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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

Sleep & Weight, The Connection

April 11, 2014 By: office Comments Off

By Amber Ketchum

We all hear that sleep is important, but the reality is that most of us just don’t get enough of it. One important aspect of health people often overlook is the connection between weight and sleep. Let’s look at a few factors that can create a cycle of poor health habits:

Not getting enough sleep makes you tired. This sounds pretty obvious, but being tired is one of the biggest reasons that keep people from exercising, which is an important component to weight loss and overall health. Ironically, exercise can also help improve sleep.

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Many of us are also much more likely to swap out healthy snacks for sugary, caffeinated foods and beverages to get enough energy to make it through the rest of the day after an insufficient night of sleep. Caffeine acts as a stimulant, so while it helps provide a quick boost of energy, its effects often linger later in the day, making it hard to fall asleep. This results in staying up late, which can create several extra hours of opportunity to eat/snack. Many people consume hundreds of extra calories in the evenings simply because they are up late and more likely to eat at that time.

One more factor to consider is the effect that a lack of sleep can have on our hormones. Insufficient sleep has been found to alter the balance of our appetite-regulating hormones. This basically means that people often feel hungrier as a result of poor sleep. Similar to how we often mistake thirst for hunger, we can interpret the need for sleep as hunger.

All of these create a cycle starting with bad sleep, which leads to exercising less, eating more, and sleeping worse, bringing us right back to the beginning of the cycle. If you’re stuck in this cycle, it’s important to evaluate your day and sleep patterns. Fist, cut out stimulants like caffeine after lunch. Focus on eating fresh, healthy foods at regular times throughout the day, drinking plenty of water, and fitting some kind of exercise into most days. You might consider stopping the use of electronics (computers, phones, TV) about an hour before bed, as well as going to bed earlier. Sleep is essential to the body repairing and rejuvenating, so start making these changes for a better night’s rest, improved control over your lifestyle habits, and a more energized life!

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

A Prescription for Better Health & Weight Loss

April 29, 2013 By: office Comments Off

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.

4 tips to lose the last 10 pounds

February 19, 2013 By: consultant 9 Comments

P1010360Why is it so hard to lose the last 10 pounds?” Weight loss is tricky in that multiple factors play into how much weight is lost, how quickly it comes off and for how long the weight loss is maintained. To successfully lose a sizable amount of weight, a person needs to be committed to significant long-term lifestyle changes. With a lot of effort you can achieve a new steady-state, but it requires a great deal of persistence and effective nutrition and physical activity strategies.

A few tips:

  1. Change up your endurance routine. The goal is to burn more calories. You can do this without increasing the amount of time spent on cardio by upping your intensity. Otherwise, you’re going to have to increase the amount of time committed to cardio whether that’s adding 15 or 20 minutes to your current routine or increasing the number of days per week.
  2. Strength train at least twice per week. When you lose a lot of weight, about a quarter of weight loss comes from muscle if you don’t include a strength-training component to your workout routine. This helps explain why those last few pounds are so hard to lose. Your metabolism has slowed down; therefore, you’re burning fewer calories at rest. The metabolic rate is directly linked to the amount of muscle you have. For every pound of lean muscle mass, you burn about six calories per day. While that doesn’t sound like much, if you lost 20 pounds of fat and kept all of your muscle mass, the five pounds of muscle mass you kept (versus what you might lose without a resistance training program) would help you lose about three extra pounds. Maintain muscle mass while continuing to lose weight by committing to your resistance training routine.
  3. Eat a little less. To have successfully lost weight in the first place you have to have made some significant dietary changes. If you want to continue to lose weight, you’ll need to make further cuts. Assess your approximate daily caloric intake and then come up with strategies to cut an additional 250 calories per day (provided that will still keep you at a healthy calorie level and not at risk for nutrient deficiencies). If you eat 250 calories less per day and do not make any changes to your exercise regimen, you’ll lose those last 10 pounds over the course of the next five months.
  4. If you exercise more, it will come off faster. Anyone can finish a 5K or a 10K but not everyone can finish a marathon. It takes a high level of commitment and ongoing diligence to successfully train for and compete in such a long race.

Weight loss application: Somewhere around 40% of women and 30% of men are trying to lose weight at any given time. Some are successful initially but most are unable to lose and keep off the weight.

Losing weight is tough. Keeping it off requires a constant effort. To achieve and maintain your weight loss goals you’ve got to be in it for the long haul. Slowly and steadily progress to your goal with each of the small decisions you make every day take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for the fresh apple instead of the apple pie. After all, being the first one done isn’t the goal, it’s just about having the strength, endurance, and mental toughness to successfully cross that finish line. And if you’re looking to lose your last 10 or first 10 Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts is here to help.  With help from our expert Nutritionist, Fitness instructors and Behavior Change coaches, we give you all the tools you need to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off for good.

 

Have A Healthy Heart for Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2013 By: consultant 11 Comments

healthy_heartThe month of February is American Heart month and there is no question that the outlook regarding heart disease is a hopeful one. Everyday scientists are discovering more about prevention and cures for some types of heart disease. But there is always more to learn. The Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts team cares about you and your health, so here are some discoveries to keep in mind.

People of any age may have diseases of the heart or blood vessels. As a matter of fact, doctors are finding more cases of heart disease in people in their early 20’s. They say this is because of reduced exercise and increased weight of American kids. Since being overweight is a general health hazard, losing even 5-10 pounds is a way to protect your health. The American Heart Association recommends a nutritionally sound, low fat, reduced calorie, and balanced diet – Just like the meal plans we have at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts and the recipes found in our new cookbook, Meal Simple – The Camp Shane Cookbook.

High Blood Pressure is one of the most important risk factors in stroke. If you have high blood pressure, give your heart a Valentine’s Day present – an at home blood pressure (BP) monitor and use it regularly. Why? Because BP readings can vary throughout the day based on your diet, mood and the amount of exercise. But monitoring your BP regularly and reporting your readings to your Health Care Provider can offer a window on your heart health. It can also help with adjusting medication to the right dosage.

To get a reliable reading The Heart Association recommends using an automatic cuff-style, bicep (upper arm) BP monitor. Have your health Care Provider double check it to make sure it is working properly and that you know how to get a good reading. Refrain from smoking, avoid caffeine or exercise for 30 minutes prior to testing, and do it at the same time every day.

Adding spices to your meals can hike your metabolism and improve the old ticker! Penn State University Researchers served identical high-fat meals to two groups of volunteers. They added a mix of spices – including rosemary, oregano, turmeric and cinnamon – to meals served to one of the groups. The study discovered that the volunteers eating the spicy meals saw readings of triglycerides and insulin that were 31% and 21% lower, respectively, than those of the group that ate the blander offering. The researchers suspect that the antioxidants in the spices are responsible.

Make a play list of all your favorite songs and get up and move to them. You don’t have to over think how to exercise, just move. Did you know you use 300 muscles just standing still? So move the furniture back in the living room and dance to the songs that inspire you. It will lift you spirits, burn some calories and strengthen your heart. Better yet, grab a partner and dance a few songs together. Having a buddy to encourage you and support you is very important.

Most of all you need to invest in yourself. You need to believe in yourself. You can transform your life; you just need some help to show you how. Learn – Laugh – Lose! It really can be that easy. Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts can be the safe supportive program with people who are your advocates, who will cheer you toward change. You are worth the life you long to live. You are capable of bringing it to pass. It is time for you to bet on yourself to win!

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Busy Schedules Don’t Have To Be Unhealthy

February 7, 2012 By: consultant 1 Comment

The most common excuse I hear about why someone isn’t eating healthy is: “I don’t have time to eat healthy” (of course, there is always the “healthy foods taste like cardboard” excuse, but that’s an entirely different subject).  So why don’t people have time to eat healthy? School, work, and family are the most common healthy-eating deterrents.  However, a busy schedule doesn’t have to mean fatty, high sodium, processed foods.  It can be just as simple to eat healthy on a busy schedule as to eat unhealthy.  It takes the same amount of effort to order a salad than it does a slice of pizza and it takes even less effort to grab an apple than it does to heat up a pop-tart.

So when you wake up tomorrow morning think to yourself: “My eating yesterday didn’t make me feel very healthy. Today I want to make a healthy change.” It is as simple as that. When you start your day with a healthy mindset, making healthy decisions will easily follow.

The first meal of the day is the most important. Breakfast will give you the energy you need to stay on track all day, not to mention that when you start your day with a good food choice you are more likely to make better choices throughout the day.  We all know what a good choice is: oatmeal and other whole grains, fruit, eggs, veggies, and other natural choices.  If you don’t have time in the morning, prep the night before. A good breakfast is an essential part of a healthy day.  Before you leave the house, grab a few pieces of fruit, maybe some nuts or trail mix to have with you as snacks throughout the day.

So this is where the hard part starts; lunch out with friends, family or coworkers.  Whether you order out, eat out or dine in there is always a healthy option, even if it doesn’t seem like there is.  Half the battle in making a healthy decision is knowing what a healthy choice is, such as watch out for heavy dressing, added sodium and highly processed foods. Instead, stick with a protein source, a vegetable and a whole grain.  The other half of making a healthy food choice is having a healthy mindset. “I want to be the best I can be and feed my body what it deserves.”  With that mindset and the knowledge you already have, you are ready to make healthy choices every day.

At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, our fitness, nutrition and behavior change coaching classes can assist you in making those healthy food choices, and exploring your old bad habits and creating new ones.   Once you leave our program you will feel confident, look great, have more energy, and have a stronger and healthier mindset!  When you are good to your body, it will be good to you in return.

 

Moving to Music: Making Exercise Fun!

May 20, 2011 By: office 23 Comments

Think back to the last time you danced. Not a little side to side swaying when you’re in a good mood, but a full-body boogie that put a smile on your face, put your arms in the air and allowed all of your inhibitions to melt away. Wouldn’t it be great if you can do that every day as a form of exercise? Well, dancing is a bona fide weight loss workout, no matter if it’s in a dance club or a fitness class, offering benefits such as healthier cardiovascular system, stronger bones, and improved mood. With dance, however, you don’t really realize you are exercising; happily though, a turn on the dance floor can burn 200 to 500 calories per hour!

Dancing has many wonderful attributes apart from helping burn calories. Dancing strengthens our muscles, which in turn better stabilizes our joints, protecting them from injury. It is lower impact than running and much easier on the joints of the knees and ankles. All styles of dancing are considered weight-bearing exercises, which force the muscle and bone to work against gravity. This stress strengthens the bones and is the only kind of exercise that can actually slow down bone loss.

Dance moves also activate almost every muscle in the body and as a result, naturally strengthen the core, improve flexibility, balance, and posture, as well as aiding in weight loss, which will improve cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease.

Zumba Dance Class for Weight Loss

Dance classes like Zumba are not only fun, but also a great way to burn calories for weight loss.

Between 2002 through 2010, there was a 26 percent increase in interest for dance as a fitness class in health clubs. Some of that rise had to do with the introduction of Zumba, a Latin inspired dance workout class. Since then, several different types of dance inspired workouts have been created, including Batuka, a new class that borrows moves from belly dancing, hip-hop and salsa, which is schedule to start rolling out into health clubs this coming fall.

Like other exercises, dancing can modulate levels of brain chemicals associated with mood, such as dopamine, nor epinephrine and serotonin. There is also a sense of achievement that comes with mastering new skills.

At Shane Diet Resorts adult weight loss camp, our fun filled fitness schedule not only includes several varieties of group exercise classes, we also have Dance! which includes Latin, Hip Hop and jazz inspired dance combinations, that will help you lose weight and, most of all, have fun!

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