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.

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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

Fats: A Necessary Evil?

April 18, 2014 By: office Comments Off

In the 80s everywhere you went, from the grocery store to your nearest vending machine, that familiar phrase “Low Fat” rang out time and time again. It was almost as though fat was worse for you than the myriad chemicals present in the diet soda or ranch dressing you were consuming. Now, years later, we find things to be quite different. So much so, that a few years back a certain soft drink company rebranded themselves by launching a “Throwback” drink whose singular claim to fame was that it was making use of real sugar again…leaving us all to question, “Well, what was I drinking before?” A return to basics is being touted as the healthiest way toward staying…well, healthy.

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Still, fat has been one of those persistently hounded culprits in the battle of the bulge. And with good reason, I mean…isn’t that what we’re all being told to burn and limit? Fat? Cholesterol? Calories? They are the enemy! Not necessarily. It’s important to stress, as a good part of any diet, the ability to differentiate between good fats and bad ones. So if you’re going to be watching fats as part of your weight-loss regimen, keep these important points in mind to dispel whatever myths you may have been fed about fat in the past.

  • Fats can be divided into two teams…the “hero” fats and the “bad guy” fats. Stick with the hero fats, unless you want to get locked up in a prison of your own creation! “Hero” fats include: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. “Bad Guy” fats include: trans fats and some saturated fats (excluding the aforementioned ones).
  • Never judge a food product by its label alone. “Fat-free” or “low-fat” isn’t an invitation to gorge yourself on whatever it is you’re consuming. In fact, many of these products have been reently found to include ingredients with addictive properties that leave you coming back for more and overeating, as a result, so watch it!
  • Become a fan of the “FANS” acronym. And keep it in mind when deciding which fats you should be eating more of. Fish, Avocado, Nuts and Seeds contain some of the very best complex fats that your body needs to consistently feel and look its very best.

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So to recap, not all fats you come across are out to get you, it’s just important to be aware of the ones that are!

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.

Making Waves in the Sea of Cyberspace!

April 8, 2014 By: office Comments Off

Check us out! Our Texas location has been revving things up south of the border and getting some fabulous mentions in several publications! Here are some links to a couple of the most recent for all our Spanish-Speaking friends! (but not to fear, mono-linguists, Google Translate provides easy translation)

Article on RunMX

Article on El Gourmet México

Use Your Willpower For Weight Loss

January 26, 2012 By: office 1 Comment

As we move into the tail end of January, some of us are still going strong with our weight loss goals and some of us or not. There have been recent studies on willpower and its ability to help us stick to our fitness and weight loss goals. Willpower is a real form of mental energy, which is powered by glucose in the bloodstream.  Glucose is a simple sugar that we take in from food and is converted to energy.  Glucose is also used up as you exert self-control.  The result is called “ego-depletion,” as a state of mental fatigue.  The best way to keep your resolutions going and stave off this mental fatigue is to anticipate the limits of your willpower.

A new study published in December 2011 by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, tracked people’s reactions to temptations throughout the day.  The study showed that individuals with the best self-control are the ones who use their willpower the least.  Instead of fending off one urge after another, these people set up their lives to minimize temptations.  They play offense instead of defense, using their willpower in advance so that they can avoid crisis, conserve energy and outsource as much self control as they can.

These strategies are particularly important if you’re trying to lose weight.  The more you starve your body, the less glucose there will be in your bloodstream, and that means less willpower.  Because of this vicious cycle, even people with the greatest self-control in other parts of their lives can have a terrible time remaining slim.

  • Set a Clear Goal – Instead of resolving to “lose weight” or “eat healthier” set a specific goal- say, lose a pound a week. And limit yourself to one big resolution at a time but do make them.  With a finite amount of willpower, it’s hard to keep up with multiple resolutions. Individuals are 10 times more like to change behaviors if New Year’s resolutions are made compared with non-resolvers that have the same goals and motivations to change.
  • Pre-Commit – Plan meals in advance, keep junk food out of the kitchen, schedule workouts with friends or, you can be more extreme and bind yourself by emailing your goals to friends or by posting it on Facebook. There are even sites such as www.stickK.com that allow you to set goals, put up money on your goals and list a referee to check on your progress.  The more you pre-commit, the better you will do.
  • Keep Track – In the past, you were always recommended to weigh yourself once a week so you’re not hung up on daily fluctuations. Now research has shown that daily weigh-ins work better. Self monitoring is vital to any kind of resolution.
  • Don’t Overreact to a Lapse- One major reason that dieters fail is because they deal with a phenomenon called “counter regulatory eating”- otherwise known as the“what the hell effect.” Instead of just stopping where they are, they continue to eat thinking the entire day is blown anyway.  This thought process is far more dangerous than just realizing that you can stop what you are eating and immediately get back to eating healthy.  So when the desert cart arrives, promise yourself that you will have a sample, but just not tonight.
  • Reward Often- Don’t just use willpower to deny yourself of pleasure; it makes it a boring thankless form of defense.  Instead, reward yourself for each milestone. Once the waistline starts to shrink, reward yourself with new clothes. Even the tiniest and silliest rewards can make a difference.  If you want your willpower to last all year, every little bit helps.

At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we are here to assist you with all of your weight loss obstacles through fitness classes, Behavior Change coaching and nutrition education.  Registration is already underway for our summer 2012 season! Hope to see you there!

Which Fitness Program is the Best for Weight Loss?

May 25, 2011 By: afeldman 418 Comments

Every time I pick up a fitness newsletter, a new program is being thrown into the spotlight and getting saluted as the new “best thing in fitness.”   When there are so many new programs around, it can be hard to commit to one fitness program for weight loss.  While there is nothing wrong with jumping into a new program, it is important to give yourself enough time to see results.  The problem is that most people jump from one routine to another in hopes of finding a magic solution to weight loss.  That is the very reason that fitness trends are profitable.  When a new workout does not bring results, people move on to the next big thing.  In this article, I will go over four different exercise programs that are currently huge in popularity, with listed pros and cons of each with a bottom line to consider.

CrossFit

What is it?

Cross Fit Weight Loss Fitness

Cross Fit is a workout program that combines movements in a circuit format.

CrossFit is a workout program that bases itself off of ten domains: cardiovascular endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.  It combines movements from sprinting, Olympic lifting and gymnastics into a circuit format.  The CrossFit workout of the day is always different, but will usually combine 3-6 movements which have participants repeat the series a certain number of times.  Different people participating in the workout may compete to get the workout done in the fastest time.

Pros:

Participating in CrossFit is definitely a high energy, high intensity workout.  It burns a large amount of calories, which results in great progress.  Many regulars also love the big draw to CrossFit- the group dynamic.  Participants are surrounded by fellow fitness enthusiasts doing the same workout.

Cons:

There are a few criticisms to CrossFit that are definitely valid.  The first criticism is the lack of specificity.  When you go into a CrossFit facility, it is one workout for everyone.  It does not take into account individual differences in size, shape or fitness level as effectively as other programs do.  Another common criticism is related to the workout structure.  There are many high impact contraindicated movements that are combined into one circuit and for multiple days in a row.  Also looked down upon is the fact that movements geared for quick bursts of strength and power are thrown into an endurance circuit.  Many people think that this is dangerous and a lot of people that have left CrossFit have given reasons such as severe joint pain or complete burnout.

The Bottom Line:

If you want to try CrossFit, make sure you go to one of their specialized facilities and receive in depth instruction.  CrossFit movements require much instruction and put a lot of stress on joints and muscles.  Listen to your joints.  If they are progressively feeling worse, that is not a good sign.  If you plan on participating in the CrossFit program, make sure that your body is getting the rest it needs, especially when first starting.

P90X

What is it?

P90x Fitness Program for Weight Loss

P90x is a workout DVD program which has made itself famous for the concept of "muscle confusion."

P90x is a workout DVD series that has made itself famous from the concept of “muscle confusion.”  This concept is a continuous changing of the workout to confuse your body into progress.  While muscle confusion is a legitimate concept, P90x did not create it.  Giving your body a different stimulus from workout to workout is a concept that has been around for years.  The P90x program spreads muscle confusion over different workout DVDs that include strength training, cardio and stretching.  There is also a nutrition program attached.  The claim is that if you follow the program for 90 days, your body will go from “flabby to lean.”

The Pros:

Many people that use P90x have experienced significant weight loss and have increased their strength and endurance greatly.  It is also a cost effective program, when compared to regular personal training and gym dues, that can be done with a minimal amount of equipment.  It is also easily adaptable to different skill levels.

The Cons:

While P90x gurus may claim that P90x is the revolution of fitness, it is not reinventing the wheel.  It uses moves, concepts and principles that have been done time and time before.  The problem is that some of the exercises are hard to master without feedback from a trainer.  The motivation that comes from working out with others is also gone since it is just you in front of a TV with a ball and dumbbells.  While it may be a good tool, it does not substitute for exercising with a trainer or instructor.  People that are not happy with P90x are usually those that have lost motivation due to the television format of the workout.

The Bottom Line:

If you can motivate yourself to work out without going to a gym and still reach intensities necessary to make progress, then this program can be helpful to you.  However, if you find it difficult to make it through a session at the gym due to lack of motivation, it will be that much worse when you are trying it at home with no one to answer to but a DVD player.

Insanity

What is it?

Insanity Fitness Program for Weight Loss

Insanity is a workout DVD program that promises to whip you into shape in just 60 days.

Insanity is another workout DVD set that was introduced following the popularity of the P90x program.  The concept behind insanity is that it can get you into shape within 60 days instead of 90.  The DVD set also comes with a wider variety of workouts.

Pros:

With the wide variety included in this package, it is harder to grow bored with the workouts and varying movements.  As with P90X, you are also given the convenience of working out in your home with minimal equipment.  While the DVD set itself may be on the expensive side, it will even out when you factor in money saved on personal training and memberships.

Cons:

Exercising with this program will not speed up any benefits that you would see from doing P90x.  It is also just a DVD set.  It takes a lot of internal motivation and will power to follow the intensity featured on these DVDs.  A good point to remember is that if these two DVD programs were successful for everyone, they would not need to dominate late night marketing campaigns on television.

The Bottom Line:

It takes much will power and self discipline to follow a DVD workout program.  While it may save you money and a trip to the gym, it may not move you any closer to your goals.  Without someone there to push you, it can be difficult to get through a hard workout.

Wii Fit

What is it?

Wii Fit for Weight Loss

Wii Fit is an active video game that promotes fun and fitness.

The Wii Fit is an interactive videogame where participants stand on a platform to perform exercise movements that come from yoga, strength training and calisthenics.  The game also comes with logs that allow you to record things like dietary information and extra activities.

Pros:

Video games are fun, and when combined with fitness activities, can make a fitness routine easier to commit to.  When your brain is distracted with trying to get a high score, it is easy to get yourself to burn higher calories without realizing it.  This includes games like Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero as well.

Cons:

With the fast pacing of games in general, it is very easy to do an exercise incorrectly, especially once fatigue sets in.  Focusing on a game may throw proper form out the window.  Since you are not in a gym, it is very difficult to be aware of it when your exercises become sloppy.  Also, even though you are burning more calories than you would by just sitting around, the levels are not nearly as high as they would be during a normal exercise session.  The strength training programs and yoga programs are also no substitute for the actual classes.

The bottom line:

I feel that the Wii Fit is a great way to add in extra exercise during the day at low intensities.  It is a great substitute for regular video games, but it is not a substitute for proper exercise.  I would not recommend substituting it for a nice jog or volleyball game outside either.  If something comes up and for some reason you could not get a normal workout in, this is better than doing nothing.

Keep this in mind

When it is all said and done, any of these programs have the potential to get an individual into the best shape possible.  If a program promotes muscular strength, endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance, it is a well rounded program.  Mass marketed fitness programs are one way to get there, but not the only way.  Rate of success isn’t as dependent on the choice of program as it is to the individual that is participating and how hard they are working.  At Shane Diet Resorts weight loss program for adults, we give you a program that is specifically tailored to you, not a one size fits all routine.  Check out our website for more fitness resources.

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