Friday, January 28, 2011

Get Balanced & Burn More Calories

If you want to improve your balance, it's easier than you think. You need to practice and you need to challenge yourself. Next time you have to stand and do something, just lift one leg and see if you can continue your action. If you can, very good and keep it up.
If you already exercise, you can improve your balance and burn more calories by standing on one food while performing the exercises. An example is lateral raises or dumb bell curls. Stand on one foot instead of two while you go through your repetitions.
Most people start to lose balance in their 50's and 60's. If you work on balance before that, its a lot easier that to playing catch up. If you think you're pretty good, stand on a BOSU ball. Its a blue half dome that stands about 12" and is about 18" in diameter. ($99 new $45 used) You can start with two feet, then one foot or try kneeling with your toes up in back. You can do all the standing exercises and challenge yourself and actually have some fun. You may not realize it now but as you get older balance equals independence. Start now, you will improve in a matter of weeks.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

How to Break Weight Loss Plateaus

If you're trying to lose weight and you start to stagnate here are some helpful tips.
  1. Add weight training to build muscle. Every pound of muscle needs 30-50 calories to stay alive. Fat is like dirt and needs little if any energy to sustain itself. Muscle is like grass, it needs water and food daily.
  2. Increase your activity. Park in the farthest spaces from the store. You'll get less door dings and burn extra calories. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  3. Watch out for hidden calories. Juices are high in calories and so are many other healthy foods. Look at the serving size and you may be surprised how small a serving is. Watch out for the little things. The tasty coffee creamer may be more than 100 calories per packet.
  4. Eat more often. If you wait too long to eat you may overeat when you do. A good rule of thumb is never wait to eat until you're hungry and eat every 2-4 hours. If you check your pulse you'll find that it goes up every time you eat. The body is a machine and needs energy to digest food.
  5. Mix it up when it comes to exercise and even food. You body works hard to maintain homeostasis or equilibrium. When you change your workouts and your diet, the body adapts and improves. Try working out faster or slower in addition to changing the exercises. Even changing the types of foods you eat can help you lose weight.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thin May Not Be In/ Strength Train For Health

Most people who are thin look pretty healthy. You may think they look good but skinny can be flabby and unhealthy. The following are reasons to strength train in addition to just losing weight. #1 When you lift weights you feel stronger, younger and have increased energy. #2 You can eat more because of an improved metabolic rate. #3 With muscle strength you can do more on your own and be independent. #4 You increase bone density and have less chance of breaking something or getting hurt. #5 You decrease the chance of heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure. #6 With muscle strength comes joint health. As muscles get stronger your tendons and ligaments become more stable. You're only as healthy as your last bad move. As we age, simple movements can turn into nagging injuries. If we develop strength and stability, we can avoid lots of trips to the chiropractor or even the surgeon. If you've done nothing for a long time, you may have a few aches and pains when you start to strength train. This is the rule vs. the exception. Hang in there, its worth the effort. The little pains now or far better than the pains down the road that can really sideline you .

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Work Out a Little and Get a Lot

Most people who don't exercise routinely, use a lack of time for the reason. People mistakenly think you need at least 20-30 mins. to devote to a fitness workout. The truth is, you can fit in little burst here and there and still get where you want to go. The point is it all adds up. Break the body into 6 parts: chest, back, legs, biceps, shoulders and triceps. You can break a workout into three parts. #1 do three exercises for biceps and legs. #2 try three tonners for the chest and triceps. Later in the day do three exercises for the back and shoulders.
If you want to lose weight, along with the toning you need to walk and watch what you eat. I put these two together because one can help the other. If you take a few short walks (5-10 mins), you can't sit on the couch, watch TV and eat. There is also a mind connection that makes you more aware of what you're eating just because your salting in exercise throughout the day. As the old saying goes "A little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing"

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lower Your Cholesterol and Live Longer

If you don't know your what your numbers are regarding cholesterol, FIND OUT! If like most people you know what they are but want to get them down a little, read on. #1 , Reduce fat and cholesterol from your diet. #2 Increase your level of activity and maintain a healthy body weight. #3 Add the following to your diet: Salmon, avocado, beans, blueberries, tea, and apples.
Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. It lowers bad LDL's, raises good HDL's and lowers bad triglycerides. Avocados are a good source of mono unsaturated fats and help raise good HDL''s which help lower bad HDL's. They also are a rich source of beta sitosterols which help block the absorption of cholesterol from foods. Beans are a good source of soluble fiber. A cup a day can reduce cholesterol 10% in 6 weeks. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants called pterostibene (like those in red wine) which lower LDL's. Tea is rich in anti oxidants called flavanoids and can relax blood vessels and prevent blood clots. Apples are rich in fiber and pectin as well as some of the most powerful anti oxidants like quercetin, phloridzin and chlorogenci acid. These help lower the bad LDL's and raise the good HDL's.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Look Out for Corn Sweetener

It has recently come to light that corn syrup may be a bad thing. In 2010 an experiment was conducted at Princeton University. Researchers did a control study with rats. In one group rats were given corn syrup, in another group rats were given an equal calorie amount of sugar. The rats given corn syrup in the control group gained an excess amount of abdominal fat. They also showed a significant increase in triglycerides over the rats given sugar. The reason that many products now substitute corn syrup is #1 cost and #2 shelf life. Shoppers BEWARE!
You may also have noticed that the corn producers have gotten wind of the bad press. In an attempt to fool the informed, they have come up with a clever alternative....corn sugar. This is basically the same thing under a different name, a synthetic liquid that makes you fatter than sugar. Look at labels and avoid any sweetener with the word corn in the ingredients.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes

One of the biggest new years resolutions is to lose weight. The following are some of the things to avoid if you want to be successful. Don't eye ball items that you think you know the caloric value of. Take a little time to learn the calorie counts of the staples in your diet. Most people eat the same thing 80% of the time. Once you learn how much to put in the cereal bowl, you're done for a while. Do this and you may be surprised that that pasta dish is 2000 calories not 500. Don't do fad diets they don't work in the long run. Avoid unreal expectations (i.e. Biggest Loser) . Use the scale, but don't weight too much it will make you crazy. Limit alcohol, cut from three to two or from two vino's a night to one. Try just drinking on the weekends. Make exercise a part of your plan. If you limit calories you slow down your metabolism. Exercise helps speed it back up. Make friends aware you are serious this time. Friends and family can be a big help but may not be on the same page. Be firm if they don't cooperate, its OK if THEY want to be fat. The most important thing may be to plan a day ahead. If you wait until dinner to realize there's nothing in the fridge, pizza is always a good idea. Same goes for lunch. Bring a brown bag or something low calorie in advance.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Do I Need a Personal Fitness Trainer?

Although many fitness instructors disagree about methodology, most agree on a few key concepts. You need to adopt healthy eating habits and a routine exercise program. The problem is that many people who exercise, do the same thing every day. If you lift five pounds for 15 repetitions over a period of five years, the body begins to adapt. You will actually be stronger in year two than year five. You can't continually lift more weight either or everyone would be benching 1000 pounds.
If you want to successfully maintain an ideal weight, an experienced fitness trainer will continually keep you challenged. You may wind up doing things you never imagines or would of done on your own. You'll feel confident when you prove to yourself over and over again, that you CAN do this and CAN accomplish that.
You should try to do something three to five days a week. Walking, riding or many activities can also count as workouts. A good trainer will also keep you accountable. Try to weight in once a week in front of your personal trainer. If you want to lose weight, try a food diary. It has been statistically proven that a food diary doubles your chances of permanent weight loss

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Losing a Spare Tire or a Muffin Top

One of my clients last week asked me how to get rid of back fat. The same question has been posed to me a variety of ways. What is a good exercise to get my butt smaller? What can I do to lose my belly or how can get my thighs smaller? The answer has never made anyone happy. You can do many things to make a body part bigger. You can sculpt an arm or a leg. You can get more definition in your shoulders. The only way to get a body part smaller, unfortunately is to eat less than you burn.
The same rules of weight loss apply to smaller thighs, a smaller butt and a trim waist. You need to reduce your fun carbs, eat smarter and exercise more. I suggest to make a plan that involves two to three days of weights and two to three days of cardio. It may sound like a lot but you don't need to do your cardio for an hour. Walk with a friend and enjoy some conversation. You don't need to hate the process. Remember there are 168 hours in a week. You only need 4 to make you happy the other 162.