Fitness & Wellness

How To Get Your Kids To Exercise

How To Get Your Kids To Exercise

In today’s world of electronics, exercise may mean being quick on the game controller, developing quick reflexes, hand strength and flexibility. You don’t have to be versed in good health to realize that’s not the type of exercise that helps anyone become healthier. It does make it tougher to get your kids to exercise, though. In Commack, NY, there are loads of activities that can help boost exercise time and ones that don’t require Olympic devotion or skill to do. They’re just plain fun for the whole family and that’s the key.

The family that plays together, stays together.

While I’m not saying you should eliminate Uno or Monopoly from game night or any other board games, I am saying you need to include some games that are more active and boost endurance, flexibility, strength and balance. You don’t have to go outside for many of these games, you can create ones you play inside, too. For younger children doing an animal walk is good, which involves naming the type of animal, like an elephant and letting your children portray them. Ninja War may sound a bit dangerous, but it’s all about striking a pose and avoiding getting your hand hit. Simple things like mimicking an inch worm, lady bug or animal can use strength or flexibility exercises.

Get your kids to workout with you.

You’ll be amazed at how much kids like to do grown up things and how it’s even more attractive when you say it’s for grownups, but let them do one or two exercises, just to give them a taste of it. Rather than pushing your kids into working, be reluctant to let them join you until they beg. Don’t expect to get your normal workout done, since they’ll giggle and maybe even have fun with the balance ball that isn’t part of the plan. You’ll get them started with the right attitude, too.

Check the great outdoors for some ideas.

Whether it’s hiking, camping or walking a massive amusement park, it’s all good family fun. Buy family bikes and start pedaling for picnics. Go to parks for long hikes and lunch. Make those lunches healthy for a double whammy of benefit. Rather than buying the latest video game, get your child a pair of rollerblades and some for yourself. A hula hoop is an inexpensive item and getting them for the whole family for fun, outside or inside if you have a big room, counts as healthy exercise.

  • Look through the eyes of a child for activities that involve moving, creativity and fun. Hiding from the monster can mean popping up and doing squats right away to hide. Then moving in squat position—duck walking—to another area. It boosts the imagination and fitness.
  • Exercise can involve education. Walking through a museum, a wildlife preserve or botanical garden provides an opportunity for both fitness and education.
  • Turn on the music and enjoy dancing with the kids. Make it fast music for more fun. You can also make chores more appealing by adding music and dance movements.
  • Mix it up and have a wide variety of things to do to keep active. Giving every family member a chance to pick an activity is important. You might end up learning new things from rock climbing to laser tag. The key is making it fun.

Exercises That Require No Equipment

Exercises That Require No Equipment

I became a personal trainer because I care about people and want to help them stay or get healthy. That’s one reason I create these blogs and also why I include exercises that require no equipment, for those that don’t have a trainer or gym and for my clients when they’re unable to come or are out of town. There’s a lot reasons people workout at home. They may be strapped for cash or unable to get to a gym. If funds are a problem that’s even more reason to help with no equipment workouts.

Sure you may not have gym equipment, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have equipment.

You can do loads of workouts without barbells, weights or fancy machines. You can use a chair for equipment with exercises that build strength. Grip the sides of the chair and use your arms to lift yourself off it with your thighs at 90 degrees to your body. Deep dips, a modified squat and other exercises use a chair, too. Want weights, don’t buy them. Fill plastic milk bottles or large detergent bottles with water or sand to substitute for weights. Adjust the amount of sand or water as you build muscle strength.

Return to an old favorite, bodyweight exercises.

Long before the treadmill was created, bodyweight exercises were used to build endurance strength and flexibility. Best of all, these exercises don’t require any special equipment. If you’re doing push ups, deep knee bends, pistol squats or lunges, you only need an exercise mat and that’s just if you choose to use one.

Make exercise part of your daily life.

Do you have a precocious toddler, baby or a family pet that demands attention? Make them part of the workout. You don’t have to worry about a toddler interfering or getting into trouble when they become the weight you hold doing squats. Your cat will love the extra attention, but be careful when lifting them over your head. They aren’t always cooperative. Put elbow grease and speed into daily tasks like cleaning or washing windows. Become a speed demon doing them or turn them into an HIIT routine.

  • If you want to include some exercise equipment that doesn’t cost much but provides a great deal of benefit, consider resistance bands that run under $20. Chin up bars are another inexpensive addition.
  • Get a workout buddy to join you in your workout. They don’t even have to workout with you, just check in with you to see how you’re coming. Reporting to someone, while they report to you, can increase the likelihood of staying on track.
  • Walking is a great workout, particularly if you make it a high intensity interval—HIIT—walk. That’s when you walk at top speed for a while, have a recovery speed at a moderate pace and then back to high speed.
  • In order to get the most from your workouts, you need to combine them with healthy eating.

The Importance Of Protein And Fiber

The Importance Of Protein And Fiber

Most people are aware of their need for protein, but often think fiber is only to help them go quicker in the bathroom. Both protein and fiber play an important role in your diet. If you want a boon to weight loss, ensuring you have adequate amounts of both can do it for you. Both protein and fiber give you a feeling of fullness, so you’ll eat less. Using foods that contain both or are high in either one are important additions for meals and snacks.

High fiber foods not only aid digestion, by supporting healthy bacteria, they also help weight loss.

Fiber fills you up, but without extra calories. Digesting fiber is impossible, but not to the microbes in the gut. In fact, fiber keeps your gut healthy by nurturing beneficial bacteria, making it a prebiotic. When you eat it, it takes up space and leaves you with a full feeling, even though you’ve consumed no extra calories. There’s soluble and insoluble fiber. Both add bulk, but in different ways. Insoluble fiber takes up space as it is, while soluble fiber turns to a gel by absorbing liquid, leaving you feeling fuller longer.

Protein takes longer to digest.

Eating adequate protein is a proven aid for weight loss. One study compared the benefits of fiber to protein for weight loss and found that people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes benefited most from fiber for regulating sugar, but for weight loss, protein won. Not only did protein provide that same feeling of satiation, it also boosted the metabolism. It increased thermogenesis. That’s the body heat created to digest a food. That means you’ll burn more calories to digest protein.

Combine high fiber with protein for the best effects.

Getting the benefits of both in a meal can boost your weight loss efforts, plus provide quite a few health benefits. Food like nuts, whole grains and seeds are high in both protein and fiber, so they’re a ready made food to provide both. Plant protein is often one of the most efficient ways to get both, but that shouldn’t discount animal protein sources that can provide other benefits and nutrients.

  • When you have an exercise program accompanying your healthy eating weight loss efforts, high protein is necessary to build muscle tissue. The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn, since it takes more calories to maintain muscle tissue than fat tissue.
  • Keep it simple and get a great combination of both protein and fiber. Oatmeal with fresh fruit and nuts sprinkled on top creates a good combination. An apple with nut butter is another that makes a great snack.
  • You need approximately 46 to 56 grams every day and between 25 and 35 grams of fiber. The exact amount is based on your activity level and weight.
  • When your blood sugar level spikes and crashes, it can create sugar cravings. Increased protein and fiber helps prevent the spikes and drops, leveling your blood sugar.

What Is Gut Health?

What Is Gut Health?

Good gut health is important. It’s one of the things considered when suggesting foods to eat here in Commack, NY. Just like good hydration and plenty of sleep, it’s also one of the more neglected areas in fitness. Luckily, a healthy diet promotes good gut health with soluble and insoluble fiber, plus many other nutrients that help boost the beneficial bacteria in your body. Gut health is having the right balance of bacteria and other microbes that aid digestion and help reduce the amount of microbes that have a detrimental effect on the body.

Gut health starts with a healthy balance, but there’s more.

You’re never really alone, even if you don’t have a pet. You always have trillions of microorganisms living in your body or on your body. These microorganisms can be beneficial and help maintain bodily functions or detrimental and create chaos in the body. There are estimates that each person has about 100 trillion of these microscopic hitchhikers inside and on us with as many different types as 1,000. There are just 30 to 40 species that are the most common ones found. Since they’re microscopic, they really don’t weigh that much, just a pound or two. However, without some of these, we couldn’t live. Most are found in the digestive system and make nutrients available for the body. No microbes would mean malnutrition.

It’s more than just good digestion that counts.

What you eat makes a huge difference in your gut health. Eat more sugar, boost the amount of fungi, such as yeast. They can boost the craving for more sugar, too. There are far more diseases than you might think linked to poor gut health. It’s not just digestive problems, but also mood disorders, autoimmune diseases, mental health issues, skin conditions and even cancer. Poor gut health can lead to nutritional deficiencies, too.

Gut health can be boosted.

You’ve probably already familiar with probiotics and eating fermented foods to boost your gut health. There are other ways besides just boosting it with kimchi, sauerkraut, kifir and live culture yogurt. High fiber diets is one of those. They provide prebiotics. These foods feed the good bacteria that live in the large intestines. That means it helps boost the probiotics in your body for a healthier gut. Taking antibiotics disrupts the gut health. Doctors are more aware of the dangers of using antibiotics to frequently, since they can create super germs that are resistant. They also disrupt gut health and create digestive problems. If you take antibiotics, eat probiotic foods to replace the healthy bacteria.

  • Getting sleep is ultra important to gut health. Staying hydrated is also important. Both help the body’s friendly bacteria. You need good hydration for softer stools that are easier to pass.
  • Help those little friendly buggers by chewing more. The more you chew each bite, the more digestion takes place in your mouth and the healthier your digestive system will be. Slower eating also helps weight loss.
  • Skip the processed foods and stick with whole organic foods. Organic foods have fewer chemicals and whole organic foods have the fewest. They provide fiber and don’t add substances to the body that can kill the healthy bacteria and poison you in the process.

Foods That Are Good For Your Heart

Foods That Are Good For Your Heart

Eating a diet high in foods that are good for your heart means eating foods that contain nutrients that boost heart health. Foods high in Omega3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin D, folic acid, CoQ10 and potassium are heart healthy nutrients, so finding foods high in these can help you keep your heart safe and healthy. Each of these is also important for other body functions, so even if you don’t have a heart problem, they’ll still provide a great deal of benefit.

Omega3 fatty acids are important, but so is balancing them with Omega6 fatty acids.

The American diet is far too laden with Omega6 fatty acid. The ideal ratio is one part Omega3 to four parts Omega6. The average American diet is one part Omega3 to twelve to twenty-five parts Omega6. Not only does that make for bad heart health, studies show that it also can cause other distress. One study shows that violence was cut by far more than half in a prison when the diet included more Omega3. The body doesn’t produce this essential fatty acid, so it’s important to get it in your diet. Fatty fish such as salmon, herring or flaxseeds and other seeds and nuts can provide this heart healthy nutrient.

The sunshine vitamin isn’t always available.

Vitamin D deficiency can make you at risk for heart disease. It helps regulate your blood pressure and does many other things for the body. While you can get adequate vitamin D from exposure to the sun and giving the body the elements it requires to create it, sunny days may be few and far between in the winter and even when they occur, you don’t necessarily want to expose as much of your body as necessary to soak up the sun. Even in warm weather, too often people use sunblock to keep the rays out. Food high in vitamin D include egg yolks, beef liver, cheese and products fortified with vitamin D.

Magnesium and folic acid play a role in heart health.

Lack of magnesium can cause blood pressure to rise, besides causing muscle cramps (think coronary), mental disorders, osteoporosis, asthma and irregular heartbeat. Foods that contain magnesium include avocados, dark chocolate, raw spinach and soybeans. Folic acid consumed daily reduces the risk of both stroke and heart disease by as much as 20%. It also lowers homo-cysteine levels in the blood, which increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. Natural sources of folic acid are Brussels sprouts, asparagus, lentils and broccoli.

  • CoQ10 helps your heart by reducing high cholesterol levels. Low levels of it are linked to heart failure, high blood pressure and even chronic fatigue syndrome. Organ meats, such as beef heart or liver are high in this substance.
  • Adding fiber to your diet helps heart health. Oatmeal is a good source of fiber and can lower bad cholesterol levels.
  • Colorful vegetables improve heart health. The more color on your plate the more you get a wide variety of nutrients. For instance, grapes and red wine both contain resveratrol, which is heart healthy.
  • Besides eating healthy, regular exercise is also heart healthy.

Exercise Tips If You're Out Of Shape Or Older

Exercise Tips If You’re Out Of Shape Or Older

If you’re out of shape or older, starting a new program of exercise can be extremely scary. You don’t always know how much is too much or whether you’re doing the workouts right. I love to work with people who are new or being reintroduced to working out here in Commack, NY. I have some exercise tips that have proven useful to them and made their journey easier. Anyone over the age of about 35 will find that getting back into shape can be tougher than it used to be. That’s because the body loses muscle mass faster the more you age. The older you are, the more potential there also is for health issues, too. The first tip is simple. Always check with your health care professional first to make sure you can embark on a fitness program and let your personal trainer know if you have any physical limitations. Tip number two, take it slowly at first.

You need to set four types of fitness goals.

Being fit is more than just being able to run a few blocks or lift heavy weights. There are four different types of fitness; endurance, flexibility, strength and balance. The long term goal is to improve all of those. When you pass 35, you’ll notice the loss of muscle mass. Strength building is important to stop that trend. However, if you do only strength training, you’ll limit your range of motion and that can cause injury. You also won’t have the endurance necessary to live a full life. Balance is also important to prevent falls. As a personal trainer, I know it’s important to address all areas. Our circuit type workout does it all.

You don’t have to go to the gym to improve your strength and endurance, but it does help you get faster results.

While our workouts will help you achieve quicker results, if you can’t make it to a gym or simply don’t have the resources, that doesn’t mean you can’t get fit. If you want to work on endurance, try something as simple as walking. It’s an extremely underrated exercise that’s excellent for anyone starting out in a fitness regimen. It doesn’t have the potential to injure the knees, ankles or back like running does. You can also create your own home gym to build strength. Resistance bands are inexpensive and easy to store, yet help you build strength quickly. You can also create weights by filling milk bottles with sand or water, increasing the amount as you get fitter. Everything you lift can be a weight! Make sure you avoid injury by using proper lifting form.

We provide top flexibility and balance exercises, but you can also improve on your own.

There are several types of stretching, but the two most often used are dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic stretch involves moving several muscles together in a controlled yet exaggerated manner. Walking lunges is one example. It’s the best for warmups because it gets the blood flowing. Static stretching is stretching and holding, like lifting your foot behind you and pulling it up before or after a run. It relaxes muscles so it’s better after working out. Standing on your tip toes or one leg improves balance.

  • Try yoga to improve your flexibility and balance if you’re going it alone. It can also provide a great aerobic workout for endurance.
  • No matter what program you take up, enjoy it all. Even if it’s tough, feeling every muscle move can be a great feeling.
  • If you want to ensure you stick with the program, workout with others. It also provides social benefits that can improve your life and health.
  • Getting into shape means more than just working out. You can’t out exercise a bad diet, so start eating healthy, too.

Give The Gift Of Good Health This Year

Give The Gift Of Good Health This Year

Everyone has people on their list that are make it hard to find the perfect gift. They might seem like they have everything. One thing you can’t get too much of is a gift that promotes good health. We have so many options from which to choose, there’s something for everyone at LI LIVE Holistic Empowerment. Many of the gifts from here can help make changes that last a lifetime.

Give them a chill pill in cryotherapy form.

Cryotherapy is relatively new. It’s been adopted by many professional athletes as their preferred form of handling injuries. It’s quick and effective and doesn’t leave you sitting uncomfortably in a bathtub filled with ice for hours. Besides handling injuries and chronic pain, cryotherapy has other benefits. It uses super cooled dry air to trigger the body’s natural healing abilities and has been used for improved production of collagen, reducing cellulite, improved cell regeneration, reducing joint pain, weight loss, a more glowing complexion and stronger hair and nails. Best of all, it’s amazing and your gift recipient will be able to tell people they not only survived a 2to 3 minutes at a -240 degrees Fahrenheit, they also loved the experience and felt great afterward.

Consider a gift certificate.

We’re more than a gym, we’re an experience that focuses on good health. We have a center to detox and de-stress that includes the Infrared Sauna that can help take away all the hassles of the day and available for members. Your gift can be used at the Lightening Bar for smoothies or other healthy drinks. The Health Shop can be another place to help your special someone find exactly what they need for a healthier life, even if it’s just healthy snacks.

Since we’re like no other health club, a gift membership will be a unique gift.

You can give your special someone three personal training sessions for under $20. It comes with all the bells and whistles, including time in the Infrared Sauna, unlimited fresh cold alkaline water, dreamscaping, a wholistic coach and HIIT training. We have something for everyone here at a wide variety of prices to fit almost any budget.

  • Your special someone will find a type of exercise they’ll love. We use calisthenics, bodyweight exercises, training based on yoga and pilates and even kickboxing training.
  • Make it a special gift for a wife, husband or significant other. Go with your special person and workout, too. It boosts the sex drive, so it’s good to go together.
  • You don’t have to come to the gym to give a gift of good health. Get all the equipment for a new hobby, like biking, hiking or rock climbing. Anything active will keep you and yours healthier.
  • Remember, it doesn’t matter how expensive the gift is, it should enrich your loved one’s life. It’s even better if the gift involves you spending more time with them. The holidays should be a time to appreciate all the caring and love that’s given throughout the year.

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.