20-30 minutes.  A superset is a combination of two exercises that are done back to back without rest.  For this one, pick two total body movements; one of them being high intensity, while the other is low intensity.  For four to ten minutes, alternate between the two exercises.  You will need to come prepared with a watch or stopwatch.

For my example, jumping jacks will be my high intensity exercise and alternating high knees will be my low intensity exercise.  Perform 1 minute of fast moving jumping jacks followed by alternating knee lifts for a minute in which you allow your heart rate to go back down.  Each minute, switch back and forth between exercises.  Sandwiching 10-20 minutes of these intervals in the middle of 10 minutes on a bike or treadmill will make for a high intensity cardio workout.  Some other examples of high intensity movements include jump squats, quick jumping rope, mountain climbers, burpees and step-ups done on a platform at a quick pace.  Some examples of low intensity movements include the modified jack, alternating punches in place, slow jogging in place or step-ups at a much slower pace.

Interval Running

Try doing interval sprints on a track or treadmill for a short and sweet workout.

3. Track sprints – This is a good way to make cardio exercise short and sweet.  An ideal track for these is one that is sized 1/8 to 1/10 of a mile, but this can also be done on a larger track or a treadmill if needed.  Start by walking a lap and follow that with a lap running as fast as you can.  Repeat this 6-12 times.  On a larger track, such as the quarter mile tracks at most high schools, walk half of a lap and run half of a lap.  When doing this on the treadmill, walk for two minutes then run at a fast pace for two minutes.  When running, your goal is to sprint at a nice fast pace.  For advanced exercisers, try jogging instead of walking.  For beginners, your sprinting pace may be a jog.  Start out at the pace that feels challenging, but not impossible, and continue to work your way up to build stamina, endurance, and strength.

4. Time under Tension – This is an interesting exercise for people who are becoming bored with their resistance training program and are looking for something different.  Time under tension is a routine in which you take an exercise and slow it down greatly so that one repetition takes 20 seconds to complete.  For my example, we will use a chest press machine.  While pressing the weight up, count 10 seconds in your head and slow the movement down so that it takes you the full 10 seconds to extend your arms.  Repeat the counting as you lower the weight back down.  Try this for 4-6 repetitions.  Your weight should be between 40-50 percent of what you would normally do.  This can be done on just about any exercise including leg presses, squats, curls, rowing machine and etc.  If done correctly your muscles will be burning quite a bit at the conclusion of your workout.

5. Isometrics – Another way to change up a workout that has become monotonous is by incorporating isometrics.  An isometric exercise is one in which you hold resistance at a certain position without movement.  For my example, we will use the dumbbell side raise (an exercise in which you hold dumbbells in both hands and lift them out to the side, elbows slightly bent).  In the isometric version of this exercise, you raise your dumbbells to the side, and hold them there.  Pick a weight that is between 50-60 percent of a weight that you would use normally.  The goal is to hold those dumbbells up so your arms are parallel with the ground for 30-60 seconds.  These can also be done with squats (the bottom part of the motion), pushups or chest press machine (the bottom part of the motion) and crunches (the top part of the motion).  If you start shaking towards the end of a set, then congratulations, you are doing it correctly.

Proper Planning: The Most Important Part of an Exercise Program

September 16, 2011 By: afeldman 6 Comments

When any big changes are instituted in business, academics or medical procedures, the first thing that happens is the creation of a plan.  Planning is the most important part of any process because without it, everything is on a whim.  The same goes for anything fitness related.  Sure, there are many who go to the gym and do any routine that comes to mind, but if you want to make serious and significant progress toward a goal, planning is necessary.

In fitness, we start our planning process off with goal setting.  Once a realistic goal is decided upon, planning is the next step.  One of the most important things to keep in mind is to keep things realistic.  You cannot set weight loss goals with expectations such as losing 100 pounds in a month or developing “6 pack abs” in two weeks.  As long as you are realistic when making a plan and setting your goal, then there is no reason not to reach it

Weight Loss Goal Setting

When setting weight loss goals for yourself, it is important to be realistic and focus on both the short-term and long-term goals.

When setting a goal, there should be a grand picture of where you want to go and a smaller sub-goal that you can modify or change from week to week.  The main goal should focus on where you see yourself or how you want to feel in the grand scheme of things.  An example of a long term goal is going from a point of being afraid of the water to being able to swim in a triathlon.  All short term goals would then gradually work a person up to learning how to swim correctly.

The idea of a short term goal or a sub-goal is to push you closer to that larger goal.  The large goal can be anything that you want it to be while the smaller goals are easily manageable and integrated into your daily life.  Small goals are changes that are just engaging enough not to throw your entire week out of whack, but still push you towards something.

The mistake that people commonly make is to get overzealous when goal setting.  An unrealistic goal, like one of the ones I mentioned above, is commonly set and when it is not reached, it has disastrous effects on self-confidence.  Below, I will list a couple examples of goals, as well as the right and wrong ways to reach them.

Example Goal 1: I want to lose 100 pounds, which will put me at a healthy body weight.

The Wrong Way: When planning out this goal, most people make the mistake of adding in a timeline.  When a timeline is added, there is added pressure to reach the goal.  One of two things will happen with the timeline: either you will give up after not seeing the progress you hoped for, or you will feel so rushed to lose weight that you will engage in unhealthy practices to meet a deadline.  The latter will usually result in your regaining any lost weight, plus some extra.

The Right Way: The longer a person has been 100 pounds overweight, the longer it will take to lose it in a healthy manner.  Keeping with the big goal/little goal technique from above, the 100 pound weight loss is the grand goal.  As for small weekly goals, start off smaller and once you get a feel for the water, you can start adding things in.  For example, the week one goal could be making it into the gym three times.  Week two could be limiting bad meals to only one per day.  Week three could be eliminating soda every other day and week four could be making it to the gym five times.  The goals will be different for everyone but it is most important to set goals that you are able to achieve.  As you can tell, each small goal will move this participant closer to the 100 pound weight loss.  They may not necessarily be losing weight every week at first but if they keep setting and reaching weekly goals, this person will get to a point where they are shredding through fat like wild fire, as well as achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Example Goal 2: I want to run a Marathon.

Goal Setting - Marathon Training

When training for a marathon, or a similar fitness goal, it is important to gradually train to avoid injury to your body.

The Wrong Way: When setting a performance goal such as this one, most people jump in and try to do everything at one time. At the program’s start, this usually includes running every single day without regards to nutrition. By the time week three or week four roll around, joints start aching pretty badly and the runner becomes restless and very irritable. By the time two months has passed, the body has had enough and the exercise program simply stops.

The Right Way: Since the marathon is our long term goal here, smaller goals contributing to the long term goal should be in place.  More experienced runners can sign up for a marathon that is 6-9 months away while beginners should figure on a year or more.  Some smaller goals can relate to mileage (increasing from five total miles for the week to eight total miles), nutrition (incorporating higher water intake during runs), or exercise in general (stretching for 60 total minutes for the week).  The main thing to remember with running goals is not to increase distance too fast.  When mileage goes up too quickly, that is when injuries happen.

The Final Note

After reading this article, think about some of the goals you have reached or failed to reach.  Did you set a long term goal along with smaller goals to get you there?  Did these goals change?  Did you give up on your goals?  Use this opportunity to reevaluate some of the goals you are trying to reach and incorporate proper planning to get there.  Remember, your long term goal has no expiration date until you assign it one.  Keep your eyes on that long term goal and manipulate short term goals to get you there.  At Shane Diet Resorts fitness retreat program for adults, we teach clients how to incorporate fitness, nutrition and long term weight management into their daily living by using proper planning and goal setting.

Price Match Guarantee

Check out details for Shane's Price Match Guarantee for our New York & Texas Resorts.

Weight Loss Camp For Kids

Weight Loss Camp For Kids

Testimonials

I have cut down on my sugar cravings and replaced them with healthier alternatives.

Thank you...

Sara (Brooklyn, NY) 22

See Young Adult Testimonials

I really enjoyed my stay at SDR...

I really enjoyed my stay and met a lot...

Jackie (Connecticut) 46

See Adult Testimonials