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Circuit Training 101

Circuit Training 101

You may have already taken circuit training and found it tough or done circuit training without realizing it. It’s not a specific exercise or groups of exercises, but a format where you do one exercise, followed by a very short rest and then on to another. It’s a method of exercise that works on both muscle groups and endurance at the same time. Any types of exercises can be used for circuit training. It’s like a mini decathlon style workout in the gym that only takes a half hour to forty-five minutes.

You work at your own pace.

One of the benefits of this type of training is that you call the shots. Of course, your dedication to the workout might be questioned a bit if your rest time between exercises was five to ten minutes. It is tough to do, especially when you have a personal trainer choosing the exercises. He or she uses ones that address areas where you need the work, so they will be harder for you. Not only does circuit training build muscle and endurance, it also burns fat quickly.

It’s good for people who want to lose weight and for those who get bored easily.

HIIT—high-intensity interval training also a type of circuit training, but you only do one type of exercise. You do it a top speed for a short period, followed by a recovery period that’s about twice as long at moderate speed. Both traditional circuit training and HIIT burn calories fast because of the afterburn. Afterburn is the fact that up to 48 hours after you finish your circuit training, it continues to burn extra calories, boosting your metabolism. Since it moves fast, there’s no potential for boredom.

It can be quite like a game.

If you’ve ever watched a group playing musical chairs, you’ll see the resemblance immediately when you watch a group using circuit training. It’s extremely fast paced with people moving quickly from one station to the next. Since there’s not necessarily a specific order, they run to the station that’s open. If you have a personal trainer creating the program, he or she will watch closely to make sure that your need for speed doesn’t affect your form.

  • You don’t have use exercises that require equipment. You can do a body weight circuit that can be as effective as one using equipment. Since you can do those anywhere, you can do them at home, too.
  • Circuit training is fast paced, so you’ll get more done in a short amount of time. It can cut the time you spend in the gym.
  • Using circuit training for building muscle tissue provides benefits for your weight. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does, so you’ll burn more calories the more you have.
  • If you’re just starting out with a workout, make sure you have the right form before you include into circuit training. Trying to speed it up can often compromise the form, so do it slowly until it’s automatic.

Motivating Your Family To Be Healthy

Motivating Your Family To Be Healthy

You may hate seeing your children on the computer or phone all day playing games when you think they should be out playing and running. You also may hate the fact that they simply hate the healthy foods you make. Motivating your family to be healthy isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s one of the most often problems I hear from many clients that workout. They love how they feel and want to share that great feeling with the family, who reluctantly pokes at their Brussels sprouts or broccoli and barely move when the subject of going for a walk comes up. I’ve put together some ideas for both the young children, older ones and that big child you married (According to many of the women I talk to here and some men!) to get them out of the chair and eating healthier.

Planning make ahead healthy foods at meals.

Planning ahead is so important when you’re first starting on the road to healthy eating. It’s far too often that after a long day at work, it’s just easier to grab take out, rather than cook. The good news is that you can make ahead healthy meals and freeze them. Most of these meals actually don’t look like healthy foods and none of them taste the way people expect healthy foods to taste. Cooking spaghetti squash ahead and turning it into a pasta style vegetable salad is great for light meals or as a side. Lasagna made with zucchini noodles instead of traditional pasta is another great option. Making large batches and freezing food for use in the near future is a great way to make eating healthier easier. So is having fresh fruits and veggies cut up and ready in the refrigerator, which also encourages healthy snacks.

Find ways to boost the family exercise and boost yours in the process.

If you drive your kids to school in the morning, but the distance is close enough to walk, you just found one way to get the kids more active. You’ll benefit from the walk, too. You may not even have to leave earlier if there’s a long drop-off line of cars you face when you get to the school. Do activities that are physical. Even a day at the amusement park involves a lot of walking. Going on family hikes and camping out can also be fun.

Sometimes just being a role model isn’t enough.

You may have tried to get the kids or your spouse active by being a great role model and trying active outings and it works while you’re doing it, but the rest of the week everyone barely budges from the chair. It’s time to turn chores into dance time or give a gift that makes them active. Roller blades, a bicycle or even a basketball and a hoop for the garage can be good. If you use a basketball and hoop or other sporting equipment, join them in the activity.

  • Make a trip walking to the park a reward for having the kids help you with active chores like window washing or lawn mowing.
  • Plan active vacations and have the kids get ready by getting in shape. Even a trip to Disney takes a lot of energy, so encouraging them to get in shape so they can enjoy the vacation can be motivating.
  • Pets, especially dogs, require their owners to be active. Find toys that allow your children to be active and interact with pets. Cat’s love chasing string and dogs love a walk in the park.
  • Have the kids help you in the kitchen and involved in creating healthy meals. If they help cook it, they’ll appreciate it more.

Do You Have A Fitness Routine

Do You Have A Fitness Routine

A healthy diet is part of getting healthy, but so is a fitness routine. By a fitness routine, I don’t mean repeating the same exercises for months, but a scheduled time for exercise and plans for healthy eating. The body needs both nutrients and exercise to be its best and to leave you looking and feeling your best. While eating healthy provides nutrients, plus cuts calories, a workout routine will help build your muscle tissue, which boosts weight loss efforts. That’s because it builds muscle tissue and that burns more calories than fat tissue does. Effectively, it boosts your metabolism, while whittling off inches.

Consistency is the key to getting healthier.

Seriously, you won’t get healthier with one salad or one push-up. It’s a start, but not enough if you’re not eating healthy every meal or working out consistently. That’s why the word “routine” is so important. If you’re not working with a personal trainer or in a group program, you may not be certain that you’re working on all areas of the body and ensuring you’re getting all forms of exercise, balance, flexibility, strength and endurance. That’s one reason working with a trainer makes it easier. The other reason is that it promotes that consistency and keeps your workout in your schedule. No matter how great the workout, if you don’t do it, you won’t get the benefits you hope to reap.

If you’re working out on your own, create two programs to start.

It’s hard to know where to begin when you’re first working out. Running may be good for endurance, but it certainly won’t build strength or flexibility. Doing body weight exercises and pumping iron is important for strength and you can modify it to boost endurance, but there’s no flexibility training. You need all types of workouts for overall health. Strength training helps build muscle tissue, reduces the risk for osteoporosis and helps shed weight. Flexibility training builds your range of motion and helps prevent injury and endurance is definitely heart healthy. All three are necessary and all three must be done safely within your ability, but still stretch you to achieve your maximum. That’s where trainers help.

Once you get into a routine, you have to vary the exercises you do.

Getting into a routine of exercising regularly is half the battle. Once you find the workout that is best for you and the best scheduling of that exercise time, it’s time to start thinking about varying the routine. If you don’t vary your workout, you’ll find you plateau. Plateauing comes from the body’s reduced need for calories due to weight loss and it becoming more efficient at the workout. That means it burns fewer calories. Start preparing for this by creating other workouts to do that provide variety.

  • Consider ways to make working out more fun. Include things like dancing, swimming and maybe even martial arts as part of your exercise regimen. Group sessions can also be fun.
  • Be consistent in your workout, but also by eating healthy. Don’t worry about calories. Start simple by eliminating processed foods and eating more whole foods. You can improve on that as you go.
  • Remember, you don’t have to have the perfect workout to get benefits. While personal trainers often put together programs that work faster to get you in shape, any program of exercise, including walking, is far better than doing nothing at all.
  • Don’t forget to make the workout harder as you get fitter. Adding more weight to your lift, extra sets or a brisker pace increases the difficulty and helps you reach your maximum potential.

Benefits Of Walking

Benefits Of Walking

There’s a lot to see in Commack and no better way to see it than by walking, after all, the name Commack does mean “pleasant lands” in the language of the indigenous people, the Secatogue Native Americans. Seeing local attractions on foot allows you the chance to stop and explore and site things you might otherwise miss, like a mother duck with ducklings. You’ll get a chance to see local architecture and capture a glimpse of Mother Nature you might otherwise miss. However, there are other benefits of walking for your health and your body.

Get and stay healthier when you walk.

If you want to reduce the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease and hypertension, you can do it effectively with walking. In fact, walking will also help you control those conditions if you already have them. You need to be aware of the pace when you walk, although any exercise, no matter what the pace, helps. When it comes to walking, a brisk pace is far better. It also helps improve your bone and muscle strength while boosting your mood. Don’t forget, you’ll be burning more calories when you walk, so it helps with weight loss, too.

Could walking be better than running?

While how in or out of shape you are will make a difference, you actually might be better walking than running. There are studies that show walking may actually be better for you, especially for heart health. A study published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology concluded that those who walked on a regular basis had better health than people who ran. If you’re running, don’t stop, especially if you enjoy it. However, for those who aren’t inclined to run, walking is a superior alternative.

Let walking get you started in a fitness program.

Too often I hear people who want to get fit, but fear they’re far too out of shape to start. While that’s just not true, since everyone has their own program based on their fitness, if you feel that way, start by walking. It builds your endurance and the more briskly you walk, the better. It also helps prevent osteoporosis, but does nothing for flexibility or upper body strength. To be the best you can be, a full body workout in all types of fitness is important, with walking being a great supplement.

  • Walking helps you lose weight, but the best technique is HIIT and strength training to do that. You can turn your walk into a HIIT workout by varying the speed of your walk.
  • You may think you don’t have time to schedule a walk on a regular basis. Consider these ideas instead. Walk to lunch, take the stairs or park further from your destination and walk to it.
  • You’ll get many benefits from walking, but not core strength or upper body strength that gives the sculpted, sexy look. Other training is necessary for that. If you start with walking, add other types of flexibility and strength training to look fabulous.
  • Just like any type of exercise, make sure you use the proper form when you walk. Check your posture and remind yourself to maintain good posture throughout the walk.

The Big Chill---The Benefits Of Cryotherapy

The Big Chill—The Benefits Of Cryotherapy

You may have heard of cryotherapy, but not known much about it, except for the fact it uses cold air. There are many benefits of cryotherapy. Since it’s relatively new, many of the benefits come from tests on smaller groups of people, but clients provide firsthand testimony to the effectiveness. Cryotherapy lowers the body temperature and causes the blood to flow from the surface skin to deep inside the body and keep it warm. If you have inflammation, it reduces the blood to those areas. When you step out, the blood quickly flows back to the entire body bringing anti-inflammatory proteins with it.

Cryotherapy is better than icing.

If you’ve ever sat in a tub with icy cold water with ice swirling around your body, you know how uncomfortable it can be. For those brave people that jump in the already iced water, it takes 15 minutes of chilling and for those less valiant who add the ice after they’re in the water, as much as 25 minutes. You can get the same and in fact, better effects without the discomfort from a few minutes in a cryotherapy chamber. However, that’s not the only reason you’ll get superior results from the cryotherapy chamber, compared to icing.

Cryotherapy doesn’t require as much time to get results.

An ice bath doesn’t reach the cold temperatures of a cryotherapy chamber. Compare the 45 degrees Fahrenheit to the negative two hundred seventy degrees Fahrenheit and it’s easy to understand. The surface of the skin only reaches a 41 degree Fahrenheit temperature after a considerable period of time while the skin surface in a cryotherapy chamber reaches below freezing in a half minute or so. That means you only have to spend 3 minutes or less in the chamber. Ice baths freeze muscle tissue and require rest for recuperation, sometimes overnight.

Cryotherapy and icing work in different ways.

Cryotherapy doesn’t freeze muscle tissue for results, but tricks the body into believing it does. Once you exit the chamber, blood flow starts back to the muscle area quickly and warms them immediately, so no rest after a session is required. There’s no interruption of oxygen to the skin that can cause skin issues with cryotherapy, yet you get even better effects for muscle pain relief in a fraction of the time and it doesn’t require a long recovery time, like ice baths do.

  • Cryotherapy sends the blood to the core to protect organs and keep blood from cooling. That change causes it to pick up more nutrients quicker than it normally would and once out, send those nutrients to the muscles that need repair.
  • Cryotherapy addresses pain throughout the body all at one time. Referred pain may trick you into treating one area, where the pain actually comes from another. It’s not a problem with cryotherapy.
  • Cryotherapy was created in Japan in 1978 by Dr. Yamaguchi for rheumatoid arthritis treatment. He found it caused endorphins to be released and brought immediate relief from pain.
  • There are many more benefits that come with cryotherapy, some of which come from the increased blood flow after exiting the chamber. However, there are also some side effects that need to be investigated, such as increased blood pressure in people with untreated hypertension. Always consult your health care professional first.

Kickboxing For Fitness

Kickboxing For Fitness

Kickboxing is a form of self defense that provides many other benefits. It’s an exceptional way to boost your confidence and fitness at the same time. Here in Commack, it’s part of the fitness program, because of its benefits for health and fitness. It’s fun, for starters, so it gives more incentive to stick with a workout program and keeps clients coming back when they otherwise might quit. It certainly beats doing just a workout and keeps everyone more focused and involved. No matter how effective the workout, there are no benefits if it’s skipped.

Kickboxing works all parts of the body.

You’ll get a full body workout when you’re doing kickboxing. It works all muscles in the body whether your doing drills or in the ring. It strengthens the core muscles, which boosts your functional fitness and builds synergy with moves using multiple muscles, tendons and joints. There’s no upper body day and lower body day, because every day you participate, you get a full body workout, strength training, endurance and flexibility training.

It hits all areas of fitness.

If you run, you’re working on your endurance and cardio. If you lift weights, of course, it’s strength. Yoga and stretches improve flexibility, but Kickboxing helps all those areas of fitness, plus improves balance. It’s been proven that HIIT—high intensity interval training—can improve your endurance far more quickly than solid state running. HIIT means you go at top speed for a as little as 10 seconds, then spend an equally long or longer recovery period at normal exertion. That sounds like kickboxing, doesn’t it? You’ll build strength with the kicks, while boosting your balance and flexibility.

Kickboxing promotes functional fitness.

Functional fitness is the way the body’s muscles, tendons and joints all work together to successfully perform the activities of daily living without injury and with ease. It focuses on multi-muscle use, core strength from abdominal and lower back muscles. Everyday movements aren’t anything like traditional gym movements. They tend to be more chaotic, requiring the body to make muscles work together to perform certain tasks. Kickboxing is a true functional fitness workout.

  • Kickboxing promotes self-confidence. One of the reasons many people fail at getting fit is their self-control and failure to follow through with a healthy diet and a program of exercise. This confidence building sport helps boost that self-control and promotes success.
  • The more involved in kickboxing you become, the more you’re aware of your body and its needs. People often find they start taking better care of their health, eating healthier and getting adequate sleep as they progress.
  • Kickboxing helps you burn off the hormones of stress. Stress hormones, such as cortisol, can cause harm to the body if they continue to build without being burned off by flight or fighting.
  • Practicing kickboxing builds energy levels. The more energy you have, the more physical activities you’ll do and the more exercise you’ll get.

Change Your Lifestyle And Change Your Life

Change Your Lifestyle And Change Your Life

You can continue to go through life feeling tired, sick and disgusted with your body or you can change your lifestyle and by doing that, change your life. The definition of crazy is to continue doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different outcomes. Isn’t it time that you took a look at how you’re living and what you’re doing or not doing for yourself, especially if it brings more satisfaction to your life? It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Changing habits you’ve had for years can be tough.

It all starts with healthy eating.

Even if you were raised eating healthy foods, it doesn’t mean you’ve continued the habit throughout life. There’s too many quick options available today that can lure you away from eating whole foods. You may have developed habits that you once only did on special occasions, like grabbing a quickie burger for a meal when you were rushed and had no other option. Now, you’ve replaced all the healthy meals with quick to fix processed foods. Start going back to foods that come from the garden or meat and animal products that comes from free range, organic or grass fed animals.

Learning how to eat healthy doesn’t happen overnight.

Focusing on the nutrients in food and ways to make your favorite foods more nutritious and less fattening are keys to eating healthy. Some of the changes will be easy, like substituting fresh fruit for a candy bar as a mid afternoon snack. Some will take some learning, such as cooking healthier and making changes like broiling, steaming, grilling or baking food rather than frying them. Making substitutions when baking, such as using applesauce to replace part of the oil or sugar in baked goods is another change. It takes work.

Speaking of changes, how about starting a program of regular exercise.

If you’ve never had a program of regular exercise, you probably don’t know where to start. That’s where personal trainers and boot camps can help. The most important part of this program is consistency. It’s making yourself get into the habit of regular exercise, so you’ll miss it when you don’t do it. Too often we allow our schedules to dictate our workout, where in reality, scheduling in a workout should be top priority.

  • Those two changes will reap huge benefits. You’ll start to have more energy, shed unwanted pounds, build more muscle tissue and feel great. It even helps build bone density and boost your immune system.
  • When you successfully make changes like this, you boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. That can create positive changes in all areas of your life.
  • If you’re overweight, have high blood pressure or pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, you’ll find you can control these conditions, often without the use of medication.
  • Always talk to your health care provider before starting a program of exercise. If you have a physical condition or limitation, share it with your personal trainer before you begin.

Will Exercise Help You Lose Fat

Will Exercise Help You Lose Fat

If you want to lose fat, not muscle tissue when you lose weight, exercise is important. However, knowing the right types of exercises to do is also important. There’s help in Commack, NY for anyone that wants to shed pounds, while maintaining and building muscle mass. The help is a professional personal trainer who designs a plan specifically for that goal and the individual’s needs and present fitness level. However, there are some generalizations that will work for almost anyone.

Strength training not only builds and maintains muscle mass, it burns fat.

Whether you lift weights or swing a kettlebell, strength training is definitely a fat burner. Not only do you burn calories while you’re doing it, it continues burning calories after you quit. Strength training also helps build and maintain muscle mass, unlike cardio workouts. Longer cardio workouts can even reduce the amount of muscle mass you have. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body burns, since muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does.

Try a HIIT workout.

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It’s a process where you do short burst at maximum ability, approximately 30 seconds to one minutes, followed by a recovery time at half your normal workout rate. That period is normally double the time spent at maximum, 60 seconds to two minutes. You alternate this way for six to ten intervals. As your fitness improves, build on the time of each interval, but never forget the recovery period. This type of workout is extremely effective and a real fat burner. You can use any type of exercise, cardio or strength training, to get the desired effects.

Circuit training is also another way to maximize the fat-burning effects of exercise.

Circuit training is related to HIIT in how it works to burn fat, but still quite different in how it’s executed. Instead of varying the speed of the exercise, you combine a series of exercises that you complete one after another. You don’t rest between the sets and that’s what makes it harder. The heart has to work hard with the rate elevated. That makes it an efficient calorie burner while you’re doing it and for hours afterward. It doesn’t matter which exercises you use as you go from station to station and it could be body weight exercises, weights, cardio or specific calisthenics. As you get more proficient, your program can become more advanced.

  • No matter what exercise methods you choose to burn fat, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
  • Any exercise will help you lose weight, however some are simply better than others are. Even adding a long walk to your daily routine can help you shed pounds and get into shape.
  • If you have a health issue, it’s best to first discuss your plan to start exercising with your health care professional and then seek the services of a personal trainer who can design a plan specifically for your special needs.
  • The quickest types of fat-burning exercises are circuit training and HIIT. They accomplish more in a half hour than most workouts do in an hour or longer.

What Is Primal Living

What Is Primal Living

If you take off your shoes at the end of the day and get a huge feeling of relief, you may be ready for primal living. Primal living isn’t going back to scavenging the countryside for berries and small creatures to eat. However, it is taking a step back and noticing that not all the changes in the modern world are good for our health. One simple part of primal living is going barefoot. Your feet were meant to be exposed to the ground with toes wiggling in the grass. One big movement called grounding, endorses walking barefoot outside, saying it brings serenity and peace by neutralizing the energy with the earths electrons.

Much of our manufactured food is good—if you’re a machine.

There’s so many additives in today’s foods, some of which are petroleum based—which is great if you’re the tin woodsman and need a little oil. However, it’s a proven fact that the American diet is killing us with diabetes and obesity running rampant. High fructose corn syrup is one example of food messing with your body. It’s cheap to use, so it’s the sweetener of choice and is in almost all processed foods. It stops the hormones that tell you that you’re feeling full, so you keep on eating and eating until before you know it, you’re huge! Primal living gets back to eating whole foods, foods that are in their natural state. It also promotes eating organic, since pesticides aren’t good for any living creature.

Do you think your hour of exercise every other day will keep you fit?

Guess what, you need more than that. Studies show that if you have a sedentary job where you sit more than an hour at a time, you might be shortening your life, even if you exercise. While exercise helps in order to live your healthiest, you need to get up and move every 50 minutes for a few minutes to offset that sedentary lifestyle. Hunter-gatherers moved continuously at a slow pace across the land. They definitely weren’t split second fast as they searched for food while they traveled. Even though they were slower, the continuous movement kept them healthier and at their best.

Primal living doesn’t baby anyone.

It doesn’t matter whether you were a man or woman, you carried your share of the load. Women carried babies all day and often firewood and food. Everyone helped move heavy items, like large prey and wood for shelters. Lifting is what kept them strong. Today, we no longer do the type of physical labor that was necessary for survival, so core muscles are weaker and there’s more back pain. There’s a reason strength training is so important. Not only does it signal the creation of growth hormones, it keeps the muscles and bones strong.

  • When cavemen existed, there were dangers everywhere. Whether it was from another tribe or a wild animal, running was also part of their life. Add occasional running to your list of primal living.
  • Who sleeps anymore? Nobody it seems. We’re getting less and less sleep, either because of work or all the modern inventions that keep us up at night. Primal living means you turn off the lights and get adequate sleep.
  • If you want to start easy on primal living, take a walk in the grass barefoot on a sunny day—without sun blocks. Use good sense, with a short exposure to the sun if your skin is pale and extending it as you tan. Your body needs the sunlight to make vitamin D.
  • Being aware of your environment and on the alert for danger kept primitive man safe. It’s something that modern man (and woman) could better do better. Put down your cellphone and walk with it IN your pocket.

Positive Motivation

Positive Motivation

You can accomplish anything in life with enough time and positive motion. While some of life’s goals may require more time than a lifetime offers, there are ones that can be accomplished by anyone with a plan that works for them and determination to carryout that plan. Getting fit, losing weight and facing life as a healthier person with more endurance, strength and flexibility may seem difficult at first, but if you stick with it, it can be done.

“Put one foot in front of the other” is a message from a children’s song.

I love to Christmas programs and the messages of hope and love. One particular program, Santa Clause is Coming to Town, featured a song with inspiring lyrics. “Put one foot in front of the other and soon you’ll be walking across the floor. Put one foot in front of the other and soon you’ll be walking out the door.” I thought to myself when I heard it that it could be about exercise. Just do it and before you know it, you’ll be in shape. I read a motivating story about a man that was extremely obese, to the point that he could only walk a few steps. He became motivated by the possibility of never walking again and daily took those few steps, until they became a few more and finally, today, has lost more than three fourths his body weight and is running marathons. That’s the power of motivation.

Workout with a friend to stay motivated.

If you can buddy up to workout, you’ll find that it works better. Not only do you have someone else holding you accountable, you also have someone to help make the workout more interesting. That’s one reason group classes work so well. Not only does the trainer provide motivation, the whole group does too. It’s far more fun and let’s face it, having fun is truly motivating, too.

Track your workout and your progress.

It’s easy to say that you’ll workout, but you’ll be more likely to stick to a program if you track your workout and your results. Tracking is nothing more than noting the number of repetitions and sets. If you’re using weights, the amount of weight involved. It makes it more of a game, rather than a chore and you’ll get motivation as you see your progress improving.

  • Snap a selfie once every two weeks. Either take a selfie or have a friend take a full body picture of you in the same clothing and in the same place. Compare pictures as you progress.
  • Give yourself a reward. Don’t make it a food reward if you’re trying to lose weight, but a reward of a new outfit works.
  • Keep a workout jar. Every time you workout, pitch a dollar in the jar that you can spend anyway you want after three months. As the money builds, so will your motivation.
  • Break up your workout to smaller bites throughout the day. One client hated to start a long workout, so on her days away from the gym, broke the workout to four-ten minute sessions. She wasn’t nearly as reluctant to start.