Quick Fitness Tips

Good advice on a range of fitness situations.

Walking on the Treadmill ~ Swing Your Arms

To automatically speed up your pace and help you burn up to 15% more calories every time you work out, swing your arms as you walk. Let go of the handles, bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle and pump your arms. The key is not the pace but the control and endurance.

Effective Weight Training

To increase the effectiveness of your weight training, always warm-up for 5-10 minutes on the elliptical, treadmill or bike. For every degree your body temp goes up, you increase the metabolic rate inside your cells by about 13%. In addition, warming-up helps:

Raise your heart rate

Send blood to your working muscles
Ramp up your respiration
Get maximum boost in your calorie burn

Circuit Training

Research has found that circuit training helps burn nearly twice as many calories post workout compared to standard style weight training. Because your heart rate stays elevated longer after circuit training, you continue to burn fat as though you were still exercising.

Exercise & Colds

Exercising when you have a cold is usually fine unless you have a fever. In fact, there is evidence that exercising improves circulation and reduces stress which boosts your immune system.

Quick Health Tips:

  • Stay hydrated (drink extra fluids)
  • Dress appropriately
  • Go easy while you have symptoms
  • Get your ZZZ’s (8-10 hours/day)

Eating Right After Your Workout

Although it sounds counterintuitive, eating a small meal within 30-45 minutes of your workout can actually help you lose weight. The key is to keep it small and includes complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats. Try a ½ turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, half a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, Balance Bar or protein/fruit smoothie shake. Eating this combination will help you rebuild your muscles, help you recover for your routine the next day and keep your metabolism from slowing down.

Learn To Love Your ZZZ’s

Sleep is one of your best tools for losing weight. The recommended amount of sleep for good health is between 7 – 9 hours a night. Studies have shown that people who are sleep-deprived are more likely to be overweight than their well-rested counterparts. What’s the link: hormones. When you are sleep deprived your fat tissue decreases its production of leptin, a hormone that peaks at night and thought to suppress appetite.
When leptin production falls, your appetite and overeating increases. Interesting percentages.

  • Less than 4 hours of sleep each night = 73% more likely to be obese.
  • Only 5 hours of sleep each night = 50% likely to be obese.
  • 6 hours of sleep each night = 23% likely to be obese.

Exercising With An Injury

Whether your injury is minor (muscle strain) or major (torn ligament), you’re don’t need to lose all the strength you have worked so hard for. The decision to continue exercising is up to you and only requires a little planning and a lot of common sense. If you have a knee or foot injury, you may not be able to walk, ride your bike, or train on the elliptical, but there’s no reason you can’t continue exercising your upper body. If you have an upper body injury, such as your shoulder or elbow, why not concentrate on lower body exercises? The keys to staying injury and pain free is to listen to your body, maintain flexibility and balance, avoid overtraining, and incorporate regular weight training into your weekly routine.

Strengthening ALL of your muscle groups will reduce any muscle imbalances that may cause other muscles of your body to overcompensate for any weakness. If in doubt, always check with your doctor.

The Fact About Abs

The trick to your abs is to realize that strength training IS important to keep your belly strong, but ab exercises aren’t magic. Too often we work our abs every day without rest, hoping to burn the fat off with more exercise. Exercising just the ab muscle will increase endurance and strength but will not burn off the fat in that area. The only way to burn fat from your belly is to reduce overall body fat with consistent exercise (cardio, strength and flexibility workouts), lowered stress and a healthy, low-calorie diet.

Our abdominal muscles are just like every other muscle in your body, so we should train them the same way which means strength training 2-3 times a week with rest in between and a variety of exercises to target your stabilizer muscles – the rectus abdominis, obliques and transverse abdominis.

The Secret To Removing Weight

In order to lose weight you must lift weight. Some women believe that aerobic exercise is all they need to stay fit and strong for the rest of their lives. Other women now know that weight lifting in combination with aerobic exercise is a non-negotiable essential in their life and the secret to success in removing weight and keeping it off. Muscular strength is important as it is one of the primary factors involved in boosting your metabolism. Muscles are like furnaces because they help you burn more calories even when at rest. Studies have shown that women who do not strength train lose about 7 pounds of muscle every ten years and experience a reduction in metabolism equal to at least 350 calories per day. Add to this lose is more rapid fatigue, decreased stamina, increased risk of injury and recovering time.

If you think you have never strength trained before, think about all the years you have lifted children, packing boxes, book bags, briefcases, and grocery bags – all of these much heavier that beginning weight workouts. If you feel you are not as strong as you would like to be, consider adding weight training to your exercise routine. Aerobic exercise improves cardiovascular fitness, but it does not keep us from losing muscle tissue.

Aerobic Exercise – Good For Your Heart

Exercise will make you feel good, but do our bodies really need it? When you engage in aerobic activity, the muscles of your heart are exercised, resulting in an increased heart rate and greater supply of oxygen to every cell of the body. An increase in heart rate helps improve circulation and stimulate the lymphatic system to feed and clean cells. To achieve these desirable results, you need to perform exercise with sufficient intensity to reach your target heart rate, 65% – 85% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) for at least 15-30 minutes, three to five times a week.

Your target heart rate is based on your MHR which is determined by subtracting your age from 220. For example, if you are 50 years old, your MRH = 200 – 50 = 170 beats per minute; your target heart rate = 65% – 85% of 170 = 110 – 144 beats per minute.

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