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.

Get Stepping Toward Weight Loss

April 17, 2013 By: office 21 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.

Can Physical Activity Help With More Than Just Weight Loss?

March 21, 2013 By: office Post a Comment

YogaFIXEDDid you know that regular exercise not only makes your body fit, but your mind and spirit too? It can help ease anxiety, stress, and depression; as well, as boost your self-esteem and energy levels. People who exercise more also tend to eat more nutritiously. In a study of 278 adults ages 60 and older, those with depression had a lower intake of fruits and vegetables (the main sources of antioxidants) and a lower intake of dietary antioxidants overall compared with those who weren’t depressed. Studies have also shown that individuals who are stressed tend to not only consume lower amounts of antioxidants. But individuals also tend to consume more food overall, which can make it very difficult for weight loss, which can in turn cause more stress.
You only need to exercise for a minimum of 20 to 40 minutes, this amount of time is better for reducing anxiety and increasing energy than shorter bouts of exercise. Choose any exercise you enjoy and you’ll be more likely to make it a habit. It’s easy, just taking a brisk walk outside clears your head, helps you absorb vitamin D (another depression fighter) and relieves tension. Studies have shown that if you incorporate walking into your fitness routine, you are more likely to stick to it.

 

These strategies can help you incorporate exercise a part of your routine:

  • Enjoy exercise by keeping it at a level that is comfortable for you
  • Maintain a regular schedule – exercise before work or at lunch. Try joining a class, basketball league, cycling club, or other group
  • Change your outlook. Focus on the positives, like how it gives you more energy and can help reduce stress in addition to helping with weight loss

In addition to reducing stress and helping with weight loss, staying physically active as you age may also prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders. In one study, older adults who spent a decent amount of time on mentally challenging activities had about half the risk of developing Alzheimer’s as those who rarely engage in physical activities. This test also included brain-saving activities like playing cards, or checkers, reading, working crosswords, or other puzzles and visiting museums. Just remember if you are doing anything seated for long periods of time, get up and move around every hour or so to keep your blood flowing.
Another mental and physical challenge to explore is orienteering – a race in wilderness navigation using a map and campus. Visit their website for information, events and resources. Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts Instructors have a lot of mental and physical challenges to keep you motivated and moving.

Exercise Tips for Busy Schedules

September 28, 2012 By: afeldman 6 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?

 

Fitness Tips: Stay Injury Free by Avoiding these Strength Training Habits

October 13, 2011 By: afeldman 4 Comments

Walk into a gym and 50 percent of the people in there are doing something destructive to their joints at any given time.  No one ever realizes when they are exercising incorrectly because they’ve been doing it that way so long that the movement just feels right to them.  I have picked some of the most common things I see done in the gym that are bad for your body.  All of these problems can be corrected with a little mental focus and developing an objective eye.  Pay close attention to your exercise movements and try to catch yourself doing some of these the next time you work out.  It’s best to get out of these bad habits sooner rather than later.

Fitness Fix: Don't Pull Weights Behind the Head

When pulling a bar or weight to chin level, always do it in front of the head, not behind.

Behind the Neck Exercises
The two exercises that people will do behind the head are shoulder presses and lat pulldowns.  The shoulder press is the exercise that involves a participant pushing a weight up overhead.  The lat pulldown is the opposite motion that has a participant pulling a bar or cable down from overhead.  Lowering the weight or bar in both of these exercises can either be done to the front of the shoulders or behind the neck.  Behind the neck movements place the arms into an unnatural position.  The shoulder is already an unstable joint and when it is raised over head, many muscles are at work trying to stabilize it.  When adding in the extra weight and movement involved in a behind the neck exercise, a large amount of pressure is placed upon the rotator cuff muscles as well as an excessive stretch on the pectoral (chest) muscles.  The neck is also under pressure from leaning forward too far.  If either of these exercises is done long enough, you are more than likely to see an injury.   When lowering anything to chin level in an exercise, lower the weights or bar in front of the head, not behind.

Lifting with the Neck During Abdominal Crunches
The majority of beginning exercisers make this mistake.  If you are feeling neck pain while doing crunches, then you are guilty of this.  It usually happens when your hands are pulling up on the back of your head or your neck is being used more than it should be during crunches or situps.  The excessive strain of the neck from doing abdominal exercises the wrong way can make the neck muscles stiff, leaving them prone to injury during exercise or even later in the day.  To fix the problem of lifting with your neck, find a focal point to look at to minimize head movement while doing abdominal exercises.  Focus on lifting the shoulders and upper back off the ground instead of leading with the head.  Try crossing the arms in front of your chest and feel your stomach periodically to make sure it is contracting as you lift yourself up.

Fitness Fix: Don't Let Your Knees Go Forward When Squatting

To avoid injury when squatting, make sure your knees don't go in front of your toes. It should be a motion similar to sitting in a chair.

Allowing the Knees to go Forward During the Squat Exercise
I see exercisers that have been working out for years still doing this one.  When doing a squat the wrong way, the knees will move forward excessively towards the bottom of the motion.  This will leave the knees far in front of the toes which should not happen.  When done right, the motion should be the same as going from a seated to standing position.  This means that as you lower your body, the hips are pushed back allowing the knees to stay fairly stationary behind the feet.  However, when knees lead the way into leaning forward, there is a large amount of pressure on the knee joint.  It may take time to catch up to you but most people will feel this pain immediately while doing squats.  If this pain goes ignored long enough, it can turn into a serious injury.  The bottom line is that when doing a squat, push the hips back nice and far.  Stand in front of a chair or by a wall if you need something to hold onto for balance.  It may be more comfortable for some to spread the feet out.  Have someone watch your knees while you squat to tell you if they are going in front of your feet.

Rounding of the Back
Moms always tell their kids to sit up straight, not to slouch.  The same holds true in exercise.  Slouching in general is a bad habit.  Slouching when handling weights, however, is just plain dangerous.  If you’re rounding your back forward, the lower spine and surrounding muscles are under a lot of pressure.  Some cues to get out of this habit are keeping your chest up, shoulders back and chin from being buried into the chest.  This applies for exercises who are pressing, rowing, squatting, or even running.

Moving the Head Around while Exercising
Another common cause of injury during exercise is unnecessary movement, especially of the head.  When using weights or your body as resistance, keep your head still.  It is very easy to strain the neck with a quick movement, especially during exercise.  Going back to my recommendation for abdominal crunches, find a focal point during exercises and continue to look at it.  This goes for runners too.  I know it’s hard to stay still on the elliptical or treadmill, but all it takes is one movement while your head is turned to take a spill.

Fitness Fix: Always Adjust the Equipment

Avoid injury at the gym by adjusting the equipment for yourself. For example, on a chest press machine, the handles should be level with your chest.

Not Adjusting the User Settings on a Piece of Equipment
Since everyone in the world is not the same height, weight or body type, exercise equipment comes with multiple adjustments.  These include adjustments of a seat, adjustment of the handles or an adjustable foot step.  These adjustments are there for a reason.  Use them to set the machine at a level appropriate for your height and body type.  Most gyms have a staff member that can help you find the appropriate setting if needed.  If a seat is too low or too high, your body is not going through the motion intended for the designated machine.  Depending on the setting, you may be putting yourself at risk for injury.  For example, with a chest press machine, the handles should be level with your chest.  If the handles are level with the navel, then the seat is too high.

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